Summer Scholars Program in Undergraduate Research

The Summer Scholars Program began in 2012 with the reception of a Slemp Foundation grant to support undergraduate research.

Mirroring the FINS program and seeking to give students outside the natural sciences the opportunity to engage in undergraduate research, Summer Scholars provides summer stipends of $3,000 to students in any other academic program. These stipends allow students to conduct mentored summer research or to engage in a creative project.

Just as with FINS, students must choose a project in collaboration with a faculty mentor. They must then submit a proposal to the Undergraduate Research Council, a long-standing UVA Wise faculty committee. Stipends are competitive, and the number of grants is limited. Students spend the summer working on their project and are required to present the results of their work in a public forum. All have gone on to present at local and regional conferences.

To date stipends have been awarded to students in criminal justice, computer science, economics, English, history, mathematics, music, political science, psychology, Spanish, and theater. Prior to 2012 some awards were made for summer research from sources on the campus.

Summer 2024 Application Information

2023 Summer Research Projects

  • Pria Funk: “Is crime really as big of a problem as the media makes it out to be?” (Faculty Mentor – Heather Evans)
  • Julianna Jenkins: “A comparative exploration of policy implementation in rural and urban human services organizations” (Faculty Mentor – Christa Moore)
  • Bryson Roberson: “Unlocking the potential of nuclear energy for Southwest Virginia” (Faculty Mentor – Zafar Khan)

2021 Summer Research Projects

  • James Rentfrow – How Will a Minimum Wage Increase Help Southwest Virginia’s Small Businesses (Faculty Mentor – Zafar Khan)
  • Madison Rowe – James A. Bland High School:  Working Toward a National Register of Historic Places Nomination (Faculty Mentor – Jinny Turman)
  • Isaac Whitehead – The Effect of COVID on Small Businesses (Faculty Mentor – Zafar Khan)

2020 Summer Research Projects

  • Zoe Crihfield – Miriam Fuller: Clinch Valley College’s First African American Student
  • Rian Moore – Twitter Style of congressional Candidates – 2020 (Faculty Mentor – Heather Evans)
  • Katherine Pridemore – The influence of first year housing, extracurricular activities, and college belongingness on college graduates (Faculty Mentor – Madelynn Shell)

2017 Summer Research Projects

  • Tiffany Absher - The Influence of Shyness and Parental Attachment on Social Adjustment (Faculty Mentor Madelynn Shell)
  • Natalie Chapman - What Importance Does Public Investment Have in the Economic History and Future of Central Appalachia? (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)
  • DeMarcus Edwards - Application Software Development Agile vs. Waterfall (Faculty Mentors Abrar Qureshi and Ira Weissberger)
  • Milton Weatherhead - Recreating Creag Ghuanach, a Period-Inspired Performance and its History (Faculty Mentor Hannah Ryan)

2016 Summer Research Projects

  • Alex Cantrell - Academic Adjustment and Depressive Symptoms (Faculty Mentor Madelynn Shell)
  • Kara Dotten - The Collective Imagination (Faculty Mentor Michael McNulty)
  • Ryan Huntington - Deliberate Composition versus Accidental Composition (Faculty Mentor Donnie Sorah)
  • Gabrielle Smith - Spatial Distribution of Wildlife Vehicle Collisions and Factors Influencing Road Mortality in Southwest Virginia (Faculty Mentor James Vance)
  • Ning Zhou - Does Circular Economic Model Boost Economic Development and Diversification in Single Industry Cities? (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)

2015 Summer Research Projects

  • Madison Adams - Language Contact in Mexico (Faculty Mentor Christine Weissglass)
  • John Forrest Duncan - Tortured Victims: A History of Homosexuality in an Ever-Changing Germany (Faculty Mentors Mark Clark and Michael Hunt)
  • Lewie Moore - Effect of Maternal Support and Self-esteem on Internalizing Symptoms in Late Adolescence (Faculty Mentor Madelynn Shell)
  • Catherine Taylor - Predictors of Identity Development (Faculty Mentor Madelynn Shell)
  • Javier Wagner - Economic Impact of Poor Water Quality from Fracking (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)

2014 Summer Research Projects

  • Kevin Alsup - Oral History of St. Charles, Virginia (Faculty Mentor Brian McKnight)
  • Cassondra Chadwell - Gratitude and Positive Affect as Predictors of Positive Relationships (Faculty Mentor Madelynn Shell)
  • Evan Couch - Immigrants for Appalachian Coal 1890-1940 (Faculty Mentor Brian McKnight)
  • Heather Owens - Lie Detection – EEG and Polygraph Correlation (Faculty Mentor Ashley Dickinson)

2013 Summer Research Projects

  • Zachar Canter - Chaucer’s Parson and the Shadow of Wycliffism (Faculty Mentor Ken Tiller)
  • Ethan Dobbins - Measuring and Planning Economic Diversification in Martinsville and Henry County (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)
  • Todd Galyean - Tourism in the Coalfields: A SWOT Analysis (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)

2012 Summer Research Projects

  • Eric Bolling - Using Material Culture to Further Historical Understanding (Faculty Mentor Tom Costa)
  • Dakota Thomas - Domestic Expansions of the Liberal Peace Thesis (Faculty Mentor Eric Smith)

Projects funded prior to the establishment of the Summer Scholars Program

2009 Summer Research Project

  • Craig Collie - Sustainable Growth Strategies for Southwest Virginia (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)

2008 Summer Research Projects

  • Emily Witucki - Spectacular Bodies in Entertainment and Marketing (Faculty Mentor Michael McNulty)
  • Matthew Ramey - Resource Curse in Southwest Virginia (Faculty Mentor Zafar Khan)