Presenting NY6 Student Fellows of 2016

This announcement was first published on the NY6 Think Tank website.

The NY6 Fellows Program offers students an opportunity to participate in the NY6 Think Tank by creating and publishing their own projects through multimedia outlets of their choice. Selected Fellows receive a stipend of $500–upon successful completion of their projects.

The goal of the program is to explore the surprising and often overlooked ways in which the Arts and Humanities play a part in the lives of today’s students. Fellows therefore get to express how students are reshaping, remixing, or reapplying the Arts and Humanities in new ways. They get to create projects that give shape to how students are using ideas,
concepts, aspects derived from the Arts and Humanities to alter society, business, education, culture, politics, or other realms.


PRESENTING THE 2016 NY6 Fellows:

PicturePictureA senior physics major at Skidmore College who lives in New York City, Jie Li explores many creative possibilities among his interests in the natural sciences, media and film studies, and studio art.

From Hangzhou, China, Evian (Yiyun) Pan is a junior at Skidmore College majoring in Anthropology. She alsostudies Asian Studies and Media and Film Studies. She expects her future to be blended with documentary works and curatorial projects.

“Because the arts and humanities do not seem practical to many people, with seemingly limited career paths (which concerns many parents) and the required mastery of English language, many Chinese students hesitate to pursue their interests in the arts and humanities. Therefore, our short documentary film “Chinese Thoughts Mingle” explores and shares the stories of Chinese students who study the arts and humanities at Skidmore. We hope that it will inspire and encourage our Chinese, international, and American peers to follow their own interests and further engage in arts and humanities curriculum. The film, 8-10 minutes long, examines the personal interests and working experiences of approximately six upper-class students who have decided to share their thoughts and feelings on this important subject.”


Tessa Jane “Flash” Kalinosky is a senior American Studies major at
Skidmore College committed in pursuing food writing after graduation. She spends most of her free time listening to music and cooking elaborate meals and pastries, preferably at the same time, and pretending that she is funny.For her project, she writes, “I plan to analyze how we value ingredients, serve, and enjoy food because they are all indicators of how a society functions and its cultural norms. Food writing informs eaters about how to engage with specific foods. I will look at examples of food writing that reflect social issues, political, technological, and agricultural changes, and global relations, among other topics. My analysis will be paired with an original  composition, varying from recipes, restaurant reviews, and editorials, which will be distributed throughout campus and posted on a website. We are what we eat is a truism, of course. But what we eat is informed by the way it was presented to us, visually and in writing. Consciously or not, we digest these messages and opinions and thus food writing becomes part of who we are, what we think, and what we do.”

Sharon Liu is a junior majoring in History at Hamilton College. She enjoys (attempting to) cook and running through Hamilton’s Root Glen. Her interests include post-colonial feminist history and understanding the complexities of the immigrant-American identity.

My project is to enable first generation Americans and their families to understand the opportunities provided by a liberal arts education. Having no previous experience of this uniquely American model of higher education, immigrant parents, like mine, are suspicious and uninformed about the liberal arts and humanities. By sharing my story and the experiences of other first generation Hamilton community members, I hope to encourage high school students and their parents to consider studying the arts and humanities.

In addition, I hope to create and provide materials for county districts with concentrated immigrant family populations throughout the East Coast. Eventually, I will publish pamphlets through the NY6 consortium to be distributed to high school guidance counselors. By expanding the kinds of conversation about colleges that takes place in high schools among first generation Americans, I hope to alert more students like myself to consider humanities in college. I want to encourage others to take advantage of this path in American higher education to develop confidence in themselves and the skills to pursue their future goals.”

Link to Blog:


Amelia Poole is a sophomore at Colgate University who intends to major in English with a concentration in creative writing and minor in sociology. As someone who is fascinated every day by the beauty of words, she anticipates integrating writing into her life after college.

“My project seeks to examine how poetry can be, and is, put to work in the world around all of us. I will create a blog to document how students and faculty members use poetry—both for themselves and for interdisciplinary ventures—on campus, how poetry can lead to a profession after college, and how poetry can bring people of all different walks of life together. Through this blog, I hope to demonstrate that poetry has the ability to be so much more than just a hobby. Overall, through interviews, short essays, and student and faculty works, I want to shed light on the immense value of poetry and how it can work as a vehicle for change and important human connection.”


Nate Singer is a junior at Union College majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Mathematics. I enjoy hiking, surfing and above all designing unique and cool things.

“My project will begin with the installation of a large-scale leaf on the wall adjoining the Biology and Mathematics departments at Union College. The most accentuated feature of the leaf will be its vascular system. This part of a leaf appeals to me because every vein travels down its own unique path. A leaf’s structure is a great representation of every person’s individual path. Our paths have distinct experiences that allow for the creation of unique things and alternative perspectives.

This installation will act as a catalyst for students who have considered creating an interdisciplinary project to act on their intuitions by giving them tangible proof that the resources are available. It will also assist students that want to use the arts as a means of expressing new and stimulating concepts and give them direction in bring it to fruition. The leaf will be made through the utilization of both the Visual Arts Department and the MakerCorp group, which specializes in 3-D printing and laser-cutting technologies.

The second part of my project will provide students interested in the arts with an opportunity to design and create projects that utilize the MakerCorp group. Students who want to create an artistic project through the mediums provided by the MakerCorp group will now have the opportunity to do so. Their completed projects will be posted on a Facebook page that provides an in depth description of what they have created and conceptually what their projects represent.

Additionally, each artist will be interviewed and asked about art in the 21st century and how it can be utilized to evoke new and innovative concepts for reshaping our world. These interviews will also be published on the Facebook page along with their projects.”


“Maddie Lares is a freshman at St. Lawrence University aspiring to work with social justice and Native American issues. Hoping to utilize an interdisciplinary approach in her future work, Maddie is an artistic person at heart who appreciates all the arts has to offer.

“My project focuses on mindful coloring and the benefits associated with it. Through an interactive website, the community will have the chance to learn more about mindful coloring and the research that has been done to prove its effectiveness. By utilizing a blog format, I will interview various people (professors, art therapists, coloring enthusiasts, etc) as well as observe the benefits of coloring through weekly blog posts. I will also implement a coloring program into the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility to witness first hand the benefits of coloring, specifically within an anxiety-induced setting. This project will continue through my years on and off campus in hopes of spreading a greater appreciation for the arts as the benefits of mindful coloring become more widely known.


Alexandria Davis is a senior Women’s Studies major and Political Science minor at Colgate University. Her passions are storytelling and social justice education.

“As a Women’s Studies major, I am taught to critically analyze power dynamics and I am sensitive to how power operates in marginalized or institutional spaces. As a NY6 Fellow, I want to take a close look at how power operates in the university and show how humanities education is a powerful tool for fighting injustice. For this reason, my creative project seeks to illuminate the ways in which colonialism is mapped, marked and maintained on and through marginalized bodies in education. By using a blog format, I will share a series of essays that will be accompanied with poems to illustrate how theory in education and art from the heart need not be mutually exclusive. I hope to demonstrate what a felt education in the humanities looks like and how it can be an instrument for radical change towards a decolonized education by illustrating critical pedagogies through personal narratives.


Shauntai Quinlon is currently a junior at Union College who is majoring in Theater and minoring in French and Francophone Studies. Her passion has always been in theater and she plans on making it “big” on Broadway.

“As a theater major student, I have always been interested in the way that theater intertwines with everyday life. I constantly observe the way theater is used to build self-awareness and confidence. As a NY6 Think Tank Fellow, I would like to spread this idea closer to home. At Union College, a substantial number of students play any given sport. However, I noticed a distinct difference with the students who are involved in both sports and theater and those who are not. The students, and particularly, my friends who are both involved in sports and theater seem to have a better grasp on self-awareness. I plan on studying this area and hopefully proving a very significant point.

My project will mostly consist of three parts. The first part will be a Facebook series where I will feature one student who is involved in both theater and sports each week. This feature will share a photo of the student and his/her interview. The Facebook series will allow students to “share” and basically promote their accomplishments while promoting the benefits of theater. The next part of my project will be an Instagram series. Much like the Facebook series, the Instagram series will feature several photos of the student and bits of his/her interview. Finally, my entire project will culminate in a a documentary that will include bits of several interviews, video footage and more.”


Sara Marsh is a sophomore at Skidmore College majoring in English and double minoring in Film and Studio Art. After she graduates, she plans to attend film school.

“Many people overlook the ways in which a liberal arts education can benefit students. At Skidmore, many students are successful because of the access they have to different areas of study. My project will feature students who combine the arts and humanities with other disciplines – for example, a student who studies business and dance, or math and art. I am creating five or six short films that show how Skidmore students use the idea of “Creative Thought Matters” to achieve their goals in the arts and humanities. This project reflects my personal goals, and the goals of the NY6 Think Tank Student Fellows Program, as it combines my interests in film, writing, and art. After watching the series, students will see the arts and humanities at work through the students being featured and through the nature of my project.”


Allison Smith is a Junior at Union College studying Art History and Public History. She is interested in the relationship between arts and activism, and is passionate about music and dance. She has studied the arts abroad in Bali, Indonesia and Galway, Ireland.

“My project proposal will involve a multi-step process to include more students and faculty members in artistic endeavors on campus, and will work to establish Union as a larger provider of the arts and humanities for the wider community. The project will be unique in that it will not only develop advocacy material in the form of published essays, reviews, and social media posts, but will build to a variety of interdisciplinary events that reach out to students, faculty, and the public.

The fellowship will conclude with a panel held on Union’s campus that will discuss the value and importance of the arts and humanities. There would be professors from the NY6 Think Tanks schools and community members on the panel. This panel will be targeted to the entirety of Union’s campus, the NY6 Think Tank schools, the wider community, and other regional institutions of higher learning. I believe that this project will allow Union to play a larger role in its community and will inspire students on Union’s campus to become more involved in the arts and humanities.”


Emily Wong is a sophomore at Colgate University who is planning on majoring in History and minoring in Economics. She is passionate about the telling of history and its importance in today’s world.

“When I first decided I wanted to be a History major, I was unsure what related careers were possible outside of academia. However, after becoming a research assistant for my university’s History department, I came into contact with professors, alumni, and archivists who explained that there are extensive careers options in the humanities. I was excited to learn that there are many fruitful humanities-related career paths and would love to further explore these options.

For my project, I have created a blog, Pathways to Employment, which will look into careers in the public humanities. Additionally, I will explore how the study of arts and humanities can help students thrive after college, even if they do not end up in careers in clearly related fields. My posts will include statements from professionals with careers in related fields, along with commentaries from professionals who were benefited by their studies of arts and humanities, though work in seemingly unrelated fields. I will also talk to fellow students involved in the arts and humanities and share why they are interested in these divisions and how they hope their involvement will help them in the future, in terms of careers and otherwise. I hope my project will inspire fellow interested students to pursue their interests in the arts and humanities, both for personal fulfillment and potential career goals.”

Link to Blog:


Jenna Corcoran is a senior majoring in the Classics at Union College, trying to figure out how to make everything else a minor. She aspires to travel and indulge in global cuisines (who wouldn’t?), but in the meantime she works locally at the
Schenectady Greenmarket.”My Project will be entitled “A Perfect Meal.” I believe that a perfect meal ultimately feeds our soul. While our emotional connection to meals can culturally enrich us and spiritually nourish us, it may be that very same emotional connection that acts as a barrier to a convergence in the various food movements that could bring about a perfect food system, whatever that would look like. In this way, a focus on the concept of a perfect meal will help to illuminate the importance of humanistic perspectives within the food movement.I would ask a large pool of individuals (college students particularly) to describe their perfect meal. The responses to this prompt could range from a menu to a narrative account. Descriptions could reflect an emphasis on nutrition and health, conviviality, identity, memories, or even the agro-industrial corporate conglomerate. These responses would be reproduced in a series of collected of meal descriptions from participants based around a certain theme or idea along with an original essay further exploring each
unifying theme/idea. In some cases, instead of simply reproducing the description of a meal I hope to reproduce at least 3 meals a month in a photograph in order to visually appeal to my audience. The photographs would be featured on the blog as a part of the meal collections as well as on a separate Instagram account.”

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