Barbour Scholar Update
In September, we were excited to introduce the 2020-2021 Barbour Scholars. We recently checked in with them to see how this pandemic year is affecting them, and their research.
Ph.D. Candidate, Environmental Health Sciences
I have been working remotely in Northwood campus housing since last March. Fortunately, I had all the data ready for my dissertation, so there was no delay on my progress. My defense is scheduled for March 26th. I am grateful for the funding support for my last year in the Ph.D. program. It became especially helpful during the pandemic to have a secure funding source. I also feel honored to be called Barbour Scholar, I have updated my professional profiles (LinkedIn, etc.) and my resume to add this prestigious honor and I am hopeful it will be a huge plus for my job search.
Ph.D. Candidate, Linguistics
I am working remotely in Ann Arbor now. I can’t finish collecting brain data from human subjects since last March. However, I am able to write my dissertation based on the limited datasets I have now. Having the Barbour Scholarship, I can concentrate on writing my dissertation and doing some interesting side projects with my advisor.
Ph.D. Candidate, Physics
Since my dissertation is in theoretical physics, my work has been mostly uninterrupted and remote during the pandemic. While I miss blackboard discussions and personal interaction, I am happy that my collaborators and I adapted somewhat quickly to the virtual format and could soon begin meaningful work. I am grateful for the support of the Barbour Scholarship, which has allowed me to focus on my research this year and as a result, I am set to graduate in winter 2021 and proceed to a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Davis in the fall.
Ph.D. Candidate, Asian Language and Culture
I am currently in Ann Arbor and working from home. I have not had a chance to go back to China to conduct my dissertation research. But I have been able to work on some primary sources available online and drafted two chapters of my dissertation. Receiving the Barbour Scholarship has allowed me to focus on my dissertation as much as I can during this difficult time. I feel extremely privileged that I do not have to worry about financial support at a time when many people, graduate students included, are struggling to make ends meet. While the scholarship has encouraged me to work harder and harder on my current project, it has also provoked me to think about what it means to be an Asian female scholar and what I may contribute to the communication between academia in China and the United States.
Ph.D. Candidate, Mathematics
I am continuing to work remotely in Ypsilanti, MI. I am not enrolled in any class other than the dissertation class with my advisor, so remote study works just fine for me. I feel like the progress in my work is somewhat enhanced by the pandemic. This is mainly because most entertainment and socializing activities are limited by the pandemic, and thus I am forced to spend more time on my research. My work does not involve any experiment that has to be conducted onsite, and thus working remotely does not have a direct impact on the actual work that I am doing. The most direct impact of the Barbour Scholarship is that I do not have to be a graduate student instructor, which gives me a lot more time to work on my research. The alleviation of teaching duties has greatly enhanced my productivity.