Four Receive Fall Board of Trustee Fellowships

Galloway, N.J. — Four students with a wide range of majors were awarded the Board of Trustees Fellowship for Distinguished Students at the Dec. 6 Board of Trustees Meeting.

“I’m so excited with the latest group of Board of Trustees Fellowships for Distinguished Students,” said Ian Bouie, director of Academic Achievement Programs. “They represent a wide variety of majors and interests at Stockton from science to the arts to social work. I can’t wait for this cohort to share the results of their efforts with the Stockton community in Spring 2024.”

The fellowship program was established by the board in 1986 and supports student-initiated projects of undergraduate research and/or creative work in keeping with the educational philosophy and mission of Stockton. Awards are in amounts up to $1,000.

The fall cohort and their projects are:

Abigail Bell, senior, Dance and Business major, Jackson

Project: David Dorfman 2024 Emerging Artist Winter Intensive 

Abigail Bell

The purpose of this project is to better understand and gain first-hand experience in the professional environment of dance to make for a smooth transition after graduation. The award will go toward the costs for the David Dorfman Dance 2024 Emerging Artist Winter Intensive, which will be held at Barnard College in New York City from Jan. 3-7, 2024. During this five-day program, various classes provide intermediate and advanced dancers the opportunity to grow in a professional environment. This includes technique classes that focus on the foundation of movement, exploration of choreography, as well as discussions about the field.

From Abigail: “It’s meant for pre-professional dancers who would like to become professional and learn what’s expected of you. It gives you the opportunity to work closely with already established modern and contemporary professional dancers. … I’ll be able to take whatever I learn and share it with my fellow dancers who I take class with who may also want to go professional.”

Advisor: Rain Ross, professor of Dance

Jacob Kirschenmann, junior, Geology major, from Beach Haven

Project: Looking for Ethically Sourced Critical Metals in Domestic Sources 

Jacob Kirschenmann

The goal of this project is to look for ethically sourced critical metals, such as galena and sphalerite, domestically in New York state in a historic mining district that was predominantly active in the 18th and 19th centuries. Measuring the amounts of these metals can help determine the economic value of these domestic sources and more importantly lead to other exploratory efforts in historic mining sites across the country that could have these vital metals. This study will hopefully stimulate re-examination of other locations to decrease the importation of critical metals.

From Jacob: “A lot of the sources of these minerals, which are used in modern technology such as solar panels and electric car batteries, come from not-ethically sourced locations where workers are forced into labor, slavery or sexual abuse. It’s very environmentally destructive as well. We are looking for regulated sources within the borders of the United States.”

Advisor: Matthew Severs, associate professor of Geology

Sheyla Piana, senior, Social Work major, from Elizabeth

Project: Support a Senior Day 

Sheyla Piana

The purpose of this project is to research whether sensory stimulating tools can improve the sensory changes that occur within older adults at a local senior community center. The research will explore the possible benefits that can be made through the use of sensory-filled sources such as projectors, sand, sensory fidget tubes, fiber optic lamps, music and other sensory focused equipment. The project will aim to work with a population that is expected to increase in upcoming years; promote civic engagement through establishing a connection between the Stockton community and a local senior center in the county; provide advocacy for a population that is typically unaccounted for; and evaluate the information gained from the research results. 

“My main vision is to provide advocacy and awareness for older adults — a population that typically gets overlooked. … Through the collaboration of the younger and the wiser generations, I feel like it provides a good opportunity for learning and wisdom.”

Advisor: Theodore Alter, associated professor of Social Work

Ashley Ramirez, junior, Political Science major, Ventnor

Project: Post Affirmative Action: Analysis of Potential Effects on Minority and Low-Income Students 

The purpose of this research is to analyze the potential effects of the overturning of affirmative action by focusing on our university and comparing the immediate effects from other institutions. Additionally, measures taken to continue the advancement of minority and low-income students will be analyzed to understand their impacts on target students and the broader student population. 

From Ashley: “I decided to choose affirmative action because I really think this is an important topic that I think everyone should be concerned about. I’m a pre-Law concentration and I plan on going to law school. One of the reasons I love law is that I think it can have a positive impact on everyone.”

Advisor: Michael Rodriguez, professor of Political Science

-- Story by Mark Melhorn