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Women Funding Women’s Education
The Sunflower Initiative logo
Women Funding Women’s Education

2018/06 The Sunflower Initiative Quarterly


June 2018
Meet Ariana Carranza
  Our 2018 Fitzgerald Scholar
We are pleased to introduce Ariana Carranza of Palo Alto, California, who will attend Barnard College as the 2018 Harriet Fitzgerald Scholar.  Ariana emigrated with her parents from Peru when she was nine. She is a first-generation college student and is now realizing her dream of attending a top college in the United States.
Ariana has achieved an outstanding school record. Recommendations from her teachers attest to her compassion, intellectual talent, and relentless pursuit of fresh ideas.   Her Biology and Human Anatomy teacher writes, “Ariana possesses all the qualities of a great leader. She is passionate, honest, accountable and supportive of others. In and out of the classroom, she subtly takes on challenges and problem-solves by working collaboratively with others.”  
“I had always felt the right balance of feeling challenged but also accepted and comfortable while studying amongst women.”  

— Ariana Carranza
Her favorite subjects are the biophysical sciences, but her teachers noted that in addition to her fascination with the science itself, she is always concerned about the emotional consequences of illness for patients and their families, as shown in her yearlong project on Alzheimer’s disease.   Her AP English Literature teacher reports that she is “ablaze with fascinating ideas” on the intersection of art and politics, and studies every word and comma in Shakespeare to find hidden meanings and new arguments.
As a child in Peru she was concerned with the problems of the homeless in Lima, wanting to become an architect to design shelters that would also provide showers and health care.  She founded the Latinx Affinity group at her high school and is also the captain of the school’s hip-hop dance team.  She has had the opportunity to attend the Summer Math and Science Honors Academy (SMASH) at Stanford University for three summers.  During the year she tutors younger students in math, science, and other courses.  Her goal is to study medicine and pursue a career in public health.
From the TSI Board 

In this newsletter we introduce our newest scholarship recipient, Ariana Carranza, and celebrate the accomplishments of our current scholars.  These young women are flourishing at their respective women’s colleges.  Their essays, sent each spring to the scholarship committee, attest to their rich experiences and to their awareness of the value of being at a woman’s college.  We hope to give you a picture of each student’s experience in excerpts from these essays.

Maggie Micklo:  Our 2017 Fitzgerald Scholar
Maggie Micklo (left) with her aunt at a Glee Club concert at Mt. Holyoke.
Maggie Micklo ends her essay with “I am so lucky to be a Mount Holyoke student, and I cannot wait for three more years.”  She recalls an experience that may bring back memories for many R-M grads of studying in B-Rec. “. . . my friends and I gathered on the third floor of Shattuck, the English and Gender Studies building, in a corner room that we lovingly call “the attic.” 
This corner classroom has slanted ceilings, a beautiful view of the library, a large seminar-style table, and chalkboards covering the walls. Just as we do every day, each one of my friends and I had carefully crafted our to-do lists on the chalkboards, putting little boxes next to each task. Every time someone completed a task, the entire group would applaud as they put that little check in the box.
Perhaps I could have expected this from a women’s college. I knew I was going to find passionate, intelligent young women just like me who would not put each other down for their own academic gain, as sometimes happened in high school. What I did not expect, however, was the content on those checkboxes. Each one of my friends studies something they are immensely interested in.
Surprisingly, I am not surrounded just by a bunch of political junkies like myself (even though I do enjoy spending time with those students in class). My friends each bring their own piece of expertise to the table every night and I am so lucky to learn from them as I pursue my own studies.  
As I cross-reference the Constitution for an essay on judicial review, Sam reaches ten pages on her research paper about Northern Irish reproductive justice in relation to the Catholic struggle for freedom. Abby reads aloud another horrifying law in place during witch trials in medieval Europe as Melissa finishes analyzing yet another Chaucer poem…. I could not have easily found this diverse set of interests and a friend group that celebrates hard work and commitment to academics at most co-ed schools.
Ilse Meiler:  Our 2016 Fitzgerald Scholar
Ilse Meiler reacting moderately as the Chlorohexane Queen of Smith

Ilse Meiler’s essay was full of enthusiasm for her coursework and showed amazing energy for undertaking every opportunity that comes her way. 

She writes: “This summer I am taking part in a Summer Research Fellowship with the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation: Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (NSF CCI CaSTL). As part of this program, I am currently working in the Shumaker-Parry lab at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. 
Our group is working on using the plasmonic resonance of gold nano crescents to amplify signals of chiral molecules in circular dichroism. In simpler terms, many things in your daily life are chiral – mirror images that when rotated can never become each other – your hands, the amino acids in your body and medications that you take.
Most of the important chiral compounds you need are “left-handed.” Take naproxen for an example:  the left-handed compound is the pain reliever Aleve, while the right-handed compound is toxic to livers. It’s pretty important to know which one you have. 
As for exciting news for the next academic year, I was elected Lawrence House treasurer for the fall semester. In the fall I will also be working as a lab TA for Organic Chemistry II. In the spring, I plan to study abroad in Geneva, Switzerland through Smith’s Smith in Geneva program. In Geneva, I plan on taking courses in religion, history and Russian language taught in French at the University of Geneva.”
Emily Moss:  Our 2015 Fitzgerald Scholar
Emily Moss of Wellesley receiving her Truman Scholarship
Emily Moss had an exciting junior year at Wellesley when she was awarded a Truman Scholarship for graduate study after Wellesley.  She writes, “Next year, I will be completing my Wellesley coursework, including writing a senior thesis in economics.” 
“I am continuing my involvements in research with MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning and as a volunteer staff member at the student-run Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. I will be directing the resource advocacy program at the shelter next year, leading a team of student case managers in connecting guests with social services and advocating for legislation that could benefit individuals experiencing homelessness in Massachusetts.”
Erin Konkle, Program Director for Civic Engagement at Wellesley, sent this commendation:  “Currently, I support Emily in her role as a Civic Engagement Fellow…. Emily is one of only five students at the College selected for this role, and the only junior to hold this position. What makes Emily so unique in her desire to work for the public good is not that she serves, or that she serves in progressively more responsible leadership positions, but that she approaches all of her work with the same interdisciplinary systems lens.”
Marley Forest:  Our 2014 Fitzgerald Scholar
Marley Forest, as Wellesley’s Senior Speaker, addressing her classmates at graduation
Marley Forest, our 2014 Fitzgerald Scholar, graduated from Wellesley College on June 1st.  She sent The Sunflower Initiative an invitation to her graduation “as a sign of my gratitude, and my acknowledgement that I would not be walking across that stage in June without you all.”
During her senior year, she was one of 40 students chosen from across the majors and disciplines to participate in the Albright Fellow program, working together to address significant global challenges. She also served as Senior Class Commencement Speaker. 
“How can I express to you fully what this experience has meant to me, and my gratitude for your role in bringing me here? How can just a few words encapsulate what this scholarship has given me these last four years? 

So, for lack of more eloquent language, I’ll say it simply and humbly: Thank you. Thank you for giving me this opportunity, this family, this lifelong army of women who I know will be by me as we step out to change the world. Thank you for giving me this home. Thank you for giving me my future.”  

— Marley Forest