News & Events

Becoming with Dr. Nwando Achebe

By Dean Natalie McKnight

Award-winning author and historian Dr. Nwando Achebe delivered the 35th annual Stanley P. Stone Distinguished Lecture on Feb. 8. Photo courtesy Nwando Achebe

On February 8, 2024, Dr. Nwando Achebe presented a lecture entitled “Becoming: Africanist, Oral, and Gender Historian” in the Jacob Sleeper Auditorium at the College of General Studies as part of the Stanley P. Stone Distinguished Lecture series, endowed in 1990 by alumnus Stanley P. Stone. Dr. Achebe is the Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professor of History at Michigan State University, and author of six books on African history, including Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings: Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900-1960, and The Female King of Colonial Nigeria; Ahebi Ugbabe, as well as Holding the World Together: African Women in Changing Perspective, which she co-edited with Clarie Roberson, and Female Monarchs and Merchant Queens in Africa. Dr. Achebe mesmerized the packed auditorium with her presentation which she explained would be like a “dance,” in that she would keep moving seamlessly between the story of her personal journey and her advocacy for a multi-faceted, multi-voiced approach to history, particularly African history.

Achebe compared the practice of history to a dance as well, comparing it specifically to the Igbo masquerade dancing tradition. The only way to truly appreciate the beauty of the dance—any dance, really—is to constantly shift positions. Using dance as a metaphor for the study of history, she argued, is a direct “critique of monological thinking.” Rejecting the notion of any “fixed meaning,” Achebe cautioned that too often African history has been told by non-Africans and only from one perspective. She asked, more than once, “What histories? Whose histories?” are being told in traditional accounts. Illustrating her point with an Igbo (southwestern Nigerian) proverb, she proclaimed, “Until lions have their own historian, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”

After her lecture, Achebe answered student questions as Dean Natalie McKnight looked on. Photo by Chelsea Feinstein

Achebe’s research relies on sources that have not traditionally been foundational to historical studies: oral history, proverbs, fables, and personal history. Woven into her declarations about African history were multiple references to her own personal journey and her relationship with her parents, Christie and Chinua Achebe. She noted that they gave her a name that means “a child is a shade,” meaning a child can shade or protect her parents in their later years, and she made it clear that she has done just that, cradling her father’s head in her lap as he passed away 11 years ago and continuing to care for her mother who is now 88 years old. Later in the presentation she reflected on the impact of the publications of her father, Chinua Achebe, particularly Things Fall Apart, which is the most widely read work of African fiction to date, and one of the first to present colonialism from the perspective of the colonized. That perspective influenced her to disrupt the traditional canon (of literature and historical accounts), and to advocate for the rights of all members of society and give voice to the voiceless.

Achebe spoke to students in a packed Jacob Sleeper Auditorium. Photo by Chelsea Feinstein

One false notion of Africa that Dr. Achebe disrupted in her lecture is the misperception that Africans look at love through a “provider” or financial lens, not a romantic one. In the week before Valentine’s Day, it was particularly fitting that she emphasized how that perception is simply not true; she traced the etymology of some of the Igbo and Kenyan words used for love, which come from a belief that love is truly seeing and knowing someone deeply. She also described intricate love beads that courtship partners used to engage their lovers and beaded love letters they shared to express their feelings. But she acknowledged that Nigeria has had an “embattled history with same sex desire,” with strict laws against same sex relationships, and she argued passionately that these laws blatantly defy the Nigerian constitution which protects the rights to private life, private family life, freedom of movement, and freedom of association. She referred to the laws against same sex relationships as a “legislation of harming,” and she illustrated her point with a Nigerian proverb which says that a person who holds another person down in the mud has to stay in the mud themselves to do so. The act of dehumanizing others dehumanizes the dehumanizer.

Achebe's lecture wove between the story of her personal journey and her advocacy. Photo by Chelsea Feinstein

Dr. Achebe concluded her presentation by stating that as a historian, author and editor she aims to support other African scholars and works to add complexity and nuance to perceptions about Africa. She closed with a fable from Ghana about Anansi the spider, who had a pot with all the knowledge in the world. Anansi did not want to share the knowledge with anyone, so he climbed a tree with the pot hanging around his neck, but the climb was very difficult. His son called up to him and told him to hang the pot on his back instead, which would help him climb more easily, so he did. But when he reached the top, he was angry at his son for knowing something that he didn’t know, so he threw down the pot of knowledge in spite, and it shattered into many pieces. The pieces of knowledge went everywhere, which is why to this day no one person can know everything; everyone has just a small piece of knowledge. Dr. Achebe certainly added to the knowledge of all in attendance at her lecture, and she received a standing ovation when she finished, with many staying afterwards to speak with her individually.

2023 Capstone Award Winners

On October 20, the Boston University College of General Studies celebrated the outstanding students who received awards for the Capstone projects they completed last May. The Capstone project is a 50-page research paper that CGS students complete in their sophomore year. Students draw on two years of interdisciplinary studies, working together as a team to synthesize data into a meaningful whole. The Capstone award is given annually to the group of students who present the best overall Capstone paper and defense on each team. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a College of General Studies student for an academic project.

Team S: Evaluating Implementation of AI in Healthcare: Effective Use of AI

Student winners from Team S called for more extensive research on the use of AI in medicine.

Team S’s winning Capstone group—Donggyu Kim, Chaelin Lee, Jian Lee, Valerie Mensah, Oghenerukevwe Omusi, Krsna Sarma, Melissa Wills, and Sara Yazdi—acted as medical professionals to investigate the positive and negative effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the medical field. Group members combined their diverse academic backgrounds to suggest feasible plans that would benefit patient care, including the automation of repetitive tasks, freeing professionals for more important work, and reducing costs. Furthermore, their research revealed the harmful results of misdiagnoses associated with biases toward gender, race, or age. The team's conclusion called for more extensive research put toward the use of AI in medicine to evolve it into a more useful and beneficial tool. 

Team T: A Systematic Review of the METCO Program and its Effects on Boston and Springfield Public Schools

Students from Team T reviewed education policy in Boston and Springfield public schools.

Team T’s winning Capstone group was made up of Alessandro Altavilla, Bermina Chery, Janiyah Flagg, Lola Mukadi, Sophia Sabala, Nabeeha Samater, Isabella Teixeira, and Jack Wallace, who investigated the effects of a voluntary segregation program on Massachusetts students. Their research focused on a variety of areas, including students who were 'left behind' and not bussed to schools located in affluent suburban areas. The project produced poignant results and highlighted the impact of a community's inaction: students experiencing systemic racism in the classroom. Group members named themselves "Boston United," and hit the ground running early on in the project's development with passion. Faculty said their dedication to the research shined through in the completed project, which included a thirty page long annotated bibliography, a visually engaging brochure, and excellent evidence provided for all claims. 

Team U: Mental Health Crisis: MindMatch at Boston University 

Jeffery Vail, humanity professor for Team U, speaks about his students' work on mental health problems at Boston University.

The students from Team U’s winning group–Christian Ahn, Sophia Doiron, Vivian Jiang, Josephine Kim, Jimin Park, Rachell Paz, Jisu Yi, and Chenyu Zhu—extensively researched the mental health problems and solutions specific to the Boston University community. The team created a survey for BU students that offered insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the university's Student Health Services and helped in constructing possible suggestions to improving the department. The group created 'MindMatch,' an online platform dedicated to connecting people to therapists based on their unique needs. Additionally, the team produced 17 appendices of charts, graphs, and other written and visual information to support their ideas. 

Team V: Advancing a Policy to Ensure Peace and Security Across the Taiwan Strait

Student winners from Team V were commended for their well-written Capstone and compelling oral defense.

The winning Capstone group for Team V–Aaron Ahmed, Tommaso Arona, Mihir Bhuptani, Akhil Saranath, Victoria Sonn, and Julia Staianof Borri–were driven by the question: How can the US preserve the de facto independence of Taiwan while managing US relations with the People’s Republic of China? After hours of research and compiling an incredibly well-written Capstone project, the group offered a policy that "ensured peace and security across the Taiwan Strait" by avoiding both war and appeasement, largely due to the deterrence of China invading Taiwan. A variety of historical points were used to craft their final resolution, including current US policy on China, the importance of Taiwan to China, the necessity of maintaining US credibility, and other nation's viewpoints on on Chinese expansionism. Faculty said that in their oral defense, each group member confidently demonstrated their knowledge and passion for the project and impressed the professors with their ability to answer all questions in detail.

Team W: The Greening of Nevada: Vertical Farming and Veggie Trucks in a Las Vegas Food Desert

Students from Team W explored the benefits of vertical farming in Las Vegas.

Team W’s winning Capstone group—Jacqueline Jeffries, Ethan Liu, Tina Phan, Nate Pike, Tammy Tie, Alex Ye, Wendy Zhang—researched the widespread problem of inaccessible and unaffordable nutritious food in impoverished urban communities. The group decided to focus specifically on Las Vegas as it presented a special case: food deserts in a literal desert. Their Capstone found that one of the most effective ways of making healthy food, specifically fruits and vegetables, more accessible to impoverished communities is growing food locally. However, Las Vegas lacks the proper farming land needed to achieve this, or so it seemed. Eventually, the group stumbled upon their action plan: build hydroponic farms in neighborhoods most impacted by food insecurity. Hydroponic farms do not require pesticides and use much less land and water than traditional farms, making them a feasible solution for communities in Las Vegas. Additionally, the group came up with various ways to fund their project, obtaining trucks to transport vegetables within the food deserts, and ensuring that food would remain affordable. Faculty said that the group's decision to choose a unique location like Las Vegas made their project, research, and solutions impressive and made their Capstone successful. 

Team Y: Partisan Gerrymandering and the Threat to Democratic Representation — An Analysis of the Constitutionality of Partisan Gerrymandering

Student winners from Team Y recommended ending the process of gerrymandering.

The winning Capstone group from Team Y, made up of Jules Germek, Emilia Giovannini-Yarnell, Eva Luz Torres Henry, Joseph Levins, Fiona Mellin, and Alexa Podalsky, constructed a fictional legal case to argue before the United States Supreme Court. Their case was against North Carolina's legislature redistricting in 2020, which advantaged the Republican Party. The team presented arguments from both sides of the case. To prepare, the team provided an in-depth analysis of the history of gerrymandering and all the significant legal precedents. Their conclusion involved ending the practice of gerrymandering entirely and passing pending legislation in both states and Congress to circumvent the Court. During their oral defense, the team divided into two to represent each side of the case. North Carolina's case was presented in a staid, legalistic manner while the opponents of gerrymandering presented with a degree of indignation and called out the Court for its questionable distinction between impermissible racial gerrymandering while allowing the corrosive political variety. 

—Compiled by Gabrielle Drillis, Photos by Photo by Ziyu Julian Zhu

Student graduates with Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies

By Chelsea Feinstein

Dylan Chow (’21, CAS’23) at an event celebrating his completion of the Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies

Dylan Chow (’21, CAS’23) became the third student to graduate with the College of General Studies’ Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies this spring.

The minor, introduced in spring 2021, focuses on the intersection of the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, and the way that thinking across these disciplines can help to solve real-world problems. Students are required to complete two 200-level CGS courses, two interdisciplinary electives, an interdisciplinary directed study, and a Cross-College Challenge course, a project-based elective taught by two instructors from different disciplines. They also must participate in Capstone, a group research project.

Chow’s directed study project focused on the history of Asian American food in greater Boston, culminating in a paper entitled “An Immigrant's Cuisine: Second Generation Chinese Americans' Cultural Relationship Through Food (1970s to the present day)". He worked with Social Sciences Lecturer Kathryn Lamontagne to complete the project.

“I would recommend the minor because it is an excellent way to make strong connections with your favorite professors and provides you with strong communication and leadership skills,” Chow said.

Lecturer Kathryn Lamontagne, Dylan Chow (’21, CAS’23), and CGS Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development Lynn O’Brien Hallstein celebrated Chow's accomplishment in May.

CGS Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development Lynn O’Brien Hallstein said that Chow’s project allowed him to apply a creative approach to understanding a topic of interest to him, the interconnections between food history and Asian cuisine and the actual making of Asian cuisine.

“In addition to weekly readings, reading reflections and weekly discussion with his faculty mentor, and an end-of-the-semester research paper, Dylan also answered his research questions by dining out at restaurants and attempting authentic recipes at home, which also served as the field work or experimental aspect of the directed study,” O’Brien Hallstein said. “In this way, Dylan’s work was emblematic of the goals of the minor because he applied a creative approach to his study of the food history of Asian cuisine while also engaging in a rigorous interdisciplinary scholarly research.”

O’Brien Hallstein encouraged all students to consider the minor because of how it prepares students for the real world by developing their problem solving skills across disciplines.

“Because the minor encourages students to build the broad base of interdisciplinary learning they need to solve problems, think critically and creatively, take on complex intellectual and practical challenges, and cultivate habits of mind that will help them succeed in any career, the minor can help prepare students to develop the skills and knowledge they will need to grapple with the complex issues they will face in our interconnected world and professions,” she said.

Senior Spotlight 2023

To celebrate the Class of 2023, we asked graduates who attended CGS to share their memories, proudest accomplishments, and plans for the future. Congratulations Class of 2023!

Iris Fitzsimmons Christensen, CGS and CAS, Spanish and International Relations Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Delta Phi Epsilon, Migration Tales, UROP, Global House

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I am most proud of my essay I published in Spanish about the oldest medieval Spanish epic.

What do you have planned for the future?

I am going to get my Master's degree in Hispanic Literature.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

I am so grateful to all the professors and friends I met through CGS. I would not have had the same experience without them and I was so lucky to have them in my life.

Jude Hoag, CGS, CAS, and Pardee, Political Science and International Relations Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

BU Debate Society, BU Democrats, Q, International Relations Review, First Gen Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Running APDA debate nationals with no prior experience.

What do you have planned for the future?

I will be attending Harvard Law School focusing on, hopefully, administrative/regulatory law.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Our London trip—after the pandemic stole most of our college journey—was deeply important and impactful to me. In retrospect, I'm grateful to Dean McKnight for her dedication to making that happen. My other favorite part of CGS has been the philosophy we went over in our courses. It has been the subject that has stuck with me the most out of CGS.

Fiona Kean, CGS and SHA, Communications Major with Concentration in Real Estate

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I’m most proud of following my dreams and getting a concentration in real estate.

What do you have planned for the future?

I’m starting a real estate career for Douglas Elliman in South Florida.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite memory is being on a Zoom call with Dean Godnick during the pandemic - we were just simply talking about life. She’s the best!

Millie Zhu, CGS and COM, Advertising and Film & TV Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

BU Global China Connection (Marketing Director)

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Being the marketing director at BUGCC, and also the marketing assistant at BU ECE, where I designed a lot of posters that are in the Photonics building.

What do you have planned for the future?

Going to grad school at USC Annenberg

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite memory of CGS was being in Professor Lynch's class. His passion and dedication still gives me motivation in social justice and making the world a better place.

Mariana Villegas Suez, CGS and CAS, Sociology Major, Political Science Minor

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Alianza Latina and BU Class Gift

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Honestly, the accomplishment of making it through the “interesting times” of the pandemic and finding community BUT also learning some craft skills and selling my jewelry online :)

What do you have planned for the future?

Taking a break from school to teach, and then going back to grad school!

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

The pandemic made things really difficult, especially after taking a gap semester. I felt so lonely and had a period where I really struggled, and I am so thankful for the wonderful professors that worked with me and were worried about me. We didn’t have the ideal CGS experience but we survived and I’m glad I met the people I did! ❤️

Dylan Chow, CGS and CAS, Psychology Major and Interdisciplinary Studies Minor

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Directed study with Professor Lamontagne

What do you have planned for the future?

I'm currently applying to business school!

Luis Rosales, CGS and SAR, Health Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Students for Reproductive Freedom

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Working with SRF to establish the contraceptive vending machine in the GSU

What do you have planned for the future?

Law school

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Being in CGS, I met so many people that I still have a very strong relationship with. Additionally, Professor Byttebier, Lynch and Pederson have greatly impacted me and to this day I still use all the lessons they taught me from their classes.

Abigail Lowry, CGS and COM, Public Relations Major, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Minor

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Build Lab, Study Abroad, Student Government and a few clubs here and there

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I am most proud of my directed study on ESG trends with Fortune 100 companies.

What do you have planned for the future?

Continue looking for jobs after returning home for the summer

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

I have been so lucky to have taken classes in CGS and gotten to meet such amazing humans and be a part of our wonderful little community, and I will miss everyone in it.

 Paul Ovadek, CGS and Pardee, International Relations Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Dean's Host @ CGS; Dean's Ambassador @ Pardee; Student Facilitator for Orientation; Peer Mentor for FY 101; Barista @ GSU Starbucks

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I'm really proud of the role that I played in establishing events designed to help CGS students transition into academic life at Pardee. I look forward to seeing these events grow further, to best prepare CGS students to continue into Pardee, in the coming years!

What do you have planned for the future?

I currently don't have any plans set in stone, but I'm looking forward to using my academic and interpersonal experiences to help others throughout the world and to better my communities!

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite memories from my time in CGS include the reception for winning my group's Capstone project—as it was nice to celebrate our achievement with my family, friends, professors, and the CGS community, even if via Zoom—and the one-week trip to London that I took with my friends and professors. It was great to see so many familiar faces again!

2022 Capstone Award Winners

On October 21, the Boston University College of General Studies celebrated the outstanding students who received awards for the Capstone projects they completed last May. The Capstone project is a 50-page research paper that CGS students complete in their sophomore year. Students draw on two years of interdisciplinary studies, working together as a team to synthesize data into a meaningful whole. The Capstone award is given annually to the group of students who present the best overall Capstone paper and defense on each team. It is the highest honor bestowed upon a College of General Studies student for an academic project.

Team S: Social Media Privacy Protection Association: A Proposal for Data Privacy

Team S’s winning Capstone group–Zelin Liang, Anqi Lu, Peizi Wang, Zeya Wu, Jiarong Ying, and Yunqi Zhu–created The Social Media Privacy Protection Association, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect and raise social media users’ awareness of the right to data privacy in the United States. Their Proposal for Data Privacy calls for a more concrete and transparent Personal Privacy Rating system regarding the sensitivity of personal information. They also designed the Personal Information Rating System, a personal information hierarchy authorization system that users select and authorize. Faculty said, "Rather than seeking new legislation, their proposal seeks cooperation with and support from existing social media companies to seek a fine balance between consumer privacy and corporate profitability, as well as forging ties with the Federal Trade Commission and garnering community-level support."

Team T: Maternal Mortality in New Jersey: A Midwife-Centric Solution

Team T’s winning Capstone group was made up of Caroline Cain, Kyle Cioffi, Isabel Duverge, Olivia Madajczyk, Katie McHugh, Sarah Reeves, and Emma Shapiro, who engaged in a sound research project that highlighted the need to improve access to midwifery care in New Jersey. Solutions included incentives for midwives to work in communities where there is a shortage of healthcare providers and the development of educational programs to offer alternate and humane maternity care models. Team T faculty said that the Capstone was thoughtfully plotted and sophisticated in its understanding of the problem and detailed in its proposal of a solution. They wrote, "The thesis illustrated how midwives’ personalized care would address factors contributing to the high maternal mortality rate such as the overmedicalization of birth, lack of access to evidence-based care, and improper treatment of postpartum depression. Lucidly-written, well-argued, this Capstone provides a model for other states to replicate."

Team U: Exploring Solutions for Boston’s Rising Sea Levels

The students from Team U’s winning group–Margaux Calvignac, Emma Hill, Amelia Love, Margaux Mooney, Zachary Myers, Fernando Ramirez, Aiden Schimpff, and Dylon Thompson—investigated and assessed various proposed approaches to Boston’s rising sea level problem, before presenting their own plan, which combines manufactured and natural solutions. The group paid particular attention to the neighborhoods of Dorchester, South Boston and East Boston, making specific recommendations for each area. Deployable flood barriers and walls, permeable pavements, green solutions, enhancements to the MBTA system and changes to the city’s annual budget are all elements of the group’s comprehensive, well-researched and clearly written proposal, Team U faculty said.

Team V: On the Non-Consensual Usage of Private Consumer Data

The winning Capstone group for Team V–Myles Bahar, Olivia Clyne, Azad Ellafi, Hailey Gustafson-Alm, Elizabeth Kostina, Shiksha Nanda, and McQuaid Shin–tackled what faculty called "arguably the most challenging problem on our Capstone syllabus: data privacy." They examined the ethical, technical, and legal problems that arise as individuals give up more and more of their sensitive personal information—both willingly and unwillingly—to private corporations. Team V faculty said, "This group of students engaged these thorny problems with nuance, complexity, and a full knowledge of the difficulties they faced. They decided to take what was essentially a philosophical approach to the problem, entering into a lengthy discussion of consent in the digital age...Few of us are willing to take our lives offline to avoid the privacy concerns caused by massive data harvesting, but in their Capstone, this group of students offered us some ways to navigate online spaces with our eyes open just a little bit wider."

Team W: Resisting Widespread Antibiotic Resistance (RAWR)

Team W’s winning Capstone group–Nathan Chen, Gary Dong, Victoria Hwang, Minji Kim, Angela Miao, Eloise Ren, Sikha Sahu, and Kitty Xia–addressed the fact that bacterial resistance to antibiotics is becoming a major public health issue, with approximately 35,000 deaths from antibiotic resistant infections every year in the United States alone. Faculty said that this group not only succeeded in gaining and explaining this disparate knowledge, but also built a sophisticated and realistic policy, proposing a public-private partnership to bring new antibiotics to market. Team W faculty said, "Ultimately, this group excelled at research, wrote their Capstone in one clear voice, and formulated a policy that actually seems like it would work to address this significant problem."

Team Y: US-China Trade Relations

The winning Capstone group from Team Y, made up of Surui Chaui, Zechang Jiang, Xinyi Li, Haoyu Liu, Zhenhuan Wang, Sand Zhou, and Zirui Zhou, examined the trade imbalance between the US and the People’s Republic of China. To explore this topic, they adopted a hybrid format that combined the policy paper approach with the adversarial approach. Team Y faculty wrote, "Their briefs from the two nations and findings from the WTO showed a deep understanding of the issues involved and proposed innovative yet realistic solutions. Most impressively, in their defense, the entire group demonstrated a thorough knowledge of their subject matter and regularly showed an ability to go beyond the basics of their written work. The energy and dedication they put into the project process resulted in a work that is an example of what groups can achieve via Capstone. Their win this year is a well-deserved testament to a well-designed, well-executed, and well-defended project that asks important questions about our world and seeks to answer them."

—Compiled by Rukshana Khan

CGS Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Alumni, students, faculty, and staff gather to celebrate the College of General Studies' 70th Anniversary on Sept. 29. Photo by Dan Watkins

For 70 years, the College of General Studies has been a home to students within Boston University, instilling the value of exemplary interdisciplinary education, providing the backdrop for lifelong friendships to be built, and preparing its students for the challenges of real world problem solving.

On Sept. 29, CGS alumni, students, faculty and staff gathered in the Katzenberg Center to celebrate the College’s 70th birthday, recognizing the accomplishments of the last seven decades while looking forward to the future.

The celebration, held as part of BU’s Alumni Weekend, also featured the presentation of three annual faculty awards as well as the Distinguished Alumni Award to attorney Mitchell Garabedian ('71, CAS'73).

Memorabilia from CGS's 70 year history sits on display for attendees to view. Photo by Dan Watkins

70 Years of Excellence

In her remarks commemorating the anniversary, Dean Natalie McKnight reflected on how much about the College has stayed the same over the years, while also highlighting several key changes.

“We still offer an interdisciplinary core curriculum, the team structure is still in place, and we still end the sophomore year with a group project, which used to be the Utopia project and is now the Capstone project,” McKnight said. “Perhaps most important, we still believe in the transformative power of a liberal arts education that emphasizes strong connections among students, faculty and advisors.”

Dean Natalie McKnight proposes a toast to the College's history and its future. Photo by Dan Watkins

But while the College’s foundations remain unchanged, several new developments have been made in recent years, McKnight said, including the addition of the fall gap semester and summer study programs in London and New England for first-year students, the launch of the Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the increased focus on research among undergraduates and faculty.

“I am very proud to be part of such a vibrant college that has grown in such unique, creative and impactful ways while also still preserving the best bones of our initial architecture,” McKnight said.

McKnight also announced the creation of the CGS Anniversary Scholarship Fund, which will become endowed once $100,000 is raised. The fund will provide scholarships to support the education of CGS students in need.

Honoring a Distinguished Alumnus

CGS's Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, whose work representing and advocating for victims and survivors of sexual abuse was immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film Spotlight.

Garabedian has represented more than 2,500 victims of sexual abuse in 14 countries, won substantial settlements for those victims, and successfully argued that clergy should be added to the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and that statues of limitations have not expired in cases brought by adults who were sexually abused as children.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian shakes the hand of Dean Natalie McKnight after accepting the CGS Distinguished Alumni Award. Photo by Dan Watkins

McKnight praised Garabedian for his bravery in taking on the Catholic Church in Boston and for the difference he has made not just in the lives of his clients, but for the many other abuse survivors who have since come forward to tell their stories. 

“Mr. Garabedian, you have made the world a better place for thousands of clients,” McKnight said. “You have helped them achieve some measure of justice, and compensation for their suffering, and your work has encouraged others to come forward and made it easier for them to present their cases. You have helped give voice to the voiceless and you continue to pursue this mission.”

In his acceptance speech, Garabedian thanked CGS for the education he received as a first-generation college student. He commended the faculty for always having the door open to students, literally and figuratively, and said he is still grateful to the school for the ways in which it shaped him as a young person.

“The door was always open. And they always interacted with you, they always encouraged you, they always pushed you,” Garabedian said of his professors.

Recognizing Extraordinary Faculty

McKnight also presented three awards to outstanding members of the CGS faculty.

The award recipients (left to right): Sensel Award winner Christopher Coffman, Richter Award winner Aaron Worth, Outstanding Service Award winner Meg Tyler, and Distinguished Alumni Award winner Mitchell Garabedian. Photo by Dan Watkins

The Peyton Richter Award, established by alumnus Gary Kraut and awarded annually to faculty who have demonstrated excellence in interdisciplinary teaching, was presented to Associate Professor of Rhetoric Aaron Worth.

Worth’s ability to balance his teaching duties with his prolific research and publishing record made him a deserving candidate for the award, McKnight said.

“Students praise Aaron for his enthusiasm, intelligence, and ability to make connections among disparate topics. Many thank him for the ‘valuable lessons’ he has taught them both within and beyond the classroom,” she said.

The Dr. Ismail Sensel Award, given to CGS professors who have demonstrated excellence in their professional record, was presented to Christopher Coffman, Master Lecturer in Humanities.

Coffman’s work as Book Review Editor for the last 11 years on Impact: The Journal of the Center for Interdisciplianry Teaching & Learning and his publications on topics ranging from Thomas Pynchon to the Grateful Dead were highlighted.

“On top of these professional achievements, Chris is also an outstanding teacher of Humanities in our Boston-London program and very capably led his team in London this summer in our return to the city,” McKnight said.

The Outstanding Service Award, which rewards faculty whose leadership and service has made substantial contributions to the CGS community at large, was presented to Meg Tyler, Associate Professor of Humanities.

Tyler was recognized for her work as Director of CGS’s Institute for the Study of Irish Culture for over 10 years, through which she has led a series of readings and lectures on contemporary poetry and literary studies.

“I am grateful to Meg for her leadership in running the series and building a sense of community centered in CGS, and also grateful for her leadership as coordinator for her team of faculty at CGS. She brings to the leadership of her team the same attention to detail and dedication to community building that make her events so successful,” McKnight said.

Watch a slide show of archive photos from CGS's 70-year history below:


-- By Chelsea Feinstein

A Look at Undergraduate Research: Women Writers in the Late Victorian Era

By Ella Nasca

Fangqi (Doris) Luo

Before coming to campus for the first time in the fall of 2021, Fangqi (Doris) Luo ('22, CAS'24) excitedly looked through the CGS website to get a sense of what in-person studies would be like.

Luo stumbled upon a section about the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching & Learning (CITL) and quickly became interested in the research opportunities the Center offers. CITL provides students with the opportunity to perform paid undergraduate research alongside the guidance of CGS professors.

“It surprised me because the center is open to freshman and sophomore students,” said Luo. “It’s hard to imagine that a sophomore student could have the opportunity to do undergraduate research.”

Luo was a student of Master Lecturer of Humanities Joellen Masters, and noticed that Masters had teaching interests in Victorian and British literature and research interests in Victorian and New Woman Fiction listed on her faculty profile. Though Luo did not yet know what she wanted to major in, she saw that they had a shared interest in women’s studies, and decided to reach out to discuss her academic plans and ask to work on research together.

Master Lecturer of Humanities Joellen Masters

“Dr. Masters inspires me to be a more engaged person,” said Luo, who is now planning to continue into the College of Arts & Sciences and major in statistics. “She always guides me to think about my questions from different perspectives.”

After a discussion during office hours, the two decided to work together.

For several years, Masters had been researching for her monograph study about a British periodical called Travel: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine, which first appeared in May 1896 and ran for eight volumes. The magazine, edited by Sir Henry Lunn, frequently featured short stories written by women writers.

When the pandemic struck, Masters had to put a halt on much of her research, as she didn’t have access to the physical materials she needed to study. She was able to resume this research with Luo.

The two decided to continue studying the short stories in Lunn’s magazine as well as seven British women writers—who also featured in Lunn’s periodical—and seven other periodicals. The writers include Adeline Sergeant, A.M. Williamson, E.F. O’Brien, Iza Duffus Hardy, L.T. Meade, Marie Corelli, and Mary Angela Dickens.

While some writers, like A.M. Williamson and E.F. O’Brien, have little information available about them, others like L.T. Meade and Marie Corelli were very well known for their work. Mary Angela Dickens was even one of Charles Dickens’s granddaughters.

The periodicals they studied included All the Year Round, Atalanta, Belgravia, Cassell’s Magazine, The Lady’s Realm, The Strand Magazine, and Tinsley Magazine.

An illustration of L. T. Meade’s article published in Atalanta in September 1893. Photo courtesy Fangqi (Doris) Luo

Masters and Luo were both interested in finding out more about the backgrounds of these women writers and the work they were publishing, as well as the rise of the short story genre in the Victorian period and its appearance in periodicals.

“Doris and I were meeting once a week for about an hour,” Masters said. “I really didn’t want to stop the conversation, because it was just so interesting.”

Luo was responsible for gathering research through websites and online databases, and organizing her findings using numerical data and charts. Then, the two would discuss their findings and thoughts about the stories in weekly meetings.

“The study of humanities has moved into using data driven material,” Masters said. “I think that being able to have both the literary analysis and the quantitative visual with our work is going to be super important.”

The two have plans to delve deeper into feminist theory and women’s writing during the fall 2022 semester, as CITL often continues to support students even after they complete their two years CGS.

The cover of the first issue of "Travel: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine," which appeared in May 1896. Photo courtesy Joellen Masters

“I am ending this semester with nothing but amazing gratitude for all the work that Doris did and the conversations we had,” Masters said. “It’s important that people see what we’ve been able to do as collaborators, and especially in this academic environment right now where the emphasis is on collaboration between faculty and their students.”

Luo shares similar sentiments about the research she and Masters have completed so far.

“I learned a lot from Dr. Masters,” Luo said. “I am so excited that I have the opportunity to become a more engaged person and reflect on these women writers and outstanding periodicals.”

CITL provides stipends for CGS students to pursue paid undergraduate research with a member of the CGS faculty. Students interested in pursuing undergraduate research can learn more here.


Senior Spotlight 2022

To celebrate the Class of 2022, we asked graduates who attended CGS to share their memories, proudest accomplishments, and plans for the future. Congratulations Class of 2022!

Kaitlyn Kelley, CGS and SAR, Health Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Alpha Phi, Sargent Peer Mentors

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I worked on a study with Cambridge Health Alliance where I interviewed a patient population about their struggles with food insecurity. This experience inspired my future career in health advocacy!

What do you have planned for the future?

I will be attending the University of Illinois School of Law in the fall!

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite CGS memory was completing my Capstone project. I had the best group and made some of my best friends working on this project!

Amanda Kong, CGS and COM, Advertising Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

AdLab, Mustard Seed a capella, Multi-Ethnic InterVarsity

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

Two moments: Running AdLab as Executive Vice President and performing in a nationwide a capella conference

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan to travel and rest up, then get started working!

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

I really enjoyed taking trips to museums, plays, and performances when we were in London!

Moe Myat Khaing, CGS and Questrom, Finance and Management Information Systems Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Admissions Student Diversity Board, Admissions Ambassador, BU finance and investment club, BU Chaarg, herNetwork

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I took a leap of faith during my transition from CGS to Questrom. Surrounded by new students and professors, I did not know anyone there. I was not sure which concentration to pick in the beginning of the transition. I could not count the number of times I visited Questrom UDC and my amazing professors, figuring out which concentration I should do. Now, in a few weeks, I will be graduating from Questrom, with my dream job in line this summer.

What do you have planned for the future?

I am moving to NYC this July for my position as corporate investment banking analyst at Santander Bank.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Taking advantage of the Writing Center in Katzenberg Center in any way possible!!!

Ellie Spring, CGS and COM, Media Science Major

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

I am most proud of getting through this pandemic as someone who is chronically ill, and graduating on time! It was hard but we did it!!

What do you have planned for the future?

I am moving to Seaport in Boston to start working at PTC in their rotational program! I couldn't be more excited.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

London. It is one of my favorite memories and holds such a special place in my heart. My CGS friends and professors were so amazing- I learned so much and was able to have so much fun doing it! Shout out to Prof. Vandenberg for being one of the best teachers I have ever had!

Keiddy Curiel, CGS and CAS, Biology Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Sabor Latino, Alianza Latina, MSALS (Minority Students Association for Life Sciences), SHPE, NSBE, BU Naturally

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I am most proud of my involvement in student organizations, especially Sabor Latino. I was able to be on the executive board for three years, two of which I was President. Sabor Latino was an outlet for me to take a break from my academics and have fun while also creating long-lasting friendships with my team members. I never would have thought that I’d be on a dance team throughout my college experience but I’m very glad I took the chance and decided to try-out during my first semester. The team has made a positive impact on my life and will forever be my fondest memory of my time at BU.

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan to work as a research scientist in an industry lab and later earn my masters in Biotech.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite memory of CGS was being able to kickstart my career in science by working in the Center for Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning. Professor Kate Nash told me about the opportunity to work in the CITL where I was able to work on microbiology projects with both Professors Robin Hulbert and Sandra Buerger.

Mads Williams, CGS and COM, Journalism Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

BU Women’s Club Ice Hockey

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

Growing the hockey team and publishing fantastic stories with BUNS and local publications

What do you have planned for the future?

Moving to Madison to work for EPIC!

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

I made so many friends in London back in 2019, and my BU experience never would’ve been the same without them <3 CGS GANG

Ryan Sullivan, CGS and CAS, Political Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?


What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Came into my own, learned what i enjoy most in life, and prepared myself to enter the world.

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan on working at Oracle doing consulting post graduation and hopefully move to LA in the near future.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Being in London and exploring all the different neighborhoods and meeting amazing people. I would like to shoutout Professor Lynch for making me fall in love with politics and ultimately helping me choose my major! He’s the BEST!

Rakiya Washington, CGS and CAS, Psychology Major

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

I am proud to have been a research assistant with the Developing Minds Lab!

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan on pursuing a master’s degree in social work and becoming a social worker!

Iris Simone, CGS and CAS, Chemistry Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Tri Delta, Dance Theater Group

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Conducted research in medicinal organic chemistry and helped to develop novel synthetic reaction conditions. Received a Clare Boothe Luce Scholarship for my work.

What do you have planned for the future?

Starting a PhD program in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Favorite memory- My conversations with Wex before every class <3

Spencer Mar, CGS and Sargent, Healthcare Studies Major/Accelerated Doctorate of Physical Therapy Track

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Boston University Percussion Ensemble (Captain), Asian American Christian Fellowship,

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

Transitioning from CGS, which focuses primarily on liberal art studies, into a Physical Therapy program, which is more science heavy. Eventually becoming a TA for a class (Human Anatomy) that I failed on the first try. This was a foundational class for transitioning into Sargent.

What do you have planned for the future?

Graduate School for Physical therapy at BU

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

The professors are so patient and caring towards the students. They've demonstrated their true character through action, not just words. I would not be where I'm at today if it weren't for them. My favorite memory has to be grabbing beers with the professors after graduating from the program.

Caroline Birdsall, CGS and SAR, Health Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Lightweight Women's Rowing Team, Bloom Family Leadership Academy, Strong Girls Family

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I have been a team captain for the Lightweight Women's Rowing team for 2 years and my Capstone Group placed first for our Capstone Project.

What do you have planned for the future?

I plan on applying to PA school and hope to work in emergency medicine and wilderness medicine. This summer I will be receiving my Wilderness EMT and EMT certification through the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Lander, Wyoming so I can begin getting clinical experience for PA school.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

My favorite memory was touring the MFA my freshman year with Professor Sweeting and my whole class. I loved my CGS courses because they taught me to get out of my comfort zone and to appreciate the city in which I spent the past 4 years in. I am forever grateful for the friends I made through CGS my freshman and sophomore year because we are still close to this day!

Faith Rynda, CGS and CAS, Political Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Howard Thurman Center Ambassador, CGS Dean's Host, CGS and HUB Advisory Boards, Black Business Student Association, AKPsi

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

As a first-generation student, I understood how challenging gaining access to university resources could be. I am most proud of the moments I was able to connect students with a similar background to mine with professors, internships, resources, and different opportunities that I learned about during the course of my undergraduate career. It brought me joy to be able to create space for others and bring people in.

What do you have planned for the future?

In the fall I will be working in D.C. on The Hill with the Congressional Black Caucus, the following fall I have plans to attend law school

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

During our first weeks of class, we read an article called "College is Not a Commodity.” The article stated that "Students need to apply themselves to the daunting task of using their minds, a much harder challenge than most people realize, until they actually try to do it." At the moment, it was hard for me to digest. However, as I started to commit myself to my classes and coursework, it radically transformed the way I viewed myself and my potential to excel. I am forever grateful to each and every one of my CGS professors because they taught me that curiosity and intellect were muscles to be developed and gave me the space, challenge, and courage to engage in the "daunting task" of using my mind.

Quinn Chappelle, CGS and CAS, Political Science Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Editor in Chief/President at Boston Political Review; Scarlet Squad volunteer; Social Chairperson for BU CGS Student Government Association; Vice President at Harriet E. Richards Cooperative House

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

I presented my research on the right to marriage in the U.S. and Israel in a national student research conference this year.

What do you have planned for the future?

Moving to the SF Bay Area to begin my career

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

One of my favorite memories from CGS was going on a street art tour on Brick Lane in London with my class! It was a super cool experience and I loved sharing it together with so many friends

Tyler Davis, CGS and COM, Film and Television Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Club Sailing, BUTV10's The Wire, Delta Kappa Alpha, CGS Student Advisory Board

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

During the Fall 2021 semester I produced my senior thesis film titled "Babyface." Production was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience that reignited my passion for filmmaking following the pandemic. I am so proud of the hard work my team and I put into the film, and I cannot wait to share it in film festivals and with everyone I know once it is complete!

What do you have planned for the future?

I recently moved to Los Angeles following my BULA semester, and I am excited to share that I'm working full-time as a production assistant on Season 2 of the CBS show Ghosts.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

Engage with your professors and faculty outside of class! I am so grateful for my connection with Dean McKnight. During the summer of 2020, we did a directed study focused on women director’s underrepresentation in the film industry. Dean McKnight continues to be incredibly supportive of me long after my time in the CGS program.

Aile Cheng, CGS and COM, Public Relations Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

Alianza Latina, Her Campus BU, Asian Student Union, Puerto Rican Student Association

What have you done in your time at BU that you're most proud of?

Studying abroad twice and completing an internship in London! I am also proud of going out of my comfort zone and meeting new people while networking with students, professors, and alumni.

What do you have planned for the future?

I will be completing a summer fellowship at Small Girls PR in New York City. I also plan to travel some more and explore different cities before pursuing higher education.

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

I could not imagine starting my journey at BU without CGS! I had an amazing experience and I've made a lot of friends and meaningful connections because of it.

Haleigh Drew, CGS and CAS, Philosophy and Linguistics Major

What student organizations have you been involved in?

BU Running Club, CGS Dean’s Host, CAS Dean’s Host, Office of the Provost Undergraduate Advisory Board

What have you done in your time at BU that you are most proud of?

Instead of following the path I initially thought I would, I opened myself up to new opportunities and new experiences

What do you have planned for the future?

I’ve accepted a fully-funded Teaching Assistantship coordinated by Fulbright Austria on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. Come October, I will my begin position in Leoben, a city in the Steiermark Province, and live there teaching English full-time until June

What is your favorite memory of CGS?

It’s hard to pick one but the BU wine tasting event in London was definitely memorable!

2021 Capstone Award Winners

As hybrid learning continued in Spring 2021, CGS students maintained an impressive work ethic as they engaged in the Capstone project, the 50-page essay and oral defense that marks the end of sophomore year. With students scattered across the globe, the Capstone groups created thoughtful and well-synthesized strategies, proposals, and debates on topics such as college admissions processes, social media regulation, and even health implications for the future colonization of Mars. The following teams, which all received high praise from CGS faculty, are this year’s award recipients for their remarkable work during challenging times.

Team R: Students for Fair Admissions, Plaintiff v. President and Fellows of Harvard College (Harvard Corporation), Defendant

Team R’s winning Capstone group was made up of Maya Ferris, Ashley Hsieh, Katie Fong, Ericka Liu, Brendan Green, and Paul Ovadeck. Acting as Supreme Court justices, the team explored whether or not Harvard University has racially penalized Asian students through awarding Black and Hispanic applicants more points in the application process. The group both determined that Harvard did not improperly use race as a major determinant for admissions and proposed a strategy for universities to increase diversity through an admissions process which considers location-based median incomes and education levels, ethic demographics, and frequency of past admissions. Team R faculty says, “The paper was well-researched and well-written and the students were extremely  knowledgeable during their oral examination. We were pleased that this diverse group of students carefully reviewed the data before them and delivered a very informed and logical opinion. We hope that the Supreme Court, if it decides to  take up this case, will be as deliberative as these students were.” 

Team S: Genetically Modified Organisms and In Vitro Meat: The Future of Food Biotechnology to Combat Resource Overconsumption

Team S' winning capstone group addressed the negative impacts the meat industry has on human ecology and proposed biotechnology to combat this problem.

The winning Capstone group from Team S, made up of Magdalena Christenson, Laila Inan, Dhruv Manik, Kaitlyn McFall, Acadia Monkman, Anthony Shelly, and Asritha Sure, proposed a biotechnological plan to combat the environmental issues that the growing demand for meat creates. Their solution, to clone animal cells in bioreactors, shows a thorough understanding of the technology. Team S faculty said, “this group thoughtfully addressed many of the objections that can be leveled against such a proposal by examining the current status of this biotechnology with an eye to its viability. This team also presented a new strategy for speaking about this technology to the public and gave a spirited oral defense of their paper.”

Team T: Where To Now With Social Media?

Team T's winning capstone group created a proposal in response to the impacts of online misinformation.

The students in Team T’s winning Capstone group were Katherine Harada Alcantara, Victoria Fernandez, Jason Miraka, Aruzhan Sarsenova, Ferren Winarto, and Yao Yao. he group pitched the Social Media Education Program (SMEP), a pilot program to mitigate the effects of misinformation spread by social media. GSM conducted their research by reaching out to a local school district superintendent, along with school principals, whom they were able to persuade of their program’s feasibility. The program, which incorporates a training program to teach students how to spot misinformation, is designed to create responsible social media consumers. According to Team T faculty, “if GSM demonstrates that its Social Media Education Program mitigates the impacts of digital misinformation in one district, the program could become a model for mandatory digital media  literacy throughout the state.”

Team U: A Policy Proposal to the Association of American Universities

Team U’s winning Capstone group Eliana Bortman, Taylor Brown, Hannah DeGraw, Sarah Eckerson, Evie Lipsig, and Sueda Nalcaci proposed a better way to increase access to American universities for students of all backgrounds. In opposition to many current and traditional practices, the group created thoughtful recommendations on how to increase diversity and fairness during college admissions. Team U faculty noted that, “The project was particularly successful because every proposal was well researched and analyzed. The group members commented that they worked well  together, especially as careful editors. One student mentioned that there isn’t a  single sentence written by just one person.”

Team V: Report to the President on the State of White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism

Team V's winning capstone team studied the U.S. Government's capacity to confront white nationalism and domestic terrorism.

Araybia Ahmad-Goodlaw, Jasmine Alqassar, Toni-Marie Gomes, Said Kouiri, and Kyle Reiss delved into the connections between domestic terrorism and white nationalism in the United States for their winning Capstone project from Team V. Their research included analysis of the U.S. Government’s past actions and their current means to deal with the threat of domestic terrorism. According to Team V faculty, “all  members contributed and displayed an in-depth understanding of the structure  of the U.S. Government and how their proposed recommendations could be discussed and passed in real life, offering shrewd amendments to the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2021, currently under consideration. In addition, the  group's camaraderie and high regard with which they held each other’s work and views, key in any successful collaboration, made this example of Capstone team  work.” 

Team W: Proposal for Regulating Surveillance Capitalism at the Federal Level: Enforcing  Company Transparency to Ensure Consumer Safety

As one of two winning Capstone groups from Team W, Cameron Anderegg, Logan Diverniero, Leyla Eren, Serena Gajarawala, Abigail Lowry, Mariana Villegas, and Rachel Zhu created a solution which addresses the control over our personal information we have forfeited to companies that track us through our digital lives for profit. Acknowledging our dependency on our digital lifestyles, this group’s solution combines government legislation and a website which creates transparency between the public and the companies that collect personal data. Team W faculty praised the “unusual level of sophistication in their policy proposal, making a convincing  case for how to rebalance, in the individual’s favor, the competition for control of  our personal data.”

Team W: Debating the Regulation of Social Media: Possible Merits and Implications of the  Proposed Internet Protection and Disclosure Act

Team W’s second winning Capstone group Luca Carroll-Maestripieri, Alan Chau, Pei Du, Nicole Lopez, Payton Rohr, Isabel Yin, and Brandon Yu formatted their Capstone as a debate focused on dealing with issues created by social media, such as cyber-bullying and the spread of misinformation, while also considering First Amendment rights. The pro-regulation of social media side of the debate suggested laws and regulations to mitigate the dangers of social media while the rebuttal side focused on the legal and logistical implications of regulating the mass information that is created daily on social media. Team W faculty noted that, “Capstones utilizing the adversary format rarely succeed in holding a consistent dialogue, yet this group made  it look easy, proving just how much effort they put into their project.”

Team Y: Colonizing Mars: Addressing the Health Hazards of Radiation with Feasible  Solutions

Team Y's winning group researched the impact of radiation on health as well as what future research should be done to determine how radiation on mars will affect humans.

Team Y’s winning capstone group Veronika Bukanova, Tsetan Dhondup, Nikolette Dusevic, Javier Faustino, Eliona Lecaj, and Jesse Uiterwijk proposed solutions to the problems radiation will have on on the future colonization of Mars. Given the effects they researched that radiation will have on human health, they synthesized a strategy that takes into consideration both our current technological limitations and future research that should be conducted. Team Y faculty commended the group for their “extensive research and analysis of the problem.”

2021 Faculty and Alumni Awards

During Alumni Weekend, the College of General Studies honored this year's faculty and alumni award recipients in a virtual ceremony. Dean Natalie McKnight presented the following awards:

  • The Outstanding Service Award, which recognizes service to the college above and beyond the call of duty was awarded to John Regan
  • The Peyton Richter Award, which honors excellence in interdisciplinary teaching, was presented to Sal GenoveseJune Grasso, and Karen Guendel
  • The Dr. Ismail Sensel Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding professors, was awarded to Sandra BuergerThomas Finan, and Joshua Pederson
  • The Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Valerie Ford Jacob (CGS’73, COM’75) in recognition of outstanding achievement and service

Watch video of the award ceremony: