Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Six Seniors Defend Their GSI Theses

by Kurt Wahlgren, Global Scholars Initiative Director
During the last month of the 2020-2021 academic year, students and faculty gathered to participate in Global Scholars Initiative thesis defense presentations. After each presentation, the Q and A session transitioned into extended academic discussions that continued well past the standard dinner hour. These organic moments of scholarly inquiry are a testament to the students and faculty in GSI. The expertise of faculty advisors Charla Gaglio (Fine Arts Chair), Marina Pallares (World Languages Chair), Ron Heller (History), and Don Paige, Head of Upper School, helped guide GSI graduates over a three-year thesis process. Below are the titles of each thesis project as well as recollections from GSI graduates.
  • Shaherzad Chawdree '21: “The Treatment and Prevention of Tuberculosis in Pakistan”
  • Julia Craig '21: “The Irish American Experience: From Paddies to Pro-American”
  • Brenna Dukes '21: “Special Education in the US and Finland”
  • Rachel Ford '21: “History vs. Heritage: The Debate Over Ownership of the Parthenon Structures”
  • Sidney Jones '21: “How Japanese Architecture Affects Overpopulation”
  • Nadya DeFreitas '21: “The Complexities of Guillain-Barre Syndrome”
Members of the Class of 2021 recalled memories from their GSI experience:
Shaherzad Chawdree ’21 said, "GSI was one of the most memorable organizations I joined during my time at Shorecrest. From attending lectures to meetings in Mr. Wahlgren’s room, I was able to broaden my global perspective and interact with others that shared my passion for international relations. My favorite part of GSI has been researching for my capstone project. For the past three years, I have been studying the treatment and prevention of tuberculosis in Pakistan. It was interesting taking on such a niche topic and learning about the world of academia in the process. Thanks to Mr. Wahlgren and my advisor Señora Pallares, I learned how to conduct academic interviews, research, and present my findings to an audience. I cannot wait to continue researching this topic as I enter higher levels of education."
Julia Craig ’21 noted, “Being in GSI at Shorecrest allowed me to further pursue my interest in History and Global Studies outside the classroom. For my senior thesis project, I was able to research the main ways which Irish immigrants were able to overcome the discrimination they faced in the Northeast in the 19th and early 20th century through journals, satirical cartoons, and their involvement in politics. Researching this topic was extremely interesting as it pertained to me as I was able to get into contact with Irish American History professors and Irish family members who supplied me with primary resources such as kinship reports, draft registration cards, etc."
Rachel Ford ’21 said, “GSI was a unique experience that allowed me the freedom to research my own interests and share them with others while being supported by my advisor. The dinners we attended were always fascinating and I was able to speak with people I would never meet in other circumstances – like someone who helped create the JPEG – in a scholarly context. Developing my project and seeing the other members' dedication made me excited to understand more about their topics, and it always felt like I was learning for myself rather than simply to pass a course. Though being a member of GSI takes a great deal of work and time outside of school, the rewards always made it feel worth it.”
Sidney Jones ’21 added, “Throughout my past three years being a part of GSI, I have learned so much and met so many new, interesting people. Joining GSI as a sophomore, I thought the main idea would be just working on a project. However, it is not just working on your project. All members were able to go to conferences and dinners in Tampa and meet new people from all over the St. Petersburg and Tampa area. GSI members also watched many online conferences about foreign affairs and debriefed during group meetings. For my GSI project, I studied how Japanese architecture affects overpopulation. This project taught me how to properly conduct an interview and how to find out-of-the-box information and research. I learned so much from this project and cannot wait to study different architectural styles in college and hopefully see Japanese architecture for myself one day.”

Pictured: GSI graduates from left - Nadya DeFreitas, Shaherzad Chawdree, Sidney Jones, Julia Craig and Rachel Ford.

Shorecrest Preparatory School

5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.