The world finds Nitze Scholars in a wide range of walks of life. Cookie cutters have their place...in the kitchen.
The Nitze Experience
The Paul H. Nitze Program offers:
- three special seminars for each student
- cultural outings to DC/Baltimore paid for by the program
- special meetings with high-profile campus visitors
- an international study tour paid for by the program
- a stipend of $3000 per year for participants
Where Are They Now?
This is a reasonably up-to-date list of Nitze alumni.
(Nitze alumni coming across this page should update me.)
We didn't start systematically keeping track of alumni until those who graduated in 2004, so my information on earlier students may be incomplete. I'll add as I get it.
This list does include ALL Nitze Scholars who have graduated since 2004, both those who have lived their post-SMCM lives according to a very focused plan, and those who are still sampling what life after St. Mary's has to offer.
This lists the student's major, minor (if any), and then the title and description of their St. Mary's Projects (SMP), which are the year-long senior project. About half the majors at SMCM require the SMP, and all students have the option of doing one. About 2/3 of SMCM students do an SMP. Completion of an SMP is a requirement of the Nitze Scholars Program.
Also here are Nitze Scholars' post-graduation activities and/or plans.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2013 at a glance
Majors: Economics and Public Policy Studies
Minors: Mathematics and Political Science
SMP title: "The Urban Informal Economy in Developing Countries: Causes, Consequences, and Recommendations"
SMP description: For the foreseeable future, developing countries will be marked by two phenomena: rapid urbanization and increasingly informal economies, making the urban informal economy vitally important to the future of those countries. Its principal causes are rural-to-urban migration combined with the failure of the formal economy to generate employment opportunities, causes which are unlikely to change in the near future, leaving informal employment as the reality for much of the global population for decades to come. While the informal economy does pose governance issues, it also provides life-sustaining employment and potential wealth for many in addition to other benefits. While the most commonly prescribed policy solution is that of formalizing the informal, such an approach would be of minimal benefit at best and catastrophic at worst, devastating the livelihood of millions. Instead, a policy of partial formalization programs with narrow, specific goals paired with support for the most vulnerable sectors of the informal sector is the best course of action for governments of developing countries.
After graduation: I will be taking a few years off to work before pursuing graduate studies, likely in either international relations or international development. In the immediate interim, I will be spending one month in the MiddCore Immersion Program, a mentor-driven, experiential-learning program at Sierra Nevada College.
SMP title: "New Methods of Synthesis for Asymmetric Aryl Substituted Viologens"
SMP description: Viologens are electrochromic materials, which means that with the application of certain electrical currents, they change colors. This is useful in many applications, such as OLED televisions and rearview mirrors. They also are very good at storing charge in a stable state, and have been used in solar panels as well. We attempted to synthesize a new viologen with different properties. Adding one group to the end used an easier method, but the other group required the used of a reductive elimination with an Iodonium salt. This method proved to be successful, but it did not produce a high quality yield, and further research is necessary.
After graduation: I begin the Ph.D. program with a focus in Organic Chemistry at University of California, San Diego. This program takes an average of 5 years, and after that I will likely do a year or so of post-doctoral studies. I'm not sure where I want to go from there, but it should be exciting!
SMP title: “Rhetoric of Black Character in the Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Poetry During the Civil Rights Movement”
SMP description: Through an analysis of the rhetorical styles and techniques of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the poetry of the Civil rights movement, we can understand black thought and sentiment in the ultimate inclusion of African Americans as equal citizens, but also the constant struggles against racial prejudice, primarily in the America of the 1960s.This analysis exposes the development of an African-American identity, one that has become an integral part of American culture while simultaneously uniting African-Americans as a group, which is a value that has remained precious and sacred to black life.
After graduation: I've applied to teach English in Spain for eight months beginning in early October, but won't hear back until the summer. In the meantime, I've been looking into internships in the field of public relations, a summer job, or just enjoying a smooth transition of doing absolutely nothing but enjoying my family, my friends, and life after college.
Major: Political Science
SMP title: "Revising Our Social Contract to Save the World - Achieving Sustainability through Political Theory"
SMP description: As Daniel Quinn explains in his book Ishmael, the idea that we exist separately from the natural world and that it exists for our convenience is a central principle of civilization. This meme permits us to dominate and abuse the environment to satisfy even our most trivial desires, and is the ultimate reason for the climate crisis we currently face. The only way to permanently fix this crisis is to change the way we think about ourselves in relation to the environment and to each other. Quinn calls those who believe the world was made for man “Takers” and those who live in harmony with the environment, as other animals do “Leavers.” I argue that the philosophies of Hobbes and Locke share many foundational ideas with the Takers, while Rousseau’s philosophy demonstrates similarity with the Leavers. This being the case, we can attempt to save our planet by adopting Rousseau’s philosophy, which acknowledges and supports our naturally empathetic and cooperative tendencies, as our new societal model. This will produce a sustainable society because it fosters a sense of community and interconnectedness that encompasses not only other people but the environment of which we are an inextricable part rather than the acquisitive individualism that drives Locke’s philosophy.
After graduation: I will take a year off and work, as a claims rep at a Maryland insurance company. Eventually I may make my way to grad school for a master's in Political Theory.
Majors: Biochemistry and Physics
SMP title: "The Effects of Neonatal Ventral Hippocampal Lesions on Sex Differences in Pre-pulse Inhibition and Set-Shifting Ability in Male and Female Rats"
SMP description: Clinical studies have indicated that sex differences arise in the severity and onset of cognitive symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Animal models of this disorder, including the neonatal ventral hippocampal lesion (NVHL) model, have long been applied in an attempt to elucidate this disease’s complex etiology. However, relatively few studies have examined sex differences in cognitive deficits within the NVHL model. In an attempt to further understand the neurobiology underlying symptoms of schizophrenia, this study examined sex differences in the NVHL for two classically-impaired abilities in patients with the disorder, sensorimotor gating and behavioral flexibility. Using a pre-pulse inhibition task to examine sensorimotor gating deficits, results indicated that NVHL rats had significantly impaired PPI relative to controls. Although no effects of sex were observed on percent inhibition, there was a trend towards a significant interaction between sex and treatment which suggested that sham females exhibited greater PPI than males or NVHL females. On the set-shifting task, there was a trend towards significant shifting impairments in the NVHL although again, no significant sex differences were observed. These results suggest only minor sex differences appear in the severity of deficits for the cognitive tasks examined, although more research is necessary, first to confirm this observation for either task and then, before any predictions can be made about the underlying neural mechanisms of the model. Only after the mechanisms underlying the behavioral abnormalities of the NVHL are understood can comparisons be drawn to the causes of schizophrenia itself.
After graduation: In August 2013, I'll begin the doctoral program at the Neuroscience Graduate Studies Program at The Ohio State University. From there, I am currently keeping my options open but will likely pursue further research opportunities in the field of neuroscience.
Majors: English and Spanish
Minor: Religious Studies
SMP title: "Mothers, Saints, and Spirits: Reincarnation of the Female Body Politic in Argentina"
SMP description: If popular Western stereotypes depicting Latin America as anti-feminist and pro-machista are true, how is it that Argentina has a twice-elected female president, twice as many women in Congress as the United States, legalized same-sex marriage and freedom of gender identity laws? This project investigates this paradox by exploring the transformations of female political identity in Argentina from the early 20th century feministas, through 2 epochs of Peronism and a military dictatorship, to the present day. Each epoch in history dramatically redefined the Argentine national family and gender identity. I consider, in particular, the maternal and gendered rhetoric of Eva (Evita) and Juan Perón after women’s suffrage and the creation of an entirely female branch of the Peronist party, led by Evita herself. To further this study, I analyze the changing discourse of el tango, a cultural barometer of Argentina that reflects both an adoration and fear of female power. I then contrast this with the rhetoric of motherhood used in military propaganda during the “Dirty War” (1976-83) alongside Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, a group of mothers that challenged Dirty War rhetoric. Ultimately, I argue that although the terms describing political women remain unchanged, their connotations are no longer archaic but revolutionary. Current president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner draws from this transformed maternal discourse to construct her image as la madre política, la virgen y la santa, as well as devout widow to president Nestór Kirchner. It is not in spite of her biological sex, but rather because of the social, cultural, and historically transformed definition of la mujer that Fernandez de Kirchner not only resides but also redefines Argentina in la Casa Rosada.
After graduation: In August I will move to St. Louis to serve as a Jesuit Volunteer Corps member at the St. Patrick Center. I will be serving as Programs Coordinator of City Seeds, an urban farming initiative that uses therapeutic horticulture to serve clients overcoming substance abuse, chronic mental health illness, prison release and/or homelessness. After my year as a JV, I hope to apply to graduate school for a dual Masters in Social Work and Divinity.
Majors: Political Science and Public Policy Studies
Minors: Biology, Economics, Environmental Studies, and French
SMP title: Carbon Taxation: Turning Dirty Words Into Clean Action
SMP description: Carbon taxation is a policy tool that the United States should implement in order to address its high volume of greenhouse gas emissions as they are contributing to the likelihood of catastrophic global warming. A carbon tax is the most economically efficient way to achieve the intended results, allows enough policy design flexibility to assuage concerns about economic growth and regressive socioeconomic impacts, and presents both major political parties and diverse interest groups with the potential for compromise. While the adoption of a unilateral carbon tax is certainly not a perfect solution, especially given that some major economies do not currently have any carbon pricing mechanisms in place, such unilateral action could provide a new front for American environmental foreign policy. A post-carbon tax U.S. would now have an incentive to demonstrate new global leadership that could ultimately encourage international peers to follow suit.
After graduation: I will be attending the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy to pursue a Master's degree. There I will be specializing my studies in environmental policy and international security and economic policy. Upon graduation I will seek employment within the federal government, likely either as a policy analyst for the Environmental Protection Agency, a Civil Service Officer for the State Department, or a policy advisor to a member of Congress.
Major: Computer Science
Minors: Mathematics and Spanish
SMP title: "Using Open-Source Intelligence to Track Criminal Application Developers"
SMP description: In this project, we utilized the information present on the Google Play Store, one of the most popular smartphone application markets, in conjunction with an open-source intelligence analysis software tool called Maltego to develop methodology for tracking down the developers of suspicious applications. As a result, we were able to connect the information presented on the store page to a real-life identity. This methodology can be utilized by law enforcement to locate and prosecute criminal developers.
After graduation: I plan to work in the field of Computer Science while simultaneously exploring a career as a fiction writer. To that end, I intend to pursue graduate degrees in both fields.
Majors: Spanish and Latin American Studies
SMP title: "From pistols to pamphlets: How a socialist revolution created a feminist movement in Nicaragua"
SMP description: The Sandinista revolution is considered by many Nicaraguans to be a great triumph, not only because it successfully drove a first world power (the USA) from Nicaragua, but also because it set the stage for major social progression within the nation through educational programs. These educational programs significantly raised the literacy rate, and proved to be the impetus for a feminist movement in the nation. This SMP follows the relationship between the Sandinista movement and the feminist movement; from the amiable beginnings through the growing tension and to the eventual split of the movement. It will characterize the past, present and potential future for the feminist movement.
After graduation: I plan on taking a one- or two-year hiatus before going to medical school.
SMP title: "A Critical Look at Metaphysical Individualism in Matters of Personal Identity"
SMP description: This project engages with what it means to have personal identity over time. Tracing the origins of contemporary discussion back to John Locke, I engage the transplant intuition thought experiment as representative of the method by which most philosophers weigh in on matters of personal identity. As such, many philosophers understand the sameness of personhood to be what’s at stake in matters of personal identity. These accounts tend to be underpinned by metaphysical commitments to individualism. In contrast, I take Paul Ricoeur’s idea of narrative identity to help us recognize the way a self is constantly emerging to enact permanence in time. Six distinct reasons are provided to be critical of accounts stemming from metaphysical individualism, and some positive arguments for an alternative model referred to here as ‘situated identity’ are provided in the concluding remarks.
After graduation: Who knows? I hope to spend a good deal of time outside. I enjoy working with kids, especially in an outdoor setting, and I'd like to see a bit more of our beautiful country. In addition, I'd like to keep studying philosophy. Hopefully, a graduate school will have me one day. So for the summer of 2013 I returned to a supervisory position at the outdoor education camp in NC that I've worked at. Then in the fall, I returned to St. Mary's, to work full-time at Evenstar organic farm, to sit in on additional philosophy classes, and to serve as a course assistant for Philosophy 101.
Majors: Biology and Mathematics
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Modeling Blue Crab Growth in the Chesapeake Bay"
SMP description: I built on previous works studying blue crab growth to develop a growth model for the Chesapeake Bay. This model first used growth parameter estimates based on a Florida field enclosure study and then compared the predicted adult size distribution to what was actually observed. Next I re-estimated these parameters for a better fit. The new parameter estimates led me to conclude that in the Chesapeake Bay growth is slow and females mature later than in the study used for the original model.
After graduation: I am currently on a plane heading to London where I'll be starting a two month backpacking trip across Europe. When I return, I will prepare to start graduate school at UMD's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory on Solomons. There I will be working on a masters thesis concerning mortality rates of juvenile menhaden and how variations in such rates affect stock assessments.
SMP title: “Return What Is Ours: Buy Local! Safe Communities, Food Access, and the Economic Potential of the Hispanic Community in Baltimore City”
SMP description: Considering this growth and the entrepreneurial nature of immigrants, this investigation suggests that making small business start-up resources better accessible, linguistically and culturally, to immigrant business owners benefits both the immigrant community and the general population. Moreover, this project draws specific attention to the cultural connection between immigrants and food, as well as the expansion of the Hispanic population out of southeast Baltimore into other areas of the city, to indicate a potential relationship between the promotion of immigrant-owned businesses and the efforts to combat the city’s food accessibility crisis, or districts known as “food deserts.” To assess the impact of small, immigrant-owned businesses on the greater Baltimore City community, the investigation considers factors such as urbanization, race, immigration politics, and urban decay. The project concludes that while immigrant-owned small businesses do not provide a single solution to the food desert problem, their presence in food desert zones provide a necessary commodity and further strengthens the existing community.
After graduation: After school I am returning to Baltimore City to work. So far I've applied to a number of jobs at health clinics, women's centers, and schools, and I'll be interviewing for an AmeriCorps fellowship after graduation.
SMP title: "There's No Place Like Home: An Econometric Examination of Foreclosure and Homelessness in California, 2003-2010"
SMP description: In 2007, the United States housing market suffered a foreclosure crisis precipitated by the burst of the housing price bubble. My St. Mary's Project looks at this crisis in California, and seeks to establish a relationship between the foreclosure rate and the rate of homelessness in California following the crisis. To this end, I constructed an econometric model of the rate of homelessness in California that contained the following independent variables: rate of foreclosure, median home sale value, unemployment rate, per-case welfare expenditure, and average adjustable mortgage rate in California from January 2003 to December 2010. Ultimately, my model implies that the rate of foreclosure and the rate of homelessness are positively related, and so as the rate of foreclosure increased following the housing crisis, the rate of homelessness also increased. From this conclusion I crafted multiple policy recommendations for the state of California. Broadly, I suggest that California lawmakers must design policy to decrease the foreclosure rate, and must make data collection and qualitative policy analysis a priority despite budget cuts. Finally, my model implies that homelessness cannot be fully explained by factors of the housing market, and thus the effects of social and personal factors on homelessness should be more fully researched.
After graduation: I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Policy at The College of William & Mary as the 2013 Dodd Fellow. The future is open after I finish my Master's Degree, and I plan for it to include further work with housing policy and homelessness, as well as many more overseas adventures.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2012 at a glance
Majors: Anthropology, History, and Philosophy
SMP title: "Beyond Black and White"
SMP description: The differences between Left-Hand and Right-Hand Path magic are often debated among occultists, but the origins and merits of the Left-Hand Path, what is more commonly known as black magic, have not been treated academically. This analysis looks at the history of the Left-Hand Path and puts it in the context of Nietzsche's conception of strong and weak morality to argue that the Left-Hand Path is closer to the true and noble good, according to Nietzsche. The precursors of Left-Hand Path thought throughout history, from ancient times until the modern day, are used to show how modern Left-Hand Path thought and practice were shaped and evolved. The beliefs and practices of three different modern schools of thought are examined in depth, and the well-developed of the three placed into the jaws of Nietzsche's strong morality to see how it compares to Christianity, other Left-Hand Path systems, and the Right-Hand Path, or white magic.
After graduation: Attending Georgetown law school, planning to focus on public-interest law.
SMP title: "Ostrock: The complex relationship between the East German government and its subversive rock musicians"
SMP description: This SMP in German analyzes the complex and contradictory relationship between the communist government of German Democratic Republic and East German rock musicians through a historical and textual analysis of their songs. My paper highlights the change in content of rock music in the GDR from the early 60s and 70s to the 80s, where rock music supported the government through socialism-inspired lyrics, but then became subtly subversive in order to avoid the strict censors while still expressing their new-found distaste for the government.
After graduation: I was employed full-time at a corporate research company with a former St. Mary's student and a former visiting St. Mary's German teacher! Weird how paths cross like that. Then in 2013, I moved to Austin, TX with my girlfriend, who found a full-time graphic design job out there. I'm working as a software analyst, and although it's not my dream job, it pays the bills and they say I'm good at it.
Majors: Art and Biology
SMP title: "Virtual fragments: The erosion of the self in a digital age"
SMP description: The goal of my artwork is not to inspire a fear of technology, but to initiate a more thoughtful consideration of the ways it affects us. What can our inventions tell us as reflections of ourselves? For my final project, I wanted to look specifically at the Internet, a system we are intimately involved in, yet barely understand. We relinquish incredible amounts of personal information to online forums and shape numerous Internet personas through the creation of blogs, screen names, and various online accounts. The accumulation of our online activities creates a fragmented and nebulous self-projection that can be studied and interpreted by anyone from friends and family to corporate researchers. My video portraits visually communicate the transition from physical presence to online presence, showing the human figure dissolving into an amorphous collage of her or his online activities. I asked sitters to send me records of their online actions and representations, but I myself also searched for them online, trying to gather the traces of their virtual presence, in order to address the disparity between their intended impression and my own received impression. With this work, I wanted to explore specific questions regarding the Internet and identity: How is our online presence different from our physical presence? How do our online activities affect how others see us and how we see ourselves? Does our immersion in external, virtual arenas degrade the sense of an integral individual identity?
After graduation: Taking additional art coursework, like in web design and graphic design and interning at the Hirshhorn Museum in D.C. (the Smithsonian's museum of modern and contemporary art).
Majors: Biology and Biochemistry
Minors: Physics and Mathematics
SMP title: "In search of condensing interaction partners in fission yeast"
SMP description: Condensin is a protein complex involved in chromatin organization, sister chromatid cohesion, and regulation of gene expression, to name a few functions. Condensin is composed of a pair of structural maintenance of chromosomes proteins (SMCs) assembled with three non-SMC proteins. Many processes require interaction of condensin with other proteins and protein complexes. For example, previous research shows that the removal of condensin from cells results in solubilization of at least 15 proteins involved in the chromatin scaffold structure, suggesting that they depend on condensin for their proper localization and potentially interact with the complex. In these experiments, we were interested in finding additional condensin interaction partners in Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast by isolating condensin with antibody-bound magnetic nanobeads. As a result of this investigation, we report that we (1) optimized the condensin isolation technique to pull down all of the detectable condensin, (2) made steps towards nuclei isolation from S. pombe by lysing cells with zymolyase and triton detergent, (3) potentially found two or three uncategorized proteins. However, the mass spectrometry signals were too weak to be confident in this last finding and thus further research is required.
After graduation: I'm currently interning for a vaccine company in Australia where I am working on a couple of interesting projects while eating lots of Vegemite and petting kangaroos. I've been accepted into the engineering graduate program at Johns Hopkins, in applied physics.
Majors: Mathematics and History
SMP title: "Modeling and Teaching the Climate: A Stochastic Approach"
SMP description: I studied a type of climate model called an Energy Balance Model, which deals with the exchange of energy between different sections of the atmosphere. After researching the science behind these models and performing a literature review to find useful examples, my project split into two halves. First, I applied stochastic techniques to the models to study the stability of the climate system under the influence of different variable fluctuations. Then, I explored how these models could be used in math classes at various levels, both to help teach early and advanced math skills and to help students become acquainted with fundamental concepts in climate science.
After graduation: I'm interning for a year with the Chesapeake Conservation Corps; my placement is in Baltimore city at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Cristo Rey high school, and Tench Tilghman elementary school where I will be working on various environmental projects such as urban farming plots, composting systems, tree plantings, and after-school programs.
Majors: Biochemistry and Biology
SMP title: "Expression and purification of RBM24, a protein hypothesized to function in RNA splicing"
SMP description: Recent studies have suggested that the human protein RBM24 plays a role in mRNA splicing. RBM24 is orthologous to proteins in several species, such as SUP12 in C. elegens. SUP12 is known to bind to mRNA; I hypothesize that RBM24 also binds to mRNA. To obtain sufficient quantities of RBM24 for study was subcloned into the pGEX vector. This vector allows for expression of a protein fused to glutathione-s-transferase which can then be purified by its binding to glutathione sepharose beads. The RBM24 fusion protein was expressed in BL21 cells but was found in inclusion bodies as an insoluble species despite various changes in growth and induction conditions. These results compelled me to utilize the pMAL expression and purification system. For this purpose RBM24 cDNA was amplified for future subcloning into the pMAL vector. Once RBM24 protein has been purified, its role in mRNA splicing....
After graduation: Post grad I’m planning on regrouping and refining career options during a gap year in anticipation of pursuing a graduate degree in biochemistry.
Minor: Educational Studies
SMP title: "Undocumented voices: the social context and human stories of immigration = Voces indocumentadas: el contexto social e historias humanas de la inmigracion"
SMP description: My SMP is a study of the reality of life for undocumented immigrants from Mexico living in the United States. The project focuses on exploring the context in which immigration occurs. I begin with the reasons why people choose to emigrate from Mexico to the US, the reasons that they do so illegally, and their experiences crossing the border. I also examine the lives they lead in the United States, including the jobs they hold, the fear and consequences of detention and deportation, and family life for immigrant families. To present the information in different ways, I completed the project in two parts: an essay and an audio documentary. The essay includes information from academic sources with the purpose of providing context to the specific stories presented in the audio documentary. The documentary presents interviews that I conducted with four undocumented women about their experiences of life in Mexico, crossing the border, and living, working and parenting in the United States.
After graduation: I am working as Assistant Manager at The Sunshine Farm Market, a small produce stand and specialty food store located on a fourth-generation family farm in my home town in eastern Washington State. After the market season ends in October, I plan on doing some volunteering in local schools, traveling to Latin America, learning to play guitar, and seeing where life leads me.
SMP title: "Emotional competence and inconsistent socialization messages : moderating effect of an opposite-gendered older sibling"
SMP description: This study examined the relationship between parents' emotion socialization and children's emotional competence outcomes, namely emotion expression and regulation. It also investigated the impact that an opposite-gendered older sibling has on this relationship. It was hypothesized that (1) parents would socialize emotions differently for female and male children; (2) the presence of an opposite-gendered older sibling would moderate the relationship between parents' emotion socialization and children's emotional competence. Parents of 72 preschool-aged children completed questionnaires assessing their emotion socialization of the target children and their older siblings, as well as the target children's emotional regulation and expression. Results did not support the moderation hypothesis, but there were significant relationships between target and sibling-directed socialization and some emotional competence outcomes. These suggest the utility of a broader analysis of family-level factors relating to parents' socialization of emotions and children's developing emotional competence.
After graduation: I am currently working as a Community Support Specialist at Community Connections, a mental health non-profit in DC. It is a social work job and I do case management. I have a current case load of 25 consumers, all with at least one Axis I DSM diagnosis (e.g. Major Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar, etc.) and typically a co-occuring substance abuse or PTSD diagnosis as well, or a secondary Axis I diagnosis. I help them with their mental health needs, which vary widely, from in-office talk therapy and skills training sessions to support with medical, financial, and legal needs, and much more. Every day is different, and although difficult it is never boring.
SMP title: "17th-Century Naval Architecture and Hull Hydrostatics"
SMP description: Maryland Dove lines + 17th-century naval architectural rules + 3D parametric modeling software + hydrostatic computation = a virtual and changeable model of a 17th-century sailing ship, with several case studies in Maryland Dove stability. (The Maryland Dove brought the cargo for the first English settlers to Maryland, in 1634. A reconstruction of it is housed at Historic St. Mary's City.)
After graduation: A bit of atomic cooling and trapping at PAX NAS, then the South Pacific on a cargo sailing vessel, and after that wherever the wind blows me (probably down the Appalachian Trail).
Minors: Environmental Studies and Religious Studies
SMP title: "Challenging the status quo through emotional connectedness in relational activism"
SMP description: Although morality is often characterized as rational, reasoned, and autonomous judgments, new research more accurately portrays it as intuitive, emotional, and effortless, with strong biases towards social alignment with others. Moral judgments are woven into a coherent ideological narrative that shapes perceptions and creates a shared reality with others. Ideology tends to be biased to favorably evaluate and defend the status quo as morally good, and ideologies that do so are labeled as system justifying. System justification takes on a particular form and dominance in the United States. Due to the social motivations for ideological alignment, it is suggested that individuals also experience social motivations for emotional alignment. Ideological frames for perception are reciprocally informed by emotion culture, or the complex of labels and rules regarding emotional experience and expression. This paper will put forward the thesis that both dominant system justifying ideology and dominant emotion culture constrain the emotions that inform moral judgments, working towards the continued validation of the status quo and exclusion of those experiencing deviant emotions. However, it is proposed that deviant emotions are valuable in informing individuals of flaws in the status quo. If deviant emotions are socially validated in relationships of solidarity, then they can turn from a means of exclusion to a means of motivating social change action. Contrary to previous conceptualizations, the origin of social change lies in these relationships of solidarity, and networks of such relationships create a system of change larger and more influential than the sum of its parts.
After graduation: Living in Hyattsville now (outside of D.C.), I am working for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network as a community organizer, as well as for the Global Campaign for Climate Action as a communications intern.
Minors: Dance and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Escrito sobre el cuerpo : la masculinidad y la celebridad en la publicidad futbolistica = Kicked out of the closet : celebrity and masculinity in soccer advertising"
SMP description: My SMP studies advertisements that feature Spanish soccer's top professionals. Using a Cultural Studies approach, the project analyzes how Nike, Armani, and other brands present players and their bodies as texts that audiences can read for celebrity, gender, and sexuality. I examine how footballers are increasingly subjected to scrutiny off the field as stars and sex symbols, and how advertising companies attempt to reconcile an athlete's position as object of voyeuristic consumption with more traditional narratives of sport and masculinity.
After graduation: I'm holding a year-long Americorps position at BEACON, a non-profit in Bristow ,Virginia that specializes in adult literacy and ESL. I'll be teaching English classes, site managing, recruiting volunteers, tracking data, designing and running programs, and doing anything and everything that requires a Spanish speaker. BEACON is sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of VA, so my office is located on the grounds of a beautiful old monastery.
Majors: French and History
SMP title: "Classifying crime : public reaction to the Papin affair in 1930s France"
SMP description: In 1933 France was shocked by the brutal murder of two middle class women at the hands of their maids. More astounding, however, is the immense amount of writing induced by the crime and its aftermath: contemporary newspaper reports, historical and cultural commentaries, academic analyses, and literary and film adaptations of the event. Based on prominent sources in both French and English, this project explores the public fascination with, and possible motivations behind, what came to be known as the Papin Affair. This study draws connections with contemporary views of gender, sexuality, class relations, and public hygiene, exploring how these ideas shaped the public response to the crime. This project concludes that the public attempts to label the crime of the Papin sisters in order to exercise some level of control over the event. My findings show that the public classifies the Papin Affair in one of two main ways: one, as a crime with a social context and motivation or, two, as a crime significant for the complex relationship between the two sisters.
After graduation: I spent the summer of 2012 working on a one hundred acre, fourth-generation family farm in eastern Washington where I was responsible for the vegetables from harvest through washing, packing, delivery, and into the hands of the customers. In October 2012, I will be moving to Denver for the next year or so for a position with AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps). I will be a volunteer team member in the Southwest Region of the US doing anything and everything from community development, to disaster relief and preparedness, to park maintenance. After that, I am still deciding where I will be.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2011 at a glance
Majors: History and English
SMP title: “That Which Remains: The Interplay of Fact, Fiction, and Memory in Holocaust Remembrance”
SMP description: A series of four essays that examine representations of the Holocaust in memoirs, fiction, graphic novels, documentaries, and feature films.
After graduation: Interned for the summer at the Maryland State Archives, in the Special Collections department. Then got a job as a research historian for History Associates, Inc. in Rockville, MD.
Majors: Spanish and Latin American Studies
SMP title: “La concepción de la maternidad en la Argentina: La clase social, la salud pública y el derecho al aborto” (“The Conception of Motherhood in Argentina: Social Class, Public Health, and Abortion Rights”)
SMP description: In Argentina, a great deal of controversy surrounds the subject of abortion. Several powerful establishments stand against the voluntary termination of a pregnancy, including the Catholic Church, the Argentine government, and the Argentine medical community. Perhaps even more influential than these institutions in determining antiabortion sentiment are cultural ideals that present motherhood as the peak of the feminine experience; in contrast, abortion is seen as a subversive act that rejects this societal value. Due in part to sexism in the Argentine medical community and in society at large, women, especially those of low socioeconomic status, are often left without the necessary tools for effective family planning and may see no other recourse than to seek an illegal abortion. Thus, abortion represents a point of intersection between public health, human rights, and social justice.
After graduation: In fall 2011, I began the Master of Public Health Nutrition program at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Majors: Economics and Chinese
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: “The Chinese Water Crisis and Its Economic Solutions”
SMP description: An analysis of China's water crisis, from not enough water resources to unequal distribution, its consequences, and potential economic-based solutions.
After graduation: In fall 2011, I start graduate school at the University of California—San Diego for the M.A. in Pacific International Affairs.
Major: Environmental Studies (student-designed)
SMP title: “Rise Up and Walk”: How Official Aid to Africa Fosters Environmental Crises and How America Can Help Africa Back on Its Feet
SMP description: My research focuses on the impact of official development assistance on the environment of Africa. I also offer policy suggestions for future adjustments to foreign assistance policies.
After graduation: In the fall, I start at the University of Oregon, pursuing a Master's in Environmental Sciences, to be followed by a Master's certificate in non-profit management.
Major: Political Science
Minors: Environmental Studies and German
SMP title: “Climate Justice Now! The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Emergence of a Global Grassroots Climate Movement”
SMP description: I attended the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in 2009 and as I was on a train leaving Denmark I realized that I had found the topic of my SMP: the global emergence of the global climate movement. After returning from Germany in August of 2009 I began an academic journey that I am still not quite finished with, using international relations theory, climate change theory, and social movement theory to explain how a global grassroots climate movement emerged, to analyze the movement and its connections to other social movements (social justice and anti-neoliberalization), and to determine what issues and obstacles the movement faces in achieving climate justice on the international level. It is a movement that is different from the climate movements of years past, with a heavy influence from global youth, and over the last few decades has focused not only on environmental protection and reducing global carbon emissions but also on justice in all forms (environmental, climate, economic, and international), intergenerational equity, anti-oppression, and in bridging the divide between the Global North and the Global South. The movement was influential in putting climate change on the international political agenda, instrumental in the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and continues to be involved with and to mobilize around meetings of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By the end of my SMP, I had determined that the global grassroots climate movement is a powerful force in global climate politics, but that state sovereignty and international anarchy tend to prevail.
After graduation: After graduation I returned to my hometown of Harrisburg, PA and worked in a used book warehouse and state call center for student loans until I got a position as the Clean Vehicles Intern with the Union of Concerned Scientists in February of 2012. At that point I relocated to Washington, DC and spent the following 8 months working with scientists and engineers on fuel efficiency standards, clean vehicle technology, and communicating science to the public. It was a very liberal arts experience that confirmed for me that I wanted to go into urban and transportation planning and led to me relocating back to my hometown of Harrisburg, PA (it's super broke and corrupt, in case you missed the NPR coverage) to pursue a certificate in geospatial technologies. Recently I've also been doing some work with the National Complete Streets Coalition in Harrisburg and Pennsylvania, which is blending my love for organizing, social justice, bikes, and urban planning. Right now I'm considering my options about what comes next and I'm thinking about doing GIS work for the Forest Service, Park Service, State Department, or working for an engineering/planning firm or government. Eventually I plan on getting a masters in urban planning after I work for a few years.
Major: Art and Art History
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP Title: accepting stories
SMP Description: accepting stories is a culmination of a year's worth of studio work and artistic research. The project is a website of interactive flash pieces in which the viewer can create different people's bodies, dress people up, and play with a variety of characters in front of several backgrounds. The art is child-like and unassuming, allowing participants to feel comfortable as they create characters of different gender, races, sexualities, and body types. The participants can then print their creations out as souvenirs, or share the stories they create on the site through a comment box. The piece is online, but also exists in the gallery, where participants can share interactions and stories through a physical manifestation of the paper dolls. The piece can be accessed at http://faculty.smcm.edu/
After graduation: Tara has been working for the past two years as the SMCM Art and Art History Studio Assistant. She has also worked for the Dwight Frederick Boyden Gallery as a collections assistant, and for a couple Southern Maryland arts organizations as an art instructor and program manager. Besides working for the college and teaching, she also is a freelance graphic and web designer.
SMP title: “Thinking without Thinking? The Effects of Unconscious Thought on Stereotyping”
SMP description: Unconscious thought theory asserts that complex decisions are better made after distraction than deliberation, and that decisions made after distraction (as products of “unconscious” thought) are not influenced by stereotypes. I attempted to replicate this effect in a hypothetical job hiring scenario. I failed to support the claim that unconscious thought leads to better decision making and instead found evidence suggestive that conscious deliberation leads to better decision making. Additionally, I did not observe that unconscious thought reduced stereotype application, but found some evidence that unconscious thinkers might be overcorrecting (acting in a socially desirable way) when exposed to a candidate that invoked a racial stereotype.
After graduation: Pursue a Ph.D. in social or cognitive psychology.
SMP title: “An Explicit Formula for the Spherical Curve with Constant Torsion”
SMP description: In this paper we provide explicit formulas for the curves of constant torsion lying on the unit 2-sphere. This problem was originally posed by geometers in the late 1800s, but they were only able to provide an ODE classification of the curves. Using integration techniques developed in the 1940s and a natural change of variables, we are able to explicitly solve the Frenet-Serret equations for space curves.
After graduation: Beginning the Ph.D. program in pure math at the University of Oregon.
Majors: English and Chinese
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: “Place, Space, and Face: Essays on Teaching in Modern China”
SMP description: After spending the better part of the summer of 2009 in rural China, I created a collection of essays about my personal experiences. They are a combination of both memoir-esque travel narrative and cultural criticism. I discuss issues related to the particular region where I stayed, as well as current events in modern China as a whole. My goal was to give an objective, yet enthusiastic view of the rapidly-changing society that is contemporary China.
After graduation: In fall I started the M.A. program in English Literature at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, where I am currently teaching first-year composition. After that, only time will tell.
SMP title: "Ethnicity and the Administration of Roman Spain"
SMP description: The Iberian Peninsula is twice the size of Italy. When Rome annexed Spain after the Second Punic War, she took on an incredible logistical struggle of trying to rule a huge landmass with dozens of culturally distinct peoples. I studied the similarities and differences in Roman government over different regions of Spain, concluding that Rome never adopted a uniform system of government but chose to adapt different practices based on the nature of the pre-Roman inhabitants.
After graduation: Entering OSU’s Ph.D. program in Ancient History, with a University Fellowship
SMP title: “Byzantium and the West: Byzantine Imperial Ideology and the Ruin of Empire”
SMP description: My project was an analysis of the causes of the collapses of the Byzantine Empire, the first—partial—collapse occurring during Late Antiquity and the second—in my opinion, definitive—during the Crusades. Through extensive primary and secondary source research, I came to the conclusion that the Byzantine adherence to the Roman theory of universal empire brought them into conflict with Western Europe, ultimately overextending and destroying the very empire they sought to protect.
After graduation: Starting in September, I will be attending a Ph.D. program in History at The Ohio State University, focusing on the Byzantine Empire.
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Women in the Gospel of Luke: A Socio-Rhetorical Study"
SMP description: My SMP was a close reading of women’s roles in the Gospel of Luke. I explored descriptions of women, scenes in which women appear in the narrative, and scenes in which women are silent in or absent from the narrative to determine their relationship to the Gospel’s themes. In addition to studying women’s narrative function, I drew conclusions about the socio-cultural positions of women in the world of the Gospel and examined the possible effects of the writer of Luke’s portrayal of women for both his immediate Greco-Roman audience and the broader New Testament readership. I used research about the cultural and historical context of the Gospel to check my reading, but I drew conclusions primarily from examinations of the text. I concluded that Luke significantly challenges the gender ideology of its time by presenting women as spiritually valuable models and followers. However, the Gospel still embodies some historical gender norms; the writer could only push boundaries so far. Because modern society is more egalitarian, I argued that Luke suggests that modern readers can continue to challenge today’s cultural norms.
After graduation: In August 2012 I completed an AmeriCorps term in Baltimore at the Village Learning Place (a library, learning center, community garden, and computer lab in the Charles Village neighborhood, providing after-school enrichment to elementary schoolers), and in September, I entered Drexel University's MS in Library and Information Science program. After I graduate this summer (2013), I hope to secure a reference librarian position in a public or academic library.
Major: Human Studies
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: “From Kaupapa Maori to Race to the Top: Lessons Learned for Promoting Educational Equality in a Multicultural World”
SMP description: In this project, I examine the landscape of education for diversity and social justice. First I reflect on my experiences studying abroad in New Zealand, where I became interested in the parallel system of education for Maori that has developed in response to ways in which the mainstream educational system has disenfranchised them. I transition into examining policy within the U.S. and continue to use examples from New Zealand and the United States to support theory on how classrooms and systems within education can foster educational equality for multicultural learners.
After graduation:When I went to Oregon to "wing it" as I put it, I worked for AmeriCorps as a Program Specialist for a program aimed at helping high-risk high school students access education beyond high school. I worked for a non-profit alternative high school in Portland and ended up doing a little bit of everything, from teaching math (gasp! who would have thought that?) to counseling students with personal issues. This September I moved back to Maryland to be closer with my family. I am currently working as an Admissions Counselor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. I am starting classes for grad school on Wednesday! I will be getting my Masters in School Counseling; I would like to work in a high school as a school counselor.
SMP title: “Effects of Ethanol on Mechanoreceptor Activity in the Medicinal Leech (Hirudo verbana)”
SMP description: The effects of ethanol on various aspects of invertebrate sensation and behavior are of interest for both evolutionary biologists and translational biologists alike. While many studies in invertebrates study the motor effects of ethanol exposure, the effects of ethanol on sensation are less understood. Mechanosensation, or the detection and transduction of mechanical stimuli, is one sensory system that can be experimentally investigated in invertebrates. Hirudo verbana, a type of medicinal leech, is an exceptional modeling system to examine the effects of an acute, low dose ethanol exposure on the spontaneous firing patterns of mechanosensory cells. Action potential characteristics that may be altered by exposure of ethanol were examined in nociceptive (N) cells. After the ethanol was washed out, the cells receiving ethanol had a increased recovery to resting membrane potential time. Though no other action potential characteristics were altered by exposure to ethanol, this finding is worth expanding research upon the subject of mechanosensory cell sensitivity to ethanol.
After graduation: I began the Ph.D. program in Neuroscience at Wake Forest University. I am working in the Pain Mechanisms lab, exploring the role of oxytocin in the downregulation of pain. My lab explores various factors that affect chronic pain including sexually dimorphic characteristics, hormones, and stress. My lab is currently exploring an exciting field called "optogenetics," where laser stimulation can be used to control cellular activity via light gated ion channels called opsins.
Minor: Political Science
SMP title: “Garden Variety: A Creative Exploration of Flowers as Feminine Discourse”
SMP description: The idea for my SMP came from Hamlet, specifically the part where Ophelia, driven "mad," hands out flowers to her fellow members of the court, using the herbs and flowers to express ideas that she could not have expressed otherwise. I wanted to explore this intersection of femininity and flora as well as the themes of loss, mental illness, and sexuality that haunt the character of Ophelia throughout the play. The short stories in my SMP create narratives in which flower or plant symbolism plays a major role in the main characters' actions or settings or illustrates a cultural trend.
After graduation: I am currently working toward an MA in English and American literature at the University of Delaware, where I currently teach introductory writing courses. After I graduate in 2013, I plan to work in marketing and social media campaigns.
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP Title: “A multifaceted approach to investigating nutrient anomalies near Johnson Bay, Maryland coastal bays, USA”
SMP description: Water quality in Maryland’s coastal bays has been declining in recent years with high nutrients and human and farm animal waste contaminants contributing greatly to the problem. ‘Hotspots’ for such anthropogenic inputs have been identified and include Johnson Bay; however, the rapidly worsening water quality in the area is unusual since land use intensity in the watershed of Johnson Bay is very low compared to other known hotspots. We sought to better understand these regional anomalies through assessments of aquatic microorganism abundances, water quality parameters, stable nitrogen isotopes, and land use composition along four creeks near Johnson Bay. Fecal bacteria were found to be good spatial indicators of contamination, and their abundances were found to be in excess of EPA primary contact standards at a majority of sites. Microorganism abundances differed at localized spatial scales which, together with high fecal bacterial abundances and nutrient loadings, suggesting that anthropogenic point-source inputs were prevalent. Spikes in bacterial abundance in response to rainfall also suggest the presence of nonpoint-source inputs. Percent cropland, farmstead, and residential land use, as well as δ15N were not positively correlated with fecal bacterial abundances, suggesting that watershed-based sources of reworked nitrogen are not solely responsible for the elevated δ15N observed in Johnson Bay and that natural within-system nutrient cycling and microbial processing may be important contributors.
After graduation: Update as of June 2013: After working with Nazca boobies in the Galapagos (Wake Forest University), water quality at Assateague National Seashore, seabirds and ducks at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge, and wading birds in the Everglades (University of Florida), I am finally flying off to Canada to start my first field season for my Masters thesis! I will be working with Dr. Glenn Crossin at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in collaboration with Mark Hipfner at Environment Canada. I will be working on three different islands in British Colombia this summer doing seabird diet, nest history, blood and feather sampling, and GPS logger deployment. Very briefly, my thesis work will involve tracking rhinoceros auklets to determine their non-breeding experience (where they go, what sort of environmental conditions they encounter) and then using this information to investigate carry-over effects on subsequent breeding success.
Majors: Physics and Mathematics
SMP title: “Dynamics of the Probability Fluid in Quantum Mechanics”
Description: In this project we take the Schrödinger equation to be a diffusion equation and examine the implications of this interpretation. We decompose the Schrödinger equation into equations analogous to the Madelung equations. We view probability density as a fluid and show how this interpretation allows us to re-write the Madelung equations as the continuity equation and an equation of motion dependent upon the dispersant, a quantity that will be introduced in this paper. We focus on one-dimensional quasi-classical states and demonstrate that our interpretation yields a reformulation of quantum mechanics consistent with the standard formulation of quantum mechanics.
After graduation: In August 2011 I will commence a course of study in the Ph.D. program in Physics at Yale University.
Major: Human Studies
SMP title: "Unraveling the Microfinance Panacea: A Sociological Study on Achieving the Double Bottom Line"
SMP description: This project looks at why microfinance has not yet proven to be the universal solution to poverty as had once been hoped. To date, extending credit to the poor has only improved the financial status of microfinance institutions themselves in this booming industry and has generally done little for the financial status of the client. Ideally, microfinance should cater to both the financial well-being of the poor and their social well-being, which is the double bottom line. The project goes on to consider how the double bottom line can be achieved in Africa and also evaluates whether microfinance institutions should alter their prevalent for-profits stance and instead become non-profits. The case study of an informal microfinance institution in Mali allowed the creation of a prototype that is likely to achieve success in Africa, depending on adaptation to the general environment of the institution.
After graduation: Apart from world domination, my plans after graduation are to spend a year working in the U.S. and then spend a year or two working in a Francophone country with a NGO/non-profit—nowhere specific yet, as nothing has been finalized. After that, I wish to earn my Masters in International Development and Public Health.
SMP title: "The Effects of Spaceflight on the Musculoskeletal System"
SMP description: The presence of gravity on Earth makes it difficult to appreciate its importance in physiology. Everything in the human body, from basic cellular interactions to the organization of entire body systems, evolved in a 1G environment. As humans began traveling to outer space in the last 50 years, the absence of gravity has induced many changes: gene expression is often down-regulated, cell signaling is disrupted, hormone levels are altered, muscle cells atrophy, and bones are resorbed to name a few. This St. Mary’s Project reviews the overall impact of spaceflight on the body with greater emphasis on how the musculoskeletal system is affected. Countermeasures to prevent such changes and increase man’s tolerance to spaceflight are also proposed.
After graduation: I have received a full scholarship from the United States Air Force to attend the University of Virginia School of Medicine. I already commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, and this summer I attend training at Maxwell Air Force Base. After training, I will begin medical school in Charlottesville, hoping to specialize in cardiology or trauma.
SMP title: Children of the "Sidewalk-and-Gutter Generation": Feminism, Ethnicity and American-Jewish Identity in the 1960’s
SMP description: My SMP focuses on two novels, Bread Givers and Call It Sleep, and how these texts reflect the construction of an American-Jewish identity in the 1960s through a representation of family life, physical space and personal struggle. I argue that the resulting generational conflict reflected a "generation chasm" that existed in the 1960’s. Through these fictionalized struggles, the authors represented feminist and ethnic journeys that only came to fruition through a generational split with the protagonists' parents.
After graduation: In the fall of 2011, I started the Ph.D. program in U.S. history at American University, studying Cold War culture and nuclear history.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2010 at a glance
Minors: Biology and Mathematics
SMP title: "Novel Synthesis of Aryl Azides"
Description: I worked on a new proprietary method for the synthesis of aryl azides through the reductive elimination of diaryliodonium azide reagents. The versatility of this method, which involves the use of hypervalent Iodine III, is evidenced by the fact that it can also be employed to functionalize arenes with various nucleophiles such as fluorine, isocyanate and halides.
After graduation: In fall 2010, I started the Ph.D. program in chemistry at Columbia University.
Major: Media Ethics (student-designed)
SMP title: "My Media Ethics"
Description: Upon returning from two trips to The Gambia and Senegal, I, Tyler Aldrich embark on an academic journey to solidify my own personal media ethic in order to produce some product from the images I shot while in Africa. The paper portion follows my process of uncovering and solidifying media theories as they apply to my ethical dilemma of representing others. From considerations of representation within the genre and field of ethnographic film, to a wider understanding of the media landscape, I position media as the public, social dialogue. Unfortunately, this dialogue is uneven and unbalanced, with media production residing almost entirely in the hands of major corporations. The dialogue, which informs what I identify as hyperreal ethnography, represents a public sphere where identities and meanings are made. With limited participation in this arena, identities and meanings become the product of those few who have the means to produce media. The process paper culminates in the development of a personal media ethic that stresses participation of as many people as possible in the production of media. My ideas came to fruition in the application portion of my project. Because of my belief in the participation of others in the creation of media, I decided to hold a contest to allow multiple people to edit the footage I had shot in The Gambia and Senegal into different finished products. The participants had 48 hours to edit all of the footage I gave them into some finished product. The contest was successful in that it produced 7 products from 9 different people (teams of two were allowed) compared to me being the only filmmaker.
After graduation: Working odd jobs near hometown of Frederick, Maryland, in order to save enough money up to go back to The Gambia (would be the third trip there, after my Nitze study tour there and then spending an entire semester studying there). I've worked installing agricultural fences and even for a port-a-potty company!
Major: Asian Studies
SMP title: "Bashô and Whitman: Comparing Poetic Personality in the Cultural Landscape"
Description: My SMP investigated a hunch that maybe these poets -- both of "national hero" stature in their respective countries -- had something in common that has encouraged such an enthusiastic national response. Accordingly, it follows a modern "reader experiential" line of criticism, heavily influenced by Paul Ricouer's hermeneutic phenomenology and James J.Y. Liu's application of the "tetratic circle" (universe to writer, writer to text, text to reader, reader to universe / universe to reader, reader to text, etc.). My conclusions were that both authors, throughout their poetry, carefully crafted ideal-but-relatable national personalities. They went to great lengths to locate these personalities within the dynamic interactions between between cultural and natural inheritances and daily, common life. To read their works in the modern world, then, requires that we respond in kind to their fervor for making good on, or "tallying," the cultural landscape that we we have inherited. Alongside this project, I have tried to ground my research with heavy involvement in the revitalization of Chancellor's Point in HSMC and the heading of my own project to build an outdoor kitchen on site.
After graduation: In the summer, I continued working on St. Mary's County's own Even Star Organic Farm as a "Canning Specialist." I used my time in St. Mary's County to volunteer with the sustainability/experiential education-focused Chancellor's Point Project as well as getting back into producing artwork. In the fall, I returned to China, teaching English, and applied to graduate programs. In fall 2011 I began the M.A. program in Asian Studies at UT--Austin, completing it in May 2013.
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Factors affecting cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation on the Sassafras River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay"
Description: Summer nitrogen limitation in the Sassafras River, an oligohaline to tidal freshwater Chesapeake Bay tributary, selects for N2-fixing cyanobacteria that could provide a "new" nitrogen source to this already nutrient enriched system. Despite the prevalence of diazotrophic (N2-fixing) blooms, little attention has been focused on the role of N2-fixation in nutrient enriched, eutrophic estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, nor has the role of cyanobacterial N2-fixation been considered in N budgets. I analyzed weekly water samples from four stations on the Sassafras River for total suspended solids (TSS), volatile suspended solids (VSS), chlorophyll a, dissolved nutrients, and nitrogenase activity via the acetylene reduction assay. To supplement these ambient data, I performed two nutrient addition bioassay trials, monitoring the same parameters with additions of phosphate (5, 10 µM) and nitrate (10, 20 µM). The Summer of 2009 was relatively cool and wet, with no large cyanobacterial blooms, yet N2-fixation was found to be present at all sample sites. I found results consistent with N and P co-limitation in the bioassays. N additions stimulated phosphate uptake and chlorophyll a concentrations and P additions increased N2-fixation without increasing chlorophyll a. These findings may have implications for nutrient cycling in eutrophic estuaries and underscore the importance of combined N and P nutrient management plans.
After graduation: In 2010 and 2011, I worked as a Field Crew Leader for the Coos Watershed Association on the southern Oregon Coast, as an Outdoor Science Instructor near Portland, Oregon, and as a field technician in the Northern Range of Trinidad, West Indies. In May of 2011, I began a graduate program in biological and chemical oceanography at Oregon State University, where I currently work with Dr. George G. Waldbusser (http://ceoas.oregonstate.edu/
Minors: Mathematics and Economics
SMP title: "Dispersion and interference of free particle Gaussian wave packets"
Description: We decompose the integrand of the expectation value of the momentum operator into its real and imaginary components and rewrite the integrand in terms of the probability current density and a new term, the dispersant, which is proportional to the negative of the gradient of the probability density. From the free particle Schrödinger equation, we derive an expression for a 3-D Gaussian free particle wave packet. This expression is then used to rewrite the probability current density in terms of the dispersant, demonstrating the role of the dispersant. We then examine wave packet interference by describing a quantum system by the superposition of two wave packets. We derive expressions for the probability density, probability current density, and dispersant of a given quantum system. As examples of our formalism, we examine the double slit experiment and a variation of the double slit experiment.
After graduation: In fall 2010, I began law school in Baltimore at the University of Maryland. I plan to put on hold my interests in physics in order to explore health law, specifically medical malpractice defense litigation.
SMP title: “Network neutrality in the United States : an economic analysis”
After graduation: I began Boston University's School of Law in fall 2010. Then in 2013, I accepted a position in the Office of the Public Defender back in Maryland, working on the Eastern Shore, probably based in Salisbury. During my third year of law school, I joined the criminal clinic and I absolutely loved it; I spent most of that year representing adults and juveniles in Boston's urban misdemeanor courts, and now I can't really imagine a career doing anything else!
Minor: African and African Diaspora Studies
SMP title: "Exploring Kawaii in a Sample of Japanese College Women: A Mixed-Methods Study"
Description: Kawaii is a Japanese concept that roughly translates to "cuteness" in English. This study explored the meaning of kawaii to Japanese college women at Akita International University. A measure of kawaii was developed and administered with the Bem Sex Role Inventory to 64 students. Individual interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with 18 students from the surveyed sample. The data showed that there was no relationship between self-rated kawaii and masculinity or femininity. Additionally, there was no relationship between kawaii and the priorities of having children and having a career. Kawaii as a norm among Japanese women, kawaii styles, characteristics of kawaii, and kawaii appearance as compared to behavior, were examined. Implications for future research are discussed.
After graduation: For two years I worked as a research associate at a company that creates and validates measures used in pharmaceutical clinical trials. My job responsibilities included conducting literature reviews, one-on-one interviews, focus groups, qualitative analysis, and writing reports. I worked with a large variety of disease areas. Afterward, I started pursuing my Masters of Social Work at University of Maryland, Baltimore. The first year's field placement was located in a Baltimore City elementary school as a school mental health therapist, and the second year's field placement will be in Kochi, India. Graduation is scheduled for Spring, 2014.
SMP title: "...Out...Into This World": Coming into my own as an Actress and a Feminist
Description: My SMP goal was to learn to maintain control of my body on stage and in front of the camera regardless of what circumstances and scripts I may be given. Even if presented with an entirely misogynistic text and/or character to portray, it is imperative for an actress to remain in charge of her physical form at all times despite appearing otherwise when necessary. I aimed to master this by studying dramatic texts from a wide range of periods and authors, and analyzing how women's bodies have been portrayed in theatre throughout history. To demonstrate what I learned, I performed Samuel Beckett's Not I, a play typically regarded as a misogynistic play due to the confinement of the character to a chair with a sole spotlight on her lips, bringing to mind the representation of a vagina. In my dramatic reading, I employed light, set, and props to my advantage to present a powerful character that though restrained due to factors outside of her control, remained in command of her body.
After graduation: Attended the Yale Summer Actors Conservatory, in New Haven, and then pursuing Masters of Fine Arts in Acting at the New York Film Academy (one year in NY and one year at their branch in LA).
Majors: International Relations (student-designed) & Political Science
Minor: Democracy Studies
SMP Title: "Islamic Radicalism in Western Europe"
SMP Description: My SMP investigates the possible causes for a recent rise in radicalism among the Muslim immigrant population in many Western European nations. Due to a variety of society-wide factors, such as economic discrimination, Islamic xenophobia, inferior educational offerings, and a secular culture, Western Europe has been exceptionally unwelcoming to the Muslim immigrants. Furthermore, conditions within the isolated Muslim neighborhoods have marginalized many secular second-generation Muslims who turn to radical groups for a sense of belonging and identity. The many radical groups in Western Europe have provoked tremendous amounts of domestic spending to fight these groups, and represent a significant security threat to European democratic culture. My SMP concludes with several suggestions to encourage greater understanding and cooperation between the two cultures, and to remove incentives for radicalism to exist.
After graduation: I studied Arabic in Syria, where three major things happened: I converted to Islam, civil war broke out, and I got married. After spending a year in war-torn Syria, I'm currently back in the USA saving up for higher education in Arabic and Islamic Studies. Though next year I plan to study Arabic in Texas, ultimately I plan to go to Saudi Arabia for further education.
Major: Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (student-designed)
SMP title: Reconfiguring "Civil Society" in Morocco: A critique of civil society in the Moroccan context
Description: My SMP addresses the ambiguous, often hegemonic contemporary understanding of the term 'civil society' as a development concept. I seek to explain what this term means in Morocco specifically, considering historical, religious and socio-political factors that have shaped how Moroccans understand civil society and the forms it takes in the country. What I found was a long tradition of social engagement and community life that suffered upheaval during the protectorate and post-independence remaking of Morocco. In modern times a political opening and the popularity of the concept of civil society has allowed these groups to reassert themselves. However, a bias towards 'conjoined' civil society organizations that resemble more modern, international forms of civil society disadvantages those groups that reflect more continuity with past forms of civil society in Morocco. I argue that to truly support the vitality of Moroccan civil society, we must recognize the broad, diverse nature of Moroccan civil society and address this bias.
After graduation: In the fall I returned to Morocco for eleven months on a Fulbright research grant to continue to study changing ideas of community identity in Morocco and how this affects social engagement. This research builds on my SMP. While in Morocco, I applied to several graduate programs in the U.S. to begin in the fall of 2011. I was accepted everywhere I applied, and opted for a dual-M.A.-degree program at UT--Austin in Global Public Policy-Middle Eastern Studies.
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Caterpillar cognitive capacity: Learning and memory retention in Manduca sexta"
SMP description: My SMP explored the learning and memory abilities of Manduca sexta, the tobacco hornworm, larvae are various developmental stages. I used the compound methyl jasmonate, which is part of a defensive chemical cascade initiated by the tobacco plant, upon being bitten by the larvae. The cascade terminates in a compound that attracts parasitoid wasps, which then parasitize the larvae. Due to its natural importance, the ability of M. sexta to respond to this compound was of interest. Despite previous studies that suggest M. sexta have the ability to learn at early larval stages, in my study, they were not able to form a learned association between methyl jasmonate and food until just before the end of their larval stage. These results reflect both brain development and advantageous behavior at various larval stages.
After graduation: I graduated from Duke University in 2012 with a Masters of Environmental Management, concentrating in Ecosystem Science and Conservation. After spending summer 2011 doing community-based wildlife conservation work in Tanzania, I am now working with the Chesapeake Conservancy and National Park Service on landscape-scale conservation within the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
SMP title: "Feedback Stabilization of Diode Lasers"
Description: Diode lasers offer a number of characteristics that enable the cooling and trapping atoms of Rubidium in a Magneto-Optical Trap (MOT). First, diode lasers are relatively cheap and can operate at the wavelength necessary for cooling and trapping of Rubidium, 780.24nm. Additionally, they put out collimated, monochromatic, coherent light that is tunable over a large enough range of frequencies. Finally diode lasers are much smaller than the tunable dye lasers making them a good asset to laser cooling and trapping. However, there are some disadvantages to laser diodes that must be amended for the laser to have enough stability that repeatable experiments can be performed. These disadvantages are temperature sensitivity, current sensitivity, and feedback sensitivity. The major focus of my research was the feedback stabilization that would reduce laser jitter (changing of wavelength).
After graduation: Completed the M.S. program in the Civil and Environmental Engineering College at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in environmental engineering with a focus on green design. Now working for an engineering firm in northern Virginia.
Minors: Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, and African and African Diaspora Studies
SMP title: “Sustainable community development in Nicaragua : a case study on the Foundation for Sustainable Development”
Description: International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) play an increasingly important role in the implementation of the United Nation’s Millennium Development goals. This case study examines the methodology used by the international NGO, the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) in its development work in the marginalized community of Las Aguas Calientes, Nicaragua. The major barriers FSD faces in implementing sustainable development are the same barriers that many other international and local community development organizations face. Some of these barriers include incomplete understanding of community needs and ineffective communication leading to misconceptions on the part of the community about FSD’s mission. This case study, based on my internship experience with FSD, offers insight for NGOs and researchers, especially student researchers, into the expanding field of sustainable community development and the challenges that arise when doing development work.
After graduation: Returning to Wilmington, NC, where I spent my senior year winter break, to resume working with an immigrants' rights group.
Majors: Political Science and Religious Studies
SMP title: "Pakistan and Islam: An Analysis of Religion as a Function of Power"
Description: My SMP examined the use of Islam in establishing Pakistani national identity against the backdrop of British colonization. In doing so, I argue that Pakistan's early political leaders drew from an array of Muslim intellectuals scholars generally refer to as "Islamic Revivalists," who used Islam primarily as a political response to the decline of Muslim empires (in this case, the Mughal Empire) in face of (in this case, British) colonial incursion. I then trace the use of Islam as a political tool after Pakistan's creation, demonstrating its manipulation at the hands of Pakistan's political elite who, when confronted with ethnic divisions exacerbated by economic and political inequities, reached back to Revivalist notions of a universal Islamic community to both justify the existence of a unified Pakistan, as well as to legitimize their own rule. Finally, I argue that the current rise of Islamic Extremism in the region is primarily a result of this political manipulation of religion, traced back to Islamic Revivalists, but particularly during the Cold War, when General Zia ul-Haq forged a working relationship between the Pakistani government and Mujahideen militias - themselves primarily a product of the growth of an increasingly sectarian-oriented Madrasa network encouraged by the Pakistani, American, Saudi, and Iranian governments for their own political gains.
After graduation: After graduation I spent the year working with an Americorps program providing free hospital care to the homeless in Washington, D.C. Following this, I entered the M.A. program in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University, while working as a research assistant at their Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. Starting in September 2012, I have a Boren Fellowship to live in Lucknow, India for a year, studying the Urdu language and Indo-Pakistani relations.
Majors: Political Science and Public Policy
Minors: Biology, Education Studies, Environmental Studies
SMP title: "The Chesapeake Bay: Restoration Politics and Policies"
Description: The Chesapeake Bay is dying. Blue crab populations, oyster harvests and aquatic grass data all indicate that the dead zones in the bay are increasing largely due to nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment input from agriculture, sewage and the combination of deforestation and impervious surfaces. Despite nearly 30 years of politics and policy aimed at bay restoration across the six watershed states, the bay has yet to see significant improvements. Economic and political factors are working against the bay's recovery. Nonetheless, with avid public stewardship backing the bay, gains can be made to sustainably manage the Chesapeake's valuable resources.
After graduation: I returned to St. Mary's for one year after graduation to earn my Masters of Arts in Teaching (did part of my student teaching in The Gambia, by the way), and then got a job teaching at-risk 11th- & 12th-graders in St. Mary's County.
Major: Religious Studies
Minors: French; Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "'Her Face Was Beautiful, Her Faith More Beautiful:' Female Physicality and Sanctity in Medieval Hagiographies"
Description: The project examines the importance of the body to female sainthood in hagiographies, or biographies of saints, from the early and high Middle Ages. Hagiographies were generally male-authored and intended for a wide audience, thus the values they demonstrate are often reflective of many levels of medieval social, cultural, and theological values. An analysis of their portrayal(s) of women helps us to understand how the female sex was perceived in the medieval societies in which these hagiographies were read.
After graduation: I finished my master's degree in Medieval Studies at the University of Oxford in 2011, and afterwards took a position within the University, working in student administration.
SMP title: "The Adventures of SuperMinority: Reflections on My Experiences Abroad"
Description: A collection of nine creative non-fiction pieces chronicling my experiences abroad. It focuses on my unique experience as compared to those with whom I traveled. As a female and an African-American, I became very aware of my minority status while in other countries. "Las Aventuras de la Superminoría" is a mostly comical, yet truthful retelling of specific experiences and interactions related to race, culture, and gender.
After graduation: I attended the University of Maryland School of Social Work after leaving St. Mary's. I graduated with my Master of Social Work degree in 2012 and am currently working as a Family Development Specialist at an Early Head Start program in Baltimore City.
SMP title: "Lincoln in London: Abraham Lincoln and Anglo-Americanism in the Early 20th Century"
Description: The project investigates the massive cult of popularity for Abraham Lincoln in the 1910s and 1920s. The project explores the nature of British enthusiasm for Lincoln, and attempts to explain the causes and motives behind its emergence. British veneration of Lincoln in the 1910s and 1920s speaks to the larger issues of American perceptions abroad and Anglo-American relations in the World War I Era.
After graduation: I interned for a year with the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick, Maryland. Starting in 2010, I am the museum's Director of Interpretation and Programming.
Minors: French and Mathematics
SMP title: "Eatables: Food and the Politics of Memory at Point Lookout Prison"
Description: Point Lookout, a Union prison camp that housed over 52,000 Confederate prisoners during the Civil War, has been largely ignored by historians, unlike its infamous counterpart in Georgia, Andersonville. Yet the historiography of Point Lookout provides a dramatic case study in how Northerners and Southerners have struggled for the past 150 years to shape, control, and often distort the interpretation of key events in the war that dissolved the Union. My research has focused largely on how evolving perceptions of food and starvation have been used as weapons in a war of propaganda that continues to this day.
After graduation: I work at Fort Sumter National Monument in Charleston, SC as a park ranger, while enrolled in a Master's program in history.
SMP title: Taking on Jericho: A Senior Trumpet Recital
Description: The program of this recital explored creative developments in the trumpet repertoire specifically represented by each of the pieces performed. Composers from successive generations took advantage of trumpeters' new abilities, writing music that, unfettered by technical limitations, emphasized the beauty and expression of which the instrument was capable. The program consisted of Herbert Clarke's cornet solo Sounds from the Hudson, Johann Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E-flat, Légende by Georges Enesco, and Sonata for Trumpet and Piano by Halsey Stevens. In addition to these pieces from the solo trumpet repertoire, I included two of my own chamber compositions: In a Gentle Pause for brass quintet and my brass quartet Energize! The recital was supplemented by program notes that gave a brief background on each piece and composer, providing the audience with a framework within which to understand the music.
After graduation: I completed a Master's of Music in Trumpet Performance from Western Michigan University. I currently reside in the Washington, D.C. area, and I pursue a multifaceted career as freelance musician, music educator, and entrepreneur. www.wixonmusicworks.com
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2009 at a glance
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Growth Dynamics of Two Nesting Populations of Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in Baja California Sur, Mexico"
Description: My SMP combined and analyzed nesting data from four nesting seasons in two small fishing towns in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Data was collected by myself and previous students at the field school, and included nesting pair numbers, nest locations, and nest status (active, empty, etc.). I analyzed the data using GIS mapping and statistics. I hypothesized that both towns would show an increase in total population and an increase in nest density over the six year study period, and that there would be a difference in the population levels of the two towns. Both of my hypotheses were supported by the data, but I was unable to draw a conclusion as to the reason behind the difference between the towns. I have concluded that the growth of the nesting population in both towns is limited by the availability of suitable nesting structures, primarily utility poles.
After graduation: Worked as a Maryland Watershed Restoration Intern for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, getting hands-on experience working in stream buffer restoration and in encouraging local, small-scale, grass-based agriculture. Then moved to the Florida Keys to take an outdoor education internship. Currently residing in Key Largo working as assistant manager of a scuba diving shop while saving for grad school. She plans to begin grad school in fall 2013 and pursue an advanced degree in coastal ecology and restoration.
Majors: Political Science & French
SMP title: "Race Discrimination in Maryland's Death Penalty System"
Description: My SMP examines the constitutionally impermissible role played by race in Maryland's capital punishment system. I analyze U.S. Supreme Court precedent and how it has allowed Maryland and other states to turn a blind eye to race discrimination in the death penalty. I examine statistical and testimonial evidence of race discrimination in Maryland's death penalty system and the societal effects of such disparities. After looking at the solutions tested by other states in attempting to prevent race discrimination in their respective capital punishment system, I conclude that Maryland must abolish the death penalty in order to prevent race discrimination from infecting its death penalty system, as there is no other suitable solution.
After graduation: I graduated from George Mason Law School, and I am now an attorney at a firm in the D.C. area specializing in real estate and bankruptcy law.
Minors: Educational Studies and Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Establishing an Effective Toolkit: A Framework for Literacy & Literature Instruction with English Language Learners"
Description: With media attention on immigration, the influx of English Language Learners (ELLs) in American public schools is also a growing concern. Teachers often find themselves unprepared to assist students in second language acquisition especially considering the pressures of standardized testing. Current guides for working with ELLs do not integrate the instructional models with approaches for specific content areas. Recognizing the need to show how research-based educational approaches can be integrated with models for literacy and literary analysis, I created this guide for secondary Language Arts teachers. My project shows how teachers can develop language skills and learning strategies while pushing students to become active and critical readers.
After graduation: After earning my bachelor's degree, I entered SMCM's one-year M.A.T. program. I completed student teaching internships at Spring Ridge Middle School, Baltimore City College, and Santa Fe Bilingual School in Costa Rica. This transitional year helped me gain more experience in the classroom and test my theory-based approaches to literature instruction. I currently teach tenth grade World Literature and twelfth grade AP English Literature & Composition at Perry Hall High in Baltimore County. I am the coach for our It's Academic team and a sponsor for the Class of 2015. I also am working with student journalists to create a documentary on the school's history.
SMP title: "The effect of predation by Cupriavidus necator on Bacillus anthracis endospore surrogates"
Description: I looked at the possibility of utilizing a non-pathogenic soil bacterium in novel decontamination and clinical treatment protocols against a future release of B. anthracis (anthrax) spores. Most current strategies are expensive, time-consuming, toxic, and, in the case of the anthrax vaccine, not overly effective post-exposure. C. necator has been indirectly observed preying against certain anthrax surrogates in soil columns, and I wanted to determine whether this predatory relationship could result in the inactivation of anthrax spore surrogates in varying environmental conditions. As it turns out, C. necator does not appear to be an appropriate predator against the selected spores in various nutrient conditions and that the search for novel strategies against inhalational anthrax must continue.
After graduation: In fall '09, I moved up to New Jersey to start the Ph.D. program in Molecular Biology at Princeton University. I plan to do my thesis research on neurodegenerative diseases.
Minor: Religious Studies
SMP title: "The Civil Disorder That Never Happened: Analyzing the Press Coverage Surrounding Cambridge 'Riot', 1967"
Description: While I started the project hoping to debunk myths about the civil rights press, I ended up chasing after this story of Cambridge. In the sixties, Cambridge was Maryland's hotspot for the civil rights movement. The National Guard was called out to the town on many occasions, often when demonstrations and counterdemonstrations got out of hand. In July of 1967, a series of small incidents, culminating in a large fire, was mistakenly defined as a "riot" in the press coverage of the day. My paper compares the news-coverage offered by four papers (the NYT, the Sun, the local Daily Banner, and the black-press Afro-American-)and tries to figure out how each paper managed to take the same facts and end up with remarkably different narratives. It ends up getting very postmodern (but doesn't everything these days?).
After graduation: In the fall of '09, I began the Ph.D. program in history on a full scholarship, at American University . I'm looking forward to finding a field (or two, or three) that I love, TA-ing, and seeking out jobs at non-profs and think tanks during my summers in DC. My tentative hope is to combine a life in academia with a life of public service and activism.
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "Bringing Carbon Emissions Out of the Clouds, Down to Earth and Into our Parlors: Analyses of recent rhetoric in the debate over global warming"
Description: What was my SMP about: When I started my SMP I was frustrated that the US was taking no federal-level action on climate change, and determined I would analyze some of the rhetoric used by the climate protection movement in order to come up with what rhetorical appeals might be helping or hurting the movement. However, as evinced by recent legislation starting to make its way through Congress and the EPA declaring it may regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, it is clear that the rhetoric of the past has helped push us as a nation to what appears to be a critical turning point in the battle against climate change; a moment when we discuss policies. I performed a series of rhetorical analyses in order to show how the Summary for Policymakers reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore/David Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth (2006) helped to move the country from considering questions of global warming's existence and humanity's influence in climate change to considering questions of policy. Using the rhetorical concept of "stasis theory" and other ideas developed by Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman and the Sophists, I found that the most effective rhetoric employed so far regarding global warming was rhetoric that used appeals other than or in addition to logical appeals. The most effective rhetoric uses simple, direct language coupled with imagery that ties the effects of global warming to individual people's experiences. I observed that in each successive IPCC report, the diction was more universal and more directly and succinctly stated, and this effectiveness translated into greater news coverage and greater numbers of people being persuaded of the existence of global warming and its consequences.
After graduation: For the year after graduation, I applied for, and was awarded, the position of St. Mary's Sustainability Fellow, leading the effort to improve the College's environmental sustainability. In 2011, I enter the Ph.D. program in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy at the University of Oregon, focusing on the use of rhetoric in environmental discourse. Some day, I'd like to return to Costa Rica to extend my Spanish, to fish, and to bird-watch.
SMP title: "The Alchemy of Esoteric Wisdom: Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy"
Description: I traced the intellectual development of the Austrian occultist Rudolf Steiner. Steiner was active in occultism from the turn of the 20th century, having developed a philosophy of knowledge that asserted the ability of man to comprehend the realm of ideas, in contrast to Kant's dualism. His system was similar to Neoplatonism and responsible for the creation of the Waldorf pedagogy.
After graduation: Working on Hamlet Organic Garden, a CSA (community supported agriculture) farm on Long Island.
SMP title: "Women as the Site of Empire: Colonial and Nationalist Agendas in Twentieth Century India"
Description: My SMP examines how women's status in India was affected by the colonial British presence in India and then the movement for independence. I assert that the history of colonialism and unfolding nationalism in India at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century resulted in the manipulation of the symbolic female image by British colonists and then Indian nationalists. After British colonists attacked the strength of the Indian nation by attacking the status of women in India, saying, among other things that Indian mothers could not raise good citizens, Indian nationalists countered by embodying Indian nationalism in the image of "Mother India." Unfortunately, symbolic imagery and nationalist assertions of the strength and equality of women did not correlate to the actual status of women. And after nationalist rhetoric from leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, it was harder for women to gain rights after independence through legislation. In India's struggle for independence, as in many others, women were asked to set aside their own interests until independence was achieved. When that goal was reached, women didn't receive the new rights they had been promised and instead were asked to wait and were made symbolic figures again in a nation that was redefining itself.
After graduation: I am teaching English in Seoul, South Korea. After a year or two I plan on either traveling again and working abroad for awhile longer or pursuing a Masters in Human Rights so that I can work on national and social development projects in developing countries such as India.
Majors: Biology & English
SMP title: "Letting the Wild In: Poetry and Prose of a Biological Nature"
Description: To study life is biology. To write life is poetry. As a biology and English double major, "Letting the Wild In: Poetry and Prose of a Biological Nature" combines my love of the written word with my passion for environmental, behavioral, and evolutionary biology. My experiences in the laboratory of dissecting a chicken egg, and time in the field searching under rocks and logs for red-backed salamanders during a summer internship, thrum with the lines of a phone conversation with my mother as well as dismay at the polluting of our earth. Influences for my work combine the laboratory with the literary, ranging from the vampire bat studies by Gerald S. Wilkinson, to the animal poems of Mary Oliver, to the naturalist prose of Annie Dillard. I my writing reflects on how the human race interacts with, effects, and in turn is affected by the natural world. I complied my written work and some artwork into a chapbook which I hope my reader finds not only informative, but that it encourages exploration to create dialogue with nature.
After graduation: Currently I am taking a year off to travel, write, and work. In the summer immediately after graduation, I went on the Poetry England study tour offered by SMCM. After the Oxford portion of that study tour, my parents took me on an African photography safari in Kenya for my graduation gift. Eventually, I plan to apply to some Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) programs for either poetry or fiction writing. But since 2010, I have a job as a zookeeper at the Cougar Mountain Zoo, in Issaquah, Washington.
Major: Political Science
Minor: Africa and African Diaspora Studies
SMP title: "A Leadership Comparison: Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez"
Description: My project examined the leadership of Mugabe and Chavez as populist leaders. Mugabe, who was once celebrated as a pioneer of the liberation movement in Zimbabwe against British colonialism, is the same man who is responsible for the recent implosion of the country. Today, Mugabe's leadership can be characterized as authoritarian, as he has done everything to undermine institutions of democracy, from increasing executive powers to rigging elections. Likewise, Chavez's regime proves to be increasingly authoritarian, with the most recent example being an end to presidential term limits. I hypothesize that he is following in the footsteps of Mugabe.
After graduation: After having interned after my junior year at the Maryland Department of the Environment, I was offered a job in the Office of Policy and Legislation. However, due to the poor economy, there was a hiring freeze. I still have my hopes up though. If everything works out well, I plan to work at MDE for a year or so before I consider going to graduate school for a degree in conflict resolution. If not, come what may come.
Major: Political Science
SMP title: "Maryland, My Maryland: Group Identity in the Old Line State"
Description: My SMP studied the cultural identities of Maryland, trying to determine whether or not the state had a cohesive identity as other states do. I used primary source interviews with citizens around the state to find out whether the impact of population changes, history, and regionalization on the state's culture.
After graduation: I enrolled in Cornell's Master's in Public Administration program, and graduated in 2011. While at Cornell, I focused in security affairs, with internships in the federal government doing Congressional affairs work and at a DC think tank focused on East Asian economics and international relations. I am now a Senior Consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, providing emergency response planning and crisis communication expertise for clients throughout the federal government.
Majors: Economics & Philosophy
SMP title: "Adapting to Climate Change: Ethics and Economics"
Description: In my SMP I look first at the underlying issues surrounding both the ethics and economics of climate change. After developing this theory, I apply it to what I refer to as a central dilemma in response to climate change: that despite the fact that developing countries have nearly zero responsibility for past emissions, they will suffer negative effects first and worst and are least financially equipped to respond to this issue.
After graduation: I moved to Buffalo to do a year of AmeriCorps VISTA, working on a public/non-profit partnership at Buffalo's city hall. After working at city hall for 18 months, I transitioned to the private sector. I now work for First Niagara Bank in the Commercial Lending division, facilitating Commercial Real Estate transactions and commercial mortgage closings. I am also enrolled in a Master's of International Management and Finance program at UMUC.
Minor: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "The Leading Men of Black Baltimore and the Construction of Masculine Identity, 1870-1895"
Description: My SMP begins with an introduction to Baltimore's black society at the end of Reconstruction, a unique, well developed society begun in the antebellum period when slave owners began manumitting many of their slaves. Marginalized by white society this community formed its own independent churches, social organizations, fraternal organizations, and unions. The main focus of my SMP is the masculine identity development of this society's prominent leaders, the Reverend Harvey Johnson and Isaac Myers. Fortunate enough to receive educations, they built names for themselves- one as a minister, the other as a businessman. I examine how their work helped them construct their own identities as masculine leaders, as well as how their own identities and values shaped the kinds of initiatives they undertook. Though their identities and the goals they had for the community were shaped by preconceived ideas about gender, both men were open-minded towards the real predicaments of fellow blacks. They understood that oppression, not personal choice, determined the fate of the black community.
After graduation: I spent the first year as a caseworker in the Choice Program outside of Baltimore, in which college graduates work in teams of three to serve 30 youth, most referred from the judicial system. Caseworkers visit the kids twice a day, at school and home, help them fill out job applications, take them out to fun activities like basketball and dinner at local colleges, and complete their community service with them on weekends. I will graduate from NYU School of Law in May 2013 (assuming I complete law school's version of an SMP, mind you). After taking the bar I am granted two months off to get all my last kicks out before I buckle down working in the litigation department of one of the worlds largest international law firms. I will be at the Manhattan office near Bryant Park.During my time in law school I worked at the Federal Defenders of New York and the Immigration department of Manhattan Legal Aid and served as a teaching assistant for NYU President John Sexton's honors seminar "Baseball as a Road to God."
SMP title: "A Deweyan Pedagogical Approach to Development Ethics"
Description: I argue that a pedagogical ethical theory inspired by John Dewey is a useful and workable analogy to global development ethics; that an analogical framework comparing developer and developing nations to teachers and students, can fulfill the need for a common language of development among different types of development agents; and that correct understanding and expansion of the analogy itself can help us to answer some of the toughest and most complex questions being faced by development ethicists. In short, a Deweyan pedagogical approach to development ethics describes and defines a particular view of the moral relationship that exists between developer and developing nations.
After graduation: After taking a year off and coming to terms with the job market, I started the M.A. program in Public Policy at the University of Maryland, with a focus on international development ethics (which was the topic of my SMP, and David Crocker, whose work was crucial to my SMP is in the program in which I'll be studying). I graduated with a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland in 2012, specializing in international development, security, and economic policy. While job searching, I found part-time work for a local newspaper writing an op-ed column on U.S. policy and foreign affairs, and covering local news and government. This helped land my present job as Communications Officer at The Middle East Institute in D.C., where I manage the organization's website, social media, and press outreach.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2008 at a glance
Minor: African and African Diaspora Studies
SMP title: "The Invisible Rhizome"
Description: I set out to write a novel, but had to settle for a long story. The future I depict is a classic dystopia-everything is in a state of decline, at least in the U.S.: environmental degradation, an uneducated, apathetic populace, a non-democratic government that is a fusion of the political and corporate arenas in plain sight that is becoming psychotic (literally), paranoid of its own populace with a special interest bloc attempting a major power grab. In writing this story, I set out with the intent to make the future intentionally anachronistic at times, to heighten the sense of connection for the readers to the world they're being presented, but also to pepper it with clear distinctions, mostly in the form of hyper-advanced technologies that are beginning to emerge in the near future. It has been difficult knowing which choices to make-what technologies I want to have exist, what things are the same, etc. It's a tough line to walk and no matter what choices I make in the end, some people will surely scoff saying either that either it's too fantastic or not fantastic enough. I have found this difficult, but rewarding to work through.
After graduation: I worked for a non-profit NGO based called Trees for the Future (www.plant-trees.org). Don't let the name fool you, we are a serious organization committed to empowering rural villagers in the developing world to improve areas of the world that have suffered major deforestation, degradation, or otherwise been screwed environmentally. Sometimes this takes the form of planting trees for fuel wood if that's what people most need, or sometimes simple reforestation efforts, or planting specific tree species that replenish the quality of soil to make farms productive again. Really, the determining factor for each project is what the people feel they need the most. We merely facilitate by providing seeds, materials for planting, and agro-forestry technicians who train people on the ground.
After a year there, I moved to Portland, Oregon, and then back to Maryland. Then spent a year doing outdoors conservation work with AmeriCorps, and am now (as of 2013) working for the California State Parks system, out of Santa Cruz, doing a lot of invasive species control.
Minors: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies & Theater
SMP title: "Body Objects: Women, Cultural Stories and the Body in the novels of Jeanette Winterson"
Description: My SMP focuses on three of Jeanette Winterson's novels: Written on the Body, The Passion, and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. I argue that Winterson weaves mythology, legend, and Petrarchan love poetry and, as such, queers our traditional conception of these forms. I also position Winterson's structural re-imagination of the novel into conversation with her use "queer" characters, that is, characters who re-negotiate the boundaries of hetero-normativity.
After graduation: In the fall of 2008, I started my M.A. in English Literature at Georgetown University. I served as a Teaching Assistant for an Introduction to Humanities and Writing course, taught two writing and literature courses over the summer. and served as the Coordinator of the university's Writing Center. In 2010 I move on to the Ph.D. program in Literature at CUNY.
Majors: Political Science & History
SMP title: "From ‘Honky-Tonk County' to the Beginnings of a High-Tech Hub: St. Mary's County Political and Economic History, 1940-1966"
Description: My SMP traced the economic development of St. Mary's County that arose following the construction of the Patuxent Naval Air Station. I postulate that the base created a divide in the County between the "Old County," whose families had been in the county for generations and the "New County" who arrived with the base. When old county banks refused to fund new county development, slot machines financed much of the new development. The competition between old and new turned political, with J. Frank Raley leading a coalition that gained control of the county in 1962. Raley and his supporters put hundreds of pieces of legislation through that created the modern high-tech economy of St. Mary's that revolves around the base. The Old County struck back, however, and used issues like the abolition of slots and higher taxes to challenge the new county's policies.
After graduation: After graduation, taught English in Vietnam on a Fulbright fellowship. I immersed myself in Vietnamese culture, history, and language, and was fortunate enough do some travel throughout Asia as well. I then worked for a year and a half on a State Department Grant at the Graduate School in Washington, D.C., handling logistics for the International Visitor Leadership Program, a global exchange program. In the fall of 2011, I begin William & Mary Law School, and am especially interested in criminal and international law, and in their program in post-conflict law.
SMP title: "Infants, Toddlers, and Televised Media"
Description: In 1999 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children under 2 have no "screen time," meaning that children in this age range should not be exposed to electronic screens of any type (television screens, computer screens, etc.). However, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children between the ages of 6 months and 3 years watched an average of 60 minutes of television per day and spent another 47 minutes per day with other screen media (DVDs, movies, video games, etc.). My SMP sought to examine what, if anything, children can understand and learn from media products designed for this age range, specifically DVDs marketed as "educational." I examined children's ability to learn language as well as knowledge about the world and the state of reality from the programs, and learned that there is very little research into how children in this age range understand televised media, but that this little research does suggest that children cannot extract much meaning from television. As the second part of my SMP, I conducted a qualitative analysis of consumer reviews posted to amazon.com for these types of products in an attempt to better understand why caregivers show these DVDs to their children. I found that many caregivers cite their child's attention to the screen as evidence of comprehension, a correlation that is unfounded for the under 2 set.
Overall, children age 2 and under do not comprehend television and televised media the way that adults do, and the effects of early exposure on language and cognitive development remain largely unknown.
Plans after graduation: I completed the MAT program at St. Mary's in June 2009, and am teaching third grade in the Baltimore County public schools.
Major: Environmental Studies (Independent Student-Designed major)
SMP title: "The Consumer's Guide to Opting Out"
Description: My SMP sought to call out the misguided belief that individual environmental impact can be lessened simply by buying "greener" versions of what we typically consume. I proposed that the only real solution to today's greatest environmental crises is to consume less by changing our buying habits, the way companies make things, and our economic system. Capitalism is based on the idea that unbounded economic and population growth are good. Success is more stuff. We need a less stuff model. "Opting out" of the more stuff model is electing to grow alternative economies instead of contributing to ones that perpetuate suffering and environmental degradation, forcing companies to change how they operate to meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainable and just methods. This guide provides a set of navigational tools to see past marketing ploys and identify the real impacts of goods as well as routes for opting out of our consumption-oriented ideology and infrastructure.
After graduation: I stayed in St. Mary's County and worked both as a forewoman at Even'Star Organic Farm and as a Sustainability Fellow for SMCM. In 2010 I received a certificate after completing the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture at UC-Santa Cruz. I am currently a candidate for an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, & Environment at Tufts University. Once I finish, I plan on starting the most awesome, politically-active, community-centered farm!
SMP title: "This One's Optimistic: An Exploration of Hope, Morality, and Suicide"
Description: My paper searches for the role that both hope and suicide play within the context of the ethical theory of utilitarianism, and attempts to see whether suicides in response to trauma are morally acceptable on utilitarian grounds. This sort of topic would seem to naturally arise when one is faced with the sort of existential crisis that, though we may do as much moral good as is humanly possible, we are still unable to change much about our present-day world. This project attempts to discover what is to be done with the notion of hopelessness which arises from the conflict of what we wish the world to be and what it actually is. Is this hopelessness justifiable or rationally grounded? If it is, is it legitimate to commit a sort of philosophical suicide because of this hopelessness in perfecting the world through our ethical behavior? If not, are we still morally obligated to adopt some sort of ethical system, whether utilitarianism or otherwise? Largely rooted in philosophical accounts, this paper attempts to answer these questions by focusing on the writings of John Stuart Mill, Peter Singer, Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Primo Levi, and Susan Brison.
After graduation: I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, teaching math to high school students (anything from early algebra to calculus). After that, I moved to Atlanta and got married. In 2012 we moved to North Dakota, where I got a job as a reference librarian at the North Dakota State Library.
Majors: Biology & English
SMP title: "Beyond the Trojan Horse: Stories of Women in the Trojan War"
Description: My SMP is a collection of short fiction told from the perspectives of the women of the Trojan War. Essentially, the goal of my project was to use surviving literature from ancient Greece (the Greek tragedies, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, etc) to imagine what the lost or untold stories are. Women are involved in almost every aspect of the Trojan War, acting as everything from warriors to prophets to war prizes, but their voices are underrepresented in the mythology of the war. Through my fiction, I have sought to fill in the gaps that the mythology has left-to create a realistic portrait of what these women were thinking, feeling and experiencing during the course of the war.
After graduation: I spent the year after graduation doing plant biology field work. I spent the majority of the time in rural Georgia, where I worked out of a lab focused on the restoration of the longleaf pine ecosystem in that area, and the remainder of the time in the Ozarks, doing forest surveys for the University of Missouri. In fall 2009 I started medical school at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Majors: Biology & Chinese
Minor: Asian Studies
SMP title: "Untapped Resources: An evaluation of several invasive plants for introduction into the American diet"
Description: I looked at several edible plant species which were invasive to this area with the idea that collecting wild foods could provide a source of fresh food and exercise for the American public as well as providing a control on the populations of these invasive exotics. I assayed them for their protein, carbohydrate, lipid, and caloric content, conducted a literature review of their vitamins and minerals, and conducted a workshop on their identification to see if people would enjoy harvesting them. I also made a lot of wild carrot muffins.
After graduation: I had a job stream sampling in Idaho for the National Forest Service for the summer. After that I worked for the International Crane Foundation, which is part of the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership. I basically made sure we knew where all the cranes in the population were (all 81 of them) and what they were doing; so I wintered in Florida, because they do. Plus, I helped take care of the baby cranes that flew down here following an ultralight aircraft (think "Fly Away Home"), which involved dressing up in a crane costume and stomping around in a marsh. Pretty crazy.... Then in summer 2009, I returned to the NFS, but in Oregon. Since the end of the field season in Oregon, I took a road trip across California and the Southwest, had a brief internship for the Pacific Whale Foundation based on the island of Maui, and then worked on a project studying wading birds on Lake Okeechobee for Florida Atlantic University. In 2010, I begin the Ph.D. program in UC--Davis' Graduate Group in Ecology (an interdisciplinary program from among various specialties in Biology).
Major: Political Science, with a minor in Environmental Studies
SMP title: "America's Failing Food Aid System and the Need for Reform"
Description: My SMP is an analysis of U.S. food aid policy. The current system is incredibly inefficient and ineffective. The problem is that food aid in the United States is not only given for humanitarian reasons, but also to benefit large agriculture corporations, shipping lines, and aid NGOs. I argue that U.S. food aid policy must be reformed in order to help feed as many people as possible by separating policy goals from these domestic interests. Public education will be key to any type of reform, since change will only occur if the people put pressure on politicians.
After graduation: Won an Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, through the Congressional Hunger Center. I was stationed in Tucson for six months, and then spent six months in D.C. working on hunger policy issues. After that, I was hired as Policy Assistant for both the National Family Farm Coalition and the Community Food Security Coalition, working mostly on Farm to School and other policies concerning local food issues. After a year of that, I got a position with Friends of the Earth as their Genetic Engineering Policy Campaigner, where I work on such issues as trying to get legislation passed to ban the patenting of human genes, and trying to work against and control cloning technologies for animals & humans, as well as nanotechnology and synthetic biology.
Majors: Music & German
SMP title: "Encrypted Perfection: A New Perspective on Number Symbolism in Alban Berg's Violin Concerto"
Description: This is a dual research and German-translation project exploring Berg's last composition. I utilize current scholarly research, contemporary literature of the Second Viennese School, and my own theoretical analyses to better interpret the composer's "hidden agenda" and character illustrations, both of which are manifested in numerological sequencing throughout the Violin Concerto. Berg uses number symbolism to illustrate himself and three women, who played a key role in his life, through measure combinations, intervallic relationships and tempo markings. Current scholarship (e.g. that of Douglas Jarman and George Pearl) illuminates reasons for Berg's personal association with the number twenty-three, as well as his attribution of the number twenty-eight to former lover, Marie Scheuchl, in the piece. I utilize this information, along with research in Pythagoreanism, mysticism and the occult in early twentieth century Vienna that influenced members of the Second Viennese school, to uncover the connection between Hannah Fuchs-Robettin and the number ten (Pythagoras' symbol for perfection) in the Concerto. Through translating and interpreting contemporary musicologist Willi Reich's (Berg's student and colleague) Concerto-related essays and articles, I also explore the significance of the number three throughout the Berg's Concerto as well as the number's association with Manon Gropius, to whom the piece is dedicated. The purpose of my scholarship is to bring a better understanding of a renowned and equally cryptic twelve-tone work to the academic and musicological world.
After graduation: I an M.A. degree in European and Russian Studies (focusing in music history and musicology) at Yale University.
Majors: English & French
SMP title: "Neither Here Nor There: Reflections on a Transatlantic Exchange"
Description: My SMP is a collection of creative, non-fiction essays which grapple with the cultural phenomenon I experienced while studying abroad in Rennes, France. In each essay I reflect on aspects of culture such as food, architecture, and language in order to understand my dual role as American student and temporary French citizen. Like that of any writing, the aim of my SMP is twofold: to come to come to a deeper understanding of my own cross-cultural experiences as well as offer readers a way to reflect on their own experiences abroad or at home.
After graduation: While working on a master's degree in Intercultural Communication with a specialization in intercultural training, I spent several semesters creating and delivering training for students, professors, and staff, and I collaborated with colleagues from many countries to complete these trainings. Since finishing graduate school, I have moved to Pittsburgh to work for an international relocation company. My primary responsibilities
Mary Lyle J.
SMP: Seeing Eye to Eye: Autism, Therapy, and the Family
Description: Seeing Eye to Eye is a documentary film I made chronicling the experience of autism from diagnosis through etiology to intervention with a special focus on Applied Behavior Analysis. The film is an extension of a comprehensive literature review on the subject and has a more personal undertone. It illuminates the struggles and triumphs of a particular family whose son is autistic. Over the past two years, my work as a therapist for the boy opened my eyes to the family's strength and determination and the intensity of an autistic diagnosis. Their story inspired me to reach out through a visual medium to a wider audience and help remove some of the confusion about autism while highlighting the important role of the family in coping with the disorder. Autism is a social disorder; it affects not only the autistic individuals but also all those who come in contact with them. To better the quality of life for all involved, it is important that a deeper understanding of the diagnosis and the potential experience is universally acknowledged. There is no cure, and as long as the research is still grappling with genetics and neurology, society and autism need to work toward a mutual appreciation for one another's perspectives, thereby building a link of communication and support.
After graduation: I returned to Orange County, Virginia to work as a receptionist and personal trainer during the week, and as a behavioral therapist on weekends. I plan to attend graduate school in two or three years in a program blending the biological and social sciences.
Major: Studio Art
Minor: Latin American Studies
SMP title: "Consenting Bodies: Through and Beyond Performative Installation"
Description: Using the conceptual foundation of consent, which I defined as a politicized consciousness and an action of the body, I created an installation in the Boyden Gallery with a range of interactive art objects made mostly from fabric, wood, and plaster. Through looking, turning, and touching these objects and moving through the space I invited my audience to consider the objects as body fragments and discover how interactions with them were or were not consensual. A website documents this work: http://www.smcm.edu/art/smp_studio/studio2008/lawrence/
After graduation: I spent three months after graduation traveling across the country with my partner. In late August of 2008, just as the recession was hitting, we settled in Eugene, Oregon, a small town often cited for being one of the greenest in the country. In '08-'09 I worked in retail while serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer for BRING Recycling (http://www.bringrecycling.
Majors: Political Science & Latin American Studies
Minor: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "An Epidemic of Clandestine Abortion: On the Battle to Control Reproduction in the Argentine State"
Description: My SMP addresses a troubling phenomenon in Argentina: an epidemic of illegal, clandestine abortion now occurring on such a massive scale that the number of illegal abortions each year accounts for nearly 40% of all pregnancies. I examine the evolution of the reproductive rights debate in the country, to understand the interplay between various social and political influences on the public policy which criminalizes abortion. I focus on the role of one particular political actor, Argentina's community of medical professionals, a community with authority to influence attitudes and policy related to standards in reproductive health and in fertility regulation. Ultimately, I argue that the current women's movement in Argentina must align itself with the nation's professional doctors and work from within the medical establishment to achieve reform in outdated reproductive policy.
After graduation: I had an internship at the Organization of American States, Inter-American Commission for Women for two months, and then I traveled to Costa Rica for two months to do an internship with "Lucha Contra el SIDA," an AIDS awareness organization. As of 2011, I'm applying to graduate programs for Masters in Social Welfare for next fall, mostly on the West Coast (UC Berkeley, UCLA) and a few on the East Coast (Columbia, University of Pennsylvania). I was contemplating law school, but after a few years working in a law firm, I realize that it's not for me. Social Workers are a much friendlier bunch.
Majors: Political Science & English
SMP title: "Innocence for Sale? Toward an Alternative Discourse of Sex Trafficking in Women"
Description: My project looks at how the existence of competing conceptual frameworks for sex trafficking in women has created a polarized, politicized and ultimately counterproductive international trafficking discourse. It examines how this discourse informs the ineffective and often harmful range of policy approaches currently employed by the globe's most influential anti-trafficking actors. Ultimately, it argues for a reconfigured trafficking discourse free from the politics, paternalism and repressive moralism that characterize the current one. This new discourse would encourage nuanced anti-trafficking policy attentive not only to the incredible complexity of the issue, but its underlying structural causes: the gender inequities, economic pressures, and multiple state failures that drive women to irregular migration.
After graduation: For two years after graduation, I worked as Program Coordinator for the University of Maryland's Center for International Development and Conflict Management (CIDCM), an interdisciplinary research center focused on understanding the interplay between conflict and development on the international stage. After a subsequent unremarkable but better-paying private sector desk job, which helped me fully hone my talent for creating elaborate geometric doodles on post-it notes, I concluded that the office life is not for me and made a career change. I'm now putting my liberal arts education to surprisingly good use as a Police Officer with a large urban department on the east coast - a job that constantly reminds me that challenges, intellectual and otherwise, come in many guises beyond the academic.
SMP title: "Examination of DMSP and DMSP Lyase as Antioxidants in Zooxanthellae"
Description: I measured levels of the chemical DMSP and enzyme DMSP lyase in Symbiodinium, organisms that form symbiotic relationships with reef building coral. DMSP and DMSP lyase are part of a proposed antioxidant system, so the second half of my SMP looked at how these levels change under conditions of oxidative stress. In one particular strain, I found that DMSP concentrations were upregulated, while the lyase activity remained unchanged.
After graduation: Attending graduate school at Cornell for a doctorate in Chemistry and Chemical Biology. After that, I am interested in teaching or potentially patent research.
Minors: Neuroscience & Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Honors and Non-honors College Students: Academic Self-Concept as a Predictor of Program Participation and Educational Experiences"
Description: An analysis of differences between Nitze Scholars Program Participants and non-participants focusing on measures of academic self-concept (a person's beliefs about his or her academic abilities based on previous experiences and interpretations of ones environment and educational experiences.
After graduation: I work as a Management Analyst with the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where I oversee the Division's legal internship programs, coordinate employee awards programs, manage Human Capital data collection and analysis, and spearhead special recruitment efforts. In my free time I row and race with the Capital Rowing Club.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2007 at a glance
Minor: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "More Than Just the Facts: Objectivity, Activism, and the Formation of Community through Student Journalism"
Description: My SMP is an attempt to understand the roles and responsibilities of student journalists in shaping the news for their community. The first component is a narrative essay about my experiences while reporting on the living wage sit-in in the fall of 2006. It introduces the many questions I have had during my college career about my responsibilities as a student journalist. The second, research-oriented piece of my SMP traces the evolution of objectivity in American journalism and its effects on journalists as citizens and participants in community life; explores community, public and citizen journalism; incorporates interviews with students who run various campus publications; and argues that journalists must change their attitudes toward the stories they tell. Finally, I have created a brief overview of my project in the form of a guide for The Point News that details how what I have learned from both my SMP and my time at the newspaper can be applied by future student journalists.
After graduation: Worked as a reporter for the Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland) for several months, before becoming a reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs (www.bna.com). After BNA (which is now Bloomberg BNA because Bloomberg must buy everything in its sight), I worked as a reporter at Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health policy news site that is unaffiliated with the insurer. KHN gives away its health policy stories to other media organizations like the Washington Post, NPR, and USA Today. In the course of this, I started and finished JHU's M.A. program in non-fiction writing, being a reporter by day, writer and student by night. Now I have moved to Durham, NC, awaiting the next step.
Majors: Economics & French
SMP title: "Unemployment in France: An Institutional and Comparative Analysis of the French Labor Market"
Description: France has experienced a comparatively high rate of unemployment over the past 30 years. High unemployment puts stress on social programs and reduces the amount of tax revenue collected, therefore causing problems for the government and the economy as a whole. Despite recent reform efforts, the French government continues to search for ways to increase employment. This project analyzes the effects that labor market institutions in France have on unemployment. I also suggest possible reforms that would help alleviate the problem of unemployment in France.
After graduation: I worked for 3 years at the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO), researching economic issues relating to health care, labor markets, and income security programs. I analyzed federal legislation, including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and produced reports to the US Congress. I decided to study law, but before starting school I rode my bicycle 3,542 miles across the United States with an organization called Bike and Build. We raised funds and awareness for affordable housing initiatives. I attended the University of Virginia School of Law, Class of 2013, where I served as Dillard Teaching Fellow for Legal Research and Writing and as President/Director of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program at the University of Virginia. After graduation I will practice patent and antitrust litigation in Washington, D.C. for global law firm Morrison & Foerster.
Vanessa B. (now V. S.)
Major: English, and teacher certification in Secondary Education
SMP title: "Traipsing After Jane: Pride and Prejudice and the Sequel Phenomenon"
Description: In light of the recent proliferation of sequels to classic novels in general, and to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice more particularly, this project attempts to identify the motivation authors have in penning sequels to Jane Austen's work and the success they achieve in doing so. I approach this issue from three different angles-a short sequel of my own authorship; a cultural analysis, which looks at several published sequels and explores the question of author motivation; and a stylistic analysis, which quantitatively analyzes sample portions of Austen's work and several sequels, and concludes that, though a great number of people try to imitate Austen, she is, ultimately, inimitable.
After graduation: I enjoy teaching eighth grade English and German I at a Maryland public school. I recently completed my M.Ed. in English Education at Millersville University and am contemplating a second master's--an M.A. this time.
SMP title: "The Things We Keep"
Description: This project is a work of creative nonfiction which recounts the early lives of my grandparents Jim and Anna Bradfield. The many letters they exchanged between the years of 1939 and 1945 were passed down to me. These became the impetus and the main source for reconstructing their story. Their relationship is thus set in the historical context of World War II and the events surrounding it. Each essay explores the complex interaction of three threads of experience: the personal dialogue in the letters, the larger events of history, and my own memories of Jim and Anna Bradfield many years later. This is an examination of the nature of family history: how we shape it and are shaped by it.
After graduation: I returned to Maryland's Eastern Shore, where I will pay my way through a Master's degree in Composition, Language, and Rhetoric by teaching composition and literature at Salisbury University.
Major: Political Science
SMP title: "The Rehnquist Court and the Battle to Overrule Roe v. Wade"
Description: My SMP began as an effort to evaluate a broad range of Rehnquist Court jurisprudence to assess the extent to which it deviated from the progressive rulings of the Warren Court. Through my research, the project evolved into a focused look at abortion law since Roe v. Wade (1973). Special attention was paid to the efforts of conservative jurists like Chief Justice William Rehnquist, conservative presidents like Ronald Reagan, and conservative interest groups like the AUL to overrule Roe. Despite these efforts, the core holdings of Roe, though restricted, are still intact today, as reaffirmed by the Court in Reproductive Health Services of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Public opinion polls, political developments, and new Supreme Court appointments were tracked, all of which contribute to an explanation of the current state of abortion law. This project concludes that the public has assimilated Roe's core holdings into our social fabric, and this has been reflected in the Supreme Court's rulings. Nonetheless, abortion continues to be a controversial issue that will undoubtedly command future time on the Supreme Court's agenda; in short, abortion law is still evolving.
After graduation: Completed law school at Columbia University and works as an attorney in Philadelphia.
Majors: English & Religious Studies
SMP title: "Tubaab in a Land of Sufis: A Creative Exploration of Islam in Senegal"
Description: A series of creative non-fiction pieces combining my personal experiences studying for a semester in Senegal (spring of my junior year) with researched information about specific Muslim practices there. It very neatly combines my majors and minor
After graduation: I had a paying job with the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (www.chesapeakeclimate.org) as the grassroots organizer for Maryland, working to educate and empower citizens to make legislative change right here in Maryland. In fall 2009, I started the Ph.D. program in Religious Studies at Temple University, in Philadelphia. I moved to Chicago in 2012, where I am working on my dissertation, which explores the representation of Muslim and Mormon women in an American context.
SMP title: "Stigma and Cancer: Young Adults' Attitudes toward Hypothetical Peers"
Description: An examination of stigmas and how they relate to chronic physical illnesses, such as cancer. Prior research has found that cancer patients experience some stigma, although this stigma is often more positive than stigmatized views experienced by other groups. Research also suggests that people with chronic illness may be more empathetic and open to others. Thus, this project examined 1) whether people's attitudes towards cancer patients are similar to people's attitudes toward another highly stigmatized condition, depression, and 2) whether cancer survivors are more socially accepting and open toward peers in a stigmatized group. I surveyed over 300 young adults (of which 42 were cancer survivors) and asked them to picture two hypothetical peers (one with depression and one with cancer). I then measured participants' acceptance attitudes by asking them to answer a series of questions about each peer. Results showed that young adults are significantly more accepting of hypothetical peers with cancer as opposed to peers with depression. Also, participants who had been diagnosed with cancer or who had known someone with cancer were more likely to be accepting of either peer. Former cancer patients were less accepting of people with depression than was predicted. These results suggest that stigmas for mental illnesses are significantly more negative, and that the experience of cancer could lead to greater acceptance of stigmatized groups.
After graduation: I am working two-psychology related jobs for Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, as I clarify my plans for graduate study in psychology. In the morning, I am a research assistant for a lab at JHU that studies both insomnia and pain. This is my "calm" job. In the afternoon, I work with Baltimore city kids at an outpatient psychiatric program at Johns Hopkins' Bayview hospital. I get to lead small group therapy sessions, as well as drive a big van around the city to pick up and drop off our kids.
SMP title: "The Effect of Antioxidants on the Bacterial Toxic Activity of Heated Glucose-Phosphate Compound"
Description: When a reducing sugar is heated with phosphates, a toxic compound with antibacterial properties is formed. The rpoS system that produces a stress response in E. coli protects the bacteria from the glucose-phosphate compound. The glucose-phosphate compound is believed to work through a mechanism involving reactive oxygen species (ROS). Antioxidants can provide protection against ROS. Glutathione, ascorbic acid, histidine, mannitol, and sodium pyruvate were tested to see if they could rescue the bacteria from the toxic compound. None of the antioxidants provided the bacteria with protection from the glucose-phosphate. Further work involving a wider range of concentrations as well as antioxidants could be performed.
After graduation: Began the doctoral program at Johns Hopkins' Program in Molecular and Computational Biophysics in fall 2007, finishing in 2012, whereupon she moved to San Francisco to leave the lab bench and take a job as a management consultant.
SMP title: "The Bilingual Life of Korean-Argentines"
Description: During a semester studying in Buenos Aires, I conducted interviews with Korean-Argentines who grew up there. These formed the basis for my research paper, attempting to understand their experiences with society through two languages: Korean and Spanish. Along with the pull of family devotion and genetic make-up, the inevitability of cultural assimilation has created challenges where the complications of a bilingual lifestyle make it difficult to be completely under either cultural frame. Their acceptance of this ambiguity proves that multiculturalism not only exists in a social context, but also in a bilingual person who identifies him or herself through more than one culture. The history of the Korean Diaspora has established an extensive network, creating bicultural lifestyles in various cultural contexts, further suggesting a re-evaluation of homogenous national identities. As another product of this Diaspora, I personally have been enriched by a multilingual lifestyle and enjoy this fluid cultural identity, opening myself to what the world has to offer.
After graduation: Teaching conversational English at elementary schools in South Korea. Then promoted to Assistant Coordinator for her district, working as a liaison between the Office of Education and the foreign teachers and sometimes between foreign teachers and their schools.
SMP title: "Maltrato: El Abuso Físico Contra Las Mujeres en Sevilla, España"
Description: My SMP is a 55-minute documentary about domestic violence in Sevilla, Spain (in Spanish, with English subtitles). It is based off the information and research I gathered while studying in Spain during the fall semester of my senior year, and consists of a series of interviews with a sampling of the population discussing the problem. It also includes victims' testimonies and expert opinions. My aim is to educate the audience about the prevalence, the cause, and the general opinion of domestic violence in Southern Spain, specifically Seville.
After graduation: After graduation: Entered the Retail Management Associate leadership training program for Chevy Chase Bank, and after completion, took a position as assistant bank manager at a branch in the D.C. area, and was eventually promoted to branch manager. In 2011, took a job with The Travel Channel and is now working as a producer for the marketing team.
Majors: History & Philosophy
Minor: Asian Studies
SMP title: "Christians, Buddhists and Manichees: Foreigners in the Pure Land"
Description: I explore the possibility of Western religions (Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity) having affected the development of Pure Land Buddhism in China in the 7th century. I first assess the arguments in favor of this theory as well as the historiography in support of it. I also engage the philosophical peculiarities of Pure Land to determine whether its evolution could have occurred from within the Buddhist tradition, and I conclude, contrary to my original hypothesis, that this latter explanation is the more reasonable.
After graduation: Taught English in elementary school in Shanghai (which is where I spent the spring of my junior year) to further my study of Mandarin. Then returned home and worked odd jobs while applying to grad school. In 2010 I began the M.A. program in Comparative and Regional Studies, focusing on Asia, at American University's School of International Service.
SMP title: In the fall, it was called "The Jam Project." Spring semester's segment was called "What Was It You Wish You Had Said?: An Interactive Installation." So, overall, I just sort of gave it 2 titles, or it could be called "Interactive Art Installations on Community."
Description: I did an SMP in art that dealt with concepts of community, progress, memory, and communication, and attempted to bridge the gap between the written and the imagistic. It also attempted to foreground the role of community member/participant as crucial to the work, rather than "Artist" as author. In the fall semester I asked my friends for contributions of things that represented some great effort they had made, and I made jam out of them and then redistributed the preserved & canned objects back into the community. In the spring semester I asked people the abovementioned question ("What was it you wish you had said?") and collected their written responses to it. This was ongoing in the gallery over the course of the show and the participants pinned together their words on the wall.
After graduation: I spent about two years in the communications department at the DC consumer advocacy nonprofit Food & Water Watch, where I wrote, edited, consulted, and cold-called to battle against Big Ag and Big Water. Now I'm in DC teaching English as a second language to adults from around the world, spending my days explaining why you should not pronounce "condom" when you mean "condemn." I'm also giving the occasional letterpress printing lesson, inflicting large quantities of baked goods on my housemates and coworkers, and dreaming of international travel.
SMP title: "The Hidden Enemy: The Impact of Cuba's Cultural Tradition on the Revolution's Goal of Gender Equality"
Description: In a country such as Cuba, the media portray what Fidel/Raul want them to portray. I want to find out how women are really living, to see to what extent gender equality has been realized. I also may examine the treatment of homosexuals. It is a comparison of laws/speeches vs. first-hand accounts/statistics/personal interviews.
After graduation: I graduated from Drexel Law in May, 2012 with Honors in the Health Law Concentration. I slaved all summer and passed the Delaware bar on the first try and was sworn in on December 12 (12/12/12). I am now working as the Pro Bono Coordinator at the Office of the Child Advocate where I train, assign, and track our 400 volunteer attorneys. Additionally, I carry my own caseload representing children in foster care throughout the state. I also volunteer at the State Department of Justice in the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, do part-time paralegal work for a small law firm and am a research assistant for a Professor writing books on medicine and ethics.
Major: Women, Gender & Sexuality
SMP title: "Writing from a Body: Translating Philosophy to Creative Writing"
Description: In Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldua plays with genre and synthesizes fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, philosophy, history, and myths to discuss the borders between cultures, races, genders, religion, and classes. After having read her book, I was inspired to explore different feminisms in similar ways. I wrote analytical papers about four feminist philosophers: Noddings, Held, hooks, and Butler. Then, I tried to integrate or challenge issues that they raised in creative writing pieces: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. I chose to write issues of care, gender and identity, and social institutions like racism and capitalism, because I wanted the focus to be on the transformation of philosophical ideas into another medium. My goal was to make more abstract philosophical ideas more accessible. In Feminist Theory, bell hooks writes "Concentration of feminist educators in universities encourages habitual use of academic style that may make it impossible for teachers to communicate effectively with individuals who are not familiar with either academic style or jargon." My project was my attempt to communicate feminist ideas to a larger audience in a more accessible format.
After graduation: Completed the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies program at Loyola College in Baltimore. Then got a full-time position as a Circulation Assistant at the library at St. John's College in Annapolis, and began in 2010 the Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee. Now in 2013 I'm starting as a full-time librarian (Adult and Young Adult Services) with the Montgomery County Public Library system, at their Silver Spring branch--doing young adult programming and outreach.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2006 at a glance
Major: Political Science
SMP title: "Latino Representation in the U.S. Political System"
Description: The U.S. political system is one that prides itself on being democratic and representative, yet only two parties can effectively compete within its current framework and rules. So many minority groups (ethnic minorities, smaller parties) experience under-representation within a system that is supposed to afford them a voice. The focus of my project is on the under-representation of Latinos (a group near and dear to my heart and in my blood) and why this fast-growing population does not have adequate representation within U.S. legislative bodies. The end goal is to propose changes to the U.S. systems of elections and representation to make them more representative of all the diverse people and opinions in our country.
After graduation: I received my law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2009 and clerked for a federal judge in Maryland the year after law school. For the next year, I served as Court Counsel for the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau during the week and enjoyed world-class scuba diving on the weekends. Since returning to the states in the Fall of 2011, I have been working as an associate at a law firm in D.C. and focusing primarily on corporate acquisitions and financings.
Allison B. (now R.)
SMP title: "Systematic Isolation of an Antimicrobial Compound"
Description: Dr. Jeffrey Byrd (Biology Dept) discovered an antimicrobial compound upon autoclaving a glucose-phosphate buffer solution. I carried on the work of a few chemistry SMPs before me to better isolate the compound and determine its structure through NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy, under my project mentor Dr. Andrew Koch (Chemistry Dept).
After graduation: I attended the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy where I earned my doctorate in pharmacy. I then completed two years of residency, first in ambulatory care at the VA in Madison, WI, and the second in geriatrics at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. I am now a geriatric and palliative care clinical pharmacy specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Atlanta, with board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy.
Major: Art and Art History (Studio Art Focus)
SMP title: "she's electric: aborted fairy tales"
Description: A year-long development of a body of work that includes intensive, independently driven art-making, research, and writing, culminating in an exhibition mounted in the Boyden Gallery and an artist talk accompanied by a thesis paper. This body of work combines digital prints and textile sculpture and references both postmodern and cultural narratives. By using my personal experiences and anxieties as a beginning point, I make work that taps into a larger experience of female anxiety that relates to my ongoing exploration of my female subjective identity.
After graduation: I received my MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, pursuing new media, performance, and gender and media studies while continuing to make objects and installations. I now live Portland, Oregon. In addition to pursuing my own art and writing practices, I co-run Grand Detour, a microcinema focused on experimental media, and co-direct Experimental Film Festival Portland, or EFFPortland, now in its second year. I am the communications director of the Museum of Pocket Art and a proud dog mom of the cutest miniature schanuzer alive. In 2011 I was privileged to be an Artist in Residence at the SMCM Artist House, and hope to return to my beautiful alma mater again soon.
SMP title: "Elliptic Curves and Magic Squares"
Description: My project will extend the results of a paper by Ezra Brown which proves that the points of order 3 of an elliptic curve form a magic square. I am looking at points of order greater than three to determine if these also have connections to magic squares. I am also trying to find an algorithm for computing magic squares of high order from elements of Zn x Zn.
After graduation: I taught secondary school mathematics and physics in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer, starting in the fall after graduation. I started at GEICO Insurance, in the D.C. area, as a business strategy analyst in May 2008 and now manage a team of five analysts. I completed my MS in Mathematics and Statistics at Georgetown University in December 2012.
SMP title: "The Effects of Cognitive Intervention in Adolescence on Behavioral Abnormalities in a Rat Model of Schizophrenia"
Description: Clinical data suggest that premorbid cognitive stimulation through higher education may protect against the development of schizophrenic symptoms in adulthood. Through my SMP, I assessed the effects of cognitive intervention in adolescence on disrupted adult behaviors in a neurodevelopmental model of schizophrenia in rats. Neonatal ventral hippocampus lesioned (NVHL) rats were trained in a cognitive intervention task during adolescence, and their behaviors assessed in a battery of tests during adulthood. Working memory performance of lesioned rats that had received cognitive intervention in adolescence was markedly improved (p=.032), suggesting that premorbid cognitive intervention may protect against the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.
After graduation: I worked for one year as a laboratory technician in neuroscience, at the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where I continued with work from my SMP (rat models of schizophrenia), and branched out to electrophysiology studies. During that year, I got into the Ph.D. program at U of Maryland, in Neuroscience, beginning in the fall of 2007, and finishing in 2012. In spring of 2013, I am teaching neuroscience full-time at St. Mary's.
Majors: Chemistry & Biology
SMP title: "Synthesis and Characterization of Benzyltributylammonium Fluoride and "DiMagno's Resin": Novel Fluorinating Reagents"
Description: Working under Dr. Andy Koch, I completed the synthesis of a novel anhydrous fluorinating reagent, benzyltributylammonium fluoride (BTBAF). Fluorination reactions using the BTBAF reagent were carried out in situ using polar aprotic solvents at room temperature. This work suggests that the benzylic position is stable relative to the fluoride ion. Significantly, BTBAF can be attached to a polymer support, and this so-called "DiMagno's Resin" has been utilized as an extremely practical source of fluoride anions.
After graduation: Four months of traveling the country in a station wagon made the 2006 summer an exceptional experience as I visited and made numerous friends. I was then fortunate to work as a biochemical engineer for the process development department at MedImmune Inc. for an 8 month "internship" period. However, Alaska was calling, and I answered those urges in the summer of 2007; reference "Into the Wild" for the details on what happened during those months. That same autumn I entered the doctoral program in Organic Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin--Madison, where I was conducting research towards the design of novel peptoid secondary structures that may lead to a wide range of biological applications for these unique peptidomimetics. In 2012, I completed my Ph.D. and commenced a post-doc in the Department of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford's School of Medicine.
SMP title: "chemicalgeneration.com: A collection of online blog material from four different young people striving to find their identity and niche in postmodern America"
Description: "chemicalgeneration.com" is a synthesis of a communal writing experience and my literary preferences. "chemicalgeneration.com" is an edited and loosely fictionalized collection of poetry, short stories, anecdotes, and philosophical meanderings that show the trajectory of four different young people finding their place in post-modern America. Their individual paths are varied but their final destinations share the characteristics of hope, faith, and self-actualization.
After graduation: For the summer, I accepted the position of Press Secretary for Allan Lichtman's campaign for the U.S. Senate, from Maryland." I am now a Marketing and Publicity Associate at W. W. Norton & Co., in New York.
SMP title: "The effects of hormonally-based contraceptives and intrauterine devices on future fertility"
Description: An analysis of the current hormonally-based contraceptive methods and intrauterine devices. The mechanism and prevalence are examined, followed by the effects each device has on a woman's ability to regain her fertility after cessation of use. The research studies themselves are examined due to the dearth of reliable studies in this field, along with suggestions for an appropriate, valid, and reliable study. Lastly, future methods of contraception are presented.
After graduation: In the fall after graduation, I plan to apply to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, to get a Master's in genetic counseling.
SMP title: "Gene Expression in Arabidopsis thaliana Grown in Direct and Diffuse Light"
Description: The aim of my SMP was to study plant physiological responses to direct and diffuse light sources. I hypothesized that exposure to these different types of light would induce changes in gene expression patterns in plants. To test this hypothesis, I used microarray technology to measure global mRNA expression in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana grown in direct and diffuse light.
After graduation: Immediately after graduation, I began a 2-year post-baccalaureate fellowship with the National Cancer Institute, where I used biochemical techniques to study HIV and cancer treatment. Currently I am a Ph.D. student in the Cell and Molecular Biology graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania. My research focuses on the host immunologic factors that dictate viral pathogenesis.
Stephanie G. (now H.)
SMP title: "The Search for Balance: The Acculturation Process of Asian American Undergraduate Students and the Role of Therapy in the Reconciliation of Related Concerns"
Description: Using a technique known as Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR), this qualitative research study utilized transcribed phone interviews from a sample of nine undergraduate college students in order to explore the various acculturation and ethnic identity concerns that exist among Asian American individuals and to then examine opinions regarding the use of multicultural and cross-cultural therapy for the reconciliation of related issues. Ultimately, I discovered that acculturation and ethnic identity experiences were highly dependent upon individual factors such as feelings towards culture, parents' feelings towards the role of culture in their children's lives, and the implementation of various coping mechanisms. Furthermore, opinions regarding the use of therapy for the mitigation of these concerns were often contingent upon individual preferences and circumstances as well. This research was presented at the Mid-Atlantic Society for Psychotherapy Research (MASPR) Regional Group Meeting (October, 2005).
After graduation: Continued working as an Aviation Human Systems Integration Intern at the local Patuxent River Naval Air Station through the summer. Entered Hofstra University in the fall of 2006 for a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology. After completing that, I now work in Denver as a "global talent management analyst" for Arrow Electronics, Inc.; I conduct assessments and succession planning for critical positions in the company.
SMP title: "The Effect of Apamin, a Small Conductance Calcium Activated Potassium (SK) Channel Blocker, on a Mouse Model of Neurofibromatosis 1"
Description: An empirical study testing a drug on a mouse model of a common genetic disease, using both molecular and behavioral methods.
After graduation: I graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2011. My dissertation was entitled "Serotonergic Modulation of Glutamate Transmission: Bridging Two Theories of Depression." I am now a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah. I am currently studying synaptic transmission using genetic analysis of the model organism c. elegans.
SMP title: "The Effect of Using Mathematics Activities on Students' Interest in and Attitudes toward Mathematics"
Description: I was experimenting with methods and searching for activities to increase students' interest in mathematics in an after-school program.
After graduation: Finished my teacher certification in the fall-half in St. Mary's County and half in Australia. Am teaching middle school mathematics in Baltimore County public schools, and concurrently working on my MAT at Towson University.
SMP title: "Interactive Personality: A New Theory of the Self"
Description: Interactive Personality is a theory that holds that much of who we are is defined by our interactions with others. I originally created this theory during my early years at St. Mary's, and my SMP focused on refining the theory, creating a measure to assess personality based on the foundations of Interactive Personality, and considering possible applications of the theory.
After graduation: I entered the D.Phil. program in Experimental (Social) Psychology at the University of Oxford. After getting my degree in 2011, I took a job working as a research associate at an Oxford-based consulting firm that works to promote happiness in the workplace. In my spare time (hah!), I direct an improvisational comedy troupe, The Oxford Imps.
SMP title: "Are Mycobacteria the missing etiological link in sarcoidosis development?"
Description: The cause of sarcoidosis (an autoimmune disease which causes the development of granulomas with multiorgan involvement) has remained a mystery ever since it was first described over a century ago. New evidence indicates that in order to develop the disease, one must have a genetic predisposition and exposure to an environmental antigen. This literature review proposes that Mycobacteria act as the necessary antigenic trigger and are therefore a crucial component of the etiology of sarcoidosis.
After graduation: Travel abroad in early summer (Italy and Scotland, where I met my future husband), then returned to the U.S. to attend medical school at the University of Maryland. In 2010 I began my residency in Emergency Medicine at Brown University.
SMP title: "In Stitches: An Examination of Mockumentary as a Genre"
Description: A two-part project including a paper detailing important aspects of mockumentaries and audience response to the genre as well as the writing, filming, and editing of an original short film in mockumentary style. The film is titled "In Stitches" and follows several pre-medicine students through their competition for a prestigious scholarship.
After graduation: I completed medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 2010. Now in year three of four of neurology residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. I plan to pursue a fellowship in vascular neurology (strokes) and work in an academic clinical setting with an emphasis on teaching.
SMP title: "Living According to Nature: Stoic and Daoist Approaches"
Description: I compare an ancient Greek and Roman philosophy with an ancient Chinese philosophy and try to show their similarities in ethics and conceptions of self. I also highlight the different commitments Stoics and Daoists made that kept their traditions distinct.
After graduation: I completed my law degree at the Washington & Lee University School of Law.
Minor: Environmental Studies
SMP title: "European Trade Goods, Native Material Culture, and Native American Identity in the 17th Century Chesapeake"
Description: In the face of contact, Native Americans incorporated a number of European-made goods into their cultures. How these objects were used and how they appear in archaeological sites suggest that native people maintained a distinct cultural identity, while adopting some aspects of European culture, and incorporating other aspects into distinctly native contexts.
After graduation: I worked full-time at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, then as a ranger, then as a naturalist at Maryland nature center. I entered the Peace Corps in January 2008 in Bolivia, but the PC evacuated its Bolivia volunteers in that September. I stayed on and traveled there on my own, and am back in the U.S. now, to resume my life as a ranger with the National Park Service in North Carolina.
Rebecca S. (now P.)
Major: Living Museum Studies (an independent student-designed major)
Minors: Spanish, Environmental Studies, Africa and African Diaspora Studies
SMP title: "Development and Implementation of an Environmental Studies Field School in Costa Rica"
Description: In conjunction with the Environmental Studies department and a fellow student, I designed a 3-week summer field school in Costa Rica. This interdisciplinary study tour offered SMCM students the opportunity to explore the conservation issues faced by a tropical developing nation in Central America.
After graduation: I interned at Longwood Gardens, University of Delaware Botanic Gardens, and Adkins Arboretum. In 2011, I completed the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture, an M.S. fellowship that prepares students for leadership in public gardens. Afterwards, I was hired as Communications Specialist at Tyler Arboretum in southeastern PA. Currently, I work as a stay-at-home mom with a small consulting business.
Major: Sociology and Anthropology
SMP title: "A Theoretical Examination of Video Game Culture"
Description: An examination to prove the influential reciprocal relationship between video games and culture, and the investigation of video games as an artistic medium.
After graduation: Completed the M.A. program in Sociology at the New School, in New York, and I now work in grants administration at the headquarters of the Girl Scouts of the USA, in Manhattan.
Majors: Economics & Political Science
SMP title: "Political Asylum and the Mounting Difficulties of Refugees: A Focus on Sri Lankans in Switzerland"
Description: An analysis of international laws regarding refugees and the effects on the acceptance of political asylum refugees into Switzerland, focusing on the large Sri Lankan diaspora prevalent in the country. More recently related events are touched, as well as the availability of future study into the topic.
After graduation: Graduated from University of Maryland's School of Law, in Baltimore. As of 2013, specializing in contracts at a firm in northern Virginia.
Ashley W. (now E.)
Major: Psychology, with Elementary Education Teacher Certification
SMP title: "Chronic Pediatric Illnesses: Impact and Coping during the Elementary School Years"
Description: I performed an extensive literature review to separately define pediatric cancer and type-1 diabetes in order to discuss the physical and emotional ramifications that these two illnesses have for the home, school, and social environments of the affected child. Then I compared the two illnesses to determine appropriate coping strategies that are both general and unique to each condition. Finally, I used what I found to make suggestions and establish a method/program for easy reentry into the school after a prolonged absence due to a chronic illness. (I want to pursue this topic in graduate school and hopefully conduct the research experiment that, due to time constrictions, I was unable to perform at SMCM.)
After graduation: I taught fifth grade and now second grade in the Carroll County public school system. I am currently working on my masters: Curriculum and Instruction with a Leadership/Administration Focus. Once I decide to leave the classroom, I plan to pursue my interests in the fields of childhood and developmental psychology, possibly through school administration, school psychology, or pupil personnel work.
Majors: History & Music
SMP title: "Latter-Day Lafayettes: The France-America Society, 1911-1989"
Description: Founded in New York in 1911, the France-America Society was an ostensibly social organization of elite American Francophiles passionately committed to the perpetual friendship of France and the United States. My research traces the history of this organization through its pivotal role in bringing America into World War I, its collapse in the aftermath of the Treaty of Versailles, its reinvigoration in the 1950's, and its eventual demise in 1989. As part of my research, I will be traveling to New York City to interview some former members of the Society about their experiences.
After graduation: I worked as a Research Historian for one year for History Associates, Inc., in Rockville, Maryland (http://www.historyassociates.com/index.htm), while applying to attend graduate school beginning the following year, with a goal of becoming a professor of history. I've earned my Master's degree and am currently a doctoral candidate in United States history at Indiana University -- writing a dissertation on charismatic leadership that builds on ideas I learned in the Nitze Program. Planning on defending it in the spring of 2013.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2005 at a glance
Majors: Economics & Psychology
SMP title: "The Low-Income Housing Crisis in St. Mary's County"
Description: Via production of a video documentary, I aim to increase awareness of the low-income housing issue in St. Mary's County.
After graduation: Bought a body-fat-testing truck, which he drove to gyms in the San Francisco area. Now back in Maryland, he is in the real estate investing business; he buys properties, rehabs them, and rents them out. Heading to Argentina for 6 months of 2010.
Minors: Spanish & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Uncovering Terroir: The Distinctiveness of Places"
Description: The word terroir encompasses the ecological factors that contribute to a wine's unique character. For my SMP, I wrote a collection of poems, essays, and short fiction exploring the concept of terroir to ask what makes places distinctive and why a sense of place matters in a homogenizing world.
After graduation: I spent a stint as an AmeriCorps VISTA planning and co-leading a youth workshop on leadership and community service. I then worked for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, editing publications on public and environmental health issues like infant mortality and groundwater pollution. Since 2008, I've worked with the Humane Society of the United States, a national animal protection nonprofit. I previously did media outreach and now work as the blog editor and help with writing for our website. One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to meet dogs my coworkers have rescued from puppy mills or dogfighting rings.
SMP title: Coordination Compounds of 2,5-Bis(4'-tert-butylpyridinium-1'-yl)-3,6-dioxy-1,4-benzoquinone
Description: My advisor's previous research has led to the development of organic compounds with strongly electron withdrawing groups attached. My project explored the effects of binding these electron withdrawing compounds to metals. Electron-withdrawing compounds bound to metals are able to stabilize low oxidation states in the metal. Metals in low oxidation states are known to act as catalysts for otherwise difficult organic transformations. I have shown that our compound is able to stabilize low oxidation states in metals. Future work will involve exploring the catalytic properties of these metal-organic complexes.
After graduation: I completed a Ph.D. in chemistry at UC--Berkeley, with a special focus on developing new materials suitable for photovoltaic applications. Am working in St. Paul for 3M, in their Fine Chemicals Group.
SMP title: "Vocal Performance and Responses to Different Song Types in Red-Winged Blackbirds"
Description: I worked in the field, playing red-winged blackbird songs to male red-winged blackbirds, which was a lot of fun because they react so strongly. I found that males respond differently to different categories of songs-very cool!
After graduation: I completed a Ph.D. in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, working on a project that in many ways was quite similar to my SMP (though with very different results!). Now (Jan. 2013) I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo Natural History Museum in Norway, where I’m investigating the potential role of sperm competition in speciation in birds.
Majors: Political Science & Criminal Justice (student-designed major)
SMP title: "Is Our Way the Best Way? Democracy versus Stability in Transitioning Societies"
Description: In the past hundred years of global politics, we have seen an increasing push towards democracy as the major means for growth and development of all countries in the international system. However, is this push the best way to serve the interests of third world countries looking for a turning point in their lives, or do the liberal aspects of democratization cause more harm than good? I take a look at the unique climate of post-Soviet Eastern Europe and Asia in particular, and attempt to resolve the question of whether democracy and stability can truly coexist in a young state.
After graduation: While graduate school in International Relations was a future goal of mine, I took the year after graduating to apply to the Peace Corps, hoping to be stationed in a post-Soviet state, due to my keen interest in the region paired with my desire to make a difference for the people there. But in December 2006, as my Peace Corps application process was wrapping up, an irresistible opportunity came my way to join the first Peace Corps cohort to be stationed in Cambodia, to which I could not say "No." I left in January 2007, and returned in June 2009. Then in light of my experiences, I changed my post-PC plans, in the direction of providing medical care. in 2010 I started the Johns Hopkins' accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, and Nurse Practitioner Master's program. I completed a second bachelors in nursing at Johns Hopkins University, and am currently (Feb. 2012) working on the HIV and infectious disease unit at University of Maryland Medical Center. I am looking to begin study as a Critical Care Nurse Practitioner this coming fall.
SMP title: "Shamanism and Science: The Colonists' Views American Indian Medicine"
Description: Early European observations of Indian medicine overwhelmingly prefer to describe the shamanistic aspect of Indian medicine. By the late seventeenth to eighteenth centuries, however, there is growing attention to the more practical side of Indian healing, such as efficacious herbal remedies and bone-setting. This is due in part to the Enlightenment and the European emphasis on science over superstition. It can also be attributed to the waning influence of the medicine man in many tribes as he was proven helpless in the face of disastrous contagious diseases.
After graduation: I worked as a tech in the emergency room at a D.C. hospital, to see if medicine is really what I want to do. Then completed a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School, and am now in medical school there.
SMP: "Biological Perspectives on Consciousness"
Description: This library project begins with a review of a variety of perspectives on consciousness, focusing on the current biomedical advances in consciousness research (lesion studies, fMRI technology, etc.) that are changing the way scientists approach the study of consciousness. I also offer a new theoretical framework by explaining the phylogenetic perspective and how it pertains to consciousness research.
After graduation: I enjoyed the challenges of teaching in the Baltimore City public schools for a couple of years, and then moved to working for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (under NIH) for their The Heart Truth campaign, working to educate about women's heart disease: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/
Majors: Political Science & English
SMP title: "Magical Realism: Reclaiming and Redefining Experience in a Postcolonial World"
Description: I examine magical realism within the literary context of postmodernism/postcolonialism in the theories of Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth) and Edward Said (Culture and Imperialism) to show how magical realism helps third world authors confront predominant power structures. I then do a literary analysis of three notable magical realist authors: Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Love in the Time of Cholera), Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits), and Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children).
After graduation: Received a master's degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University. Now I work in the legislative affairs office of the Social Security Administration, in Baltimore. In particular, I work on legislative issues related to the disability program: hearings, congressional inquiries, legislative proposals, member outreach, etc.
Emily P. (now L.)
SMP title: "Muscle fiber phenotype and its link to the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular health after chronic stroke"
Description: My SMP studies the changes that occur in skeletal muscle fibers as a result of stroke, and relates these changes to the cardiovascular fitness and diabetes status of chronic hemiparetic stroke patients. Additionally, I am examining the potential for reversibility of these negative changes with an aerobic exercise rehabilitation model.
After graduation: I worked at JHU School of Medicine for three years as the research coordinator for the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry. In 2009, I began the Clinical Nurse Leader program at the University of Maryland, which provides a 16-month program of study culminating in an entry-level Master's degree in Nursing. After graduation in 2010, I began my career in oncology nursing at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
SMP title: "The Aquarium Swimmer: Stories"
Description: My SMP is a collection of short stories that I've been writing, revising, and re-revising all year. My stories deal with the ideas of growth, memory, and place.
After graduation: After graduation, Meghan helped edit the SlackWater journal at St. Mary's, performed living history in Death Valley National Park, managed a library in Furnace Creek, California, worked as a legislative assistant at the Connecticut State Library, and coordinated communications for a homelessness advocacy organization and a contemporary art center in Hartford. In 2011 Meghan moved to Buffalo, where she works for a publisher and cooks with Food Not Bombs.
Majors: Economics & Mathematics
SMP title: "Examining the Effectiveness of Welfare Reform in Reducing Welfare Dependence"
Description: My project uses the Panel Study on Income Dynamics to explore the effect welfare reform has had on the percentage of individual income from welfare and the total time individuals spent on welfare.
After graduation: I am enrolled in the doctoral program in Economics at Boston College, focusing on public sector economics, which was the area of my SMP.
Stephanie T. (now H.)
SMP title: "Water Quality and Foraging Behavior in Wintering Common Loons (Gavia immer)"
Description: I did an extensive field study in which I studied the correlation between wintering foraging behavior in common loons and water quality. Specifically, I recorded the total number of loons and duration of underwater dives at seven sites along the St. Mary's River and looked for correlations with dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total suspended solids (TSS), Secchi depth, and turbidity. It was an awesome field study because loons are so much fun to watch, but I don't advise doing fieldwork during the coldest months of the year - the river tends to freeze and confounds loon observing.
After graduation: I am a Natural Resources Biologist with the DNR and work for a field office in Annapolis. We do all of the water quality monitoring for the state, so basically I am still doing the same work I did for the St. Mary's River Project, but on the state level. One day I might work in Western MD, the next day I might work on the Coastal Bays around Ocean City. It definitely suits me because I get to work outside 3-4 days a week and spend a lot of time working on boats and research vessels. If you're interested, here is a link to the work I do for the DNR. I primarily work for the Continuous Monitoring project. http://mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/eyesonthebay/index.cfm
SMP title: "Barn Management: The Operation of Horse-Related Businesses in Southern Maryland"
Description: This project uses the case-study method to identify what it means to A) run a horse business in Southern Maryland, B) manage a horse barn and property on a day to day basis, and C) plan to cut costs and/or raise profits, depending on the operation.
After graduation: I am working at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (located in this county) as a Budget Analyst for the Navy, and spend much of my time riding and showing horses.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2004 at a glance
SMP title: "Zeeman Slower: Investigating Permanent Magnets as a Medium"
Description: Zeeman slowing is a technique used to slow down atoms using magnetic fields that are typically generated by massive electromagnets; the purpose of this SMP was to test a new, more efficient Zeeman slower composed of regular permanent magnets that was created by a St. Mary's student.
After graduation: Completed the master's program in event management at George Washington University. Worked for three years as Associate Director of Meetings and Education at the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Is currently Director of Operations at both OMNITRU and OMNITRU Federal. (My physics degree has helped me in all of my positions - it is what got me the meetings job at the scientific association and our current clients in the technology industry are impressed when they find out that I understand the technical details they are talking about.)
SMP title: "The effect of chromium (III) on pre-adipocyte expression of transferrin cell receptor"
Description: This research is directed at better understanding a cell signaling pathway that may aid in the treatment of type II diabetes.
After graduation: Worked in the biomedical field for a year. In medical school at University of Maryland, finished in ‘09.
SMP title: "An Analysis of Marked and Decorated White Clay Tobacco Pipes from the Lower Patuxent Drainage"
Description: This project was an examination of maker's marks and decorations on tobacco pipes recovered from late 17th century sites along the lower Patuxent. Temporal and spatial distribution patterns were clearly evident, potentially allowing for a tighter time period when using the pipes as dating tools on sites in the region.
After graduation: Worked for two years in Historic St. Mary's City's archaeology lab. Now in the doctoral program in anthropology at Temple University. Since beginning graduate school, she has worked on an 18th century mill site in Philadelphia, an 18th century house site in Marcus Hook, PA, and the site of George Washington's headquarters at the Valley Forge encampment.
Major: Psychology; pre-med
SMP title: "Role of Serotonin-1A Receptors in Orbitofrontal Cortex in Behavior of Rats"
Description: I studied the behavior of rats in paradigms modeling symptoms of anxiety, depression and schizophrenia after injecting a serotonergic drug into a prefrontal area of the rat brain.
After graduation: Entered medical school at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Doing his residency at University of Maryland, in psychiatry.
Majors: Economics & History
SMP title: "The Feminization of International Migration"
Description: Although men and women have long been moving across borders, labor migration is increasingly female, and women who work abroad send portions of their earnings to support families and economies back home; with particular attention paid to Asia, this project examined the complicated relationship between women's migration and their empowerment in a number of roles: as independent economic agents, citizens of their home countries, members of families, outsiders in host countries, employees, and human beings with fundamental rights.
After graduation: After law school at the College of William and Mary, clerked for a judge in Pennsylvania, and now is practicing employment and antitrust law in the D.C. area.
SMP title: "The Effects of Humor and Laughter on the Immune Functioning"
Description: A literature review on the immunological benefits of humor and laughter as well as the therapeutic influences of positive emotions.
After graduation: Worked for a year and a half as a lab technician in the Neuroscience department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, while getting her masters in Biotechnology. In 2008, finished a second masters, at Towson University in Physician Assistant Studies. Now working in an ER in Towson.
SMP title: "A Systematic Assessment of the Thorny Catfish [Doradidae] Using Vertebral Morphology"
Description: I examined the evolutionary relationships between members of a catfish family using vertebral data (I count the number of bones in the column) and compare that to an evolutionary tree prepared by Moyer (2002) using DNA data. I assessed the extent to which the vertebral data supports the relationships that the DNA data suggest.
After graduation: In August 2009, I returned from a year-long stint on the JET program teaching English in Japan to high school students and at an elementary/middle school for the blind and visually impaired. After I returned home from Japan, I started working in Burlington, Vermont at the HowardCenter, a human services organization, in their Developmental Services Department. I support several programs in their intake process which give children with developmental disabilities access to community support and case management. In the future, I am considering pursuing a Masters in Special Education with a focus on Teaching the Visually Impaired. I will be relocating to the DC area in the fall of 2010.
SMP title: "Effects of LiCl concentration on head regeneration of the aquatic oligochaete Lumbriculus variegates"
Description: Regenerating Lumbriculus variegatus are subjected to increasing concentrations of Beta-catenin enhancing LiCl solution in order to perturb equimeric regeneration.
After graduation: Worked as a research technician in the University of Maryland Pain Department (yes, that's the actual name of the department), exploring the effects of cocaine on neural migration during development. Now in medical school at University of Miami, living downtown, within a sunny walk to the hospital.
SMP title: "The evolution of Variola major and the vaccinia vaccine: trends in vaccination and vaccine adverse event epidemiology"
Description: Topics explored included the biology of both the Variola major virus and the vaccinia virus; the history of smallpox and vaccination; the eradication campaign and the past epidemiology of adverse events to the vaccinia vaccine; and the current vaccination campaign and a statistical analysis of the present epidemiology of adverse events. The project also involved working in conjunction with the St. Mary's County Public Health Department Leonardtown, MD to develop smallpox and vaccinia public health education materials and serving as a bio-terrorism preparedness co-presenter in the community.
After graduation: Conducted cell and molecular biology research in the post-baccalaureate intramural research training award program in the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, a program that provides recent graduates with the opportunity to work in a professional research lab. Emilie then went on to work as a health and life sciences public policy specialist at a federal relations consulting firm in Washington, D.C. where she translated technical projects into easy-to-understand terms appropriate for policymakers. She move on to pursue her Masters in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Certified Health Education Specialist. During graduate school and immediately following, she worked as a project coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh Center for Public Health Practice. Emilie currently works as public policy and advocacy manager for a five-hospital academic health system in western Pennsylvania. In her role, she manages advocacy campaigns aimed to protect access to health care and is also involved in planning and executing hospital and broader community health initiatives involving improving patient safety, health care quality, and health literacy. In addition, Emilie works as a birth doula, providing informational, emotional and physical support to women prenatally, during labor and birth and postpartum.
Nicole E. (now G.)
SMP title: "Organic Synthesis of Novel Targets Acting as Agonists at Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors"
Description: Design and synthesis of a unique set of organic compounds that will elicit a response in the brain similar to that of nicotine in aims to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
After graduation: Working as a researcher in the post-baccalaureate intramural research training award program at the National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda. This program provides recent graduates with the opportunity to work in a professional research lab with the expectation of applying to graduate school or medical school while there. More specifically, her position with at NIH is with the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the Clinical Pharmacology Branch. She is in medical school at the University of Maryland.
Natalie F. (now W.)
SMP title: "A Century of the Civil War in The New York Times"
Description: An examination of the way that the Times reported on the Civil War as it was happening and then at 25, 50 and centennial anniversaries of several major battles (First Bull Run, Shiloh, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg) and Lee's surrender at Appomattox.
After graduation: Law School at the University of Hawaii; clerked for the Supreme Court of Hawaii; practiced at a small firm in Honolulu focusing on commercial bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and construction litigation; now at a large firm in San Antonio, TX primarily practicing commercial bankruptcy and commercial litigation.
SMP title: the breaking road
Description: This is a book-length collection of poetry exploring, among other things, themes of desire, isolation and disintegration of identity.
After graduation: While considering graduate programs in creative writing, took a summer job working a drill press (disappointing), spent a month driving across the country (enlightening but not sustaining), and even worked making political commercials (propaganda). Received an MFA in poetry from George Mason University in 2008. First book of poetry, Pigafetta Is My Wife, was published in 2009 by Black Ocean Press (a Poetry International notable book of the year and a Small Press Distributor bestseller), followed by a bi-coastal "book tour." In spring 2010, was a visiting lecturer at St. Mary's College of Maryland, teaching Creative Writing and Introduction to Literature. Since fall 2009, Joe has been a lecturer at UM--College Park, and in fall 2012 began the doctoral program in the University of Buffalo's Poetics program. His second book of poems is The Devotional Poems, published in March 2013.
Majors: English & Mathematics
SMP title: "Dreamers, Storytellers, and Authors: the Role of Fantasy in Women's Fiction"
Description: A look at the ways women use fantasy/fairy tales as means of empowerment and an exploration of the different effects daydreaming, telling stories, and writing stories have on female protagonists.
After graduation: Served for a year as an AmeriCorps volunteer at a Leaps in Literacy program in Brockton, Massachusetts, helping to teach reading to 2nd and 3rd graders who are having trouble. Then spent a year in retail, preparing to enter a Master of Arts in Teaching program. I finished my MAT at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and in 2008 started teaching high school math in Ayer, Massachusetts.
Caroline H. (now W.)
SMP title: "Feigning Objectivity: Anthropomorphic Language in Primatological Research"
Description: An analysis of the impact and implications of biased language in primatological behavioral research variant with the time period of the research, as well as the sex and cultural background of the scientists.
After graduation: Lived in France after graduating, returned for an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, from University of Maryland. Worked for the World Wildlife Fund, had a stint teaching secondary education, moved to rural Vermont, then rural Nepal, now back to Vermont where she has parlayed years of child-rearing and expat living into a career in Land Conservation and gentlewoman farming.
Majors: Music & Mathematics
SMP title: "Piano Music through the Centuries: From Baroque to Jazz"
Description: The piano recital included works by Bach, Chopin, Schumann, Albeniz, Shostakovich, and Bolling. I researched and developed the detailed notes on each piece to accompany the program.
After graduation: Worked for Historic St. Mary's City and St. Mary's College on a virtual reality project, while playing in the Columbia Maryland Orchestra. As of 2007, is in the Master's program in accompanying at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Katie K. (now M.)
SMP title: "The prevalence of Hepatitis C in St. Mary's County: Is education the key to prevention?"
Description: I compared the prevalence of hepatitis C in St. Mary's County to the state and national levels, and to Monongahela, Pa. and Norfolk Va. Then I surveyed the public to assess their level of general knowledge about the virus, and I presented programs in Chopticon, Leonardtown, and Great Mills high schools, using surveys to determine if education affects attitudes about hepatitis C.
After graduation: While I was completing medical school at Penn State, and a medical residency in internal medicine at Wake Forest University/Baptist Medical Center, I worked in Montana with the Rocky Mountain Epidemiology Center and Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council studying breast and cervical cancer screening of American Indian women. (This work has since been published as Wilson, Giroux, Kasicky, et al., "Breast and cervical cancer screening patterns among American Indian women at IHS clinics in Montana and Wyoming," published Public Health Rep. 2011;126:806-815.)
I am currently working as a hospitalist with the oncology department at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC, and manage the clerkship for PA (physician assistant) students in inpatient internal medicine. On a personal front, my job schedule is 7days on, 7 days off, which allows me to be a part-time/full-time mom to my 1-year-old daughter. I also still enjoy taking day trips to the nearby mountains and attending our local symphony concerts.
Jen M. (now M.-G.)
Minor: Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Poetry Readings: Catharsis for Author and Audience?"
Description: An exploration of whether the atmosphere created by the vocal sharing of experiential poetry at organized readings can solicit a corresponding cathartic emotive response in some attending audience members. Topics discussed include: Aristotelian ideas about ‘poetic' discourse, catharsis, Speech Act Theory, Expressive Arts therapies, and poetry reading ‘atmospheres.'
After graduation: Worked as Patient Advocate at St. Mary's County Hospital. Then in Northern Virginia. While in Netherlands in 2008, did the research to start up her own company www.contagionhealth.com as a way to try to interest hospital systems in using social networking platforms to share health information with patients.
Minors: German & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "The Effects of Gender on the German Language"
Description: A study of the effects of speaker/listener gender upon the usage of powerful linguistic cues in the German language.
After graduation: Plans to work in social services in the D.C. area for a year before getting a M.S.W., or a degree in counseling. She is considering working in the Choice Program.
Jenn M. (now T.)
Majors: German & Political Science
SMP title: "Selection of Judges in the United States and Germany: Matching Methods to Purpose"
Description: A brief overview and comparison of judicial roles in both countries, an examination of their different approaches to selection and retention of judges, followed by an evaluation of the ways in which each nation succeeds or fails to succeed in employing judicial selection methods to achieve its own ideals of justice.
After graduation: Completed Georgetown University School of Law. Now working for D.C. law office of Venable, doing regulatory law, mostly on food and drug regulation.
Majors: Mathematics & Physics
SMP title: "A Quasi-Classical Formulation of Quantum Mechanics"
Description: An exploration of problems via a formulation of quantum mechanics that emphasizes the particle aspect of the wave-particle duality of phenomena.
After graduation: Graduated with a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Virginia, and is now working for the University of Tennessee as a post-doctoral research associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Joanna R. (now J.)
SMP title: "The developmental effects of exposure to androgenic and antiandrogenic chemicals in the eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki)"
Description: Exposure to hormone mimicking chemicals changes the expression of male and female secondary sex characteristics, which I measured mainly through the changes in a fin which is modified in males but not in females.
After graduation: Undecided as of graduation, but looking into government-related environmental fieldwork, or perhaps nursing school.
SMP title: "Leadership and Revolution in the Modern World"
Description: Understanding the ideas that drive revolutionary movements requires an understanding of the ways in which leaders appeal to their desired audience; these oft-ignored appeals rely on concrete as well as "imaginary" factors that link a people's perceived reality to a revolutionary leader's vision of the future.
After graduation: Worked in fall 2004 as an intern on Capitol Hill for the Congressional Institute, and in 2010 finished the doctoral program in Global History at the University of Rochester. Now a history professor at Michigan Technological University
Kelly V. (now K.)
Major: French; pre-med
SMP title: "Career Guide for Dual Majors Utilizing French"
Description: My SMP is a career guide for French majors and dual-majors utilizing French. Originally planned as book form, I will post it on the internet instead for easier reference and searching.
After graduation: Graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, specializing in emergency room medicine.
Ashley W. (now G.)
Minors: French & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies
SMP title: "Mapping Membership, Defining Difference: A Personal Exploration of Children's Literature"
Description: Through a series of creative nonfiction essays, I explore the role of the Outsider in children's literature (specifically, The Story of Babar the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff, Petite Suzanne by Margeurite d'Angeli, Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag, and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams); by weaving my personal experience of reading and memories of my childhood books with theories of postcolonialism/exoticism, disability, and beauty, I create a new context from which to analyze these books.
After graduation: Earned her law degree in New Hampshire from the Franklin Pierce Law Center (nka the University of New Hampshire School of Law). After practicing in a small, general practice firm in northern New Hampshire for almost 5 years, she now works as an Administrative Coordinator and Technical Writer at an innovative wastewater treatment company.
SMP title: "The Politics of Ethnicity and Religion in the Senegambia"
After graduation: Returned in fall 2008 from term as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger. Worked for the Anne Arundel County Public Schools, as she completed her MAT in Special Education in 2011, through the College of Notre Dame.
Majors: Mathematics & Physics
SMP title: "Recursion Formulas for Paths of Length 2 on (p+1) Regular Graph Trees"
Description: The primary goal was to develop new recursion formulas for paths of length 2 or higher on graph trees, which can be used in modeling computer networks and Quaternion algebras.
After graduation: I received my Ph.D. in mathematics from Cornell in August 2011, with a thesis in "Betti Numbers of Stanley-Reisner Ideals." I'm back in Maryland as an assistant professor of mathematics at Hood College. Nice to be home!
Majors: French & Political Science
SMP title: "The Rhetoric of the National Front"
Description: Through an analysis of the party's campaign posters and speeches, this project investigates rhetorical tactics used by the National Front (a far-right French political party) in order to explain the party's increasing popularity.
After graduation: Worked for a year as a paralegal at the law firm Freilicher & Hoffman in D.C. and then entered the University of Maryland School of Law. After graduating from law school, did immigration and international trade law in D.C. before working for the Department of Justice.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2003 at a glance
Majors: Political Science & Public Policy
SMP title: "America's Dangerous Mislabel: Redefining the U.S. ‘War On Terror'"
Description: Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on American soil, this project attempts to demonstrate the implications of America's so-called "War on Terror," and, in particular, how such a label acted as a convenient scapegoat for unrelated policies and military action that can be hidden within nebulous language.
After graduation: I attended the University of Baltimore School of Law. Following graduation, I clerked for one year with the Honorable James A. Kenney, III on the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, whose judicial chambers was a short distance from campus, in Leonardtown, MD. At the conclusion of my term as a judicial clerk, I joined the Baltimore office of Whiteford Taylor Preston LLP, where I am currently an associate in the corporate bankruptcy and business litigation practice groups. My bankruptcy practice focuses on the representation of chapter 11 debtors in pre-bankruptcy planning, bankruptcy filings, formulation of plans of reorganization and liquidation, and proceedings involving defense of preferential and fraudulent transfers, executory contracts, asset sales and claim objections. My business litigation practice focuses on the representation of business entities in personal injury suits. On a pro bono basis, I also handle criminal appeals for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender as an Assigned Public Defender.
Major: Sociology and Anthropology
After graduation: After graduation I served as a Small Enterprise Development Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso. Following Peace Corps I earned an M.A. in Literature at Marquette University and an M.A. in International Development at American University. I worked as a Senior Research Assistant at the International Food Policy Research Institute in D.C. from 2010-2012. I am currently pursuing my PhD in Applied Economics at Cornell University.
SMP title: "Spinal Cord Injury and Repair: New Hopes for the Spinal Cord Injured"
Description: This was a literature review investigating the mechanisms for spinal cord regeneration from the cellular and molecular level, to human clinical trials. I developed the topic following an internship at a physical therapy clinic in Leonardtown, MD, where I met people who had been injured in a car accident. Although I was initially interested in a career in physical therapy related to sports injuries, my internship and SMP led to my interest in neurological rehabilitation.
After graduation: I completed a clinical doctorate degree in physical therapy (DPT) at Washington University in St. Louis in 2006. I then went on to work at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago doing inpatient rehabilitation/physical therapy for people with neurological and orthopedic injuries. I earned a board certification in Neurological Physical Therapy in 2010. In addition to being a clinician, I also began to work in a research laboratory that focused on clinical trials of neurological rehabilitation techniques and devices to improve walking recovery for people with stroke and spinal cord injury. In 2010, I began working toward my PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Chicago (expected completion 2015). My research focuses on exercise-induced neural plasticity in people with Parkinson's Disease. Along the way, I have begun teaching physical therapy and am on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Physical Therapy Association. When I finish my PhD, I plan to pursue an academic position in a physical therapy graduate program.
Major: Political Science
SMP title: “St. Mary's College of Maryland accessibility guide”
Description: An analysis of SMCM's compliance with the standards for accessibility of The Americans with Disabilities Act, along with a discussion of suggestions for functional improvement.
After graduation: Completed law school at the University of Maryland. Running in 2010 for the Judge of Orphans Court in Baltimore County.
Angie T. (now D.)
SMP title: "Examining Predictors of Academic Success"
Description: My SMP examined a new model for academic success. Specifically, I predicted that goal-related behaviors (goal setting and goal actualizing, as measured by self-regulatory academic behavior) mediate the relationship between personality factors (e.g. internal academic locus of control, optimism, neuroticism,) and academic success as measured by both academic/institution satisfaction and GPA. Also, I hypothesized there would be a feedback mechanism embedded within the model that controls the relationship between academic/institution satisfaction and self-regulated academic goal setting. I had 58 PSYC101 students complete various surveys measuring academic locus of control, optimism, neuroticism, self-regulated goal setting behaviors, and academic/institution satisfaction and I later researched their academic GPAs. Statistical analyses were performed on the data and results showed that classroom behavior skills mediated the association between ALC and GPA while academic attention skills mediated the relationship between ALC and academic/institution satisfaction. Also, ALC had a unique relationship with GPA that was mediated by classroom behavior skills and a unique relationship with academic/institution satisfaction that was mediated by academic attention skills.
After graduation: Shortly after graduation in '03, unforeseen medical issues arose which prevented me from returning in the fall to complete my semester of student-teaching and forced me to reevaluate my career path (elementary education). I decided to pursue a new one but really was not sure what that would be until the summer of '04 when I was perusing the want ads in the local paper and happened to come across an advertised position for an assistant in the psychology dept at SMCM. Having worked at the College (as a student assistant in the Office of Academic Services and as a research assistant for psyc faculty) throughout the four years I attended and enjoyed the SMCM work environment, I eagerly applied for the job. I felt the position would be both challenging and rewarding and was ecstatic when it was offered to me. Among a number of miscellaneous duties, I coordinate St. Mary's Projects in Psychology & the PsycSMP budget, manage the research participant pool and the logistics of research with human participants, schedule psychology facilities, am the webmaster for our department website and am in charge of large format poster instruction/printing. 5+ years later, I can honestly say, "I love what I do." I am still challenged to find new ways to have a positive impact on the lives of my colleagues and students and rewarded by the knowledge that I continue to make a difference.
SMP title: "Non-Periodic Tiling"
Description: My paper was an examination of the study of non-periodic tilings. This area of mathematics is often relegated to the category of "recreational math" but has significant applications in other areas of ,as well as in chemistry.
After graduation: I earned my MAT degree in Secondary Math Education from the Johns Hopkins University. I taught high school math for seven years in the Baltimore City Public Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools, and at the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore City. I am currently working as an assistant program manager at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, helping run academic summer camps for gifted students.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2002 at a glance
SMP title: "Perturbation of Regeneration in Lumbriculus variegatus, the California Blackworm"
Description: I studied the normal regeneration of the California blackworm and then attempted to perturb its regeneration with glyphosate, a commonly used herbicide.
After graduation: I worked for a year as a middle school science teacher at Oakdale Middle School, then spent a year as an operating room technician at the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA. Subsequently, I attended the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University and graduated with my DVM in 2008. I completed a residency in veterinary anatomic pathology at Oklahoma State University in 2011. I am now a fellow with the National Institutes of Health Comparative Biomedical Scientist Training Program, pursuing my Ph.D. through a graduate partnership program between the NIH and the University of Maryland.
After graduation: Worked for 2 years for Gender Public Advocacy Coalition in D.C. Then moved to Seattle for midwifery school, starting in 2005. Now at Bellingham Birth Center, in Washington state: http://www.bellinghambirthcenter.com And on the board of directors of the Midwives Association of Washington State.
SMP topic: the role of anonymity in collective traps, which I explored by having participants play a replenishable resource game
After graduation: I did Peace Corps service in Mali, West Africa, working with local government on sanitation projects. Afterward, I moved to Seattle, Washington, where I spent several years doing health-related research with the Department of Veterans Affairs. I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in applied cognitive psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle. My interdisciplinary research concerns perception and communication of weather-related risk.
Major: Political Science
After graduation: I went to graduate school for a semester at the University of Baltimore for Social Work. After realizing that wasn't the field for me, I worked in banking for 2 years. I then moved to Tampa to pursue a career in Interior Design. I now have a second bachelors degree in Interior Design and am working as a Merchandising Interior Designer for Ashley Furniture. I'm studying to take the NCIDQ licensing exam in April.
Casey L. (now E.)
SMP title: "A Comparison of Aggressive Interactions in Feral Ponies, Equus Caballus, on Assateague Island, Maryland/Virginia, USA, Based on Population Control Mechanisms Employed"
Description: A study of the aggression levels in feral ponies based on the choice of population control method. The population of ponies on the Maryland side of the island is controlled using an injectable birth control, and the population of ponies on the Virginia side of the island is controlled using selective culling. It is important to quantify the behavioral effects of injectable birth control methods to ensure that they are minimally disruptive to natural populations. The study did not find any difference in levels of aggressive behaviors, although further research was indicated to ensure that the potential influence of unforeseen variables could be minimized.
After graduation: Employed by the Department of Defense as a Program Manager. Plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Program Management. Owns a small business providing varying professional services, including equine appraisals and computer networking. Is heavily involved in animal rescues and is a licensed foster parent.
Description: I examined anti-semitism in post-WWII Eastern Europe.
After graduation: After graduating in 2002 I worked as the Coordinator of the St. Mary's County Teen Court. I then moved on to graduate school and received my Ph.D. in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland--College Park in 2009. I worked at Westat, a research firm in Rockville MD for two years. While there I primarily worked on criminal justice research projects, including evaluations for the D.C. Courts and contracts for the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Since leaving Westat I have been the Program Director of the University of Maryland Criminology and Criminal Justice Program at Shady Grove. I teach undergraduate students as well as advise and recruit students among other responsibilities.
Nitze Scholars graduating in 2001 at a glance
Vashti G. (now S.)
Majors: Music and English
SMP title: "Influences of Literature on Selected Compositions of Hector Berlioz"
Description: Composer Hector Berlioz was deeply impassioned about both music and literature. Several of his compositions were programmatic depictions of literary texts that he enjoyed. This research was a close examination of several of these pieces and of how he used specific musical elements to reflect nuances of these writings.
After graduation: I received an M.A. and Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Maryland, College Park. I worked as Coordinator of Cataloging for the International Piano Archives at Maryland, and then was a lecturer for several undergraduate courses in music at the university. I left there to accept the position of Publications Manager for the Répertoire internationale de la presse musicale, where I also compiled several of my own indexes of nineteenth-century music journals.
Ultimately, however, I felt like I wanted to give back my education to help others in a more meaningful way, so I joined an alternative certification program in 2009 and became an elementary-school music teacher in an inner-city-like public school (in Prince George's County, MD), which is honestly the most rewarding work I've ever done.