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Students Present Year-Long Research at Bioethics and Academic Symposium

Students Present Year-Long Research at Bioethics and Academic Symposium

On May 16, the Upper School community, including students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and parents gathered to learn from and celebrate the academic work of Kent Place’s 2023 Bioethics Project, Student-Designed Research, and Independent Study scholars. Those in attendance rotated between nine spaces in the Upper School where the scholars led groups through workshops designed to showcase their individual projects. 

Bioethics Project

For this year’s Bioethics Project, students focused their research within the theme of gender and bioethics, exploring gender equality and impact of gender within various realms, including medicine, economics, athletics, and the law. 

Nicola Murungi ’25 and Helen Wu ’25, for example, examined the ethics of experimental research on the basis of gender and biological-sex. “Is it the responsibility of medical researchers to consider the potential societal impacts of their findings? Are ‘gendered traits’ a result of one’s environment, or are they hardwired, and in this time of rapid technological and medical advancement, will societal concerns inevitably be seen as medical problems?” These are just a few of the questions they discussed during their symposium workshop.

The complete list of the 2023 Bioethics Projects includes:

  • “The Ethics of Choice: The Implications of Male Contraception and Abortion Access” by Sahana Kapoor ’24 and Annabelle Walter ’24

  • “Beyond the Binary: The Ethics of Experimental Research on the Basis of Gender and Biological-Sex” by Nicola Murungi ’25 and Helen Wu ’25

  • “Balancing Safety and Autonomy: The Ethical Implications of Enrolling Pregnant Women in Clinical Trials and Providing Hormone Therapy for Transgender Youth” by Megan Altier ’24 and Sophia Gandhi ’25

  • “Access Denied: Examining the Ethics of Healthcare for Low-Income and Minority Women” by Rhyan Brown ’24 and Julia Messerman ’24

  • “Does Mother Know Best? Exploring the Meaning of Beneficence in Intersex Surgery and Sex Selection” by Naina Bhardwaj ’25 and Dvita Bhattacharya ’25

  • “Your Phone Can’t Read Your Mind. Or Can It? What Phone Usage Can Reveal about an Individual’s Mental or Neurological Health” by Cassandra Miller ’24

Independent Studies and Student-Designed Research

Upper School students have the opportunity to design their own research project and pursue an independent study focused on a passion or subject area of their choice. At the Symposium, the community heard from seven students who presented their comprehensive findings.

For her independent study, Luna Markels ’23 examined the evolution of the Hispanic migrant experience. She says, “Through various interviews, I gained personal insight into the Hispanic-migrant and border-crossing experience and examined how xenophobic socialization and immigration systems perpetuate exploitation and immobility. My decision to use storytelling for historical inquiry was grounded in a theory of oral history that defines interviews as a ‘history-shaping’ process, amplifying the voices of untold stories and allowing them to control narratives of their own experiences. Because of this, I culminated my findings into a short film where you will get to hear from the interviewees themselves.”

The complete list of the 2023 Independent Studies and Student Designed Research Projects includes:

  • Dynamic Programming: Applying Algorithms to Real World Problems and Evaluating Effectiveness and Efficiency by Sophia Chimenti ’23

  • Discrete Mathematics and Algorithmic Problem Solving by Roshni Kopparapu ’23

  • Internet of Things: Building an End-to-End IoT Application from Hardware to Webpage by Victoria Ng ’23

  • Storytelling and 3D Animation: Creating a Short Film by Elina Kapur ’23

  • Examining the Evolution of the Hispanic Migrant Experience by Luna Markels ’23

  • The Intersection of Nature and Mechanical Engineering: A Study of Sea Stars and Hydrodynamics by Charlotte Betz ’23

  • Biometrics: A Pilot Study to Predict Performance in Competitive Swimming by Margot Callahan ’24

Congratulations to all scholars for completing and presenting such compelling projects, and thank you to the entire Upper School community for participating in this year’s Bioethics and Academic Symposium.