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Using photographic images from the past and present, and original works that envision the future, Nicole Kozyra ’05 (Marlton, N.J.) and two other EXCEL Scholars created a 130-foot mural for Farinon College Center that highlights Lafayette’s continuing evolution. They completed the piece in collaboration with Curlee Holton, associate professor of art and director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute, as a Community of Scholars project.

A double major in art and English, Kozyra also worked as an EXCEL Scholar with Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor and head of foreign languages and literatures, reading and analyzing articles written about the Neisse region where Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia meet.

In Lafayette’s distinctive EXCEL Scholars program, students conduct research with faculty while earning a stipend. The program has helped to make Lafayette a national leader in undergraduate research. Many of the more than 160 students who participate each year share their work through articles in academic journals and/or conference presentations.

The articles Kozyra studied in the German-language journal SODA, which was published from 2000 to 2004, discuss the myriad cultural events that are helping that region develop a new identity.

“There are language barriers. German, Polish, and Czech are all spoken in the region so the people are interacting and communicating with each other through these cultural events and overcoming that language barrier,” she says.

She wrote an essay that eventually will become part of her mentor’s book, which describes how the magazine contributed to the region’s search for a new cultural identity.

Kozyra is a member of the German Club, the Delta Phi Alpha German honor society, and Phi Beta Kappa. She tutors students in German, has written for The Lafayette, and previously tutored for America Reads.

As a national leader in undergraduate research, Lafayette sends one of the largest contingents to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research each year. Forty-two students were accepted to present their work at last year’s annual conference.

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars like Kozyra receive special financial aid and distinctive educational experiences and benefits, including a three-week, Lafayette-funded study-abroad course during January’s interim session between semesters. Marquis Scholars also participate in cultural activities in major cities and on campus, and mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty.

Categorized in: Academic News