Upper School | Gr. 9-12

The Van Eney '09 Fellows Program

Expanding Intellectual Curiosity

The Van Eney '09 Fellows program invites a select group of Severn School seniors to transcend the academic program and develop a year-long intellectual pursuit that reflects their growing passions.

What is the Fellows Program?

Since the 2008-2009 school year Severn School has invited a select group of seniors to transcend the academic program and develop a year-long intellectual pursuit that reflects their growing passions as part of the Severn Fellows program, now known as The Van Eney ′09 Fellows Program at Severn School.

Each year students are encouraged to demonstrate their ability to synthesize ideas and to create new fields of inquiry in the application of several skills and knowledge bases that they have developed in their time at Severn. The fellows are selected through an application process in the spring of their junior year and work on their projects throughout their senior year with the understanding that their project will receive neither a grade nor academic credit. Students explore their passions in the purest of regards and know that the most satisfying reward comes in meeting goals and in knowing that they have done something well. At the end of the year, students present their work to the Severn community. The presentations simply represent the belief that knowledge and experience once gained, should be celebrated and shared.

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  • Program Details

    • A faculty committee – led by Van Eney '09 Fellows Program Director Ms. Mrunali Das - reviews the proposals (submitted during a student's junior year) and selects a group of students to undertake their studies as Severn fellows.
    • While many of Severn’s strongest students are likely to submit proposals, grades and achievement are not specific criteria for selection; students are evaluated on their proposal, their passion, and their ability to carry out a year-long project.  
    • Each student is matched up with an off-campus mentor and an on-campus faculty mentor their field of interest and is expected to meet established checkpoints throughout the year as they make progress toward the final product.  
    • Prior to graduation of the senior year, the fellows deliver brief presentations to the student body. Following is an evening event during which fellows present their work before a gathering of students, faculty, and parents; a post-event reception celebrates the fellows and those who have supported them throughout the endeavor.
    • Students accepted into the program do not receive academic credit or grades for their work, but are instead encouraged to pursue their passions in such a program for the experience and the intangible rewards of true scholarship. Fellows do not receive a course reduction during the senior year, but many participants opt to take five courses, essentially treating the fellows experience as the sixth ‘course.’
  • Supporting the Program

    This program is part of our Student Programs category of endowed funds. A gift to this category of funds enables us to invite talented performers, speakers, educators, and activists to Severn so our students learn to examine and appreciate the many perspectives and experiences possible in our world.

Severn Fellows

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Lower School

Upper School