ASH Scholars


The Honors College and the Office of Undergraduate Research jointly sponsor and support undergraduate teams of students in the arts, humanities, or social science disciplines, who collaboratively work as members of a faculty-led research or design team.  Any student, regardless of class year, is eligible to participate so long as you are in good standing at MU.

The ASH Scholars Program employs the team approach of research, scholarship, design, and/or artistry, in academic areas where teams may not be the typical mode of scholarly work. It also seeks to integrate undergraduates into the on-going and long-term professional processes or research or artistry and created a model for faculty-undergraduate collaboration here at MU and throughout higher education.

ASH projects take a broad view of ‘research’ and embrace any number of scholarly dimensions, tasks, and approaches that are appropriate to the disciplinary norms well as necessary for the project’s goals.


Active Projects

The following projects are supported and ongoing:

Documenting Luyia

Rylan Batten presents findings on Bukusu verb tone patterns from the Documenting Luyia Together project.

Professors: Michael Marlo (Linguistics, Department of English) • Rebecca Grollemund (Linguistics, Department of English)

This project conducts original research on the Luyian language cluster of western Kenya and eastern Uganda. It has also expanded to include other languages throughout Central Africa. Major projects include linguistic collection, transcription, and the development of linguistic reference sources and dictionaries. This project began in fall 2016.


Close Relationships

Professors: Amanda Rose (Psychological Sciences) • Ashley Groh (Psychological Sciences)

This project focuses on early parent-child relationships, friendships, and romantic/co-parenting relationships. Researchers study the relationship challenges that are important for positive relationship outcomes and how relationship partners respond, on emotional and physiological levels, to stress and conflict. This project started in fall 2017.


The Art of Death

The Art of Death project team meeting.

Professors: Jamie Arndt (Psychological Sciences) • Katina Bitsicas (School of Visual Studies) • Benton Kidd (Museum of Art and Archaeology)

Death and the awareness of mortality is a fundamental challenge for the human condition. This interdisciplinary project explores confronting the reality of death through contemporary and historical artistic expression, and how such expressions influence psychological attitudes and anxiety. The project may involve producing creative projects, reviewing historical art and archaeology, and designing psychological studies. This project was launched in fall 2017.


Minority-Focused News as a Locus of Empowerment

Professors: Chris Josey (Communications) • Andrea Figueroa-Caballero (Communications)

This project is an investigation into the content and effects of minority-focused news. The research will result in the construction of an archive and a longitudinal analysis of minority-focused news outlets. This project started in fall 2019.


Concluded Projects

Visualizing Abolition: A Digital History of the Suppression of the African Slave Trade, 1808-1900,

This project was under the direction of Dr. Daniel B. Domingues da Silva and Dr. Linda Reeder, Department of History (2016-2017). It has led to numerous contributions to academic reference works, research databases (online) and led to a chapter published in Richard Anderson and Henry Lovejoy, eds., Liberated Africans and the Abolition of the Slave Trade, 1807-1896 (University of Rochester Press, 2019).


Scholar Expectations

Students and faculty mentors are expected to meet regularly (at least weekly) as a group and are encouraged to meet with subgroups of students as well.

Student team members are expected to devote a minimum of 8 hrs/week to the project, in addition to the weekly team meeting. The ASH Team experience is designed to be a co-curricular experience and does not carry academic credit.

Undergraduate Team members will be expected to present their work at the Spring Undergraduate Research & Creative Achievements Forum (April). Presentations may be individual or with small groups.

Students will be expected to attend a limited number of special workshops/presentations appropriate to the needs of the students and team project. At least one workshop/discussion will include Responsible Conduct of Research issues.

Scholarship Support

Students who are selected to be members of a team will receive a scholarship for the duration of the academic year in the amount of $2,000.00. Participants are advised that these scholarships could have an impact on their existing aid packages and should seek advice from the Financial Aid Office before agreeing to accept the award and participate.


Any student, regardless of class year, is eligible to apply so long as you are in good standing at MU.  Although the proposed project will be based in artistry, social sciences, and/or humanities, student participants need not be limited to majoring in these areas. Preference will be given to Honors College students.

Please note that program selections will be made contingent on funding. Funding decisions will be determined by July 1.

Applications for the 2021-22 academic year are due by Friday, July 23, 2021.