By Jim Eaton
Alissa Earle ’13
B.S. in Physics and Mathematics
Earle entered college as a physics and math education major with plans to be a high school teacher, but changed course when she discovered the research process. “If there’s an opportunity to create more of this type of experience for students, I think it could have a huge impact,” Earle said. Today she is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a doctorate in planetary science.
Francis Butler ’15
History Major and Revolutionary Era Studies Minor
Butler thought he wanted to be a high school history teacher until he came under the tutelage of Jennifer Dorsey, Ph.D., director of the McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution. CURCA funded a trip to Washington, D.C., where Butler learned how to plan for a National Endowment for the Humanities workshop that took place on campus last summer. In addition, CURCA sponsored him as a summer scholar working with Bruce Eelman, Ph.D., professor of history, to research mob violence after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
“I now plan to pursue a career as a professional grant writer for nonprofit historical organizations or as an academic historian,” Butler said. “Without CURCA’s funding, I would not have been able to learn more about these career opportunities.”
Undergraduates shared their research sponsored by CURCA at the Summer Research Symposium. More than 60 students explored areas of interest and developed skills that will serve them well in their future careers. Topics on display included: a cost/benefit analysis of domestic violence programs in Connecticut; ecological interactions between marine invertebrates and an invasive type of algae; gun control in the United States; and cyberbullying within video gaming environments. Students can work with CURCA as early as their freshman year.