Principles & Practice in Reflective Mentorship

2013-14 Participants

Click on the project title to see summaries of the research project and mentorship plan. 

Graduate Students:  Asha Tamirisa, Caroline Park
Department:  Music
Undergraduate Students:  Claire Kwong, Lucy Lie, Bridget Ferrill, Lizzie Davis
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Butch Rovan
Project Title:   Opensignal: a dynamic reconfiguring of women in computer music

Graduate Students:  Stefanie Sevcik
Department:  Comparative Literature
Undergraduate Students:  Vera Carothers
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Elias Muhanna
Project Title:  Language in North African Identities

Graduate Students:  Iocana Jucan, Michelle Castaneda
Department: Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Undergraduate Students:  Zach Rufa, Arianna Geneson, Julieta Cardenas
Faculty Advisor:   Professor Spencer Golub
Project Title:  Performance Philosophy Community of Practice

Graduate Students:  Megan Reilly, Ceyda Sayali
Department:  Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences
Undergraduate Students:  Eliza Lanzillo, Idara Ndon, Carolina Santiago, Emma Suchland
Faculty Advisor:  Professor David Badre
Project Title:  Training in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Women in the Brain Sciences

Graduate Students:  Andrew Dufton, Linda Gosner
Department:  Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Undergraduate Students:  Christina DiFabio, Rob Weiner
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Felipe Rojas
Project Title:  Brown University Labraunda Project

Graduate Students:  Lauren Quattrochi, Michelle Fogerson
Department: Neuroscience
Undergraduate Students:  Mio Akasako, Elaine Nguyen
Faculty Advisor:  Professor David Berson
Project Title:  Investigating surprising retinal inputs to non-visual brain regions

2013-14 Projects & Mentorship Plans

Graduate Students:  Asha Tamirisa, Caroline Park
Department:  Music
Undergraduate Students:  Claire Kwong, Lucy Lie, Bridget Ferrill, Lizzie Davis
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Butch Rovan

Project Title:  Opensignal: a dynamic reconfiguring of women in computer music

Summary of Research Project
Our project focuses on women composers and performers engaged with experimental computer music performance.  We will look at software such as MaxMSP, Ableton, and Processing - software that we study in MEME and implement in our creative practices.  Our output will be manifold: increased technical ability, greater visibility of women engaged with computer music, documentation of our discussions and projects, a group performance, and a compilation of sound works created and produced by the group.

Summary of Mentorship Plan
Our mentorship plan involves technical skillshares and critical discussions led by a pair of one undergraduate and one graduate student.  This setup allows for the cohort working one-on-one as well as at the group level.  Additionally, this gives the undergraduates opportunities to lead with graduate student mentorship support.  We will also host talks and masterclasses from guest artists.  This allows for a second level of mentorship from the guest artist, giving us insight into the field at large. 

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Graduate Students:  Stefanie Sevcik
Department:  Comparative Literature
Undergraduate Students:  Vera Carothers
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Elias Muhanna

Project Title:  Language in North African Identities

Summary of Research Project
Our research deals with language choice and the construction of identity during the decolonization of North Africa.  This project seeks to better understand the political and cultural stakes involved with choosing to write in the language of the colonizer (French) versus an indigenous vernacular or classical language (Arabic or Berber).  We will consider whether the use of French limits the conditions of a new cultural identity or functions as a universal language that enables more open experimentation.  We will also look at the ways different registers of language (e.g. family, legal, educational) inform the construction of various types of identities (e.g. individual, collective, colonizer, colonized).

Summary of Mentorship Plan
Initially, we will conduct weekly meetings to discuss texts and ideas related to our research topic.  Next, we will travel to Harvard and Yale to conduct archival research for our project.  Then, we will work through and workshop each component of constructing a convincing conference paper from developing a persuasive, concise abstract to constructing a 15-conference paper.  Our work will culminate in conference papers we will present individually at the American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) annual meeting in March and Collaboratively at Brown.

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Graduate Students:  Iocana Jucan, Michelle Castaneda
Department: Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
Undergraduate Students:  Zach Rufa, Arianna Geneson, Julieta Cardenas
Faculty Advisor:   Professor Spencer Golub

Project Title:  Performance Philosophy Community of Practice

Summary of Research Project
Our community of practice will explore key themes, methodologies, and approaches in performance philosophy as they relate to the doctoral research projects of the participating graduate students and the honors theses/capstone projects of the undergraduate students involved.  Performance philosophy is an emerging, interdisciplinary field within Theatre and Performance Studies.  Our proposed community of practice will seek to contribute to the ongoing conversation in this field and will be structured into three main units: performance and knowledge production; world-making and world-destruction; scenes of writing and concepts in/as performance.

Summary of Mentorship Plan
The Performance Philosophy community of practice will serve as a platform for the development and presentation of research in performance philosophy connected with the undergraduate students' senior projects and graduate students' dissertations through regular discussions and workshops, as well as through lectures by and dialogues with performance philosophy scholars from Brown and other institutions.  As a culmination of our community of practice, we plan to organize Performance Philosophy mini-symposium that would give us the opportunity to present our work to a wider audience and engage in dialogue with students and faculty scholars from other disciplines. 

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Graduate Students:  Megan Reilly, Ceyda Sayali
Department:  Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences
Undergraduate Students:  Eliza Lanzillo, Idara Ndon, Carolina Santiago, Emma Suchland
Faculty Advisor:  Professor David Badre

Project Title:  Training in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Women in the Brain Sciences

Summary of Research Project
The team will become familiar with the use of TMS as a research methodology, shadow TMS research, and develop the skills to design experiments for TMS research on cognitive control and language processing.  The team will meet weekly to discuss journal articles and the principles of experimental design.  The graduate students will receive formal training in TMS and develop a training curriculum for the team and other members of the CLPS department.

Summary of Mentorship Plan
Our team recruited a group of female sophomores, with the specific goal of increasing retention of female undergraduates in STEM fields.  We will incorporate discussions of women in the sciences into our schedule of weekly meetings and arrange for some opportunities for other undergraduates in the brain sciences to participate in discussions of women in the sciences and the role gender plays in academia. 

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Graduate Students:  Andrew Dufton, Linda Gosner
Department:  Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Undergraduate Students:  Christina DiFabio, Rob Weiner
Faculty Advisor:  Professor Felipe Rojas

Project Title:  Brown University Labraunda Project

Summary of Research Project
Our project expands on fieldwork undertaken in the summer of 2013 on a monumental stone fountain at the mountain sanctuary of Labraunda, near the ancient city of Halikarnassos.  The fountain is the largest and most elaborate water structure at what is probably one of the most important sites in western Anatolia.  We hope to create an exciting and active community to continue our archaeological investigation of this fascinating ancient building.

Summary of Mentorship Plan
The mentoring program has been designed with two concrete goals: to develop technical skills in archaeological and architectural recording, and to conduct research on Labraunda and its surroundings.  The group will meet twice monthly throughout the year to practice recording techniques, and to share the results of independent research.  Our mentorship also involves the presentation of preliminary research at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America.  This wider academic exposure will help us re-evaluate our current understanding of the evidence, and will set the tone for the mentoring activities of the spring term. 

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Graduate Students:  Lauren Quattrochi, Michelle Fogerson
Department: Neuroscience
Undergraduate Students:  Mio Akasako, Elaine Nguyen
Faculty Advisor:  Professor David Berson

Project Title:  Investigating surprising retinal inputs to non-visual brain regions

Summary of Research Project
We hypothesize that sparse, specific retinal inputs to brain regions outside the classical visual pathway allow light information to subtly influence behavior.  Mio studies whether retinal input to the lateral habenula helps animals perceive aversive light stimuli.  Elaine will show which of the supraoptic nucleus's hormonal functions depends most on retinal input.  With graduate guidance, Elaine and Mio will determine what types of retinal ganglion cells provide theses specialized inputs and thus, what light stimuli influences these otherwise non-visual targets.  Together, we will show which central neurons receive retinal input, providing functional evidence for visual modulation of specific neural circuits.

Summary of Mentorship Plan
We strive to create a continually developing relationship that encourages scientific inquiry and pursuit of a career in science.  We will build a rapport with our mentees through regular conversations at the individual and group level.  Through literature discussions and an undergraduate-specific forum for scientific communication, we will engage students in all aspects of the scientific process.  We have also planned interviews with past mentees to prepare our students for the scientific career of their choice.  Through this collaborative process, we will build a cohesive mentoring approach that will enhance our mentees' research experience and strengthen our future academic endeavors.