The Office of Community and Multicultural Development (CAMD) announced the five students selected for the 2014-2015 CAMD Scholar Program on February 27. Chosen from a record-breaking pool of 32 applicants, Devontae Freeland ’15, Thea Rossman ’15, Kailash Sundaram ’15, Joyce Wang ’15 and Carrie Ingerman ’15 will spend the summer researching topics relating to diversity and multiculturalism, to be presented to the Andover community during the 2014-2015 school year.
“[We were looking for] projects that we think will resonate in the community, are in areas that are not touched upon in our day-to-day life that are also going to enhance what we do already here on campus and provide some other connections to departments, specific courses or different constituencies on campus,” said Aya Murata, CAMD Scholar Coordinator.
The application consisted of a personal statement, a prospectus of their project proposal, a bibliography and a recommendation from a willing faculty advisor. A new addition required another piece that outlined specific entities on campus that may be interested in involving themselves with the presentation or complementary programs that could go alongside, for example a panel discussion, a film or an expert in the relevant field.
Students will start preliminary research in the spring with the help of their faculty advisors to hone down their topic and will continue researching this summer. In late July, they will turn in a rough draft of their research paper to their advisors and begin the editing stage that lasts through August. Then the students and their advisors will work together to create a presentation that the student will give during fall or winter term.
Advisor: LaShonda Long, Instructor in English
Freeland will be conducting a comparative study regarding the situations of African-Americans in the United States and gypsies in Spain in his project, “The Unwanteds: Comparing the Socio-Politics of African Americans and Spanish Gitanos in the Post-Civil Rights and Post-Franco Era.”
“When you look at the Gitano community, you see an ethnic minority in a country that describes itself as a melting pot. Gitanos have been there in the country for about 500 to 600 years, yet are still underrepresented in politics, concentrated in urban areas, subject to gang violence, drugs,” said Freeland.
In comparing the cultures, Freeland hopes to expose the student body to “the various systems and intricacies of the ethnicities of the Hispanics and African Americans,” he said, and hopes to tie in his presentation with either the Black Arts or Latin Arts Weekends next year.
Advisor: Susanne Torabi, International Student Coordinator
Ingerman’s presentation, “Impact of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) on Secondary School Education,” will explore the implementation of IDEA in public and private schools, with a focus on Andover itself.
Ingerman’s interest in the topic was spurred after meeting an autistic boy in second grade. In 2012, Ingerman had her own medical experience that left her disabled both physically and cognitively. Ingerman hopes to further expose students at Andover to disabilities.
Ingerman said there are 50 students with disclosed chronic disabilities at Andover. “It’s estimated that there are roughly another 50, so that’s close to 9 percent, which is equal to the international student population,” said Ingerman.
Ingerman is the Barbara Landis Chase CAMD Scholar for next year. One BLC Scholar is chosen each year by the selection committee to focus on race relations or human rights.
Advisor: Christopher Jones, Instructor in History
For her project, “A Race Apart: Discovering Whiteness in Appalachian America,” Rossman plans to compare what it means to be white in America and what it means to be white in the Appalachian America.
Rossman has always been interested in race relations and race studies. “When you think about race, not a lot of people — I didn’t, definitely — think about whiteness, because white is often perceived to be the lack of race, or kind of the neutral against which everything else is prepared. Part of what I want to argue in my paper is that the white experience is actually very racialized,” she said.
She hopes to educate students about the truth about the hidden “racialization” of whites, the effect of power and the ways we define “whiteness” on the lack of overt racism and compartmentalization.
Advisor: Theodore Parker, Instructor in History
Sundaram will research underrepresentation of Indian-Americans in the United States government for his project, “Wealth, Knowledge, But Little Power: An Examination of the Lack of Indian American Political Activism.”
He realized his passion for his topic when he became interested in politics at the beginning of high school. “I realized that there were very few people who looked like me and who I could identify with,” he said. “I’m sure you’ve seen MetroPCs commercials where there is that nerdy Indian guy, and those contribute to the stereotype where you don’t see [Indians] as leaders, but more as the person who does your math homework for you.”
Raising awareness and exposing stereotypes are the goals of his presentation. “Around 5 percent of our school is Indian-American, so the topic is really relevant to our community,” he said.
Advisor: Susanne Torabi, International Student Coordinator
In her project, “Unreachable Schools, Invisible Hope: An Examination of the Limited Educational Resources of Migrant Children in Mainland China,” Wang will research the situations of lower class families that live in China.
“I noticed the huge inequalities in Chinese society. . In my own neighborhood in China, there are really rich people who live in luxurious apartments and houses and country clubs, and right next to them are slums,” said Wang. “There are not as many people in America who care about the issues of poverty in China. I think that’s my responsibility.”
Wang hopes to show students the other side of China. “Recent years, China’s all [been] about the economic growth. People are really wealthy, and especially the Chinese kids on campus… however, at least 70 percent of the Chinese population are not what we perceive them [to be],” she added.