Independent study projects allow students to work closely with a faculty members to explore research interests. The Berry Center provides support for group independent studies as well as individual research projects. To obtain Berry Center support for independent study projects students need to contact the Berry Center associate director, and then complete an application and follow application guidelines.  

Independent Study Projects Supported by the Berry Center

Students in H1N1 course in front of White House

H1N1: Risk and Response: During the 2009-2010 academic year, former Cornell President Les Garner and Professor Barbara Christie-Pope (biology) co-taught an independent study, entitled “H1N1: Risk and Response”, designed to investigate the public health response to the H1N1 pandemic. The participating students were Aye Mon '11, Yuri Mitchell '10, Eli Wade-Scott '10, and Mikelle Wortman '10.

The students reviewed the scientific literature and government documents, and examined the reporting of the public health response in the popular media. Four areas of the government response were investigated: surveillance, mitigation, communication and immunization.  The on-campus research was followed by a study trip to Washington, D.C. where President Garner, Professor Christie-Pope, and the students interviewed government officials about the public health response, including the director of medical preparedness policy in the National Security Council at the White House. The students prepared a research paper and reported their findings in an on-campus public forum.

Uruguayan Blueberry Case Study

Blueberry Farming in Uruguay: Jeff Curran '09 and Audrey Saunders '09 traveled to Uruguay in February 2009 to study a budding blueberry farming venture on the outskirts of Montevideo. The students visited the farms and interviewed managers, workers and local businessmen. They investigated challenges created by weather conditions, labor costs, and intense competition in the global marketplace. The students used the findings from their field research to prepare a case study in international business. Former Cornell President Les Garner provided mentorship for the case study.

Independent Study Projects

The Pullman Archives at the Newberry Library:  Mara Oda ’10 had the opportunity to conduct primary research in U.S. business history at Chicago’s noted Newberry Library. Under the guidance of Professor Santhi Hejeebu (economics and business), Mara studied the 1943 antitrust court case that led to the breakup of the iconic Pullman railroad company. The Newberry Library houses an extensive archive of Pullman company records, enabling Mara to review primary legal documents such as the complaint and the briefs. The independent study was built off a paper Mara wrote in her “Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in U.S. Economic History” course. The research project enabled her to do cross-disciplinary work in her two major areas of study, politics and economics and business.

To learn more about independent study supported by the Berry Center,
contact the Berry Center Associate Director.