Student Research

Independent Studies

Independent studies, popular among languages students, provide a practical application of a major or more specialized study in a particular area. Among topics of recent independent studies are the effects of globalization on particular areas of Mexico, an examination of foreign languages in elementary schools and the changing role of women in 20th century Spain.

View Independent Study contract.

Summer Scholars

The Summer Scholars Program at Roanoke College is a grant program that enables qualified students to conduct intensive, independent research for eight to twelve weeks during the summer. To qualify, a student must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and must have completed 8 units of credit by the start of the grant period. Each summer scholar works with a faculty mentor who guides the project. Over the course of the summer, students and mentors meet for a series of colloquia to share ideas.

At the conclusion of the program, a day is set aside to showcase the work of the student scholars. In oral presentations, poster sessions, and research exhibits, they present the findings of their summer-long research, on projects that range from polymer synthesis to the culture of bullfighting in Spain. The Summer Scholar award covers activation waiver for one unit of independent study, on-campus housing, and a stipend of $2500.

Learn more about the program.

Examples of Student Research

  • Code Switching: The Impact of Vocabulary Acquisition in the Bilingual Text and Development of Spanish in Young Learners
  • El Legado de la Malinche y la Virgen de Guadalupe: Neuvas Interpretaciones, Viejas Controversias
  • Mexican Maquiladoras on the Texas-Mexican Border
  • Identity in Science Fiction by Hispanic Women
  • Sociopolitics in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'
  • Studies in French Medical Discourse
  • French Baroque Poetics
  • Founder Documents of Mont St. Michel
  • Paleographic Discourse on the Lineages of the Kings of France
Kaitlyn Bell - “Beyond my horizons”

Kaitlyn Bell - “Beyond my horizons”

Bell credits her success at Roanoke to strong relationships with professors: “They've pushed me to go beyond my horizons... and realize that I can do things that I didn't necessarily think that I could.”

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"Our mission is to give our students the opportunity and the challenge to live multilingually. Proficiency in another language affords privileged access to cultures and communities, providing insights and understanding that is so needed in today's world."

Dr. Charlene Kalinoski

Professor, Chairperson


"Because Roanoke prepared me so well for graduate school, I was able eventually to win a Fulbright grant to do research in Madrid. I never would have taken that step without the cultural exposure I gained at Roanoke."  Read story.

- Bethany Gilliam '06