From Finance to Forensics: Templeton Students’ Summer Experiences

When summertime rolls around, you can find many college students sleeping in and relaxing on the beach. But for a lot of Templeton students, summer is just another opportunity to use the tools Templeton has provided them with to learn and broaden their horizons. Here are just a few highlights of our students’ summer accomplishments.

Abigail Crawford ’18 Chemistry Major

Abby Crawford in Scotland

Abigail spent a month at Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland studying Forensic Science and Criminal Justice. Between lectures about evidence analysis and Scotland’s judicial system, lab work, and crime scene investigation, she was in class from 9:00-5:00 most days and had 2-3 field trips a week. Her professors would set up mock crime scenes (including a fake body!) and all of the students would get to dress in full protective gear and follow proper protocol to collect evidence. Abby is a chemistry major here at Eastern and has a mild obsession with Criminal Minds and NCIS, so a course in forensics sounded like something she would enjoy and flourish in. She felt as if her Templeton education, particularly Justice and the Common Good, really helped her when studying the criminal justice aspect of her course. About studying the differences between the judicial system in Scotland and the USA, Abby said: “I thought a lot about what it means for justice to be served in criminal cases and how a judicial system relates to the society it is in.” 


Emmalee Moffitt ’18 Philosophy Major

Emmalee attended two summer programs at Harvard University, the first of which was with Harvard’s Program for Integrative Knowledge and Human Flourishing on “Kierkegaard and the Happy Life,” and the second was with the Abigail Adams Institute on “Tocqueville and the American Proposition.” Emmie had already read both Tocqueville and Kierkegaard here at Eastern, and her enjoyment of both authors is what drew her to these summer programs. She also loves opportunities to discuss familiar works with new people because it gives her a fuller understanding of the texts. She said she felt right at home in the classroom due to the similarity of the style to Templeton’s. “My Templeton education has taught me a lot about good conversation – not only how to contribute to it, but also how to listen, and when you’re surrounded by such insightful students and faculty, this skill is invaluable.” For Emmie, one of the best parts about her experience was the wonderful people she had the pleasure of studying beside. The academic experience was enhanced by the diversity and insight of her fellow students (who came from six different countries to study at these programs) as well as the fantastic professors.

Ceara Shanahan ’20 Philosophy Major

After three rounds of interviews, Ceara was accepted into the Engalitcheff Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems which is a part of The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) located in D.C.. While in this program, Ceara took a class on economics and public policy at George Mason University and had meetings with the heads of companies that she was interested in. After the course, TFAS helped her find an internship with the National Review Institute (NRI) which is the non-profit side of the National Review (NR) magazine. During her time at NRI, Ceara did a lot of research on the Conservative movement and also helped with re-branding the Arts and Culture side of the magazine. Ceara is very passionate about informing people on what the Conservative movement is truly about and wants to preserve the work of William F. Buckley Jr., who founded NR and helped start the Conservative movement in America. Her internship with NRI was the perfect opportunity for her to do both of these things. She believes her Templeton education was her biggest asset during her internship. Templeton’s need for critical thinking, attention to details, and strong writing capabilities was invaluable for Ceara as she worked with NRI.

Ian Wright ’18 Theology and Accounting Double Major

Over the summer, Ian worked in the internal research division of American Bible Society (ABS). The first research project he worked on included researching and presenting on recent attendance trends at museums and field trip curriculum tools for ABS’ upcoming “Faith and Liberty Discovery Center.” His second project dealt with ways that digital media can be leveraged to boost Scripture engagement in the U.S.. Ian also wrote a section in ABS’ manual regarding “theory of change” which, for the ABS, helps with the running of their ministry projects such as Bible distribution efforts and trauma healing support groups. Because Ian loves analytical thinking and “working alongside the Church to expose people to the power of the Bible,” this research position was a great fit for him. He believes that his Templeton education helped him to think coherently and ask the right questions, which was essential when he was writing the project design manual. In regards to the research aspect of his internship, Ian said: “The research made me read with a purpose and critical eye, something Templeton class work is all about.”

These are just a few of many Templeton students who were busy with interesting internships, programs, and projects over the summer. Others worked in finance, like Connor Basilici (‘19), who worked as an intern at Forge Wealth Management Group through LPL Financial, where he became certified in the use of LPL Brokerage software and worked on market research and portfolio analysis. Several other students attended summer seminars at other universities, like Zachary Nelson (‘18), who attended a 2-week program on first principles and natural law at Princeton University’s Witherspoon Institute, and Wayne Brown (‘18), who worked as a wealth management intern with Hightower Advisors, attended a seminar on finance and ethics with the Elm Institute at Yale University, and attended the prestigious Intercollegiate Studies Institute Honors Conference. Anna van Deventer (‘20) worked as an intern in Youth Ministry at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenix, MD, where she “assisted with every aspect of the youth ministry including planning series, going on mission trips, meeting with students outside of regularly scheduled youth activities, and giving messages.” Anna says that her Templeton experience helped her to think theologically about the work she was doing and how to ask good questions, thus connecting the “educational experience Templeton provides with the hands-on youth ministry experience” to which she feels called. Meanwhile, other students traveled farther for their summer projects, like Templeton senior Liz Margolis (‘18), who got her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification in Hungary and Poland through a program called Angloville. Templeton students and the experiences they choose to pursue are versatile and diverse, but what they all have in common is that their Templeton education has prepared them to excel, no matter which direction they choose.

Gianna Dafflisio (’19) is a junior in the Templeton Honors College as a biochemistry major and astronomy minor. She is involved in SGA and loves helping out in the chemistry department. She has a deep rooted passion for food and aspires to one day be a pediatrician. 

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