“My Appel project is a personal exploration of who I am and how I fit into the social and natural world. I've sometimes been struck by the complete vastness of nature. How nature as a whole is infinitely large, complex, and indifferent to the things that humans value or believe. It just exists. I want to camp by myself along the northwest coast of the Olympic National Park and, during that time, I will write poems every few days about what it feels like to be alone and insignificant in the face of the sublime. After chronicling my own relationship with nature in solitude, I will cover what draws other people to the sublime as well. My writing will still be poems or reflections, but I want to be inspired by the nature and the people around me.”
“My project explores the history of East Germany through the stories of my own family, and aims to create a multimedia narrative combining film, audio, photos, and writing, to consider the lasting cultural effects of living in a surveillance state. The goal of the project is to bring light to an oft-forgotten history and showcase the stories of people's lived experiences while they are still here to tell them. As questions of individual freedoms become more and more prevalent, it is also valuable to examine the possibility of lasting cultural and personal effects of living under a controlled surveillance state: a tendency to secrecy, lack of easy trust, etc.”
"My Appel project will examine the relationship between faith and tragedy, specifically using the Holocaust as a case study. Reports show that many Holocaust survivors became more religious during and after the Holocaust; my Appel project explores this ambiguous relationship through interviews with Holocaust survivors, existing oral histories, memoirs, and personal reflection. By exploring the history of my ancestors and the global Jewish community to which I belong, I hope to develop a greater understanding of my faith, the faith of others, and how we overcome the tragedies that seem to define us."
"With so many layers to the sneaker community, it is evident that this footwear symbolizes much more than just a way to get from point A to point B. This summer, I will base my writing on past experiences, online research, and remote correspondence with people in the industry. If I have the opportunity to travel next summer, I will report on my examination of the sneaker communities in London, Paris, and Berlin. I will attend sneaker conventions, visit famous stores, tour headquarters, and speak to local sneakerheads. As I write articles and collect information, I will compile them into an informal blog. By the end of my experience, I will refine this blog into a formal magazine issue."
"The term “Lunchbox Moment” describes the moment when a Chinese student opens their lunchbox to reveal their strong-smelling “ethnic” food, often accompanied by disgusted reactions from peers. Almost every Chinese American experiences “lunchbox moments” that pressure them to reject their culture in order to assimilate into American culture. However, I want to explore how second-generation Chinese Americans have created a distinct cultural identity all across the US.
I will interview various families of Chinese American immigrants, comparing and contrasting the meaning of the Chinese American identity for first-generation and second-generation immigrants. I plan on writing a series of essays that spotlight these different experiences in an attempt to define the new Chinese American identity, as well as noting its crucial nuances."
"For my Appel project, I will be writing a lyric essay discussing my personal connection between self-worth and knowledge as well as philosophical ideas, historical figures, and other pieces of literature and art. An important part of my project is attempting to learn French because of its role in my academic and personal life. Over the summer, I would spend my time reading philosophy and meeting with a French tutor. Hopefully, by the end of the summer I will be able to converse confidently in French and have a sense of what defines self-worth."
"I want to explore the rise of nationalism, racism, and politics in soccer and the culture that surrounds the game. Soccer is often used as a platform for violence and xenophobia, and I want to find out why there has been a re-emergence of these aspects in soccer. I will focus on: England, Italy, and Russia. I would like to research the potential parallel between nationalistic views emerging in a countries’ political spheres and the rise in nationalist views among fans. The most meaningful research is communication with fans, more specifically those with first-hand experiences of the nationalism surrounding Soccer. Ideally, I want to interview members of infamous ultra fan supporters (groups of fanatical and often extreme fans) to get an insight into their motivations."
"My project for this summer is to compile a collection of stories, experiences, and research about the effects of the pandemic all over the world to form a poetry anthology/chapbook. I will reach out and hopefully interview a wide range of people (friends, family friends, etc.) on their experiences with COVID-19 and how that is shaped by their religious or ethnic background, family dynamics, and socio-economic position.
The goal of this project is to illustrate cross-cultural unity. In sharing similar experiences of the pandemic, I hope to evoke a sense of community and facilitate necessary catharsis. The world is grieving, changing, learning, and adapting, and I want to capture a snapshot of this moment in history."
"For my project, I want to use what I learn in workshops to write stories about my father's family, who I never got the chance to meet. This often kept me from understanding more about myself. Through my research, I want to reconnect with him and find out more about this side of my ancestry. The research will include material like photographs or videos, my father's memory, and archives I can gain access to. I want to digitize the memories my father has of his family to create a lasting memory for future generations. The final product which will be a compilation of these stories and visual materials. I hope that through this project, I can create a meaningful memory of my father's family and rediscover my connection to them."
"This summer, I want to write a guidebook about mountain climbing for parents in Colorado. The book will have four elements: my personal anecdote, interviews, statistics, and a trail guide. Firstly, I plan to reach out to my community for anecdotal evidence of the benefits of climbing. I would like to talk to climbers on skype or over email. In these interviews, I plan on asking them how climbing has influenced them and their opinion on how it can inspire growth. I would also like to talk with the High Altitude Research Center to gather some statistical evidence supporting the physical benefits of climbing. Additionally, I would like to climb all the 14ers within an hour car ride from my house and journal about my experience and growth. To tie it together, I would like to add an anecdotal story to the beginning of the guidebook.
My hope is for this to culminate in a guidebook for parents that endorses climbing. Ultimately, I wish to inspire kids to climb, spreading the love that has influenced me greatly."
"I will be exploring the relationship between northern/southern borders and their demographics, focusing on the United States and Spain. Being raised in a border city, I am accustomed to the sharing of both Mexican and American cultures; however, I have come to realize that not everyone understands that media outlets antagonize southern border cities.
I am focusing on the United States and Spain because both of these nations have northern borders with a high Caucasian population, while their southern borders have many people of color. I question if there is a direct relationship between race and the public’s perception of particular immigrant groups. I will conduct interviews pertaining to how race affects the perception of borders that have these demographics. From interviews and research, I will produce a documentary to shine light onto this issue."
"I aim to explore the food-culture in my hometown of Tucson, as well as within Madrid, Spain and Portland, Oregon, by conducting interviews with local food merchants and restaurateurs, tasting the eclectic foods and ingredients of my hometown, comparing various local food-systems, and experimenting with flavors unique to each region. In preparation for my travels to each region, I seek to gain a broader understanding of what a healthy, balanced diet looks like to varying cultures, focusing first on the American “diet culture.” My findings will culminate into a book that explores topics in flavor, voice, gender, and culture through recipes and short stories."
"Art plays a very important role in preserving the history of a community and displaying it for the rest of the world. My Appel project attempts to navigate the streets of Los Angeles through the eyes of street art. In recognition of one of many cultural centers in America, it is imperative to also acknowledge the social tension that surrounds art in urban spaces, through the relationship between street art and gentrification.
Los Angeles has a rich and plentiful history and navigating it in terms of race, religion, and historical context makes its art a rich and beautiful web of history and community building. I plan to conduct various interviews with street artists and their families, as well as with established Art Collectives and Historical Societies, to provide vital background information on the relationship between art, the artist, and the various communities in Los Angeles. My hope is that through my journey and the completion of my coffee table book, the world may see the true meaning of art in urban spaces, as well as the vibrant history of the City of Angels."
"For my Appel project, I am exploring the intersection of environmental conservation and environmental justice through the lens of national parks in the United States, as well as other countries. After learning about the implementation of a national park in Tanzania, I became frustrated with the harm that it caused to the people who were once living on the land.
I plan to collect information on policies that have been implemented in relation to environmental conservation and the rights of indigenous people, read research that has already been done on these issues, and look at primary sources such as park websites and the written experience of travelers. If next summer allows, I will travel to a national park in South Africa and two national parks in Australia and collect additional information there to supplement the research I have already done.
In the end, I hope my project answers the question: How can we balance environmental conservation and environmental justice in ways that benefit everyone involved?"
"My project will examine gun culture in the American West, focusing particularly on its interactions with diverse racial, religious, and political communities. I hope to speak with victims of gun violence, law enforcement, representatives of the National African-American Gun Association, Socialist Rifle Association, and Riverton Shooting Club, and others. I aim to compile this project into a series of interviews with my own introductions in the style of Anna Deavere Smith's book Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 about the Los Angeles riots.
My fundamental questions involve whether the West's gun culture reflects its political, religious, and ethnic diversity, and if so, how different groups within that culture form unique identities. I have a great passion for the West, and my hope is to come to a greater understanding of its culture while also creating a work that can share some of that culture with a broader community."
"My project will analyze the impact of immigration to and emigration from Ireland on Irish culture, law, and identity through interviews, literature, and policy research. I will highlight how a society responds to changing culture and demographics from a legal and personal perspective to capture a nuanced portrait of the effects of immigration. To achieve this, I will complement data-driven policy and demographic research with short stories and poems that offer a unique individual perspective.
By exploring the history of Irish immigration and emigration, I hope to develop a stronger understanding of my Irish identity and give voice to the complex ways that emigration impacts identity."
"My Appel Project consists of a poetry collection that aims to describe the historical, societal, and environmental significance of certain chosen locations. The collection will be composed of four sections: one will be dedicated to England focusing on The Thames and The White Cliffs of Dover, the second will describe the floating city of Venice, and the last section will concentrate on Block Island, RI. I have chosen these locations because they represent the imminent threat of climate change. These places have all experienced drastic transformations aggravated by global warming.
I see this as being my personal journey—to both enjoy the beauty of a new place with the guilt of knowing that humankind might be responsible for its demise. I hope to capture this process of grieving the earth with my collection of poems."
"For my Appel Project, I am creating a compilation of short stories, all of which will draw from the Yoruba Pantheon also known as the Orishas. I hope to explore their mythology by reading a variety of texts that are either based on or incorporate Orisha mythology. I will also be working and consulting with a professor of Yoruba Folklore and Literature at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria.
The goal is to attain a deeper understanding of the Yoruba gods in mythology and how they tie into Yoruba traditions and customs. I want to ensure that I am properly equipped to write stories that incorporate both my experiences as a Yoruba woman living in a globalized world and the mythology that I will have spent the summer exploring."
"The Baha’i faith is a religion with followers dispersed all over the world, united by a shared spiritual ideology. Growing up in a Baha’i community, I never took the opportunity to explore the faith on my own or develop my own spiritual identity. In order to gain a better understanding of what my faith means to me, I want to examine how other individuals went through their own spiritual journeys. My Appel project explores the oral histories of Baha’i individuals all over the world, examining what the Baha’i faith means to them and how the faith has been a part of their lives in relation to their geographical location. I plan on remotely interviewing Baha’is from all over the world this summer, and compiling the stories that stem from these interviews into a piece of writing."
"This summer, I will be doing in depth research on the intersections of my Mexican families and cultures. It will contain recipes that both make (such as rice pudding) in order to bridge two vastly different cultures, providing an answer to the question of how food can be a connector between families regardless of background. I will be calling family members and family friends throughout the summer in order to collect stories and recipes, as well as reading literature that pertains to my purpose."
"I will be writing a 30-poem book entitled A Poetic Reflection on Love: In Relation to Myself, Others, and God. It will be a three-chapter book, with each one entitled "Myself," "Other," or "God." This summer I will be reflecting on my relationship with God and the people around me, and how this in turn reflects my relationship with myself. I will examine this through books, interviews, and personal reflection. By the end of this project, I hope to have a deeper understanding of my ancestors and religion as a Jewish woman and to be able to fully explore a previously tumultuous relationship with God."
"From my mother’s side, I will investigate my Chinese and Japanese heritage. On my father’s side, I will explore my English heritage. When I think about my cultural heritage, watered down by generations in America, the only unifying element that comes to mind is tea. Tea is a unifying commodity.
This summer, I will be researching narratives and locating individuals from England and Japan to obtain personal accounts regarding tea. I will also investigate the bridge of these two cultures: tea trade between the two countries and the cultural crossover from this collision. I will reach out and connect with family in both Kyoto and London to interview them. Using these components, I will write a screenplay and produce an animation that illustrates my journey."
"Being a first-generation Indian-Muslim-American, who lived in London for several years, I have always somewhat struggled with the clash of my identities. Considering my religion is rejected by my ethnicity and nationalities, I have had a hard time understanding where I fit in the world. My view of my religion has rarely been about internal reflection and spirituality; instead, it is about how I can evolve the culture to change the perception of Islam.
I will be writing different analytical essays that are based around research about the peaks and downfalls of Islam. I would like to include current events here considering the persecution of Muslims – from China to Myanmar. I would like to include how this has shaped my perception of and relationship with the religion."
“My Appel Project is about studying the international African Diaspora through music by following the transatlantic slave trade route from Ghana to Brazil and Louisiana and analyzing the biggest variations of Afro-inspired music. Within this project I will gain an intensive understanding of the impact that African origins have had upon the music industry today.”
"This summer, I seek a transformative experience. I wish to embark on a journey of self-exploration and purpose to the slums of Mumbai and experience India at its best. In doing so, I wish to explore India's founding maxim - "unity in diversity" - in its most pure form.
Dharavi – the second largest slum in Asia – conceals the fight of a million people who struggle to procure two square meals per day. By spending four weeks there, understanding the daily battles of its people, I believe that I will gain an invaluable perspective on life. This experience will allow me to truly value what I have, to not take things for granted, and understand how harsh circumstances can get. It will allow me to realize my place in the world and the responsibility that it accords to me."