Secondary and Higher Education Honors Theses
Work/houseWork/house is a hybrid creative-research project that explores the narratives of Irish workhouse pauper inmates during the Great Famine. The project takes on multiple forms: a chapbook printed by Salem State University, a longer manuscript draft, and a digital story told through the coding platform Twine. Research on Irish workhouses was conducted independently after partaking in a free, audio-visual tour of the former Kilkenny Union Workhouse site in July 2022, the writing happening in conjunction with research. The sixteen poems included in the chapbook (and the roughly forty poems in the manuscript, still a work-in-progress) incorporate Irish poetic forms, Irish mythology, and real narratives of pauper inmates who resided in the South Dublin and Kilkenny Union Workhouses. These inmates include Eliza Dalton, a young woman who arrived in the South Dublin workhouse at age nine, and incited uprisings with other workhouse girls; Jane Kane, who drifted in and out of that same South Dublin workhouse while working at her mother’s brothel; Thomas Kelly, a deaf and blind inmate living in the Kilkenny Union workhouse, whose death circumstances were extensively investigated by workhouse Guardians; and James Heam, who, at fourteen, appealed his unjust corporeal punishment. Other phenomena typical of the time – contraction of venereal diseases, infanticide, poverty and starvation – are referenced throughout the poems. Artistic license (such as the blurring of timelines) has been taken in the creation of themes such as hunger, reclamation of femininity and humanity in oppressive social structures, bodily autonomy, complex relationships to/with land and language, motherhood, and female friendship.
Service Learning in a Fifth-Grade Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) ClassroomIn the public school systems of the United States, there are thousands of English language learners (ELLs) who are struggling to develop literacy skills in the English language. In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Sheltered English Immersion” (SEI) has been introduced to try to improve academic achievement for ELLs. SEI is a methodology in which English language learners (ELLs) learn English via the mainstream curriculum, which is delivered by a teacher skilled in making content comprehensible for English language learners. My service learning project looked at how SEI programs have been developed to try to improve literacy rates and academic achievement among ELLs and allowed me to gain first-hand knowledge of daily life in an SEI classroom. Through observations within a fifth-grade SEI setting and by assisting the classroom teacher, I sought to learn more about effective teaching strategies for ELLs, differentiating instruction, and the challenges of trying to implement best practices in SEI. This experience led me to value the importance of implementing SEI programs throughout the United States and helped me to discover effective teaching techniques to better instruct students with limited English proficiency.
PiscesPisces is a collection of poems that give glimpses into my childhood, adolescent, and adulthood. They are also about learning how to heal, places that gave me serenity, and people that have inspired and molded me into who I am today. The title Pisces is a term that comes from astrology, and what happens to be my astrology sign. There are no poems that include or discuss my astrological sign. However, all my poems represent who I am, where I’ve come from, what inspires me, and events in my life that resonated with me the most. This collection is heavily influenced by some modern poets and their works, making use of some of their techniques to tell personal stories. Wallace Stevens and his selected poems in Sleeping on A Wing made me think about where writers get their inspiration from, and how we can see the world in a different way. In Stevens’s poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Blackbird," he takes an object and looks at it from a variety perspective, exploring how one might encounter or see blackbirds. This collection uses this technique to write about objects that have sentimental value to me, such as my father’s military dog tags. These inspirations and themes represented within my collection not only represent my growth overtime, but my love for dance, my friends, and my family. I hope that my poems can shed light onto topics that are not talked about, and to send a message that you are never alone.
What are you?: A case study of an individual's experience growing up Asian AmericanThis presentation will reveal the struggles the Asian American population faces when trying to form their identity by using a case study of an individual's first-hand experiences portrayed in a Vlog. The Vlog will showcase the individual’s family dynamic, the discovery of race through self-categorization required by standardized tests, and her journey to self-acceptance. Identity is a term that unites but also divides. Asian Americans are divided by language, social class, culture, sexuality, and race. Through a series of videos presented in the Vlog, the audience will gain a better understanding of how pervasive stereotypes continue to shape how society perceives Asian Americans and how Asian Americans view themselves. Being of mixed race as well adds the struggles of feeling pressure to identify with one race over the other. By describing the bullying she suffered as a student, the audience will also see how she felt alienated by both cultural groups for not being considered “authentic enough” and did not feel a sense of belonging. By sharing her first-hand experiences through the Vlog, the audience will understand how identity is influenced by the community and how stereotypes affect Asian Americans’ sense of independence and pride. It is crucial for society to explore where these stereotypes stem from to help the Asian American community rebuild a positive self-image. This is a story of an individual's experience losing her voice as a young person after being exposed to the assumptions and prejudices associated with being Asian American, and later coming to terms with this identity and asserting her voice as an adult.