Senior Fellowship Program

Herm Lehman

Each spring the Dean of the Faculty designates up to seven academically outstanding members of the junior class as Senior Fellows. Students in the junior year may become candidates by submitting a proposal for a senior year of independent study. The proposal usually grows out of earlier independent study courses and is framed in consultation with two faculty advisers of the student's choice.

Senior Fellows are exempt from taking a normal course load in the conventional curriculum, and they need not complete concentration requirements; they may take such courses as are appropriate to their fellowship projects and their educational goals. A written thesis is required at the close of the fellowship year, along with a public lecture to the College community. Evaluation is made by the advisors and an examination committee.

2015-16 Senior Fellow

John Rufo '16 Engages with Contemporary Poets

Senior Fellow John Rufo ’16 is spending the year interviewing contemporary political poets through the lenses of race, gender, sexuality and disability. With a focus on younger poets, he hopes to open up a space for them to talk about their practice. Rufo, a creative writing major, took his project as an opportunity to merge his concentration with race and gender studies, sociology and history. More ...

2014-15 Senior Fellows

Bringing Math to the Masses

Senior Fellow Robert Huben ’15 completed nearly every mathematics course offered at Hamilton by his sophomore year and with his desire for learning unabated, Huben turned his focus abroad. He spent his junior year in Hungary and completed the Budapest Semesters of Mathematics program. Huben’s project, “Size Matters: Directed Explorations in Measurable Dynamics and Homological Algebra,” seeks to study two distinct areas of mathematics: homological algebra and ergodic theory. More ...

Watching What We Watch

Sabrina Yurkofsky ’15, a psychology-communication double major, is studying sexism in television programming and its potential effects on viewers’ gender perspectives. Instead of Anglo-American Modernism, she is taking Modern Family. Rather than Literary or Game Theory, Yurkofsky is studying The Big Bang Theory. This seeming recreation is in fact research for her thought-provoking and culturally relevant senior fellowship titled “Beyond Bechdel: Evaluating Sexism in Television Programming and its Effects on Viewers.” More ...

2013-14 Senior Fellow

Emma Laperruque '14 Cooks Up Unique Senior Fellowship

During the spring semester of her junior year, Emma Laperruque ’14 went to a place few students go: the basement kitchens of the Soper Commons Dining Hall. She was down there to complete a photography project of her own design focused on how students and the dining hall staff respectively view the space. After meeting with her advisor, professor of Creative Writing Tina Hall, Laperruque made a big decision: she decided to pursue a Senior Fellowship project centered around food—specifically, how the millennial generation relates to what they cook and eat. More ...

2012-13 Senior Fellows

Capturing Rural Decay Through Poetry and Film

Senior Fellow Marty Cain Examining Gradual Unraveling of Country Life in U.S.

With hundreds of Walmarts and large malls spreading across the United States, shoppers can enjoy more convenient, sometimes cheaper goods, from groceries to car tires. While smooth highways bridge millions of Americans to glossy new shopping opportunities every year, the nation places less value on the quiet pastoral state that it once treasured. Marty Cain ’13 is exploring this dichotomy of lifestyles for his senior fellowship, The Poetic Art of Rural Decay: Reinterpreting the Pastoral with a Surreal Sense of Place. More ...

Road Scholar

Senior Fellow McKayla Dunfey Studying Influence of Bicycling in Urban Environments

Bicycling has many measurable benefits. It saves money on gas and other transportation costs, it is good for the rider’s health, and it benefits the environment. However, there is another aspect to bike riding that is often overlooked and cannot be measured with ease; riding a bicycle changes how the cyclist experiences his or her surroundings. In an urban area, biking can help define the relationship between cyclist and city. More ...