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Spring 2022 Fast Track Update

Our four fast track students have made quite a bit of progress since the start of the semester! Grayson Wise (‘23), Diva Gohil (‘23), Kehan Zhang (‘23) and Mickey Ferrara (‘22) have been researching, making, and collaborating with local and digital partners in order to make strides with their personal passion projects.

First year Grayson Wise–who set out to develop a documentary on the effects of climate change on our national parks (namely Yellowstone) to mobilize people to act–has been virtually working with journalists, environmentalists and conservation groups in the greater Yellowstone area to figure out the most compelling core story to tell in his short film. His next steps are to create a short movie trailer based on his findings and feedback from his collaborators.

Diva Gohil has moved forward with her plans to develop a toolkit composed of information and materials to self-grow plastic and eventually eliminate single-use plastics. She has been experimenting with different materials to include in the toolkit by making her own plastics at home using simple ingredients like glycerin, starch, and vinegar–though she’s still working toward the perfect formula and packaging!

Kehan Zhang’s coffee-culture project has shifted goals slightly from changing consumer behavior to more clearly outlining and visualizing environmental choices people can make when visiting cafes. Since all “green” coffee shops utilize different environmental standards and rating systems, she is working toward developing a base ecological standard that these companies can follow, which will then allow consumers to better understand how each shop compares to others and help them formulate an informed decision.

Second year Mickey Ferrara’s “Care Mobile” project is continuing to build from pre-existing community support infrastructure with the goal of activating volunteer networks and circumventing police involvement. Since our last check-in, Mickey has researched the successes and shortcomings of services like 911, finding that only 35% of 911 calls reach “completion”–though it’s not always specified what that means. Mickey is now developing an action plan for pop-up model staffed by volunteers to help communities receive the support they need where the state is falling short.

Our fast track students have already made so much progress this semester, and we are excited to continue to watch their work evolve.

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