SOURCE: Keuka College

Keuka College

June 23, 2015 18:00 ET

Keuka College Freshman Presents Research at Yale University

KEUKA PARK, NY--(Marketwired - June 23, 2015) - When George Kotlik came to Keuka College, he never imagined he'd end up at Yale University. But thanks to a paper he co-wrote with Dr. Angela Narasimhan, assistant professor of history and political science, that's exactly where he was this April.

It's rare for even seniors to present their findings at a scholarly conference attended by experts in the field. But Kotlik did so -- as a freshman.

Kotlik brought a research proposal to Dr. Naraminhan last fall. Here's where the interests of student and professor intersect. The question? When students in the U.S. study the American Revolution, is the story told through a purely American point of view? What's the British take on the American War for Independence? To search for an answer, they decided to examine how American government textbooks address that era and why.

The resulting paper, titled "Colonial Controversy: Examining Critical Perspectives on the American Revolution in Undergraduate American Government Textbooks," was presented at the New England Political Science Association conference, held this year at Yale.

Fascinated with early American history since childhood, Kotlik said discussion on early forms of government in Narasimhan's American Government class piqued his interest further.

"The paper examines the American Revolution and outlines, in depth, the British perspective on the Revolution. We took a look at five different American government textbooks and examined the Founding Era in each. What we found was really interesting," Kotlik said. "The books that leaned more towards a pro-British standpoint offered more factual information than those that leaned more towards the American standpoint."

According to Narasimhan, it's extraordinary for an upperclassman to co-author a paper with a professor, let alone a freshman, "and it was a terrific experience for us both," she said. "George quickly distinguished himself from his peers this year, with outstanding academic achievement across the board."

Beyond the process of research and writing the paper, Kotlik said he gleaned experience in understanding the process of peer review that paper proposals receive before they can be accepted for publication in a scholarly journal.

"Attending the conference was a very exciting time," Kotlik added. "Overall, it was a unique experience that I am so thankful for and wouldn't trade for the world. It's all thanks to the wonderful professors at Keuka College."

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Contact Information

  • Contact Information:
    Pete Bekisz
    Director of Marketing and Communications
    Office: (315) 279-5484
    Cell: (585) 766-1304
    Email: pbekisz@keuka.edu