Eleven UO undergraduate students have been selected as recipients of the UROP Mini-grant award. Open to students from all academic disciplines, the award provides financial support to undergraduates conducting research, creative scholarship or work on an innovative project. The eleven Mini-grant recipients were selected from a pool of applications coming from a range of majors including anthropology, biology, business, ethnic studies, geology, romance languages and human physiology. “The quality of the proposals made the selection process very competitive,” said Karl Reasoner, program manager of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity program. “The recipients are doing outstanding research, which is a reflection of their hard work and curiosity as well as the quality of our faculty who are acting as mentors on these projects.”

Three of the Mini-grant recipients are doing separate projects connected to the danza ceremonies of indigenous communities in Mexico and the United States. Danza is a choreographed dance that has been used by indigenous populations to document stories and describe historical events. The awardees will be travelling to Mexico as part of their research where they will interview dancers, act as participant-observers, and speak with anthropologists who are experts on studying indigenous populations.

Another project is focusing on the effects of aging on perceptual and conceptual memory. The awardee will be testing the memory of college-age and older adult subjects for meaning or details at two intervals, immediately (short-term) and half an hour (long-term). The goal of the research is to determine if memories transform from perceptual to conceptual in long-term memory and identify the effect aging has on this relationship.

Another recipient is investigating how knowledge is produced, communicated, and taught within assembly-based collectives that occur in open or public space. To do so, the awardee will combine methods from human geography and education studies to perform a case study of CSOA La Redonda, an Okupa – or squatted social community center – in Granada, Spain. The case study will include the results of a textual analysis of how and what the collective communicates as well as observations from time spent as participant observer at one of the collective’s events.

The winter 2016 Mini-grant Awardees are Anisha Adke (biology), Abel Cerros Jr. (ethnic studies), Catherine Jaffe (biology and environmental studies), Celia Koehler (geography), Claire Aubin (international studies), Claire Getz (geology), Hanna McIntosh (environmental science), Jocelyn Taylor (biology), Perla Alvarez (ethnic studies), Romario Garcia Bautista (journalism and anthropology), and Sally Claridge (biology). For more information about the recipients’ projects visit the Mini-grant website.