2012 Sturgis Extended Essays (Spring 2012)

Congratulations Class of 2012! ~ Julie Carman, IB Coordinator

Congratulations to the 56 Full IB Diploma candidates who completed their Extended Essays in January! This is our largest number of seniors to date who have selected to pursue the Full IB Diploma. It was wonderful to witness so many seniors proudly display their gold stars down the senior hallway after turning in the final drafts of their Extended Essays.  Gretchen Buntschuh began this tradition of placing a large gold star around the necks of each senior in recognition of their accomplishment. The Extended Essay is a 4000 word essay that is closely aligned with the characteristics described in the Learner Profile.  Students become intellectual risk takers and are responsible, to a large extent, for their own independent learning as they are required to acquire and communicate in-depth knowledge of their unique topic.   Externally assessed by IB Examiners around the world, the Extended Essays this year were shipped to a wide variety of destinations, including: Kenya, Hong Kong, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the West Indies.  We are proud of these students for completing one of the most challenging aspects of the Full IB Diploma Curriculum.

Writing the Extended Essay – A Tool for Meeting the Sufficient  Conditions for Success ~      Jim Buckheit (Sturgis East Theory of Knowledge)

Qualifying for college commands inordinate attention from high school students and their parents, spawning an entire industry dedicated to the padding of résumés and gilding of lilies. Yet every year, the most selective colleges turn away nine supposedly qualified students for every one they accept. Many would-be matriculants, having misdirected a great deal of effort to enhancing their profiles, feel let down by their high schools, their counselors, and even their special tutors or life coaches.  Clearly a shift of emphasis is in order.

Getting ready for college is basically getting ready for life. One notable similarity is in what college admissions officers and employers are looking for, beyond necessary basic skills. They are both seeking prospective members of their organizations who are curious, self-aware, self-directed, resilient, and collaborative – people who will bring something to the table that contributes to health and growth of their communities. How do you develop such traits? How do you demonstrate you have them? It takes more than doing your homework and passing your exams, important as such basics are, and certainly more than racking up club memberships and service hours.

We educators have our own versions of these questions. Given how much we prompt and cue, given how carefully we structure the experience of the students within our subjects, how do we step back and evaluate how effectively our broader lessons have taken? The students may be able to solve a quadratic equation, enumerate the causes of a world war, or parse the meaning of a metaphor in a poem – and thereby pass their exams. But how do we know that they can think on their feet? How do we know they can answer a question they care about? For that matter, how do we know they care about anything?  For that we need to set them loose a bit and see what they do on their own. That’s what the “IB Core” is about.

The IB Core is composed of three requirements all diploma candidates must meet, beyond the exams and projects by which they are assessed in six traditional academic subjects. They must demonstrate critical insight and independence of thought in their TOK (Theory of Knowledge) oral presentation. They must demonstrate initiative and reflective capacity in setting up self-educating activities in the community through CAS (Community, Action, & Service). And they must demonstrate sustained interest, research skills, and a developed point of view in their Extended Essays.

The Extended Essay is a 4000 word paper representing about 40 hours of research and writing. It is more than a term paper, since it pursued outside the students coursework, and it must present an actual argument, rather than a mere reporting of what experts have to say on a topic. The extended essay is based on a focused research question that must be “contestable” in some way, and the students’ arguments must connect published research to their own thoughts on the question. While they aren’t expected to generate the kind of new knowledge typical of a doctoral thesis, their essays should present original thinking and a clear, defensible point of view.

It sounds ambitious, but student testimonials affirm the value of the exercise.

A Sampling of 2012 Extended Essay Research Topics

The following students were selected by their advisers to be featured in this article. Each entry includes name of student, field of study, extended essay title, research question and abstract. We hope the description of their various topics will help illustrate the range and scope of 2012 Sturgis Extended Essays. 

Madeline Arnault ~ Art

Frida Kahlo’s Emotional issues in her Paintings A Few Small Nips, HenryFord Hospital and Self Portrait with Cropped Hair

Abstract:

Frida Kahlo used her paintings as an outlet for emotional troubles. Three paintings in particular show her pain: HenryFord Hospital, Self Portrait with Cropped Hair and A Few Small Nips. These paintings demonstrate the emotional turmoil present in her life. With background knowledge, these paintings can be analyzed to show specific references to her life, however, they also contain symbolism relevant to everyone. Kahlo uses her art as an outlet for her personal troubles and pain. She uses her most raw emotions and transforms them into artistic expression.

Madeline Arnault: “Frida Kahlo’s paintings evoke a deep personal reaction in me. In their vividness and surrealistic interpretation of real-life events, Kahlo draws me in and invokes a sense of experience as though I had lived through her life’s events as well. The quality of her paintings is what drew me to her in the first place.  Her paintings will stay relevant no matter how long they are viewed because the themes portrayed and the symbols used are timeless.” Madeline plans to study Art at Hampshire College.

 Omar Bennani ~ History

American Intervention in Chilean Coup D’état of 1973

Research Question: To what extent was American intervention responsible for the Chilean Coup D’état of 1973?

Abstract:

The Coup of 1973 in Chile was a momentous event in world history. It marked the downfall of the first ever Marxist to be elected as president. Much evidence supports the fact that for many years throughout Chilean history the United States of America had a profound influence on the economic and political scene. Only after the Cold War, was the extent of covert American intervention in Chile revealed to the public. It is for this very reason that I decided to investigate whether or not it was the same American intervention that was responsible for the Coup of 1973.

This paper will use the context of the time period in order to examine American responsibility. This will be achieved through an analysis of the long-standing history of American-Chilean relations, dating back to the 19th century. Furthermore, the covert actions of American institutions, such as the CIA, will be assessed by using a variety of primary source documents, many of which are directly from the national archives, in order to understand what exactly occurred.

American intervention in Chile was a major factor in the Coup which removed President Salvador Allende. For many years, American corporations profited in Chile, however, when threatened by the rise of Socialism, it became the responsibility of the American government to protect these foreign interests. Through a variety of methods; including propaganda and coup platting, organizations such as the CIA and 40 Committee managed to create an unstable atmosphere in Chile, setting in place all the necessary pieces for a coup to happen. While there may not have been direct involvement, American intervention was very responsible for the events that occurred on September 11, 1973.   

Omar Bennani: “Once you realize how much information is out there, you have to be focused on your question… (The Extended Essay) confirmed my interest in international relations, but also showed me that I have a lot of work ahead of me.” Omar plans to study International Relations in college.

Jacob Brown ~ English

The Setting in Brave New World and 1984

Research Question: How do the contrasts and similarities in the physical, political and psychological setting of Brave New World and 1984 convey the shared vision of their authors in a world controlled by dystopia?

Abstract:

This essay will examine the use of setting in 1984 and Brave New World and the intention of the authors conveyed therein. The scope is limited to the setting within these two novels and includes only the physical, psychological and political setting types. The conclusion reached states that although the two books have entirely different types of settings; they both convey the same message: a fear that humanity will be enslaved to a dystopian government.

Jacob Brown:  I chose my extended essay topic based upon earlier schoolwork on the subject of dystopia in classes I had previously taken at Sturgis which piqued my interests on the topic. In addition, pleasure books I read in the time period before my EE (The Giver, The Hunger Games, etc.) contributed to my interests. I will attend a college for Engineering, most likely WPI or RPI.

Kyra Dauwalder ~ English

Survivor’s Guilt in The Book Thief and Slaughterhouse Five

Abstract:

This extended essay investigates the theme of survivor’s guilt in two novels: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Both works deal with the understanding of survivor’s guilt as a result of World War II.  In The Book Thief the narrator, Death, is a character who tries to understand survivor’s guilt. In Slaughterhouse Five, the author, Kurt Vonnegut, tries to understand his own survivor’s guilt after surviving the war through his work. This investigation is on the characters Death and Vonnegut use to help answer their questions about survivor’s guilt and the similarities between their conclusions.

In order to make sure the reader understands each work well and the conclusions made in the end, each novel’s plot is discussed in the beginning, one at a time. First, The Book Thief is addressed, where the plot, characters, guilt and the literary devices that are used to help portray guilt are discussed. Afterwards, the same topics are discussed in Slaughterhouse Five. After the reader has a better understanding of both works and the theme of survivor’s guilt within them, the comparisons of the two works begins where similarities between the main points are given.  Finally, I end with my conclusion. The conclusion that is made about the quest both Death and Vonnegut go on to understand survivor’s guilt is one that ends without any answers. Instead, both Death and Vonnegut have more questions about human nature. Death wants to know why humans can be so contradictory, selfish and selfless, among other things why Vonnegut’s question of “why me? Why did I survive the war?” is replaced with “why any of us?” In the end, humans are just too complicated to understand and therefore survivor’s guilt is impossible for Death and Vonnegut to ever comprehend.

Kyra Dauwalder first read these books for pleasure and decided it would be interesting to study them in greater detail. Kyra plans to study Cultural Anthropology at Smith College.

Fallin Dennen ~ History

Dangerous for Democracy: A Study of Hyperinflation Induced by Central Planning Policy of the Weimar Republic Government from 1919-1923

Research Question: To what extent was central planning on the part of the government the cause of hyperinflation and what effect did inflation have on the citizens in Weimar Germany from 1919-1923?

Abstract:

This extended essay investigates the causes of hyperinflation in Weimar, Germany, focusing specifically on the government’s role of central planning in monetary policy and its effects on the people of Germany. The scope of this investigation is the period following World War I, 1919-1923. The origins of the Republic are rooted in the Great War, the burden of previous debt and the agreement of reparations payments with the Allies. Once the Germans surrendered to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, they lost territory and raw materials, which reduced economic output. As unrest grew, the Democratic government built on a faulty Constitution increased frustration as leadership constantly changed. The lack of stability led to economic policy decisions like printing money and the disassociation of the currency with gold. These policies allowed for inflation to take root and the government lost control.

When the economy was on the brink of failing, economists John Maynard Keynes and Frederich A. Hayek commented on Weimar, each with opposing ideas. Keynes said the government should monitor the economy while Hayek said there is benefit in letting the free market reign.  The events of Weimar exemplify the dangers of too much government involvement in the economy. The significance of the economic struggle lies in the effect it had on the people of Germany. Loss of financial security led to mass starvation and homelessness.  However, the effect of the Weimar hyperinflation of 1923 is still felt today. As Europe slowly moves toward economic failure, the only country still secure is Germany due to the memories of the past and the impact the inflation still has on people today. This topic was chosen because of the pertinence of economic failure and debt around the world. These countries could benefit from studying the hyperinflationary period of Weimar, 1919-1923.

As Fallin Dennen pursued her interest in the politics and economics of the Weimar Republic, she discovered that her questions became better informed as she followed a process of successive narrowing of her scope, first on the specific problem of hyperinflation and then on the time frame of 1919-23.

Jonathan Earle ~ Biology

An Investigation into the Effect of Invasive Marine Macroalga, Green Fleece (Codium fragile subsp. Tomentosoides) on Populations of Hard-Shelled Clams (Mercenaria mercenaria)

Research Question: What effect does the population density of green fleece (Codium fragile subsp. Tomentosoides) have on the population density of quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria) at Colonial Acres Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts?   Abstract:

There have been a number of studies on the effects of the invasive marine alga Codium fragile subsp. Tomentosoides (green fleece) on shellfish. I noticed however, when I was looking for an essay topic that there was no research (or at least I could not find any at the time) on the alga’s effect on Mercenaria mercenaria (the quahog).

In this essay, I investigated the effect of the population density of green fleece on the population density of quahogs at the Colonial Acres Beach.  To investigate this, I first used a random number program on my computer to pick areas along the beach to sample with a qudat. From this sampling, I found a number of quahogs with attached Codium fragile on their shells, and a number of quahogs without the attached Codium. I then calculated the population density of each group and compared them.

My results were inconclusive although I did decide that more biological research should be done regarding the green fleece-quahog relationship to clarify how Codium fragile actually attaches to the quahog in the first place.

Jonathan Earle: “I chose to study Codium fragile subsp. Tomentosoides because it too is an invasive species and it threatens the coastal ecosystems of my home: Cape Cod Massachusetts.  I believe life is inherently valuable so it would be a shame if we carelessly allowed for invasive species such as Codium fragile to wipe out a native species.” Jonathan plans to study Biology or a related field in college.

Hazel Fargher ~ History

Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920

Research Question: For what reasons has the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920 been forgotten by America’s collective memory? 

Abstract:

This investigation examines the reasons why the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920 has largely been forgotten by American society. It considers the influenza pandemic in the context of World War I and life immediately after the war, and how these conditions contributed to this phenomenon. The scope of the investigation covers from the start of the pandemic in June 1918 to the end of the pandemic in early 1920, and focuses on American soldiers, civilians, scientists and politicians.

The investigation concludes that there are several factors that caused Americans to forget about the Influenza Pandemic. First, World War I covered up the initial spread of the pandemic, as politicians and newspapers misrepresented it in order to keep up morale on the home front. Deaths in America were overshadowed by the high death tolls of young soldiers. After the war, there was no permanent social change because of the swiftness of the disease. Most of the short-term social effects were due to temporary fear. Also, people might have been inclined to forget about the pandemic because they were ashamed of the violence and fear fostered by the influenza. Only scientists continued to study influenza, but no cure was discovered, and during the time of the pandemic the science of medicine had been discredited. Finally, women saw different sides of the pandemic, but since women were not historians at that time, there is little information about the flu from a woman’s perspective.

Hazel Fargher first learned about the pandemic through a documentary she saw in 7th grade. The film made such a lasting impression on her,  she decided to choose the pandemic as her research topic to learn more. Hazel plans to study Mathematics or Chemistry in college.

Heather Glenny ~ Spanish

Telaraña de Sangre: El Uso de Palo Mayombe para Sacrificio Humano por Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo

Pregunta de Investigación: ¿Con cuales métodos, y con qué resultado, usaba Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo adoctrinamiento religioso para lograr sus objetivos?

Resumen:

Como nos encontramos en lo fuerte de la guerra más grande y violenta de narcóticos en México,  es pertinente explorar la historia cultural y religiosa del país en búsqueda de una explicación. La siguiente investigación descubre el cuento de un culto mexicano del siglo XX, acusada por más de 20 cargas de asesino y narcotráfico a través de la frontera de los Estados Unidos. El líder Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo era practico de la religión afro-caribeña se llama palo mayombe y les convirtió sus seguidores a esta religión. Esta investigación explora ¿con cuales métodos, y con qué resultado, usaba Adolfo de Jesús Constanzo adoctrinamiento religioso para lograr sus objetivos? El escudriñamiento tiene un ámbito de los años en que el culto era activo (1988-1989), la vida de Constanzo (1962-1989), y el origen de palo mayombe en África y Latino América. Testimonio primario de los miembros del culto, investigación de historiadores, y evidencia antropológica fueron sintetizados para llegar a la conclusión que Constanzo quería lograr su primer objetivo de obtener poder y controlar las vidas alrededor de él. Para hacer eso, usaba ritos tradicionales de palo mayombe y otros métodos de manipulación no religiosos para que pudiera inculcar miedo en sus seguidores y en las comunidades de la frontera. El resultado era no solamente las muertes de sus víctimas, pero también la destrucción de los comunidades de la frontera y el deterioro adicional de la imagen público de la religión ya incomprendida de palo mayombe.

Heather Glenny wrote her Extended Essay in Spanish (not her mother-tongue) about a notorious religious cult in Mexico. She explained, “I knew I wanted to study people, but a historical approach would not allow me to examine beliefs and motivations. I’m really glad I developed a research question in the area of Spanish language and culture, because it confirmed my interest in either anthropology or Latin American Studies as my college major.” I asked Heather how she chose her topic. Here is her response: “I selected it in a super organic way (which I think is the best way to go about it), as one night I was just hanging out with a friend and we decided to watch a scary movie (they’re one of my passions). The film, called “Borderland” was based on a true story, so I got home the next day and was so curious I had to Google it. I fell in love with the topic and decided there was no better way to spend the next year than studying something so intriguing! I didn’t have to force myself to come up with a topic, it just kind of came about, which is what I think made the process more enjoyable.”

Brandon Keefe ~ Environmental Systems and Societies

Privatized Agroforestry’s Role in Haiti’s Future

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the question, “To what extent does privatized agroforestry hold promise as a means of reversing Haiti’s deforestation crisis?” In order to do this, a case study in which this strategy was actually put into practice in Haiti is evaluated.  Thais was called the Haitian Agroforestry Outreach Project. It was done by the United States Agency for International Development in partnership with the University of Main and took place from 1981 to 1991 in Haiti, which would be the main scope of the investigation, although in order to fully answer the question it was also necessary to look into the hypothetical future of Haiti’s environmental and socioeconomic well-being.

Based on the data from the Agroforestry Outreach Project and an analysis of the current factors preventing environmental progress, the investigation concludes that privatized agroforestry is indeed a viable option for Haiti’s future. This conclusion was reached based on the evidence which shows that such a strategy takes into account all three of the major aspects of sustainable development: social factors, economic factors, and environmental factors.  It was demonstrated that privatized agroforestry, if practiced on a wide enough scale, has the potential to improve Haiti’s environmental issues and the economy at both the level of the nation as a whole and on the level of the individual.

Brendon Keefe had done a course-based project on environmental policies in Caribbean states, which led to deeper and more sophisticated questions. He believes his Extended Essay on reversing deforestation in Haiti will lead to further research in college. He also said he valued the project because “I enjoyed the independence, learning things on my own, and I enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the question. I really like discovering things on my own and building bridges between different subjects.”

Anna Lieberman  ~ Theater 

Liebe Macht Frei: An Exploration of the Portrayal of Love as a Journey in Martin Sherman’s Bent

Research Question: How does Martin Sherman utilize both physical and psychological journeys to portray love as a quest in his play Bent?

Abstract:

This essay focuses on answering and exploring the research question “How does Martin Sherman utilize both physical and psychological journeys to portray love as a quest in his play Bent?”  Bent is a story that very clearly focuses on both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, a topic that has been explored many times over by many different authors; however, Sherman takes a unique perspective on it by choosing to deal with the poignant topic of homosexual love in Nazi Germany. His play closely follows the short journey of one gay man, Max, from the Night of the Long Knives until his death in Dachau, a tragic story that does not leave much room for romance. Thus, it is remarkably fascinating that Sherman’s play is ultimately a love story, and not purely a dark tragedy. Clearly, this relies on the particular way in which Sherman represents love – as a journey, not just a destination.

Because there is little published literary analysis of Bent, (especially in regard to my research question) the scope of this essay mainly focuses on my own personal analysis of the work, with support from the few critical essays that do relate to the subject matter. I chose to hone in specifically on the portrayal of love as a psychological journey, as the topic of love in Bent in general is far too broad to explore in one essay.  Through paying close attention to Sherman’s use of characterization and symbolism, the conclusion was reached that Sherman takes Max on both a brutal physical and emotional journey, ultimately granting him the Holy Grail that all voyagers eventually tend to stumble upon – self-discovery. In Max’s case, self-discovery brings with it not only self-acceptance, but also the ability to love others as he loves himself.

Anna Lieberman is an accomplished literature student who is active in theater but decided some time ago to study psychology in college. She focused her essay on the theme of “love as a psychological journey” in Martin Sherman’s play Bent. She credits the project with deepening her interest in both fields and helping her focus on the quality of her writing. She is pleased with the way the Extended Essay granted her the opportunity to explore interests outside of the Sturgis curriculum; her EE was a conglomeration of her love of theater, history, the LGBTQ community, psychology and literary analysis.

Danielle Newcombe ~ History

Causes of the War of the Roses

Research Question: To what extent were the effects of the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) the cause of The War of the Roses (1455-1485)?

Abstract:

To what extent were the effects of the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) the cause of The War of the Roses (1455-1485)? The scope of the investigation is from 1337, when the Hundred Years’ War began to 1485 when

The War of the Roses ended. To a large extent, The War of the Roses was started by the Hundred Year War.  I had originally thought that this was the main cause of the war; however, there are several other causes that also had an effect on the causes of the war. The fact that Henry VI was a very weak king had far more to do with it. There had been succession problems for forty years, and no one had questioned the legitimacy of the monarchy until then. Also, although the war was terrible and caused social unrest, The War of the Roses was not brought on by a social uprising so that eliminates the Hundred Years’ War as a possible cause. In truth, The War of the Roses never would have happened if these events had not come together as they had and are therefore all important. However, the only one that could have prevented the war, and was the greatest cause of The War of the Roses, was the personalities of the ruling class, especially King Henry VI. I determined which of the causes of The War of the Roses was the greatest by looking at each of them and how it related to the start of the war.

Danielle Newcombe is bound for a career in engineering but used this project to nurture a longstanding interest in British history, which is likely to remain an avocation. A work of historical fiction aroused her curiosity about the causes of the Wars of the Roses, and this led to extensive research on its connection to the Hundred Years’ War.

 Vani Patel ~ Psychology

Jacob or Jordan: Does it really make a difference?

Research Question: To what extent is the self-fulfilling prophecy a significant factor in helping explain people’s behavior in relation to their name?

Abstract:

This essay investigates the research question: To what extent is the self-fulfilling prophecy a significant factor in helping explain people’s behavior in relation to their name?

To begin, this essay defines the term self-fulfilling prophecy by presenting its historical importance and the studies, which led to its present day significance. Since children’s behaviors are found to be more malleable by other’s expectations, the influence of other’s expectations on children was frequently looked into. Evidence showed that other’s expectations of an individual could be due to the individual’s name. Additionally, these individuals tended to live up to the expectations of others. However, there was not a significant difference in the results. Therefore, the tendency of the individual to fulfill the expectations could have been caused by a variety of contributing external factors.

The socioeconomic status was also evaluated in terms of how it affected an individual’s behavior. Evidence showed that the socioeconomic setting could influence criminal, academic and sexual behavior. The individuals from well off socioeconomic settings tended to positively influence the individual leading to less chances of criminal behavior. In the end, the strength of the evidence helped prove that the self-fulfilling prophecy is not that great of a significant factor in explaining people’s behavior in relation to their name.

In this investigation, it was concluded that to some extent the self-fulfilling prophecy is a significant factor in helping explain people’s behavior in relation to their names. However, there are criticisms of the supporting evidence. Therefore other factors had to be evaluated. In this investigation the significance of the factor of socioeconomic status was analyzed. Evidence displayed that the socioeconomic setting of an individual is also influential on his/her behavior.

Vani Patel: Parents should learn that properly naming a child is significant but nothing to overly stress about or pay excessive attention to. A child can live up to his/her name but it is more likely that his/her behavior is due to the environment in which the individual was raised. Providing proper resources and setting a proper example of positive behavior have been shown to greatly influence behavior. In the end, being a good parent is more significant and influential than picking the best name possible for one’s child.

Daniel Snyder ~ Environmental Systems and Societies

An Evaluation of the Effect of Water Contamination on Breast Cancer Incidence on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Research Question:  To what extent does water contamination effect breast cancer risk on Cape Cod?

Abstract:

Scope:  This paper mostly examines possible influences of environmental factors on breast cancer incidence, focusing not only on water contamination and its effect, but also pesticides, PAVE PAWS, and air pollution due to the Massachusetts Military Reservation.

Conclusions:  The conclusion reached is that the effect water contamination has on breast cancer incidence on Cape Cod cannot be clearly identified as it is influenced by a multitude of factors and there are still many more which we do not know about. Although the established risk factors are known, the other factors that contribute to an increased risk have not been able to be identified.   Environmental exposure factorsare still being researched, and some of the associations have been made. Associations have been made between PCE exposures as well as groundwater plumes from MMR, and elevated risk of cancer. These associations however do not explain the elevated risk of breast cancer, but may be factors influencing it. It can be speculated from the animal testing and the profuse use of pesticides on Cape Cod that this may influence the breast cancer incidence rate, but through studies done by the LIBCSP this has been disproven. PAVE PAWS was also thought to influence breast cancer incidence, but the NRC disproved this in 2001. Those who lived closer to the MMR had elevated risk of breast cancer due to the air pollution coming from the military base.  However, this is a small amount of the population on Cape Cod, and therefore cannot explain the elevated incidence rate.          

 Daniel Snyder is a prospective chemistry major who conducted epidemiological research on the incidence of breast cancer on Cape Cod and its possible relationship to water contamination. He concludes, “The research was challenging, and I found myself wishing I had refined my question further. But it was really worth doing, and I know I want to study science in college.”

Faculty Reflections

 Peter Richenburg, Art

It seems that no matter how much I think I might know about a particular topic in art, I always find some new truth or fact that my EE advisees uncover.  For example, Dee Moquin did a paper on the iconic painting “The Arnolfini Marriage” by Jan Van Eyck. Her research revealed that the painting itself has actually used as part of the marriage contract – I didn’t know that.

Alicia Watts, English

 A student I advised last year wrote on two novels that most teachers consider fluff: The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. I was skeptical, and told her so, about the literary merit in these two novels, although I hadn’t read them in some time and couldn’t be sure. She proceeded anyway, following her heart and her passion for literature.

I’d like to say I contributed to the perfect, yes perfect (not just an “A”) score she earned. In fact, I had only given her the vocabulary (“Bildungsroman”) to propel her forward. However, the grade she earned was all hers and I was delighted that my first EE advising experience ended so well.

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