Eight Undergrads Receive 2016 Karbank Summer Fellowships

in Blog
July 14th, 2016

Supported by a generous grant from BU Philosophy alumnus Steven Karbank, eight BU undergraduates studying philosophy are the recipients of Karbank Fellowships this summer. This year’s class of Fellows is pursuing a wide range of ways in which their philosophical questions connect concretely to the world—from exploring the role of emotions in musical performance in Florence to taking part in a survival course in the Utah desert to studying the moral status of lab animals and the effects of mass incarceration on women. The Karbank grants support “structured activity, study, or hands-on experience” that can “significantly enrich the student’s philosophical understanding of self and world.”

2016 Class of Karbank Fellows

Claire Chiodini plans to follow on her recent philosophical study of the notion of good in Plato and Aristotle in a concrete way: participating in the annual Rimini (Italy) “Meeting for the Friendship Amongst Peoples,” which draws a diverse group of people from many faith and philosophical traditions, and interviewing attendees about their varying notions of the good.

Salimata Diakité is planning to undertake research into how mass incarceration affects women, examining the procedures of non-federal prisons in Massachusetts, as well as the privatized and state-funded reentry programs partnered with Massachusetts Department of Correction.

Rebecca Strong Garcia aims to explore the role of emotions in music as she takes part in a Renaissance performance program in Florence.

Rahim Hirji is interviewing lawyers in the UK who have an unusual common experience: representing criminals or companies who were detested in the public eye.

Sharmin Rahman is studying how internet access affects political decision-making and opinion-formation by comparing cities where internet access is low (Detroit, MI) and high (Cambridge, MA).

Anush Swaminathan plans to explore the moral questions raised by the use of animals in lab work, making use both of key philosophical texts concerning the moral status of animals and of the first-hand perspectives that come from working in a developmental neurobiology lab at BU.

Abraham Tawil is studying what light philosophy can shed on the difficult questions of free will and determinism raised by addiction.

Stephen Valdesuso is exploring the relation of human philosopher to natural environment by taking part in the rigorous Boulder (Utah) Outdoor Survival School Field Course.

Previous Award Winners

Rebecca Dobyns (’15)

followed with her camera two experienced backpackers on the Lost Coast of Northern California for five days and 50 miles. Her project will result in a documentary film that explores, among other things, philosophical questions about the value of outdoors exploration and the relation between freedom and nature.

Samantha Kennedy (’15)

researched the philosophical underpinnings of the contemporary issue of universal daycare, drawing on moral arguments from philosophers ranging from Aristotle to Smith and Rousseau.

Chad Kringen (’15)

attended the North American School for Logic, Language, and Information (NASSLLI) in College Park, Maryland, as well as its European counterpart (ESSLLI) in Tübingen, Germany, taking a series of classes ranging from causal graphical models to game theory and temporal logic.

Julian Lijtszain (’15)

visited pediatric hospitals as part of an internship with the Mexican Institute of Social Security or Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) in Mexico City. He did extensive fieldwork for the Institute that resulted in new methodological approaches for patient surveys.

Demarius Walker (’14)

used his grant to attend EMT training classes in Atlanta. The hands-on experience opened his eyes, he said, to many real-world ethical dilemmas that don’t find easy philosophical resolutions.

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