Five Students Named CAMD Scholars in Selective Application Pool

With interests spanning from New York to Thailand, cyber bullying to prostitution, next year’s five Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) Scholars will return from summer break with original research to present to Andover faculty and students. Selected from a record high pool of applicants, Gabriele Fisher ’13, Miranda Haymon ’12, Apsara Iyer ’12, Seyoung Lee ’12 and Vidush Mahansaria ’12 are the CAMD Scholars for next year. Fisher said she first became interested in her topic, “Social Networking: Friend or Foe to the Queer Community?” while growing up in Russia, where she regularly witnessed homophobic bullying and violence. Her presentation will explore the destructive aspect of Social Networking sites, but also online support like the “It Gets Better Project” for the youth gay community. Fisher said that she was moved by Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after a sex tape of him with another male student streamed on the Internet. “Online bullying is reaching epidemic proportions and the worst part about it is that nobody can be held accountable. The strength of cyber bullying is really increasing,” she said. “Social Networking is really a double-edged sword. I want to explore the extent to which the Internet harms and benefits the gay community,” she continued. Haymon’s project, “From Black Panthers to Broadway: Evolution of the Black Thespian,” examines the parallels in social and theatrical growth in the black community. “A significant correlation exists between what is seen on television versus what is actually outside and I want to reinforce the bridge between them,” said Haymon. Her presentation will examine three specific time periods from 1965 to 2011, while also examining Andover’s own theatrical productions. “I’ve always thought it was interesting how Phillips Academy did productions without paying attention to race, something that is widely emphasized in the theatrical world,” said Haymon. “My project is unique because it won’t only draw theater kids, but anyone who has ever heard of the Cosby Show, or is a history buff or really likes the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” “Two things that are very important to me are heritage and theater. My project completely takes those two elements that help to make who I am and goes in depth. This project really hits home for me.” Iyer’s project, “The Impact of Archaeological Tourism on Indigenous Communities,” will examine the increasing impact of tourism at archaeological sites on native communities in Peru. Her project will also focus on the ways modern reinterpretations of Andean history are skewed to promote nationalistic and historically inaccurate portrayals of indigenous culture. Iyer said she has pursued a passion for Pre-Columbian Peru since the seventh grade, when she first became interested in the quipu, an Incan system of knots. Iyer excavated at Sacsayhuaman Archaeological Park in Cusco, Peru last summer. Iyer is New Director for The Phillipian. In her project “Third Culture Kids: Global Nomads in Search of a Home,” Lee defines Third Culture Kids as children who spend significant period of time in one or more cultures other than their own and integrate the elements of these cultures into a “third culture.” “I want to find out how kids like me answered the question, “Where is your home?” Indeed, where are third culture kids really from? And where do they belong?” said Lee. Lee herself identifies as a Third Culture Kid, and intends to use her personal background and experiences as the basis for her paper and presentation. “I went through a process of self-discovery, and once I knew that I was a TCK I felt more empowered as an individual, because I felt connected to a community of thousands just like me,” she said. “Through research, I could identify myself with the various characteristics of TCKs and developed a deeper understanding of why I am the way I am.” Mahansaria drew on inspiration from his childhood for his topic, “Female Prostitution in Thailand Among Youths.” He said that he encountered the prostitution industry from a young age. “Most kids have the sex talk when they’re 12 but I never needed that from my parents because I had known about prostitution since I was four. When I went to school in the morning I saw it all around me,” said Mahansaria. Mahansaria said that Thailand is notorious for sex tourism, an industry that employs a total of 900,000 prostitutes and is responsible for three percent of the country’s income. “I want to really enlarge the topic and bring it to Andover, because I think students here should get a good grip on it because it is so common in Thai society, yet so disregarded,” said Mahansaria. Aya Murata, CAMD Scholar Coordinator, said, “The selection committee chose this year’s five CAMD scholars because they stood out for very interesting lines of inquiry and areas that have not previously been highlighted or are underrepresented in the Andover community.” The CAMD program allows four or five students to receive 100 dollars to pursue independent research with a particular focus on multiculturalism and diversity.