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SIG Award Winners 2021-22: Congratulations Drs. Lu, Di Ponio, and Palaisti!

Congratulations to the 2021-22 faculty recipients of CURL SIG Research Funding! 

Drs. Amanda Di Ponio (English & Cultural Studies), Yan Lu (French & East Asian Studies), and Marina Palaisti (Math) were recently awarded funding for their research through the Centre for Undergraduate Research Learning. This funding, provided by a SSHRC Institutional Grant, provides support for faculty research projects that advance knowledge and incorporate meaningful roles and research training for Huron students. 

In the past three years, CURL SIG-funded projects have created opportunities for undergraduate Research Assistants to build skills in research techniques, gain experience in all aspects of research, from design to knowledge mobilization and dissemination, and develop transferable skills in critical reading, reflection, and communication. 

The CURL SIG funding furthers the mission of CURL to bring faculty and students into conversation around research, effectively creating opportunities to productively explore the overlap of research and teaching. “Research has always influenced and informed my teaching, and teaching, my research. SIG funding allows for student researchers to be directly involved in this integral process,” explains Dr. Di Ponio.

While students gain opportunities to engage in research, faculty also benefit.  “The development of a mentoring and collaboration relationship with students will give me a better understanding of students’ research learning experience,” explains Dr. Lu, “and will expose me to a wide range of perspectives from students of diverse age, gender, ethno-racial identities, and disciplines.”

Each of the 2021-22 faculty projects exemplify CURL goals, supporting faculty members who, as Dr. Palaisti emphasizes, are willing to: “view student researchers as active contributors to the direction and the content of the proposed research and to knowledge creation.”

Curious to hear more about the research projects? 

The research proposed by Dr. Di Ponio focusses on the ways in which various logics of conflict (family/intergenerational, war-related, environmental, class/gender/race-based, etc.) are represented in twentieth-century and contemporary women’s drama, including works by Lorraine Hansberry, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Paula Vogel, among others. The goal is to inform a book-length study of the topic. In addition to a student Research Assistant, the project will also incorporate students registered in Dr. Di Ponio’s fourth year seminar, who will be examining project themes on a broader scale. 

Dr. Lu’s project explores the diverse representations of interracial relationships between Chinese immigrants and Indigenous peoples in Canada in Anglophone and Sinophone Chinese Canadian literature. Through comparative readings of multilingual works by a diverse set of Chinese Canadian authors, the proposed project will consider enduring questions of resistance and decolonization as well as pressing emerging questions requiring us to think from multiple points of view about the complexity of Chinese-Indigenous relations in Canada. Through scholarly publications, the project aims to promote growing understanding and solidarity between the Chinese and Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Dr. Palaisti proposes to examine the factors affecting how students navigate the challenges of mathematics education. In the project, individuals from diverse groups will make a self-evaluation of their math ability and then be asked a series of basic math questions that give a more objective understanding of their mathematics aptitude. Student researchers working alongside Dr. Palaisti will investigate the contributing factors that lead to different levels of mathematics self-efficacy. The goal of the project is to dissect the stereotypes, prejudices and microaggressions that enter a math classroom, in order to enhance the learning experience and improve the ways mathematics is taught at the post-secondary level.