Independent Study Program Showcases Scholarship, Diverse Interests

By Saif Salim '20

The annual Independent Study Program (ISP) Banquet held on Wednesday, November 28 was a night to remember for the seven outstanding presenters, their faculty mentors, and special guests. Representing the culmination of the year-long ISP experience, the banquet provides a forum for students to showcase their hard work and to develop their presentation skills.

Featuring projects broad in scope and of great academic and artistic merit, this year’s banquet was a brilliant collective of scholarship, diversity, and passion. Junior Sukanya Bhattacharya presented a study of the relationship between maternal adiposity, mothers’ parenting styles, and mothers’ feeding strategies with their children. Senior Turner Watkins, who studied minimalist architecture, displayed virtual and physical models of a practical home he had designed. The dynamic duo of junior Alex Nguyen and senior Jake Steelman spotlighted their new invention, the Myriad iPhone Case, and summarized their experiences in developing, patenting, and marketing this innovative smartphone battery case. Senior Jacob Livesay discussed the process of music composition; demonstrated recording and editing methods in GarageBand; and played music from his original album, “Old Things in New Places.” Senior Alina Wilson broached the topic of identity, tying in her trek across the El Camino trail in Spain, interviews with local artists, and her interactive photography project, “Identity: Our Story.” Senior William White, an aspiring novelist, discussed the inspiration behind “Dust and Thunder,” his first full novel, in addition to reading a beautifully-worded excerpt.

ISP Director Dr. Chris Hamel noted, “The ISP Class of 2018, numbering seven scholars shepherded by nine mentors, wowed the Heritage Hall community with stimulating and thought-provoking presentations. These seven ISP scholars constitute one of the strongest groups to participate in the program to date.” Truly, this group has set a high bar for future ISP participants to follow.

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