Announcing 2014 UROP Summer Fellowships Awarded to Arts Students

Six VCUarts students were recently awarded UROP summer fellowships for projects mentored by VCU faculty.

UROP Summer Fellowships

Leah Schmidt, Graphic Design
Discovering How Zanzibari Textile Designs Can Bridge Cultural Contexts and Their Graphic Translation

Mentor: Professor David Shields, Graphic Design

In traveling to Zanzibar, Tanzania, Leah will learn about the integration of traditional Swahili patterns, famous in the region, with the creation of textiles and other designed products using these patterns. She will discover more about the significance and techniques of Swahili patterns from local artists, and will support their marketing efforts by applying her graphic design skills. Leah believes this fellowship will “reinforce the notion that deeper meaning behind design ideas strengthens good design.”

Hannah Huddle, Communication Arts
Communicating the overall experience of research through various approaches using art: a case study of the Prothonotary Warbler

Mentor: Dr. Lesley Bulluck, Biology

Over the summer and continuing into her fall semester, Hannah will meld art and science to explore research on the prothonotary warbler so that the public may better understand this experiment. Her research centers on “measuring spatial and temporal variation in warbler prey availability and assessing how this affects warbler breeding success.” She will present her conclusions through both graphic and fine art—a method hypothesized to achieve better comprehension of the experiment than that of a lab report.

Erin Warner, Craft/Material Studies
Use of Arduino in Kinetic Sculpture

Mentor: Professor Andréa Keys Connell, Ceramics

Interested in blending art and technology, Erin will incorporate the new technological abilities of Arduino, a multipurpose microcontroller, within her work. Her goal this summer is “to combine ceramic sculpture and computer-controlled circuitry into a seamless and engaging art piece.” With this opportunity, Erin will implement a new method that has the potential to expand her art making practice.

Undergraduate Fellowships for Community Engaged and Translational Research

Danielle Ardilla Deneys, Interior Design
Empowering Youth and Increasing Community Engagement Through Permaculture/Biophilic Design

Mentor: Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren, Sociology

Ardilla will teach middle and high school students about biophilic garden design. By dispersing this knowledge to younger minds, she hopes that “students will acquire skills and knowledge that will empower them to make change within their community and have their voices and ideas heard.” To showcase their new skills, students will present final design plans of their own version of the Shockoe Bottom Redevelopment Plan to the public.

Global Education Office Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Ling-Lin Ku, Sculpture and Extended Media
Silk Road

Mentor: Professor Ryan Crowley, Sculpture and Extended Media

This summer, Ling-Lin will spend two weeks in Kyoto, Japan to study and document the famous dry gardens of that region. Ling-Lin has been inspired by the concept of negative space used in the dry gardens and applies it in her art: “my sculptures often have neither beginning nor end, and the distinction between interior and exterior muted, which emphasize more of the negative space than the object it self.” By the end of the summer, she will have produced a new installation with the concept of negative space serving as her inspiration.

Samantha Correa, Art Education
Historias de las Americas

Mentor: Professor Brittany Nelson, Film and Photography

Samantha will document the lives of people currently residing in Peru, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, and Ecuador in order to show the motivations people have to immigrate to the United States. Her project will bring to light “the many factors that may influence one’s decision to migrate from political, social, to economic” issues. She also plans to interview those who have emigrated from Latin America and gather their thoughts on how immigration has affected them. She aims to present her final project in a Richmond gallery.