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.
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.
Want a great way to connect with the Princeton research community, meet new friends, and earn some money along the way? Join PCUR! If you’re reading this article, chances are you would be perfect for the job, but don’t hesitate to share this post with folks you think might be interested!
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!
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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
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.
This year’s Princeton Correspondents on Undergraduate Research team has been working hard to share their research experiences and to highlight the incredible discoveries that are being made in labs and groups across campus. We’ve covered topics from summer internships, to independent work, to navigating research and life during the pandemic. As the end of the school year quickly approaches, we’re looking for new correspondents to apply and join our team! Curious to learn about what it takes to be a member of PCUR? Keep reading to find out!
Hello everyone and welcome back! It is with great excitement that I write this post from a cozy armchair in Chancellor Green Library within East Pyne. While the 2021-2022 semester is not normal in every sense, PCUR certainly has returned in full stride. And with a new year comes new correspondents: I am happy to introduce Cecilia Kim ’23, Agnes Robang ’23, and Sandeep Mangat ’24, the newest members to our team. I hope you enjoy becoming familiar with their unique voices as they share their experiences on the blog. They join us in addition to Yodahe Gebreegziabher ’22, Bridget Denzer ’23, Ryan Champeau ’23, Austin Davis ’23, and Abhimanyu Banerjee ’23.
In conjunction with the beginning of the academic year comes a storm of essays, tests and quizzes, readings, extracurricular activities, and research opportunities. Sharing their own tips, experiences, frustrations, successes, and realizations, our correspondents from a variety of disciplines and class years navigate their semesters alongside your own. Feel free to check out each of their bios as well, included below.
For this Spring Seasonal Series, entitled Doing Research in a Pandemic, each correspondent has selected a researcher to interview about the impact of the pandemic on their research. We hope that these interviews document the nuanced ways the pandemic has affected research experiences, and serve as a resource for students and other researchers. Here, Austin shares his interview.
As part of our seasonal series, I interviewed Professor of History and Co-Director of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities, Alison Isenberg. A scholar of the American city and its contested history, Professor Isenberg is currently wrapping up her next book, Uprisings, which she sat down with me to discuss. Professor Isenberg, who took a sabbatical this year to drill down on the draft for Uprisings, details the contents of her book, how the pandemic changed the way she researches, and the implications of her book in our tense political moment.
If there is one thing we as students have mastered in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is Zoom and the Zoom environment. Looking back to last spring, it is admirable how educational institutions and students adapted to an unprecedented global crisis and continued with their academic and non-academic roles. Here at Princeton, the transition to Zoom was relatively smooth given the uncertainty and fear at the time. Although the initial stages of scheduling an online semester were difficult, there was a strong desire to sustain many of Princeton’s activities for the virtual campus community. The concerted efforts of students, faculty and staff have paid off. The three semesters of virtual learning I’ve had so far mimicked almost all the characteristics of the usual in-person experience I’ve come to expect at Princeton, including access to office hours.
The main medium for virtual interaction is Zoom, and it has been adapted for almost every facet of university activity, from school clubs and organizations to school hosted events and webinars. In this post, I will take a closer look at the Zoom office hours, their many advantages and in some cases, how they are actually better than in-person ones. I will then offer some suggestions for making the best use of Zoom office hours this spring.
This academic year has certainly been atypical. For many, the process of doing research itself has been impacted by COVID-19: indeed, in our upcoming Seasonal Series, correspondents will interview research faculty and graduate students about their research experiences in the wake of COVID-19. Additionally, many of our favorite activities have been cancelled, while others march forward virtually. PCUR has continued to publish blog posts during this time.
In fact, we are happy to announce that PCUR is hiring new correspondents for the 2021-2022 academic year!
The 2019-2020 academic year is up and running! Classes are in session, recruiting season is upon us, and our first paper deadlines are approaching. PCUR is back too as a resource to help guide you through this year. Our correspondents from across grade levels and academic disciplines will reflect on their own experiences, share tips that they have learned along the way, and raise awareness of the countless research-related opportunities and resources Princeton has to offer. Be sure to take a look at our first post of the year where Rafi offers advice on how to reduce independent work stress.
Along with our returning correspondents Rafi, Shanon, Andrea, Saira, and Alec, we have three new sophomore correspondents Ella, Kamron, and Soo. Check out their bios below!