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Department Faculty-Student Research Team Awarded College Summer Grant


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Samantha Stringham

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences awards Faculty-Student Summer Mentorship Grants to faculty and undergraduate researchers. According to Associate Dean Matt Sanders, partnering with a professor on meaningful research projects means students are better prepared for life after graduation. Twelve grants were funded for 2021, one of which includes a team of researchers from the Department of English, Honors student Samantha Stringham and Dr. Joyce Kinkead.
Samantha will create an exhibition on the history of writing implements in the Library Writing Center, part of a network of writing centers on campus directed by Susan Andersen. In addition to the physical artifacts and interactive design, she will also develop a digital exhibition for remote access, working with Librarian Becky Thoms and graphic designer Shay Larsen, who is an alum of the department. Samantha will draw on the information and artifacts that Kinkead has already collected for her forthcoming book, A Writing Studies Primer. The objects—quill pens and ink; wax tablets and stylus; cuneiform; papyrus and reed pens; fountain pens; ballpoint pens; typewriters; computers—will be arranged in a design that Samantha will plan, drawing on her course in Museum Studies and an internship at The Leonardo last summer. Professor Kinkead noted Samantha’s suitability for the project: “Samantha completed a 40-page research project in ENGL 3470 on the Uni Jetstream pen, an analysis of an item of material culture important to her identity as a writer. How perfect is that?”
Student recipients of the College funding receive $2000 in compensation and up to $1000 in travel funding to conduct research or attend a conference. These College awards commenced in 2017, and Dr. Phebe Jensen and Claire Harlan were recipients in its inaugural year. The following year awards were garnered by Dr. Jennifer Sinor and Morgan Sanford Graham as well as Kinkead and Morgan Wykstra.