Welcome to the 2023-2024 Academic Year

Welcome back to PCUR! We are very excited to welcome back several correspondents from last year and introduce the new correspondents joining us! Posts will start up this week, so check your email Wednesday morning for the first post of the academic year.

Depicts PCUR logo and headshots of the correspondents introduced on the page.
Top, Virginia Cobbs. Middle, from left to right: Rebecca Cho, Amaya Dressler, Xander Jenkin, and Yubi Mamiya. Bottom, from left to right: Shane Patrick, Kate Weseley-Jones, Alexis Wu, and Shannon Yeow

I have the pleasure of welcoming back PCURs Amaya Dressler ’25 (Amaya is abroad this semester so she’ll be back posting in the spring), Kate Weseley-Jones ’25, and Alexis Wu ’25 and introducing new members Rebecca Cho ’26, Xander Jenkin ’25, Yubi Mamiya ’26, and Shane Patrick ’24, and Shannon Yeow ’26. We’re also very grateful that Virginia Cobbs ’25, joins us again as the Chief Correspondent! I welcome you to engage with their perspectives on and experiences with research. You can learn a little more about each correspondent below and stay tuned for PCUR posts this week.

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PCUR Archives: Preparing Summer Research Internship Applications

Image depicts student reading a book at a desk covered with texts and research tools, sitting in front of library shelves.
Before you get to the research itself, let’s talk applications! (Photo Credit, Danielle Alio)

We know, we know, it’s winter (well, for the Northern hemisphere at least)! Even though there may be snow outside your window, applications for summer research internships are coming due soon. Before you can dive into an archive, travel into the field, interview your participants, suit up for the lab, or more, you’ll want to think about how you can get a full-time, funded summer research internship. Let’s take a look back at what PCURs over the years have advised!

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PCUR Archives: Senior Thesis Planning

Two students sit at a table with their pen hovering over paper, working on their senior theses.
Students hard at work at a previous year’s Senior Thesis Bootcamp! (Photo Credit, Denise Applewhite)

As this is posted, many Princeton students are hard at work on their senior theses. Some are on campus right now participating in the residential colleges’ wintersession Senior Thesis Bootcamps. PCURs over the years have written extensively on this very important Princeton milestone. Browse through the posts below if you’ll be writing your thesis soon, are writing it right now, or maybe should be writing now.

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PCUR Archives: Tips for Winter Break

Image depicts courtyard area with grey bricks and fresh snow. A squirrel is in the corner and in the center are a set of archways.
Campus is quieter during wintersession, but there’s still plenty to do! (Photo Credit, Denise Applewhite)

Ryan closed us off in December with a wonderful post about different ways you can schedule (or not schedule) your time over winter break. To her work, we’d like to invite you to take a look back at some other posts on how you might build research, restoration, and recreation (of the educational kind) into your winter break. Check out the posts below!

Continue reading PCUR Archives: Tips for Winter Break

New PCUR Content On Pause for Winter

Photo of a tiger made out of snow in front of a brick building with dark ivy.
Not this snowy yet…(photo credit, Brian Wilson)

Greetings, all! We hope you’ve enjoyed the blog over the past semester. Brand new content is temporarily paused until our correspondents return from winter break, but we wanted to invite you to engage with the site during that time and we have a few ways you can do so below!

Continue reading New PCUR Content On Pause for Winter

Welcome to the 2022-2023 Academic Year!

Welcome back to PCUR! We’re excited to begin posting for the 2022-2023 academic year. I’ll introduce myself briefly – my name is Caitlin Larracey and I recently joined Princeton as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research. I was heavily involved in undergraduate research as an English/History major, collaborated with undergraduate researchers on my writing studies dissertation, and most recently served as the postdoctoral fellow in program design and student mentoring at Johns Hopkins University. I’m so excited to say that one of my primary responsibilities as OUR’s assistant director at Princeton is serving as the administrative lead for PCUR.

Image depicts six women (PCUR 22-23) in front of a gray brick building with bright green ivy
From left to right: Mahya Fazel-Zarandi, Ryan Champeau, Amaya Dressler, Virginia Cobbs, Kate Weseley-Jones, and Alexis Wu

I have the pleasure of welcoming back PCUR Ryan Champeau ’23 and introducing new members Virginia Cobbs ’25, Amaya Dressler ’25, Mahya Fazel-Zarandi ’25, Kate Weseley-Jones ’25, and Alexis Wu ’25. I welcome you to engage with their perspectives on and experiences with research! You can learn a little more about each correspondent below and stay tuned: PCUR posts will begin this week!

Ryan Champeau ’23

Social Sciences Correspondent

Image depicts young woman with long brown hair kneeling on the grass with her arm around a dog.

Concentration: Princeton School of Public Policy and International Affairs

Degree Program: A.B.

Certificate Programs: Cognitive Science

Research Interests: Public Policy, Decision-Making, Law, Economics

Bio:I’m a senior from New Jersey who likes dogs, photography, and writing! I’m interested in exploring how I can use research to have a positive impact on the Princeton community and beyond. Within SPIA, I have conducted research on mass incarceration, public opinion, social movements, and more. On campus, I am a Residential College Advisor, former Chair of the Whitman College Council, Scholar of Finance, Club Golf member, Community Action leader, and Co-Chair of the ’23 Class Day Committee. I’m also really enthusiastic and love to rap!

Recent posts by Ryan Champeau

Virginia Cobbs ’25

Natural Sciences Correspondent

Photo depicts woman smiling at camera with light red hair, wearing a gray Princeton t-shirt and standing in front of a tree.

Concentration: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Degree: A.B.

Research Interests: Bumble Bee social behavior, Parkinson’s Disease, Medical Racism

Bio: My name is Virginia and I am a sophomore majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary biology. I grew up in Birmingham, AL (roll tide!) and before coming to Princeton, I spent a year researching Parkinson’s Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I am now researching Bumble bees in the lab of Prof. Sarah Kocher here at Princeton, and I also work with Prof. Fuentes in the Anthropology dept studying racial bias in medical algorithms. When not in the lab I enjoy reading, biking, and sailing.

Amaya Dressler ’25

Social Sciences Correspondent

Image depicts a woman staring and smiling at camera with light blonde hair and a light pink t-shirt.

Concentration: Psychology or Anthropology 

Degree Program: A.B.

Certificate Programs: Humanistic Studies, Global Health and Health Policy

Research Interests: Menstrual Health and Dysfunction, Endocrinology, Cognitive Science, Nutrition, Medical Institutions and Health Disparity

Bio: I am a sophomore from Littlestown, PA. As a pre med student looking to concentrate in either Psychology or Anthropology, my research interests extend broadly across women’s health and healthcare reform. Outside of research, I can be found writing for Nassau Weekly or working with the PACE center as a CA fellow, and I am always happy to chat! I am usually hanging out either reading in Butler Library or dancing in one of the campus’s open studios. 

Mahya Fazel-Zarandi ’25

Natural Sciences Correspondent

Photo depicts a woman with black glasses, smiling at camera wearing a white headscarf and light top.

Concentration: Molecular Biology 

Degree Program: A.B.

Certificate Program(s): Quantitative and Computational Biology, Applications of Computing 

Research Interests: Computational biology, Genetics and genetic engineering, Biological chemistry

Bio: I am a sophomore from Toronto, Canada, majoring in molecular biology. I am interested in the intersection of biology and computer science and its application in the field of genetics. Outside of my classes and research, I write for the Daily Princetonian, listen to classical music, and play my Persian instrument, santoor. 

Kate Weseley-Jones ’25

Humanities Correspondent

Image depicts a woman smiling at the camera. She has long blonde hair, a dark blue top, and is standing in front of a white wall.

Concentration: Art History

Degree Program: A.B.

Research interests: ancient art, heritage conservation, behavioral science, gender studies

Bio: Hi, my name is Kate and I’m a sophomore from Long Island, NY! I’m planning to pursue a degree in art history, but I’m interested in most things that fall in the overlap between the humanities and social sciences. When I’m not hunched over a book, you can find me on campus playing the cello or practicing new tricks with the Aerial Arts Club.

Alexis Wu ’25

Engineering Correspondent

Image depicts a young woman smiling at the camera. She has medium-length dark brown hair, is wearing a bright red top, and the sun is shining behind her.

Concentration: Computer Science

Degree Program: B.S.E.

Research Interests: Applications of computing, educational technology, human-computer interaction, computer-aided design, art history

Bio: I am a sophomore from San Diego, CA, majoring in computer science. I am interested in the wide range of computer science applications, particularly in other engineering fields, history, and the arts. On campus, I am also a student tour guide for the Princeton University Art Museum and a mentor with Community House Big Sibs.