Two seniors complete honors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Two seniors complete honors

Two HWS seniors, Nicholas J. Cream of West Windsor, N.J., and Leanne M. Roncolato of Meadville, Pa., completed their honors projects this fall.

Cream, who studied with Professor Steven Lee of the Philosophy Department, wrote “On the Road to Genuine Peace: Global Justice, Democracy and Human Rights.”

“My goal was to try to establish what kind of international structure we would need to pursue in order to best have the opportunity for a sustainable and enduring world peace,” Cream says.

He analyzed four theories on cosmopolitanism — the idea that we need one cohesive global structure — and statism, the idea that all nations are individual entities and exist in an “international state of nature.” The next section was on the Democratic Peace Thesis, which proposes that all democracies have some qualities that make them less likely to go to war with other democracies.

“My third section was about human rights, and how we need to come up with a system to consider human rights as part of a specific culture and how they need to fit some sort of vague universal moral structure through which we can maintain and enforce human rights.” His final section was about Utopian and actual theory: the ideal theory for international relations, and the real, practical problems and how to address them.

A history and philosophy major whose minor is called The Study and Prevention of Violence, Cream studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain, during the Spring ’06 semester. He is a re-founding member of Kappa Alpha Society, a member of Student Activists for Darfur and the club ice hockey team, a senior admissions intern, a worker in the library archives, a volunteer for America Reads, an Orientation Leader and Common Ground Mentor who participated in Day of Service and Hobart Student Government. He has been named to the dean’s list, Orange Key, Chimera, and received the Milton Haight Turk Award in the Humanities and the History Faculty Award.

Roncolato completed an individual honors project in economics and social justice with Professor Christopher Gunn of the Economics Department. Her thesis was titled “Feminist Movements: Analyzing Alternative Development Programs in Sandinista Nicaragua and India’s State of Kerala.”

She says, “I wanted to look specifically at the Sandinista period in Nicaragua and its attempt at creating an alternative development path.” In January 2006, she made her third trip to Nicaragua, “to visit, volunteer and conduct informal interviews with Nicaraguans about their experiences of the Sandinista period.”

“When I returned home and embarked on my research as coursework, the project expanded and has taken the shape of a comparative analysis of both the Sandinista period in Nicaragua and the Indian state of Kerala. I looked at how women’s liberation played into each alternative development programs as “development without growth” was pursued.”

She also explored the benefits of adopting a feminist political economy approach when considering development as well as the need to practice greater flexibility and caution while using economic models.

Her recent involvement with the dance department has been influential as well, since “the last chapter of my honors [project] uses a dance metaphor of how we might move through space with flexibility to avoid injury upon collision.” In addition to Gunn, she credits Professor Dunbar Moodie and Assistant Professor Dia DaCosta of the anthropology/sociology faculty and former professor Kanchana Ruwanpura for influencing how she thinks about the world and addresses development studies.

She received a 2006 Salisbury International Internship Stipend to work during the summer in Geneva, Switzerland. She also has co-chaired the Women’s Collective, been community service coordinator for the Latin American Organization and held other community service roles. One of the cross country team’s top runners, she also studied in South Africa during the spring 2005 semester, where she interviewed Bishop Desmond Tutu.

More than two dozen other students will complete their honors in the Spring 2007 semester before defending them during the oral exam period, April 23-27. The entire group will be recognized in May at the Provost’s Porch Party.