Heritage Hall News

ISP Scholars Follow Their Passions

by Katie Horn Davis ’09

One of my favorite quotes I like to share with students is from Helen Keller: “A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.” The Heritage Hall Independent Studies Program (ISP) asks students to start with an intriguing question that will spur original research. Once students develop their questions, they work with faculty advisors and engage in high-quality research outside the core curriculum. In addition to writing formal papers, students present their self-directed study at the annual ISP Banquet. This year’s event featured seniors Joshua Donovan, Eli Dunham, Ava Nelson, Meera Patel, and Esha Venkataraman. 

The inquisitive and altruistic scholars researched historical justice, self-expressive fashion, American symbols, holistic medicine, and harmful microplastics. When addressing the scholars, Head of School Matthew Carolan remarked, “Some day you may well be at the forefront of the very research and work that will change the world, right the wrongs, cure the diseases, quell the chaos, and solve the mysteries. Carry this experience into your future academic lives, and use your intellect to do well and good.” 

As the ISP director, I have the honor of witnessing these students grow personally and academically as they risk creating groundbreaking research and pursuing unique passions. The projects require constant study, work, and collaboration, and all of these scholars mastered these skills in an attempt to make a difference in their chosen field of study. 

I am confident that this group of students will continue to break barriers in their respective research areas, as real education is a pursuit that lasts a lifetime. In the end, working with the future generation gives me incredible hope for the future.
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