Three undergraduate researchers from the College of Fine Arts awarded funding for Fall 2020

October 07 2020

The University of Utah's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) gives undergraduate students and faculty mentors the opportunity to work together on research or creative projects. The program provides a stipend and educational programming for students who assist with a faculty member’s research or creative project or who carry out a project of their own under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may apply for UROP any semester and may be eligible for a one-semester renewal. UROP awardees are hired as temporary, part-time UROP Participants by the Office of Undergraduate Research and are paid $1,200 for 120 hours of research or creative work during the semester.

This fall, three College of Fine Arts students were awarded funding and are now hard at work on their research projects.

Here’s what they’re up to:

Abigail Raasch, School of Dance
Faculty Mentor: Natalie Desch

“As a major in the Modern Dance Program, I intend to research the effect of collaborative experiences for students from both departments. Through a series of movement labs, interviews, rehearsals, and a culminating performance. This project will provide insight into the educational effects of collaboration with embodied movement techniques towards theatrical communications. The result will be a joint directorship producing a movement-based piece to help present my final thesis through the power of movement.”  

“The effects of this project will continue beyond a final climactic performance. I believe this research will demonstrate to participants who create as well as who observe the work that movement collaboration has potent results and therefore carries much value.”

Ashley Goodwin, Department of Theatre
Faculty Mentor: Alexandra Harbold

Ashley's ultimate goal is to create "The Not Broken Monologues," a theatre piece that weaves together her own experiences, her research into inclusive education and theatre practices, and her interviews with people with disabilities. She began developing the project idea as her final project in Beginning Directing Spring 2019.  

“In a broader sense, I am earning my Theatre Teaching BFA because I not only want to teach theatre in a school setting, but I also hope to work on youth outreach programs. I want to bring theatre to at-risk youth as an invaluable therapeutic resource. When working in the public school system, I want my theatre program to be accessible to students from all backgrounds. Rather than sidelining students with disabilities, I believe they can play an integral, dynamic role in the creation of meaningful theatre. I want to be a part of the generation of educators that proves that we are able to do better for the sake of our disabled and otherwise marginalized students.”

Alan Chavez, School of Music
Faculty Mentor: Elizabeth T. Craft

Alan will be researching the history of the U’s School of Music (department est. 1888), specifically, as Alan put it in his UROP application, “how it fostered musical and artistic growth in the state and via exchange with other U.S. and European artists.” He is focusing on collecting information from the Utah Daily Chronicle and other digitized newspapers, and mapping timelines of significant events and developments.  This is a group endeavor: Alan is collaborating with a team of School of Music researchers, headed by Professor Emeritus of Musicology Roger Miller.