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SOURCE Recipients Represent Variety of Fields; Deadlines Approaching for Next Round of Funding
Dorbor Tarley’s research focuses on Black women’s reproductive health and how physician control has resulted in implicit and explicit biases that affect patient care. Tarley ’22 has seen the research that shows how Black mothers are more likely to die during childbirth as compared to white women and how implicit biases can play a role in patient care.
“These implicit and explicit biases make it difficult for health care professionals to listen, believe and respect Black women when they engage with the health care system,” says Tarley, a human development and family science major in the Falk College. “As a result, there is a delay in treatment, refusal of services and an overall lack of consideration for Black women’s bodily autonomy.”
Research funding from the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE) helped further Tarley’s research—Differential Reactions to African American and Caucasian Women’s Post-natal Maternal Stress—over the summer.
Her focus has been on creating two identical scenarios with race as the independent variable to test perceptions of maternal health concerns and determine if participants think the target mother should seek medical attention and their overall described concern for the mother.
“The SOURCE funding has allowed me to work intensively on my research project over the summer as well as pay participants for taking the survey,” says Tarley, who works under the mentorship of Associate Professor Matthew Mulvaney. Using a crowdsourcing marketplace to collect data from a large population, Tarley is recruiting about 300 participants.
Tarley is one of the 119 students who received either a SOURCE Grant or a Renée Crown University Honors Program Award for the summer or the academic year. Students and their faculty mentors were given the opportunity to revise or postpone their awards in the context of the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 70 students creatively and constructively revised their project plans to allow for remote research work during the summer.
Their projects come from a variety of fields within the humanities, STEM and arts. Some of them included The Governance of Urban Food Forests: A Comparative Study of Select US Cases; 3D Anatomy Learning Tool; Temples of Consumerism: Shopping Malls in Bangkok; Stability vs Chaos: Analyzing the Behavior of Dynamical Systems.
“The flexibility and resilience that students demonstrated amidst the many challenges of this summer was truly impressive,” said Kate Hanson, Director of the SOURCE. “They applied their creativity and problem-solving skills to move forward in their research and creative projects while working remotely, all supported by superb and committed faculty mentors.”
With the pandemic, students shifted the approaches and questions of their research. Along with her research into maternal health, Tarley is researching health discrepancies in COVID-19 to find a conceptual overlap between those deaths and the deaths of Black mothers, looking for similar themes of discrimination and racial and ethical bias. Tarley also refocused her research from using college students’ reactions to Black and Caucasian mothers to reactions from a general population, using the crowdsourcing marketplace.
This summer, the students with SOURCE funding also participated in small groups led by SOURCE student research mentors; research skills workshops, including Crafting a Research Elevator Speech and Writing an Abstract; and a two-part Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Research Workshop led by Associate Professor Jeff Mangram and Associate Teaching Professor Chandice Haste-Jackson. They also presented in a SOURCE Summer Works-in-Progress Virtual Symposium, Aug. 10-13.
The Syracuse University Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program also supported students this summer, who conducted remote research projects, weekly skill development meetings, and presented in the Summer Research Symposium Aug. 5.
The McNair Program supported remote research students who took a research methods seminar, participated in skills workshops, and presented at the Summer Research Symposium Aug. 5-7.
Students interested in applying for upcoming SOURCE Academic Year Grants and Honors Program Award funding, up to $5,000, can find out more about what’s available on the SOURCE website. Students need to indicate their intent to apply by Oct. 8. Applications are due Oct. 22.
Again this year, students may also apply for the Spinoza Grant, established through the generosity of an anonymous physician-scientist. It supports undergraduate research that explores philosophical aspects of issues within the sciences or other professional disciplines. The donor studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Syracuse, and especially admired the intellectual rigor, originality, scope, and independent thinking in the work of the renowned 17th century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, after whom this award is named. Spinoza was a brilliant young ex-communicated Spanish/Jewish immigrant whose family and community fled the Spanish Inquisition to Holland near the end of the sixteenth century.
The 2019 Spinoza Grant recipients, architecture students Yundi Wendy Zhang and Natasha Liston-Beck, explored spacecraft design and human/machine interaction in their thesis “Continuous Interior Space Architecture: An Omni-orientational Archive of Interfaces.”
For students interested in pursuing research funding from the SOURCE, Tarley says they should go for it.
“Do not let the application process and the fear of getting a ‘no’ stop you from applying. The passion for your project and your research will speak for itself,” says Tarley, who also participated in the McNair Summer Research Program. “If you are interested in research or a creative project and do not know where to start, the people at the SOURCE office are great to talk to.”
Along with Hanson, students had also just begun working with SOURCE’s newly appointed Assistant Director Bridget Lawson, who passed away recently. Lawson brought her deep commitment to supporting students in their academic and personal development to the SOURCE’s work, Hanson says. A scholar and activist working for social justice, Lawson’s positive impact on the SOURCE will be felt for years to come.