SARGE to present at Scholar's Table dinner on April 25

The event hosted by the South Asia Research Group will provide students, faculty and staff an opportunity to discuss the research process over a selection of Indian food. 

By Sonya Walker ’20

The South Asia Research Group at Elon (SARGE) will present a Scholar’s Table dinner for students interested in undergraduate research on Thursday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. The dinner will be held in Oaks 212 where students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to gather and discuss the research process over a selection of Indian food. Members of SARGE will briefly present on their projects before hosting informal discussion at each table.

SARGE is co-mentored by Associate Professor Amy Allocco and Professor Brian Pennington, but also involves other faculty members who mentor undergraduate students whose research projects focus on South Asia and its diasporas. The group meets periodically throughout each semester to support the research of its different members who, collectively, represent various majors and minors across different schools within the university.

“We have people in public health, political science, religious studies, economics, anthropology and other disciplines involved,” Pennington said. “We all have a lot in common although we are in different stages of life and in different departments.”

Allocco highlights the dinner as an opportunity to really engage with the research process and the resources available for students, whether that be colleagues, potential mentors, or funding. She also credits Assistant Provost for Communications and Operations and Professor of Exercise Science Paul Miller for developing the concept of Scholar’s Table and shares SARGE’s gratitude for his support in making the event possible.

“Scholar’s Table is intended to offer students an opportunity to hear directly from other students about undergraduate research at Elon,” Allocco said. “It is really powerful for students to learn about their peers’ research projects and hear them describe the research process, from developing ideas, to finding a mentor, to applying for funding, in a relatively informal setting. Scholar’s Table allows students to showcase diverse projects-in-progress and share their perspectives on the rewards and challenges of undergraduate research. We hope that some of those who attend might be inspired to pursue their own faculty-mentored research projects.”

SARGE member Erin Jenkins ’20 emphasizes how meaningful undergraduate research has been for her Elon experience and encourages students to rethink their perceptions of research and envision themselves engaging in the process.

“It’s given me opportunities to expand my writing and research skills and has allowed me to work closely with a faculty mentor while exposing me to an area of the world most of us know very little about,” Jenkins said. “I hope to show the attendees that research is a possibility at the undergraduate level. Until I began my research, I had this perception that the people who conduct undergraduate research are this elite group of scholars that I could never be a part of, but conducting research has shown me that it’s people just like me who do this important academic work on a regular basis.”

SARGE invites any and all students to attend the Scholars’ Table dinner on the 25 to hear and engage with their research projects, progress and process.