Senior Projects


Senior Project is the culmination of a student’s learning experience at Ross School. Through the execution of Senior Project, students embody their passions through a process and product that integrate 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. The relationship between the student and the Senior Project mentor is critical to the evolution and realization of the project. Ross faculty members serve as Senior Project mentors, performing as facilitators, advisors, editors, critics, and advocates. At the conclusion of the Senior Project, students should have deeper insight into themselves as learners and producers.

Jack Brinkley-Cook

Coco Crème

Mentor: James Earle
Domains: Cultural History, Science
Faculty: Patricia Lein
I created a business model based around a chain of hot chocolate cafés. I have always had an interest in business and created a complex plan presented in a typical business model style. There has been no café strictly devoted to hot chocolate, so the idea has the potential to be appealing if done correctly.

Louis Caiola

One Desired Good for Another

Systems Trade: How Europe’s Baltic Trade Influenced

Emerging European Commerce

Mentor: Matthew Aldredge Domain: Cultural History Faculty: James Earle
I looked at the emergence of an early capitalist economic structure in Europe. The modernizing aspect of the economy in Europe began to roughly take shape in the 15th to 17th centuries. I researched the rise and integration of the Eastern European Baltic system of trade into a larger world-system of trade. In addition to trying to understand a broader picture of the economic structure of Europe during that time, I incorporated systems thinking and theory. My project took the form of an extended writing analysis broken into five essays.

Tiffany Cao


Mentor: Jennifer Cross
Domain: Visual Arts
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I created a body of artwork using embroidery, combining traditional Chinese styles with influences from contemporary art. For my subject, I chose portraits of young people showing various emotional states of being. I wished to capture the feelings and emotions of the youth with influences from their daily life in the current world. I chose some of my friends as my figures for my Senior Project because I have known them well and ultimately represent their emotions more accurately and vividly.

Issy Cassou

Tales from the Dining Room Table

Mentor: Jen Cross
Domain: Visual Arts
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
An examination of the workings of family and the past characterizes the installation I created, which includes paintings, encaustics, assemblages, and video. These elements, interacting within a space, are meant to evoke a domestic setting. The exhibit revolves around themes of nostalgia and family
dynamics, particularly dysfunction. My intention is to convey feelings of familiarity and discomfort through composition and inherent narrative. It is my hope that the relationship of space, the pieces, and memory will emphasize cherished and forgotten moments passed.

Claire Chan

A Place of Difference—Macau

Mentor: Kenneth Kilfara
Domain: Media
Faculty: Jennifer Lloyd
Do you know where Macau is? Ninety percent of the people that I have asked do not know the answer. Over the summer, I got footage of Macau and decided to make a documentary about it. My documentary only shows part of Macau’s unique identity and the amazing places to see there. I hope to encourage people to visit Macau and see it beyond the screen. The marriage of both Western and Chinese culture is flourishing in Macau. You can never find a place like the one you are going to explore.

John Chang

Around the Familiars

Mentor: Alexis Martino Domain: Visual Arts Faculty: Kenneth Kilfara
I created a body of work based on the concept of perception. I took images of ordinary objects and used various analog photographic techniques in order to make the objects appear more unique. All of these black-and-white photos were printed in the darkroom using 135 and 120 film on different kinds of fiber-based papers.

Paola Chery

More Hope for the People

Mentor: Karin Schroeder Domain: Wellness Faculty: Ria Maxwell
I have focused my project on reaching out to those in need, either locally or in Haiti. I have worked with Ross Middle School students to organize service learning activities, as well as with a nonprofit youth organization in Haiti. I organized a Dress-Down Day and bake sale where I raised $1,500. The money raised was used to buy useful items for Hurricane Sandy victims on Long Island. I will continue to work on this project throughout the year, as I am now in the processes of helping an organization in Haiti known as BonDemen Haiti. I have introduced the organization to Ross School and sponsored an event on
Decouverte D’Haiti Day, where I sold Haitian-made crafts.

Joana (Jojo) Coelho

Tick Tock

Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein
Domain: World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Alexandra Cromwell
I have written a psychological thriller, Tick Tock, which tells the story of Jaclyn Cunningham, a contradictory, sarcastic, insightful, and somewhat ridiculous woman, whose life’s ambition is to bring the community together… by being a serial killer, of course. Straight from the shores of the fictional Greek island of Koinonia, this female protagonist strives to show her point of view to her more- than-an-acquaintance, less-than-a-friend interrogator, Officer John Pedesto. In over 80 single-spaced pages and 24 hours of dialogue, these two individuals
form a tight bond in the confines of the gray interrogation room. Drawing from the
ideas of Plato, John Locke, and Stephen King, this tale stresses the importance of community, trust, and understanding.

Taylor Cohen


Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein Domains: Cultural History, Media Faculty: Carrie Clark
I have memorialized and honored survivors of the Holocaust by creating a documentary and art installation based on a few personal stories. Although each of the five survivors I interviewed provided different opinions and painful memories of loss, escape, and survival, they all have the same mission as I do: to make sure people remember. As the last generation of Holocaust survivors continue to pass away, it is so important to remember this historical moment, when the Jewish race came so close to annihilation. This was a perfect opportunity to record and share some incredibly powerful life experiences.

Andrew Davis

Come Look with Me: Iceland

Mentor: Alexis Martino
Domain: Media
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
Iceland is home to some of the most primordial landscapes in the world. With my camera, I documented these alien expanses to express an alternate view of nature through line and color. My photos explore details and shapes throughout this lunar terrain in order to capture Icelandic landscape in an innovative twist on traditional landscape photography. It is my hope to lead the viewer through an exotic detail of Iceland.

Juliana Fava

Service Learning and Cultural Immersion on Thailand’s Coast

Mentor: Jessica Heaney
Domain: Cultural History, Wellness
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
Based on my interest in community service and spreading its importance to my peers, I planned a service learning–based M-Term to the coast of southern Thailand. This trip encompasses many of my interests—traveling, service, and learning about different cultures. After my community service–based trip to Peru this past summer, I chose to plan an M-Term as opposed to another trip on my own, so that others my age would have the opportunity to experience a dramatically life-altering experience like I did. The main aspect of my project was the organization of the trip, but since it has been approved to run as an M-Term, my work with service learning continues.

Kathleen FitzSimons

Music Without Prejudice

Mentor: Kenneth Sacks
Domains: Cultural History, Performing Arts
Faculty: Carrie Clark
I wrote a curriculum and lesson plans on teaching music theory through the perspective of ethnomusicology. I chose this project because music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and has manifested into my current passion for ethnomusicology. I wrote this curriculum because I feel that the approach toward teaching music theory is biased towards Western music, and by teaching in this manner it gives many the false impression that there is Western music and “everything else.” By teaching basic music theory through a variety of cultures, it allows students to not only become more musically literate on a widespread scale, but also helps break down ethnocentric opinions in the world of music.

Mamoun Nukumanu Friedrich-Grosvenor

Full of Hot Air

Mentor: Carrie Clark
Domain: Science
Faculty: Carleton Schade
Since the dawn of time, man has been captivated by the idea of weightlessness, of buoyancy, of drifting freely through the sky on a delicate eddy of atmosphere. I am no different. It has long remained my intimate aspiration to investigate lighter- than-air technologies, whether helium, hot air, or vacuum driven. And that is what I did. Over the last few months, I have been manufacturing and testing solar hot air balloons, fabricated out of thin black plastic, the culmination of which is two gargantuan crafts capable of lifting substantial encumbrances.

Graylen Gatewood


Mentor: Alexis Martino Domain: Media Faculty: James Earle
Consultant: Jesse Elliott

Elsewhere is a body of work that explores the boundaries of real versus imaginary. I created a nonlinear photo essay and a short film culminating in a final installation based on this concept. Using both photography and video, I illustrated narratives of individuals each in their own unique Elsewhere. These Elsewheres are not necessarily distinct physical places, but instead several seemingly realistic scenarios of both utopian and dystopian nature. Through this project, my goal was to compel the viewer to question the borders between actuality and make-believe in a visual context.

Clark Hamilton


Mentor: Sy Abramowitz
Domains: Science, Performing Arts
Faculty: Adam Judd
I built a plate reverb unit after the style of the EMT 140s used in the audio recording studios of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. A plate reverb is an analog device used to create an audio reverberation by vibrating a stretched steel plate with the unaltered sound and then using an electromagnetic transducer to pick up the sound after it has vibrated through the plate. The goal of my project was to build
a working, reliable plate reverb and be able to use it in my small home studio. I also used this project to learn electronic theory, welding, and other manufacturing techniques.

Renee Hirt

Once in a Lifetime

Mentor: Patricia Lein
Domains: Science, World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Courtney Wingate
Consultants: Drs. Paul Maza, Eric Johnson, Bryan Dubynsky, and John
I attended a three-week intensive course in Veterinary Studies: Small Animal Practice at Cornell University Summer College 2012. There, I had an in-depth study of the anatomy and physiology of small animals, such as cats and dogs. Upon arriving home from this program, I started shadowing a large-animal vet who specializes in equine studies. I was able to experience firsthand the differences between the two different types of veterinary studies. Both of these were what I would describe as “once in a lifetime” experiences. To express my findings, I wrote a narrative describing my observations and conclusions.

Claire Holmes

Mind and Body

Mentor: Carleton Schade Domains: Science, Wellness Faculty: Heather D'Agostino
For my Senior Project, I decided that I wanted to learn how to meditate. I took classes in Transcendental Meditation and learned its basic techniques. For my product, I incorporated my passion for science and my curiosity about meditation. I wrote a research paper about Transcendental Meditation and my experiences with it. In this paper, I included a brief history and description of meditation and
its many disciplines, my personal experiences with meditation, and the quantitatively measurable effects of meditation.

Aiyana Jaffe

To See Is to Interpret

Mentor: Jen Cross
Domain: Visual Arts
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I explored what it means to draw representationally, and I immersed myself in observational drawing. I took extensive classical drawing lessons and created a series of works utilizing the techniques of academic drawing. In addition, I researched drawing and the brain. In my own drawings, I rendered form using light and shadows. I learned to find great value in my ability to rely on my own eye. The act of observation changes one's perception, and as I looked, I began to interpret. This eventually led me to a place of expressionistic representation. I transformed my observational drawings into works that imply movement and mystery. My Senior Project developed into a reflection of my personal evolution and struggle in defining my own artistic identity.

Fara Kaner

Mentors: Margaret Downs-Gamble, Heinzel Kunsmann
Domain: World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Anna Zhao
The title of this guide is tt'fSJk.k.foJJ:_, which literally translates to “good good study day day up,” but students across China know the saying as words of inspiration for studying diligently, improving their skills, and striving to create bright futures for themselves. I chose this title because I thought it was appropriate given the content of this project. The purpose of this guide is to present a unique curriculum for teaching Mandarin Chinese to high school
students. My mission is to demonstrate the best methods and materials to use for becoming highly proficient in this language over the course of a high school career. A student’s encouragement to study the language stems from a
structured and nurturing classroom environment, and therefore schools must be
informed on how that type of setting is obtained.

Dana Kyu Won Kang

What Is Your Life’s BGM (Background Music)?

Mentor: Maureen Isbister Domain: Performing Arts Faculty: Tiffany Best
Spectacular movies are more impressive with remarkable soundtracks. I imagine our life is like a movie, and each of us has our own soundtrack, also known as background music (BGM). For my Senior Project, I am performing some of the BGM of my own life story. I will play three pieces I composed and two arrangements of works by other composers. Three other Ross school students will join me in the performance on violin, cello, and bass. The main focus will be how my three composed songs match with the video.

Riko Kawahara

Alphabet Through Animation

Mentor: Kenneth Kilfara Domains: Visual Arts, Media Faculty: Jennifer Lloyd
I learned about the art of teaching children using media, such as television, and how effective it is. Then, I created a short animation film about the alphabet, which was drawn by hand. I used Photoshop to color, iStopMotion to bring images together, and iMovie to edit sound, voices of characters, and put everything together. I wanted to combine art, English learning, and movie making. Although the process was time consuming, it was enjoyable, and I hope audiences of all ages will enjoy watching my animation.

Basil Kawano-Vlack


Mentor: Kenneth Sacks Domain: Cultural History Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I wrote a research paper focusing on the historical and social outlook on tattoos in society. I captured many diverse perspectives on tattoos from all over the world and collected a lot of information from books and the Internet. My fascination with tattoos began last year when I got one, and I hope readers will share my fascination after reading my paper.

Min Kim

Through “Memories”

Mentor: Jon Mulhern Domain: Visual Arts Faculty: Mami Takeda
Based on my memories, I expressed my life through art to reflect my thoughts. I created a mind map based on what “memory” means to me. Each piece was created from a word from my mind map of memories. Many materials and new styles were used in order to study and explore this new area of art.

Sohee Kim

Leather Craft: Handbag Design

Mentor: Jon Mulhern
Domains: Visual Arts, Cultural History
Faculty: Ned Smyth
Most handbags and small goods are made of leather in the modern fashion industry. This is why I combined handbag design into my topic, leather craft. I designed handbags and leather craft and was inspired by three famous paintings: “Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, “Four Darks in Red” by Mark Rothko, and “Planes in Modulated Surface 4” by Lygia Clark. I believe that through my process, my creativity of designing and skills of leather craft drove me into the first step of my self-exploration.

Pablo Kozatch

Chopin Jazz

Mentor: Adam Judd Domain: Performing Arts Faculty: Robert Davies
I wrote a short essay about how harmony changed during the shift from modern to contemporary classical music. The defining characteristic of contemporary music is a composer’s ability to borrow elements from any culture and time period. I constructed a jazz arrangement of Chopin’s Nocturne Op.9 No.2 in E- flat major to demonstrate this integration of musical style. I took Chopin’s original composition and changed the time signature so it could swing like a jazz song. I also re-harmonized it, assigning chords to each measure to allow for jazz improvisation. I performed the song on the double bass with the accompaniment of piano and guitar. Overall, my project presents contemporary harmony as an emergent property of musical history, and explores how technology has affected the way composers and musicians create music.

Sam Kramer

Bird’s-Eye View

Mentor: Greg Drossel Domain: Science Faculty: Carrie Clark Consultant: Dennis Roy
Starting in January 2012, I began work on obtaining a New York State Apprentice Falconry license, which included finding a licensed falconer to sponsor me, passing a written examination in April, constructing appropriate indoor and outdoor housing for a raptor, and obtaining all the necessary equipment for training and caring for a raptor. I was officially licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September and trapped a red-tailed hawk in November. I trained him according to the traditions of the sport of falconry and in early December, I flew him untethered and hunted with him. I created a blog to document all of my
experiences and provide advice and instruction to potential falconers.

Sofia Kriger


Mentor: Kenneth Sacks Domain: Performing Arts Faculty: Adam Judd
I created an EP album containing four original songs that I wrote, composed, orchestrated, and sang. Each song has a different rhythm, style, and instrumentation, and each expresses my feelings. The songs also reflect the equal amount of love I have for Brazilian music, especially bossa nova and jazz.

Evelyn Krivorotova

Life of Κλεοπατρα

Mentor: Gerard Doyle
Domains: Visual Arts, Cultural History, World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
Acting is a passion of mine, so I decided to write and perform a monologue for Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. My goal was to reflect both her feelings and the challenges she encountered throughout her life as well as to provide an idea of what she was like. I tried to keep all of the historical events as accurate as possible.

Caroline Lasersohn

Learning to Fly

Mentor: Patricia Lein Domains: Media, Science Faculty: Carleton Schade
I made a series of informational videos about how to fly a single engine propeller plane and the process for receiving a pilot’s license. I created four educational videos ranging from 3–10 minutes and uploaded them to YouTube on my own channel: “LearningToFLyCPL.” The videos discuss the following concepts: controlling the aircraft, straight-and-level flight, landing, and takeoff. The information used in the creation of these videos was based on my personal experience of obtaining my pilot’s license and references research through books and videos on the subject.

Sylvia Laytin

Thandi: The Rhinoceros Journey

Mentor: Patricia Lein
Domains: Science, Visual Arts
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
My Senior Project is a multimedia museum exhibit designed to give my viewers the experience of being in the field with a poached rhinoceros, an extensive background of the animal’s hardships, and a thorough understanding of the animal and how it lives. Rhinoceros poaching affects everyone in the world, because if they were to go extinct, future generations would not be able to experience the large mammal’s existence. As well, the loss of this organism from
the ecosystem has a ripple effect on the homeostasis of the system. Some important take-aways from this exhibit are that the belief in the medicinal properties of the horn is truly a myth, that the world would not be the same without the rhinoceros, and that help must be provided before it’s too late. In order to prevent the possible extinction of the rhinoceros, the message must be effectively conveyed through positive propaganda.

Jonathan Lesser

Teaching How to Think: A Neuclidean Education

Mentor: James Earle
Domains: Cultural History, Mathematics
Faculty: Gary Skellington
Modern mathematics education is flawed. Teachers are forced to teach students under the crushing restraints of state education systems, not to mention the stringent test requirements to be accepted to top universities. These conditions have forced educators to condense and simplify, offering only tricks to remember how to do calculations without ever providing contextual background or explanation of any kind. This results in a general distaste for mathematics being instilled in the majority of students from a young age. The goal of my project is to develop a curriculum that encourages the type of analytical thinking that is
lacking in most high school mathematics. To make this knowledge accessible, I use the original analytical thinkers who founded their respective branches of mathematics. Through the study of Euclid’s Elements and Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi’s Compendious Book on Calculation by Completion and Balancing, I created a curriculum that inspires the mathematical creativity of those who did not have the modern tricks.

Candice Liu

The Chinese Writing Art

Mentor: Mami Takeda
Domains: Visual Arts, Cultural History
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I created two works of calligraphy using distinct styles to understand the true meaning of calligraphy and the culture behind it. The ancient Chinese calligraphy goes back as early as the Shan Dynasty. The modern Chinese calligraphy is not merely a form of decorative art but viewed as the supreme visual art form. The
art along with the words is a mean of self-expression and cultivation. In my project, instead of making an historical document of the calligraphy, I focused on the expression that Chinese calligraphy provided me.

Phil Liu

The Calligraphy Project

Mentor: Christine Perigen Domains: Media, Visual Arts Faculty: Mami Takeda
I worked on creating a photographic series of the Forbidden City along with calligraphy describing different aspects of the Forbidden City. Some of the calligraphy is scanned and overlaid onto the photographs using Photoshop.
The calligraphy is done in the Zhuan form and is inscribed with the form of Xing. I combined a type of modern art with an ancient form of art. Both photography and calligraphy were merely used to record things, and both developed into forms of art.

Hongyu Lu (Florence)

From Made in China to Created in China

Mentor: April May
Domain: Cultural History
China is good at manufacturing products but not creating them. However, cheap labor is no longer an advantage of China’s economy. Thus, as the market changes rapidly, China has to start a market transformation from “Made in China” to “Created in China.” My Senior Project focuses on how Chinese enterprises
can change in order to adapt to the new market, obstacles that they might meet,
and the ways to solve them.

Gabrielle Ment

Circus Arts: A Mental and Physical Exploration

Mentor: Carrie Clark Domain: Performing Arts Faculty: Debra McCall
I choreographed two aerial hoop acts: one comedic and the other straight. My final performance embodies two different approaches to a self-expressive contemporary circus act. I started training on this new apparatus in the summer of 2012 at the New England Center for Circus Arts. While training there, I also learned how to conceptualize and create an effective act along with many other aspects of becoming a professional circus artist. In the culmination of these two juxtaposing acts, I extensively researched the history of the circus in many different cultures. In the straight act, I took what has been done a million times before and attempted to make it mine. In the comedic act, I did just the opposite, a completely original routine. I applied my natural clown-like tendencies to the elegant and graceful apparatus of aerial hoop. Through the creation of these
two circus acts I explored and defied the mental and physical limitations of mind and body.

Serge Merjeevski

Smilodon Populator Ferum and Faces of Prehistory: Saber-Toothed Felids

Mentor: Ned Smyth
Domains: Science, Visual Arts
Faculty: Jon Mulhern
I have continued work on a project I started last year, the muscle anatomy of a giant saber-toothed cat, Smilodon Populator, made out of steel. This sculpture is inspired by a previous project where I made a leopard in the same fashion. Both sculptures represent the musculature of the animals where the muscles are made out of sheet metal and the internal, skeletal support structure is made of
steel rods. The second half of my project will be an exhibition of my research into the appearance of both extinct saber-toothed cats and modern felids, to provide further context and reality to the steel sculpture. This exhibition will include
drawings, data, skull replicas, and models of both extinct and living cats. The steel sculpture and the exhibit will allow me to further explore the realms of osteology and paleoanatomy, and fulfill a childhood fascination with these extinct killer cats.

Isabel Milligan


Mentor: Carleton Schade
Domain: Science Faculty: James Earle Consultant: Robin Blackley
I created a magazine exploring apiculture and bees, The Angels of Agriculture. In the summer and fall of 2012, I worked in an apiary with a local beekeeper
learning about beekeeping and why these unique insects are so important. The
product is a magazine, which includes a collection of photographs and articles about bees and beekeeping, exploring topics relevant to their history, biology, and ecology. I examined the importance of bees in agriculture and in the natural environment. In addition, I learned about the latest science surrounding Colony
Collapse Disorder, the natural phenomenon causing the decline of the bee world.

Denise Mulenga

Colonizing African Fashion

Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein Domains: Visual Arts, Cultural History Faculty: Debra McCall
My Senior Project focuses on the impact of colonization on African fashion. I explored four regions of Africa: the North, the South, the East, and West Africa. For my final product, I designed four garments, each representing these regions. I drew inspiration from the indigenous people and the colonial history of each garment’s respective region. I researched the colonial history of each region, which helped me understand the concepts used in the traditional attires and the factors that have contributed to their evolution over the years.

Victoria Batista Muñoz


Mentor: Alexis Martino Domain: Media Faculty: Debra McCall
I have explored two different types of photography: documentary and conceptual. Over the summer, I went to a prison in Chihuahua, Mexico, to interact and photograph female inmates. I also created a photo essay based on the story of a woman I met. Through my photographs, I hope to demonstrate the true integrity that lies behind these women and give them a chance to tell their stories.

Nicki Muster


Mentor: Jon Mulhern Domain: Visual Arts Faculty: Ned Smyth
I built a series of hardwood-chambered surfboards. Surfing has always been a great passion of mine; I have always been looking for a way to take my passion to the next level. During my sophomore year, I had a similar assignment called “Personal Project,” during which I shaped and glassed a PU foam board. This is where I technically began my Senior Project research on how different shapes of rails, tails, noses, bottom contours, lengths, and widths affect the feel of a board while riding it. For my Senior Project, I took my passion even further while reverting back to the roots of surfing. The boards I have built are inspired by the boards I use, but I was able to improve and tweak the designs to more personalized specifications.

Asma Nejem

Alma: A Memorial, a Remembrance

Mentor: Ned Smyth Domains: Media, Visual Arts Faculty: Marie Maciak
When I first came to Ross, most of the students and even some of the teachers didn’t know anything about Bahrain. They all knew about uprisings in Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia because they had heard about the Arab Spring. Knowing that Bahrain’s revolution had been overshadowed and disregarded, I felt obligated to address this issue and share the story of my own oppressed people. In order to raise awareness about the human rights violations committed against the people in Bahrain, I thought of recreating some of the events by putting together an experiential installation that consists of a series of separate rooms. Each space uses one of the five senses to physically communicate the ongoing poignant story. My goal is to elicit, through physical and emotional responses, an understanding and empathy for the suffering of the people of Bahrain.

Gavin Nelson

The Corridor Conspiracy

Mentor: James Earle Domain: Visual Arts Faculty: Matthew Aldredge

The Corridor Conspiracy is a single-issue comic book that tells a mystery surrounding 16th century Florence being explored in the present day. It focuses on the relationship between Cosimo de Medici and Michelangelo in Florence and two Italian carabinieris in present time who stumble upon clues to a conspiracy left behind in the Uffizi Gallery. Creating a comic book is not solely about writing

a compelling story or creating interesting illustrations, it is about combining the
two, which I have done through my love of illustration and writing.

Kate Nelson

The Sum of the Parts

Mentor: Carrie Clark
Domains: Science, Visual Arts
Faculty: James Earle
How do seven octillion atoms create the complex human body? The Sum of the Parts is an illustrated book and gallery installation that explores emergence, the concept that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, in the human body. I clearly and accessibly explain how the human body is built up from atoms to macromolecules, cells, tissues, organs, and systems, highlighting its beauty, intricacy, and wonder. For the visuals in my project, I worked in a lab photographing neurons under the microscope, made a forensic facial reconstruction of a model skull, and created many other pieces of original artwork conveying key examples of emergence.

Roosevelt Odidi

What I Knee’d to Know

Mentor: Andrew Kirk
Domain: Science
Faculty: Carleton Schade
I created a model of the knee to demonstrate the anatomy and physiology of the knee joint. I also wrote a research paper that contained the anatomy of the knee, knee injuries and statistics, prevention of knee injuries, and knee injury
treatment. I chose this topic primarily because I have sustained numerous knee injuries in the past. I thought it would be insightful and helpful to share my experience and knowledge to help others who have struggled with knee injuries. I also chose this topic because of my interest in this field as it pertains to athletics. My research paper includes historical information pertaining to the evolution of orthopedics and how engineering has vastly improved orthopedics.

Jessie Olorenshaw

Akwaaba Poetry: A Touch of Ghana Through Words

Mentor: Jennifer Lloyd
Domains: World Languages and Literature, Media, Cultural History
Faculty: Alexandra Cromwell
Over the summer, I spent a month teaching poetry to young children ages 4–10 of different nationalities at the International School of Ahafo in Kenyasi Brong- Ahafo, Ghana. The children and I discovered the real Ghanaian world outside of the compound by experiencing it firsthand on field trips. We then turned our experiences into descriptive written work, venturing to paint a vivid picture of the culture in a published anthology of written works by myself and the students, along with photographs, detailed lesson plans which exemplify the journey from the start of a poem, and the final product. Not only did the children grow as writers, but they developed a sense and appreciation of the culture and the world in which they are living. I grew and developed my understanding of a wider range of people from different cultures and experiences living within a developing
nation, and my teaching and English skills developed as well.

Sha Luan (Racha)

Book—Fashion Industry

Mentor: Jennifer Lloyd
Domains: World Languages and Literature, Cultural History, Visual Arts
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I created an introductory book about the fashion industry. I wrote several chapters on 20th century fashion, the history of famous brands, luxury brand management, capital cities of fashion, fashion in China, and current trends. I also interned with several fashion companies. In the book, I combined my ideas and experiences with fashion with the actual history of the industry so that the book could be more realistic and easy to read. I hope my readers will get a good sense of what fashion is all about!

Haleigh Rimland

A Field Guide to the Indigenous and Naturalized Florae of Nantucket

Mentor: Patricia Lein
Domain: Science
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I decided to write A Field Guide to the Indigenous and Naturalized Florae of Nantucket. This work is both scientifically and artistically based, with text, sketches, and photographs to delineate the plants I observed and studied. I put great effort into each drawing, making certain the illustrations accurately depict the plants I observed. This guide includes various species of wildflowers, showy flowers, shrubs, and vines that one would frequently encounter throughout the island's ecosystems. Each specimen drawn is depicted alongside a thorough description making it easier to identify in the field.

Annie Rubin

Adoption: Research, Personal Story, and Personal Interviews

Mentor: Marty Cooper
Domains: Cultural History, Media
Faculty: Kenneth Sacks
I wrote a book that is part research, part personal story, and part personal interviews. I was interested in finding out more about adoption because my brothers and I were adopted. I researched open, closed, semi-open, interracial, and international adoptions. In my personal story, I talk about how I got to meet members of my birth family. In my interviews, I spoke with members of my birth family, my adoptive family, and a family friend who had the experience of going through an open adoption. The process of creating this book was an incredible learning experience for me.

Rachel Santee

Castor: A Town Built on Stories, History, and the Undeniable, Elusive Truth

Mentor: Mark Foard
Domain: World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Matthew Aldredge

Castor is a series of 75 short, anecdotal pieces that tell the story of a small town in Mississippi over the course of the past century. The town, Castor, deals with all the things that a southern town in this time would: race, war, religion, and many odd characters that help to define it. Each story is one to four pages long and based off an old photograph. The 75 photographs were found in Monroe, Louisiana, and are all pieced together to tell Castor’s story chronologically. The stories are told from the first person plural perspective, which gives the idea that

the town is telling its own story. Overall, Castor is a creative writing project based on the art of storytelling using vintage photography and historical aspects.

Geige Silver

Wearing the World’s Burdens

Mentor: Alexis Martino Domains: Media, Visual Arts Faculty: James Earle
I designed and created a collection of 12 garments from unusual materials, such as food, shotgun shells, papers, etc. that were inspired by three global issues: challenges facing developing countries, 21st century war, and famine. After creating these pieces, I further expressed my more conceptual ideas on these issues through photo shoots. I thought that by using items that relate to the issues (e.g., condoms in the case of HIV/AIDs awareness), it would help relate the clothing back to their meaning. I have designed and created clothing before, and for my Senior Project I decided to use dresses as the medium. My goal was to use fashion as not only an art form but as a means of promoting social change.

Hayley Smith

Leo: A Story on Adoption

Mentor: Jennifer Lloyd
Domain: World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Susan Walker

Leo is a fictional children’s book focusing on adoption. Intended to be a conversation starter for parents and their young adopted child, Leo is a playful, yet educational, story about a lion that was adopted by a family of elephants. The story follows Leo, the lion cub, from his finding out he is adopted to his understanding of what adoption is.

Benjamin J. Sosne


Mentor: Alexandra Cromwell
Domain: World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Richard Dunn
I wrote a novella based on how easily we can lose ourselves in the modern world and that perception is in the eye of the beholder. My goal was to write fiction that was out of my comfort zone, in which I would have to force myself to write from a different mind-set than I have in the past in order to make it work. When I started writing I purposely tried not to emulate other writers because I wanted to find my own creative voice. It can be inferred that my story takes place in contemporary New York City. However, only a few elements are lifted from the actual city, leaving the rest to be implemented by the reader’s imagination. The main character is a young woman who loses contact with her own consciousness and consequently thinks and behaves in ways that a normal person would find bizarre. It is a story about the thin line between what is normal and abnormal, what is real and what is not, and how easily one can lose oneself without
noticing it.

Lily Steele

A Pilgrimage Through Time

Mentor: Matthew Aldredge
Domains: Cultural History, World Languages and Literature
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein

A Pilgrimage Through Time is a book composed of images and information about many different pilgrimages all over the world. The writing includes factual information about many different journeys as well as my own personal

experience hiking a part of the Appalachian Trail. My project was centered on the evolution of the pilgrimage and what this reflects about how our societies have developed. I explored ancient journeys from the Hajj to the walkabout of the Australian aboriginal cultures. Overall, my project examines what a pilgrimage is and what motivates people to take on such a journey.

Benjamin Stein

Learning the 3D Design Trade

Mentor: Gary Skellington
Domains: Technology, Visual Arts, Media
Faculty: Kenneth Kilfara
My Senior Project is based around my learning of 3D design, art, and animation for video games and animated movies, as well as for standalone art. Starting with close to zero experience in 3D generation, I entered into a six-week intensive program at Carnegie Mellon University on the subject to jumpstart my learning of it. I continued practicing upon return home and for my product I created a demo reel (a video showcasing some of an artist’s work) with my own creations that contained at least one example of all the different techniques I learned.

Ella Ray Stoloff

School of Thought

Mentor: Therese Lichtenstein Domain: Cultural History Faculty: Matthew Aldredge
In the din of causes calling out for attention in the United States, the topic of education is often trivialized. However, our education system has declined to such a state of ineptitude that to ignore it any longer could have lasting consequences for this country. Everyday millions of children are going to school, whether public or charter, and receiving a substandard education that does not prepare them for college or a career. For my project, I examined the philosophy, history, and culture of education in a search for an answer to the question, “If neither public nor charter, then what?” In a research paper, I investigated the American education system and the nature of effective schooling.

Antonia Strada

Out of the Blues

Mentor: Adam Judd Domain: Performing Arts Faculty: Kenneth Sacks
I composed and recorded an instrumental blues-rock EP. This EP consists of three songs in which I wrote and recorded all guitar parts. I also collaborated with Johnny Blood in creating the bass and drum parts of each song. All of the songs were recorded in a studio, where I learned how to use recording equipment.

James Turits

A World Without Roosevelt

Mentor: Fred Pratt
Domains: Cultural History, Media
Faculty: Carrie Clark
For my Senior Project, I changed history, theoretically speaking. I researched the influence President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had on history and composed a series of events that would have followed had the attempt on his life in 1939
been successful. It is a video essay that includes who would have replaced him, U.S. social policies, the outcome of World War II, which country developed the first atomic bomb, and other major historical events.

Chloe Wan


Mentor: Jon Mulhern
Domains: Visual Arts, Science
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
My final product is an architectural model, which is based on the pyramid and constructed in Plexiglas. It is designed to reflect the geometry of a pyramid, functional considerations, and material properties such as transparency and reflectivity. I’m really fascinated with glass architecture. The reason I chose the pyramid as a formal language is because of a theory called "Pyramid Power," which hypothesizes that under specific conditions of construction and at a specific height a pyramid can store energy. One demonstrated effect shows that pyramid power can decrease the amount of water molecules within a water cluster.

Chauncey Wang

My Block

Mentor: Ned Smyth Domain: Visual Arts Faculty: Mami Takeda
I focused on architectural design and city planning. I chose a block in the central area of my hometown, Beijing, and then I redesigned it and the buildings inside. I mixed modern architectural styles and traditional Chinese architectural styles in my designs. As for my product, I did two facade drawings of the two sides of my city block, and I did a floor plan of the whole block.

William Wang

Residential House Designs

Mentor: Mami Takeda Domain: Technology Faculty: Gary Skellington
For my Senior Project, I designed residential houses for the Ross School boarding program. These houses were designed in Google SketchUp and rendered by Lumion 2.5. For the final product, I made a video about the houses I designed.

Yuxin Wang

Les Marques de Luxe

Mentor: Linda Hanrahan
Domain: Media
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
I created a fashion magazine with a focus on luxury brands. This magazine highlights three luxury brands: Hermès, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Vertu. The articles focus on the three brands, exploring their history and production. The intention of this project is to study the growth of these businesses in China. Three different designs were sketched for each of the brands, which are included in the magazine as well.

Lea Winkler

Military Examined

Mentor: Alexis Martino
Domain: Media
Faculty: Therese Lichtenstein
In today’s world, the military has infiltrated every household either through the media or personal connections. When I was old enough to realize and appreciate my grandfather’s service in World War II, I knew I wanted to learn more about the military. My Senior Project has allowed me to explore the meaning and consequences of war, with a focus on post-traumatic stress disorder. Through portraiture, I documented a variety of military personnel with the intention of expressing the emotion behind their commitment to serving our country.

Yirong (Luna) Ye


Mentor: Debra McCall Domain: Cultural History Faculty: Lea Abram
My Senior Project is about the study of Egyptian hieroglyphs. My intention is for people to appreciate the culture, history, and language of Egypt. During a trip to the country two years ago, I was inspired by Egyptian symbols and sculptures.
I chose to paint some of these works on papyrus and to design games and
curricular products for Ross fifth graders to use in their study of Egypt. I also visited the Lower School to teach the fifth grade how to write their names and solve math problems in hieroglyphs. In addition, I explained the history of the Rosetta Stone and the role of religion in Egypt, and showed them photos I took of the great monuments in Egypt.

Bank Yuennan

Model of Thai Junk

Mentor: Mami Takeda
Domains: Cultural History, Visual Arts
Faculty: Jennifer Cross
As the first and only Thai student, I chose to design my own Thai junk model to show my culture to the Ross community. I constructed it using teak; the entire hull and masts are made solely from teak and glued together; the sail is made from calico weaved in a unique Thai style to make it look classic and authentic. In order to educate the Ross community about how Thai junk developed over several centuries along with Thai trading history, I researched the historical
background about trades and the origin of the junk. A panel explaining the history and procedure of designing, building, and finishing the ship model was also created, serving as a guideline and answering questions.

Yuchen Zhong

Virtual Matsumoto

Mentor: Urban Reininger
Domains: Technology, Visual Arts, Cultural History
Faculty: Kenneth Kilfara

Shiro underwent “a completely different developmental history, were built in a completely different way and were designed to withstand attacks of a completely different nature.” Inspired by this quote by Stephen Turnbull, I researched Japanese castles, or shiro, and wrote a short paper about Matsumoto castle, which is a premier historic castle. Then I used software to create a 3D model of the castle.

Chuhan Zhou


Mentor: Fred Pratt
Domains: World Languages and Literature, Cultural History
Faculty: Mark Foard
Being a part of this social club at Ross, we all work hard to put ourselves into a comfortable position and get along with others. As a result, multiple groups are formed and substantial gaps open up. Why is there distinct division among us in this global community? Everyone has something to say in response to this research.