Five Students Selected for Prestigious Lilley Fellowships

Five Upper School students have been selected to undertake in-depth research projects through EA's Lilley Fellows program.

The students were selected from a pool of 18 applicants. They will delve into their research over the summer and present their final capstone projects in the fall. Each student will work with a faculty advisor.

Director of Libraries Lorie Harding is the Lilley Fellow Program Director. "I am delighted to have these five scholars as Lilley Fellows for the fifth year of the program," said Mrs. Harding. "This year we received our largest and deepest pool of applicants which is a testament to the reputation and character of work undertaken by past scholars in the program."

Junior Shawn Wang's project involves developing an accurate biosensor based on ultrathin, "skin-like" measurement modules that would eliminate mechanical stresses and reduce injury risk. The biosensor, which measures vital signs such as cardiac rhythm, blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiration rate, would feel imperceptibly smooth to the human skin, allowing it to intimately pair to the human body for long periods of time even outside a hospital or lab setting.

"I hope to nurture and explore my research interests, while contributing to an innovative, informative, and multidisciplinary approach to improving our healthcare system," explained Shawn. "I am particularly excited to learn from and collaborate with leading scientists and researchers in the biomedical engineering field." He will work with Upper School science teacher Cheryl Cossel.

Rohith (Roh) Tsundupalli '24 will research and study "Dreamer" status and the effects on the education prospects by working with [EA community partner] ACLAMO, local high schools, and college counselors to develop a mentor program for EA students to provide support in promoting college and demystifying the college application process to "Dreamers." World Languages teacher Amy Brotschul is Rohith's faculty advisor.

"My goal is to work alongside volunteer organizations, comprehend the effectiveness of DACA and to develop a program to help the 'Dreamers' in their quest for college education while bringing awareness on this topic to our EA community," shared Rohith. "I am honored to be selected by the Lilley Fellowship committee and cannot wait to share my project with the Upper School."

Caroline Sewell '23 will exam, through extensive research, why the U.S. has fallen behind in language study, specifically the study of Latin. Caroline plans to create an exploratory curriculum to promote and encourage Latin by teaching it this summer to Horizons at EA middle school students as an elective. Classics teacher Melanie Subacus will work with Caroline.

"By designing an easily understandable and implementable curriculum, I will be furthering my goal in increasing accessibility to the language and thus improving diversity within the discipline," said Caroline. "I'm super excited and grateful for this amazing opportunity. So far, from the teachers and experts I've interviewed, and the guidance of the committee and my advisor, Dr. Subacus, I've already learned so much!"

Junior Ashley Kim's project blends the research of sustainability, environmental psychology, and the challenge of fighting fast fashion to create a resource of essays, informative pages, slides, and videos to promote a social cultural force to help young adult consumers consider their apparel purchasing choices. Science teacher Katie Colyer is Ashley's advisor.

"By exploring the relationships between material science, ethical production, and consumer psychology, I will dive deeper into my passion for sustainability and interest in fashion as a cultural force," shared Ashley.

Electronic transportation is the focus of Elizabeth Boruff's '23 Lilley project. She will examine the use, growth, and public policy endeavors of electronic bikes (ebikes) primarily in urban settings to determine their viability as a transportation option through research, surveys, and interviews with ebike providers, users, and holdouts. Science teacher George Lorenson is Elizabeth's advisor.

"After working in ebike research for the past year alongside the University of Tennessee, I decided to apply for the Lilley Fellowship because I want to continue to advance my knowledge of electric transportation and its future in urban areas through my own research," explained Elizabeth. "My project will use some of this data to endorse the implementation of an ebike share program on a multi-purpose living and working community campus like Ellis Preserve in Newtown Square. I've begun my research and I'm excited to continue learning and present my project next year. I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a project beyond the classroom to apply because the Lilley Fellowship not only allows for innovation but also allows for information across various subjects to converge."

"The topics and projects selected this year are very diverse in academic interests with the Lilley Fellow hallmarks of curiosity, thoughtfulness, and excellence," said Mrs. Harding. "I'm so excited for the EA community to see what this group accomplishes."

Established in 2018 through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. William Lilley III '55, the Lilley Fellowship Fund awards research fellowships to students who exemplify academic curiosity, intellectual rigor, and scholarly passion. The Lilley Fellows pursue an independent study to create a capstone product while working in a professional setting to develop their expertise and interests.