Four Lilley Fellows Announced for 2024-25 School Year

Four Lilley Fellows have been selected for the 2024-25 school year.

"After review by the Lilley Fellowship faculty committee, four students were selected from a deep pool of talented applicants and are to be commended for their originality, academic tenacity, and creativity," said Director of Libraries and Lilley Fellowship Coordinator Lorie Harding.


Sophomore Lucia Forte will explore how theater accessibility for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities can be improved with a focus on theatrical teaching. She will work with the People's Light Theater and Villanova University, which offers "Acting Without Boundaries" programming. Lucia is interested in a universal teaching method that caters to the needs of a range of disabilities specifically those diagnosed with Down syndrome, deafness, and autism spectrum disorder who participate in theater productions. Theatre and Dance Department Chair Dan Clay, Hon. will serve as Lucia's mentor.

J.D. Krasnick '25 plans to examine the topic of Brain-Computer Interfaces, communication pathways that record, relay, and translate signals between the brain and a computer. He will be examining the implications of BCI in the future through interviews with professionals while developing a BCI device to enable the motor functions of those afflicted with neurological impediments such as ALS, LIS, and various disorders of consciousness. Computer Science and Engineering Teacher Ryan Baber will work with J.D.

Rohan Dalal '25 plans to study how geographic factors impact the prevalence of food allergies, specifically if the geography of a location and the prevalence of food allergies are present in the location’s inhabitants. Rohan hopes establishing this correlation will help shed light on the possible causes of food allergies. Spatial and statistical analysis techniques will be used, through ArcGIS, to harvest the data and then create software that overlays the maps for food allergy prevalence and the prevalence of five environmental factors. That information can then be utilized by students and scholars both at EA and in the outside academic world. Computer Science and Engineering Department Chair Matt Memmo, Hon. is Rohan's mentor.

Gelila Getachew '25 will research how the ethnic federalist system has influenced ongoing genocide against the Amhara people, indigenous to Ethiopia. Her research will involve studying ethnic federalism as a form of constitutional design. Gelila will evaluate how the system has caused the rise of ethnic nationalism and resulted in the ethnic violence the Amhara people have been subjected to for nearly three decades. The project will include significant volunteer work with the Amhara Association of America (AAA) to experience and learn about the intricacies of a non-profit organization. This experience will help Gelila with her main project goal, launching a non-profit organization that informs and advocates for the rights and protection of Ethiopia’s Amhara people. Upper School History Teacher Damon Kuzemka, Hon. will serve as Gelila’s mentor.

The Lilley Fellows will conduct much of their research from January through August and then present their findings in the fall to fellow students and teachers. The newest round of fellows was announced on Wednesday, Feb. 28, during Upper School Chapel.

Established in 2018 by 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 Fellowship program is overseen by Director of Libraries Lorie Harding, and is modeled after Yale University's Scholars of the House program that ran from 1945-1995.