REU Site Timeline and Highlighted Activities:
Students will be paired with one or more faculty mentors as they participate in one of three research tracks focused on community geography. Participants are required to live in campus dorms and participate in all CSAW REU program activities. There will be multiple program activities, including:
Seminars on Research Methods in Practice: Students will engage in a variety of interactive discussions, activities, and lectures introducing them to community-based research. All sessions will be led by faculty mentors, community partners, and graduate students.
On-Site Fieldwork and Engagement with Communities: 50% of REU site time will be dedicated to intensive on-site fieldwork in Atlanta neighborhoods with the REU team members and community organizations. While in the field, students will actively collect data; in some cases work with human subjects, including underrepresented groups; engage in community stakeholder discussions; and share progress updates and preliminary findings with community partners.
Community Geography Research Symposium: The final days of the REU site will be dedicated to formal presentations of student research and to a closing discussion of the importance of community-based geographic inquiry in urban social and environmental disparities research. To create a symposium that rivals a professional meeting, the site will host a keynote speaker: Dr. Jonnell Robinson, the Community Geographer at Syracuse University. The symposium will be open to the university, community partner organizations, and the general public.
Research Ethics, Responsibilities and Reflection Activities: Each student will also spend some time reflecting on the roles of research ethics, positionality, and identities in community-based research. Students will engage in structured group/individual discussions and personal reflection time, including the development of a personal field journal.
“What Next? Life after Undergraduate” Discussions: Through the REU site undergraduates can gain a better sense of their research interests, abilities and limitations, and future plans. REU mentors will work with undergraduates to foster continued discovery of interests and professional paths. Some activities include: individual faculty mentoring, group mentoring discussions, professional networking discussions, and practice graduate school interview sessions.
Extra-Curricular Activities: REU students will live together in GSU campus dorms and engage in a variety of social and team-building activities around the city of Atlanta, including the following possibilities: tours of the city, the Dekalb Farmers Market, barbeques at local parks, an Atlanta Braves game, the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca Cola, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Museum, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Stone Mountain Park, and Six Flags over Georgia.