CU Boulder’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) is pleased to announce Nicholas Turco, undergraduate Political Science major, as this year’s Savit Scholar.
Under the mentorship of Dr. Nancy Billica, Political Science, Nicholas is conducting a “Case Study on the Policy and Culture of LGBTQ+ Athletes at CU Boulder.”
With roots deep in the Boulder community, Nicholas is proud to attend CU and encouraged by the opportunity to make a positive impact in athletics.
Nicholas is a runner with the Run Boulder Athletic Club’s post-collegiate team and also works as a legal researcher at Colorado’s Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC), which provides representation to indigent individuals charged with crimes.
In April, Nicholas was awarded a UROP student grant, which will provide financial support for the project through the Savit Family Endowment.
Since 2017, UROP has selected one outstanding student each year for the Savit Scholar designation, which is awarded to students whose work promises to push boundaries and create new space for creativity, expression and connection.
Nicholas hopes his work “will allow professionals and student athletes to celebrate success and improve upon weakness in sports culture at CU and equip our athletic department to serve as a model of inclusion across the nation.”
The Savit Scholars are supported, in part, by the Savit Family Endowment, which provides funding to enable innovative, faculty-mentored undergraduate projects at CU Boulder.
Fascinated by innovations in wearable technology and driven by a passion for dance, 2017 Savit Scholar Emily Daub developed integrated, responsive lighting systems for costumes that expand the creative possibilities for performance art and open new ways of thinking about apparel design.
Moved by stories heard in a Boulder retirement community, 2018 Savit Scholar Sean Guderian pushed the boundaries of testimonial theatre with How to Leave a Battlefield, a stage play composed from recorded interviews with veterans reflecting on their transition to civilian life.
Intrigued by the storytelling potential of cinematic virtual reality experiences but frustrated by interactivity challenges, 2019 Savit Scholar Lillie Bahrami incorporated unconventional user control methods to create more compelling, educational, and empathetic content.
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.