Abbot Grant Recipients

The Abbot Academy Association (AAA) released its list of 25 funded student and faculty proposals, with this term’s grants totaling 192,913 dollars. The Association awards funding to student and faculty initiatives after applicants submit an extensive proposal and present before the AAA board at an Association dinner. The Association was founded in 1973 to provide funding for projects “consistent with the traditions and ideals of Abbot Academy and the current needs of Phillips Academy,” according to the Andover website. The projects featured below represent only a fraction of the grant proposals that received full or partial funding.


PAshion Print Fashion Magazine

PAshion Print Fashion Magazine, a new club and student publication run by Emelie Eldracher ’18, Nell Fitts ’18, and Claire Jungmann ’18, was given funds to help pay for professional printing. The print and website-based magazine focuses on fashion on and off campus. With the help of the Abbot Grant, the club plans to produce paper copies of its magazine. In an email to The Phillipian, Jungmann wrote, “We really wanted to create a physical copy of the magazine and we’re so excited that we are able to actually realize the idea. We hope to have more than 20 full-color pages that will look like a professional magazine.” The club also plans to sell advertisements to local businesses and start a sustainable publication.


Girls Who Lift Initiative — Equipment for the Fitness Center

Sofie Brown ’18, Makenna Marshall ’18, and Elizabeth Seero ’18 recently received an Abbot Grant for their club, Girls Who Lift. The club’s primary purpose is to “make girls feel safe and accepted in the weightlifting section of the gym,” said Marshall. “We’re hoping that by exercising in large groups, [they] can get a safe workout culture going.” The club needed money for equipment appropriate for beginners, as those currently in the gym are not. The club requested lighter weights, such as a 15 pound bar instead of a 45 pound bar, to properly instruct students. With the grant money, the club will now have the means to cover these expenses and teach girls how to lift. “I feel great,” said Marshall. “I’m really glad it worked out. We all worked really hard on the planning and the research for it.”


Student-Run Engineering Research Project

Kevin Kastholm ’17, Matthew Grottkau ’17, and Sarah Choi ’18 were granted funds for a student run engineering research project that will focus on technical projects designed to expose students to different types of engineering. In the fall, they held a bridge building competition, and they hope to start a collaborative project utilizing the grant money in the next two terms. “The Abbot Grant will help because doing a hands-on project requires materials, and, in this case, we’re trying to do an alternative energy project and materials, such as a solar panels, are very expensive,” said Kastholm. “We’re very fortunate because if we didn’t receive [the grant money] then we wouldn’t be able to do these types of projects.”


Self-Defense Program Aimed Toward Female Students

Jennifer Lee ’18, Alexandra Loumidis ’18, and Clarisa Merkatz ’19 received an Abbot Grant for the Girls’ Global Health Club. In an interview with The Phillipian, Loumidis said that, with the money, they are hoping to “provide an outlet on campus for girls to learn more about both physical and mental health. In the spring, [we’re] planning on doing various different wellness activities. [Our] overall goal is to make female students feel more comfortable on this campus.” With the Abbot Grant, the club will be able to fund self-defense classes. Lee also sees it as a sign of support. “It is a way for the school to show support for our club’s message, and the goals of our club in terms of making [it] a more welcoming and inclusive place for students of all identities,” said Lee. “It also provides a platform for us to share what we’re passionate about with others in this community.”


Phillips Academy Interscholastic Student Film Festival

Hoping to host a film festival at Andover involving students from other schools, Alexander Emerson ’17, Andrew Lin ’17, and Nicholas Emerson ’20 were given a grant for the Movie Maker’s Club. In an interview with The Phillipian, Lin said, “We’ve been planning this event for a while as a club, but it never really came through. A couple of years ago, Alex and I went to the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. It was really cool and we’re looking at some aspects of that film festival to help build ours.” Submissions are opening up January 1st for students who would like to submit an original movie of their own. “One of the main reasons we applied for the Abbot Grant is because we don’t want to have an admissions fee, so we’re looking to build on Non Sibi in some ways… It’ll also cover food, event costs, the Polks’s equipment, and the website. We’re going to host the website in order to display the films,” said Lin.


MIT Sports Analytics Conference 

Rolando Rabines ’19 received an Abbot Grant for his plan to take students to the MIT sports Analytics Conference. The event will include a panel made up of general managers of sports teams and author of “Moneyball,” Michael Lewis. In an interview with The Phillipian, Rabines said, “My inspiration for the project was really my love for analytics. I wanted to raise awareness for sports analytics at Andover, a school currently lagging behind in sports analytics technologies.” This project is aimed towards benefiting Andover athletes, students, and faculty. “The vision is to have Sports Analytics Managers on every varsity team at Andover, and instead of passing waters and moving cones, [managers would be] crunching numbers to bring a competitive advantage to Andover’s sports teams while also allowing for the Andover community to learn about analytics and its quantitative uses,” said Rabines. The club has already purchased tickets to go to to the conference on March 4, 2017.


Development of Female Wrestling Program at Andover

In an effort to further develop Andover’s female wrestling program, Kassie Archambault ’06 and Rich Gorham ’86 intend to use their money to host wrestling clinics with Olympic Gold Medalist Helen Maroulis and Olympian Elena Pirozhkova. After receiving an Abbot Grant last year, they are looking to continue informing girls who may not realize wrestling is an option for them. In an email to The Phillipian, Archambault, who is the coach of Andover Wrestling’s girls program wrote, “Female wrestling is the fastest growing sport for girls in the country, yet there’s still a stigma around it.” The coaches are also planning on participating in the national tournament later in the year.


Editor’s Note: Jennifer Lee ’18 is an Associate Sports Editor and Alexandra Loumidis ’18 is an Associate Business Manager for The Phillipian.