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The Value of Student Faculty Research

Roger Williams University prides itself on maintaining small classroom settings. In the Department of History and American Studies, students are regularly afforded invaluable opportunities to work one-on-one with professors to collaborate on research projects. With eight full time faculty members who command a broad range of interests and expertise, students at the upper-level have the chance to pursue an Independent Study with professors with similar research interests, work on research papers to present at academic conferences, work as research assistants, and occasionally go on to conduct skilled research with a professor. In 2011, a senior in American Studies co-published a book chapter with a professor in the department, and at least five undergraduates have been credited for their assistance to books published by departmental faculty during the past few years.

Academic Conferences

In March 2013, ten undergraduate students affiliated with the Department of History and American Studies joined three faculty members in Washington, D.C., to present their own research at the Popular Culture/American Culture Association conference. All of these projects began as papers written for courses, and under the guidance of their professors, students continued their work beyond the course period in order to expand and revise their research. In spring 2013 one of those students, American Studies minor Ruthie Fox, won first place for FCAS in the Roger Williams University Academic Showcase, a major academic achievement at RWU. Her paper was titled: "Transgender Socialization, Exploitation, and mis(Representation) in Contemporary Popular Culture," and emerged from a term paper she wrote for LGBTQ Lives in America.

During the school year of 2012-2013, Professor Quezada-Grant worked with senior History/Political Science double-major Tom Sojka to research Latin American resistance art.  The research resulted in a conference presentation that examined how Latin American resistance art is being translated and transferred to Tunisia in the midst of the Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Awakening.

Original Works

Professor Quezada-Grant also worked in the field with sophomore Communications major/Film minor Nick Palermo on a documentary film based on the volunteer work they both do with FIMRC (Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children). Quezada-Grant and Palermo traveled to sites in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic to work on the film, based on the work and impact of FIMRC clinics and student volunteers.