Indian Creek congratulates seniors Liz Foster and Sean Lonergan, who joined the esteemed ranks of ICS alumni who have successfully presented and defended Voros Senior Thesis in the Humanities
projects, this week. Liz and Sean earned their membership to this exclusive society of Indian Creek students, by spending their last year of high school pursuing a question within the scope of the humanities, conducting deep research, and forming their findings into a 40-60 page thesis paper. ICS commends Sean and Liz for their pursuit of learning for the sake of gaining knowledge and understanding, and for striving beyond the scope of advanced high school academics. Both Liz and Sean completed their theses “with distinction,” a title reserved for the highest caliber of academic work.
On Tuesday, May 19, Sean presented and defended his thesis, titled "Analyzing the Demographic Characteristics of Hispanic Immigrants: An Argument for Removing Barriers to Immigration." Sean’s thesis defense took place virtually, as he met with presented to a panel that included Upper School Head Matt McCormick, Humanities teacher Jesse Larson, and Litigation Attorney (and ICS alumna) Kate Shoemaker ’02, along with his thesis advisor, Humanities teacher Becca Derry and Thesis Program Advisor Ashley Fetterolf.
Through this project, Sean presented a compelling and thoroughly researched case for increasing, not decreasing immigration into the United States. "The foremost purpose of this paper is to encourage political action in favor of allowing more immigrants into the United States on the basis of U.S. economic interests. Specifically, it suggests the naturalization of most of the immigrants currently residing in the United States. Central and South American immigrants are a benefit to the United States economy rather than a hindrance as they are commonly framed, and the naturalization of current immigrants will, even through Hispanic immigrants alone, return huge benefits to the United States."
The panelists were impressed by the caliber of Sean’s research, and his integration of politics, science, and economics. “[Sean’s thesis] was a really remarkable piece of social science,” shared Mr. McCormick. His research was thorough and compelling, he made this vast and deep information accessible to us. And he tackled a topic which can become controversial without getting mired in politics. He was factual, professional, and convincing. This was really one of the best theses I’ve seen during the history of the Voros Thesis program.”
Ms. Shoemaker agreed. “Sean’s thesis defense was very impressive. He was well-prepared to discuss his findings in detail and was clearly passionate about the subject matter. I am confident he will excel even further in research and writing in college.”
Liz Foster culminated her year-long passion project on Wednesday, May 20. She presented her thesis, entitled "Student Activism in America and Its Effects on American Society and Politics," to a panel comprised of Ms. Derry, Humanities teacher Phyllis Everette, World Languages teacher Esti Uribe, Director of College Counseling Maggie Melson, her thesis advisor Tonya Montgomery, and Ms.Fetterolf.
Through her project, Liz created a compelling argument about the importance of student activism. “Young adults and students must protest for things that they care about. Many of them are too young to vote, or feel as though their vote is meaningless. Young adults are the smallest voting group out there, and they are greatly outnumbered by older adults and the elderly, which makes their vote feel muted and insignificant to them. Getting their voice heard through protest is vital for students and young adults if they want to get the change they are asking for. "
Liz was asked a number of very challenging questions during her defense and she maintained her composure as she answered them, pulling knowledge from her vast research as well as courses taken throughout her high school years. “Liz's paper was inspiring in it's connection of student protesters of the Civil Rights era, especially Rep. John Lewis, and modern day protesters like Greta Thunberg, Emma Gonzalez, and David Hogg, shared Ms. Fetterolf.
Congratulations to Liz and Sean for completing these esteemed projects with distinction.