Skip Navigation

Venture Grant Winners

Summer 2017 Venture Grant Winners

Daniel Arkes is doing an independent research project, exploring the preservation of language, religion, culture, and traditions of the Assyrian diaspora in metropolitan Chicago and Detroit by interviewing members of Assyrian churches and cultural centers.

Shruti Bakre is working with Black & Pink Chicago. She is providing support for prisoners in the reentry working group.  

Grace Berchtold is volunteering at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago with the hopes of learning about Child Life Specialists and their duties.

Branyelina Caceres is volunteering for the La Clinica Del Pueblo in Washington, DC. She is working in medical and patient services, performing administrative support, and developing health outreach initiatives. 

Angela Castrillo is assisting lawyers with case files as well as working in human resources at the Legal Services of Puerto Rico. During her time there she is conducting observational research to further analyze and compare the difference between American and Puerto Rican government and legal services. 

Miyani Clark is working on a self-designed project that promotes Self-Love and Acceptance for marginalized identities through the production of art.

Martha Denne is investigating environmental artists’ role in changing attitudes towards the environment in the UK through observational and interview based research.

Cynthia Escobedo is conducting observational and qualitiative reseach on the intersectionalities of Queer and Latinx communities in Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA.

Madi Gaebler is working on sustainable infrastructure development as an intern for the Natural Building and Sustainable Living program in Oxford, Michigan.

Lili Hagg is conducting behavioral observations, and entering behavioral/enrichment data, as well as working on enrichment initiatives for the animals in the Minnesota Zoo as an Animal Behavior Management Intern.

Jane Hanebuth is working towrd her EMT Certification at Bishop State Community College in Alabama this summer.  

Gabriel Hersch is working as a Prep Cook Intern at Chez Panisse, an all organic up-scale restaurant in California.

Megan Kerr is working on receiving her Doula Certification in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Faith Virginia Macdonald is a student participant in the 2017 Medieval Cemetery Funerary Excavation in Valeni, Hatghita County, Transylvania, Romania. In her attempts to understand how bioarchaeologists work in the field, she will have the opportunity to excavate two individuals and any artifacts in their immediate surroundings.

Kara A. Mattsen is interning at The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in New York where she is learning from professional about the installation, graphic design, and social media needs of museum management.

Sydney Mercado is participating a Performance Intensive course at the Vagabond School of the Arts in Chicago.

Jonathan Palmer is conducting water quality research on the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway, and comparing data samples taken from Minnesota waterways.

Helena Rose is participating in the Bread and Puppet Theater 7-Week Apprenticeship in Vermont. During this intense summer program, she will have the opportunity to build puppets, plan skits, choreograph dance, arrange music, and perform in the hopes of creativing social change and building community. 

Lydia Sancetta is a Zookeeper intern for the Racine Zoo in Racine, WI.

Tyree Smith is assisting broadcast associates and producers with the organization of information, and the compiling and editing of video segments as an intern for Fox Sports, in the Fox Studios in Los Angeles. 

Valley StipeMaas is interning for the Natural Inquirer Program at the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station in Georgia, creating scientific illustrations and supporting the publishing/distribution process for Natural Inquirer articles.

Hannah Yee is interning at the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive and Visitor Information Center shadowing different professional departments within the small museum. 


Summer 2016 Venture Grant Winners

Desiree' Amboree will participate in an internship with the Sexual Assault Recovery Program in Beloit, WI. assisting with educational programs like PREP. She will also be completing a Doula workshop in Madison, WI.  

Elena Cusack will participate in the Strictly Seattle dance program and the Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation and do an internship in arts administration at the dance MFA program at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA.

Philip Erikson and Dhanvanthri Natarajan will develop a computer game that simulates the experience of an appointed or elected official within the White House.

Rebekah Evans will create a documentary about the potential effects of an anti-immigration bill that may be passed in Wisconsin and its effects on Wisconsin’s Latino population.

Siheng Fu will undertake an independent research project entitled “What does Etiquette and Rituals Tell Us about Japan: A Case Study in a Japanese Kindergarten” in Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan.

Rebecca Gilloway andEmily St. Onge will volunteer with an organic farming and reforesting initiative on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Sophie Hale-Brown will study holistic sustainability in an internship at the Stanford Inn by the Sea, an eco-resort in Mendocino, California.

Jeffrey Le will travel to four different cities to perform a comparative ethnographic study entitled “Finding Asian America: The Chinatowns of L.A, San Francisco, Chicago, and Toronto.”

Abigail McCully will attend the Salzburg Theatre Festival in Salzburg, Austria to expand on her research about Austrian theatre during World War II.

Nissa Parker will volunteer as a farm worker with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) in various locations in Ecuador.

Julia Ring will go canoeing and backpacking through the Yukon Territory of Canada with the National Outdoor Wilderness School to investigate the motivations and outcomes of wilderness travelers.

Laura Savage will volunteer with La 72, a nonprofit in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico that temporarily houses and provides aid to immigrants from South and Central America on their way to the United States.

Kirsten Tuck will care for animals and lead tours at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

Andrew Urena will take Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) classes at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL.

Kendra Weinrich will study human remains to determine the effect of climate change on five German populations at the State Collection for Anthropology in Munich, Germany.

Moi Yamazaki will do an internship at NPO Seibo in Tokyo, Japan, an organization that provides meals to hungry children in Malawi.

Mingyi Zhang will travel to Germany, Poland, and Austria to research how the German government has facilitated reflection on World War II since 1945.


Summer 2015 Venture Grant Winners

Jennifer Allmaras is volunteering on an organic farm with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms in Flores, Guatemala.

Marina Bagnoli is helping to teach sex education classes to youth as an intern at Community Action, Inc. in Beloit, WI.

Hannah Devereux is doing an internship at the US Embassy in Kiev, Ukraine in which she will work with groups in the community by teaching English and promoting education to youth.

Thaowan Giorno is working on conservation efforts for the dog conch, an endangered species, with the Save Andaman Network Foundation in Koh Mook, Thailand.

Elizabeth Hitchcock is interning at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Anchorage, Alaska while studying the ways that female judges adapt to the gender norms of their male-dominated profession.

Madeline Inglis is interning at Project 16:49, an organization that provides housing and support for homeless young women in Beloit, WI.

Kendra Keyes will learn about the customs and traditions of Seneca Indians on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York.

Emma Mooney is attending Antiques Roadshow in Charleston, South Carolina to study the appraisal of “tribal” and outsider art.

Madison Oakley is conducting an independent research project in Seattle, WA about how colleges contribute to gentrification and determine who belongs in any given space.

Samantha Poyer is working with the Municipal Library in Souillac, France to process the music and documents of jazz pioneer Sim Copans to make them more accessible for public use.

Sabrina Sanchez is doing various types of medical volunteering with Rustic Volunteers in Xela, Guatemala.

Tessa Sebastian is pursuing certification as a doula professional in Seattle, WA.

Meredith Shimek is volunteering as a caregiver for residents with physical and intellectual disabilities with L’Arche Bruxelles, a community center in Brussels, Belgium.

Macy Tran is leading workshops on menstrual health and studying cultural attitudes about menstruation in the Nkwasira Village in Tanzania.

Bonnie Willison is embarking on a two week camping trip during which she will make a documentary about Wisconsin state parks and what they mean to their patrons.


Summer 2014 Venture Grant Winners

Chen Bao interviewed and observed the Rural Credit Market for farmers in Wenxian, Henan, China focusing on the functions of the rural credit corporative, bonding company and folk lending.

Mary Fair Briggs used interviews, observations and spatial mapping to conduct the research on Geography and Identity in Hyderabadi Muslims in Hyderabadi, India.

Max Brumberg-Kraus explored, through historical testimonies, interviews and public records, the 1919 Newport Sex Scandal in Rhode Island to prepare to write a play on it.

Ariana Cocallas, as a field assistant, measured and monitored to detect changes in the carbon cycle as a part of Schuur Lab, University of Florida in Healy, Alaska

Grace Gockel documented Folk Art Environments and interviewed artists to explore the intersection between public art and art spaces in NC, FL, LA, TN, WI.

Lucy Holden researched acting styles and attended six Shakespeare plays, three at The Globe (London UK) and three elsewhere, to analyze The Globe Theatre’s Influence on Acting Styles.

Robert Jayes pursued a memoir-style writing piece on the “Do-It-Yourself” music community in America as both a participant and an observer.

Emma Keese traveled to major cities in Europe to conduct interviews and research on their Bike Share programs.

Theresa Kehne backpacked and documented her hike of the 100 Mile Wilderness Appalachian Trail in Maine.

Rebecca Kilcoyne volunteered with elderly citizens, providing home visits and facilitating visits to public events, as an Intern at Little Brothers in Chicago, IL.*

Cassandra King provided a Creative Writing Workshop for high schools students in Oregon, WI.

Emma Koeppel observed, identified, and documented different ecosystems while biking through Wisconsin with the goal of creating a travel guide.

Allison Littell as a Program Associate at Young Chicago Authors, developed a slam poetry and journalism workshop curriculum, prepared for Louder Than a Bomb University slam and the Louder than a Bomb Poetry Festival. *

Monica Methe gathered information on how traditional Japanese sites maintain their traditions with modernization, globalization, and Westernization by visiting sites and researching the topic. 

Vanessa Pena learned more about European Schooling by participating in the Comparative Education Society Conference in Freiburg, Germany.

Sarah Pipal explored different geological sites in Victoria, Australia in order to develop a storymap. Sarah will be focusing in drought and extreme weather in the region.*

Estiaque Shourov studied the visualization of two phases flow in corrugated gaps as part of a research internship at Leibniz University of Hannover in Germany.*

Bethany Stavrakas took in orphaned, sick, or injured small mammals and birds to rehabilitate and return them to their natural habitats as an intern at the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, in Longwood, CO.*

Jasmine Vasquez interned at the Journey Mental Health Center in Madison, WI to learn how clinics are run and gain experience with therapy.*

Allison Vance explored different geological sites in Victoria, Australia in order to develop a storymap.  Allison focused on early continental forming processes.*

Maggie Warren created an artist series that highlighted and celebrated the local flora and fauna of the Midwest.


Summer 2013 Venture Grant Winners

Alexander Boyd interviewed recent war veterans and collected samples of their writing to study post-war storytelling in modern America.

Claire Aichholzer traveled to Spain and Morocco to study the cultural influences and exchange between Arabs and Iberian natives through art and architecture.

Marlee Breunig traveled to Spain to participate in the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and interview other participants about the role of bodily movement in spiritual rituals.

Brooke Kahl worked as an intern for INC Media, a production studio in San Francisco, California.

Sara DeLong traveled by train throughout Europe and created a series of drawings that form a map illustrating her experience of the transitions between regions.

Audrey Huigens began training to become a doula with Doulas of North America in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Eunhye Jang volunteered at Xindanwei, a creative co-working and new media space in Shanghai, China, and studied the way this workspace affected the artistic process.

Karen Jones worked with local eye clinics to help provide eye care to rural villages throughout Ghana as an intern with Unite for Sight.

Matej Jungwirth taught English to Palestinian youth with the NGO Project Hope and explored areas surrounding the “security barrier” in Israel’s West Bank.

Namoonga Mantina worked to create an HIV prevention program for African-American teenage girls in US cities through an internship with Project Wisdom in Chicago.

Hannah McNamee traveled to Israel with the program Amirim to do volunteer work and learn about her Jewish identity.

Caitlin Paterson coordinated academic programs and developed workshops for youth at Riverside Hawks Academic and Athletic Programs in New York City.

Yixuan Ping worked with Dream Corps International to study the relationship between local ecology and labor in rural areas in China.

Santiago Quintana Garcia compiled, edited, and published a volume of a cross-cultural dialogue between young poets from the UK and the US.

Anicka Schanilec worked as a gallery assistant at Groveland Gallery and volunteered at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kali Schiff completed the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route in southern France and northern Spain.

Nicole Weber used the Beloit College archives to research the role of missionaries in the history of the college.

Anna Wenzel traveled to Shanghai and Ningbo, China to study the effects of western colonialism on Chinese culture.

Wenxin Xu attended the Think Tank Seminar for Anglophone African Countries in Jinhua, Zhejiang, China to develop a deeper understanding of Chinese-African cooperation programs.


Summer 2012 Venture Grant Winners

Kelsi Brooks investigated the stigma of HIV and AIDS in Jamaica at the Center for HIV/AIDS Research Education and Services in Kingston.

Yoon Joo Cho studied the relationship between nongovernmental organizations and the government in Mozambique.

Alyssa Gratkowski completed a special events internship at the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh

Camilla Jackson attended a conflict transformation and peacebuilding program at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont

Christopher Koch worked with the “Missionaries of the Poor” in Kingston, Jamaica to extend healthcare to underserved communities.

Ethan Ley acted as support crew for a 200-mile run on the Appalachian Trail, documenting the trip on film as he did so.

Janelle Perez observed immigrant students’ assimilation of language and culture in elementary school classrooms in Toulon, France.

Katherine Ptaszek researched and wrote about the changing ethnic identities of a Chicago neighborhood between 1880 and 1930.

Krista Robbins investigated the cross-cultural understanding of the Japanese ritual practice of mizuko kuyo through visits to Buddhist temples in Japan and the U.S.

Lora Rowan participated in shark conservation efforts in Brazil in order to study how such efforts are shaped or inhibited by different cultural perspectives.

Amelia Tarpey gained certification as a doula and undertook an internship with the Bhakti House in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

Leo Brochu and Grace Smith interviewed musicians and documented and catalogued performances of experimental music in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Summer 2011 Venture Grant Winners

Tamir Abdel-Wahab investigated the overlapping identities of ethnic minorities in the city of Kunming in Yunnan, China with Kun Zhang

Sasha Debevec-McKenney visited and wrote about the presidential museums, birthplaces, and homes of six lesser-known nineteenth-century presidents of the United States.

Nofiya Denbaum facilitated an intercultural exchange between elementary school students in Beloit and Brazil while studying Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro.

Emily Johnson organized a summer camp program focused on experiential learning through art for children of immigrant families through the non-profit organization Mary House, in Washington, DC.

Michelle Koenig and Ashley Miglin worked on an environmental conservation project in Chitwan, Nepal through the non-profit organization FACE Nepal.