The Summer’s SPLASH

Three undergraduate students from Hampton University, Virginia are finishing up a summer of research with Director of Graduate Studies Mark Jerng and three Davis faculty mentors. 

Susan Chavez, Al-Majid Edwards, and Telia Royal are the first cohort in the department’s Summer Program for Literary Analysis and Success in the Humanities (UCD-SPLASH), a three-year collaboration with Hampton to support students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) conducting literary research at UC Davis.

“Susie, Al and Telia's research projects took off in amazing directions,” says Jerng. The students worked with mentors, English professors Colin Milburn and Danielle Heard as well as John Slater from Spanish. Their projects addressed topics ranging from multiracial authorship and literary theory to children's literature and race in education. 

Royal focused on a children's book in the Shields Special Collections, Jerng reports, while Chavez worked on an interview with an author she is researching, and Edwards “couldn't stop writing and asking some of the toughest questions” in the group’s summer seminar. 

Jerng indicates that the SPLASH program is designed with the hope of increasing the recruitment of HBCU students to doctoral programs at UC Davis specifically and in the UC system more broadly. Jerng was joined by two Davis English PhD students, Rebecca Hogue and Danielle Shaw (not pictured), in coordinating this summer’s activities.