Summer Scholars

Participants in the DH Summer Scholars program represent a wide range of majors and interests. Click on their individual names below to see their final digital research projects. Visit our Projects page to learn more about their projects.

2020 Summer Scholars

Songmouy An, Class of 2022: 

Songmouy will research Khmer (Cambodian) classical dances and how the dynamics of major historical events such as 17thcentury French colonization, the Khmer Rouge, and the 21stcentury globalization of technology have contributed to the evolution of these classical dances in terms of gender, using available sources such as literature, photos, and videos, such as documentaries.

Rachel Cox, Class of 2021:

My name is Rachel Cox, and I was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania. At Lafayette College, I am pursuing a double major in Government & Law and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I am a member of the class of 2021, and enjoy spending time educating myself and others on social justice issues through my involvement in Kaleidoscope. My passions include traveling and exploring the histories and cultures of countries around the world. In the future, I aspire to earn my JD and to work primarily with international law. I also would love to continue the research that I have started with the DHSS program, as my studies on women’s involvement in the Greek Civil War allows for my interests in politics and gender studies to intertwine.

Megan Deacon, Class of 2021:

My name is Megan Deacon and I am a rising senior and history major. Since taking a WGSS class called ‘Women in the US Criminal Justice System’ I have been fascinated by the horrific state of the US criminal justice system, specifically how crime policies negatively and disproportionately affect women. Through my project I have explored how films that feature female criminals distort the reality of female criminality and women’s involvement in the US criminal justice system. I have enjoyed how the DHSS program has exposed me to new and different research methodologies, as well as introducing me to how data collection and analysis can be used to inform humanities and social sciences research.

Oyuntugs Gantumur, Class of 2023:

My name is Oyuntugs Gantumur, a rising sophomore at Lafayette College. I am majoring in Engineering B.S. with a thematic focus on Environment and Energy. I am passionate about food and how it affects our daily lives. The DHSS program has allowed me to explore and learn about food in a way I’ve never thought before. Through my project, I tried to answer what our food tells about our identity and also how the research focus in the food studies changed over time.

Dawit Gebeta, Class of 2021:

Dawit originally planned to learn how immigration policies or politics are related to media (e.g. songs, movies, etc.) from 1990 to the present through analyzing data such as song lyrics and film scripts found on the web, and use a programming language such as Python, to create a script to look for a certain set of keywords, revealing how they relate to the general view towards immigration at the time.

Imane Halal, Class of 2023: 

My name is Imane Halal and I am a student at Lafayette College. I am a rising sophomore majoring in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. My hobbies include writing poetry and reading.

In my research I look at the social geography at Lafayette College by further analyzing how certain spaces at Lafayette College are racialized. In order to do so I analyze Lafayette College as an institution, and further assess how physically racialized spaces affect how Black and Brown students experience them, and what physical spaces they actually have access to.

This further allows us to understand how institutions that uphold racism further participate in producing racialized experiences. I do this by using several analyses provided by social geographers, and utilizing a map as a way to conceptualize this.


Shirley Liu, Class of 2023:

Shirley Liu is a rising sophomore at Lafayette College studying Philosophy and English. As a native resident of DC’s Chinatown, they have always been a firm advocate of affordable housing initiatives for the area’s residents. They hope the research they performed for DHSS will be the first of many projects investigating and platforming the voices of affordable housing residents in DC’s Chinatown.

Saide Singh, Class of 2023:

I am Saide Singh, an incoming sophomore majoring in English and minoring in History. As I explore various works of literature, I have discovered a deep interest in Indo-diasporic poetry, specifically from the Caribbean. As a Guyanese and Venezuelan woman myself, I am drawn to works that connect me to my history and my people. Outside of academia, I love reading anything that brings new perspectives to the world around me. When I’m home from college, you can find me in New York City spending time with my loved ones, working at a vintage camera shop, biking, gardening, or crocheting.

Milena Berestko, Class of 2022 / 2019 DH Summer Scholar / 2020 DHSS Teaching Fellow:

Angela Perkins, DHSS Director (2018-Present):

Hi! I’m a Research and Instruction Librarian with Skillman Library at Lafayette College. I love learning about and teaching digital humanities because of the way it allows the researcher to think creatively and critically about the gathering, analyzing of, and providing access to data. It seems like a crucial way to approach humanities research for the way we live now. I am very proud to have put this philosophy into action by having successfully led the very first remote iteration of the program this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Summer Scholars overcame the difficulties of doing research away from campus: they did not have access to physical materials, which put a heavy emphasis on the search for electronic scholarly materials; and they engaged with me and their cohort completely over videoconferencing apps like Google Meet or Zoom, communication tools like Slack, as well as by email or phone. Finally, the Summer Scholars and I hosted their final digital research projects by Zoom the last week of June, and invited the Lafayette College community and our digital scholarship and digital humanities friends from institutions outside of Lafayette to attend. The Scholars were also afforded the opportunity to present their projects virtually at the Summer Research Colloquia Series in July 2020. This summer’s program was quite a unique and edifying experience for everyone involved!


2019 Summer Scholars

Milena Berestko, Class of 2022:

My name is Milena Berestko and I am a Psychology and Theatre student at Lafayette College. I am passionate about playwriting and acting, and other forms of artistic expression. I aim to utilize creative techniques to tell the story of internally displaced and discriminated people, as well as address the current ignorance of the anthropogenic causes of climate change. In my research, I focus on prejudice and utilizing art as a practice to heal from traumas and educate upon the history of one’s country and heritage.

Joseph Illuzzi, Class of 2021:

Joseph Illuzzi will examine factors contributing to labor inequities in the eSports industry, and illustrate the historical progression of labor conditions and showcase the highly visual nature of games like Counter Strike: Global-Offensiveand League of Legends through digital tools like TimelineJS.

Ren Makino, Class of 2020:

Ren is currently a senior at Lafayette majoring in International Affairs and Asian Studies. He is interested in the related topics of Japanese citizenship, imperialism, and political ideologies. The DHSS project sparked his interest in the entanglement of urban historiography and intellectual history. During his free time he helps build personal finance curriculum for a non-profit.

Victoria Puglia, Class of 2021:

I am a rising junior at Lafayette College studying International Affairs and Religious Studies. I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain; but moved to the Netherlands with my family for High School. I am a really active and involved person. I love travelling and learning about different countries; I was lucky to visit Nigeria and Ethiopia this summer! After college I would love to pursue further education in either nutrition, global public health, conflict, and humanitarian emergencies (or somehow find a way to combine them all).

Tafita Rakotozandry, Class of 2022:

Tafita Rakotozandry is focused on the issue of electricity access in Madagascar, and will investigate how energy poverty impacts the education and future of rural children in that country.

Bec Stargel, Class of 2020:

I’m Bec, and I’m a rising senior studying Anthropology & Sociology and Psychology. I’ve always been interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ history, which is often left untold, and bringing queer experiences and ideas into academia. In my research for this summer, I explored three questions. How was the word transgender first introduced? How has it changed since then? And how exactly are people defining this word? I explore these questions through both a review of the literature and an exploration of definitions of the word “transgender” provided in academic texts from 1980 to 2010. In the fall, I will be joining the team on the Queer Archives Project, thus continuing to research LGBTQ+ history and ideas through the lens of digital humanities.

Aidy Ung, Class of 2021:

Aidy Ung is a student from Cambodia and a Civil and Environmental Engineering major at Lafayette College. She has always been interested in learning more about architecture and water system of Angkor, an ancient city of Cambodia. In addition, Aidy also finds Hindu and Buddhist mythology fascinating. Her digital humanities project is an opportunity for her to combine two of her interests and explore many more.

Angela Shi, Class of 2021 / 2018 DH Summer Scholar / 2019 DHSS Teaching Fellow: 

Angela Perkins, DHSS Director (2018-Present):


2018 Summer Scholars

Uchechi Anomnachi, Class of 2019:

I’m Uche, and I am a Senior Anthropology/Sociology major. My digital humanities research centers around the racial history of anime in the United States, using digital methods to both trace and represent that history. As a student of culture, I am constantly observing even trivial aspects of the world around me. When given the opportunity to explore these observations, anime which existed as a part of my world from a young age seemed to be a good way to explore the intricacies of race and gender in pop culture communities. The simple question of “why do my black peers seem able to unabashedly enjoy anime more than my white ones?” came from a lifetime of observation and culminated in my digital humanities summer research project.

Ben Gordon, Class of 2019:

Benjamin Gordon is a native New Yorker majoring in Data Science and Music, whose project focuses on mapping the history of transportation in 20th Century New York City.


Elene Jalagonia, Class of 2020, Economics major. Elene is focused on visualizing political, cultural, and societal tools (including cultural artifacts like newspapers) that might have provoked ethnic conflict, stoking the Abkhazian and Ossetian secessionist movements in the country of Southern Caucasus Georgia.


Trang Le, Class of 2021:






As a Computer Science and English double major, I am naturally drawn to the Digital Humanities Summer Scholar Program. For my project, I chose to explore the narratives in diasporic literature, specifically in the Night Sky with Exit Wounds poetry collection by Vietnamese-American author Ocean Vuong. While I used traditional close reading to study Vuong’s autobiographical self and his choice of poetry as a genre, I turned to distant reading methods, such as text analysis and word frequency mapping, to discover recurring thematic binaries and hybrid linguistic trends in Vuong’s poetry collection. Apart from being a memorable summer project, DHSS has been an enjoyable opportunity for me to navigate the intersecting potentials of my academic majors.


Norman Lee, Class of 2019, Philosophy and English major. Norman intends to use digital tools like IssueDiscovery, SentiStrength, and Jigsaw to identify and define the “zeitgeist” for countries with the highest social media usage through analysis of the associated demographic data.


Alex Murrell, Class of 2019, Art and English major. Alex will perform text analysis of the 15thcentury treatise on witchcraft, The Malleus Maleficarum (“The Hammer of Witches”) using text mining or topic modeling tools like MALLET, in addition to art analysis of its accompanying illustrations.


Angela Shi, Class of 2021:








As a double major in Computer Science and Comparative Literature, participating in the DH program this past year has helped me explore the possibility of connecting the two seemingly unrelated fields. My project focuses on how the Muslim people were depicted by medieval Latin Christian and Jewish pilgrims to Jerusalem in their travel writings. I was able to use, in addition to traditional close reading, tools of text analysis on my corpus of texts to examine their content. After deciding on a list of target words related to the Muslim people, I implemented different tools to generate word frequency, collocation of the target words, and topic modeling to groups words that tend to appear near each other. The result indeed shows a growing objectivity toward the Muslim people and self-reflection in the travel writings which confirms the enlightenment and modernization of European society in the 15th and 16th century.

Angela Perkins, DHSS Director (2018-Present):


2017 Summer Scholars

Maria Ahmed is a rising sophomore at Lafayette College majoring International Affairs. Coming from Somaliland, she is very interested in exploring topics close to home to contribute to the limited discourse about her home country. She naps a lot, and her least favorite part of the day is when her alarm goes off in the morning.

Jovanté Anderson is a lover of all things Beyoncé and hopes to someday meet her so he can perform for her his very own rendition of her album, Lemonade. He is currently pursuing a double major in Anthropology and Sociology as well as in English with a concentration in Literature. As a young poet, he is always trying to learn more about his craft and how he can use it to impact the world, or at least, make a mockery of it. Being from Jamaica, where the island breeze sings like poetry, he spends his spends his everyday navigating always-interesting, mostly-amusing American spaces that do not always feel like home, but always feels like adventure

Tedi Beemer is a rising sophomore at Lafayette College. She enjoys Kenneth Branagh movies, too much sugar in her tea, and reading the newspaper. She is pursuing a double major in Government/Law and Philosophy with a minor in Russian language. She greatly dislikes mushy pasta.

Daniel Gonzalez is an Engineering Studies and International Affairs double major from the Class of 2019. He is interested in ways to improve educational systems to include a greater sense of purpose and analysis in and out of the classroom. As an international student he also attempts to bring a greater understanding of Colombian culture to campus.  Cooks mushy pasta.

Ben Minerva is a rising senior at Lafayette College majoring in History and minoring in Art who is particularly interested in the early modern period. He is from New York City but has an enthusiasm for the outdoors and is currently reading the Harry Potter Series for the first time.

John Rodriguez is a rising junior at Lafayette College. He is an artist, visually and sonically, and doubles in English and Art.

Camilla Samuelsson is a rising sophomore at Lafayette College planning on majoring in International Affairs and Anthropology & Sociology. She is interested in the representations of cultural identities and their forms of expression. She is passionate about learning languages, travel, human rights, and as a native Californian, açai bowls.

Idil Tanrisever is a rising junior at Lafayette College double majoring in Economics and Anthropology & Sociology. She loves traveling, using analog cameras and collecting shot glasses from wherever she goes. Her favorite artist is Andy Warhol and favorite director is Woody Allen. Being from Turkey, she enjoys no sugar in her tea.

Sarah Morris (Director) is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Lafayette College.  She insists that it is more important to ask better questions than to find answers and advocates for daily consumption of poetry and dessert.



2016 Summer Scholars

Tawfiq Alhamedi is a rising senior attending Lafayette College. He is pursuing a BA degree in Anthropology & Sociology and has been particularly interested in researching the Indian Ocean, transnationalism, and conceptions of identity.

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For Abdul Manan, a junior at Lafayette College majoring in International Affairs and Religious Studies, poetry and politics pale everything else in significance


Joseph Bronzo is a Junior Government and Law and English double major and French minor at Lafayette College. His scholastic interests include literary criticism, the confluence of religion and poetry, early modern studies, Italian studies, French studies, and international politics and economy.

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Jillian Fahy is a senior Environmental Science major at Lafayette College. Her love for animals and nature while growing up has inspired her to be passionate about conservation topics across the globe today.


Will Gordon is a senior at Lafayette College who is majoring in English and Government & Law, with a minor in Economics. He is passionate about law, politics, and journalism. In his spare time, he skis, plays guitar, and reads too much.


Johnny Gossick is a Junior Anthropology/Sociology and Music double major at Lafayette College.  He is an avid jazz musician, composer, and synthesist with interests in Sound Studies, electronic music technology, and its place within a larger cultural framework.


Caroline Nawrocki is a junior International Affairs major at Lafayette College. She created her project based on her love of activism and being on The Lafayette. She loves collecting vinyl and learning languages. 


Mila Temnyalova is an International Affairs and Economics double major from the Class of 2019. Coming from Bulgaria, she expresses an interest in foreign languages and cultures, and enjoys drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream.



2015 Summer Scholars

Ahmed Malik Braxton  – Government and Law

Vincent DeMarco – Mathematics

Benjamin Draves – Mathematics

Feevan Megersa – Liberal Arts

Ian Morse – History; Math

Peter Todaro – Government and Law


Miranda Wilcha – Environmental Studies; Anthropology





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