"As a student who came to college from a city public school, it was my own undergraduate research experience with Ethnography of the University Initiative that led me to graduate school....As an undergrad I realized that I could mobilize EUI knowledge on racism at the University, professionally, privileging cultural anthropology methodology of participant observation (i.e., deep hanging out) and collective engagement with the University community, through research, writing, and teaching. Over the course of my post-secondary education experience I have developed my academic and activist engagement with the EUI project, which critically interrogates the University." read more...
"I learned a lot about the University and my consultants, but I also learned a lot about myself, about my own identity, and where I wanted to be 2, 5, 10 years from now."
"EUI gives the student such a sense of ownership and pride over what s/he has accomplished. For once, we are able to draw our own conclusions from our own data. Writing a paper based off of all secondary research is one thing, but conducting your own investigations is something entirely different, entirely more engaging and impactful."
"EUI gives both students and faculty a better understanding of each other. It provides students a glimpse of what it is like to conduct research, but it also allows professors to understand what their students truly are interested in and how they are as individuals it helps to bridge the professor-student gap."
"EUI offered a great hands-on experience that taught me not only about subject matter but the people as well. I genuinely liked spending time with my informants."
"I think the university and local community could benefit by this research to learn more about the people who are behind the scenes keeping this institution running and who many times aren't recognized for the work that they do."
"I recommend EUI classes to everyone, if only for the opportunity to conduct your own research as an undergraduate."
"I think the community benefits from this research simply by having the opportunity to learn how students view the surrounding areas here and the university itself. Sometimes townies can forget what it's like to be a university student here. The university benefits in a similar way, especially since the university as a whole has a tendency to focus on graduate work, so this is a great chance to hear the 'undergraduate voice.'"
"I took the Ethnography of the University course as a second-semester senior, and it changed the way I experienced the University. I wish I’d had the opportunity to get involved with the project sooner in my Illinois experience. I know it's going great places, and I’m proud to have been a part of it!"
"EUI allowed me to conceptualize how my dissertation project relates to experiences on a college campus. I was able to see how the various ethnographies done within the college setting can speak to larger social processes."
--Stan Thangaraj: Graduate student, Anthropology
"That project, to this day, remains the most interesting research project that I have ever engaged in."
"The Ethnography of the University Institute brought me into contact with a diverse and dynamic group of administrators, faculty, and graduate students committed to the study of education. Our discussions continue to inform and enrich my research into the history of women in education."
"The EUI experience provided an informative, collaborative way of research development and presentation."
--Angela Stenson, Yang Zhang, Karl Guider
"By asking questions, gathering data, and investigating solutions we were able to provide analysis on the university's involvement in New Orleans."
--Frankye Payne, Joel VanEssen, Brian Sheehan
"To allow students' work and research to be archived for future use is a powerful tool for the University."
--Jennifer Duffy, Caroline Schreiber, Matt Dixon
"After a semester of working on this topic, I have both learned a lot and have gained an appreciation for how much I still have to learn. I would be very interested in continuing this topic as a senior thesis, if it is possible."
"I must confess that at first I was very hesitant about doing fieldwork so 'close to home' but have found the whole experience extremely rewarding. I also plan to try to follow up on my research for this class and try to do something with all my findings on graduate student health issues and concerns. My Inquiry Page, as well as those of my classmates, have proven to be great resources."
"I appreciate the way in which an EUI project fosters continuous thinking and the way in which questions, approaches, and results are re-evaluated with every new entry to the inquiry page. It is also extremely valuable to see other students' pages and to interact through comments back and forth."
"I really loved how EUI made you explore questions that you have. It gave the readings even deeper significance because I was constantly trying to see them in relation to my project."
"I have greatly enjoyed working on EUI and was glad to have had to opportunity to participate in such a project. I really enjoyed being able to hear about other students projects as well as work on something that I had never done before."
"EUI was an entirely new experience for me. Usually we read materials and synthesize information, but it seems as though our critiques stay within the classroom setting. In this class, I felt like I was actively engaging in the analysis of our university and its broader implications. I liked that I felt a part of what we were studying instead of just a disconnected student."
"I think that this EUI project is a really exciting step for students to be involved in ethnographic research but also prepares and ignites the mind to start thinking differently about naturalized, unquestioned, unnoticed behaviors, ideas, practices in our culture and society."
"EUI is an excellent idea: for an undergraduate student to be able to mix ethnographic reading and analysis with actual fieldwork is an amazing opportunity, one that I am glad to have been a part of."
"I really enjoyed doing this EUI project. This was something I have never done before, so it took me awhile to get used to the whole mechanics of researching and field work. I now see the value in this type of research, and I have new found respect for it."