Sample Abstracts

All for the Children, Right?

Mehreen Iqbal '09, Biological Chemistry 
Advisor: Christopher Arumainayagam, Chemistry

This past summer, at Children's HealthCare of Atlanta in Georgia, I had the unique experience of participating in a variety of research projects ranging from the laboratory to clinical settings. My most valuable experiences, however, resulted from my daily observations in a hos- pital where more than half of the children were on various forms of Medicaid. Through weekly rounds with the bone-marrow transplant team, I witnessed the inspiring resilience of critically ill children. Firsthand, I observed the clashes among insurance companies, drug providers, and physicians, often while a child's life was on the line. I found it ironic that while I assisted proj- ects designed to ultimately provide better treatment modalities for children, many had to fight for the options that already existed. Although my summer experiences exposed me to the pros and cons of our health care system, they also instilled within me a sense of hope for a positive future in children's health.

The TWikiTM Revolution: A Multi-Enterprise Tool

Nandini R. Dookeran '09, Computer Science
Advisor: Panagiotis T. Metaxas, Computer Science

What do Yahoo!, Cingular Wireless, and Texas Instruments all have in common? They have each implemented TWikiTM within their corporate intranets. This past summer, I was given the opportunity to do the same for Lehman Brothers, Inc., and it was there that I found the inspiration for my research. Founded by Peter Thoeny, TWikiTM is a user-friendly, opensource enterprise collaboration platform, which has become one of the most popular knowledge man- agement systems used behind corporate firewalls. An offspring of the technology used on sites such as Wikipedia, this tool follows the general rule of thumb: "...if you are able to look at a page, you should be able to edit it." This presentation will discuss the application's inception, structural core, reasons for its explosive success, and how such a seemingly vulnerable system upon which enterprises rely so heavily is able to thrive.

From Disabilities to Evictions: Making the Connection between Social Work and Law 

Victoria M. Starrett '09, Political Science and Philosophy
Advisor: Nancy Scherer, Political Science

This past summer, I interned in the Housing Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services, where I worked to stop evictions, secure specialized agreements for disabled clients, and ultimately save the subsidies and housing for all of our clients. Before I began my internship, I thought the cases I handled would mostly involve clients who lived in unimaginable conditions under slum lords. Yet I encountered more than routine hous- ing matters. For example, I worked with clients who had mental and physical disabili- ties and who were unable to understand the court processes affecting their rights. By creatively solving our clients' problems before trial became necessary, I realized that our preliminary social work was often more crucial in reaching a desirable outcome for our clients than the typical jury trials portrayed on television. Ultimately, I concluded that people can impact the outcome of a legal case without even necessarily having a law degree.

"Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay": Popular Music in Academia 

Jeanine Navarrete '10, Undeclared
Advisor: Lawrence A. Rosenwald, English

Popular music is often dismissed as disposable entertainment for the masses. In the last decade, however, an academic movement has arisen that utilizes rock and roll as a powerful means of social and historical analysis, as well as a way to bridge the generational gap in U.S. classrooms. My internship in the education department of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, enabled me to put these methods into practical use and to gain invaluable insight into the administration of one of the most visited museums in the United States. This experience also reaffirmed my inter- est in American Studies and public history as a possible career path. I will discuss the inextricable connections between rock and roll, the post-war U.S. experience, and the difficulties, and triumphs, of preserving the United States' most rebellious pastime.