With the help of UROP funding, Darby Linn, Art History and Strategic Communications (Media Design) major, spent last summer in search of paintings believed to have been confiscated by Nazis in the Second World War.
“I was able to put my passions to practice and make a difference in a real mystery.” Darby says the experience “made my major feel much more valuable.”
Darby’s journey took her deep into German archives and brought to light a family’s story—now preserved in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
“I not only gained a better understanding of WWII history as a whole,” but Darby recalls, “I also was able to connect with a Jewish family through their story of trials and strength.”
Faculty mentors Hope Saska, CU Art Museum Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, and David Schneer, Louis P. Singer Endowed Chair in Jewish History and Professor of History, Religious Studies and Jewish Studies, provided support throughout the project.
“I was always able to walk away from discussions with my mentors with more clarity and confidence in my work.” Drs. Saksa and Schneer “were extremely knowledgeable in my topic and offered valuable guidance throughout the research process.”
When asked if she would recommend UROP to others, Darby is unequivocal: “This has been the greatest experience of my college career. I never thought it was possible to have the university fund my passion and enable me to do the work I have dreamed of doing my entire life. It has been life changing.”
The Lightbulb Moment
The Lightbulb Moment is a story series produced in coordination with CU Boulder's Strategic Relations and college-level communications offices in Arts & Sciences and Engineering & Applied Science that employs student videographers in all aspects of video production.
In these short stories, UROP invites students and faculty to reflect on their interests and experiences as they share the unexpected insights that have illuminated their paths—their "lightbulb moments."
In the video above, Darby reflects on her lightbulb moment for the project. The video was produced by undergraduate Fabiana Byles.
The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers a range of flexible funding options for students and faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder to form partnerships for research, scholarly and creative projects in all majors and fields of study. UROP's partner program PACE (Professional and Academic Conference Endowment) provides funding for undergraduates to present, perform or exhibit their work at conferences and exhibitions.
UROP also hosts outreach events and workshops with campus partners, supports institutional undergraduate journals, produces a regular video series with campus communications, and provides seed funding for units to design and scale innovative activities that engage their students in the academic and creative life of the university.
An active member of CU Boulder's LEAD Alliance, UROP is committed to working with campus partners to broaden participation by addressing deficits in non-STEM fields while clearing conceptual pathways and bridging equity gaps for underrepresented and underserved students—translating opportunity into engagement.