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.
Margaret is researching the causes of the strikingly low number of female choreographers in ballet and modern dance companies and exploring whether this lack of female choreographers may be a result of the longstanding negative gender roles that pervade dance. As a personal response to her research, Margaret will choreograph several short pieces of her own, each centered on an inspiring woman in her life who has encouraged her to push boundaries. She will showcase these works, as well as share some of her research findings, with the community to introduce and explore the gender complexities of dance choreography. Margaret is working with Candice Webster, a dance instructor at Towson, and Nicole Martinell, the artistic director at Deep Vision Dance and an adjunct instructor at Towson, as her mentors.
Sarah is studying the intersection of the Neanderthal and Human genomes and the effect of Neanderthal DNA on human evolution. She is comparing the human and Neanderthal genomes as well as studying reports on ancient Neanderthal fossils, which will hopefully lead to clues regarding the physical appearance and behavior of the species. Sarah is working with Dr. Briana Pobiner and other researchers from the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian as her mentors.
Deirdre is researching the relationship between Johns Hopkins and its surrounding neighborhoods. The tensions between the University/Hospital and the surrounding communities have been much discussed, but little concrete research has been conducted thus far. Deirdre is working with a team of researchers at John Hopkins to examine new sets of data, particularly the views of residents reflected in the social networking site Nextdoor, to collect the true perceptions and attitudes of the East Baltimore community to Johns Hopkins. Deirdre hopes that the data derived from her project will help inform the ways Johns Hopkins interacts with the community. Deirdre is working with Dr. Philip Garboden, Director of the Poverty and Inequality Lab and Professor of Sociology at John Hopkins, as her mentor.
Sage is researching gender biased policing in Baltimore and other American cities, looking particularly at the ways in which the Baltimore P.D. investigates rape and sexual assault cases. This is an especially timely topic, given the Department of Justice’s study of the Baltimore P.D. last year, which revealed a long history of mishandled cases and lack of empathy for victims among the detectives. Sage is creating a documentary film based on her research, featuring interviews with victims and their advocates, police officers, DOJ officials (hopefully!), city officials, and city residents. Sage is working with Dr. Leigh Goodmark, professor of law and Director of the Gender Violence Clinic at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, associate professor of communications and African and African-American Studies at Loyola University, as her mentors.
Mina is creating a senior level elective class on the history and culture of Cuba. Her course explores the historical and cultural origins of the sense of joy that pervades the lives of the people of Cuba today. While providing the students with a firm foundation in Cuba’s history and culture, Mina hopes to inspire them to think more deeply about their own culture in contrast to that of Cuba and to consider the origins of cultural happiness. Mina is working with Erica Geltman-Linardi, a Spanish teacher at Baltimore Lab School and the daughter of Jewish Cuban immigrants, Dr. Caridad Nussa, professor of Spanish, Towson University and a Cuban immigrant, and Dr. Takara Brunson, assistant professor of History, Morgan State University, as her mentors.
Caroline is updating her grandfather’s work on the sustainable development of the Severn River basin. She is creating a report describing the status of the approximately 50 ecologically significant green spaces in the Severn River region, which were originally identified in her grandfather’s book Gems of the Severn, a conservation survey completed in 1988. Through the process of discovering the fate of each natural area through tax data, Google maps and onsite visits, Caroline is seeking to learn the conservation, zoning and ownership status of each property, thirty years since the last documentation. She also hopes to meet with individuals working to preserve land locally to get a better understanding of land preservation efforts and methods. Caroline is working with Alyssa Domzal, a partner with the Ballard Spahr Law firm specializing in real estate conservation law, as her mentor.
Eliza is researching and photographing Maryland’s unique ecosystems, particularly the invasive species that humans have introduced into those ecosystems. As she discovers more about these invasive species, Eliza is creating a photographic record of the damage they have wrought to the state’s native plants and animals. Eliza is working with Brooks Paternotte, director of the Irvine Nature Center, as her mentor.