Sylvia Adongo ’26 and Susanna Helms ’24 are seeing the results of their respective summer research projects showcased in some distinguished venues. Both students collaborated with Edward Lynch, professor of political science and chair of the Department of Global Politics and Societies, as part of Hollins’ Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program.
SURF offers a concentrated opportunity for a select number of students to work collaboratively with faculty over the summer. The program provides a stipend and summer housing to accepted students who participate in a cohort model during the summer. Students in the program emerge with an “action plan” that often includes a report and presentation covering their learning experience. Research fellows come from across all academic divisions of the university.
Adongo and Lynch presented “Iran’s Foreign Policy in Central Asia: Pragmatism Over Ideology,” a paper they coauthored, at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa in Washington, D.C.
“The Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” a journal article coauthored by Helms and Lynch, will be published in the January-February 2024 issue of Military Review.
“Working with highly motivated students for an extended period has not only permitted me to complete projects that would have taken much longer had I been working alone but has also allowed me to benefit from the thoughts and insights of brilliant students,” Lynch said. “The benefits of the SURF program for the students may be fairly obvious, but the program’s benefits to me as a scholar are no less important.”
The summer of 2023 is the second summer in which Lynch has engaged in intensive research with Hollins undergraduates. In 2021, he and Kayla Richardson ’24 presented a paper to the Society of Catholic Social Scientists.
Top photo (from left to right): Susanna Helms ’24 and Sylvia Adongo ’26.