Spring 2023

Director’s Message

W&M’s Honors research: A global reach

Many were intrigued by an item in our last newsletter reporting a vast but little-known online readership of W&M Honors theses. Along with our graduating Honors students, it seems their theses take on lives of their own, all over the globe.

As shown in the map above (with readership numbers listed for various regions), more than 2,000 W&M Honors theses were read in 90+ countries last month! 

For example, Kathleen Chellman’s 2022 thesis, “Geologic controls on 137Cs cycling by terrestrial vegetation in the eastern U.S.,” found a following in Windhoek, Namibia, while Kate Lucas’s 2021 English thesis, “Flipping the castle: Evolution of gothic spaces in the domestic sphere,” was read in Kandy, Sri Lanka.

It’s difficult to know exactly how or why our students’ research is read, but in Santiago, Chile, someone in the Ministry of the Interior and Public Safety recently downloaded Leah Damelin’s 2022 thesis, “The effect of subsidies on small exporting sectors in Chile.” Might Leah's research play a role in influencing Chile's economic policy?

Not only does our Honors program have a profound impact on the lives of our students, but through the close faculty mentorship that distinguishes W&M from other universities its size, students are engaging with—and contributing to—vital ideas that are shaping our 21st-century world.


Elizabeth Harbron, Director

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Charles Center Community News

Sophia Haile '23 awarded James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership

WMSURE scholar Sophia Haile '23 received the James Monroe Prize in Civic Leadership during W&M's annual Charter Day commemoration last month. Haile is president of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE).

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1693 Scholar Claire Heinbaugh '23 receives Marshall Scholarship

1693 Scholar Clare Heinbaugh '23 won a Marshall Scholarship to begin her graduate studies in the United Kingdom next year, which is also the 70th anniversary of the prestigious scholarship program.

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Boateng '25 accepted into Institute for Responsible Citizenship

WMSURE student Benjamin Boateng '25 was admitted into the Institute for Responsible Citizenship's highly selective two-year leadership program.

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Sharpe Scholar Grace Phillips '23 featured on National Geographic Wild

Sharpe Community Scholar Grace Phillips ’23 and her brother Daniel Phillips ’25 found unique inspiration for their academic success by helping with their family’s alpaca farm.

Now, part of that experience is being highlighted on TV.

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Pulitzer Center partnership brings Sophie Neiman to Sharp Seminar

Pulitzer Center grantee Sophie Neiman visited with Sharp Seminar journalism students and delivered a talk co-sponsored by the Reves Center for International Studies entitled, “‘They Don’t Want Our Work To Continue’: Activists in Uganda's Contentious Oil Region."

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City plans Phase 1 of African American Heritage Trail proposed by Boyd '23

Senior History major and 1693 Scholar Jack Boyd’s initial research as a Charles Center City Research Scholar in 2021 helped the City of Williamsburg secure $357,000 in federal funding to begin implementation.

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Incubator award recipient Bailey sheds light on Virginia tunnel

Who would ever think of using a sooty, abandoned railroad tunnel as a research site and an educational tool?

William & Mary Geology Professor Chuck Bailey and his crew of eager undergraduate research students, that’s who.

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Incubator faculty mentor co-authors

book on work, American Dream

More than a decade of research has resulted in “Work in Black and White: Striving for the American Dream,” which is co-authored by Enobong Hannah Branch and Caroline Hanley.

Hanley is associate professor of Sociology at W&M and received an inaugural Charles Center faculty-mentored research incubator award for 2022-2024.

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Harbron collaborates, innovates with new applied learning course

Through a partnership between William & Mary’s Charles Center and the Office of Career Development & Professional Engagement, students will register for a new pilot course related to their applied learning experiences in summer 2023.

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Honors Fellowships crowdfunding campaign tops $30,000 with 5 days to go

More than 240 donors have generously supported the work of more than 75 Honors students who have designed compelling original research projects in close collaboration with faculty mentors. Meet our Honors Fellows on the Honors Fellowship website.

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Catron Scholars exhibition opens

in Andrews Gallery

Featured works by this year's recipients of the Catron Scholarship for Artistic Development, administered through the Charles Center, are on display in Andrews Gallery through 3/31.

The exhibition includes original works by Adonis Anderson, Chris Eliades, Ella Goldschmidt, Joshua Miner, Will Tatum, and Yaxi Xiao.

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Upcoming Events

Inaugural Graduate & Honors Research Symposium, March 30-31

The symposium program showcases the research of 90 graduate students and 68 undergraduate Honors students March 30th and 31st in Sadler Center.

The symposium seeks to nurture intellectual cross-pollination and deepen the relationship between the university’s undergraduate and graduate programs.

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Catron Scholars presentations and reception, 5-7 p.m. March 31

We celebrate the work of this year's recipients of the Catron Scholarship for Artistic Development in Andrews Gallery from 5-7 p.m. on March 31st with brief presentations by each of the Scholars, followed by a reception.

Featured works by the Scholars are currently on display in Andrews Gallery through March 31st.

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3rd annual WMSURE Research Conference, April 7

WMSURE will be hosting its 3rd annual Research Conference, "Exploration and Innovation: Growth through Research," 10am-3pm on April 7th in Sadler Center.

The conference will highlight research by underrepresented students at Virginia colleges and universities, as well as research examining the experiences of minorities.

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Your Support Makes a Difference

Giving to the Charles Center Fund ensures your gift will support the areas of greatest need and student impact. We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of new and innovative programming that fosters student and faculty creativity.

Many of our signature programs were established as a direct result of gifts to the Charles Center.

Thank you for your generosity.

Give to the Charles Center

Mentored Research

Mentored research is woven into the fabric of every Charles Center program.

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Innovative Internships

Our experiential, research-centered internships give students real-world opportunities to learn.

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Scholars Programs

We oversee the Monroe Scholars, WMSURE Scholars, 1693 Scholars, & Sharpe Scholars programs.

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It's springtime at the Charles Center!

Avoid the crowds in Washington, DC! Instead, come visit us at the Charles Center and experience W&M's own glorious cherry blossoms.

Whenever you're in town, no matter the season, we invite you to drop by Blow Memorial Hall to meet the Charles Center team!

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.

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