The Quest Summer Fellows program, as I have stated in a previous blog post in regards to the summer seminar series, is a 12-week summer fellowship that gives several Quest students the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a Quest tutor. In other words, this program, as stated on its website, is a summer experience for students in which they take lead on intellectually substantive projects that require creative and original thought. The Program is administered by the Quest Summer Fellows Advisory Committee, which consists of Rich Wildman (chair), Melanie Bedore, Richard Hoshino, Mark Vaughan, and Curt Wasson.
The application process for the Summer Fellows Program begins early in the school year, which gives students enough time to find a faculty member to support their projects, gather the necessary research, write a project proposal, and collect other important documents required to apply for this program. In order to apply, a student must fulfill several criteria, which include, but are not limited to, having a GPA of at least 2.5, not being under any disciplinary sanction, and having the intent to return to Quest as a student within 1 year of completing the Fellowship. The application must be compiled of a coversheet, an unofficial transcript, a project proposal, a personal statement, and a letter of support from the prospective faculty host.
Each year, the winners of this fellowship have conducted various research experiments that have ranged in the academic area of focus. Some of these projects were Community Based Conservation (Elijah Cetas), Wildlife Monitoring (Gillian Pool), Greenhouse Gas Emission (Emma Linde), Gradual Improvements to Systems at Quest (Caleb Raible-Clark), and many more. Through their projects, the summer fellows have been able to help local organizations to implement better money saving methods, our school to improve the classes and roommates selection processes, and close gaps in knowledge by finding compelling results through their projects. It is quite amazing to see how this program benefits the student in gaining research experience but also Quest in positively utilizing the findings from these projects.
After a lengthy application process, the 2016 Quest Fellowship Program members are Maya Broeke, Kelsey Chamberlin, Janali Gustafson, Seth Newman, Marielle Rosky, and Aaron Slobodin. Working at Quest this summer has given me the opportunity to live and work near the fellowship students. As a result, I am constantly amazed by the hard work that each of these students has been putting towards their research projects, from finding participants, conducting the study, obtaining the required equipment, and working on their final reports. They truly have their hands full this summer and I think that it is very important that we recognize their hard-work and how their projects benefit our community.
Last week, my friend and summer fellow, Marielle Rosky, gave a mid-summer presentation, as part of the Quest Summer Seminar Series. Due to other commitments, I did not have a chance to attend Marielle’s presentation. However, several of my friends did and they had nothing but positive and kind comments about the project. As a result, curious to learn more about Marielle’s project and also wanting to write about her project in this blog-post, I asked Marielle to write a paragraph about her project. Marielle, immediately accepted and recently submitted her paragraph. Marielle said,
“For my summer fellows research project, I am in the process of creating a graphic novel that communicates a portrait of adolescent femininity. I began this project unwittingly in Spring 2015 when I drafted a manuscript for a short story in my literature and writings classes. I have spent the majority of the summer engaged in research creation and traditional research. Research creation is an approach to research wherein the creative, theoretical and technical aspects of a project are pursued in tandem and are equally valued. I explored the many ways that I can translate written manuscript into comics form. I have poured over graphic novels renowned within the field in search of style techniques that develop narrative further and create a specific reading experience. I have engaged in traditional research within the Humanities and some other fields to familiarize myself with the effect that stories have on readership and authorship alike.”
A few weeks ago I met my classmate and colleague, Janali, who is also part of the 2016 Quest Fellowship Program. After chatting about life and our summers, I was curious to learn more about Janali’s project. The focus of her project sounded like none of the other projects, since it focused on performance and physical exercise. As a result, I decided to ask Janali to also tell me more about her project. That way I would learn more about it but also be able to write about it in this blog post. Janali was very kind and quickly wrote to me two paragraphs in which she explained her study. Janali said,
“For my Summer Fellows project, I am conducting a study on athletic performance. My Quest question is “How can we push our limits?”, and the study I designed addresses this question and will be the basis for my Keystone project. My study is looking at how body positioning can impact performance on a variety of athletic tests ranging from reaction time tests to tests of muscular strength and endurance.
I chose to apply for the Summer Fellows position because I wanted more time to be able to design and conduct a thorough study than I would have had if I chose to do this during the school year. The Summer Fellows program has given me 3 months without any other classes to completely focus on my project. This has been an amazing opportunity for me to design and conduct my own research study. The program is going really well so far. We are 9 weeks in to the 12 week program and it is going really well for me! I am finishing up testing this week and will use the last 3 weeks of the program to start analyzing my results and writing up my Keystone report.”
I wish both Marielle and Janali, and all the other summer fellows, all the best as they continue this rigorous academic research journey. They are all amazing and I cannot wait to see what they do with their research projects into which they have put a lot of energy and thought.