The World Perspectives Symposium is an academic conference for students at GFA to present original research. Students and faculty attend presentations on a range of topics of global significance. The day begins with a keynote address by a guest speaker and ends with a speech by a thought leader in our community. Throughout the day, students participate in individual and panel presentations by their peers.

Guest Speaker: Simin Wahdat

Simin Wahdat_Photo

Simin Wahdat
, is an Afghan gender specialist with over 10 years experience as an international development practitioner focusing on gender, good governance, human rights, youth participation, and civil society development.

She is a specialist in women’s political and civic participation in Afghanistan, and has developed technical assistance for ministers, parliamentarians, and all levels of government staff; served in the US Congress as a legislative fellow organizing support for Afghan women among senior US government officials; and worked with the Afghan Ministry of Education to implement a national gender and diversity strategy. She is an experienced gender advisor for USAID programs in Afghanistan. Simin has worked in Afghanistan, Kenya, Pakistan, and the United States.

Simin earned her MA in Strategic Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University and her BA in International Relations and Women and Gender Studies from Bucknell University in the United States.

Featured Panel: Integration in Populist Times


Students in three countries will lead discussion of one the world’s most pressing issues – immigration and integration — in a webinar for News-Decoder partners.

“The Challenge of Integration in Populist Times” is the topic of the April 5 webinar, to be led by students in the United States, Jordan and Mexico.

Three students at Greens Farms Academy will present papers that they have written as part of their global thesis projects:

  • Faith Farlow:  The Perception of Mexican Immigrants in the U.S.
  • Kayla Hinkson-Grant:  Syrian Refugees in the U.S.
  • Nick Floe:  The Effect of Exposure to Immigrants on Britain’s EU Referendum

Students at the American School Foundation of Monterrey (Mexico) and King’s Academy (Jordan) will critique the papers before a general discussion open to members of the News-Decoder community.

Nelson Graves, founder of News-Decoder, will moderate the discussion, which will be broadcast internationally on the educational news service’s network and recorded for replay. Participants will be able to ask questions.

If you would like to watch this roundtable discussion on the refugee crisis remotely, you can register here

The discussion will take place on April 5 at 9:50am in the Performing Arts Center.

Closing Ceremony Speaker: Veronica Lima


Veronica Lima is the World Languages Department Chair at Greens Farms Academy. She has been teaching at our school since 2007 and has guided and inspired hundreds of students to develop a love for learning the Spanish Language. She is the recipient of several teaching awards and a frequent presenter at national and international conferences for language teachers. She will be addressing students on the theme of diversity and inclusion, speaking from her personal experiences.


08:00-08:10 – Advisory

08:15-08:50 – Keynote Address by Simin Wahdat, Performing Arts Center

08:55-09:45 – Panel Sessions I

Statistics and Speeches: Abortion in India and Brazil, Performing Arts Center

Shira Friedson & Lindsey Downie

Moderator: Michaela Pembroke

People Analyzing People: Behind the Scenes of Qualitative Research at GFA, Choral Room

Laine Capshaw, Faith Farlow, Kayla Hinkson-Grant, Ililta Pina, Gracyn Sollmann & Megan Sinnott

Moderator: Ginny Balser, English Department Chair

Soft Power: Sports in Russian and Qatari Foreign Policy, Center for Global Studies

Matthew Smith & Gabriel Dumoulin

Moderator: Ward Abel, Assistant Director of Global Education

09:50-10:40 – Panel Sessions II

The Challenge of Integration in Populist Times, Performing Arts Center

Nickolas Floe, Faith Farlow & Kayla Hinkson-Grant

Moderator: Nelson Graves, News-Decoder

The Politics of Representation, Center for Global Studies

Caroline Kulak, Joseph Bentham & Alexis Messina

Moderator: Daniel Jump, PhD

Science Research: Advances in Energy, Sustainability and Global Health, Choral Room

Anish Kosanam, Noah Sonnenberg & Eddie Lopez-Wortman

Moderator: Mathieu Freeman, PhD

10:45-11:25 – Lunch

Q&A with Simin Wahdat, McGrath Gallery  

11:30-12:00 – Individual Student Presentations I

Comparative Study of Self-Designed Direct Formic Acid Fuel Cell versus Hydrogen Fuel Cell, G110

Eddie Lopez-Wortman

Color Seeing Capabilities in Marine Gastropods, G112

Kallie Fellows

Beating Brexit: The Effect of Exposure to Immigrants on Britain’s EU Referendum, G113

Nicholas Floe

La Feminine en France: Gender and Contemporary French Culture in “Amélie”, G114

Caroline Kulak

The Haze: Expat’s Challenge of Integration and Culture Shock in Beijing, G115

Sam Orlov

Special Operations Forces: The Rise of Shadow Soldiers and Modern Unconventional Warfare in U.S. Foreign Policy, G116

Peter Donovan

Effects of Leading Edge Serrations on Cambered Airfoils, H112

Tyler Green

Middle School Panel of Capstone Research, Oak Room

Hydroponic Vertical Farming and Its Potential to Resolve Food Deserts in Urban Settings, Lucy Nelson
Drone Warfare, Jackson DaPuzzo
Turf management efforts in US golf courses to move toward more environmentally sustainable greens,William Lodge

Moderator: Claire Bouyssie

Designing a Flexible Finger-Support System to Minimize Hyperextension Injury in High-Intensity Sports Applications, Choral Room

Charles Thompson

12:05-12:35 – Individual Student Presentations II

3-D Printed Intramuscular Injector for Anti-Cholinergic Nerve Agent Poisoning, G110
Luke Duffy


Anticorrosive Coatings of AZ31 Magnesium Alloy to Reduce the Degradation Rate for Metallic Medical Implants, G112

Anish Kosanam

Why Can’t We Sell Our Organs? Understanding American and Iranian Ethics in Context, G113

Daniel Tepler

The TabLab Transformation: Rationalizing the Use of Technology in Rural Areas, G114

Claire Jansen

A Wall of Words: Trump’s Rhetoric and his Rise to Power, G115

Faith Farlow

American Buddhism: Commodification or Contradiction?, G116

Jack Beaumont

A Robotic Book Finding System for a Metaphysical Library Experience, H112

Sami Canaan

Alzheimer’s Clinical Research: Does Beta Amyloid Prevent Infection in a C. Elegan Model?, Oak Room

Brynley Close

The Fall of Tourism: Economic Effects of the Refugee Crisis in Greece, Choral Room

Philip Nicopoulos


12:40-01:10 – Individual Student Presentations III

Autism Clinical Research: Does Lead Iodide Cause Neurobehavioral Changes Similar to Those with Autism in Drosophila Melanogaster?, G110

Lily Goldsmith


Improvements on construction of exoskeletons for spinal cord injury, G112

Robert Marcus

Mighty Mosquito: The Power of Zika in Shaping the Abortion Debate in Brazil, G113

Lindsey Downie

The Brexit Effect: How Hackett London Unravels UK-EU Relations, G114

Jack Sondag

Lunch Break: Tackling Childhood Obesity through America’s Schools, G116

Emma Lawton

Smart Bandage for Rapid Risk Assessment of Infection in Chronic Wounds, H112

Scott Barnet

Soft Power in Sports: Putin, Nationalism, and Russian Foreign Policy, Oak Room

Matthew Smith

Qatar & The World Cup: Prestige Worldwide, Choral Room

Gabe Dumoulin

01:15-01:45 – Individual Student Presentations IV

Science Research, G110

Reed Bingham

Sustainability Research, G112

Noah Sonnenberg

Syrian Refugees in the US, G113

Kayla Hinkson-Grant

Impartial Media: How Partisan News Networks have impacted the Syrian Refugee Crisis, G114

Alexis Messina

The Middle Eastern Cold War: The Battle for Yemen, G115

Aaron Miller

Survival of the Richest: New Jersey Poverty and Readiness for Hurricane Sandy, G116

Chase LaFontaine

Exception or Norm? Sex-Selective Abortion in Kerala, India, Oak Room

Shira Friedson

Bars Against Brutality: Black Lives Matter Movement in Hip Hop Music, Choral Room
Joe Bentham

Solving the 2016-17 FTC Robotics Challenge, G019 STEAM Shop

Tyler Green & Scott Barnet with members of team #4286

01:50-02:30 – Closing Ceremony, Performing Arts Center

Veronica Lima, World Languages Department Chair

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