2018 Kenan Summer Fellows – Letters Home
Every week, the 2018 Kenan Summer Fellows will be sending updates about their research projects.
Henock Asaye is a rising junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, double majoring in Public Policy and Global Health with an interest in health disparities. He is the founder of Oasis Medical Relief, an organization that collects extra medical supplies from American hospitals and pharmaceutical companies and distributes them to low-budget hospitals in Ethiopia. His project will examine the availability of medical supplies and medical professionals in the urban and rural areas of that country. By taking this twofold approach, Henock will be able to see the ethical discrepancies in both doctor-patient treatment and access to supply, and will work with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health to determine how to improve future distribution methods. His faculty mentor is Manoj Mohanan.
John Benhart is a Trinity junior from Pittsburgh studying Computer Science. His project seeks to analyze definitions of community in small to medium-sized towns across the United States, focusing on how citizens in these areas view responsibility to outsiders, including migrants, minorities, and other “foreign” groups. John will spend the summer biking around the U.S., conducting informal interviews with community members in designated towns. He is excited to use the medium of biking to study these issues, as he feels that cycling provides a holistic picture of the geography and heart of an area. His faculty mentor is Suzanne Shanahan..
Kinza Khan is a Trinity sophomore from Pakistan, studying Political Science on the premedical track. For her project, Kinza will attempt to use an education-based intervention model to reduce the symptoms of common metabolic diseases such as hypertension in Pakistan. Her preventive health care program will screen individuals for hypertension, refer patients to an endocrinology unit for free treatment, and conduct “living well” workshops so that those affected may learn how to reduce their symptoms on their own. As a pilot project, her work intends to serve as a small fix in the wide array of issues pertaining to healthcare inequalities in Pakistan, and show that scalability of such a model is possible. Kinza aims to open up a conversation about the ethical responsibility of individuals when faced with morally troubling situations, as well as prove that a preventive medicine model is an effective approach.
Andrea Kolarova is a Trinity sophomore from Asheville studying environmental sciences and biology. She is studying all species of hummingbirds to determine the variables that put certain species at risk of extinction; her summer project is a continuation of research she conducted throughout last summer and her sophomore year. Andrea’s research will require establishing hummingbirds as either generalist or specialist feeders using detailed reports of observed interactions between specific hummingbird and plant species. She will do meta-analysis of existing data as well as offer her own report. The ultimate aim of her project is to inform conservationists on how to best protect the most vulnerable hummingbird species. Her faculty mentor is Stuart Pimm.
Read Andrea’s Letters Home below.
Andrea – Letter 1: Ethics and Environmental Science
Alizeh Sheikh is a Trinity freshman from Atlanta studying evolutionary anthropology, English, and Spanish. Her project addresses how legal status, specifically in the context of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), is related to identity formation. She will partner with immigration law firms and nonprofits in Atlanta, Georgia, and Durham, North Carolina, to interview and distribute surveys to young adult clients. Surveys will consist of anxiety and depression diagnostic tests as well as the Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status scale, which analyzes identity formation as it relates to a crisis period in which identity exploration is initiated and an eventual commitment to values, beliefs, and standards is achieved. While past studies of immigrant experiences have focused on cultural differences to explain immigrant maladjustment, Alizeh’s study will explore the psychology of immigrants by elucidating how governmental determination of legal status affects immigrant experience. Her faculty mentor is Robert Thompson.
Read Alizeh’s Letters Home below.
Nick Turecky is a Trinity rising sophomore from Clayton, North Carolina, intending to study Computer Science. The goal of Nick’s project is to address the ethics of political party loyalty and how it informs people’s values and their perceptions of what is deemed ethical or unethical. He will do research through data collection via surveys and interviews, and also be involved in a film project; both his data and film will be useful for prospective or current service learning students. Nick’s project aims to present ways to find truth and impartiality in politics and to appropriately navigate political conversations, as well as to help people be reflective and introspective about the ethics of personal political bias. His faculty mentor is David Malone.