V Formers Notified about Senior Project Status

V Formers received news last Friday on their Spring Term Senior Project proposals, of which 33 were submitted.

V Formers received news last Friday on their Spring Term Senior Project proposals, of which 33 were submitted. While only one proposal was rejected last year, a handful were rejected this year, primarily because specific colleges do not allow students to drop classes during the V Form Spring Term. Other reasons for this disparity included proposed costs, unavailability of the right advisors, or histories of academic or attendance struggles.

According to V Form Level Director Jason Larson H’03 ’19, who reviews proposals along with Dean of Academics David Laws P’21 ’23, “the point of the senior project is to give the seniors a break in the Spring Term to pursue something that they are passionate about. There is a broad range of senior projects going anywhere from teaching assistants (TA)… [to] video documentation of students’ mental health on campus [and] advice for rising seniors.”

On his experiences with the senior projects approval process, Larson said, “Early on, I am always hesitant to give the green light on these projects because it frees up a lot of time for the seniors, and as Level Director, you think that more free time results in kids getting in trouble, but that’s not the case. The most rewarding part by far is the night where they do their presentation. In late May, there is a night in the Kirby Arts Center (KAC) where all the senior projects are on display, and it’s really rewarding to get to see the kids’ work come [to] fruition.”

This year, Emily Matcham ’20 will paint the inside of the KAC shop with a saga of all the shows since 1987. “It’s going to be puzzle pieces that fit together to see what shows the School has done. I am going to leave space so that in the coming years, people can continue it.”

On the greater goal for her project, Matcham said, “I hope to use this to create a legacy for Periwig students. When you’re backstage, it can be daunting to see all the work ahead of you and frustrating when you’re leading up to tech week and trying to finish everything, but I hope that seeing these paintings on the wall will inspire people and show them that they are part of an amazing community.”

Marta Baziuk ’20 was inspired to pursue her senior project after meeting fencing coach Josiph Vitebsky, who first worked with the USSR team and then joined the Ukrainian team through the Lawrenceville alumni network. Facing anti-Semitism throughout his work, the Olympic medalist reflected on his experiences in fencing and life through poetry, also writing a short book in Russian on how to be a good fencing coach and the psychological aspect of the sport. Through her project, Baziuk will work with History Master Cara Hyson P’14 ’16 to translate the book to English.

“For me, this project is about making an impact,” Baziuk said, “I think translating this book will allow other fencers to read it in the U.S. and learn from it. Senior projects are an opportunity to do something for a greater purpose. It’s something I wouldn’t have been able to do within our curriculum because [the project] is so interdisciplinary in nature.”

Carolyn King ’20 will serve as a TA in the Video Journalism course, taught by Visual Arts Master and Videographer Gil Domb ’17. She chose to pursue this project because Video Journalism was “one of [her] favorite classes, and it’s been a passion of [hers] to learn video editing and improve.” Drawing from her experiences in L10, King believes that Adobe Premiere Pro, the application utilized, can be “pretty intimidating to learn as a newcomer,” and she would like to provide mentorship.

On her future collaboration with Domb in the course, King said, “We’re excited to put our brains together and come up with new projects while providing more feedback since I’ll be an extra set of hands in the classroom.”

She added, “I think the senior project is a very cool opportunity. I think seniors should not only think about what passions they would like to take further in their last months of Lawrenceville, but also if they can do so while giving back.” Mullika Sahrawat ’19 conducted a senior project last year in which she directed a 60-minute outdoor play, which built on her work with the Performing Arts Department throughout her Lawrenceville years. She offered advice to V Formers who have received news on their project proposals: “Get ahead of the game. The spring is super busy. If you can get ahead before the term even starts, you can set yourself for an easy term, and your project will go well.”

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