Inaugurated in 1999, The Edith Hamilton Scholars Program affords Bryn Mawr seniors an opportunity to pursue a unique course of study of particular interest to them while working with a mentor who has expertise relevant to the subject matter. Participation in the program is open to all rising seniors who desire to undertake a rigorous project, for which they receive neither credit nor grade, in addition to their regular academic courses. Scholars are chosen late in junior year through an application process that includes a written proposal and interview before a faculty and administrative committee. Following the completion of her project, each scholar delivers a convocation about her topic.
History of Black representation and production in film, television, and streaming entertainment media
Alexis is investigating the presence of black performers and producers in epochal moments of film, television, and streaming services. She is intrigued by how different media change how black performers and producers access and influence the entertainment industry. These questions have grown from her own experiences as an actor, and she is passionate about understanding this history. She would benefit from work with an historian of media or African American studies who can guide her reading and research questions and give feedback on work that arises from it.
Hindu Influences on the Western Counterculture Movement in the 20th century and contemporary pop culture
Allie is investigating how the countercultural movement in the US and UK in the mid 20th century was fundamentally influenced by the world's oldest religion. She will use this historical research to understand and identify how contemporary Western popular culture wellness movements retain that Hindu influence. She is interested in working with a mentor who is an historian with knowledge of the counterculture movement or its era who can guide her reading and research and give feedback on her analysis of the cultural exchange.
Emily is investigating different narratives and documentations of epilepsy in historical and cultural comparison. She asks: "What factors have influenced the understanding of epilepsy in each community? How is societal understanding of epilepsy different in various cultures and what is the influence of the stigma on the individual?" Ultimately, she would like to use this research in service of countering current misconceptions about epilepsy. She would like to work with a mentor who can guide her research in medical history, anthropology, or cultural studies.
Ethical Brands and Branding in the Beauty Industry
Hannah is exploring the history of brands and companies that promote ethical values in the beauty industry. She would also like to analyze the current market in pursuit of developing her own brand. She would like to work with a mentor who can guide her in how to analyze brands, markets, and industries, both historically and today.
The Science of Taste perception Applied to Chocolate Chip Cookies
Madeline is interested in investigating the science of taste perception, both from a biological and psychological approach. She would then like to use what she learns about taste perception to develop her own experiments in recipe design in the pursuit of understanding why tastes are satisfying to different people. The vehicle for this experimentation will be chocolate chip cookies. She is interested in working with a scientist in related fields of biological and nutritional sciences, neuroscience, or psychology, especially someone connected to the Monell Center. Later in her work, she will also seek a food scientist or recipe developer to work with as she applies what she learns.
Developing Music Therapies for Patients with Developmental Disorders
Rory is researching how music therapy can benefit patients with developmental or neurological disorders or injuries, especially those served by Kennedy Kreiger in Baltimore. She wants to learn what studies have already been done investigating music therapy as well as how studies in the field are developed and carried out. She seeks a mentor, particularly at Kennedy Krieger, from whom she can learn about the practice of developing studies and programs to benefit patients.
Shreya is researching the quantification of happiness, beginning with the recently released UN World Happiness Report. She aims to apply what she learns about methodologies and findings to the Bryn Mawr community by developing her own studies and recommendations. She has identified a "star" in the field whom she would like to pursue as her mentor, but if that does work out, she would like to work with a sociologist who can guide her in reading the research and developing her own methodologies.
The History and Influence of Women in Espionage and Intelligence Fields
Sloane is passionate about learning all she can about women in the history of espionage in the 20th and 21st centuries. She would like to work with a mentor with knowledge of 20th century international relations, espionage, or a related field to guide her research and research questions. Later in her project, she would also be interested in working with a practitioner in the intelligence community to learn about the current field and the presence of women in it.
Stasia is exploring her fascination with the origins and legacy of the archetype of Eve -- the mother of humanity, the original sinner, the original rebel. She tracks this figure widely, from classic texts of English literature to the HBO series Westworld. In her project, she will read widely in literature to understand this figure in service of her own creative writing. Ultimately, she will write science fiction short stories informed by this legacy. She seeks a literary mentor who can guide her reading and a creative writer, especially one with experience in science fiction, who can give feedback on her own work.
Gaby investigated the art found on decks of playing cards from an art historical and cultural comparative lens. Driven originally by her love of playing cards and card games, she pursued a research question about how culture influences the art found on the decks. She selected and analyzed decks from Japan, India, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and found that legal status of and attitudes toward gambling and gaming class shaped the art. Gaby delivered her findings about these cards to the community, sharing both the beauty and the complex histories that can be found on these objects. Gaby worked with Dr. Sonja Kelley, professor of Art History, Theory and Criticism at MICA, who specializes in the visual art of East Asia.
Gillian researched the relationship between history and musical theater in order to create a workbook to be used as a supplement to a middle school history curriculum. She narrowed her scope to three musicals -- Six, Les Miserables, and Hamilton -- and sought ways to use them as pedagogical tools for middle schoolers. The resulting workbook endeavors to help students with both historical knowledge and critical thinking about the past. She delivered the results of her work to the community, conveying both new ways of looking at musical theater and her own passion for the art form. Gillian worked with Dr. Gretchen Carlson, full-time lecturer in the Department of Music at Towson University.
Julia completed a project exploring common tropes found within horror movies, asking questions about what these movies reveal about our cultural and individual fears. In the movies Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, and The Stepfather, she identified and analyzed the common tropes of The Final Girl, The Terrible Place, and, in her own contribution to the discourse about horror movies, The Perversion of Innocence. She delivered her findings about these movies to the community, arguing that despite plot and sub-generic differences, they share more in common when we consider what fears they evoke. Julie worked with Dr. Lorrie Palmer, professor in the Department of Electronic Media and Film at Towson University.
Riya researched the problems facing homeless veterans in Baltimore as well as the programs and supports available to support this population, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She gained extensive knowledge both through research of the relevant sociological research and through interviews with people experiencing homelessness and those who work to support them. She used this knowledge to create an informational video to raise awareness about the needs of the homeless veteran population. She delivered her findings about the complex and interwoven problems to the community, as well as an excerpt from her film. Riya worked with Mr. Christopher Buser, Clinical Director of the Post-deployment Health Reintegration Program at the VA Medical Center and with Dr. Ann Elizabeth Montgomery, professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.