Class of 2021

Ava Villalba

Born and raised in New York City, it’s no wonder why Ava Villalba formed her Interdisciplinary Studies thesis around her favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees. Her thesis examines how the New York Yankees logo globalized into both a pop-culture phenomenon and cultural symbol of American pride and resilience, after 9/11. She draws from the fields of marketing, sociology, psychology, American studies, and history to support her argument. In her free time, Ava likes to play guitar, walk dogs, and of course, watch baseball.

Ava Villalba  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Alexis Wiseman

Alexis Wiseman, a born and raised New Yorker, has pursued her fascination with technology through working with startups and in early-stage investing. Her interdisciplinary degree focuses on the intersections of economics, urbanism and sociology. Alexis’s thesis introduces best practices for how cities like Atlanta can foster inclusive prosperity along with encouraging the growth of new technology ventures and industry. Hometown: New York City

Alexis Wiseman  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Halla Maynard

Halla Maynard is a senior at Emory University in Interdisciplinary Studies. She combines psychology, music, and linguistics to create a template for therapeutic songwriting. Therapy models, lyricism, and languages empowered Maynard to realize the power of navigating conflict in a client's internal dialogue to increase internal communication skills. Her research is geared toward reducing the extreme positions of internal polarizations after sexual trauma by building understanding through curiosity, communicating between internal disagreements, and expressing polarized positions in the creative medium of songwriting based in an analytical template.

Halla Maynard  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Katie West 

"My studies have convinced me that deconstructing the thriving injustice in the American education system is key to fighting all other forms of it. Interdisciplinarity has allowed for the depth that I can think about this institution’s brokenness with and the hope I have in its potential for renewal. I will conduct a study of a district in San Antonio, TX to examine the result of racial and socioeconomic stratification. I will investigate whether there are disparities in students’ access to social mobility based on those between the seven school zones. This is rooted in my conviction that the purpose of education is to indiscriminately provide access and opportunities for upward social mobility. "

Katie West  | American Studies | Class of 2021

Sophie Hart 

"My name is Sophie, and I am currently embarking on my Honors thesis in the ILA. My project focuses on diabetic amputations, and more specifically, looking at why re-amputation rates are so high. I am really excited about this project because it combines my love for biomechanics and medicine, to the more broad public health and ethical implications surrounding diabetes. I am very excited and blessed to have such an amazing support system as I tackle my project. "

Sophie Hart  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Carmen Baden

Having grown up in California, Colorado, and Taiwan, Carmen Baden considers multiple places "home." For her honors thesis, she will be combining Sociology, Education, and Disability Studies in an in-depth look at how preschoolers are raised to perpetuate stereotypes of ableism, and how this ultimately leads into the inequities within the American special education system. She's excited to learn more about the ways in which we can continue to make our education system more inclusive for all children. In her free time, she loves taking long walks and journaling.

Carmen Baden  | American Studies | Class of 2021

Susannah Lara-Gresty

: Susannah Lara-Gresty is originally from New York City but has grown to love Atlanta and the South since her time at Emory! She is using her interdisciplinary studies major to investigate how young religious men navigate romance, dating, gender roles, and marriage between more traditional frameworks and the modern, more liberal approach to dating of today. She draws upon sociology, religious studies, and gender studies to inform her interview-style research for her Honors Thesis.

Susannah Lara-Gresty  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Jeremy Slater

Jeremy Slater is originally from southwest Virginia in a city called Roanoke but has lived in various places around the world, allowing him to become interested in topics abroad. As a Persian language student, Jeremy is researching how Afghan individuals negotiate precarity, hope, and resilience in modern Afghanistan using memoirs, Dari poetry, and archival sources. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys being with friends, experimenting with new recipes, and long car rides.

Jeremy Slater  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Lynden Fausey

I was born in Virginia, but have spent most of my life in the same house in the Delaware marshes. I am one of three children, and have always valued having a close-knit, large family. I have also always been passionate about social justice, particularly in the criminal justice system. For my thesis I am trying to find the most effective first steps to reformation by interviewing my father, a State Trooper in Delaware, on his experience as a police officer and putting his experience in conversation with the history of politics, law, and the leading thinkers on reform.

Lynden Fausey  | American Studies | Class of 2021

Prasanna Karur 

"I am investigating the Law of Attraction, a personal development topic, as defined by Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich through neuroscience and Tibetan Buddhism. I hope to find evidence for this metaphysical topic in both of these areas and understand it at a fundamental level. My goal is to mentor others on personal development and the Law of Attraction backed with academic evidence from what I have learned through my honors thesis. "

Prasanna Karur  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Ari Cohen

Ari is a polyglot with a particularly keen curiosity about the intersection of neurobiology, psychology, narrative writing and resilience. Currently, Ari’s research interests explore the capacity for play to cultivate resilience in survivors of violence and severe trauma. After having forged a unique path to Emory, he is deeply committed to creating well-lit pathways to college for youth who have experienced foster care, homelessness and trafficking. To that end, he co-founded a non-profit to support this goal. Ari loves dogs, baseball, swimming, organic chemistry, Calvin & Hobbes and what Americans refer to as foreign films. He is known for having a marvelous, albeit wry sense of humor. He loves to play, constantly craves music, and has a slight penchant for benign, gentle-hearted mischief. In his next life, Ari hopes to come back as an adored velvety-eared beagle.

Ari Cohen  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Kassie Sarkar

Kassie Sarkar grew up in West Caldwell, New Jersey. Her honors thesis investigates racial identity, resistance, and community belonging in the lives of biracial South Asian Americans. Her work seeks to understand these issues through a wide range of storytelling practices, including art, photography, and poetry. With critical race theory and anti-racist, decolonizing methodologies at the core of her work, she intends to center the stories, voices, and experiences of marginalized communities in her work to advance equity and justice through her scholarship.

Kassie Sarkar  | Interdisciplinary Studies | Class of 2021

Current Seniors

Current Seniors

Meet our current class of graduating seniors and learn about their interdisciplinary senior research topics.

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Research Symposium

Research Symposium

Our annual spring undergraduate research symposium advances the public scholarship through presentations by current juniors and honors seniors.

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Hear what our alumni have to say about their experiences in the ILA.

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