2018 – 2019 Scholars

Meet the 2018 – 2019 Upper School Bioethics Scholars from The Ethics Institute at Kent Place School.



Haley Bigler, Class of 2021

Haley Bigler is a current sophomore at Kent Place School and has been apart of the community for a total of 10 years. her interest in Ethics was sparked after having taken a Bioethics course over the summer as a part of the CTY program, With a general background of ethics, she decided to further this interest and apply for the Bioethics Project. With the topic being “Environment and Health: The Ethics of People and Planet”, she immediately gravitated towards the topic of animals and De-Extinction, and eventually connected it to climate change, another issue she is passionate about. Haley also enjoys playing field hockey in and out of school and interning with local businesses. Haley had an amazing year in the Bioethics Project and is thankful not only for the experience but for the life lessons she can carry throughout high school, college, and beyond.


Jill DiTommaso, Class of 2020

Jill is currently a junior at Kent Place School and has attended since eighth grade. She joined the 2018-2019 Bioethics Program partly because of her curiosity to explore ethical issues surrounding the environment, as well as her high interest in past Bioethics projects presented to her by her peers. She researched the global water and sanitation crisis, focusing on how the lack of access to clean water and improved sanitation affects women and children. She analyzed the global duty to conserve water resources and how gender inequality plays a key role in the overall crisis. Jill has enjoyed building her knowledge of ethical thinking, and learning about prevalent, yet minimally discussed, environmental ethical dilemmas. She is very grateful to have been apart of this program and will continue to use the skills she has acquired in the future.


Erin Green, Class of 2020

Erin is a junior at Kent Place School and has been apart of the community since eighth grade. She was inspired to join the Bioethics Project after watching the Bioethics Symposium for the first time her freshman year. This year, Erin studied the Sixth Mass Extinction: specifically, its effect on the Megafauna species using the ethical lens on anthropocentrism and the duty that humans have to protect animals. She loved exploring the grey areas of ethical issues and gaining new perspectives on controversial topics. She is incredible thankful for the opportunities this course has provided her with and will continue her academic journey with a new understanding of the importance of ethics in everyday life. In her spare time, Erin enjoys reading and playing softball.


Priya Gulati, Class of 2020

Priya is a junior at Kent Place School, she has attended Kent Place since eighth grade. She was drawn to the Bioethics Project topic this year because of her interest in ethics, as well as the preservation of the environment and how that can be ensured. When choosing her topic, Priya chose to focus on the impacts of the meat production, as this ever-growing industry is having a profound impact on people and the planet. She’s focused her research on the environmental and ethical implications of the current systems in place in the meat industry; she has also explored possible options that could alter the industry for the better and make it more ethical and environmentally friendly, such as a switch to veganism, the implementation of a rotational grazing farming method, and the creation of lab-grown meat. She is grateful to have participated in this year’s project and hopes to take the ethical decision-making skills and awareness of the environment that she’s learned this past year into her future classes and into life later on.


Disha Karale, Class of 2019

Disha is in her senior year at Kent Place and has been a part of the Kent Place community for four years. As she furthers her studies in medicine in college, she found it valuable to partake in the bioethics class to learn more about the complexities of healthcare. This year, she chose to focus on the ethical considerations of life extension technologies and its connection to our environment. She explores how life extension technologies could affect our population numbers and resources in the future. Taking this class has taught her how to consider different stakeholders and perspectives when analyzing medical technologies. Disha is excited to use what she’s learned in her class as a foundation of her studies in medical ethics in college.


Elizabeth Mastrangelo, Class of 2021

Elizabeth Mastrangelo is a current sophomore at Kent Place and has been there since third grade. She joined the Bioethics project this year because of her interest in the intersection between science, ethics, and policy. When researching about the topic, Environment and Health: The Ethics of People and Planet, she chose to focus on population control, specifically exploring reproductive and non-reproductive controls in regards to autonomy. Elizabeth loved the opportunity to be apart of the Bioethics project and is grateful to be able to expand her perspective and analytical skills, both which will aid her in future careers and education. Through this project, Elizabeth feels that she will be able to bring a unique decision-making process to the table which will set her apart well for the future. She hopes to continue exploring the field of Bioethics through Ethics bowl and other courses.


Grace McGinley, Class of 2020

Grace McGinley is a current junior and a lifer at Kent Place. She joined this year’s Bioethics Project on the topic of Environment and Health: The Ethics of People and Planet due to her passions for environmental activism and scientific innovation and the ethical complexities of these two topics.  In effort to incorporate her interests in sustainable energy solutions and technology into her research, Grace focused her project on the ethics of nuclear energy and its place in meeting the modern energy demand. She worked to debunk long standing myths regarding the dangers of this controversial energy source through long term research rooted in scientific fact and thorough ethical analysis. She is grateful for the opportunity to explore this unique field of study and she intends to bring the research and formal presentation skills she gained from the course through her final years at Kent Place and beyond.


Afia Oduro-Manu, Class of 2020

Afia is a junior at Kent Place and has been attending the school for three years. She decided to take Bioethics because she enjoys learning about different cultures and perspectives and the intersection between the sciences and the humanities. This rationale guided her participation in the 2018-2019 year in particular, because of the increasingly threatening problem that issues regarding the environment pose to humanity in this day and age. she decided to conduct research on the ethics of the practice of ethnozootherapy (animal-based healing) in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) based off of the recent decision by the Chinese government to lift a ban that prohibited the usage of rhino horns in TCM. Her overarching, ethical question investigates whether China should prioritize the preservation culture and its accompanying traditions, or the lives of endangered African rhino species. Afia is very thankful to have been part of this year’s Bioethics class, and is excited to deepen her understanding of bioethics when she goes to college and studies as a literature major and a pre-medicine student.


Sonia Parmar, Class of 2020

Sonia Parmar is currently a junior attending her eleventh year at Kent Place. Passionate about innovative scientific research, environmental activism, and philosophy, she joined the Bioethics Project to explore the intersection of all these areas. Sonia chose to focus her research on a topic in the field of public health: the ethicality of genetically modifying mosquitoes to halt the spread of tropical diseases, specifically malaria, in developing countries, exploring the human responsibility to each other and to the environment. She believes that the critical thinking and research skills acquired from this experience will be incredibly beneficial as she continues to pursue scientific research. Sonia is grateful for this opportunity and looks forward to using the lessons she has learned from the Bioethics Project when faced with complex ethical issues in the future.


Sofia Scotto, Class of 2019

Sofia is in her senior year at Kent Place School where she has been a student for four years. Sofia was driven to partake in the bioethics project due to her growing curiosity for biology as well as the environment. Sofia’s project focuses on the coffee industry and the ways in which it perpetuates environmental concerns of deforestation as well as injustices in regards to unfair worker compensation. As the most traded commodity in the world, Sofia sees the coffee industry as an integral part of the future of the global economy as well as our environmental ecosystem. Sofia looks forward to bringing her knowledge of ethics with her to compliment her studies in college and hopes to implement what she has learned in the future when she is faced with complex decisions.


Elsie Shi, Class of 2020

Elsie is currently a junior, and has been attending Kent Place School since she was five. When deciding whether or not to participate in the 2018-19 Bioethics Project, Elsie was was interested in exploring environmental bioethics as opposed to medical bioethics, which is what the term is mainly associated with. . She has always had an interest in the space industry and found it worthwhile to explore the potential benefits that space could offer for our earth’s current environmental issues. Therefore, after the initial research process, Elsie decided to focus her topic on asteroid mining. Because of the rapidly growing world population and its potential to exceed available resources,  Elsie explored if asteroid mining, or mining resources from space, could serve as a possible solution to dwindling resources. Elsie focused on the ethical implications of accessing these resources from space, and explored questions such as “Who owns space” or “What effects would asteroid mining have on the world’s wage gap?” She is grateful to have been a member of the Bioethics Project because she was able to expand her range of thinking when approaching the world’s most pressing ethical issues. Elsie has realized that, when considering ethical issues such as climate change, it is necessary to consider all of the stakeholders and values involved that pertain to those specific cases, instead of approaching each issue with preset values. Elsie hopes to pursue a career in business and finance, and will use the ethical skills she gained from the Bioethics Project to aid her in her future.


Jenna Smith, Class of 2021

Jenna is currently a sophomore at Kent Place and has been in the community since fourth grade. . She joined Bioethics in order to develop her longtime passion for ethics and philosophy and improve her ability to apply ethical concepts to real-world scenarios. She chose to focus her research project on the ethicality of Toxic Prisons (prisons constructed near hazardous materials) due to her interest in studying the ethical implications of both public policy and mass-incarceration. Jenna is grateful for the unique opportunity to explore her curiosities through a study of Bioethics and will carry her newly honed research skills throughout her high school career and beyond.