Undergraduate Research & Mentoring Opportunities

Spring 2021

1. Dr. Rachel Kranson (kranson@pitt.edu) has openings for Undergraduate Teaching Assistants for her courses Holocaust History and Memory and Jews and the City, respectively. Eligible students must be religious studies majors who have previously taken the course and earned an A or A grade. Responsibilities will include attending all sessions, leading small-group discussions, conducting exam reviews, and coordinating homework assignments.

2. Prof. Haya Feig (feig@pitt.edu) has an opening for an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant who will work with Hebrew 1 & 2 students. Eligible students must have either earned an A or Agrade in Hebrew 4 at Pitt or can pass a language proficiency test. The primary duties include facilitating Hebrew level 1 & 2 small groups and helping students prepare for exams.

3. Dr. Adam Shear (ashear@pitt.edu) is looking for an Undergraduate Research Assistant (RELGST 1904) for a project entitled “Footprints: Jewish Books Through Time and Place.” Footprints (https://footprints.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/) is a digital humanities project that examines the circulation of books after printing to see patterns of the movement of ideas and texts across space and over time. The project is building a database to track the circulation of printed “Jewish books” (in Hebrew, other Jewish languages, and other books with Judaica content). Much information about the movement of early printed books exists, but in scattered form. All of these individual pieces of data can connect to each other in order to build up a composite view of the movement of Jewish texts and ideas. One way to contribute is to work with auction and booksellers catalogues, from 18th century to the present, to find information about previous ownership. Knowledge of Hebrew is useful but not required. Note: this URA is about data collection and research and not about the database design or the web interface. Students may sign up for 1 credit (3 hrs/week) or 2 credits (6 hrs/week) or 3 credits (9 hrs/week).

4. The Religion and Medicine Initiative (https://www.religiousstudies.pitt.edu/projects/religion-andmedicine-init...) is a new interdisciplinary collaborative at Pitt offering resources for thinking creatively and responsively about the complex, vibrant, and often challenging dynamics evolving at the intersection of health sciences and human spirituality. The goal of the initiative is to foster conversation and scholarship related to human health and to increase the visibility and impact of existing academic and community resources in the Pittsburgh area. Dr. Adam Shear (ashear@pitt.edu) and Dr. Ciulan Liu (cul3@pitt.edu) are looking for URA(s) who will assist them in compiling a working bibliography of published research in this area and in surveying ongoing research, teaching, and clinical activities at institutions in the Western PA region. Previous coursework on religion and health would be helpful. Students may sign up for 1 credit (3 hours per week) or 2 credits (6 hours per week) or 3 credits (9 hours per week).

5. Dr. Shear (ashear@pitt.edu) is looking for one or two UTAs for Religions of the West to assist with leading discussions in breakouts (zoom rooms and cohorts), helping students navigate the materials on the Canvas site, and tutoring students. Eligible students must have taken Religions of the West in the past and earned a A or A- grade. Students may sign up for 2 credits (6 hrs/week) or 3 credits (9 hrs/week).

6. Dr. Brock Bahler (bab145@pitt.edu) would welcome a UTA for his course, Science & Religion. Responsibilities will include attending all sessions, leading small-group discussions & tutoring students, and providing support in developing the Canvas course page & other course materials. Eligible students should have taken Science & Religion in the past and earned an A or A- grade. 

7. The “ReligYinz: Mapping Religious Pittsburgh” project is looking for Religious Studies majors/minors to conduct independent research on the lived experiences of religion in Pittsburgh. The project is a joint effort between Religious Studies and the University Libraries. Participants will enroll in RELGST 1902 for 3 credits, and will be supervised by Prof. Ben Gordon (bdg36@pitt.edu) and Sai Koros, the Digital Humanities Coordinator for ReligYinz. Students will create several multimedia essays for online publication on ReligYinz that relate to the material expression of religion in Pittsburgh, both past and present. Examples include liturgical objects, buildings, memorials, artwork, clothing, food, or music. See https://religyinz.wordpress.com/ for examples and more info.

8. Dr. Rebecca Denova (rid4@pitt.edu) is seeking UTAs for two courses, Varieties of Early Christianity and Construction of Evil in the Western Tradition, respectively. The teaching assistant will keep track of details in the lectures, work with individual students, set up Office Hours, and help run the "review" sessions for the exams. Interested students must have previously taken the respective course.