Magellan Scholars Embark on Summer Journeys

Created: June 11, 2014  |  Last Updated: July 15, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

A group of 52 Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) students will complete Magellan Projects this summer on various topics, and in all corners of the globe.

The 2014 group is the second-largest group of Magellan recipients. Of this year’s group, nine students are completing their second Magellan and two are completing their third.

“From the numbers, I think it’s clear that Magellan definitely has taken root on campus,” said Magellan Project Coordinator Brianne Bilsky.

Established in 2008, the Magellan Project provides scholarship funding for students to spend the summer pursuing independent projects and internships that extend liberal arts learning outside the classroom.

Students have traveled throughout the Unites States and to about two dozen countries since the project was initiated. They have completed research projects and internships in the fields of law, medicine, biology, environmental studies, the arts, and education, to name a few.

Bilsky said she thinks the increase in participation is largely due to two factors: the College doesn’t cap the number of awards issued each year, and each student who completes a Magellan returns with an experience that is inspiring to others on campus.

“Our policy is to fund all legitimate proposals, so I like to say that students aren’t competing with each other for a limited number of spots, but with themselves to see if they can come up with a feasible project and put in the work that’s needed to get their idea off the ground,” Bilsky said. “Each student who goes on a Magellan comes back with a story to tell, and the more we publicize these stories … the more likely they are to inspire other students to participate.”

For more information about the 2014 Magellan Projects, see the March, April and May issues of the Magellan Messenger.

The Summer 2014 recipients are:

Class of 2017

  • Omashola Ekperigin: A Study of Diversity (Taiwan)
  • Hannah Fortini: Mythology (Greece)
  • Sydney Frank: A Look at Animal Behavior (Ecuador)
  • Emilee Handyside: Healthcare Study (Costa Rica)
  • Katrina Lenhart” Conservation Education KidScience Intern, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
  • Grace McCarthy: Effects of Climate Change on Different Ecosystems (Australia)
  • Madison Nervig: Effects of Funding on Park Administration (Puerto Rico)
  • Angela Nied: Geothermal Energy vs. the Environment (Iceland)
  • Laura Travers: Study of Celtic Heritage (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France)
  • Miranda Waters: Fair Trade: A Market-Based Solution to Social and Economic Issues (San Francisco, CA)

Class of 2016

  • Sanam Bhalla: History and Culture of the Incas in Peru and the Influence of Spanish Colonization (Peru)
  • Kylie Burk: One Simply Can Walk into Mordor: Economic Impact of Tourism (New Zealand)
  • John Georgino: Undergraduate research assistant, Center for Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
  • Natalie Gill: Comparison of Environmental Policy (Australia and New Zealand)
  • Mackenzie Jakobs: Shadowing a W&J Alumnus in the Medical Field (Washington, D.C.)
  • Alexia Lesher: Human Resources Assistant at Cosentino (Spain)
  • Courtney McCoy: Study of Catholic Bio and Medical Ethics (Italy)
  • Kate Ostrowski: Analyzing Ancient Greek Medicine Through a Modern Perspective (Greece)
  • Joseph Otteni: One Simply Can Walk into Mordor: Environmental Impact of Tourism (New Zealand)
  • Alexandria Sayers: The Effect of Culture and Location on Writing (Greece, Romania, Austria, Germany, France, England, Iceland)
  • Sarah Scott: Healthcare Research (Costa Rica)
  • Samara Silverstein: A Perspective on the Volunteer Industry and Its Effects (Peru)
  • Donte Stevens: American Heart Association Summer Undergraduate Research Fellow at Northeast Ohio Medical University (Kent, OH)
  • Leah Vaughan: Lab Assistant/Researcher, Emory University, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Atlanta, GA)
  • Valeria Velazquez: The Impact of Catholicism on European Culture and Healthcare (France and Italy)
  • Aaron Walayat: Religious Identity and Liberty (India and Turkey)
  • Sarah Youngblood: Economic Study (Morocco)

Class of 2015

  • Carley Adams: Summer Camp Production Assistant with the Pittsburgh CLO Academy
  • Nicole Allison: The Face of American Poverty: An Examination of Relative Poverty (various US cities)
  • Megan Barclay: The Pursuit of Happiness (Denmark)
  • Miriam Beavers: A Study of How Women in Kenya Live Off of the Environment (The Gambia)
  • Emily Bitting: Art and Politics (Czech Republic)
  • Colten Crawford: Effects of Volunteerism on Infectious Diseases (Haiti)
  • Jessica Dance: Poverty Down Under (Australia)
  • Valerie Dunlap: Finance Intern, Kennametal Shared Services (Germany)
  • Victoria Forkus: Discovering the History of Ireland
  • Akash Gosai: Assessing English Primary Care: Lessons to Learn for US Healthcare (United Kingdom)
  • Caulin Grant: Studying the Impact that Instagram Has Had on Photography (various US cities)
  • Lauren Horning: Youth Supervisor for Urban Farmers in Training Program, Braddock Farms (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Jala Johnson: The Impact of Human Development and Climate Change on Thailand’s Food Security and Human Welfare (Toronto)
  • Stephanie Kapuschansky: Teaching Intern (Costa Rica)
  • Adam Kmett: Swedish Success: An Ethnographic Study of “Greatness”
  • Jake Meyers: Comparative Study of Ecotheology in Southeast Asia (Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar)
  • Anthony Picozzi: Conservation of Historical and Natural Sites (UK and Ireland)
  • Natalie Sowko: The Effects of Torture Tactics in Medieval Times (England and Italy)
  • Matthew Stearns: Operations Intern, Bayer Material Sciences (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Jeffrey Steiner: The Cost of Living (United Kingdom)
  • Caleb Thomas: The Evolution of Poetry in New York City
  • Donovan Vogel: Apprentice at Csenge Advisory Group (Washington, PA)
  • Daniel Walters: Administrative Clerk, Bowles Rice LLC (Canonsburg, PA)
  • Corey Young: A Study of Healthcare and Medical Technology (South Africa)
  • Miren Zubillaga: Studying Basque Culture in the Basque Country (Spain)