May 13, 2004 • Volume 12 Number 17
A 'High-Quality' Group of Scholars
The John McCarthy, SJ, Award has been given to five seniors in the College of Arts and Sciences whose Scholar of the College projects were deemed most distinguished in the categories of History, the Humanities, the Social Sciences, the Physical Sciences and the Life Sciences.
The award, established in memory of Rev. John McCarthy, SJ, a beloved scholar, faculty member and dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, was presented at a banquet May 3 to Margaret M. Hayes '04 in the Life Sciences; Kevin A. Hoskins '04 in the Social Sciences; Thomas J. Kempa '04 in the Physical Sciences; Carissa M. Mann '04 in the Humanities; and Kimberly A. Young '04 in History.
"Scholar of the College" is a designation conferred at Commencement on seniors who have successfully completed particularly creative, scholarly, and ambitious independent research projects while maintaining an overall cumulative grade point average of A- or better.
Students must submit to their major department by end of junior year a proposal for a substantial piece of independent research to be pursued over both semesters of senior year under the guidance of a faculty advisor.
"We had 25 Scholar of the College projects this year, and the quality was as high as we have ever seen," said A&S Dean Joseph Quinn.
"With difficulty, the McCarthy award selection committee narrowed this field to five winners - students who not only mastered the literature and wrote eloquently, but who also, through their original research, advanced the demarcation line between what we know and what we do not know."
Carissa Mann '04 of Sharon, Mass., won in the Humanities for her thesis, "Technology and Copyright: An Historical Journey from the Player Piano to File Sharing," prepared under advisor Prof. Dale Herbeck (Communication).
"My project analyzed the copyright issues surrounding the emergence of new technologies over the course of history, such as the player-piano, the radio, and the Betamax videocassette recorder," said Mann.
"I was able to develop a four-phase model that occurs upon the emergence of all new technical innovations: 1) a new technology emerges, 2) an opposition contests the new technology, 3) a period of conflict ensues in the courts and Congress, and 4) a resolution occurs where the technology is eventually absorbed and exploited by the opposition to reap huge monetary gain.
"I applied this model to the current file sharing controversy, and showed how the current dilemma surrounding the illegal downloading of MP3 files is working its way through the four phases of the model."
Kevin Hoskins '04 won in the Social Sciences for his thesis, "Race, Gender and Reconciliation in the Spanish-American War," which proposed that ideals of race and gender and the war with Spain solidified the reunion of the North and South through ideas of "citizenship" among white, Anglo-Saxon Americans.
"A number of historians have written on Social Darwinism and the ideal of racial superiority at the turn of the 20th century, the shift from Victorian ideals of manliness to Teddy Roosevelt's 'strenuous life' and a martial manhood, and the reconciliation of the North and South with the Spanish-American War playing a key role.
"My particular finding that sets me apart from previous historical arguments is that I emphasize that white Anglo-Saxon men in America were experiencing what I called a 'crisis of citizenship.'
"Bombarded by threats to white Anglo-Saxon hegemony from African-Americans, the 'New Woman' and increasing amounts of Southern and Eastern European immigrants, these American men responded with an ideal of citizenship that put the focus squarely on their Anglo-Saxon (not just white) heritage, their racial superiority over inferior 'colored' races, and the requirement of martial manliness in order to take an active role as a citizen - thus disqualifying women."
Hoskins' advisor was Assoc. Prof. Cynthia Lynn Lyerly (History).
Margaret Hayes '04 of Arlington, Mass., won in the Life Sciences for her thesis, "Neurochemical and Behavioral Consequences of Chronic Treatment with Methylphenidate During Preadolescence in Mice," a study of the effects of the drug commonly known as Ritalin on the developing brain.
Her work was sponsored by Assoc. Prof. Kathleen Dunn (Biology) and completed at Massachusetts General Hospital East under the advisement of Barry Kosofsky, MD, in whose laboratory of molecular and developmental neuroscience the research was conducted.
"Although Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed drug for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, its specific pharmacological mechanism is unclear, its long-term effects are unknown, and it does have abuse liability," Hayes said.
"Currently in society and in the scientific literature there is a large debate about whether pre-treatment with Ritalin makes one more or less susceptible to drugs of abuse in adulthood.
"I specifically looked at the effects of pre-adolescent Ritalin on subsequent locomotor responses to cocaine in adolescence and adulthood. My results indicate that pre-adolescent Ritalin treatment does not lead to an increased sensitivity to cocaine-induced locomotion in adolescence or adulthood in mice."
Thomas Kempa '04 of Billerica, Mass., won in the Physical Sciences for his thesis, "Towards Implementation of Metal Nanoclusters as Luminescent Probes for Detection of Single Particle Dynamics: Watching Nanoscale Dynamics Unfold." His advisor was Prof. John Fourkas (Chemistry).
Kempa, son of Prof. Krzysztof Kempa (Physics), will study next year at Cambridge University on a Marshall Scholarship. His research at Cambridge into photovoltaic cells will have potential applications in the conversion of solar energy into electricity to light homes or power automobiles.
Kempa has been working with Fourkas on a project using laser microscopy to observe nanoparticles, some of the smallest units of matter, under a Beckman Foundation grant supporting outstanding undergraduate students in chemistry and biological sciences research.
Kimberly A. Young '04 of Ann Arbor, Mich., won in History for her thesis, "Take Me Out to the Belle Game: An Examination of Femininity and Baseball in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954)." Her advisor was Asst. Prof. Crystal Feimster (History).