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A dozen members of Lafayette’s distinctive McKelvy House Scholars Program have authored articles in the 1999 edition of The McKelvy Papers, an annual journal of student scholarship. Four other McKelvy scholars, all of whom published papers in last year’s edition of the journal, served as editorial staff.

In the McKelvy program, about 20 students of high academic achievement and promise reside together in an historic off-campus house and participate in shared intellectual and social activities.

“The program promotes intellectual thought and discourse within the context of a residential environment,” says the current faculty resident adviser, Helena Silverstein, an associate professor of government and law. “Discussions foster intellectual growth, contribute to the creation of a scholarly community, and enhance the students’ ability to relate to people with diverse perspectives.”

Articles in the 1999 edition of The McKelvy Papers:

“Examining Feyerabend’s Farewell to Reason by Andrew Platt ’01, West Chester, Pa. (Marquis Scholar) (philosophy major)

“An Appetite For Violence: A Commentary on Violence in the Media” by Laura Hudock ’00, Ridgefield, Conn. (government & law and Spanish double major)

Laura says, “McKelvy has really made my Lafayette experience. It provides an opportunity to live in a community in which academics and intellect are the main focus. The dinners really challenge how I think. It has opened up my thinking to new ideas and disciplines that fall outside my majors. (And of the house itself is a big plus. Not to brag, but I definitely have the best room at Lafayette!) I would definitely recommend McKelvy to any students with a passion for learning and developing their minds.”

“The Use of the Reformation for the Advancement of Political Goals within the Holy Roman Empire” by Brad Dull ’01, Willow Grove, Pa. (Marquis Scholar) (biology major, philosophy minor)

Brad says, “What convinced me to live in the house was the chance to live in a non-traditional environment that fostered discussion and debate on a wide range of topics. My expectations have definitely been met. I have met many people who have dissimilar views from my own and have challenged me to re-evaluate what I believe.”

“Hiroshima and the Just War Tradition” by Daniel Suffin ’00, Wayne, N.J. (history major)

Daniel says, “I chose to live in McKelvy House because I wanted to experience its unique intellectual challenges and social activities such as barbecues, jazz concerts and annual holiday party. Our weekly discussions often turn into intense debates. It is interesting to hear opinions from a diverse group of people. In addition, each member of the house gives a presentation, adding to the overall intellectual and creative atmosphere of the house.”

“I Want You to Want Me: A Brief History of MTV’s Ascent to Pop Culture Icon” by Karen Khatchadourian ’99, Norwood, N.J.

Karen graduated May 22 with a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, double majoring in government & law and Spanish. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa; Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for students of political science; and Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society. She is the recipient of the Frank Kline Baker Spanish and Latin American Civilization Award and the Minerva and Emil V. Novak Prize in Government and Law.

She says, “The idea of living and learning with a small group of dedicated students appealed to me. Also, I was anxious to contribute to the McKelvy journal, considering its prestige as one of the few undergraduate journals in publication. Bringing together students from different backgrounds who study different disciplines to live and interact with one another in a social and academic setting proves to be an interesting arrangement. With so many opinionated and outspoken residents, there is always some type of debate going on. McKelvy provided me the opportunity to discuss politics or any other topic with a chemistry or engineering major and gain an entirely new perspective. With topics ranging from the importance of language to origins of Halloween, I learned something new at every discussion.

“Whether discussing who has to clean up the kitchen or debating the benefits and evils of technological advancement, respect for others’ opinions plays a key role in the success of the McKelvy program. Although one would think that people debating hot topics would most likely kill each other if forced to live with one another, many close-knit relationships are formed at McKelvy. I believe it is the level of respect and maturity of McKelvy scholars that allows such an arrangement to flourish.”

“On the Morality of Wealth” by Janice Glass ’00, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Marquis Scholar) (chemical engineering major)

Janice says, “Living at McKelvy is a unique experience. Everyone is committed to discussing whatever topic we happen to be exploring. This year, the house is composed of a lot of people who are really interested in government, history, politics, etc. Being an engineer in the midst of these discussions, the other members of the house give me a different perspective on the issue. Some of our discussions have been quite educational for me!”

“Philosophical Questioning: A Vital Component of a Successful Democracy” by Mark Comanducci ’01, Colts Neck, N.J. (economics & business major, black studies minor)

Mark says, “This is my first year in McKelvy House. I wanted to live there to get out of the Lafayette bubble and to broaden my academic life outside of the classroom and into my personal life. I love living at the house. I look forward to eating with everyone and talking about a particular topic, or just talking about our lives and anything that is new.”

“New England in the 17th and 19th Centuries” by Lee Ann Friend ’00, Orange, Conn. (English major)

“No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth: An Exploration into the Complex Issue of Environmental Terrorism” by Caitlin Gray ’01, Easton, Pa. (English major)

“Eve is Not to Blame” by Dana Samuels ’00 (English major), Riegelsville, Pa.

“Transcending Humanity: Living in a World of Intelligent Computers” by Damon Eckert ’00, Carpinteria, Calif. (also layout editor of The McKelvy Papers) (computer science major)

Damon says, “I thought living in McKelvy House would be an experience and a chance for me to expand my horizons and have intimate discussions about current events with others who were just as concerned with these events. The original attractions were a quiet house with a beautiful view of the Delaware River and a way of being able to express myself in an intelligent manner. The experience has fulfilled my hopes and expectations beyond anything I could dream for. The intimate Sunday dinners and weekday meetings give me a chance to relax and forget about classwork for a few hours and yet express myself at the same time. It is a forum for our thoughts and creativity while breaking the monotony of residential living. It also gave me a chance to meet new and interesting people, whom I otherwise might not have met.”

“A Return to Mysticism: Interplay of Moment and Essence Gives Moche Art its Enduring Power” by Bryce Murray ’00, Washington, N.J. (government & law and geology double major), and Keith Griffin ’00, Oakton, Va. (economics & business major)

Bryce says, “Living in McKelvy House has given me exactly what I wanted. The weekly discussions preserve the idea that conversation can revolve around something other then the weather. Although the debates can become emotional and heated, the friendship bonds that have developed are not affected. Even though many of us differ in opinions on almost any topic, we still all respect each other. It is extremely fun to be able to debate a topic with people and then turn around and spend the rest of the night with them watching TV or hanging out. Grudges are never held or even formed. I find living here to be a great enhancement to my learning experience in overall life.”

Editorial Staff

The editorial staff of the 1999 edition of The McKelvy Papers included:

Amanda Basta ’99, Archbald, Pa. (Marquis Scholar)

Amanda graduated with a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, double majoring in chemistry and a customized major of her own making, moral philosophy & legal theory. She is a member of Phi Lambda Upsilon, the honor society for students of history, and Pi Sigma Alpha, the honor society for students of political science. She earned departmental honors in government & law and philosophy and was the recipient of the Louise M. Olmstead Prize in Ethics and the Chemical Rubber Company Freshman Achievement Award. In last year’s edition of The McKelvy Papers, she authored an article entitled, “Dreams: Why We Have Them and What They Mean to Us.”

Carl Giannone ’99, Ridgefield, Conn. (A.B. economics & business)

In last year’s edition of The McKelvy Papers, Carl authored an article entitled, “’What I Did on My Summer Vacation. . .’ and Other Such Pointless Exercises: A Musician’s Struggle to Describe His Own Creative Work”

Brent Hierman ’00, Harvard, Mass. (government & law major)

Brent, who studied abroad this term, says, “I lived in McKelvy House for one and a half years. I liked the idea of the Sunday conversations where everyone has the opportunity to present discussion topics that intrigue them to a responsive group. I was also looking to meet people with different perspectives from my own. And I found the whole idea of being published in a journal to be as attractive. The opportunity of living in a mansion was also pretty appealing. I have meet some of the most interesting and exciting people in the house. It is a dynamic place and you can really feel the impact that individuals have on the overall environment. To me, it’s the people who are the most important part of the house, and all the other aspects, the journal, the weekly discussions, and the official social events, flow from the strength of the group.”

In last year’s edition of The McKelvy Papers, he authored an article entitled “Groping for the Truth?: Examining the Role of the Media.”

Ryanne Segalla ’99, Pine Beach, N.J. (A.B. American Studies)

In last year’s edition of The McKelvy Papers, Ryanne authored an article entitled “The Mis-Education of American Youth.”

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