"For my Appel Fellowship Project, I will be returning to Taipei, Taiwan (a country I lived in for one year in elementary school) to produce a multimedia project based on case studies of three micro-businesses: small enterprises such as food stands, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, or meat vendors. I will incorporate my own experiences interacting with these types of businesses with my observations, local testimonies, and research on the socioeconomic conditions in Taiwan. I hope that my readers will come to appreciate the personalities of each of these micro-businesses as well as Taiwan’s unique economic landscape."
"On an island between the North Pole and Norway, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a fortress built deep into the bedrock, with over one million seeds banked in the permafrost to safeguard their genetic information against any cataclysmic planetary event. Although the logistics of the project are so crucial for humanity, the greater interest for me is not the vault, but the people around it. I plan to compile oral histories from the tiny population here. I want to talk with seed bank employees, the sheriffs who provide protection for and against polar bears, the descendants from the Soviet era mines who have found safer work supporting research teams, and all hardy, everyday folk who live in the existential shadow of humanity’s ark. I would like, most of all, to learn what the weight of this shadow is. I want to journey to the real fortress at the end of the world so I can share with this campus the true wonder and hope of human potential."
"I will be traveling to Accra, Ghana for my Appel project. In May of 2019, my older brother and I created an NGO there called Goals and Grades Ghana, an organization that focuses on bridging the gap between sports and education, ensuring a healthy and fulfilling future for the next generation in Accra. It’s been years since I have been back, and this summer I want to go there for two weeks and create a full length documentary. In this documentary, I want to share my own experience, my work, and visions for my organization; but more importantly, I want to share the stories of the children there with a greater audience."
"As an Appel Fellow, I will highlight women's generational and cultural identity struggles in the Latinx community. I will conduct research using the Claremont Library resources and my travel data to find out more about feminism within the Latina community alongside how language barriers disconnect generational relationships. I will share how the Americanization of Latinas has led to women in the Mexican community becoming more open about their views, ambitions, and personal interests."
"When I first experienced the world of electronic music, my perspective shifted: a community of people so connected on one energetic wavelength with an undenying love and connection to the music. For my Appel Fellowship project I will spend time in the music scenes of four of the global hubs for electronic music and culture: Barcelona, Ibiza, London, and Berlin. By interacting with cities that have promoted an inclusive EDM (electronic dance music) scene since the birth of modern electronic music, I hope to experience and write about the inclusivity of this music."
"I traveled throughout Germany to study Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy of pessimism. My project begins with a philosophical defense of his pessimism and presents a few potential points of backlash against his argument. The second half of the project uses two short stories
and a travel reflection to consider the validity of his argument through fiction and experience."
"For my Appel Fellowship, I hiked, camped, and backpacked around Washington state while journaling and interviewing fellow female outdoor lovers about how they found their love for the outdoors. Through self-reflection and my conversations with others, I gained an understanding of my personal motivations, developed deeper relationships with friends and family I spent time with on the trail, revitalized my love for the beautiful landscape I get to call home, and reconnected with my childhood to prepare myself for the next chapter of my life. I hope my experiences and the stories of women I talked to will inspire young women to get outside and show others that although the outdoor community may be intimidating at first, it is truly a welcoming space."
"My home state of Kentucky is rife with monocultures and coal mines, extractive industries that leave scarred landscapes and hollowed-out communities in their wake. Kentucky author Wendell Berry writes about the power of strong rural communities and their ‘local knowledge’ to heal our relationship with the environment. I spent two months working on commercial and subsistence farms in Ecuador, a country whose environmentalism is defined by indigenous understandings of the land. Inspired by Berry’s work, I wrote a collection of essays and poems exploring local knowledge, sustainability, culture, agriculture, and the subtle connections between Ecuador and Kentucky."
"As a first-generation and bilingual student, non-profit organizations have played a crucial part in my academic success. For my project, I will participate in some non-profit organizations in my city and work my way up to Los Angeles, and create a small documentary of my involvement and the role language plays within these communities. I will also create a series of essays about the cities that I am staying in and explore more
about my Mexican culture. In the end, I’d like be more in touch with my culture and express my gratitude for these non-profits."
"'Arabic (is) for Life.' As one of the oldest written languages in human history, the Arabic language is deeply complex and rooted in religion and culture—which is something I desired to thoroughly examine, experience, and understand following my completion of a year-long
introduction to Arabic. I set out on a month-long journey to Amman, Jordan, hoping to capture the ideas of community, beauty in culture, artwork through the mediums of poetry, photography, and traditional calligraphy ('خط'). These endeavors culminated in an anthology of poems, memoirs, interviews, and hand-drawn calligraphy that directly engages the reader with the intricacies of Arabic—from its history, morphological structure, and prosody, and its function as a macro-language that unifies numerous regions together via dialects."
"While I have been learning Mandarin and studying Taiwanese politics for years, I have never traveled to the island, and know nearly nothing about its culture. For my Appel Fellowship, I plan to travel to Taiwan, where I will share the defining characteristics I find and compare them
to my preconceptions and any assumptions I have made. I will combine stories, pictures, and reflections in a journal-style project."
"Everything from my name to my facial features are indicative of Korean descent; but throughout my childhood I never felt Korean, or even Korean American. Food, however, became an avenue through which I could connect to and participate in Korean culture. Through the Appel Fellowship, I hope to delve into how food is produced in South Korea, from farm cultivation to restaurant and household cooking. I will also aim to learn more about how these processes are influenced by the country's highly-organized waste management strategies as well as the attitudes toward these policies."
"Whether it’s chatting over Turkish coffee or exploring the Nabateans magnificent creations, Jordan is a land of beautiful tradition, culture, and culture. For my Appel project, I explored historical and political conflict, socioeconomic culture, and religious influence in Jordan and the surrounding area—but I added a unique twist. My writing piece was comprised of literature and photographs, essentially developing a photojournalism project to bring awareness to the Jordan community. With a fusion of contemporary and ancient culture, this land became a symbol of pride, hospitality, and warm spirit to me. Take a photographic journey with me through Jordan to learn more!"
"Gong Gong (Mandarin for “grandfather”) was a victim of the Chinese Civil War. At the age of nine, he watched as communist guards mercilessly shot his father in the head for walking “too slow.” His surviving family was forced into concentration camps where they suffered physical, mental, and sexual abuse at the hands of corrupt guards. Among the five siblings, two escaped, finding refuge in a Military Dependent’s Community in Taiwan. Growing up, I knew nothing of
my grandfather’s traumatic story. He had his quirks — he would grill me intensely about my school grades, serve odd food combinations, and maintain an atypical sleep schedule — but I always chalked them up to be harmless habits of his old age. For my Appel fellowship, I traveled
around the beautiful island of Taiwan, visiting various areas of significance to my grandfather’s upbringing. As I familiarized myself with the Taiwanese landscape, I grew to understand that my grandfather’s quirks are simply a reflection of his upbringing and plight."
"My 2023 Appel Fellowship project analyzed the troubling connection between football and post-game violence in the United Kingdom. My work was primarily centered in London but extended beyond the city. I met with women's organizations, local football enthusiasts, and people who work within Premier League clubs. Ultimately, I produced an article-style essay in which I documented my findings and offered policy recommendations to address this pressing issue."
"As my grandfather passed away before I was born, I have always been intrigued by his story. I will spend my summer in Valdobbiadene, the small village in Italy where he is from, to unfold my past and what could have been my present if he hadn’t moved to Brazil after World War II. Through interviews, I plan to connect with relatives and my grandfather's friends to learn about who he was before assimilating into Brazilian culture. I also plan to explore how the conflict affected the village. For my project, I will craft a documentary that will honor my grandfather's memory and shed light on the impact of WWII on this small community."
"This summer I traveled to Paris, Fontainebleau, and Normandy to fully immerse myself into the French food experience. I did this by taking lessons on classic French cuisine, shadowing restaurants, going to markets, restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and family members' homes. I
documented my findings through a series of blog and vlog posts that highlighted my day to day experiences and acted as the ultimate food guide for the non-Parisian. I also wrote a research paper that analyzed the nutritional and cultural distinctions between French and American food and lifestyle, shedding light on dietary habits, ingredient preferences, and sociocultural influences, resulting in valuable insights for cross-cultural health and nutrition initiatives."
"As someone who is half-black, half-Latina, with a brother who has a disability, I often find myself living in two different worlds. In Quito, Ecuador I will volunteer with children who have disabilities and will learn about how Integrated Music, Art, and Dance therapy impacts their daily lives, and how people can find connection and their authentic selves through this approach. I will be creating six written pieces and a video documentary that showcase the stories of resilience of young people from around the world."
"For females in Iceland, the stigma around strength being 'manly' and 'smaller' being 'better' does not exist as it does in the U.S. In fact, strength, power, and athleticism in Icelandic women is celebrated. I plan to conduct interviews and immerse myself in Icelandic Crossfit culture in order to explore this phenomenon, and use writing to share my findings with women globally."
"After dreaming of playing soccer professionally for 11 years, I am learning to accept that this dream will not come true. I will be attending Major League Soccer games in 5 different cities: Austin, New York, Washington D.C., Portland, and Seattle. During these MLS games, I will interview fans to learn how soccer has impacted their lives. Through these conversations, I hope to discover what these 11 years brought to my life and how soccer will continue to play a role in my life. I will then create a blog to provide guidance to other athletes and to illustrate my evolving relationship with soccer."
"Off the coast of Dakar, Senegal lies Gorée Island—one of the many ports of the Atlantic Slave Trade in West Africa. For my project I will be traveling there to understand traditions that were lost, and I will create a poetry book inspired by the people I meet and the sites I see. My goal is to take the voices of my ancestors home with me; as I continue writing poetry they will be there to guide me and give me strength to use my own voice."
"With my Appel Fellowship I will create a documentary film about the complex interactions between bus passengers in my native Chicago and my newfound home in the Los Angeles area. I will write a personal journal, and two 'love letters' to the cities themselves. Riding the bus has defined my experience of love, allowing me to see a beauty in my city through all of its passengers and inhabitants. Through my writing and film I hope to find the same sense of fondness for LA that I currently have for Chicago, and to share my experience with people who might not be in the same rooms I have entered."
"For my project I will be traveling to Ireland and Romania, the two main countries from which my family originates, to study traditional styles of dress. I will then use the knowledge I gain to create a cohesive outfit inspired by both of the countries as well as short stories about the pieces that I make."