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2 juniors awarded Barrett Global Explorers Grant for world travel and research


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“This award is one of the marquee opportunities offered to Barrett students,” said Kyle Mox, associate dean for national scholarship advisement. “Rarely do you find such a generous and flexible undergraduate research grant." Stock image

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May 13, 2024

The Lorraine W. Frank Office of National Scholarships Advisement has announced two winners of the Barrett Global Explorers Grant, which provides $7,500 in funding to support international research projects for juniors in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.

The 2024 recipients are Malachi Vaughn, a computational mathematical sciences major in the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, and Ben Ash, who is double-majoring in history at the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and political science at the School of Politics and Global Studies.   

The Barrett Global Explorers Grant (BGEG) is offered to third-year Barrett students who are preparing to write their honors thesis, the culmination of each Barrett student’s honors experience. Applicants must propose a travel itinerary that will take them to at least two different countries, and their project must require in-person research abroad.

“This award is one of the marquee opportunities offered to Barrett students,” said Kyle Mox, associate dean for national scholarship advisement. “Rarely do you find such a generous and flexible undergraduate research grant."

Photo of Malachi Vaughn
Malachi Vaughn, a junior studying computational mathematical sciences, has won the Barrett Global Explorers Grant for research in England and Argentina. Photo courtesy Malachi Vaughn

Vaughn’s research centers on disease spread in three major cities with unique cultural and geographic characteristics. He will travel to London in June and Buenos Aires, Argentina, in July to collaborate with local researchers and create models of disease spread relative to each city’s layout and transportation infrastructure. Upon his return, he will do the same modeling in Phoenix.

“After obtaining my undergraduate degree, I hope to obtain a master’s and then a PhD,” Vaughn said. “I plan to live and work in developing countries conducting research in applied mathematics. Eventually, I could see myself becoming a professor at a foreign university, continuing to have a strong international focus in my research.”

Ash will research the intersection of youth nostalgia, nationalism and identity in the context of perceived societal decline. His project will take him to England and France. He will be based in London, Paris and Bordeaux, France, with planned visits to Cambridge, Birmingham and Bristol in England.

He will conduct historical, literary and artifact analysis. In addition to structured interviews with academic professionals, he will approach youth on the street and conduct videotaped interviews.

“My main methodology will be street-style interviews, a novel strategy that is condensed, entertaining and accessible to youth,” he said, adding that the end product will be a series of videos as well as a larger documentary focusing on Gen Z identity and nostalgia.

Photo of Ben Ash
Ben Ash, a third-year history major, has won the Barrett Global Explorers Grant for research in England and France. Photo from LinkedIn

“I am a firm believer in the incomparable value of experiential knowledge. I want my life to be rich in travel and cultural immersion, to see as much and know as much about the world as I can. The BGEG experience is perfectly attuned both to my goals as well as the innovative mission of ASU,” Ash said.

Mox said, “We’re all very excited to see the outcome of Malachi and Ben’s work this summer. Both projects are timely in that they seek to ask questions about pressing issues in our global community.”

The next cycle for the BGEG will open in October. Rising juniors who are interested in applying should subscribe to the ONSA Weekly Bulletin to receive updates on deadlines and scheduled information sessions.

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