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Capstone Scholars Deliver Presentations

Rudy Brandl

Twelve seniors in the Class of 2021 shared their research and findings on a variety of pertinent topics in last week’s Capstone presentations in the Center for Global Learning. This project, a requirement to graduate with the Global Scholars Program diploma, involves many components including a written paper, action research component and a presentation in front of students and a panel of teachers.

The Capstone Research Seminar supports cohorts of Grade 12 students through the original research process. Our scholars engage in many sophisticated research techniques: they form research questions on issues of their choosing, they form their own definitions of key concepts based on the current knowledge in their fields, and they answer their questions with original data collected through interviews, observations, and primary source analysis. 

“Our Class of 2021 cohort succeeded in producing powerful, original scholarly research,” said Mr. Jason Murphy, Upper School history teacher and supervisor of the Capstone program. “Our students generated over 15 semi-structured interviews, two focus groups, and collected over 50 primary source documents from governmental records and non-governmental organizations. And, it should be noted, our students' presentations demonstrate their resilience in the face of a prolonged and worldwide health crisis. We are all proud of their accomplishments!”

This year, the presentations followed an academic conference model. Each student presented their research as part of a small panel of student researchers. Each of the panelists' papers shared a theme or focus. After brief Q&A's, a discussant spoke briefly about the strengths and weaknesses of each paper. Our student panelists gathering on campus, remotely within the U.S., and internationally to share and discuss their year-long projects. This year's themes included problems of public policy, making schools safer and fairer spaces, business ethics and responsibility, and multiple studies on the intersections of social and psychological conflicts.

“Paper topics ranged from Taliyah Williams’ fantastic interview study which captures Black women’s experiences navigating the U.S. healthcare system to Mark Zhang’s advanced predictive model which explores the impact of cohorting on COVID-19 transmission rates in two US high schools,” Mr. Murphy said. “I eagerly await all of their finished papers, which will be published in the 2021 annual issue of The Wardlaw+Hartridge Capstone Research Journal.”

Below is a listing of this year’s Capstone scholars, with their topics:

Day One – Problems of Public Policy:

Olivia Brown ’21 – Hungry for happiness: Examining the associations between childhood food insecurity and emotional well-being

Anna Razvi ’21 –  Behind walls: Mass incarceration as an oppressor of reproductive justice in the U.S.

Taliyah Williams ’21 – Beyond chemo: How the United States' racial healthcare gap makes an impression on the treatment of breast cancer in Black women

Day Two – Making Schools Safer & Fairer:

Zoë Rose ’21 – Histories of systemic racism: The erasure of minority identities from school spaces

Camila Martinez ’21 – "Fancy, clean and crisp": Students' beliefs, behaviors and perceptions of tap and bottled water at a Northeastern secondary school

Mark Zhang ’21 – Dangerous superspreaders: Predicting the impact of mitigative safety measures on COVID-19 transmission rates in U.S. schools

Day Three – Business Ethics & Responsibility:

Jessie Ni ’21 – Go green or go greed: A study of two U.S. clothing companies' sustainability performances

Henry Yuan ’21 – Victory or failure?: The addiction system hidden in the video game industry

Day Four – Intersections of the Social and Psychological:

John Papetti – Conflict of interests: Social media use in protests and effective ways to manage open communication

Leila Hernandez-Webster ’21 – Trudging through deep waters: How infrastructure, legislation, and identity impact water quality in the U.S.

Mikayla Cole ’21 – Behind closed doors: Childhood maltreatment's associations with criminal behavior

Nicolas Hernandez-Webster ’21 – Empathy and Sympathy: Exposure, perception and reflection in music listening