“I have grown up surrounded by ghosts of the Holocaust.” With that line, Shelby Margolin ’13 delivered an impassioned and seamless speech that earned her first place in the Hervey Ross LEEP Talks at Clark University.
Visit the LEEP website for more videos and information about the Pioneers.
The event, held Oct. 18 in the Michelson Theater, brought together eight LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) Project Pioneers, who made presentations about the summer internships that provided them opportunities to thrive in professional settings. Their work sent them into the corporate world and onto the dusty roads of the American West, into the digital thicket of distributed computer systems at Amazon and to the edge of a sprawling landfill outside San Francisco, where efforts are underway to counteract the nation’s trash problem. This past summer, the Pioneers were the first Clark students to undertake specialized LEEP projects that melded academic learning with real-world experience.
- Becca Rood-Goldman ’14 talked of blending art with science while studying the evolution of leeches at the Museum of Natural History in New York.
- Irene Nakabonge-Lugude ’13 discussed her research project that evaluates medical trainees’ comprehension of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's duty-hour requirements. She noted that sleep deprivation among overworked medical residents has been cited as a factor in substandard medical care of some patients.
- Deviyani Dixit ’13 offered compelling testimony on the plight of the transgendered community in Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Alison Mayer ’13 described the making of her documentary, “Westing,” as “a sort of Frankenstein monster taking on a life of its own.” The film addresses issues surrounding American identity and the myths of the West.
- Zach Hariton ’13 explained how building a large-scale expanding cloud service will help meet the voracious demand for online services.
Margolin was awarded the $500 first prize. The second prize of $250 went to Bort, and Holt earned the $150 third prize. Dixit was awarded the “Audience Favorite” award of $100. “You were all terrific,” said the contest sponsor Hervey Ross ’50, L.H.D. ’07, adding that each speaker’s deep involvement with the topic made for effective presentations. He also offered some practical advice to the presenters, suggesting they move around less onstage and not rely on notes. Ross has been sponsoring the student oratorical contest at Clark since 2005. Public speaking has been a passion of his since his student days at Worcester Academy and throughout his Clark career. After leaving Clark, he became a successful businessman and owner of one of the nation’s largest specialty insurance agencies. The contestants also delivered their speeches on Oct. 19 for the Clark University Board of Trustees.