Summer NSF Program

*The postmarked deadline for the summer 2011 program has been extended to April 8.




The UNT Summer Research Program is a national site for one of the National Science Foundation’s “Research Experience for Undergraduate” (REU) programs. It’s a 10 week long opportunity where undergraduates work in close collaboration with faculty mentors and staff to both learn and apply social science research methods, particularly those from a scientifically anthropological point of view.

The program starts out with five weeks of intensive instruction in theory, methodology, data collection and interpretation, research skills, critical thinking, and writing. The instruction will be in the form of interactive lectures, discussions, assignments, and readings.

Following that is five weeks of focused individual research. Participants will prepare a literature review, design research with the help of a faculty mentor, and prepare a proposal to submit to an Institutional Review Board (IRB). After conducting research, students will produce a research report and make a professional poster presentation. Past participants have had the opportunity to publish in an acclaimed online undergraduate research journal, The Eagle Feather.

The UNT REU program is for college students who are between their sophomore and senior years and who are members of groups traditionally under-represented in colleges and universities, including minority students and first-generation college students.

The Purpose of UNT's NSF Summer Research Methods Program is Twofold:

  1. To promote social anthropologically-based scientific research methodologies among under-represented groups as long-term career objectives, and
  2. To develop a collaborative articulation between undergraduate students and research/ mentoring programs such as the McNair Scholars program.

Participants will receive a stipend of approximately $4500 to offset the need for summer work. They receive free housing on the UNT campus.

The program in summer 2011 will take place from June 6 - August 11.

The UNT McNair Program

The UNT McNair Program was designed to promote improvement in the research and scholarship of first generation college students in the United States through student/faculty mentoring, research and study skill enhancement, scholarship and stipend allowances to offset the hours committed to research, and access to resources and programs that aid with graduate admissions.


Program Guidelines

  1. Participants must have earned between 60-90 scholastic credit hours (i.e., be a sophomore or junior status), and be a U.S. citizen.
  2. Participants must meet first-generation criteria and have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0.
  3. Participants will be selected from a diverse group of students that are not traditionally represented in graduate education.
  4. Matriculation to UNT is not a requirement.
  5. The NSF Summer Research Methods Program has an anthropological foundation, but it is not required to be an anthropology major. All social science majors are welcome to apply, though should be able to articulate how their interests and goals fit within a cultural or anthropological framework.
  6. Application must be postmarked no later than Friday, April 1st.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the National Science Foundation?
The National Science Foundation is an independent agency of the U.S. Government, established by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, and related legislation, 42 U.S.C. 1861 et seq., and was given additional authority by the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act (42 U.S.C. 1885), and Title I of the Education for Economic Security Act (20 U.S.C. 3911 to 3922).

2. What is a first-generation college student?
Neither of your parents or legal guardians graduated from a 2-year or 4-year college.

3. What is a diverse group?
Diversity goes beyond race and ethnicity, to include class, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, socio-economic background, educational level, profession and other qualities. Please see UNT's Division of Equity and Diversity.

4. How do I get college credit for the NSF Summer Program?
You must enroll in an independent studies or special problems course at your school for the summer. Contact your department's advisor for the proper course number. Inform your advisor, department and/or registrar that the course should read "NSF Research Methods."

5. What happens if I cannot turn in a complete application?
Only complete applications will be considered. Incomplete applications will not be processed.

6. Do non-traditional students qualify?
Yes. Non-traditional students are welcome to apply.

7. How much is the stipend for the NSF Summer Program?
The stipend will be determined, but it will consist of approximately $400 per week.

8. Is room and board included?
The NSF participants will receive a food allowance and free housing on the UNT campus.

9. Do I have to live in the dorm?
No. You do not have to live in the dorm if you live in Denton or in the immediate surrounding area.

10. Will the NSF program pay for an off-campus apartment?
No. Free housing on the UNT campus is provided for the NSF participants who live further away from Denton.

11. Do I qualify if I'm not an anthropology major?
Yes. The NSF Summer Research Methods Program has an anthropological foundation but it is not required to have an anthropology major. Sociology, psychology, behavior sciences, and other social sciences are welcome to apply.

12. Do I qualify if I'm not a social science major?
Yes. You only have to be interested in the social sciences.

13. What kind of school is the University of North Texas?
The University of North Texas is the largest and most comprehensive research and doctoral degree-granting institution in the North Texas area and the flagship of the UNT System. The University is committed to excellence in teaching and the discovery and application of knowledge through research and creative activities. As the educational leader in the North Texas region, the University is dedicated to the development of the area as the number one region in the nation. For more information, please visit

14. Where is Denton, Texas?
Denton, Texas is about 30 miles north of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. For more information, please visit Discover Denton.



Complete applications consist of three elements:

  1. The completed application form.
  2. An official college transcript.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from people qualified to asses your academic performance, ability, and maturity (usually a professor). Instructions for the recommenders are included as part of the downloadable applicant instructions.

Only complete applications will be considered!
The application deadline for summer 2011 is Friday April 1.

Please mail complete applications to the following address:

NSF Summer Research Program
Department of Anthropology
1155 Union Circle #310409
Denton, TX 76203-5017
FAX: 940-369-7833

For more information you can contact Dr. Beverly Davenport (, 940-565-2292).

Previous NSF Students

Click on the links below to see pictures and short bios about students for each year in the program. You can also click on one of the date ranges to see previous program years:

2007 - 2009  |  2002 - 2006

Summer 2009

We are very proud of the 2009 NSF cohort for publishing their research articles in the 2009 edition of the UNT Journal, The Eagle Feather. Congratulations!

darius Darius Bittle-Dockery
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Eileen Hayes (Ethnomusicology)
Research: Looking for the Perfect Beat: Feedback Loops, Media Panopticism, and the Hip-Hop DJ

Darius is a senior at Tufts University where he plays on the Men's Varsity Lacrosse Team and is involved in several student clubs on campus. Darius’ interests include relationships between media, culture, and identity. He is also interested in metaphysics and epistemology. Bittle-Dockery is currently studying for his BA, majoring in anthropology and minoring in philosophy.

lisagonzalez Lisa Gonzalez
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Beverly Davenport (Anthropology)
Research: On the Line in the Motor City: Narratives of Latina Auto Worker Culture

Lisa is a senior at California State University Fullerton in Fullerton, California. She is pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Radio/TV/Video/Film. Some of her research interests include labor, migrant workers, education, African art, and film history. Lisa is working towards obtaining a Ph.D. in Anthropology and hopes to eventually teach at a university.

sarahgregory Sarah Gregory
Major: Emergency Administration and Disaster Planning (EADP)
UNT Mentor: Dr. Nicole Dash (Sociology)
Research: The Blame Game: Hurricane Katrina Survivors’ Perceptions of a Social Disaster

Sarah is an Honors senior majoring in Emergency Administration and Disaster Planning and minoring in Applied Anthropology at the University of North Texas. Her interest in conflict resolution focuses on increasing cultural competence and augmenting social capital in order to enhance community resiliency. After graduation, Sarah will pursue a Ph.D. in sustainable development.

gibranlulehurtado Gibrán Lule-Hurtado
Major: Political Science
UNT Mentor: Dr. Gabe Ignatow (Sociology)
Research: Young Bolivians’ Perspectives on Globalism and How It Influences Opinions on the New Nationalistic Bolivian Constitution

Gibrán is a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in political science with a focus on global politics. His research interests include politics of the Middle East, world policy on energy and environment, petroleum politics, and Latin American political movements. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he is considering a Master’s degree in international relations.

demarramassey DeMarra Massey
Major: History and Sociology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Doug Henry (Anthropology) and Shimaa Dessouky, MS (Anthropology)
Research: Understanding a Different World: Case Studies of Families and Children with Development Disorders

DeMarra is a senior majoring in History and Sociology at Hiram College. Her research interests include multiple aspects of dynamics of the family, education, race and ethnic relations, culture, and gender relations. After graduating in Spring 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and History from Hiram College, she plans to attend graduate school and pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.

elishaoliver Elisha Oliver
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Beverly Davenport (Anthropology)
Research: Sustainable and Subsistence Providing Spaces Regulated by Public Characters: An Anthropological Study of South Dallas Street Vendors

Elisha is an Anthropology major at the University of North Texas. Her anthropological research interest includes urban and economic development, health disparities of the African-American homeless population, and Latina women and maquilladoras. Her other interest include photography, collage, writing, and film-making. Elisha plans to continue her current research in the fall.

huyentranpham Huyen Tran Pham
Major: Chemistry and Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Doug Henry (Anthropology)
Research: Forgotten but Not Forgiven: An Analysis of the Individual and Social Repercussions of Leprosy

Tran is a senior double majoring in anthropology and chemistry at Emory University. Her academic interests ranges from the fields of medical anthropology, global health, and medicine. After graduation, Tran plans to take a break from school by volunteering abroad, most likely through Peace Corps. She plans on either pursuing an MPH, M.D., and Ph.D. in anthropology, or a combination of the three.

jacquelineportillo Jacqueline Portillo
Major: Environmental Studies
UNT Mentor: Jamie Portillo, MA (Anthropology)
Research: Contextualizing Effects of Public Spheres on Community Socialization

Jacqueline is a senior Posse scholar at Franklin and Marshall College, majoring in environmental studies with a minor in sociology. Jacqueline is interested in spending a couple of years working with Non-Governmental Organizations on community revitalization projects. She intends to go to Graduate school and majoring in Urban Studies.

ranatareeder Ranata Reeder
Major: Communication
UNT Mentor: Dr. Shaun Treat (Communication)
Research: Spanish and the Workplace: How Language Affects Community Formation

Ranata is a current undergraduate at North Carolina State University majoring in Communication. Ranata's academic interest includes media message analysis, language's affect on community, and Spanish. After completing her Communication degree, she hopes to receive her Doctorate in Education in an effort to save America's youth one classroom at a time.

stephenroberts Stephen Roberts
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Beverly Davenport (Anthropology)
Research: Ready for Apocalypse: Survivalism and Stigma in Online Communities

Stephen is a senior majoring in Anthropology at UNT. In Spring 2009, he received the Academic Excellence in Anthropology Award and was inducted into Lambda Alpha, the Anthropology honor society. His research interests include the relationships between public policy and terrorist, millennial, and racist groups, stigma, and alienation. Stephen plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program after graduation so he may pursue his research and teach at a collegiate level.


Summer 2008

We are very proud of the 2008 NSF cohort for publishing their research articles in the 2008 edition of the UNT Journal, The Eagle Feather. Congratulations!

Vadal Bolds
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Nicole Dash ( Sociology)
Research: The “Real” New Orleans: Perceptions of Katrina Survivors

Vadal is a senior at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research interests include Latin American studies, visual anthropology, and the perspectives of New Orleaneans post Katrina.  She is currently researching the effects of environmental degradation on communities, and hopes to incorporate the use of visual mediums in her studies. After completing her B.A she hopes to volunteer in the Peace Corps and pursue a career in law as well as a PhD in Anthropology.
bengaspar Ben Gaspar
Major: Criminology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Ann Jordan ( Anthropology)
Research: Guatemalans in Texas: History, Identity and Culture

Ben is senior at Barry University, in  Miami Shores,FL His research interests include the Maya Diaspora, issues of identity, representation, leadership, class, culture, and politics of immigrants.  Ben is part of the Maya movement, and he hopes to pursue a Master’s degree in Anthropology specializing in Maya Studies.

AndrinaJackson Andrina J. Jackson
Major: Sociology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Beverly Davenport ( Anthropology)
Research: Self Identity and Experiences of Young African-American Women

Andrina is a junior at UNT. She is a founding member of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority at UNT. She plans to continue to graduate school in sociology. Presently, she is focusing on the critical experiences of young African American women and the influences their social environments have on the development of their individual identities.

Afshan Kamrudin Afshan Kamrudin
Major: Psychology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Mark Vosvick ( Psychology and Behavioral Medicine)
Research: Through the Lens of Gender and Sexuality: Perceptions of HIV Stigma among HIV+ Women

Afshan Kamrudin is a junior UNT where she is an active member of the Honors College. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate degree that will allow her to pursue a career in healthcare policy research.

Aleina LeBrake Aleina LeBrake
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Doug Henry (Anthropology)
Hartwick College Mentor: Dr. Constance Anderson (Anthropology)
Research: Indian Immigrants’ Experiences with Health Care

Aleina is a junior at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.  She is part of the Anthropology honors fraternity Lambda Alpha. She plans to join the Peace Corps and later get a Masters degree in foreign affairs. She will be continuing this research when she studies abroad India this fall.

SharayaLlanes Sharaya Llanes
Major: English
UNT Mentor: Dr. Leslie Patterson (Education)
Research: Mediating the Effects of High Stakes Testing Through the National Writing Project

Sharaya Llanes is a senior from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Sharaya hopes to develop ways students and teachers can cope with the demands of federal education policies. Her greatest focus is in serving our keiki (children). She hopes to motivate other students upwards through the same economic and psychological barriers she has faced.  

Joy A. Straley Joy A. Straley
Major: Geography
UNT Mentor: Paul Hudak (Geography)
Research: Assessing Knowledge on the Benefits of the Moringa Tree among Cultures of India, Africa, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean

Joy A. Straley is currently an undergraduate student in the department of Geography at the  University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. Joy currently works as an intern lab technician for Bio-Aquatic Inc., a bio-monitoring lab in Carrollton, Texas.  Joy is also the mother of a delightful 10 year old daughter, Zoe, who will be entering the fifth grade this fall.

Jason Vega Jason Vega
Major: Creative Writing
UNT Mentor: Dr. Doug Henry (Anthropology)
Research: My Anthropological Journey: Auto-ethnography and Cubans in Texas

Jason Vega spends his time in Tallahassee majoring in Creative Writing and reading a lot of American fiction and poetry. He currently entertains the idea of pursuing an MFA in Poetry. Eventually, he would like to create documentary chronicling Cuban migration.

Magaly Velazquez Magaly Velazquez
Major: Anthropology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Sandra Spencer (English)
Research: Puerto Rican Feminist Discourse: Culture Through Narratives

Magaly Velazquez is a recent graduate from Purchase College with a B.A in Anthropology. Some of her research interests include critical narratives, feminist literature, and pop culture in the United States. She will be pursuing an MBA in small business and in due course a PhD in Anthropology.

Alexander T. Williams Alexander T. Williams
Major: Sociology
UNT Mentor: Dr. Gabe Ignatow (Sociology)
Research:The Production of Moral Boundaries: The Influence of New Media on the Immigration Debate in Texas

Alex is a Senior at UNT. Prior to attending the University of North Texas, Alex attended Collin County Community College where he was mentored by Dr. Lisa Roy-Davis.  Currently, he is a member of UNT Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program.  He will be the first person in his household to earn a Bachelor’s degree, and hopes to purse a Ph.D. in Cultural Sociology.


Summer 2007

We are very proud of the 2007 NSF cohort for publishing their research articles in the 2007 edition of the UNT Journal, The Eagle Feather. Congratulations!

Junior, Anthropology and Communication
Trinity University in San Antonio, TX
Mentor: Dr. Lisa Henry

Research project poster

Currently, Ange is a National Science Foundation Anthropology Research Intern at the University of North Texas. Her research interests include understanding peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors towards environmental, economic, and cultural sustainability in order to find a way to better promote the concept of sustainability to the public. Upon returning to her home university, Ange hopes to expand her current research topic by examining perceptions of sustainability at San Antonio colleges and universities. After graduation in spring 2009, she hopes to join the Peace Corps, and then attend graduate school to continue her academic education and research in sustainability.

Senior, Anthropology and Political Science
Weber State University in Ogden, Utah
Mentor: Dr. Lisa Henry

Research project poster

Joy's research interests include, but are not limited to, folk concepts of disease, cultural constructs of the flu versus the stomach flu, conceptions of these two among college students, and perceptions of the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of the flu. Joy’s background in nursing has contributed to her interest in health and constructs of disease in society. Joy has also done research on traditional courtship and marriage in Ireland during a study abroad semester in the summer of 2006. In the spring of 2007, Joy did research working with junior high students and their outlook on attending college. She presented her findings on Perceived Obstacles to Career Goals: Gender, Socio-Economic Status and Ethnicity at the Student Anthropological Annual Symposium at the Weber State University in May 2007. Joy would like her future research to be with woman who have been in abusive relationships and are now in recovery facilities and the community education programs that these outreach facilities have.

Senior, Anthropology
University of North Texas
Mentor: Dr. Beverly Davenport

Research project poster

Rian's current research is on issues of self-maintenance of Type II diabetes and their relation to development of other health complications. After graduation in May of 2008, Rian will pursue a masters and doctorate either separately or together. During her postgraduate studies, Rian plans to conduct research in the field of nutritional anthropology and the role food plays in culture at large. She wishes to combine this interest with her interest in public health and chronic disease. Rian’s ultimate goal is to make herself and her family proud by being the first person in her family to receive a Ph.D.

Junior, Anthropology and Spanish
San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas
Mentor: Dr. Mariela Nuñez-Janes

Research project poster

Jannell’s interests include issues related to race and ethnicity, Latino/a Studies, Political Science and Women’s Studies. Her research with the NSF concentrates on the survival strategies of Mexicanas in the United States. Jannell hopes to continue her research as she completes her BA.

Junior, Anthropology and French
Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan
Mentor: Dr. Doug Henry

Research project poster

Renée is currently conducting research on the social reform activities of late 19th through early 20th century women in the Dallas area. Upon returning to her home university, Renée will continue her research in the city of Detroit to focus on the reform activities there. Eventually, she would like to compare the differences in social reform between Detroit and Dallas obtain her PhD in Archaeology.

Senior, Anthropology and Visual Arts
SUNY Purchase College in New York
Mentor: Dr. Ann Jordan

Research project poster

Jaclyn is interested in cultural anthropology, particularly varying Native American cultures and how they are affected by appropriation and commodification by mainstream cultures. She has completed previous research on the different sub-cultures formed among the employees at Walt Disney World. This past May, Jaclyn has been given the award for Outstanding Junior in Anthropology. She plans on attending graduate school in the fall of 2008 to attain her PhD in either cultural or physical anthropology.

Senior, Psychology
Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee
Mentor: Dr. Christina Wasson

Research project poster

Upon her acceptance to the McNair program at Fisk, she has begun aspiring to attain a Master’s in nursing and a PhD in marriage and family counseling. Stephanie’s research interests include, but are not limited to, physical, sexual and verbal abuse among African American youth, rape & severe trauma coping strategies, understanding the media’s effect of social gender roles & language, holistic health, and the changing conceptualization of motherhood. Her college years have included playing collegiate basketball and volleyball, involvement with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) as well as acceptance into the Phi Theta Kappa (National Junior College Honor Society), and multiple Dean’s Lists (at all the colleges she attended).