Senior Projects



The Senior Project is the culmination of a student’s learning

experience at Ross School. Through execution of the Senior

Project, students embody their passions through a process

and product that integrates such Ross School principles as

multiple intelligences, cultural/historical context, personal

reflection, application of technology and pursuit of excellence.

Its main components are the Process Folio, the Final Product

and the Presentation. Acting as facilitator, teacher, advisor,

editor, critic and advocate, the relationship between the student

and the Senior Project mentor is critical to the evolution

and realization of the project. At the conclusion of the Senior

Project, students should have deeper insight into themselves

as learners and producers.









TEL: 631-907-5000


Paige Allardice

Wind Energy: Building a Sustainable Community


Mentor: Patty Lein

Domain: Science

Consultant: Harry Daviation


For my senior project I created and designed an educational website about the importance of alternative energy use. I focused specifically on exploring the power of wind energy and wind farms as a sustainable energy option. On my website I featured an analysis of current energy practices, an outline of how the power of wind can be harnessed, as well as an on-site interview with “wind farmers” in Canada.  My website also offered a discussion about local initiatives to start offshore wind farms.  Through my product, I hope to educate and raise awareness about the need to switch to greener technology and the importance of building a sustainable future.



Hannah Baker



Mentor: Alexis Martino

Domain: Media

Consultants: Christopher Baker and Vincent Moon


Simulacra is an installation piece that I created for my Senior Project after reading An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding by David Hume. Hume was a 17th century empiricist philosopher who believed that our conception of an enduring, individualistic self stems entirely from the associations we make between our sensory experiences and our memories. Related memories form bundles that are constantly rearranging themselves as we experience new things. Our individuality is created by our unique sets of memories and bundles. I wanted to create a Senior Project that would share a part of my Self with my audience, so I decided to create a loose visual interpretation of a "bundle" by incorporating several media communicating the nonlinear, shifting organization of a "bundle" of memories. This Senior Project is essentially an experiment in multimedia translation: I wrote narrative poetry, shot an abstract, nonlinear photo essay, and created a short film that each attempt to convey different parts of my memories. I learned a lot about digital and film photography, the process of revising narrative poetry, and working in various editing programs.



Alexa Barrett

Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?


Mentor: Kenneth Kilfara

Domains: Media/English

Consultant: Robert Reeves


For my Senior Project, I created a narrative film based on an important literary work by Joyce Carol Oates. My interests in both film and literature inspired this product. After receiving permission from Ms. Oates to film her story, I worked over the summer to co-write, with Grant Curatola, the screenplay. I then worked through August organizing pre-production This included putting together of crew consisting of a cinematographer, sound engineer, lighting engineer, camera assistant, make-up artist and set manager. I also conducted auditions and did casting. I directed the film during the four day Labor Day weekend and then spent the past four months editing the film and obtaining legal permission to use music for the soundtrack.











Yvie Biddle-Hentic



Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Domain: Visual Arts

Consultant: Leslie Fromm


Usually when people hear the term Zombie they think of gross decaying bodies, personally I disagree. The zombie has always been an interest of mine because of its association with voodoo, infection, magic; I find them beautiful. I wanted to share my interest and vision of these creatures with the public through my artwork. I wanted others to experience the environment that intrigues me. I created this multimedia installation for that purpose. By integrating music, writing and visual art, my intention was to create a sensuous experience that evokes the feeling of uneasiness and horror for the viewer. 



Harley Braun

Camp Sunshine Carnival – Fundraising Benefit


Mentor: Marty Cooper

Domain: Fundraising

Consultant: Ashley Riley


After volunteering at Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families in Casco, Maine, there was nothing more I wanted to do than give back to this wonderful community. I formed incredible relationships with everyone at the camp and realized how important it is for places like Camp Sunshine to exist. I began creating and planning my own carnival fundraising event, raising awareness and financial support for Camp Sunshine. I set up my own booths and activities at the Ross Lower School Field House on Saturday, November 14th. All of the proceeds raised went directly to sponsoring families to attend Camp Sunshine. After this benefit, I thoroughly researched and wrote an insightful paper on the impact that a child diagnosed with a terminal illness, specifically cancer, has on the entire the family. My goal for this project was to gain an understanding of what a family goes through when faced with a very difficult situation, along with spreading awareness and support for Camp Sunshine.



Alaya Brown

Expressive Voices


Mentor: Christopher Engel

Domain: Fundraising

Consultant: Dennis Gaboury


For my Senior Project, I held a fundraiser in support ZimKids. ZimKids is a non-profit organization that helps orphans in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe help themselves; a beautifully brilliant idea started by founder, and my outside consultant, Dennis Gaboury. I decided to incorporate two of the things I am most passionate about, children and music, mirroring the way the orphans of Bulawayo use their gifts as a way to create a better situation for themselves. I worked with kids from the Bridgehampton community to raise money and awareness for the ZimKids organization through music and performance. I called my event EXPRESSiVE VOiCES because every child in my Senior Project was able to open up about their talent and show it in a positive way; both helping themselves as well as people living miles away.












Sylvia Channing

Off-the Grid, On the Map


Mentor: Carleton Schade

Domain: Science

Consultant: Bill McKibben


During August 2009, I spent a month with two of my classmates living self-sustainably in a tent on my property in Bridgehampton. Karen Sanchez, Patricia Milligan and I tended a vegetable garden, raised chickens, milked goats, and cooked over a fire in an effort to explore energy independence. Off-the-Grid, On the Map refers to the blog I maintained while living off-the-grid, which was powered by a solar panel system. I was able to maintain contact with my community throughout the duration of the project, and keep them up to date with its progress. I hope to have taught that we can approach sustainability without completely abandoning modern technology and community relationships.



Abigail Collier

Radical Flash Cards


Mentor: Anna Zhao

Domain: Modern Foreign Language

Consultant: Hang Du


Despite the fact that I had been studying Chinese all of my life, it was not until this summer that I realized how many aspects of the language I had not covered. Astounded that such basic and interesting parts of the language were left out of my education, I decided to design and produce a set of flash cards to aid children in learning Chinese. As Chinese characters were originally derived from pictures, my goal was to depict this by superimposing characters on top of digital photographs of their meanings.  



Allegra Crespi



Mentor: Christopher Engel

Domains: Wellness/Visual Arts

Consultant: Chef Alain Passard


Cooking and food have been passions of mine since I was a child, and I have always been enthusiastically encouraged by my family.  This passion led me to choose this project. I wrote a cookbook in which I concentrated on how different foods relate back to my upbringing and have affected the way I eat. Each season focuses on a different chapter of my life, and a different type of food I ate. I developed my own recipes as well as fused them with old family recipes. Many recipes are accompanied by a brief flashback-quote; a memory that is somehow related to my childhood and the recipe. I cooked my way through all of the recipes and presented several of them for tasting to friends and family.

















Grace Curatola

Revolutionary Changes in Oral Hygiene


Mentor: Patricia Lein

Domain: Science

Consultants: Dr. Stephen Moss, Dr. Patricia Corby


For my Senior Project I conducted a consumer research study that tested a new approach to oral care.  The product tested, Revitin, enhances the power of beneficial biofilms, a natural bacterial community found in our mouths, as a way of restoring homeostasis.  Subjects were asked to complete a baseline survey on their current oral health, and then used this product for a two-week period.  Process and follow-up surveys were administered throughout the study.  The results of this study, as well as the background research that I conducted on this revolutionary breakthrough in oral care are shared on my website.  My website offers background information about the nature of biofilms, a historical review of dental care, information about the development of this new product and a description of my case study, including video testimonials.



Sydney Dratel

Interviews with Female Organic Farmers


Mentor: Hugh McGuinness

Domains: Science/Cultural History

Consultant: Barbara Shinn


For my Senior Project, I interviewed organic female farmers, mostly from New York. After I interviewed all of the women and took notes on their responses to seventeen questions I developed, I wrote a paper linking their answers together, showing any common threads that arose. I also researched the basics of organic farming and the resurgence of women in the field. Additionally, I explored the difference between my expectations of what the famers would say versus what their answers actually turned out to be.



Katherine Dykman

Queen of the Damned


Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein

Domain: Cultural History

Consultants: Kathy Engel, Clare Coss and Blanch Wiesencook


My Senior Project started out as a tribute, in some ways, to the women of my family, and the women that I have known growing up. The women in my life have been wonderfully powerful and determined; they stood up for themselves, and for me when I needed them. As this project progressed, it developed into three parts. The first part, the introduction, is about why women’s activism is important to me. The second part, which is the body of my work, is about why activism was important to a variety of people, or how institutions helped or hurt women. The third part, the conclusion, is why it should be important to the reader. I wanted to create something that would make the reader think about the world, instead of just being told how it is.















Jessica Federico

Wings of Hope


Mentor: Jody Heneveld

Domain: Fundraising

Consultant: Katie Aker


Wings Of Hope was a benefit that I planned in order to raise awareness for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD). RSD is a chronic neurological syndrome that usually develops at the site of a minor or major trauma injury. It causes severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch. I currently suffer from this highly unknown and often misunderstood syndrome and I wanted to try to help other people that live with it as well. I was able to successfully raise over $5,000 for the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association. In addition, I prepared and presented a PowerPoint and wrote a ten-page research paper about RSD, explaining in detail what it is, how it affects people and what current treatments are.



Danielle Gingerich

Revealing the Veiled Voices


Mentor: Alexis Martino

Domain: Media

Consultants: Marie Maciak and Diana Aceti


For my Senior Project I created a photo essay visually expressing the emotions of oppressed women and girls in our developing world. Through my images I explored the anger, the isolation, and the incredible sense of futility these women face. I depicted my interpretation of their pain through carefully chosen metaphors, alluding to the psychological and cultural aspects that shaped these women. My project was created in an attempt to raise awareness that, contrary to popular belief, women around the globe today are still abused, dismissed, and discriminated against, some overtly, others subtly. My goal is to reveal the Veiled Voices who cannot represent themselves. 



Marius Grant

208 East 124th Street, East Harlem Investment Opportunity


Mentor: Shelby Raebeck

Domain: Business

Consultant: Serena Boardman


I personally believe that East Harlem will enjoy an economic and social boom in the near future. This area has always been on the edge of becoming the next hot and trendy area, and now several contributing factors will inevitably help its growth. Therefore for my Senior Project, I created a prospectus for a property in the area. I did a thorough study of east Harlem and highlighted the advantages to support my investment reasoning. I looked at the real estate market and compared it with other nearby areas. In the end, I chose a local apartment building to renovate and eventually sell to earn a profit.















Forrest Gray

The Eight Songs of My Life


Mentor: Hal McKusick

Domain: Performing Arts

Consultant: Bruce Wolosoff


For my Senior Project I wrote and recorded eight instrumentals, all of which are musically based off my life. I used sounds and melodies to recreate events that happened in the course of my life starting at birth. I wrote and recorded the songs in chronological order so that when listening, one can experience my life in song form. Each song accounts for two years of my life, and each song flows right into the next one to resemble the linearity of life. Through the process I learned a lot about production and how to record with efficiency. I also learned a lot about properly writing music. For my performance, I wrote out a score for a couple string players and brought in my friends who play drums, bass and piano to play one of my compositions live.



Chris Harmon

A Global Change in Water Chemistry


Mentor: Patricia Lein

Domain: Science

Consultant: Kim Shaw


I choose to do this project after hearing a lecture about the effects of changing water chemistry in Advanced Marine Science. I decided that I wanted to learn more about the subject of water chemistry. Over the period of a few months, I went to local bodies of water to collect data for my project. I focused mainly on the levels of dissolved oxygen and pH in the water as indicators of changing water chemistry. Afterwards, I contacted Suffolk County Health Department to gather historical data about the water chemistry of Peconic and Shinnecock Bays.  My project culminated in a series of essays about this issue and its impact on global ocean health and featured a case study about the health of Long Island’s marine system. My research is displayed in the form of a scientific poster. Through this work, I hope to raise awareness about the need to protect the health of our oceans.



Elizabeth Heppenheimer

Cannibalism: It’s ignorant to phrase it like that


Mentor: James Earle

Domains: Cultural History/English

Consultant: Sally Booth


For my Senior Project, I decided to explore something unconventional. I began with an in-depth study of various forms of cannibalism in different cultures, with a particular focus on the role that cannibalism plays in American Culture. After months of research, I culminated my study by writing a dialogue between five starving people trying to decide how to survive. Each character represents different cannibalistic theme that I encountered in my research.















Alayah Hewie



Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Domain: Visual Arts

Consultant: Graham Bell


I created a project based on the issue of global hunger using Haiti, Zimbabwe and Malawi as case studies. Each of these countries has identical scenarios related to the food shortages that are common among other “third world” countries.  My product was an exhibition of stencil artworks and a graphic magazine of textiles, stencils and photography that contain stories about hunger, interviews with people who work on the issue, photos, and original collages. I researched causes of world hunger and explored possible solutions. My hope is to spread awareness and inform people about this issue that greatly affects this world.  



Savanna Hoge

The Modernization of Fashion and Design


Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Domain: Visual Arts

Consultant: Edward Wilkerson


For my senior project I designed and created a small line of clothing. I called my project The Modernization of Fashion and Design because I also altered clothing from vintage and thrift stores. My clothing line is a fall collection of mostly evening wear. I wanted my clothing to be elegant but edgy at the same time, so I focused mainly on quality rather than quantity. I made the clothes in my size so I could model them while Carlotta Kohl photographed the clothing. At the last minute I was able to photograph them in Aspen, Colorado. The photographs are large format so viewers can see the detail in the clothing, making an impact on the viewer. 



Luke Hopping

Unpledged Electorate


Mentor: James Earle

Domain: Cultural History

Consultant: Richard Sexton


For my Senior Project, I completed a three part series of essays on the electoral history and landscape of the United States. Each paper focused on a different electoral trend that affects American elections. From the gender gap and age gap in voting, to the next presidential election, I analyzed these trends’ political consequences. All trends were studied through historical, contemporary, and forward-looking lenses.



Daniel Jang

Korean Peninsula


Mentor: Carrie Clark

Domain: Cultural History

Consultants: Mami Takeda


Although I was born and raised in Korea until the age of 15, I never really studied North Korea. I wouldn't say I was the only Korean who was not interested in North Korea, but it is a general feeling amongst people in my generation, and I always felt ashamed of people not being interested in their brother country. Therefore, I decided to write a series of papers that would describe the relationship and history of North and South Korea, including how they became divided. From this project, I learned a lot about the history and the perspectives of people towards North Korea.




Vanessa James

Be The Change


Mentor: Kenneth Sacks

Domain: Fundraising

Consultant: Sheryl Hastalis


For my Senior Project I organized and hosted a fundraiser event, to benefit children in Jamaica. The organization I worked with is called JAMPACT (Jamaica Impact Inc.), a certified 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The mission of the organization is to improve the social and economic conditions in Jamaica. For my Senior Project I wanted to inform people as well as inspire them; remind them that Jamaica is more that meets the eye. Even though Jamaica is a young nation, its accomplishments speak for themselves.



Tom Jawin



Mentor: Carleton Schade

Domain: Science

Consultants: Harry Courter and Jim Knowlan


My Senior Project was concerned with the conservation and recycling of water. Since last year, I knew I was going to do something related to water, one of my favorite things. I knew that we are all using immense amounts of water, but I didn’t realize the situation was as bad as it is. I decided that working with the Ross School would make a lot of sense, and came up with plans that would help Ross erase its impact on the environment. In my paper, I proposed three plans that help Ross conserve water, and become more environmentally friendly. My hope is that this proposal will help others to change the way they think about water consumption and their impact on the environment.



Lorcan Jowers

The Wanderers of the Desert: Nomadic Bedouin Culture


Mentor: Kimble Humiston

Domains: Cultural History/Performing Arts/Visual Arts

Consultant: Ken Dorph


Since starting Middle School at Ross, I have loved to study cultures. It was this passion that led me to my topic of study for Senior Project. The Bedouin culture has both an elaborate tradition and a fascinating way of life, although it is unknown to many people. To display what I discovered about the culture, I chose to write an informative essay describing multiple aspects of life in the desert, compose music using instruments and style traditional in Bedouin culture, such as the Rabab, and make an installation of a Bedouin tent in order to show an audience how a tribesman would have lived. I learned a great amount about the culture, and my hope is that I can share the knowledge I've gained with my audience. 

















David Kaner

The Middle East in a Global Era: A Journey


Mentor: Carrie Clark

Domain: Cultural History

Consultant: Sally Booth


Of all the world’s hotspots, none captures the attention and imagination of the West quite like the Middle East. Eager to see this dynamic place for myself, I spent six weeks this past summer living with a host family in Cairo, Egypt as a participant in the US State Department’s National Strategic Language Initiative for Youth. I used my personal journey, coupled with a long-standing interest in the Middle East and foreign affairs, as a jumping off point for my project. I wrote three papers discussing the region in a global context, dealing with the politics of Islamic dress in both the Arab and Western worlds, the effect of mass media on the democratization process and an analysis of the cityscape of Cairo as a reflection of its history as a world crossroads from the Middle Ages to the present day. In each, I tried to have a blend of first-person storytelling and scholarly research. I hope to draw on this experience in college, where I plan to study political science and international relations.



Nichlas Keszler

Zen in the Martial Arts


Mentor: Michele DelGiorno

Domain: Wellness

Consultant: Sensei Jerry Figgiani


My Senior Project was about the physical and mental exploration of traditional and modern martial arts. I began taking lessons in both Karate and Gymnastics to improve my physical strength, flexibility and agility. Alongside going to classes I studied the Zen Buddhist beliefs that are embedded into many styles and forms of martial arts. As a product I choreographed a routine that portrays the physical side of what I learned about martial arts. In addition, I wrote a research paper about the mental aspect of martial arts.



Miles Kozatch

Flexible Minimalism in Furniture Design


Mentor: Ned Smyth

Domain: Visual Arts

Consultant: Koichi Matsumoto


The goal of my project was to design usable pieces of furniture that express a minimalist aesthetic. I wanted to address the relationship between form and function common in architecture and design of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Form means shape, and function means intended purpose.


The first stage of my design process was drawing two-dimensional renderings of particular design concepts and translating them into furniture. Once an idea was planned out on paper, I created a three-dimensional representation out of either Foamcor or basswood; both light and easily manipulated materials. I created multiple versions of each piece in stages. Part of the learning process involved reassessing what I believed to be finished pieces and improving on them. Once the furniture was completed, I had the task of creating abstract architectural environments in which to show and photograph the pieces. My exhibition included a series of shelves on panels that hold the pieces within their architectural context, my process-folio that traces my steps from the very beginning, and a full catalog of my work.








Hannah Levy

JRL: Joy of Returning Life


Mentor: Alexis Martino

Domain: Fundraising

Consultant: Suzanne Beck


For my Senior Project I put on a benefit dubbed “JRL” to raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer. All funds raised were sent to the Lustgarten Foundation.  This benefit was in honor of my father who passed away from this disease in 2004. At my benefit there was a silent auction featuring a wide variety of auction pieces, a concert performance by The Glazzies, a step performance, a lyrical dance, and a late 50’s inspired duet.  I also created a page on the Lustgarten Foundation site where donations could be sent directly to the foundation and kept a tally of how much I have raised.  Through my benefit and outside donations I have raised over $15,000 to date. 



Pietro Martini

Rogozhin’s Show Tunes


Mentor: Adam Judd

Domain: Performing Arts

Consultant: Tadd Russo


My Senior Project consists of about seven songs that I wrote between the beginning of summer until October of this year. There is no clear-cut concept behind them, just a collection of variant ideas and images that were inspired by different events and emotions at the time. My music was performed live with a back up band (I taught the musicians all the parts). Since this is purely a performance arts piece, the essence and the thoughts are solely contained in these pieces. 



Charles McIntosh

Using Organic Matter to Heat A Residential Home


Mentor: Hugh McGuinness

Domain: Science

Consultant: Richard Palmeri


For my Senior Project I decided to find an alternative way to heat residential homes. I focused on extracting heat from composting organics. I assembled a 10 x 8 x 14 ft composting bin in which I placed a 40-gallon water tank. The water tank extracted the heat and pumped the hot water through a radiant heating system in my basement to heat my home. I documented this in a research paper consisting of energy data that I collected. It also contained photographs that I shot to document my Senior Project process.



Samantha McMenamin

Progression of Advertising Due to Neuroscience


Mentor: Annemarie Costello

Domain: Science

Consultant: David Kozatch


For my Senior Project I created a website. In the website I explained how advertising started and through neuroscience, how it is advancing. I included the technology being used, as well as the companies using this technology; why children are easy targets, and what part of the brain is being affected by certain emotions through marketing techniques.







Gavin Michne

South Indian Tala: An Introduction for Beginners


Mentors: Kenneth Sacks and Adam Judd

Domains: Cultural History/Performing Arts/Technology

Consultant: Mark Nelson


I created an informational website that describes the basics of South Indian Tala, a method of keeping time in music. I’ve always had a strong passion for music, and growing up in a highly musical family really enhanced my love for music of all cultures. The website shows the basics of the South Indian Kartanak tradition of keeping Tala, including images, video and further research.



Patricia Milligan



Mentor: Mark Foard

Domains: Cultural History/Visual Arts

Consultant: Bob Foard


For my Senior Project, I created a pop-up book about suburbia, and the effects of living there. After researching the structures of suburbia, visiting Roanoke, Virginia, and observing the structures there, I compiled my research into a book that was illustrated by pop-ups and other images. I focused on how certain structures influence the way people conduct their lives, as well as how their lives affect the structures they live within. Through my book, I hoped to depict these structures and their effects on the inhabitants of suburbia.



Nathaniel Oppenheimer

Government Inc: Financial Aspects of Political History


Mentor: Matthew Aldredge

Domain: Cultural History

Consultant: Barnabas Malnay


For my Senior Project I researched into how wealth drove governmental change in three different historical periods. In the first, I examined how the Constitution was shaped to preserve the status quo, as it did until the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828.  I then researched the rise of the Nazis and the intertwining fortunes of the Nazi Party, the Krupp family, and the German Army. Lastly, I looked at how the popularity of globalization has shifted since the 1990s. The project afforded me new historical insights and helped me better understand the research process.



Jennifer Ortiz

Urbanism: A Rebirth of City Planning


Mentor: Ned Smyth

Domain: Visual Arts

Consultant: Gianni Longo


I’ve been interested in architecture and the environment for a number of years and I originally wanted to design a “green” house that would incorporate green building principles. As I started my research I realized that one house was not enough to make a significant impact in the reduction of a community’s carbon footprint.  I came across a movement known as New Urbanism and sought to follow its principles in order to design a community that would work more efficiently and with less impact on the environment. 







Adam Phillips

How to Enter the Bucking Bull Industry


Mentor: Lisa Gillespie

Domain: English

Consultant: Shirley Ruch


How to Enter the Bucking Bull Industry is a “How to” book that I have created to help people understand the industry. The book shows steps on how to enter the bucking bull industry successfully. The steps give information in chapters from when the bull is first born, to bucking, until the bull is retired and how to save his life.



Brian Pollak

Climate Change and Its Effects on Coral Reefs


Mentor: Patricia Lein

Domain: Science

Consultant: Peter Topping


Surfing being my passion, I have always been fascinated with the ocean and all its offerings. One of the oceans most prized possessions is in great danger. Coral reefs have been dying worldwide due to climate change. For my Senior Project I educated the public about this issue by creating a scientific poster.



Karen Sanchez

Backyard Livestock Homestead


Mentor: Carleton Schade

Domains: Science/Visual Arts/English

Consultant: Dr.Teresa Meekins


This past summer, I spent a month trying to live in a completely sustainable environment. I spent long days under the sun and built a platform tent, maintained and harvested a vegetable garden, traveled 15 hours in one day to Rome, NY to pick up 2 milking goats, chased 8 chickens in a field of thousands, tried to barter for goods, biked everywhere, lit fires in the rain and at night, and learned a surplus of life experiences. Among these were milking goats, using a magnifying glass to light fires, how to compost effectively, how to kill and prep chickens, the value of survival, what we really need, and most importantly, that no matter how much you read about something, it will never be enough preparation for the real thing. These adventures and memories affected my life enough for me to never want to forget them. This led me to create and publish a graphic memoir capturing these lessons and experiences.



Joseph Saunders



Mentor: Alexandra Cromwell

Domains: Visual Arts/English

Consultant: John Alexander


For my senior project I chose to do a conceptual project addressing the term “AMERICAN LOVE” through a collection of portraits and different subject matters that I would draw as realistically as possible. I came up with the idea to do AMERICAN LOVE for a number of reasons. In the past few years I have become increasingly interested in the philosophy of the counterculture movement of the 1960s that had love and peace as the major foundation. I have also become more patriotic recently, and I felt it would be very appropriate to try to develop these personal beliefs through the Senior Project. I wrote poetry at the bottom of each piece to compliment the work. I experimented with different styles of writing, speaking to the subject in one piece and speaking for the subject in another. I chose a variety of subjects from the blues musician John Lee Hooker to the World Trade Center buildings.  



Ian Sinclair

American Leather


Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Domains: Visual Arts/Media

Consultant: Oliver Peterson


American Leather is an (art) installation piece containing a variety of mediums including college, drawing and video. The concept was a sort of personal rebellion to popular and commercial culture. All of the bits and pieces of the installation have their own symbolic relevance to the American people’s peculiar obsession with what is celebrity, how America is run on consumerism and relative themes. I learned a lot about editing, shooting video, drawing, collage and everything in-between.



Krzysztof Sitko

C++ Monitoring Agent


Mentor: Hugh McGuinness

Domain: Technology

Consultant: Dmitry Arkhipkin 


My product, in laymen’s terms, is a program that gathers information. It works as a background process, periodically gathering data and packaging it for shipment into a central server. The collector reads and records information about how much work the computer is currently doing, what kind of hardware the computer has, and the status of the database. This allows Brookhaven National Lab administrators to monitor their databases in order to best insure integrity, efficiency, and reliability.



Cholena Smith

Voices of Shinnecock


Mentor: Kimble Humiston

Domains: Cultural History/English/Media

Consultant: Ginew Benton


I created a book to educate my people and the people we live among. Many of our stories and traditions are being lost because the younger generations are not committed to learning the history of their nation. Our history has been passed through storytelling.  For the first time, I have told our story through writing; by a Shinnecock and for the Shinnecock. I have also created the cover of the book with natural materials to represent the traditions of Eastern Long Island Natives.



Jake Sosne

Let Us Now Praise Humility


Mentor: Mark Frankel

Domain: Cultural HIstory

Consultant: Anneliese Gegenheimer


After three M-term trips to impoverished nations, my most recent exploration to Zanzibar presented not only fiscal issues associated with the region but more strikingly, problems with the education system which shocked and disturbed as I worked alongside students whose opportunities to receive wholesome educations were inhibited. My project is an attempt at revealing where these issues stem from and a search for answers as to how they should be addressed. Additionally, reflective pieces, modeled after the work of James Agee, aim to set the scene for a story that delves into issues that will alter the lives of members of my generation. Alongside ancillary images, which are intended to provide glimpses into the reality of the lives of others, my product is a personal reflection of my experiences and an attempt at piecing together answers to questions that have had a profound impact upon my regard of the privilege of education.



Matthew Tilton

The Essence of China: Cooking for the Mind, Body and Stomach


Mentor: Mami Takeda

Domains: Modern Foreign Language/Wellness

Consultant: Karen McFarland


For my Senior Project I created a Chinese cookbook, as it contains two of my favorite things, Chinese and cooking. The book is filled with recipes that are both American and Chinese, presented in both the English and Chinese language. The book also contains a guide to the Chinese herbs that were used throughout the cookbook. This guide informs the reader as to what medicinal properties they possess, and describes their spiritual properties as well; such as whether the herb is Yin, or Yang, and what temperature the herb is according to its properties.



Moss Turpan



Mentor: Mark Foard

Domains: Visual Arts/English

Consultant: Julie Iden


The central idea of my Senior Project was to create maps in order to gain a better understanding of how the world works. (The word map tends to confuse people as to the actual nature of the project, so, to clarify a little bit, it was much more a study in information graphics than it was in cartography). The maps were designed to bring certain observations and collections of data to new light by representing them graphically. The work as a whole could probably be put under the category of data visualization. The data being visualized, though, was somewhat offbeat. Some of it was personal to me, some of it personal to the Ross community, and some just a little out of nowhere (e.g. A poster designed to show the complexity of the Road Runner cartoon by mapping the all the ways Coyote fails to catch Road Runner in the first six episodes of the show).



Fredrik Walstam

Rise of the Credit Market


Mentor: Matthew Aldredge

Domain: Cultural HIstory

Consultant: Sandy Wyman


For my Senior Project I decided to learn about the various developments throughout history that have shaped our modern financial system. I’ve read certain novels that helped me on my journey but I had to do a lot of additional research on the various topics I covered. I decided to create two papers: one researching the history of the topic and one modern paper. The first paper covered various historical topics and how they contributed to the ever-changing world. The modern paper explains how the current system functions.  

















Chelsea Werle

Priceless Portraits


Mentor: Jennifer Cross

Domain:  Visual Arts

Consultant: Ben Schumaker


Priceless Portraits is a project based on the Memory Project, a non-profit organization I have been involved with for the past three years. The Memory Project provides a unique opportunity for high school and university art students to  create portraits for children in orphanages all around the world. For my Senior Project I decided to branch off of this idea and take the initiative to find my own orphanage for children with special needs in Ecuador. I have painted eight portraits of children living there and will be sending them as gifts. I also have interviewed the founder of the Memory Project and have written and produced a book that documents my portraits as well as other Memory Project portraits done by Ross students for children living in Tanzania, Haiti and the Philippines.



Nicholas Whelan

From Samba to Bossa: A History of the Music of Brazil


Mentor: Hal McKusick

Domain:  Performing Arts

Consultant: Sophia Kobalakis


My Senior Project is about the magnificent musical culture of Brazil. Focusing on the rhythmic aspect, my project describes the transformation from Brazilian "Samba" to the very famous "Bossa-Nova". With origins that run back to the African slave trade, the music of Brazil unites all of its people, no matter what social class they belong to. By writing a historical and cultural essay and creating two original compositions, I hope to exhibit the evolution of music from a handful of religious African rhythms to the wonderful modern genre, bossa-nova.



Brandon Zeidner

How to be a Fit Teen


Mentor: James Smith

Domain:  Wellness

Consultant: Bobby Schimpf


The focus of my Senior Project was fitness and its importance. I researched different aspects of fitness, which includes, exercise, nutrition, and the human anatomy. I wrote a paper on all the aspects that I studied with the intention of informing people on how to get in shape and why it is so significant. In addition to my paper I created an instructional video. The video consisted of different exercises and information about what is being worked.



















Rachel Zofcin

Life is No Circus


Mentor: Kerry Sharkey-Miller

Domain:  Media

Consultant: Soud-Rhalla


I traveled to Morocco in the spring of 2009 and took a photography course that helped me capture priceless and unforgettable moments. During our trip we interacted with a circus school called Amisep where I met children from the streets of Sale who are struggling to survive and obtain better lives. From this interaction I made life long bonds of which I will never forget. I have been working for the past three months to create a photojournalism book to spread awareness and share the events and activities of which myself, students from Ross and the students from the school experienced together. I intend to sell the book on Blurb and have the proceeds go towards the school’s fund. Hopefully the money will be used to create a better environment and increase the education available to these students. The book contains images from many of the students who attended the trip with me as well as some from teachers. There are also stories, one of which features a boy named Zouhir, a child who became the main reason I wanted to create this book. Hopefully, the success of the book will spread farther than I can imagine and help can be brought to these fantastic, intelligent and talented children of the Amisep circus school.