The English Department is proud to recognize the following recipients* of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships’
Spring 2022 PEAK Experience Awards. PEAK Awards (short for Project-Based Exploration for the Advancement of Knowledge) are a progressively structured sequence of opportunities designed to support learners as they continue climbing to new heights of achievement in undergraduate research and creative endeavor throughout their Northeastern journeys.
*Note: The students featured here either hold departmental minors and/or received mentorship from an English Department faculty member to pursue their projects.
Sofia Caruso (COS ’23, Writing minor), “When Legal Tradition Opposes Syntactic Facts: Ambiguous Language in the Law” Mentor: Professor Janet Randall, Department of English If your friend tells you that she wants to visit mountains, forests, and beaches in California, do you interpret that to mean that only the beaches are in California, or that the mountains, the forests, and the beaches are all in California? This project will explore the legal implications of ambiguous sentences such as this one by running a series of linguistic experiments using online surveys. We plan to publish the results in a student journal, as well as an invited chapter in an edited volume of law articles. Note: Sofia will be researching this topic alongside Anna Petti (COS ’23) and Manav Mehta (COS ’23). Natalie Hackman (COS ’23), “The Misguided Perception of Expertise in the Early Caribbean” Mentor: Professor Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, Department of English The purpose of this research endeavor is to showcase an overview of the misguided perception of expertise in medicine in the early Caribbean through a digital exhibit. The exhibit will explore the origins of medical racism, its pervasiveness in multiple areas of medicine as well as the hindrance imposed by medical racism on progress in medicine. This project aims to use an interdisciplinary approach to effectively research, analyze and draw conclusions, as a holistic approach intertwining biology, history, neuroscience, and literature will allow the exhibit to serve as a multi-dimensional piece applicable to an abundance of disciplines. Rayna Haque (Bouvé 22, Health, Humanities, & Society minor), “Somali Parent Perspectives on Barriers to Diagnosis in Children with Developmental Disabilities” Mentor: Professor Carmel Salhi, Department of Health Sciences Somali refugees in Massachusetts face barriers related to their race, religion, socioeconomic status, and citizenship. This study aims to conduct one-hour interviews of parents on their experiences seeking a diagnosis for their children with developmental disabilities through the lens of these barriers. Studies have shown that early interventions can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with developmental disabilities (Fernell et al.). With the knowledge that these disorders are underdiagnosed in populations of color (Edbrooke-Childs et al.), understanding the barriers that cause late diagnoses is the first step in creating interventions to better the outcomes of these children in the long-term.
Congratulations to these students on their hard work and fascinating projects!