Students Nominated for Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Awards

Five Sewanee students were nominated for awards by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) for the recent theatrical production of Qui Nguyen’s She Kills Monsters, presented Oct. 4-8 at the Tennessee Williams Center. The KCACTF is a national theater program involving 18,000 students annually from colleges and universities across the country.


Meridith Frazee, C’24 (pictured above left), spent the summer studying subalpine forest species at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in Gothic, Colorado. Working with Sewanee Visiting Assistant Professor of Forestry Tom Powell (pictured above right), Frazee contributed to Powell's Department of Energy-funded project examining the stability of subalpine forests in the Colorado River watershed.

Student Spotlight: Seif Selim, C’23

Sewanee neuroscience major Seif Selim, C’23, studied the impact of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) on synaptic strength, neuroinflammation, and plasticity in mice—an experience that not only complemented his coursework, but also helped him confirm his passions and set a course for his future.

Faculty Spotlight: Max Dahlquist

Dr. Max Dahlquist, Assistant Professor of Geology, uses remotely sensed data to examine the impact of glacial lake outburst flood frequency on river and valley geometry in the Nepal Himalayas.

Costume Design as Research

Greer King, C'21, designed the costumes for the October 2020 Sewanee performance of Scapin, by the French playwright Molière using extravagant Italian high fashion as the overarching theme for the costumes. She researched current trends and found a loud “streetwear meets Italian high fashion” approach that worked well for the production. Greer submitted her designs for the show to the annual meeting of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, and her work was selected for the juried session by Broadway designer Dede Ayite.

The Economics of Mental Health

Ezechias Nshimiyimana, C’21, a politics and economics major from Rwanda, was part of a group of 18 international students who were unable to return home during the winter break of 2020-2021. They were therefore provided with research opportunities, as part of a program that was organized and supported by the Office of Global Citizenship and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship. Ezechias assisted Dr. Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics, on a research project about the shockingly high economic costs of mental.

Svoboda Diaries

Jade Winter, C'21, from London, England, has been working with Bret Windhauser, C’18, Visiting Instructor of Arabic on a University of Washington project focused on 61 volumes of handwritten diaries written by Joseph Svoboda, an Austro-Hungarian man who lived in Baghdad between 1857-1908 while working for a British trading company. The Svoboda Diaries Project merges Middle Eastern History, colonial history, political economics, and the anthropology of daily life in Ottoman Iraq.

Nature as pandemic solace

Sewanee student Lucy Whaley, of Red Bank, New Jersey, spent a great deal of time this past summer studying the role that nature plays in the psychological well being of people during a pandemic. Dr. Keri Watson served as a mentor to Lucy as they examined how COVID-19 has affected nature access and mental health. Lucy closely tracked the closing and opening of parks in California and New York and found a large increase in the number of people who sought solace in parks even as they became less accessible.

Research guidance and insights

Benefit from the research recommendations and experience of Dr. Katharine Cammack, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

Educational Attainment in Immigrants

Máté Szurop, C’21, an economics and math major from Budapest, Hungary, is studying ethnic enclaves in the immigrant community, under the guidance of Dr. Tao Song. He is testing two competing explanations for educational attainment in this population. Máté has analyzed over 90,000 observations from census data and has found that the socialization effect is 6-7 times stronger than the compensation strategy.

When history hits home

Research and scholarship can take many forms. For Kelsey Arbuckle, C’19, and Alexa Fults, C’21, both politics majors from Grundy County, it has involved uncovering information about a coal mine disaster that was personal for both of them even though it occurred long before they were born. In 1981, Mine 21, near Whitwell, Tennessee, exploded, killing 13 workers. During her sophomore year at Sewanee, Kelsey read a newspaper story about the tragedy and realized that her grandfather had been one of the victims.

Remarkable strides in the laboratory

Dr. Clint Smith is dedicated to students and mentorship in the laboratory. Few opportunities for virology research exist at liberal arts colleges, and Sewanee is one of only two liberal arts colleges in the country with the capacity to utilize the CoV reverse genetics system. Thus, the collaborative research experience in Dr. Smith’s lab provides his students with a truly remarkable opportunity, and might end up saving lives in the process.

Award-winning liver research

Learn about the award-winning liver research of Jacob Piatt, C'21 in this story from the Sewanee Purple.

Devices of Rhetoric

Four Sewanee students presented rhetorical criticism papers at an Honors Conference in Nashville. The Clevenger conference is one of the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate research forums in the field of rhetoric. All papers are competitively selected for presentation. The Sewanee contributions emerged from research projects in RHET 311: U.S. Public Address, 1620-1865, a course that surveys American rhetoric and oratory of the period. Each paper offers a close reading of a speech or rhetorical controversy in its historical context.

Artist of the Month

Meet Jasmine Huang, C'21, whose artistic accomplishments were profiled by the Sewanee Purple.

Holy Wells and Folklore

Dr. Celeste Ray of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Program recently completed a research leave in Ireland. Her research focused on sacred landscapes and specifically holy wells. These holy wells can have a range of attributes. Some involve specific prayers or cures, others are dedicated to saints—canonized and non-canonized. She studied patterns in well dedications and in the folklore associated with cures the well waters are believed to possess.

Discerning the Shape of Water

A recent $350,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will support water-related research on the Domain. A key part of the grant is hiring a research manager who can both assist faculty in research design and implementation and who will disseminate findings to the public. Research can be related to water, water quality, wastewater treatment biodiversity, and other topics and should be readily translatable to the public or respond to public interest.


For additional information about undergraduate research at Sewanee, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.