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Beginning its second year as an off-campus intellectual community, the Reeder Scholars program is experimenting with a new discussion format this semester.

Instead of hosting student-led discussions, Reeder Scholars will invite professionals, visiting artists, college professors, and religious leaders to its Reeder Street residence for informal dinners.

Already this year, returning Reeder Scholar Christopher Jacoby ’07 (Madison, N.J.), an electrical and computer engineering major, and new member Jonathan Esser ’09 (Downingtown, Pa.), a biology major, organized a visit from the STREB dance troupe. Choreographer Elizabeth Streb and her company opened the Footlights Series at the Williams Center for the Arts Sept. 13.

“We spoke to them about their unique theories on dance, music, and life in general,” says returning Reeder Scholar and resident adviser Benjamin Doremus ’07 (Hopkinton, Mass.), an electrical and computer engineering major. “This personal interaction let us build a very strong relationship with many of the members of the dance group and to meet Elizabeth Streb herself. We became so excited about what they are doing that we are hoping to go visit the group in New York and attend a workshop they host there.

“The program went so well that we will be planning many more events in conjunction with the WilliamsCenter, which is a very exciting prospect for our house being just in its second year of existence.”

The Reeder Scholars program also welcomed seven new faces this fall. These members join four students who helped get the house off the ground last year. The program’s success in its first year generated enthusiastic interest among those that applied to be new members.

“The residential scholars programs at Lafayette serve to help connect the endeavors of the classroom with the students’ experiences in daily life,” says Chawne Kimber, associate professor of mathematics and the group’s faculty adviser. “They provide a space for ongoing intellectual growth and discovery.”

This year’s new members include Esser, Bradford Hock ’09 (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Christa Kelleher ’08 (Tigard, Ore.), Jennifer Kelleman ’08 (Ashland, Ky.), Christine Moore ’08 (Fredericksburg, Va.), Allison Shapp ’08 (Plainview, N.Y.), and Bailey Simone ’08 (Westfield, Mass.).

In addition to Jacoby and Doremus, returning Reeder Scholars are computer science major Bryan Culbertson ’07(Charlottesville, Va.) and biology major Caitlin Kelly ’07 (Cutchogue, N.Y.).

Esser first became interested in the Reeder program after attending Jacoby’s discussion last year on music and society.

“It was my first exposure to such informal, but impassioned, discussion,” recalls the double major in biology and music. “Reeder offers a very different, and much more favorable, living environment than the dorms on campus.”

Esser is a member of Crew Club, College Choir, and Orchestra. He traveled with College Choir to Spain and Portugal during the January interim session.

A Marquis Scholar, Kelleher echoes Esser’s feelings on the residential living experience. The civil engineering major also enjoys interacting with students who share her interests.

“I decided to become a member because of the opportunity to become part of a community of similarly academic-minded individuals,” she says. “The atmosphere is different than in a dorm. Doors are always open, there’s always something cooking in the kitchen, a musical instrument being played – it’s a very welcoming environment.”

This summer, Kelleher traveled to Uganda with a team of EXCEL students to study wetland pollution. She spent the spring semester in Brussels, Belgium studying engineering, art history, languages, and culture at Vesalius College. She is a member of Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES) and Ultimate Frisbee Club and is a writing associate.

Kelleman, a double major in English and psychology, looks forward to working with others in the program to bridge the campus with the surrounding community.

“I feel like the program encompasses many of my desires,” she explains. “I wanted the perks of off-campus living with a scholarly atmosphere – something dorm life can’t necessarily offer. I feel like the Reeder Scholars program is able to help me grow as an individual in a fun, friendly, and intellectual setting. In a sense, the Reeder Scholars program can be seen as fostering a connection between the community and the College, as evident by open discussions, community and campus involvement, etc.”

A member of Alternative School Break, Kelleman traveled to Honduras during the January interim. She served an internship with the Ironton Tribune in Ironton, Ohio, and an externship with the New York Daily News. She serves as secretary of Student Movement Against Cancer, Reeder House representative on Residence Hall Committee, and an ambassador for Lafayette’s Annual Fund. She also is a member of the Arts Society, Lafayette Activity Forum, Marquis literary magazine, Psychology Club, and Gateway program. Kelleman plans to study abroad this spring in London.

A civil engineering major, Moore was attracted by the opportunity to influence Reeder’s establishment on campus since it is still a young program.

“I was interested in living in a community where other people not only shared my interests and values, but also wanted to spark interest and share ideas with others,” she says. “And since the Reeder Scholars program is relatively new, the members have a chance to mold and develop the program. Everyone has made this community extremely inviting, and it so much fun to be a part of [it].”

Mooreconducted EXCEL research on better communication methods for civil engineering project managers last year and is a recipient of the William G. MacLean Tau Beta Pi Prize. This past spring, she was part of a student team that competed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the student chapters of American Society of Civil Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and Engineers Without Borders. She also is a member of SEES and Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection. A member of the swim team, she tutors children with the Boys and Girls Club.

Currently studying abroad at the University of Paris, Shapp will join the Reeder residence this spring. A double major in music and language studies, she participated in all of last year’s campus discussions and events.

“I really like being part of a community of people that enjoy learning and want to take any opportunity that they can to learn from each other,” says the Marquis Scholar. “I also like the mission of the Reeder program to be accessible to everyone and include anyone who would like to be involved.”

Shapp traveled to Russia and Poland for a summer interim course on World War II and the Holocaust and traveled to Spain and Portugal with College Choir during the January interim session. She is a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, the Lafayette student newspaper, Wind Ensemble, Le Cercle Francais (French Club), Arts Society, and Marquis Players.

Simone, a civil engineering major, found a different living environment than traditional dorms in the Reeder Scholars program.

“I’m excited to get to know an interesting and new group of people,” she says.

Like Kelleher, Simone studied wetland pollution in Uganda through the EXCEL Scholars program and spent the spring semester in Brussels with a group of Lafayette engineering students. She is a member of SEES, Outdoors Club, and Ultimate Frisbee Club.

Chosen from among Lafayette’s most promising applicants, Marquis Scholars like Kelleher and Shapp receive a special academic scholarship and distinctive educational experiences and benefits. This includes a three-week, Lafayette-funded course abroad or in the United States during January’s interim session between semesters or the summer break. Marquis Scholars also participate in mentoring programs with Lafayette faculty and cultural activities in major cities and on campus.

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