The 2019 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities shared the results of their summer work in an impressive and wide-ranging presentation to the student body and faculty at the Lewis Family Auditorium on Oct. 15. This year’s fellows traveled to India, Scotland, France and Puerto Rico; interviewed subjects in English, Spanish, and French; studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Rhode Island School of Design; conducted research; and considered topics ranging from consumerism to history to culture to dance.
Inspired by the 63-year career of Dan Leslie Bowden at Ransom Everglades School, the Bowden fellowships support advanced summer study in the humanities for rising seniors. Fellows are selected in a rigorous application process each spring. The fellowship selection committee selects projects that exemplify, in the words of the late Mr. Bowden, “courage in the passionate pursuit of what makes us human.” The fellows undertake their projects in the summer between their junior and senior years, and are committed to sharing their work with the Ransom Everglades community, and completing their projects prior to graduation.
The 2019 Bowden fellows gathered during an upper school assembly to share their projects with their peers and special guest Jeffrey Miller '79, whose gift created the Dan Leslie Bowden Endowment in the Humanities and launched the fellowship program in the summer of 2017. (You can watch the presentation here.)
For their project “Finding Humanity in Tragedy: Lockerbie 30 Year Remembrance,” Olivia Byrd '20 and Mia Williamson '20 conducted a series of interviews in Lockerbie, Scotland, forming the foundation of a documentary on the local response to the explosion of Pan Am Flight 103.
Jolie Dreiling '20 explored the human components of marketing during her course of study at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked on a team of students who won special recognition for their socially conscious business plan.
Diego Duckenfield-Lopez '20 traveled from Louisiana to Tennessee with students from across the country and a New York Times journalist, studying and documenting the legacies of Jim Crow and the civil rights movement and social justice in the United States today.
Interested in exploring the communicative nature of dance and the role of dancers’ personalities in the art form, Becca Fisher '20 interviewed a group of dancers and choreographed a dance program based on these interviews. Her program will be performed at RE in December.
Mia Landman '20 traveled to Paris and conducted nearly all of her interviews in French as she researched the complexities of anti-semitism in contemporary France.
While studying ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design, Kate Menninger '20 reflected on the reciprocal relationship between art and humanity, and created several works of her own art that will be exhibited on our campus.
Similarly, later this month, Sofia Mora '20 will present her photo essay, “The Spirit of Puerto Rico,” documenting the endurance of people on that island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
Charith Reddy '20 travelled the farthest afield, to India, to continue his charitable work with vision programs for children and consider the impact of eyesight on the human experience.
Zoe San Martin '20 studied a community much closer to home, capturing the human elements of the Cuban immigrant experience in Miami. Focused especially on the process of assimilation, she shared her findings in a documentary, “Bridging the Gap.”
The public is invited to meet the 2019 Bowden fellows when they show their work in a collective exhibit on the evening of November 18 in the Solomon Art Gallery in the Visual Arts Building at the upper school. Sofia Mora will also exhibit a full collection of her photographs beginning on November 22; Becca Fisher will stage her choreography in the Lewis Family Auditorium in early December; and Kate Menninger will show the work inspired by her summer study in the gallery in the spring.
Anyone interested in supporting the Dan Leslie Bowden Endowment in the Humanities can learn more here or contact Vicki Carbonell Williamson '88, Director of Alumni Relations.
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.