The Freshman Fellowship
A Year-Long Experience in Research & Mentoring
What Is the Special Collections Freshman Fellows Program?
Freshman Fellows is designed to give you an amazing research-driven experience in the Humanities during your first year at Johns Hopkins University! So, what's in it for you? So many things! You will:
- Conduct research with rare books, manuscripts, and archival material
- Analyze items of cultural significance and improve your research skills
- Be partnered with a mentor in Special Collections who will provide you with individualized research guidance
- Create an end product of your choosing that focuses on your research, such as an academic talk, a poster presentation, or even a one-act play inspired by your discoveries
- Receive a $1,000 research award in May 2020.
Alumni of the program have used the experience to obtain additional research grants, such as the Special Collections Undergraduate Research Award (SCURA) and Arts Innovation Grants.
How to Apply
The Freshman Fellows program is very competitive; we only select four students to participate each year. In order to apply, simply write an essay of no more than 750 words discussing why you want to be part of the program and what you would like to explore. You can petition to work on one of the pre-selected topics listed below, or you can chose your own adventure! If you come up with your own research topic, please make sure that we have materials in Special Collections that support your area of study. You can contact Heidi Herr, the Program Director, for questions about your research interest or for guidance with the application process. Send in your essay to the following address:
Application Deadline: 11:59PM on Sunday, September 15
All info sessions will be held in the Macksey Seminar Room, located on M-Level of the Brody Learning Commons.
HOP 101s: Wed., August 28th at 9am, 10am, 11am
Info Session: Thurs., September 5th at 7pm
Topics For Your Consideration
Votes & Petticoats!
Be among the very first researchers at Hopkins to explore our amazing collection of women's suffrage ephemera and publications, and co-curate an exhibition on the passage of the 19th Amendment!
Our collection includes a variety of interesting material documenting suffragists and their foes, including postcards, pins and ribbons, and magazines. Explore the innovative ways suffragists used new technology and exploited gender norms to advance the cause of "Votes for Women!"
Successful applicants are also guaranteed a spot in the Young Scholar's Panel at an upcoming national conference!
Note: Two students will be selected for this incredible project!Mentor: Heidi Herr
Have unprecedented access to John James Audubon’s double-elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, watercolors by naturalist John Gould, Audubon’s Viviparous Quadrupeds, and other illustrated editions of ornithology, botany, and zoology as you explore the history of natural history. Where science meets art. Consider 19th century ecological concerns and approaches, find creatures that were driven to extinction, or study the process of how these kinds of books were researched and assembled.
Please note: Due to their size, the Audubon folios may only be used at the library at Evergreen Museum & Library.
Mentor: Amy Kimball
What A Hullabaloo!
President Daniels wants to build a student center by 2024. But what is the history of places students have used in the past to hang out, catch up, and goof off? Using our collection of yearbooks (“The Hullabaloo”) as a jumping-off point, you will mine the University Archives to surface the history of student spaces on campus. Who knows, your work might be used to inform the new student union.
Mentor: Jordon Steele
Not Lost in TransLati(o)n
Love studying Latin and solving mysteries? Then use your ever-growing Latin language skills to reveal the content of highly important, but rarely studied rare books held at the historic George Peabody Library. You will get to translate short and interesting Latin texts that date from the Renaissance and after that have never been translated before! See if you can figure out why the books were important, how they became neglected, and why they should be embraced by the masses once more!
Mentor: Paul Espinosa
A Noble Tradition of Fellowship
2018-2019 Freshman Fellows
- Katie Chen: Transcultural History of Tea; Heidi Herr, mentor
- Sarah Elbasheer: It's the End of the Book as We Know It; Neil Weijer, Mentor.
- Michael Harper: Italian Modern Art Movements; Amy Kimball, Mentor.
- Taharat Sheikh: History of Social Justice at Hopkins; Jim Stimpert, Mentor.