UM undergrads: apply now to be a CHC Undergraduate Scholar

The Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) Undergraduate Scholars Program offers University of Miami undergraduate students the opportunity to carry out independent, original research projects using the archival and print materials housed in the Cuban Heritage Collection.  The CHC is one of the world’s largest repositories of research materials about Cuba and the Cuban diaspora that includes rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, architectural drawings, audio-visual materials, newspapers, and other materials from colonial times to the present.

Eligibility and Requirements
Open to all University of Miami undergraduate students, the program requires 10 hours a week of dedicated research time in CHC for 12 weeks during the Spring 2015 semester.  All research projects must be supervised by a faculty mentor. Scholars will receive a stipend of $2,000 for the semester.

As part of their research activities, students are expected to participate in one or more oral presentations about their projects, including the annual Research, Creativity, and Innovation Forum typically hosted in April by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Community Outreach. At the completion of their research activities, CHC Undergraduate Scholars are required to submit a ten to twelve page report to their faculty mentor and to CHC.

Students considering applying to the program are encouraged to contact their faculty advisor and inquire about the possibility of independent study credit.

How to Apply
Interested applicants should meet first with their potential faculty mentor to discuss their proposed research project and second with Meiyolet Méndez, CHC Librarian.

All applications must be received by Friday, December 12, 2014 and submitted electronically to meimendez@miami.edu.  Applicants must submit:

  1. A completed application form (this form requires the signature both of the faculty mentor and of Ms. Méndez).
  2. A 500-word description of the proposed project describing the purpose of the research and the intended outcome of the research project (e.g., a term paper, honors thesis, presentation, exhibition, etc.).
  3. A list of the specific Cuban Heritage Collection materials to be used for research.
  4. An unofficial copy of the student’s transcript.
  5. A résumé.

 



Students Bring Award-Winning Research to Roundtable

Scholars gathered at CHC in April for the third annual Undergraduate Scholars Symposium.

Scholars gathered at CHC in April for the third annual Undergraduate Scholars Symposium.

by Sarah Block, Library Communications

University of Miami faculty and students and Cuban studies scholars gathered at UM Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) in April for the third annual Undergraduate Scholars Symposium, a roundtable of topics on Cuba and its diaspora. Front and center were thirteen participants in the Undergraduate Scholars Program presenting their research papers, many of the works having already turned heads earlier that month. The Symposium was presented by CHC and the Center for Latin American Studies with support from The Goizueta Foundation.

Rahid Chadid, a junior at UM studying anthropology, presented a paper that received high honors earlier in April at the 2014 Undergraduate Research, Creativity, and Innovation Forum (RCIF) hosted by UM’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Chadid explained at the Symposium that his work on the writings of renowned anthropologist Lydia Cabrera is the culmination of three years’ research at CHC. As a freshman, he was hired as a student assistant to help digitally scan thousands of photographs, letters, and original manuscripts from The Lydia Cabrera Papers. “I read them twice that year,” he explained.

Chadid’s paper contends that Cabrera, best known for her breakthrough anthropological research, is not just an anthropologist, but also an author “with real style.” His work, titled “Lydia Cabrera and Religious Magical Realism,” took first place in the Humanities category at RCIF.

Symposium panel discussants Dr. Devyn S. Benson of Louisiana State University and Dr. Jose Quiroga of Emory University, who conducted workshops with the panelists prior to the event, critiqued each presentation drawing from their own studies of Cuban history, culture, and literature. Benson described Cabrera as a “woman of the world” who in all of her complexities “demonstrated how important Cuba was on a global scale.”

Political science student Giuneur Mosi spoke about his research of the island’s cultural influences from the African Yorùbá religion.

Political science student Giuneur Mosi spoke about his research of the island’s cultural influences from the African Yorùbá religion.

Political science student Giuneur Mosi, who placed second in the Humanities category at RCIF, spoke about his research of the island’s cultural influences from the African Yorùbá religion. Mosi, who is of Yorùbán ancestry, donned a traditional long white robe and wooden beaded necklace for his presentation. He explained that the religion’s manifestation in Cuba as a result of transatlantic slavery seeped into the entire fabric of society. “It became a ‘Cuban way’ that then made its way back to Africa, Colombia, and has a presence right here in South Florida,” Mosi said.

CHC Librarian Meiyolet Méndez, the Program’s coordinator, has for the past three years assisted student participants with their research, which ranges from topics in literature to the hard sciences. “The students’ commitment to research makes what we do important,” she said.

Participants’ research projects are often initiated in classes in the College of Arts and Sciences developed with the Program’s faculty grants. Students begin using CHC resources to fulfill class assignments, and later continue to develop their research in the Program, under the mentorship of their professors.

Four of the Program’s participants from the College of Engineering, known as “The Water Boys,” won the statewide 2014 Cuba Infrastructure Challenge in February, for their study of Cuba’s Almendares River. Miguel Amezcua, Eric Antmann, Leonard Barerra, and Sergio Claure used Geographic Information System tools to collect ground elevation data from NASA satellites, resulting in a plan for a water remediation system. Their project bested that of five teams from the University of Florida in the Challenge sponsored by the Association of Cuban Engineers and the Cuban-American Association for Civil Engineers.

“The Program allows undergraduate students to engage in independent research,” said CHC Chair Maria R. Estorino Dooling, who helped develop the Program in 2010. “They can access primary resource materials, work one-on-one with a faculty mentor, and carry out original research. Such opportunities are unique for undergraduate students, and we are thrilled to be able to provide them.”

The CHC-CLAS Undergraduate Scholars program has been made possible by a grant from The Goizueta Foundation. For information about the Undergraduate Scholars Program, visit library.miami.edu/chc/scholars.

 

Four engineering students, aka “The Water Boys,” won the statewide 2014 Cuba Infrastructure Challenge in February, for their study of Cuba’s Almendares River.

Dr. Juan Antonio Bueno, Professor of Landscape Architecture in the College of Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University, served as a discussant on the project by “The Water Boys,” which won the statewide 2014 Cuba Infrastructure Challenge for their study of Cuba’s Almendares River.





CLAS-CHC Undergraduate Scholars presented at annual symposium

Guest post by Meiyolet Méndez, Education & Outreach Librarian

Milk graphic.

Thomas Terrill, Jalane Schmidt, Dr. Michelle González Maldonado and Elaine Penagos.

The second Cuban Heritage Collection-Center for Latin American Studies Undergraduate Scholars Symposium showcased the work of Scholars Thomas Terrill and Elaine Penagos, both of whom worked with Dr. Michelle Maldonado, Associate Professor at the University of Miami’s Department of Religious Studies.  During the course of their research at the Collection, Tom and Elaine had the opportunity to consult primary and secondary sources such as early 20th century magazines, revolutionary newspapers, books, and archival material from the Lydia Cabrera Papers.

The symposium opened with remarks by Dr. Ariel Armony, Director of UM’s Center for Latin American Studies, and Maria R. Estorino, Deputy Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection, followed by a personal introduction for each student by Dr. Maldonado, who praised their research and work as emerging scholars.

Terrill’s presentation, titled “Criminalization of Afro-Cuban Religions: Urban versus Rural,” drew comparisons between Abakuá, Santería, and Espiritismo, analyzing how participants’ geographic location on the island reflected degrees of criminalization by the Cuban authorities.  Penagos’ presentation, “Female Archetypes and Stereotypes of Santeria Deities,” addressed female gender stereotypes in Cuban culture and Afro-Cuban religion via the representation of three female deities: Ochún, Oyá, and Yemayá.

After the Scholars’ presentation, Dr. Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Virginia, commented on their work. Dr. Schmidt gave a presentation titled “Above All Politics?: The Virgin of Charity and Cuban Streets, 1951-1961” the previous evening at the Cuban Heritage Collection, and she met with the scholars to discuss their research. Each scholar had an opportunity to share their research and receive feedback from Dr. Schmidt before their presentation.

Later that evening, a group of environmental engineering students mentored by Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele, Professor & Associate Dean for Research in the University of Miami’s College of Engineering, presented at another symposium hosted at the College of Engineering. The project, titled “Biohydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source for Cuba,” was completed by Melissa Barona, Margarita Giraldo and Seth Marini. The group plans to continue presenting on this topic at future engineering presentations and competitions.

The Cuban Heritage Collection joins the Center for Latin American Studies and the University of Miami community at large in congratulating Thomas Terrill, Elaine Penagos, Melissa Barona, Margarita Hiraldo and Seth Marini for successfully completing their independent research projects.



CLAS-CHC Undergraduate Scholars win awards at Undergraduate Research, Creativity, Innovation Forum

The Spring 2013 Undergraduate Scholars won awards in this year’s Undergraduate Research, Creativity, Innovation Forum (RCIF) at the University of Miami. In the Humanities category, Elaine Penagos’ presentation “Female Archetypes and Stereotypes of Santeria Deities” placed first  while Thomas Terrill placed third with his presentation on the “Criminalization of Afro-Cuban Religions: Urban versus Rural.” Both Penagos and Terrill were mentored by Dr. Michelle González Maldonado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, as part of the 2013 CLAS-CHC Undergraduate Scholars program. Melissa Barona, Margarita Giraldo and Seth Marini, mentored by Dr. Helena Solo-Gabriele, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, tied for third place in the Engineering category with their presentation “Biohydrogen as an Alternative Energy Source for Cuba.” The students’ posters will be on display in the Goizueta Pavilion Reading Room.

The undergraduate RCIF is designed to motivate undergraduate students to engage in peer-reviewed research. This is an annual celebration at the University of Miami that invites students from all disciplines to explore topics of interest and to share projects in an atmosphere of diversity. Project eligibility is open-ended and accommodates a wide spectrum of students from first-semester freshmen to seniors completing honors projects.

The Spring 2013 Undergraduate Scholars will share the results of their research this month. Please join us for the 2013 Undergraduate Scholars Symposium. View the schedule of events here.



CLAS-CHC Undergraduate Scholars to share their work

The CHC partners with the University of Miami’s Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) to offer faculty grants and student stipends in support of undergraduate research. Funds are available to University faculty to revise or create an undergraduate course to make meaningful use of the Cuban Heritage Collection in its assignments and activities; and to mentor selected Undergraduate Scholars on independent research projects. The CLAS-CHC Undergraduate Scholars program is made possible by a grant from The Goizueta FoundationLearn more »

The Spring 2013 Undergraduate Scholars will share the results of their research this month. Please join us for the following events:

Afro-Cuban Religion: Race, Gender, and Politics

  • Tuesday, April 16 at 4:30 p.m.
    ‘Above All Politics?': The Virgin of Charity and Cuban Streets, 1951-1961
    A lecture by Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia
    Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
    Click to view flyer »

 

  • Wednesday, April 17 at 10:00 a.m.
    Undergraduate Scholars Symposium
    Student presentations by undergraduate scholars Elaine Penagos and Thomas Terrill. Introduction by their faculty mentor Dr. Michelle Gónzalez Maldonado, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and comments by Jalane Schmidt, Associate Professor of Religious studies at the University of Virginia
    Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, Otto G. Richter Library
    Click to view flyer »

 

Alternative Energy for Cuba

  • Wednesday, April 17 at 6:15 p.m.
    Undergraduate Scholars Symposium
    Student presentations by undergraduate scholars Melissa Barona, Margarita Giraldo and Seth Marini (mentored by Dr, Helena Solo-Gabriele, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering) followed by a discussion with guest speakers Buck Martinez, FPL Director of Development, and Manuel Cereijo, P.E.
    McArthur Engineering Annex Room 220
    Click to view flyer »

 

All events are free and open to the public. Please R.S.V.P. by April 10 to chc@miami.edu. Visit our Events & Lectures web page for more information.



CHC & CLAS co-host first Undergraduate Scholars Symposium

Alexander Garcia, Jr. reads an excerpt from his short story during the Symposium.

By Meiyolet Méndez, Education & Outreach Librarian

The Cuban Heritage Collection-Center for Latin American Studies Undergraduate Scholars Symposium brought together eight undergraduate University of Miami students, their three mentors, and members of the University community. The event, titled Cuban Identity and Diaspora, gave the students the opportunity to present the academic and creative works resulting from their months of research at the Collection.

The Symposium began with welcoming remarks by Esperanza Bravo de Varona, Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection and Dr. Ariel Armony, Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. Dr. Lillian Manzor gave the keynote speech, focusing on the relationship between archival research and new media.

Afterwards, Undergraduate Scholars Robin Morey, Laura Chaviano and Kennia Pluas each gave a presentation, focusing on Lydia Cabrera’s El Monte, the origins and permanence of danzón, and the parallels in the green movement’s rhetoric and Afro-Cuban beliefs, respectively. Each student was introduced by Dr. Chrissy Arce, their mentor, who spoke about their research process and their work as Scholars.

The second panel featured the creative nonfiction of Regla Alfonso, a play by Kevin Marquina, and a short story by Alexander Garcia, Jr. Each Scholar spoke about the challenges of researching in order to write a creative work, while their mentor, Professor Mia Leonin, addressed their accomplishments. Two actors from Teatro El Ingenio, Lilliam Vega and Jorge Luis Alvarez, gave a short reading of Kevin Marquina’s play.

Professor Arce (third from left) with her students Robin Morey, Laura Chaviano and Kennia Pluas.

Following a short break for lunch, punctuated by live traditional Cuban music performed by The Bridge String Trio, the last two Undergraduate Scholars presented their academic work. Working with their mentor, Dr. Lillian Manzor, Hannah C. Artman and Mackenzie Sheldon focused on advertising in zarzuela programs in 1960s Miami and on Teresa María Rojas, the influential Cuban actress and founder of Teatro Prometeo.

All together, the Scholars worked with some of the most important manuscript collections housed in the CHC. In addition, they were able to analyze books and other material not available elsewhere in the world. The experience of doing research in the CHC was an invaluable addition to their time as undergraduates at the University of Miami.





Applications for CHC Undergraduate Scholars due next Monday, December 6th

The College of Arts & Sciences offers scholarships for University of Miami undergraduate students and are awarded in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Applications for the Spring 2011 semester are due next week, on Monday, December 6th.

Learn more about the CHC Undergraduate Fellowships and download the application form.

Learn more about the work that previous CHC Undergraduate Fellows have undertaken.



Applications for CHC Undergraduate Fellowships due next Wednesday, September 1st

The College of Arts & Sciences offers fellowships for University of Miami undergraduate students and are awarded in the spring, summer, and fall semesters. Applications for the Spring 2011 semester are due next week, on Wednesday, September 1st.

Learn more about the CHC Undergraduate Fellowships and download the application form.
CHC Undergraduate Fellowships

Learn more about the work that previous CHC Undergraduate Fellows have undertaken.
Past Undergraduate Scholars