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February 21, 2012

Connecting with the World: Marquis Scholars Make a Difference through Academics, Research, and Service

Monica Manglani ’13 with children in the Dominican Republic

Monica Manglani ’13 with children in the Dominican Republic

Since she came to Lafayette, Monica Manglani ’13 has worked on research on dyslexia and how the brain interprets sound, co-authored a paper published in an academic journal, presented at an international neuroscience conference, worked with poor children in the Dominican Republic, and started an online baking business to help the underprivileged.

A neuroscience major, Manglani (Woodbury, N.Y.) is the epitome of a Lafayette student—talented, dedicated, hard-working, and willing to use her abilities to give back to the community. That is why she received a Marquis Scholarship from the College.

Approximately 20 percent of admitted students each year are offered the scholarship, which provides an annual minimum award of $20,000. Those selected to be Marquis Scholars have demonstrated intellectual curiosity, superior academic achievement, and civic engagement at their high school and hometown community.

Being a Marquis Scholar has allowed Daniel Ricken ’12 (Woodbury, N.Y.) to follow his passions. He’ll be one of the first Lafayette students to graduate as a theater major.

Daniel Ricken '12 directs fellow students during rehearsal.

Daniel Ricken '12 directs fellow students during rehearsal.

Ricken was the director of College Theater’s production of Stephen Karam’s fiercely funny, dark comedy Speech and Debate.

“I really love directing. It enables you to not only create a vision, but to see it followed through,” he says.

After researching Broadway musicals in an independent study with Mary Jo Lodge, assistant professor of English, Ricken also directed a staging of selections from She Loves Me, bare, and Company during a Lafayette Fringe Friday showcase of student performances. He led a student production team that included a vocal director, instrumental accompanist, and stage manager.

“Working with students can be intimidating,” he says. “These are people I had performed with numerous times, and I became their leader.”

Ricken plans to take his passion for theater into his professional life.

“I’d like to run an educational theater program,” he says. “I would like to teach students about acting, directing, and stagecraft while directing productions at an institution.”

Caitlin Flood '12 during her internship with the Midtown Community Court in New York City

Caitlin Flood '12 during her internship with the Midtown Community Court in New York City

Caitlin Flood ’12 (Bellerose Terrace, N.Y.), a Marquis Scholar and double major in government & law and philosophy, would like to attend law school to pursue her interests in constitutional and human rights law, with the ultimate goal of becoming a judge.

Her experience at Lafayette has exemplified a liberal arts education, as she has been involved in law internships, the arts, research, and community service. She presented her research on unsung 21st century female composers with Jennifer Kelly, assistant professor of music, at two national music conferences.

“One of the greatest parts about going to Lafayette is being able to engage in diverse activities that don’t necessarily relate to each other,” Flood says. “Professor Kelly approached me about the research and I was very interested because I love music and wanted to learn more about women composers. By documenting these women’s words, I have been given the opportunity to help preserve a vital part of American culture.”

Marquis Scholars receive a scholarship of up to $4,000 for one faculty-led, off-campus course during an interim session in January or May. This is the 34th year in which Lafayette has offered these courses, which allow students to take part in hands-on field work and meet prominent business people, cultural figures, government officials, and academics, learning directly from these experts about the subject matter they are studying. This winter more than 120 students studied in England, Hawaii, Japan, Kenya, Peru, Russia, and Tanzania during the winter break.

Chris Kelly ’13 in Ecuador

Chris Kelly ’13 in Ecuador

Last year, Marquis Scholar Chris Kelly ’13 (Boyertown, Pa.) studied in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands in a January interim-session course.

“Our professor remarked on the genesis of the island we were on. He pictured a time-lapse sequence, with a volcano erupting out of the sea and being settled by pioneer species of insects and plants and then by Darwin’s finches, all the while being weathered and eroded by the forces of wind, water, and temperature,” says Kelly, a double major in geology and international affairs. “I was humbled by processes that are greater than myself. It is one thing to learn lessons in the classroom. It is quite another in the field. Now I cannot walk over any terrain without painting this portrait of sorts in my mind of the evolution of the landscape and life. The way I view my surroundings has changed both scientifically and philosophically, and I’m thankful to have had the tremendous opportunity.”

Read more about the Marquis Scholarship program

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