Summer Scholars Program

About the Summer Scholars Program

The Summer Scholars program provides support for undergraduate students and faculty from all disciplines to engage in collaborative research and creative work while immersed in a culture of scholarship.

Our program has two primary objectives:

  1. Provide meaningful, rich experiences for students in which they make significant contributions to scholarship.
  2. Provide faculty with the resources and support they need to advance their program of research/scholarship.

Support for Scholarship

Summer Scholars supports faculty-student collaborations in all disciplines. Each team is typically comprised of one faculty member and one or two students. Compensation for faculty and students allows teams to focus on their scholarship during 10 weeks during the summer. Teams are also provided with training, support, and resources to facilitate the peer-reviewed dissemination of their scholarly work.

Community of Scholars

Summer Scholars establishes a supportive community of faculty and student scholars who learn from and support one another; this community of scholars is a critical part of the program. Students and faculty attend weekly workshops designed to support scholarship, professional, and personal development.

Tenured faculty and faculty on tenure track or rolling contracts are eligible to apply. Adjunct faculty and faculty on temporary contracts are not eligible for Summer Scholars. Interested faculty should identify undergraduate student collaborators and invite them to apply. Students must have at least one semester left at St. Kate’s after completing the program to be eligible.

Summer Scholars is an intensive 10-week immersive experience for both faculty and students and requires an investment in scholarship, mentoring, and group dialogue to create a strong cohort and culture of scholarship. Faculty must be available without conflicting professional or personal responsibilities that interfere with the ability to fully engage in the scholarly project, to effectively mentor the student collaborator(s), and to actively participate in Summer Scholars workshops and activities. Our commitment to mentoring in this program means that we give preference to applications of faculty who do not have significant competing professional responsibilities during the summer. Note that although Summer Scholars is a 10-week intensive summer program, your commitment is for the entire academic year, as students and mentors are expected to prepare for and present their work at a national conference during the 2020–2021 academic year.

Students also need to demonstrate a commitment to the program by describing how they will manage their other obligations and meet the expectations of this program. Students can apply to work 20 hours/week and must commit to submitting an abstract to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research in the fall of 2020 and presenting (if accepted) in the spring of 2021 OR to submitting to a discipline-specific conference or its equivalent.

Summer Scholars meetings, workshops, and social events will be held on Wednesdays between June 3 and August 5, 2020. Faculty mentors and students are required to attend the kickoff meeting (June 3, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. with lunch immediately following), workshops (June 10, 17, and 24; July 8, 15, 22, and 29), and the closing celebration (August 5, 11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.—beginning at 10:30 for students). Student workshops will be on the above dates from 1–2:30 p.m., and faculty workshops will be held from 3–4 p.m., with two exceptions. The midsummer workshop on June 24 for both students and mentors will take place from 10 a.m.–12 p.m., and the final workshop (July 29) will be a joint student-faculty work session from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. with a barbecue lunch immediately following. Additionally, students will meet individually with the director and/or assistant director of Collaborative Research during the week of July 4 (times TBD). Optional social events will be integrated with workshops and/or scheduled early in the summer.

Mentors and students are expected to meet regularly throughout the program. Students are responsible for keeping track of hours worked and mentors are responsible for approving student-submitted work hours in accordance with all human resources policies.

All students are expected to submit their work for presentation at a peer-reviewed venue (e.g., undergraduate or discipline-specific conference, gallery exhibit, performance) during the 2020–21 academic year. Additionally, teams will be encouraged and supported in their efforts to publish their work in a peer-reviewed journal or the discipline equivalent. Students also are required to present their scholarship at the Sr. Seraphim Gibbons Undergraduate Symposium in spring 2021.

Teams conducting research with human participants need approval from the Institutional Review Board prior to beginning their scholarship. Projects that require IRB approval will not be formally accepted for Summer Scholars support until they have been approved.

Participants evaluate the Summer Scholars program and its components.

Students and mentors are asked to promote the program and connect with the community by sharing your Summer Scholars work. Teams may be asked to present their work to prospective students, University community members, donors, potential donors, and alumnae or to discuss the Summer Scholars program with them.

All teams must submit a final report by Friday, September 11.

The Summer Scholars program is committed to promoting collaborative scholarship across disciplines while supporting both faculty and students. Faculty who fully engage in the Summer Scholars program will be paid a summer stipend. Students will be paid to work 20 hours per week.

The dissemination requirements (see above) require students and faculty to continue working on their scholarship during the 2020–21 academic year. While we strive to provide funding for students, we cannot guarantee that students will be paid in the fall (though we guarantee funding for travel to NCUR if abstracts are accepted). Faculty are paid for their work in the summer only.

This year, we are able to fund two additional Summer Scholars teams for projects that meet the following criteria:

Your application must address one of the three pillars of the GHR Foundation's investment in St. Kate's. The primary tenets of each pillar are as follows:

  • Global Health. St. Kate’s deep commitment to Catholic Social Teaching embraces global access to basic healthcare and equity in the social determinants of health as essential human rights. We are called to become an international leader in the development of learning pathways and community-based partnerships that expand access to basic healthcare and to those social and environmental factors that promote health for the world’s poor, including U.S. immigrant communities. Projects will emphasize the social and physical environments that address both preexisting health conditions and conditions that developed during emigration or are exacerbated by current living conditions.
  • Primary Care. Primary Care is the principal locus of interface between millions of people and the healthcare system, the place where “seeds of lifelong wellness” can be sown and cultivated. Projects will emphasize the social determinants of health, and an expanded understanding of primary care delivery—one that focuses on community-based health through multiple providers (healthcare and non-healthcare alike) who develop substantial programming that positively affects a population.
  • Senior Care. The nation is moving toward a “new day” in terms of the number of older citizens and accompanying expectations for health and healthcare that is high quality, accessible, and that shapes new paradigms of practice and community living designed to enhance quality and length of life. Projects will explore ways for seniors to improve their health, maximize their ability to live in their preferred communities, and/or enhance current healthcare delivery approaches. Projects may address the social determinants of health as well as specific healthcare issues experienced by seniors.

If you are eligible, your team will be asked to answer a few additional questions

Apply for the next Summer Scholars Program by midnight Monday March 2, 2020

Eligibility

Student-faculty teams that include undergraduate students and tenured, tenure-track or rolling contract faculty are eligible.

  • Students and faculty must complete an application together. Summer Scholars teams are typically one faculty member and one or two students.
  • St. Kate’s faculty must be tenured or on a tenure track or rolling contract to apply. Adjunct faculty and faculty on temporary contracts are not eligible for the program.
  • Students must be enrolled in a bachelor's degree program and have at least one semester left at St. Kate’s after completing the program to be eligible.

How to Apply 

Students and faculty complete a three-part online application together.

  • Part I, completed by the faculty-student(s) team, includes a project summary, description of dissemination goals, and a detailed timeline (see template below).
  • Part II, completed by the faculty member, includes a brief statement of how the proposed project will help meet scholarship expectations and additional details (e.g., other responsibilities, sources of funding).
  • Finally, each student applicant completes Part III, which includes a brief statement describing her interest in project and qualifications for engaging in this work.

Download Timeline Template (Word)

Dissemination Plan Examples

Past Summer Scholars Projects

Art and Art History

Listening to the Liberal Arts at St. Catherine University
Lucian Blanks ’20, Amy Hamlin

Biology and Biochemistry

Measuring the structural dynamics of Hox family transcription factor lin-39 and its mutant lin-39(ccc16) in complex with mab-5 and DNA using NMR spectroscopy
Reba Surma-Heine ’20, Kristina Lodahl ’20, Kim Ha, Andrea Kalis

Economics

Applied Economics: Colonial Policy in Indigenous Nations
Isabel Pastoor ’20, Briana Morales ’21, Kristine West

Prejudice or statistical discrimination: An experiment on discrimination in the labor market
Emily Young ’22, Kala Tiede ’21, Marina Gorsuch

Mathematics

Topological Data Analysis and Analysis of Text
Ella Graham ’21, Calli Clay ‘20, Kristine Pelatt

Music

Curating an Album of Cañari Music
Erika Contreras ’22, Rebecca Gibson ’19, Allison Adrian

Nutrition and Exercise Sciences

Novel Gait Training for Older Adults: Nordic Walking vs. Vizziq Training (GHR-funded)
Abbie Payne ’21, Meghan Ruppert ’21, Lana Prokop

Public Health

The Moderating Role of Sleep in the Association between Spirituality, and Test Anxiety, and Academic Behaviors of Female Undergraduate Students: Data from 2018 Mapworks Survey (GHR-funded)
Vy Phung ‘20, Sydney Coxworth ’20, Angela Ekwonye

Physics

Regener-Pfotzer maximum zenith angle dependence measurements
Melissa Graham ’20, Judy Panmany ’20, Alisha Widmeier ’20, Erick Agrimson

Apparel Design

Textile Waste Collection: Potential of Upstream Recycling In Twin Cities Area
Sydney Schumann ‘19, Anupama Pasricha

Art and Art History

Multimedia Documentary Shorts 2.0
Ryan Johnson ‘19, Frencia Stephenson ‘19, Todd Deutsch

ASL Interpreting

Needs, Barriers, and Gaps Assessment for Culturally Deaf Seniors to Maintain Quality Independent Living Status
Allie Salewski ’19, Gloria Nathanson

Biology

Patterning of Sex-specific Neuronal Fates by Hox Transcription Factors
Seanna Loeb ‘19, Afra Zain ‘20, Andrea Kalis

Chemistry

Determining the Impact of Domain Ib Mutations of Phospholamban on Phosphorylation and SERCA Regulation (GHR-funded)
Ariana Schneiderhan ‘19, Hannah Johnson ‘19, Kim Ha

Green Mechanochemical Synthesis of Photoluminescent Materials
Ashley Wilke ‘19, Maya Butler ‘20, Daron Janzen

Synthesis of Deuterated Standards for MDI Quantification
Melissa Graham ‘20, Sophia Powells ’20, Alisha Wiedmeier ‘20, James Wollack

Communication Studies

Negotiating Complex Cultural Landscapes: Contemporary Female Native American Leaders and Intersectionality
Lani Kazel ‘18, Margret McCue-Enser

Economics

Maturing Collaborative Research in Economics
Maakwe Cumanzala ‘19, Elizabeth Kula ’19, Kristine West

Native American Women are Disproportionately Stopped, Searched and Arrested by Police in Minneapolis
Elizabeth Axberg ‘20, Amanda Williams ‘20, Marina Gorsuch

Education

Interprofessional Interventions for Families of Patients with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (GHR-funded)
Meghan Landry ’21, Erica Olson ’21, Katie Campbell

Exercise and Sport Science

The Ripple Effect: A Sociocultural Exploration of Coaching and Narratives on the Exercising Experience (GHR-funded)
Amber Montero ‘20, Paige Nelson ’19, Rebecca Busanich

Public Health

Screening Tools for Housing Instability in Primary Care
Nimo Mohamed Dec ‘18, Joceline Giles ‘19, Meghan Mason

Theology

“Sometimes It Causes Me To Tremble”: Terror, Catastrophe, and the Fierce Work of Memory in Black and Womanist Theology
Iceline King ‘20, Colleen Carpenter

Art

Multimedia Documentary Shorts
Muna Scekomar ’18, Ashley Alex ’18, Todd Deutsch

Biology

Hox Gene Regulation of Sex-Specific Neurogenesis in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Taylor Olin ’18, Andrea Kalis

Exploring the Effect of Exercise on Mood and Trust
Sara Brakke ’18, Ngozika Ezenagu ’19, John Pellegrini

Chemistry

Synthesis and Characterization of 2D Tin Sulfide Nanosheets
Elizabeth Juarez Diaz ‘18, John Dwyer

Communication Studies

Nationalism and Populism Abroad: France, Germany, and the United Kingdom
Addison Cross ’20, Rafael Cervantes

English

A Reading Guide for Gertrude Stein’s The Making of Americans
Emma Hargreaves ’17, Janie Sisson ’17, Cecilia Konchar Farr

Exercise and Sports Science

Does Resistance Training Affect Speed of Movement in Older Adults?
Natalie Barron ’18, Michelle Perri ’18, Joshua Guggenheimer

Mathematics

Extended Symmetric Spaces and Theta-Twisted Involution Graphs of the Alternating Symmetric Group
Emma Holzbach ’20, Autumn Mortenson ’20, Jessie Lenarz, Kristy Pelatt

Nutrition

Assessing Consumer Knowledge of Added Sugars
Rose Maniates ’19, Courtney Vanderheiden’18, Nuala Bobowski

Campus Health and Ideas for the Future
Mary Jane Voss ’18, Holly Willis

Physics

Stratospheric Thermal Effects Related to the August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse
Vina Onyango-Robshaw ’18, Ana Taylor’19, Alynie Walter’18, Erick Agrimson

Psychology

Community Response to Police Shootings: An Experimental Exploration
Katelyn Byers-Carter ’18, Gabrielle Filip-Crawford

Biology

Characterization of DNA-binding Proteins in Lumbriculus Sperm
Kay Tweeten, Mysee Lee, and Kelsey McKenna

The Gaiter TM: Testing How Well a New 4-wheel, pivoting Walker Promotes Natural Walking Movements
Marcie Myers, Courtney Kirkeide, Chi Moua, and Nicole Szyszka

Genetics and Nutrient Conditions of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris Arundinacea) Populations at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Martha Phillips and Danielle Meyer

Chemistry

Mechanochemical Synthesis of Photoluminescent Transition Metal Complexes 
Daron Janzen and Dominique Rabaey

Characterization of Reduced Graphene Oxide
Gina Mancini-Samuelson, Madisen Hyatt, and Alexa Trusty

Characterization of Dilated Cardiomyopathy Linked R25 Mutants of Phospholamban
Kim Ha and Mara Exline*

Extracting Biologically Active Metabolites from Minnesota Fungicolous Fungi
Ani Jordan, Elizabeth Sperry, and Odi Mentari

Economics

What’s the Value of a Degree? Evidence from Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia
Caroline Krafft, Zea Branson, and Taylor Flak

Exercise and Sports Science

Exercise Duration and Associated Fitness Improvement
Mark Blegen, Leigha Embertson, Sophie Olson, and Jenna Thompson

Mathematics

Invariants of Random Threshold Hypergraphs
Chris Ross and Kat Wallick

Convexity of Neural Codes
Kristy Pelatt and Ruby Bayliss*

Physics

Measuring Histograms of Viral Production v. Time for Individual Isolated Cells using Fluorescence and Microfluidics 
Jolene Johnson and Emily Anderson*

Public Health

Child Spacing Decision-Making and Couple Communication among Somali Men and Women in the Twin Cities
Carie Cox and Fathi Ahmed

Theology

Ladies and the Law: Considering Women in Ancient Legal Codes
Elaine James and Shannon Tacheny

 

*Clare Boothe Luce Scholars

Apparel Design

Technology Meets Sustainable Fashion
Anupama Pasricha and Rachel Greeninger

Biology

Investigating the Evolutionary History of Ammonium Transport Genes
Tami McDonald, Madison Olimb, and Shelby Ward

Chemistry

Precedence for Fungi as a Source of Bioactive Natural Products
Ani Jordan, Mara Exline, Sophia Hani, Alexa Harnagel*

Tuning the Properties of the Nanomaterial Graphene Oxide
Gina Mancini-Samuelson, Denyce Alvarez, and Alexa Trusty

Synthesis of a Cyclopropene-Containing Substance for Protein Farnesyltransferase
James Wollack and Kristine Her

Communication Studies

Women’s Voices: Reimagining the Public Speaking Curriculum
Rafael Cervantes and Brianna Byram

Economics

The Impact of Free Full-Day Kindergarten on Maternal Labor Supply
Kristine West, Ashley Erceg, and Katie Tholke

Exercise and Sports Science

Does Resistance Training Affect Range of Motion, Quality of Life, and Balance in Older Women?
Joshua Guggenheimer, Donielle Kurvers, and Sarah Olsen

History

Back Talk: Unwed Mothers, Adoption, and the Mass Media, 1950-1970

Kim Heikkila and Amanda Campbell

Mathematics

Games on Directed Threshold Graphs
Chris Ross and Rose Winter*

Psychology

Work/Life/School Balance of College Students
Andrea Olson, Lee Danielsen, and Kelly Kroening

Theology

Beyond Annulment: Rethinking Pastoral Care for Divorced Catholics
Colleen Carpenter and Jane Wolfgram

*Clare Boothe Luce Scholars

Biology

Analysis of Extracellular Matrix Molecules in Lumbriculus Embryos
Kay Tweeten and Kyrstin Danielson

The Effect of Agriculture and Urbanization on Coupled Nutrient Cycles in Minnesota Lakes
Jill Welter, Kerrick Sarbacker, and Bree Vculek

Chemistry

NMR Resonance Assignment of Fatty Acid Binding Protein-4
Kim Ha and Yenchi Tran

Triboluminescent Materials: Design of Pressure-Sensitive Phosphorescent Systems
Daron Janzen and Safia Hirsa

Biologically Active Natural Products Produced by Fungal Pathogens of Alfalfa
Ani Jordan, Marne Louters, and Nicole Blanshan

Communication Studies

Women’s Voices: Reimagining the Public Speaking Curriculum
Rafael Cervantes and Brianna Byram

Nutrition and Exercise Science

Assessment of Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors Associated with Legume Intake by Parents and Their Children
Teri Burgess-Champoux, Lynn Luecke, and Kayla Guerrero

The Effects of Low-intensity Resistance Training on Joint Range of Motion in Older Women
Joshua Guggenheimer, Alexis Barret, and Christina Ramsdell

Physics

Research and Development of a Low Cost Robotics Platform
Kaye Smith and Kassandra Surma

Psychology

Influence of Media Images on Food Choice and Food Intake
Anaya Mitra, Lauren Lund, and Alexandria Thompson

Theology

The City in the Song of Songs
Elaine James and Jasmine Kurth

Apparel, Merchandising, and Design

Trudy Landgren and Megan Buysse, Explorations of Milkweed Floss Use in Apparel Design and Textile Fabrication

Biology

Dawn Foster-Hartnett and Britta Wass, Differentiation of Verticillium alfalfae Populations with Microsatellite Markers

Chemistry

Kim Ha*, Adedolapo Ojoawo, and Choua Xiong*, Determining the Impact of Dephosphorylation on Therapeutic Mutants of the Cardiac Protein Phospholamban

Daron Janzen and Morgan Stamp, Triboluminescent Materials: Design of Pressure-Sensitive Phosphorescent Systems
Communication Studies (with Psychology)

Jamie Peterson, Joshua Haringa, Janet Bishop, Moira Kuehn, and Hilary Stein, Digital Media and the Support of Service-Learning

Nutrition and Exercise Science

Teri Burgess-Champoux, Katrina Groshens, and Anna Laitinen, Parent and Teacher Perceptions of Community Garden Experiences on Fruit and Vegetable Preferences and Intake of Preschool-aged Children: Implications for a Pilot Intervention

Mathematics

Kristy Pelatt* and Michelle Johnson*, Combinatorics in the Sinha Spectral Sequence

Philosophy

Susan Hawthorne and Cody Flaherty, Community Connections: Digitally Enhanced Community-Based Learning in Philosophy

Physics

Erick Agrimson, Mara Blish, Rachel Hedden, and Amanda Grove, High Altitude Ballooning as a Means for Studying Atmospheric Phenomena

Jolene Johnson*, Rachel Hanson*, and Sara Olson, Designing and Building Microfluidic Devices Using Nanofabrication for Studying Gene Expression in Single Isolated Cells

Psychology (with Communication Studies)

Jamie Peterson, Joshua Haringa, Janet Bishop, Moira Kuehn, and Hilary Stein, Digital Media and the Support of Service-Learning

Social Work

Sarah Ferguson and Nora Smyth, The Transition from Grassroots Movement to Social Service Agency: The Influence of Organizational Culture on Battered Women’s Shelters

Richa Dhanju, Eleanor O’Neil, and Caitlyn Wright, Between Local and Global: Assessing Relevance of International Curriculum in Training “Globally Competent” Social Workers

Sociology

Hui Wilcox and Ardo Jimale, Life at Extraordinary Times: Muslim American Women’s Experiences after 9/11

Theology

Colleen Carpenter and Elea Ingman, In the Beginning Was the Story: Narrative and Imagination in Theology

*Clare Boothe Luce Scholars