Connecticut College Magazine · Summer 2013

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Myers award supports student research

Myers award supports student research
Liz de Lise '13. Photo by Laura
Cianciolo '16

As the 2013 winner of the College's Myers Research Fellowship, Gabrielle Arenge '14 is conducting a study of creativity in Kenya's largest slum this summer. Arenge is a psychology major and art minor from Columbus, N.J., and a scholar in the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. She previously studied abroad in Kenya and founded an art-based mentorship program there with a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant.

The Myers Research Fellowship provides up to $5,000 to a sophomore or junior of extraordinary promise to support a self-directed and intensive summer of research, exploration and travel. It was established by the Myers family in 2012 in honor of Minor Myers jr. P'00 '03, a professor of government at Connecticut College from 1968 to 1984 who later served as the president of Illinois Wesleyan University for 14 years.

Arenge's Myers research, which involves implementing and evaluating a creative curriculum in an after-school arts program, builds on her previous work in Kenya and will inform her senior honors thesis.

“I hope to use research data from this summer to draw links between creativity and empowerment and examine how community perceptions, culture and student participation can determine the effectiveness of a creative arts after-school program,” Arenge says.

Liz de Lise '13, an anthropology major, musician and songwriter from Ambler, Pa., was the inaugural winner of the award. De Lise spent the summer of 2012 studying the culture of nomadic street kids living in Portland, Ore.Her research served as the basis for her senior honors thesis, “Situating Street Kids: Ethnography of Nomadic Street Kid Culture in Portland, Oregon,” and inspired a number of songs she wrote as part of an independent study.

De Lise says she learned as much about herself during the course of her research as she did about the street kids she observed and interviewed.

“Looking back, I would probably change a million things about my project, but the beauty of the Myers is that it allows one to dive into the great unknown — and emerge, ready for the next challenge,” she says.


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