This April, 12 St. Markers were named recipients of grants for specialized study. The Matthews Educational Fund, the Anthony A. Jones International Studies Fund, and the Thomas H. Kean '53 Fellowship program providing the funding. Mr. John Camp, associate director of the St. Mark's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in charge of student enrichment, made the announcement at an all-school meeting.
The Matthews Educational Fund provides grants to students of any form who are good citizens and solid students. Grants are made for special needs such as tutoring assistance, special instruction, seminars, academic experiences of a national or international nature, and personal growth and advancement opportunities.
This year, Matthews Grants were presented to:
Samantha Leslie '20 and Alie Hyland '20, who will be studying conservation and sustainability on Nantucket. Four areas of focus for them will be animals, farms, beaches, and inland conservation; Nantucket is known for having a variety of conservation lands across that island which will allow the students to focus on multiple aspects of conservation and sustainability.
Domenic Mongillo '20 and Aditya Mynampaty '20 will build tesla coils. A Tesla coil is essentially a type of transformer that converts DC current into AC current by using a resonant transformer circuit. The students have chosen to build both a small DIY coil and a tinyTesla from oneTesla, more than triple the size of the Mini DIY Tesla Coil.
Reese Hornstein '20 will provide equipment for a lacrosse program that he already runs in Providenciales, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, helping to assist in changing the lives of the underprivileged youngsters that he coaches.
Grace Kingsbury '20 and Illia Rebechar '20 will tackle the Grafton Notch Loop trail in Newry, Maine. This backpacking trip entails navigating 38.6 miles of Maine terrain.
The Anthony A. Jones Family International Studies Grants are intended to help finance "activities which are deemed by St. Mark's School to be educationally stimulating" in keeping with the wishes of the A. A.. Jones family "to inspire international educational initiatives among current St. Mark's students."
This year's recipients of Jones Fund Grants:
Charles Brookby '20 will take a trip to Germany where, he says, "I will 'walk' Martin Luther's path of protestant reformation. Along the way I will be visiting historic sites, museums, and Lutheran churches in the area."
Jane Dubrova '20 will spend two weeks this summer in Ireland participating in large prose and poetry festivals (West Cork Literary Festival and W.B. Yeats Tread Softly Festival) and visiting places with an extraordinary literary history. This tour includes three major stops in Dublin, Cork, and Sligo.
The Thomas H. Kean '53 Fellowship was established by the St. Mark's Class of 1962, to honor Tom Kean, their teacher, advisor, mentor, and friend. Tom Kean '53, taught at St. Mark's in the early 1960s and then went on to both a political and a further academic career. He became governor of New Jersey and led a government commission investigating the September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Governor Kean also served as president of Drew University, and he was inducted into the St. Mark's Cloister of Distinguished Alumni/ae in 2011. The purpose of this fellowship is to enable students to explore important public policy topics and to embark upon exemplary lives of public service in the spirit of Governor Kean. Kean Fellowships are conferred upon a small number of highly qualified students who propose and undertake independent research and study in the field of public service, exploring meaningful domestic public policy issues. Once selected, and on the basis of their topic, Fellows work with a faculty mentor and find meaningful connections with academicians and leaders in the field of public policy. The Fellowship engages the students in cutting edge topics in a manner that is serious and capitalizes upon what they have learned at St Mark's.
The following were named as Kean Fellowship honorees for 2019:
Catherine Pellini '20 and Paige LaMalva '20, who will travel together to Second Step which is located in Newton, Mass. The organization provides a safehouse for survivors of domestic abuse after they are no longer eligible for emergency shelter housing. Catherine and Paige first visited this organization during Lion Term last year, when they worked primarily with the shelter maintenance and the shelter residents. "We believe that we could better educate ourselves by speaking to and working with advocates and professionals who specialize in domestic violence prevention and education at Second Step," said the two students in their grant application. Also, in September, Catherine plans to attend the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence National Conference on Domestic Violence in Washington, D.C.
Louis Lyons '20 will interview Christine McGrath, a gun control advocate from Moms Demand Action and attend some of their events. Louis will also interview National Rifle Association advocates and attend the NRA Indianapolis convention this month. He will speak with young activists on both sides of the issue such as the NRA on Campus advocates and March for Our Lives, as well as several Massachusetts representatives on reducing gun violence and representatives from other states.
Congratulations to these 12 students, all of whom exemplify the intellectual spark that is central to the St. Mark's experience.