Summer Service Grant: Cultivating Tension and Conflict on the Irish Stage​

This summer Irina Gavrilova (Yale ’17) spent time in Dublin, Ireland, studying the role of Irish theatre in shaping the country’s conception of nationhood. With the #WakingTheFeminists movement for gender equality in Irish theatre as her case study, Irina spent a month in Dublin researching and interviewing students, artists, managers, and designers to learn more about this unique intersection between art and politics.


As a theatre director with a keen interest in politics, I am fascinated by the connection between the two, which I set out to investigate this summer. With a focus on the #WakingTheFeminists movement for gender equality in Irish theatre, the goal of my project was to make a case that knowledge and skills acquired through theatre can and do produce an impact on the political stage. The material I gathered during this project will serve as research for an original play I plan to present at Yale next spring.

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The All Performing Arts Conference in Galway where many members of #WakingTheFeminists participated as panel speakers

Irish theatre and nationalism have gone hand in hand since before the country’s independence from Britain; the electrifying synergy between the theatre and its public inspired people to interrogate their national identity, initiating a struggle for independence. It has always been the place where, as scholar Martin Esslin puts it, the nation “thinks in front of itself”— a statement that rings especially true this year. Continue reading

Summer Service Grant | Teaching in West Bengal

As an aspiring physician with an interest in health disparities, Mariely Garcia (Bowdoin ’17) cares deeply about making quality healthcare services and knowledge available to all people. This summer, Mariely received a Summer Service Grant from QuestBridge to work with a grassroots organization in the small Indian town of Gorubathan to put her passions into practice.


mariely-garcia4When I said the final goodbye to my mother before heading to the airport, I will admit that I started to panic. It was the kind of panic that sent my heart into total pandemonium, made me exceptionally fidgety, and brought a million doubts to mind. Sitting in the taxi, watching the familiar New York City skyline zoom past in the distance brought me to the realization that the next time I was on land, I would be on the other side of the world. Continue reading

Summer Service Grant | Blue Notes Under Red Banners: A Summer of Soviet Jazz

In summer 2016, Ryan Gourley (Brown ’17) received a Summer Service Grant from QuestBridge to pursue his project: Jazz behind the Iron Curtain: Preserving the Legacy of a Forgotten Generation of Musicians. Through his research, including visits to jazz hubs in the former USSR and Eastern Bloc, Ryan aimed to preserve the jazz music culture from this era while exploring his own interest in the topic.


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Ryan Gourley (Brown ’17) in Saint Petersburg, Russia

The relationship between national identity, cultural identity, and musical practice pervaded my thoughts as I traversed my way through Western Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania this summer. My research had me in search of the remnants of a time when the production of jazz was a national issue; a time when an invisible iron curtain split the European continent between those who lived under red banners and those who did not. Continue reading

Summer Service Grant | Teaching and Learning in Lagos

Last summer, Ibironke Otusile (Wesleyan ’15) received a Summer Service Grant to contribute to both the research and grassroots education sides of the water crisis in Lagos, Nigeria.


DSC05281This past summer I traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, with so many expectations, but no idea how they would be fulfilled. I knew that there is a water crisis in Lagos, Nigeria, amongst other looming issues, and I was going there to contribute to finding a lasting solution. As part of my plans, I was going to lecture about water sanitation at a local school, while also working at the Lagos State Water Corporation and the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency.
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Summer Service Grant | Photovoice: Picture Dis(Ability)

Last summer, Carrie Chui (University of Chicago ’15) received a Summer Service Grant from QuestBridge to explore how photographs can speak louder than words for adults with mental and physical disabilities. Below, she reflects on the growth she both experienced herself and witnessed in others over the course of the summer.

Looking at their own photographs, Shirley and Phuc could not hold back their smiles. I was also elated, seeing their work finally come to fruition and arranged neatly along the gallery walls. Continue reading

A Brief Guide to Internship Applications

DInternships Blog Photoecember begins soon, and in addition to cinnamon and nutmeg, the sweet scent of internships is in the air. The path to an internship can be long and winding for those of us who don’t finish our first semester of college with a clean set of A’s, or who realize they have an interest in an area late in their undergraduate years. Those who cannot break into the field will find it harder and harder to secure their first internship when competing for spots with those who have more experience. The gap only widens each year.
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An End and a New Beginning

The First Summer After High-School

yaleI’m feeling a bubbly mixture of excitement, nervousness, and fear as the start of my time at Yale approaches; it really is a dream come true, and it still feels like a fantasy sometimes. I am a little bit distraught about how to pick what extracurriculars to pursue at Yale when I have so many to choose from.

This is the first summer since elementary school where I haven’t been busy with extracurriculars or extra coursework, so I’ve been trying to focus on myself this summer — something which I haven’t had a chance to do in the past. I’ve been taking yoga classes to get in shape physically and mentally, and I am loving it!

I have also been trying to get through as much of my Los Angeles bucket list as possible — over the past few weeks I learned how to bike and skateboard for the first time, which had somehow evaded me up until now, and am looking forward to my first surfing lesson.  I am learning new things and preparing for my first year as a Quest Scholar.

As High-School came to an end, it truly felt as though I had ended a chapter in the book of my life. Turning 18 and becoming an “adult” accentuated the feeling that I was losing control while also gaining all the freedom in the world. No longer am I a child, with a set of classes and expectations to fulfill, but an adult with the opportunities of a lifetime waiting ahead.

The teacher at my Yoga studio is a life coach and in reading the biography on her blog and hearing her life story, it hit me that though I am now no longer a child but I am by no means a real “adult”. I still have an entire life to live, and so much to experience. This is an end, but also a great new beginning.

Good luck to all Class of 2019 Quest Scholars!

Brian Matusovsky, Yale Class of 2019