Annual ISP Banquet Showcases Student Scholarship

By Saif Salim '20

On December 4, Heritage Hall Upper School held its annual Independent Study Program (ISP) banquet. The event represents the culmination of intensive, year-long studies for the program’s participants who have chosen and pursued a topic of interest beyond the rigor and principles of core curriculum. With the guidance of faculty advisors and subject matter experts, ISP students present the results of their self-directed learning to the Heritage Hall community during the annual banquet. 

This year’s event featured six presentations by the ISP class, comprised of seniors Sukanya Bhattacharya, Nate Branscum, Skylar Mooneyham, Alex Nguyen, Abi Siatkowski, and Reagan Williams. Students researched a vast range of topics, including government policy, science, wellness, and art.

Along with their presentations, ISP participants submitted formal papers as a summation of their research and findings. These works are housed in The Rainbolt Family Library as reference materials and to serve as inspiration for others considering the program.

During the banquet, Assistant Head of School Nick Carter commended “the bravery and inquisitiveness” of the evening’s presenters, each of whom were initially selected for the rigorous program by faculty and administrators.

Speaking about his experience as a two-time ISP participant, Alex Nguyen noted, “This program has provided me opportunities to explore and pursue passions that I would not have known about otherwise. My mentors allowed me to conduct groundbreaking research that, I believe, will change the world for the better. Overall, the Independent Studies Program has allowed me to discover a new part of myself and hone critical-thinking skills that will, hopefully, lead to my successful pursuit of a career in politics and business.”

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