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Center for Undergraduate Research and Intellectual Opportunities (CURIO)


The office for CAH Undergraduate Research and Intellectual Opportunities was established in 2008 to expand the opportunities for undergraduates to engage in research and mentored scholarship at Georgia Southern University and offer undergraduate students the opportunity to work directly with faculty on projects that involve research, scholarship, and creativity. These projects are designed and implemented by students with the support and guidance of faculty.

CURIO offers itself as a valuable tool for students in the College of Arts and Humanities who have a passion for their discipline and an interest in getting involved with research. The center promotes and recognizes undergraduate research in the college.

Georgia Southern University and the College of Arts and Humanities encourages undergraduate research because research benefits the student, faculty, college, and university. CURIO is committed to facilitating undergraduate research and helping students with their research needs in any way possible.

By engaging in undergraduate research, students will learn to apply what they already know in ways that interest them and allow them to influence others. Along the way, students will develop new skills, meet others with similar interests, gain confidence in themselves and their scholarship, define their own style, and deepen their connections to Georgia Southern and the academic community. Through undergraduate research symposia and academic conferences, students will have the opportunity to share their work as they experience the fulfillment of scholarship and creative activity.

Students who have experienced scholarship in meaningful ways offered through undergraduate research experiences are better prepared to address future problems and to assume important rules as enlightened citizens and leaders. To that end, students’ undergraduate research experiences will begin their professional lives. To help them reap the full benefits of participating in undergraduate research, CURIO offers a variety of resources to help undergraduate research become a distinctive feature of students’ undergraduate experiences.

CURIO is strongly committed to the wide and inclusive expression of all forms and topics of undergraduate research and creative activity. CURIO invites contributions from all members of the undergraduate community of innovators, creatives, and researchers at the College of Arts and Humanities and welcomes proposals and presentations that include a diversity of voices, backgrounds, and viewpoints.

To learn more, please contact our office.

Contact Information

P.O. Box 8142
Foy Building, Room 3007
Statesboro, GA 30460-8142
or Laura Valeri at

Spring Symposium

2021 curio symposium

The 2020-2021 CURIO Symposium will showcase undergraduate research and creative activity undertaken by students in the College of Arts and Humanities. All presentations will delivered through a video format submitted by the presenters.

Our staff will take the videos and load them into a YouTube channel to be made available from our CURIO 2021 Symposium webpage on Creative Commons. Wednesday, April 14, and Thursday, April 15, we will “launch” the videos at specific times and open them up to comments from audiences. Presenters will check in regularly on the day their video is launches so as to answer questions.

A panel of judges will review every presentation in each category and select a winner and finalists for each category. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners at the conclusion of the judging process.

Presentation schedule TBD

2021 Symposium Links

Digital Commons Virtual CURIO Symposium

CURIO YouTube Channel

2021 CURIO Committee Chairs

Dr. Allison Belzer, Chair, Armstrong, History
Dr. Julia Griffin, Chair-Elect, Statesboro, Literature
Prof. Laura Valeri, Chair, Statesboro, Writing & Linguistics

2021 CURIO Committee

Dr. Olga Amarie, World Languages & Cultures
Dr. Elizabeth Desnoyers-Cola, Communication Arts
Prof. John Goshorn, Communication Arts
Dr. Miguel Garcia, World Languages & Cultures
Dr. Martin Gendelman, Music
Dr. Amanda Konkle, Literature
Dr. Daniel Larkin, Philosophy & Religious Studies
Dr. Santanu Majumdar, Art
Dr. Morgan Rempel, Philosophy & Religious Studies
Dr. Cathy Skidmore-Hess, History
Dr. Jinrong Li, Writing & Linguistics

Submission Information

curio symposium call for proposals spring submission deadline march 1, 2021

The office for Undergraduate Research & Intellectual Opportunities (or CURIO) is pleased to host an evening highlighting the best research and creative endeavors of the college’s students at the CURIO Symposium to be held in Spring 2020. We welcome submissions from currently enrolled undergraduate students from all major and minor areas of study in the College of Arts and Humanities. Projects completed during anytime during 2019 or spring 2020 are welcome. Interdisciplinary projects from those semesters may also be submitted.

To apply for the Symposium, students should submit a 250-word abstract describing the scholarly or creative activity and the presentation, paper, performance, or poster that will be utilized to showcase their research or creative endeavor. The abstracts should explain how the project represents original student work. The application also requires the listing of a faculty mentor with whom the student worked with on the project. The faculty mentor should help students prepare to deliver their presentation by providing both advice and feedback on their material and physical presentation.

This year, faculty mentors may also submit an application on behalf of students who wish to participate in the Symposium. The abstract should describe the student’s research or creative endeavor in detail and explain how the project, paper, performance, or poster represents original student work. Please limit these to 250 words.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday, March 1. Click here for the submission form.

Projects selected for the Symposium program will take the form of 10-15 minute presentations, readings, or performances. Students presenting posters will be allotted time to discuss their work. If selected to participate, students must be physically present at the Symposium to comment on their research, presentation, performance, or poster and to respond to questions from the audience. Selected papers, projects, performances, and posters need be in final draft format or ready to be performed by April 1.

Outstanding presentations, performances, and posters in the humanities, fine arts, and social sciences, as determined by judges, will be recognized at the Symposium with a monetary award and the student’s name on the website.


 Project Title
Robert Carpenter   Robert J. Carpenter,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Kurt Knoerl
 “Cypress canoes and periaguas: Shipbuilding and maritime culture in colonial Savannah, Georgia”
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Celeste-Chapman-web.jpg   Celeste Chapman,
Writing & Linguistics major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lisa Costello
 “Media, memes, and mediocrity”
Brian Farr   Brian Farr,
Literature major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Beth Howells
“Tennyson’s secret weapon: An examination of patriotism’s role in Victorian England”
Joshua Gee   Joshua Gee,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lisa Denmark
 “Defiance: Thomas Hardwick and he backlash of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia politics”
Zachary Graham   Zachary A. Graham,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. James Todesca
 “Giotto’s last judgment: Medieval influences and renaissance impact”
Caleb Hartshorn   Caleb J. Hartshorn,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. James Todesca
“Conflicting views: Geoffery of Villehardouin and Robert of Clari, the Fourth Crusade”
Anna Jackson and Anna Grace Raley   Anna Jackson & Anna Grace Raley,
Interdisciplinary Studies majors Faculty Mentor:
Prof. Jeff Schmuki
“Triaxial blends”
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Megan_Leben_web.jpg   Megan Leben,
Public Relations major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lauren Bayliss
 “Connecting beyond the field: Uses and gratification theory in college athletics’ social media accounts”
Lindsay Perkins   Lindsay Perkins,
Literature major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Sarah McCarroll
“Look something different: L.S.D. (Just the high points)”
Cassidy Ross   Cassidy Ross,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. James Todesca
“Warrior women”
Brenna Salverson
Brenna Salverson,
Writing & Linguistics major   Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Joanna Schreiber
 “Editing in the works: The culturist union’s business plan”
Fiona Schirmer   Fiona Schimer,
Theatre major Faculty Mentor:
Prof. Pamela Sears
 “Pandemic productions: Theatre through Zoom”
Katie Sparks   Katie Marie Joanna Sparks,
Literature major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Jane Rago
 “The Victorians on social media”
Katherine Vason   Katherine A. Vason,
Literature major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Amanda Konkle
“Reclaiming identity: The power of code-switching in ‘So Far From God'”
Willie Vaughn   Willie Vaughn,
Writing & Linguistics major Faculty Mentor:
Prof. Laura Valeri
“Minimum rage”
Willie Vaughn
Willie Vaughn,
Writing & Linguistics major   Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Lisa Dusenberry
“The dopamine killer”
Veliyana Veleva
Veliyana Veleva,
Foreign Languages major   Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Hapsatou Wane
“Teaching French and francophone culture through comics”
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Fiorella-Villanueva-web.jpg   Fiorella G. Villanueva,
History major Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Corinna Zeltsman
 “The role of popular skepticism in the history of paper money in post-colonial Mexico”
Talley Walker   Talley Walker,
Writing & Linguistics major Faculty Mentor:
Prof. Drew Keane
“#Sponsored: A rhetorical analysis of the strategies used within sponsored Instagram fashion posts”

Award Winners

Committee Members

Allison BelzerDr. Allison Scardino Belzer, Associate Professor of History on the Armstrong Campus, served from 2011-2020 as the college’s coordinator of Undergraduate Research and also has chaired the Armstrong Student Scholars Symposium. She is dedicated to enhancing the undergraduate
experience, recently publishing two works for classroom use with Oxford University Press.
Elizabeth Desnoyers-ColasElizabeth F. Desnoyers-Colas, Ph.D Communication Studies Coordinator, Associate Professor of Communications Studies at Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong campus. An Africana Studies Scholar, her academic research interests include narrative, storytelling about the African Diaspora. She directs plays written by African American women playwrights and those which feature black women as protagonists/antagonists. Dr. Desnoyers-Colas is a retired military United States Air Force Major. Who served in Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia in 1991
Miguel GarciaDr. Miguel García is an Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Georgia Southern University. He teaches all levels of Spanish as well as Hispanic Linguistics courses. His research includes Spanish Prosody, Dialectal Variation in Spanish, Language Contact, and Spanish in the US.
Martin GendelmanMartín Gendelman is an Associate Professor and Head of the Music Composition and Theory Area at the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music, and the founding director of the On The Verge new-music series at
Georgia Southern. His work as a composer –which includes music for soloists, chamber groups, and large ensembles, as well as electronics– has been performed throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also led multiple cross-disciplinary collaborations with choreographers, actors, videographers, and other artists. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Universidad Nacional
de La Plata (Argentina), California State University, Northridge, and the University of Maryland.
John GoshornJohn Goshorn is an assistant professor of Multimedia & Film Production within the Communication Arts department at Georgia Southern. An award-winning filmmaker and screenwriter, his feature film THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH has worldwide distribution and is available for download, streaming and on DVD, via several major online outlets.
Dr. Julia Griffin is an Associate Professor in the College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Literature on the Statesboro Campus of Georgia Southern University. Her specialty is Renaissance English literature (Shakespeare and Milton period). She is also Light Magazine‘s featured poet.
Amanda KonkleDr. Konkle holds a Ph.D. in English. She is an Assistant Professor who teaches Film Studies and Literature classes for the Department of Literature. She is the author of recently published research on Marilyn Monroe films and contemporary television.
Daniel LarkinDr. Dan Larkin is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Memphis in 2017. His research focuses mostly on Plato, specifically the roles by religion and divine inspiration throughout Plato’s work.
Santanu MajumdarSantanu Majumdar is Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Director of Georgia Southern’s Fab Lab. Heis a TEDx speaker and has presented various papers on design education, sustainability, mentoring and
collaborative research in several distinguished national and international design conferences. He has received several national as well as international awards and grants during his career in the industry and
Morgan Rempel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus.
Cathy Skidmore-HessDr. Skidmore-Hess is an associate professor of history and author of “Identity, Guns, and Globalization and Murder in Nata,” and “Murder in Nata: Landscapes of Colonial Justice. Her areas of research are Economics, Environment, Gender and Religion.
Laura ValeriLaura Valeri is Professor of Creative Writing and Pedagogy in the Department of Writing & Linguistics. She earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Florida International University and a Masters of Fine
Arts in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop. She has authored five books in fiction and nonfiction and has published numerous stories, literary essays, scholarly criticism, and literary translations. Professor
Valeri’s books have earned the John Simmons Award, the John Gardner Award, and SFASU Press Award for Literary Fiction. She has been twice nominated for a Georgia Author of the Year award.

Last updated: 8/16/2021