Inquiring Young Minds

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Sharon McCoy

Victor Orellana

Deep Shah




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Inquiring Young Minds

Sharon McCoy


Sharon McCoy

When Sharon McCoy tells people she’s working on “the Roswell Project,” she doesn’t mean U.F.O.s. The international affairs and Spanish double major studies various segments of the Hispanic population in Roswell, Atlanta, Augusta, and Athens, GA. “I’m studying how a language such as Spanish is perceived by its speakers as it changes from generation to generation, and how it is affected by its environment, says McCoy. She also wants to look at how native Spanish speakers influence changes in the English language. “I want to see whether these changes are in accordance with regional differences characteristic of the Spanish language,” she adds.

As the daughter of an Air Force officer, McCoy spent a good deal of her youth abroad in Europe. That, along with the influence of her bilingual Filipino mother, sparked an early interest regarding how language affects culture. CURO gave McCoy the chance to explore the field of sociolinguistics under Chad Howe, assistant professor of Spanish. 

In addition, CURO gave McCoy the opportunity to expand her knowledge about research in other areas. “I especially appreciate how CURO encourages us to delve into and appreciate interdisciplinary research,” she says. “Every semester CURO apprentices visit a lab or research area of another student from a different discipline. I not only have the opportunity to improve my research skills but also to learn about the research of others.”

McCoy was awarded the mid-term Foundation Fellowship in spring 2008. She plans to attend law school and hopes someday to become a U.S. ambassador to Latin America or the United Nations.



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