Signature Programs
Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities

Eleven juniors named 2023 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellows in the Humanities

Eleven Ransom Everglades rising seniors will undertake summer explorations in a variety of fields and at destinations across the globe with the support of 2023 Dan Leslie Bowden Fellowships in the Humanities. Christine Keedy Brown '24, Leah Croom '24, Emma Dvorkin '24, Daniela Gardiner '24, Trinity Haisch '24, Camille Lugo '24, Skye McPhillips '24, Elisa Sotero '24, Julia Torto '24, Jude Yeo '24 and Mike Zoi '24 were named recipients of Bowden fellowships in late April after the most competitive selection process in the fellowships' seven-year history.
The students will explore what makes us human through independent summer research projects on topics of their choosing. Each received financial support from the Dan Leslie Bowden Endowment in the Humanities after a lengthy application process and will work with faculty mentors and program director John A. King Jr., the Associate Head of School at Ransom Everglades.

The endowment was created by a $1 million donation from former Bowden student Jeffrey Miller '79 in 2017.  Anyone interested in supporting the endowment should email Director of Advancement Melanie Hoffmann.

Learn more about the Bowden fellows' projects below.

How Coding is Enhancing Human Creativity in Music 
Christine Keedy Brown '24

I am exploring how people fall in love with computer programming, not for its own sake, but for the creative worlds and powerful ideas that programming can open up, and some examples of how it is expanding the humanities in new and novel ways. Code-based technology and algorithms "can be an entry point into many creative and artistic domains such as mathematics and music," says Dr. Michael Horn, a Northwestern University professor. I will be learning and evaluating some of the most innovative applications of coding within classic liberal arts curricula, and in the process, discovering how the combination makes us "more human." I will be visiting the Tangible Interaction Design and Learning (TIDAL) lab at Northwestern University in Chicago, as well the School of Music in the College of Design at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, which is led by RE alum Jason Freeman '94, Professor of Music and Chair of the School of Music.

Lacrosse as a Reflection of Humanity: The role of Blackness in Lacrosse
Leah Croom '24

This summer I will be researching the ways the Black American identity and culture influence lacrosse and vice versa. My project, limited to the East Coast, will involve interviews from coaches, players and referees. I will conduct most of the interviews through Zoom or Gmail due to convenience; however I will be traveling to different lacrosse events to meet some interviewees. My research will intertwine American history along with the history of lacrosse to highlight major themes that allowed or prevented the sports' growth amongst America's Black population.

Local Journalism and the Quest for Knowledge: An Exploration of the Impact of News Deserts on Communities 
Emma Dvorkin '24
To further understand the human impact news deserts have on local communities, I plan to visit local publications across counties in Florida and write about them in the style of a feature news story. In visiting these communities, I plan to examine the local newspaper's impact on the community at large through speaking with community members and local leaders. I plan to compile my research into a series of articles and present it in a printed magazine-style booklet for distribution.

Soviet Jews in New York City: The Spectrum of Acculturation
Daniela Gardiner '24

My project is largely inspired by my family's own experiences as Soviet Jewish immigrants in New York City. Growing up in a multiethnic and multicultural family, immigrant experience and mentality is something close to heart. With this in mind, my project is about the acculturation experience of Soviet Jews and their descendants in New York City (particularly those who immigrated immediately before, during, or after the fall of the USSR). For my research project, I will be spending a about a week in New York CIty in order to conduct research by interviewing individuals who have either personal or professional research on this topic (or both), touring museums (such as the Tenement Museum), visiting Jewish cultural centers (particularly those that serve the Soviet Jewish community) and doing archival research, among other things. I hope to end this year with a published research paper detailing my findings and conclusions.

What We Don't Talk About: The Importance Of Queer Education
Trinity Haisch '24

Over the summer I will do research about pedagogy of LGBTQ+ topics in schools. I plan to learn about the school curriculum and current regulations in public and private schools, gather experiences of queer students in schools, research the motives behind homophobia, find the impact of queer education in states that require it, then write a research paper about my findings. 

How AI Affects the Art World
Camille Lugo '24
I will be conducting interviews with art experts and consumers on the topic of artificial intelligence, and I will be learning as much as I can about current programs that generate AI art by experimenting with them and doing research.  

The Merit of Work
Skye McPhillips '24
I will be traveling to a cigar factory in the Dominican Republic to interview rollers and investigate the personal significance of their hand-made work. I will be conducting surveys and interviews to collect data concerning the role of work in their identity. This data will be compiled with historical research in a research paper.

Today’s Chinese Cubans: Fighting to Keep their Cultural Identity Alive 
Elisa Sotero '24
I will be conducting a research project comprised of a travel experience to Havana, Cuba. The purpose of this Bowden fellowship project is to investigate what it means to be human in today’s Chinese-Cuban community in Havana, 150 years after the Chinese arrived on the island. Given the small number of Chinese-Cubans that live on the island today, it is critical to understand how a culture that is not even widely recognized is fighting to maintain its own distinct cultural identity.

How Supplementary Educational Practices Support Young Women in Underprivileged Communities 
Julia Torto '24
I will be travelling to South Africa to study how educational support programs, specifically an afterschool tutoring program called Kliptown Youth Program (KYP), affects the education of young women. I want to learn more about what methods this program uses to supplement the poor public education of the young women in their community, and possibly see if these are methods that can be implemented in other programs and schools.  
Where Are You From? The Effect of Place on the Identity of Third Culture Kids
Jude Yeo '24
This project seeks to better understand the role of physical place in shaping the identity of young adults and adults who identify as Third Culture Kids: those who were raised outside of their parent's homeland. This will be done through a series of interviews with different age groups, with the findings being made into a podcast and an exhibit.

An Alternative Examination of the Armenian Genocide: The "Human” in Human Trafficking
Mikey Zoi '24
I will conduct historical research and travel to the National Armenian Heritage Museum in Watertown, Mass., to decipher the systems and conditions in place that allowed for human trafficking rings to flourish throughout the Armenian Genocide.
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.