2021 Grant recipients
The recipients of the inaugural Emeritus Society Undergraduate Research Grants in Arts and Humanities receive $1,000 grants to support mentored undergraduate student research and creative exploration in the arts and humanities at any stage of project development, up to and including a final presentation. The goal of these grants is to encourage students engaged in and studying the fine and performing arts; in exploring modern and ancient languages, literature, cultures, philosophy, and history; and in examining human culture and expression from defined perspectives in the wide range of related interdisciplinary programs at WSU.
Music performance major Anya Guadamuz’s research project is titled, “Music of the Spheres: Using Astrological Symbolism to Explain Dualities within Music” which will become the topic of her Honors College thesis. According to reviewers, she applies “ancient Hellenistic astrological techniques to modern understanding of western music” and, using quantitative observations and qualitative interpretation, seeks to show how “the philosophy of musica universalis or ‘music of the spheres’” offers tools to understand how music functions and affects humanity. Reviewers said her advisor, Sophia Tegart, noted Guadamuz’s skill in analyzing music and placing it within a social context in history. She also excels at research that draws relationships between music and people, and whose inquiry is effectively focused on the concept of dualities.
Microbiology major Emma Ledbetter researches “The Rhetoric of Communication of Scientific Information about COVID-19” with advisor Melissa Nicolas. It is also the topic of her Honors thesis. The project allows Ledbetter to tap into her journalism experience as a science writer and editor-in-chief for the Daily Evergreen, on her training in science, and on her studies in English of “the language we use to construct epidemics.” Ledbetter seeks to understand how such rhetoric contributes to the “alienation of people in the U.S.” and can be refined in the discourse used in future pandemics. Reviewers said Nicolas praises Ledbetter’s skill as a researcher, stresses her highly sophisticated analytical ability and grasp of the fundamental rhetorical principles informing her inquiry, and emphasizes that the theme, texts, methods, and artifacts of analysis in the interdisciplinary project are “completely of her design.”