At Summer Research Tea, Students Showcase Academic Projects for Scripps Community

Photo of 2022 Summer Research Tea in Seal Court at Scripps College

On September 21, Scripps students presented the results of their summer research at the annual Summer Research Tea, a celebration of academic exploration made possible through funding and fellowships provided by the College.

Each summer, Scripps supports student research projects through the Johnson Summer Research Grant, the Scripps Undergraduate Fellowship in Environmental Analysis, the Racial Justice and Equity Fund, the Virginia J. Esterly Award, the Mellon Interdisciplinary Humanities Initiative (MIHI), and the Arthur Vining Davis Student Summer Library Internship. Through these funding opportunities, students pursue faculty-directed research projects or conduct their own research with faculty endorsement.

“The Summer Research Tea is a wonderful opportunity for Scripps students to share their rigorous research projects with the broader consortial community in a beautiful Scripps courtyard setting with delicious tea offerings,” said Jennifer Armstrong, associate dean of faculty and professor of biology. “A poster presentation is a common format at conference presentations, and, like Capstone Day, the Summer Research Tea allows our students to practice the skills needed for academic presentations with a community who is invested in their success. We were thrilled to see so many students, faculty, and staff from across The Claremont Colleges ask questions, learn about the projects, and celebrate summer research.”

This summer, many students explored the long-term impacts of historical inequities and highlighted the work of underrepresented communities.

Racial Justice and Equity fellows Molly Yeselson ’23, Lizbeth Valdivia-Jauregui ’23, and Mica Barrett ’23 spotlighted education access for incarcerated students, community gardens, and Los Angeles’ queer Black ballroom scene, respectively. Additionally, MIHI funding recipient Hannah Fowler ’23 examined how the failure of the Freedman’s Bank impacted marginalized communities; Lena Kohl ’23 used Esterly Award funding to research spirituality and land in civil rights activism; and Isabel Evans ’23 studied environmental education and colonial violence with funds from the Environmental Analysis award.

“The intersection between the history of environmental education policy and the colonial violence perpetrated at federal Indian boarding schools has been grossly overlooked, and the urgent need to uncover and share this complex, troubling story is the animating force behind my research,” says Evans, who plans to continue her research as part of her senior thesis project this year. “I really appreciate that the Summer Research Tea provided a platform to begin doing my part in telling this story.”

Some students turned their research perspective on the modern world, examining how social media platforms play a role in shaping identity. Johnson Award recipient Katie Eu ’23 looked at , and Mirabella Miller used Esterly Award funding to discuss gender stereotypes and existential dread on her podcast series.

And still other projects found their genesis closer to home—or to campus. Isabel Li ’25 and Amalia Koch ’25 explored the life of the College’s founder, Ellen Browning Scripps, through archival resources at Ella Strong Denison Library and beyond. Corina Silverstein ’25 used Johnson Award funding to expand Chicanx and Latinx art representation, MIHI funding recipient Chigozie Obiegbu examined the early development of COVID-19 conspiracy theories in her home country of Germany, and Demiana Ibrahim used MIHI funds to delve deep into mid-20th-century Egyptian classical music, a genre that played an important role in her childhood.

“It was amazing to be able to share with my community the fruits of this summer’s labor and to be able to celebrate the other fellows!” Ibrahim says. “The driving force behind my project was for this knowledge and culture to be shared, and the Summer Research Tea was a perfect opportunity to do so.”

For more information on Scripps students’ summer research, visit the College’s research opportunities site, our newsroom, and the Scripps Fellowships Instagram account.