For the second year in a row, an SU PHIST student’s research was chosen by the National Council on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) for presentation at their national conference. Scotten’s research regarding Maryland’s US Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War highlighted issues of geographic mobility and technical skills among many of the African-American enlistees. Scotten was the only student in SU’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) to have been selected.
Scotten’s research was unique in his decision to use descriptive statistics as a way to identify specific variables for further research. His database existed on Ancestry.com as the US Colored Troops (USCT) Company Descriptive records.
Having developed a procedure for selecting records randomly, Scotten drew over 400 samples from the Maryland enlistees in the national database. Using the SPSS statistics package, Scotten analyzed the descriptive statistics generated from the dataset and used those statistics to help frame historical research questions. Some of Dan’s findings included the unexpected geographic mobility of African- American men during the period, the importance of African-American enlistees in protecting white Maryland men from the draft, and an unexpected distribution of technical and professional skills among the African-American men in the sample.
Dan, a member of the Stevenson Honors Program, is also a senior RA in the dorms. While in the long term Dan is interested in going to graduate school, he will be employed at Johns Hopkins this summer as a leader in their youth program.