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Global Scholars Presentations

Seniors in the Global Scholars program will begin presenting their independent research projects on March 23. The 23 students in the program have worked diligently on their personally chosen topics for the past year and have recently completed a dissertation-length paper documenting their analysis. They are now ready to deliver their findings to the community. The topics are wide-ranging in their scope, and convey the individual passions and interests of the scholars. We are so proud of their efforts and hope you will join us to listen to them demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields.

Given COVID limitations on in-person gatherings, we will provide Zoom links to all who register for each presentation.

Global Scholars March 2021


Maggie Hayward"American Genocide: Tracing Modern Day Problems Afflicting Indigenous Communities Back to Their Colonial Roots"

March 23, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

The question of what inspired me to do this project is a complicated one for me to answer. I was raised in a way where I was constantly encouraged to look deeper into social and political issues, and I have always been pushed to branch out and explore more than what’s shown on the surface. Even so, right up until I started researching this topic, I was pretty much completely blind to the issues impacting Native American communities. It has only been in the course of writing of this paper that I have begun to take notice of and challenge the narratives that surrounded me and the majority of other American children regarding indigenous peoples and our shared history. What led me to select this topic was a collection of small nudges over various years of my education. In my eighth-grade history class, we were challenged to examine Columbus and his men through the eyes of the indigenous people of Hispaniola. That was the first time in my life where I had been shown that history does not have to be a linear, chunked up, separated thing; that history is living, engaging, and real. Through my involvement with local climate change awareness protests, I was able to engage with Native American community leaders, and learn about the major role various indigenous tribes have in the recent environmentalist movements. In other history classes, I was able to learn more about Native Americans, but it still felt as if I was trying to build a puzzle and had only been given the edge pieces. How I chose my topic was not based on one solitary “aha!”  moment, but a collection of small, seemingly insignificant glimpses into an entire piece of history that I had never seen before, and was desperate to learn more about.

Annie Flowers"Weaponizing Truth: A Study on the Trump Administration’s Use of Immigrant Children’s Confidential Therapy Notes as Prosecutorial Weapons"

March 23, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

Children are by far the most vulnerable population to experience human rights abuses -- their youth should be spent on playgrounds, not exploited in cells. After reading a Washington Post article exposing the practice of immigrant children’s confidential therapy notes being used as prosecutorial weapons at the border, questions flooded my brain on the implications of weaponizing values like truth and consent. This profoundly unique and inhumane practice coupled with the long history of immigrant human rights abuses domestically led me to additionally focus on the roles international law and the average American can play in dismantling the practice.

I hope to major in international relations or human rights for undergraduate school and then attend law school on a J.D. track to concentrate on either immigration or international law.


"Change is on the Market: The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Effect on Marketing in the United States"

March 24, 2021 at 6:15 p.m.

I have always been interested in many types of advertising from commercials on TV to sponsored content on a website or during a baseball game. Furthermore, resulting from my studies of US History as a Junior, I became fascinated with the history of these brands and forms of advertisement and their role in society. When the pandemic hit, I knew that businesses were going to be impacted in a major way, and I was curious to see how businesses shifted their marketing strategies. 

Next year, I will be attending the University of Notre Dame where I will be studying in the Mendoza College of Business. 



"America Divided: Analyzing the Role of Polarization in an Era of Post-Truth Politics"

March 25, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Growing up in Beijing, I was unfamiliar with political discourse, not to mention polarization. That changed as I witnessed the divisive aftermath of the 2016 election with bewilderment. It became apparent that partisan identity was not only widespread but also inextricably linked to political and apolitical behavior alike. Moreover, as liberal and conservative media narratives diverged, I found myself struggling to discern truth from bias, which motivated me to focus my research on polarization’s impact on the electorate’s perception of facts and the media’s role as a reinforcer of partisan sorting. Finally, the question of ‘so where do we go from here?’ was one I strove to answer throughout my research process, and I intend to continue exploring viable ways to bridge partisan divides by studying political science at the University of Pennsylvania.

jade thomas


"Three’s Company: Exploring the Effects of the Triad Nature of Fandom on the Emerging Identities of Young Adults"

March 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Fandom has become a fixture of adolescence in the twenty-first century, with social media easily facilitating interactions between fans and celebrities. As a person who has been heavily involved in internet fandom and has seen the intricacies of this partnership firsthand, I became intrigued at the underlying malevolence of these spaces. My presentation deconstructs the triad nature of fandom (fan, fandom, celebrity management) and its effects on the emerging identities of young adults. 

Next year I will be studying at Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University where I plan to major in Public Relations and Crisis Communications. 


Global Scholars April 2021


Alex Griesemer

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution”

April 14, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

The progression of industry has always fascinated me; combined with my passion for computer science, I wanted to research the ethics of artificial Intelligence. In a time where technology is a part of our daily lives, I was fascinated with the idea that technology would replace our livelihoods. With the addition of artificial intelligence into the work place I wanted to know who is affected and how they are affected to ultimately determine if artificial intelligence ought to exist within companies.

In college, I hope to study Information Systems with a co-major in Digital Technology Management.

lau senior photo

Jared Lau

“The Next Giant Step: A Study on Future Plans for the Colonization of the Moon”

April 14, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

In 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, and only eight years later the first person had set foot on the Moon. Yet over 50 years later we have not yet gone back. However, this will soon change as many countries have plans to land and settle the Moon. The coming era of space travel will be an interesting one where the Moon will be used as a proving ground for missions in the near and far future, which is why I have chosen to explore how settling the Moon can be achieved and sustained.


Christina Chun

"The Red Plague: Shedding Light on the Forgotten Issue of Menstrual Equity"

April 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

My sophomore year, I began volunteering with Days for Girls, an international organization that provides kits filled with reusable cloth pads to girls and young women in developing countries. It was through Days for Girls that I was introduced to period poverty. Even though millions of people cannot access menstrual products, I was shocked as to why such an important issue was rarely discussed. Fascinated by the issue in other countries, I turned to the United States and Indiana and found that period poverty is just as prevalent in our community.

My project aims to detail the various impacts and causes of period poverty on international, national, and local levels. I collected data from Park Tudor students to evaluate their level of awareness and knowledge of this issue and offer my analysis of the results.

In college, I plan to study political science or international relations with a minor in gender studies.


Zawadi Kigamwa 

“The Resistance of Mundanity: Observing the Politicization of Blackness in the United States and the Deviancy in Depicting Black Normalcy”

April 20, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

During the summer of my junior year, I attended an intensive college seminar-style summer program at the University of Michigan that focused on Black Movements as a “metaphor for how the Black body moves in performance... [and] mobilizes.” Engaging in an academic space focused on discussing politically critical subject matter---surrounded by other curious students and well-equipped professors enabled me with the tools to more deeply understand socio-cultural politics in the United States today as they pertain to not only race, but gender, sexuality, and class as well. 

One of the last articles we studied was authored by Bettina L. Love who draws from Smith College Professor Kevin Quashie’s deliberations on quiet resistance in his book The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture. Love introduced me to the notion of resistance outside of activism as a subtler and tenuous performance. Quashie writes on the claim “that public expressiveness and resistance are definitive of Black culture” therefore in claiming quiet or stillness black individuals are liberated. 

Captivated by these musings I wanted to build on the idea of quiet resistance by studying how blackness is politicized as “expressive and resistan[t]” and secondly how depoliticizing blackness is a new type of resistance contrasting traditional activism against white hegemony.


Karina Bohyer

“Healthy Cities in a Post Pandemic Era: A Study in Environmental and Population Health”

April 20, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

Though I was born in the heart of Boston, my relationship with cities began when I first stepped into the Franklin Street Subway Station in Tribeca, NYC, when I was three. Since then, I have been enamored by the movement, design, sounds, and smells of urban environments. I find myself mesmerized, staring up at the towering skyscrapers while listening to the cacophony of the city’s diverse population navigating the maze.

Therefore, I plan to major in Urban Studies. My Global Scholars Senior Research Project is focused on the urban design of future cities. As the Environmental Club co-president, a student of architectural design and theory courses, and a self-proclaimed “people person,” I will be delving into two specific aspects: the health of our planet’s environment and the health of its inhabitants. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified pre-existing issues as a result of climate change and the prevalence of chronic illnesses in our population. Cities are especially vulnerable due to their population density and the nature of transmission of the coronavirus. Using Rhino, a modeling software, I will introduce novel urban design prototypes for buildings, transportation, and city layout that will increase walkability and access to nutritious food to promote healthier citizens while also combating the climate crisis in a post-pandemic era. 

Dakota Sciscoe

“Food Culture: How the creation and dominance of big agricultural institutions led to disproportional effects for impoverished and minority communities”

April 21, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

The Agricultural Revolution, arguably the most impactful development in history, transformed the way society and the world operated.  While some esteemed professionals regard the shift away from foraging to farming as a great development that has served as a catalyst for innovation and progression others argue that it was one of the worst developments in human history. While the Agricultural Revolution enabled great prosperity for some it did so at the expense of a sense of equality that thousands of years later we still do not fully possess. I have chosen to focus my research on the generally negative implications of living in an agricultural dominated society and the harm that “food culture” brings to a great proportion of marginalized communities.

In college, I plan to study political science and pursue my interest in public policy.

Owen Jennings

”Mob Mentality: The Ideologies Behind Climate Change Deniers”

April 21, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

I’ve always been perplexed by the number of climate change deniers in the world. To me, climate change makes complete sense, and going into this project, I could not understand why so many people did not believe in the science behind global warming. I wanted to understand why too often climate change reform is unable to pass and why climate change is never a major topic in the news. Going into this project, I wanted to find out what causes disbelief in a general sense and what factors cause climate change denial to be so extreme in the United States. In my paper, I examine multiple causes of climate change denial and introduce possible ways to combat the mob of individuals disbelieving in climate change.

Next fall I will be attending Duke University and plan on majoring in computer science with a minor in economics or bioinformatics.

dylan photo

Dylan Sciscoe

“The Bootstrap Lie: How Ideas of Meritocracy Hold Us All Back”

April 22, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Indianapolis is divided by gerrymandered school districts that perpetuate racial and socioeconomic segregation and reinforce a cycle of poverty. Growing up, the inequality that lay across the street from my private school in one of the most under-funded districts in the city was invisible to me. It remained so until high school when my deepening involvement in local politics and social activism opened my eyes to the extreme differences in wealth and educational opportunities available in my community. In this project, I explore how an inequitable education system prevents the United States from being a functioning meritocracy, and I question the notion that meritocracy is even something we should strive for. My goal is to identify viable solutions to the education gap between poor and wealthy students and school districts so that a good education is available to everyone through an alternative system to meritocracy. 

I will be attending Brown University next year where I plan to dual concentrate in economics and political science. Following my undergraduate studies, I hope to earn a JD/ MBA allowing me to help tackle inequality within our nation from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Olivia White

"The Tragedy of Mass Incarceration: Creating a Punitive System that Reforms Rather than Reinforces Criminal Behavior "

April 22, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

When I was in 8th grade, I was moved by a book I read called Writing my Wrongs by Shaka Sengor. His personal story details the mistreatment, systemic racism, and psychological trauma prisoners experience inside the American prison system. My research covers the roots of mass incarceration from slavery and poverty to the economic profitability of incarcerating people today. I will show how the US can learn from history, science, and other nations to create better prison environments thereby reducing recidivism, and how the converse of the current economic argument is true, that there is an economic advantage for all of society when we support the least of our population with job training, psychological counseling, and post-incarceration support.

Looking ahead to college, I plan to continue pursuing my passion for social justice causes such as prison reform by studying Political Science and International Relations while minoring in French or Arabic.


Jeremy Tian

“The Science of Procrastination and How to Prevent It”

To me, the incredible success and productivity of public figures have always been an elusive and mysterious phenomenon. Everyone has 24 hours in a day, yet they seem to accomplish far more than the ordinary person. I knew there was no simple trick to become as productive as them, but I was still interested in what other people had to say about how to increase productivity. I picked up a few self-improvement books and was fascinated by the science and psychology that explain various human behaviors. In particular, I was intrigued by one of the most powerful opposing forces to productivity: procrastination. 

In college, I plan to study psychology with a minor in chemistry, computer science, or both with the overarching goal of pursuing medicine.  


Ethan Kacena-Merrell

“Time to Eat! A Comprehensive Guide to the Medicinal Benefits of Fasting”

April 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Have you ever been watching youtube at 1am and find yourself watching videos about random yet very intriguing topics? Well, during one of those nights I learned about fasting. I found myself engrossed with the idea of persisting, nay thriving, without food and gaining many benefits along the way. I wanted to give it a go, and started by watching more videos about both intermittent fasting and prolonged fasts. I tried initially just skipping breakfast in the morning and eating regularly throughout the rest of the day. This was quite easy and only got easier with time. While the supposed benefits were hard to quantitate, I felt healthy and less lethargic most days. Ultimately, I found myself wanting to take on more extreme fasts in a safe manner and with this my research project emerged. I wanted to study the medical benefits and drawbacks to both intermittent and prolonged fasts, show a way in which to fast safely, and take you along in my journey of fasting.

Despite the medical and health science association of my project, next year I plan on studying business and computer science.

Henry Wolfla

“There Goes the Neighborhood: Money and Power in Real Estate”

April 27, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

The current trends of American Gentrification have resulted in racial inequity in terms of who has access to home homeownership and who can afford to live in neighborhoods with high rental costs. The impact of the underlying economic factors which drive gentrification has resulted in municipal governments being forced to serve private interests over their duty to their citizens. I don’t really know what initially piqued my interest in this topic, but I haven’t looked back since I started and have enjoyed a deeper understanding of this history and its effect on current economic conditions.

I plan on majoring in non-profit management at the O’Neil School of Indiana University with a minor in Law and Public Policy. Or maybe I will double major in Political Science… I don’t really know yet and am excited to explore all the possibilities. At the end of the day, I want to do work that is politically and socially  impactful, but the exact specificities have yet to be determined.


Arjun Kubal 

“Obstacles to Homeownership: Identifying Systems that Withhold Generational Wealth from Black Americans”

April 27, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

Racial stratification in the United States is an issue that has only improved marginally since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. I have chosen to focus my research on one area of racial injustice that continues to prevail today: the widespread housing inequality between black and white Americans. The blatant deterrence of black homeownership by the federal government and large financial institutions has had huge implications especially in terms of the ability for African American families to accumulate generational wealth.

In the fall I will be attending the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Tucker Hoskins

“Analyzing Community: Aspects of Acceptance”

April 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

Skylar Maclean

"Why So Many Americans are Incarcerated: The Role of System Racism in the Prison System"

April 28, 2021 at 7:45 p.m.

Why does the United States have the largest prison population in the world? The prison population has increased by 500% since 1980 and now includes 2.3 million people. Black men are incarcerated 6.5 times the rate of white men. While the reasons for mass incarceration are large and complex, this is largely due to the ways in which systemic racism manifests itself in schools, neighborhoods, and the criminal justice system. Mass incarceration has significant consequences for the prisoners, families, communities and society as a whole in the U.S. This is a challenge to our democracy when Black people are not being treated equally under the law. 

Racial justice is something that I have always cared about, but since prisons are so removed from our society, I never fully understood the scope of the problem. Over the past year, I have learned a lot from films like 13th and been inspired by books such as Just Mercy, White Rage and The New Jim Crow. This project has allowed me to dig deeper into this topic and understand how Black people’s lives and communities have been affected. At Lehigh University, I hope to double major in sociology and behavioral neuroscience to learn more about racial inequalities in health.


Parisa mershon

“Orchestrating Education: Why Music’s Minor Role Should be a Major One”

May 8, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

RSVP for parisa's Zoom Presentation


Sabrina Wilke

"Prisons of the Mind: Criminality and Mental Illness"

May 18, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

RSVP for Sabrina's Zoom Presentation