Discovery. Flexibility. Engagement. Support. Inspiration. Fun. Thought-provoking. Rewarding. Our students used these words to describe their 2023 Schupf Fellows Program experience. Over eight weeks this summer, and under the guidance of faculty mentors, they conducted research in the arts, humanities and social science. At the College-hosted poster session on Sept. 15, 2023, student researchers were on hand to discuss their research and reflect on their Schupf Fellows program experience.

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Caly Van Leeuwen holds his research poster titled Gender and the Body.

Caly Van Leeuwen ’25: “Gender and the Body” 
Faculty Mentor: Betsey Garand, senior resident artist in the department of art and the history of art

Van Leeuwen’s Statement: At the core of the Schupf Fellowship is an immense amount of flexibility paired with close guidance. I spent the summer working on a painting project exploring visual conceptions of gender and the body, focusing on nonbinary modes of interpretation. The program's flexibility encouraged me to follow new questions and seek unexpected solutions. The culmination of this project was a fully fleshed-out body of work, complete with a portfolio and an artist’s statement. These tangible outcomes are a crucial part of becoming a professional artist and applying to graduate schools.


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Two men speaking together during the poster session.

Zane Khiry ’25 discusses his research with Olufemi Vaughan, chair of Black studies (right)
Project Title: “White Christian Nationalism in Tennessee.” 
Faculty Mentor: Stefan Bradley, Charles Hamilton Houston '15 Professor of Black Studies and History


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Stormie King stands beside a research poster titled An Architectural Exploration of South Hall.

Stormie King ’25: “An Architectural Exploration of South Hall” 
Faculty Mentor: Gretchen Rabinkin, visiting instructor in the department of art and the history of art

King's Statement: My research revolved around the first building on Amherst College Campus, South Hall. Because the Schupf Fellowship takes place on campus, I was able to do extensive research in the Amherst College Archives, and I was also given a studio space in Fayerweather to explore my material through drawings and models. Additionally, I was able to interview experts at Historic Deerfield and around campus. The Schupf fellowship offers incredible flexibility and supports all research endeavors, emphasizing the importance of trial and error rather than a “finished product.” 


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Sebastian Paredes holds a research posster titled The Rise and Development of South Florida's Republican Latinos.

Sebastian Paredes ’26: “The Rise and Development of South Florida's Republican Latinos” 
Faculty Mentor: Nusrat Chowdhury, associate professor of anthropology and sociology

Paredes's Statement: My research focused on investigating the South Florida political environment and understanding why the Cubans and Venezuelans of this area have been voting substantially more Republican since the 2016 presidential election. I identified several affective and political factors, like nostalgia, political trauma, anti-Black racism, the South Florida media and transnationalism, as roots of these shifts. The Schupf fellowship strengthened my passion for electoral politics; because of it, I know this is a topic I will pursue for the rest of my time at Amherst and beyond.


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Willow Delp holds her research poster titled Conceptualizing Black-White Mixed Race Identity in the United States.

Willow Delp ’26: “Conceptualizing Black-White Mixed Race Identity in the United States” 
Faculty Mentor: Christine Peralta, professor of history, sexuality, women's and gender studies

Delp's Statement: Over the summer, I researched the history of mixed-race identity throughout the past ~350 years and interviewed Black-white people, asking them about their upbringing and the role that race had played in their lives. I synthesized a mixed-race past and present through my research while being in community with my other Schupf fellows and sharing my progress. Furthermore, I honed my interviewing and researching skills, which are critical for the work I intend to do in the future. 


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Gabriel Proia holds his research poster titled Polish Immigrant Farmers, Reshaping Ethnic Identity in the Connecticut River Valley.

Gabriel Proia ’25: “Polish Immigrant Farmers: Reshaping Ethnic Identity in the Connecticut River Valley”
Faculty Mentor: Frank Couvares, professor of history and of American studies

Proia's Statement: My project was on the history of Polish immigrant farmers in the Pioneer Valley, and so a large portion of my research involved making in-person connections with the local agricultural, Polish, and scholarly communities. I was able to interview various farmers, historians, and genealogists, visit their homes and historical societies, and participate in their community social events. My study constantly opened new and exciting avenues for further research, and I was inspired to continue and expand upon my project in a special topics course this term. I also plan on pursuing a thesis on the subject in my senior year. 


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Jesus Ramirez Tapia poses in front of a poster about his research on Latinx Evangelicals and Twenty-First Century US Politics.

Jesus Ramirez Tapia ’25: Latinx Evangelicals and Twenty-First Century US Politics
Faculty Mentor: Lloyd Barba, assistant professor of Latinx and Latin American studies and of religion


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Fellow students listen intently as Jesus Ramirez Tapia ’25 discusses his research.


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Emily Griffen, director of the Loeb Career Center (left), listens as Claire Beogher ’26 (right) describes her research, “Dobbs: Unprecedented or Predictable?” 
Faculty Mentor: Austin Sarat, professor of political science, of law, jurisprudence, and social thought, and of film and media studies