O’Neal Signature Scholars announced

Five scholars were selected for the school’s Signature Scholars Research Program (SSRP). Last spring, the program received eight applications. Five of those were accepted to the cohort, and students were announced this fall, the beginning of their junior year.

Joining this year’s SSRP cohort are Caroline Acker, Luke Harper, Audrey Kim, Tylar Pastre and Rachel Wolff. They join seniors who are in their second year of the two-year program: Maxwell Epstein and Emma Grace Sager.

O’Neal launched the inaugural cohort of the SSRP in the fall of 2021. It is a highly selective program for upperclassmen who are not only academically strong but also passionate about a specific subject area.

Applications for the program are submitted during students’ sophomore year. The two-year intensive study is directed by English Department Chair, Dr. Nicole Camastra.

The first year as juniors, students take the Research Methodology and Philosophy course taught by Dr. Camastra, who guides their exploratory research. That same year, the scholars write an annotated bibliography and research proposal; they also identify experts on their research topic as credible sources and plan the schedule and phases of the project from beginning to end.

While working with a faculty mentor during their senior year, the scholars produce a 10,000-word research paper or portfolio/product of relative weight and value. They present and discuss their research before the school community and the public. Students who complete the program will earn a diploma with distinction from O’Neal.

O’Neal’s SSRP is intended to allow these exceptional students to engage in an intensive student-centered and inquiry-based study that will challenge them well beyond a normal college preparatory or Advanced Placement program. 

Feature photo: The 2022-2023 Signature Scholars (L-R) Rachel Wolff, Audrey Kim, Tylar Pastre, Christina Acker, Luke Harper, Maxwell Epstein, Emma Grace Sager, and Advisor Dr. Nicole Camastra.

Courtesy photo/Contributed.

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