Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Humanities Inclusivity Program creates a pipeline and support network for humanities majors from underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in Master’s and PhD programs. This two-year program offers a paid research assistantship for students paired with GSU faculty mentors to train in their research methods and writing. The HIP also provides students with intellectual preparation and social experiences that will help them enter the next stage of their path as humanities scholars, teachers, and professionals.
- Caitlin Colenburg
- Carlos Cosby
- Joelle Davis
- Daria Dozier
- Margaret Fleming
- Samiha James
- Shanbrae McFarland
- Robert Reese
- Celia Soriano
- Elliott Whiteside
- Undergraduate, full-time humanities degree-seeking student at Georgia State University
- Student should be majoring in English; African American Studies; Anthropology; Applied Linguistics; Art with a concentration in Art History; Film and Media Studies; History; Music with a concentration in Music Theory; Philosophy; Religious Studies; Sociology; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; World Languages and Cultures; Modern and Classical Languages; or Political Science with a concentration in Political Theory
- Student should be interested in pursuing a humanities Ph.D., but may also be considering a master’s degree first
- Expected graduation in Spring 2022
- Open to international students, as well as U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents
- Individuals from demographic groups underrepresented in the U.S. professoriate are especially encouraged to apply, including those who identify as African American/African descent/Black, Hispanic, Latino/Latina, Pacific Islander, Native Hawaiian, or Native Alaskan, individuals with documented disabilities, students receiving Pell Grant financial aid and/or first-generation college-bound students
- Ideal applicants must be hard-working, collaborative, persistent, and curious, with high attention to detail and good time management skills
- All applicants must be interested, motivated, and prepared to conduct research with a faculty member, although prior research experience is not required
CASA and the HIP have continuously provided me with the tools and the resources I will need to succeed in graduate school. There is so much to navigate when it comes to preparing for and applying to graduate programs that it can be daunting. Because of my time spent with the professors, grad students, and my peers in the program, I feel ready to carry out research of any kind at the highest levels. Being a part of this program has easily been the most rewarding and enjoyable part of my collegiate experience at Georgia State University. – Robert Reese III, HIP
2020 HIP Research Assistant: Robert Reese III
CASA: What motivated you to get involved in undergraduate research?
Robert Reese: I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to get into academic research at some point, but when I was given the opportunity to begin the journey while an undergraduate, I leapt at the chance. The three closest people to me in this life have all gone on to pursue research at the graduate level and their successes have pushed me to pursue my own. It wasn’t really until I had my first child, however, that the fire was lit, and I began to walk down the path. I want to be able to show and tell my children that the expansion of the mind, and of knowledge as a whole, is one of the most important undertaking we can take on in this life.
CASA: In layman’s terms, tell us a bit about your research project. What is your general field? What research questions are you asking? What kinds of methods are you using to answer those questions? What are your preliminary results, if you have any so far?
Robert Reese: Together with my mentors, Dr. Fix & PhD candidate Bailey Fairbanks, I have been studying the judicial system of the United States inside the field of political science. In the past, we have sought to begin to understand how Supreme Court precedent shapes opinion content at the state high court level through data collection and analysis. The content of court decision making is an area that has gone virtually unexplored as most research is focused on final vote totals or case outcomes. In our work, we have developed a theoretical framework to describe the process whereby U.S. Supreme Court precedent can alter the specific text used in state high court opinions, irrespective of the outcomes. We are now constructing a dataset containing the demographic details of every state judge in the country for our next research project.
CASA: What are some challenges or roadblocks you’ve faced while conducting research?
Robert Reese: Most of the challenges to executing my research have come as the result of being a parent to two small girls while simultaneously attempting to complete my undergraduate work. Balancing finding time to work with leisure and parenting is a constant balancing act that can never be given enough attention. I recently watched a documentary on Ruth Bader Ginsberg where she highlighted her late nights in law school as the key to her academic success while parenting. It’s the only blueprint I’ve come across that has wielded the results I’ve been after but does come at a cost.
CASA: Which advanced degree are you pursuing? (Master’s, PhD, MD, JD, PA, etc.)
Robert Reese: I am putting myself in the position to apply to law schools as well as graduate programs in both political science and history. While many argue that political science is a narrow field with limited opportunities, I have worked hard to maximize my options by studying a subject which spans across several fields of academia.
CASA: What is your biggest achievement so far? Or something that’s challenged you?
Robert Reese: My biggest undergraduate research achievement so far was receiving second place recognition for my oral presentation last summer at the undergraduate research symposium here at Georgia State. I worked incredibly hard under time constraints with my mentor in the History department, Dr. Baker, to come up with a presentation that tied the slave trafficking networks of the 19th century to the human trafficking networks we are grappling with today. It was a great opportunity to work outside of my own field and to begin to see how research can span time to improve the world we live in today.