As a final farewell to the Drama Department, Megan Pan produced and directed David Auburn’s Pulitzer-winning play, Proof. Her goal was to learn about steps it takes to produce a play from beginning to end while still serving as a mentor for younger students within the drama program.
To pay homage to his tabla instructor and guru Kaumil and the Taalim School of Indian Music in Edison, NJ, Nikhil Rao spent roughly three hours a day practicing the tabla, a Northern Indian classical drum. Ultimately, he composed a ten to fifteen minute duet which he performed and videoed featuring himself and his instructor.
Brandon Rosen spent the month building his professional singing career by writing and recording songs, one of which will be released as his next single. Most of his work took place at the Mannes School of Music in New York City and at Germano Studios.
Jewell Strickland worked on the technical facets of Megan Pan’s production of David Auburn’s Pulitzer-winning play, Proof, and assisted backstage for the middle school musical technical team. For both plays, Strickland designed the lights and sets for the show and drew layouts for various scenes.
Hailey Cernuto worked with the Children’s Education Department at the Reeves Reed Arboretum. Under the mentorship of Jackie Kondel, the Director of Education at Reeves Reed, Cernuto worked to better understand what goes into creating a meaningful educational experience.
Determined to be role models for younger kids, Tommy Dugan and Cameron Wright volunteered as gym teachers at the Pingry Lower School. Under the mentorship of Leslie Miller, they planned and taught physical education classes and also helped organize the annual Lower School field day.
George Enman and Jamie Zusi worked under the mentorship of Mr. Birotte to serve underprivileged schools in Newark and Elizabethport. Building on work they had done on previous Rufus Gunther Days and with the charity Lacrosse the Nation, they helped teachers with their classes and coached a variety of sports.
Feeling that the Pingry experience had given him a limited perspective, Ryan Fuentes decided to visit five different types of schools for five days and shadow students there in order to better understand different academic experiences. For the rest of the month, he worked to document his grandfather’s stories from the Cuban Revolution and write satirical stories.
An admiration for education led Sehyr Khan to work with ECLC in Chatham to help teach special needs children. Under the mentorship of Ms. Fran Ryder, a supervisor at the school, she observed the classroom, talked to the teachers, and participated in a variety of activities. Throughout the month, she updated a blog to document student experiences at the school.
Under the mentorship of Ms. Erin Sweeney from the nonprofit organization Schools That Can, Jessica Li spent the first half of May working to help bring computer science to Newark schools. For the second half, Li focused on another large academic pursuit of hers: biological research. While shadowing Dr. Armstrong from Novartis in Morris Plains, she learned about the science and marketing aspects of drug development.
Ally Pyne volunteered at Pingry as a teachers’ assistant for the Research I Class and at the Presbyterian Church Preschool and Kindergarten. Under the mentorship of Dr. D’Ausilio for the Research Class and Ms. Maury Fryer for the preschool, Pyne was able to witness the differences and similarities between the learning styles of preschool- and high school-aged students.
After having spent a senior year at Fusion Academy, Matthew Rockoff worked on a video project that embodies the experience that current seniors at Fusion Academy have had. He also helped create and continue a peer mentorship program, similar to the Peer Leadership program at Pingry.
Inspired by past summers she spent shadowing her mother, a gastroenterologist, Sana Sheikh shadowed Dr. Tanveer A. Janjua, a dermatologist. With little prior knowledge about dermatology, Sheikh left her comfort zone to explore her ideal career choice as a physician from a new angle.
Austin Parsons shadowed orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hunt and Senior Director of Business Operations Ms. Kathryn Van Nest. For the first two weeks with Dr. Hunt, Parsons saw the work of an orthopedic surgeon and considered the field as a future career path. For the second two weeks with Ms. Van Nest, he witnessed the inner workings of the pharmaceutical company Johnson and Johnson.
Interested in the field of psychology and applied behavioral analysis, Jessica Carvelli interned at the Child Development and Autism Center at the Goryeb Children’s Hospital in Morristown. She worked with clinical staff and physicians and observed the full range of developmental delays and disabilities that the patients present, as well as the therapies that the Center provides.
A volunteer EMT throughout high school, Ouarida Benatia shadowed anesthesiologist and Pingry alumnus Dr. Matthew Chow of the Morristown Medical Center to figure out what it is like in the operating room. She documented the ups and downs of her experience in a collection of poems under the mentorship of English teacher Dr. Susan Dineen.
An EMT with a longtime passion for medicine, Jackie Chang shadowed anesthesiologist Dr. Chow as well as NICU doctor Dr. Ladino. Between these two doctors, Chang was able to witness the science, emotion and workings behind both anesthesiology and neonatal care, and was even able to attend a research conference about an artificial placenta with Dr. Ladino.
Ryan Feeley shadowed Dr. Sanja Kolarov, an internist at the Morristown Medical Center. In order to learn about a variety of different medical specialties and gain a better idea of his future career path, Feeley maintained a blog to document all that he learned from his experiences.
Following her interest in the medical and dental fields, Neha Lall shadowed both a physician, Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine expert Dr. Meher Sultana, and two endodontists, Dr. Maya Prabhu and Dr. Carmen Cicalese. By exposing herself to two very different specializations, Lall could consider their differences and similarities and better understand what she wants to pursue in the future.
Colin McKinnon shadowed Dr. Marjut Kokkola-Korpela, a specialist in tropical diseases and HIV/AIDS. Interested in the future of disease prevention, McKinnon came to understand the demands of the infectious disease field, observe how diagnoses are made, and understand how different aspects such as physician work and research play into the job as a whole.
Aubrey Molloy decided to shadow two doctors: spine surgeon Dr. Mark Drzala and cardiac anesthesiologist Nimesh Patel. Inspired by a medical trip to Argentina she took the previous summer, Molloy pursued her passion for medicine and science as well as her desire to help people by witnessing and documenting life in the operating room.
History and Humanities
Alexy Alin-Hvidsten researched the geopolitical history of his ancestors as a means of better understanding his heritage and lineage. He studied the Russian Revolution, the whaling business of Norway, and primary documents such as his great aunt’s novel.
Jeremy Lister visited different museums and historical sites like the National Holocaust Museum and the Tenement Museum for inspiration for his original writing. He took what he saw and used it to write a collection of historical and realistic fiction short stories.