Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


Loyola Undergraduates Win Competitive Research Fellowships for 2014-15

Loyola Undergraduates Win Competitive Research Fellowships for 2014-15

Congratulations to the undergraduate History majors who have been awarded LUROP fellowships for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Next year's LUROP fellows include:

Provost Fellows:

Christopher Benson ’15, will be working with Dr Jordan Brown (Sociology) on “Remembering Revolutions in the Moroccan Summer”.  Chris describes his project thus:

“The aftermath of the Arab Spring has led to a period of deep reflection on the subject of Islamic political reform in North Africa. Morocco's experience producing nonviolent constitutional reform has by no means isolated Moroccans observing the revolutions involving their Arab neighbors. Their perceptions of the Arab Spring have evolved radically over time, from initial enthusiasm to more recent pessimism informed especially by the events in Syria and Egypt. The implications of these perceptions are far-reaching for the future of Islamic political reform in Morocco, just as collective memories of the 1848 "Spring of Nations" edified Europeans, influencing later reform efforts (Gildea 2000). This summer research project plans to conduct an exploratory study comprised of approximately fifteen semi-structured interviews on Moroccan perceptions of the Arab Spring now, as a lived historical event. These interviews will be conducted in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), the language ideal for the subject as news broadcasts are in MSA, and the participants will be gathered via convenience-snowball sampling, focusing on the young adult urban population in Rabat, both male and female. The anticipated dominant construction of the Arab Spring is that it discredited the violent revolts as a path to change and future reform must take place by route of, rather than by destroying, current political institutions. This forecasts a political conservatism for Morocco's near future.”

Jennifer Burghard ’15, will be working with Dr Charles Tocci (Education) on “Social Interactions: An Analysis of the Chicago Metro History Fair”.  Jennifer describes her project thus:

“This research study aims to examine how networks of high school student interactions across social settings in an urban low-income and racially diverse community produce high-quality, student-driven authentic inquiry-based learning. The study will be conducted in collaboration with the Chicago Metro History Education Center's History Fair, utilizing an integrated mixed methods design including case study observations; interviews with students, teachers, and community actors; and social network analyses based on data correlation and comparison. Within this larger study, the role of technology will be analyzed, with particular focus on how it plays a role in facilitating students' interactions with peers and community sources outside of school to aid in the synthesis of quality student-driven research projects. The goal of this research study is to understand how student learning can extend beyond classroom boundaries to involve a range of interactions across social settings, and how these interactions can be supported and replicated to foster greater student achievement, particularly in minority and economically disadvantaged communities.”

Evan Thompson ’15, will be working with Dr Kyle Roberts (History) on “The Jesuit Libraries Provenance Project”.  Evan describes his project thus:

“The project I plan to pursue is a continuation of my current research under Dr. Kyle Roberts. The Loyola Jesuit Library Provenance Project is designed to track down what remains of the St. Ignatius College library collection. Once the collection has been properly documented, I will begin to trace the lineages of these books to discover their origins. Early Jesuits in the U.S. commonly gained their collections from the old world, but the Jesuits in Chicago began to gather the books in their library from sources along the Mississippi and the east coast of the United States, creating a diverse collection. The Provenance Project will allow me to gain intimate knowledge of modern archival methods, and I will work with Dr. Kyle Roberts to trace the lines of these books, allowing me to create connections between Jesuit university archives and libraries.”

Evan will use his Provost fellowship during the summer and also has a Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage Fellowship for the academic year.

Social Justice Research Fellowships:

Albert Salatka ’15, will be working with Dr Dina Berger (History) on “The Ellacuría Tapes: Uncovering Loyola's History of Solidarity with El Salvador”. As Al explains, 

“This project examines the visit of Ignacio Ellacuria, S.J., who received an honorary degree from Loyola University Chicago in 1986 for his work to spread social justice in war-torn El Salvador. On November 16, 1989, Ellacuria was one of six Jesuits brutally murdered by the Salvadoran military. A liberation theologian and human rights activist, philosophy professor Thomas Sheehan recorded every step of Ellacuria’s visit to Loyola; last semester the university archivist recovered these four VHS tapes that document his press conferences and commencement speech while at Loyola. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Jesuit Martyrs, and in coordination with Ignatian Heritage Month, I will create the content for an online exhibit that illustrates Ellacuria’s message to the Loyola and Chicago communities and that provides new information about his application of liberation theology at a time of severe repression. The final product will be an innovative contribution that illustrates the common link of social justice activism between El Salvador and Loyola, all while providing historical insight into the role of the Society of Jesus in Central America during this time of political unrest.”

Shamere McKenzie ’15, who is a Criminal Justice major, will be working with Dr John Donoghue (History) on “Sex Trafficking – ‘The Bottom Girl Phenomenon’”. Shamere describes her project thus:

“Language, norms and roles are the basic elements of culture. The ‘life’ or the ‘game’ is the subculture of sex trafficking. Within this subculture, prostitution is one of the obvious norms and the language would not be understood by someone outside of this culture. Terms like wife-in-law, tricks or ‘bottom girl/bitch’ are common within the forces commercial sex industry. In almost all cultures roles and responsibilities are divided and many times labeled: senator, professor, laborer. There are also different roles in pimp-controlled culture. The pimp is the top of the hierarchy and is the only one who profits. He defines the roles, makes the rules, and administers punishment when deemed necessary. Everyone must obey him and do whatever he says. The bottom girl is the pimp’s most trusted girl; she usually has been with the pimp the longest and knows the rules of ‘the game’. She is often times prosecuted and seen as a criminal instead of a victim. 

Research Mentoring Program:

Sherezaad Anwar ’16, will be assisting doctoral candidate Sean O’Brien (English) on his dissertation and Jennifer Burghard ’15, will be assisting doctoral candidate Beth Wright (Education) on her dissertation.

Loyola offers 15 different funded fellowships for undergrads to conduct a mentored research project.  Each fellowship is a little different. Some are for the summer and others are for the academic year, while still others are two-year fellowships.  Some match students up with a mentor, while others require students to have a mentor on board when they apply. Each is based in a different department, office, school, or lab at the university.