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Excellence in its Highest Form: Four Seniors Complete Voros Thesis in the Humanities

The overarching goal of Indian Creek School is to inspire students to relentlessly pursue excellence in academics and in life. The School’s Voros Senior Thesis in the Humanities represents the highest form of educational excellence achievable at the School: an optional, high-level, year-long quest to deeply explore a topic of interest in order to attain mastery and add to the body of knowledge and advance the collective understanding of humanity.  This year, Indian Creek is proud to share that four students pursued and completed the Voros Thesis in the Humanities.

Seniors Bennett Bucci, Aidan McCaughey, Campbell McCormick, and Madelyn Mixter each spent a full year developing a topic, conducting deep research (including first-hand interviews with world scholars), then writing, editing, and presenting college-level work. The projects culminated this week, as each student presented and defended their theses to a panel of faculty experts. This year, the students were honored to have Sharon Voros, wife of beloved former ICS History Teacher Mr. Chip Voros for whom the Thesis program is named, in attendance as they presented their work.

This year’s thesis topics represented the students’ unique and disciplined interests, spanning a variety of fields in the Humanities:

  • "Shining Light on Dark Deeds: Lighthouses, piracy, privateering and the United States' economy at turning points in its infancy" by Bennett Bucci
  • “War at 33½: Political Hip-Hop as an Individual and Collective Black Perspective” by Aidan McCaughey
  • “Appropriation of Cultural Identity in the Casting and Decision-Making in High School Theater: Guidelines and Solutions” by Campbell McCormick
  • “Arts Requirements Effect on Further Education: A Case Study of Maryland Area Schools” by Madelyn Mixter
Named for beloved former ICS History teacher Chip Voros, the thesis program is an enrichment opportunity for students, and the value is in the attempt and the pursuit of something which pushes them beyond what they may have originally thought possible. Each thesis falls between 40 – 60 pages and presents a well-developed argument to enhance the scholarly understanding of its topic. To participate in the Voros thesis program, students applied during the spring of their junior year, and were approved based on their demonstrated academic excellence and intellectual prowess. They then began their research over the summer and completed the work independently, with the assistance of an advisor, outside of school. Bucci and McCormick completed the traditional Voros trajectory which is non-credited, while McCaughey and Mixter embraced the opportunity to extend their work in the AP Research class into a full thesis.

This year's Voros Senior Thesis yielded excellent work from all candidates and exemplified its purpose of academic inquisitiveness in the Humanities fields: One student provided guidelines and recommendations for high school theater programs on how to avoid cultural appropriation. Another compared two hip hop albums and how the artists’ deliveries and techniques express the Black perspective in different periods. A third wrote about the effects of arts requirements on a students’ choice to participate further in the arts later in life. The fourth wrote about the integral part lighthouses played in the growth of the early US economy. They all contributed new scholarly work to their individual fields and defended their process and choices to a panel made up of faculty, staff, and experts.
Voros Thesis Advisor Matt Bucci shared his admiration for these scholars: "The Humanities discipline relies almost entirely on discourse and intellectual curiosity. I am in awe of what these students have contributed to their fields of study—each project lends itself to further research and discussion. Chip would be so proud of these candidates as they have exemplified educational excellence through pursuing their passions outside of the classroom and applying them in an academic context. Running this program has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job as an educator."

Faculty Panelist Emily Judson '14 agreed, stating "This year’s papers were amazing and raised the bar for this program moving forward."

Associate Head of School and Upper School Principal Eliza McLaren summarized the value of the program to ICS and the wider world: “The Voros Senior Thesis program represents the highest form of the relentless pursuit of educational excellence that we envision for each of our students. These students were empowered to pursue topics they were passionate about and given the freedom to set their own expectations and the support they needed to pursue them; as a result, their research exceeded our highest expectations adding meaningfully to the body of knowledge in each of their respective fields.”

Well done, Ben, Aidan, Campbell, and Maddie!
Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland.  Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.