Poster Session Highlights Summer Research

Students displayed the results of their summer research at a poster session in KJ.
Students displayed the results of their summer research at a poster session in KJ.
Professors, alumni, students and family members gathered in the Kirner-Johnson Mezzanine on Friday for the 2009 Levitt Summer Research Fellows Poster Session, an annual event that highlights some of the self-directed research that a select group of students takes on each summer. Posters documenting several months’ worth of studies in policy-related topics were on display in order to cultivate discussion among students, faculty and visiting alumni. This year, 16 juniors and seniors participated in the program, which is funded by the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center. Arthur Levitt Jr. P '81, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, attended the poster session before his lecture.

One student, Injun Lyo ’11, researched the differences and similarities between the white American and immigrant Korean styles of raising children. He notes that the experience was time-consuming but extremely valuable. “It’s a huge commitment,” he says, “but the great thing is you can do something you’re passionate about.” 

Lyo’s advisor for the project, Professor of Sociology Dennis Gilbert, applauds the program’s emphasis on helping students work effectively outside the classroom. “It gives them confidence to learn about the world in a systematic way,” he said. 

Assistant Professor of Government Peter Cannavo also commented on its practical focus of summer research. “It involves another important aspect to being a student, which is not just doing the work or going to class,” he said. “They put a lot of personal initiative into these projects and it’s an opportunity for them to be self-motivated.” The majority of Cannavo’s advisees were students doing environmental politics research, such as Kevin Rowe ’10’s project titled Community-based Urban Planning and Environmental Justice in Two NYC Neighborhoods. 

The students conducted research on a wide vriety of topics, from issues surrounding co-operatives banks to the politics of rugby in South Africa. Many of the students’ choices were highly personal, such as Samantha Rabin’s ’11 research on her hometown of Martha’s Vineyard and Alex Gross’s ’11 examination of withered family documents and letters. One thing they all had in common, though, is that they are still analyzing their findings despite the close of summer. 

“The experience is still continuing for me,” Lauren Perillo ’10 said.
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