Rebecca Kanter

1. What is your specific area of research (include the name of your faculty and/or laboratory)?
My research is titled "The Political Motivations of the European Court of Justice: Expanding Integration through Selective Application of Article 308." My primary area of focus is European Law, but my research also concerns the politics of European Integration. Dr. Wayne Sandholtz in the Department of Political Science is my thesis advisor.
2. When and how did you first get involved in research?

I first developed the original idea for this research project during my sophomore year (Fall 1997) in a course taught by Professor Sandholtz. His "European Union" course introduced me to the general themes of European Integration. I started working on this project in earnest in Spring 1999 in order to develop my senior honors thesis.

3. How has research enhanced you education?

Research has allowed me to explore issues that I am certain no other student in California, and probably no other student in the U.S., is focusing on. I am able to forge new and unexplored areas that I find interesting. The work I have done on this project has forced me to discipline myself to meet deadlines. I enjoyed working independently and becoming an expert on my narrow topic.

4. What has been you favorite experience with research (include any interesting stories or specific events)?
My favorite part of my project was traveling to Europe to use the resources at a Dutch university in order to find the materials I needed for my research. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) cases are poorly catalogued in the UC library system, and searching cases was extremely time-consuming and difficult. While I was studying in the Netherlands in Fall 1999 I was able to access CD-ROM catalogues with all the cases I need, as well as use their expansive collection of texts on my subject. Navigating through the foreign law library and learning to use their resources was an educational and exciting aspect of my research.
5. What are your future plans and how has being involved in research helped to prepare you to meet your goals?

My immediate plan is to attend law school after graduation, with the goal of studying and practicing international law. The research I have done has not only given me in-depth exposure to one facet of international law, but has taught me to focus and apply myself to a challenging project. This discipline will hopefully aid in my success in law school. Moreover, I hope to one day return to a university to teach and research, and this initial experience with research is an important precursor to such a career.

6. What advice would you give to a student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored undergraduate research project or creative activity?

I would advise students interested in pursuing research to find an advisor who sets frequent and strict deadlines, and/or prepare to set such deadlines for themselves. The key to completing a research project with as little stress as possible is to start early and work to meet regular deadlines so that the project does not have to be rushed at the last minute.

Past Researchers of the Month

Dec. '00 Chris Gothard
Nov. '00 Kristoffer Nicolaisen
Oct. '00 Bryan Sommerse
Sep. '00 Ryan Stafford
Aug. '00 Carol Chao
Jul. '00 Gopi Manthrapagada
Jun. '00 Heather Smith
May '00 Pany Tehrani
Apr. '00 Kirsten Cappel
Mar. '00 Shelly Brown-Riddle
Feb. '00 Nader Nassif
Jan. '00 Rebecca Kanter
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