Current Burch Fellows

Madrid K. Danner-Smith

Class of 2018
Hometown: Newark, NJ
Majors: User Interface Design; Minor: Entrepreneurship & African, African American, Diaspora Studies

Madrid traveled to Jamaica to conduct research on the peculiarities of Jamaican Patois and the debate of its recognition as an official language. His work was done through interviews and observations of the native speakers, both public and private figures. His work was geared toward the linguistic appreciation and recognition of the Jamaican language and native languages around the world.

Ad Lane

Class of 2018
Hometown: Holly Springs, NC
Major: Anthropology and Geography; Minor: Neuroscience

Ad spent the summer at the World Expo in Astana, Kazakhstan and beyond on a mission to document the presentation of Kazakh culture. Using artisanship as a lens for analysis, as well as the literal lens of a camera, he contrasted bottom-up and top-down depictions of culture to answer questions of what it means to be Kazakh in a state defined by its diversity and ex-Soviet roots.

Trevor McPherson

Class of 2018
Hometown: Southern Shores, NC
Major: Biology and Music; Minor: Neuroscience

Trevor traveled to Bali, Indonesia, to practice and study Gamelan music. His work examined the rhythmic effects of entrainment between western and Balinese musicians, adding to the small but important inventory of cross cultural literature in musical neuroscience.

Manisha Mishra

Class of 2018
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Major: Biology; Minor: Chemistry/Medicine, Literature, and Culture

Manisha investigated the role of Narrative Medicine and analyzed its effects on empathy training for medical students. She conducted a series of ethnographic interviews and audited classes on the topic at Columbia University. By observing the implementation of this program and researching other institutions’ approaches, Manisha observed and catalogued the methods used to teach empathy.

Ryan Rowe

Class of 2018
Hometown: Durham, NC
Majors: Music and Slavic and Eastern European Languages and Cultures

Ryan studied the effect of the Russian Revolution on local song cultures of the mother village of Lyadovichi, Belarus and daughter village in Akhiny, Siberia as the community separated a roughly a century ago. While staying in the mother and daughter villages, Ryan recorded folk songs and oral histories stemming from the initial move to Siberia through Soviet collectivization to the present day. After two weeks in Siberia, Ryan traveled to Belarus to document the first reunion of the two choirs and the festivities surrounding the local fair.

Max B. Taylor

Class of 2019
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Majors: Psychology

This summer, Max spent his fellowship learning from the best improv institutions in the world: Second City and Improv Olympic in Chicago, Illinois. Max will harness these new perspectives upon returning home to eventually direct the Chapel Hill Players, UNC’s oldest improv comedy group, of which he is the youngest member.


Meet previous Burch Fellows