SUROP 2019: Kaiya Thompson

Kaiya Thompson, 2019 K-State English SUROP student and English major at Spelman College (BA ’21)

Since 2002, the Department of English has participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (SUROP) sponsored by the Graduate School at Kansas State.

SUROP provides a competitively awarded, paid research experience for 6-8 undergraduates from under-represented groups, matching applicants to departments and faculty who serve as mentors for eight weeks during the summer on K-State’s campus.

Most students in SUROP are conducting research in the sciences or social sciences, spending their time in the lab or in the field. We are grateful and proud, then, to have mentored eleven students in the humanities since 2002, introducing those undergraduate researchers and our colleagues at the university to the range of topics and methods for our work in English.

We typically take a team approach to the mentoring of our SUROP students, pairing each with two or three faculty members who are working on projects that may be at different stages in the research process. SUROP students might help a faculty member gather resources for a literature review on a particular research question, locate details about a city or natural environment or historical event for a creative writer embarking on a new creative project, or document archival materials by transcribing interviews or coding manuscripts for further analysis.

This summer, we welcome Kaiya Thompson (BA ’21, English, Spelman College).

During the next eight weeks, Kaiya will work closely with faculty mentors Katy Karlin, Mary Kohn, and Anuja Madan. When assisting Katy Karlin, Kaiya will contribute to two projects: one on the film actor, singer, activist, and philanthropist Etta Moten and one on the Kansas-born film-maker and photographer Gordon Parks. Kaiya will also contribute to Mary Kohn’s “Kansas Speaks” project, documenting language change in Kansas, and to Anuja Madan’s research on global literatures for young readers.  Along the way, Kaiya’s three mentors and K-State’s SUROP program will share strategies for presenting and publishing research, applying to graduate programs, and financial support for graduate degrees.

We look forward to hearing the results of Kaiya’s research with Katy Karlin, Mary Kohn, and Anuja Madan during the next eight weeks — and our thanks to the Graduate School for the opportunity to introduce Kaiya and others to some of our research in the humanities!

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head


3 thoughts on “SUROP 2019: Kaiya Thompson

  1. Pingback: Mary Kohn

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