Memorial Scholars Act Globally

Jessie Markovetz

Last week a group of students and faculty gathered in the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center to attend the Alumni Memorial Scholars Symposium, a presentation of student independent research projects. Senior Daniel Landau, senior Mila Adamova, and junior Gregory Golden presented the research projects they completed over winter break. Landau, Adamova, and Golden are all Alumni Memorial Scholars (AMS), a group of highly accomplished students who received research grants upon their acceptance to Colgate. The research projects are the result of much planning, hard work, and the $5,000 research stipend each received as part of the AMS program.

Golden’s project, titled “Demographic Trends in Recent Bangladeshi Immigration to Selected European Capitals,” took him to Madrid, Rome, London and Paris to investigate the backgrounds of Bangladeshi immigrants and their current lifestyles in order to reveal trends about immigration into Western Europe.

For his project, “The Search for the Golden Ratio: Its Application in the Art and Architecture of Italy and Greece,” Landau traveled to Rome, Florence and Athens to study art and architecture that utilize the Golden Ratio, an irrational number found frequently in geometry and nature.

Finally, Adamova’s project, “Ol consume nell’Italia – Studying Urban Consumption in Italy,” enabled her to travel to Milan and Rome and investigate American and Italian views of consumption.

The AMS program allows grantees a chance to pursue research and travel in places they may not otherwise have been able to visit.

“Had I not had this $5,000 grant, I’m sure that I would never have traveled to Europe by now,” Landau said.

Landau said the program also gave him the opportunity to explore an area of research outside of his major.

“This project was tangentially related to my academic studies,” he said.”I am a chemistry major and math minor. While the project used a bit of math, much of what I encountered dealt with art and history, two subjects that are not my strengths.Because of this, Itruly expanded my intellectual horizons.”

Golden also feels he gained a lot through his research.

“One of the greatest things about this project for me was simply having chances to talk about it,” he said. “I loved anytime a friend or even stranger during my travels asked me what I was doing, and I was able to explain about Bangladesh and its people, and talk about the Bangla pride that travels with Bangladeshi immigrants throughout the world.”

Golden says he hopes his research will encourage others to learn about Bangladesh so the country will have the opportunity to “expand itself culturally and economically.”

“Bengali is a fascinating language with a rich history and literary tradition,” he said, “and the global society is largely missing out in its unfortunate ignorance of the country and its cultural richness.”

Landau encourages other students to take advantage of travel and research opportunities that may become available, either through the AMS program or elsewhere, and to use it as a way of expanding their horizons.

“For any AMS students who have not used their money, I would tell them to venture off into an unfamiliar field and go with it,” he said.