Global Scholar students share experiences at Global Scholar EdTalks


Blake Preston, Staff Writer

Illinois Global Scholar students had the opportunity on April 24 to share their Humanities Capstone projects. Throughout the year, they have been investigating various global issues such as mental illness in India to infrastructure problems in Nepal.

Humanities teachers Randy Smith and Seth Brady developed the idea for the Global Scholar Certificate in 2014. The Global Scholars program was established in 2017.

The certificate aims to encourage students to be globally aware. Students must take eight globally focused courses and must research a global issue  At the end, they are expected to create an artifact to demonstrate their understanding and initiate change.

This was the first year students shared their research with the public in Central’s Little Theater.

“It was almost all student organized,” Brady said. “I’m very proud of them.”

There were five students who shared their project in a TED talk style and two groups of panelists at the event.

Senior Chad Sype shared his experience and research he did on sustainable building in Nepal. Not only did he get to talk to Nepali people, but he also got to see the problem when staying in the Eastern Himalayas.

“My project really began last summer,” Sype said. “I was able to go to the Eastern Himalayas on a seperate scholarship. I was in the homes of the Nepal people, I felt a duty to try and help.”

For his artifact, Sype worked with an animator to create a video. The video was also translated into Nepali to teach the people how to prevent landslides and be prepared for earthquakes.

With the success of this year’s presentations, Smith sees a promising future for the continuation of the event.

“We’d love to see other schools do similar things as they opt in and as they do their first round of Global Scholars,” Smith said. “Because of how late it got pushed through [last year], it’d be difficult to convince a district to do it. We got to do it because Brady and I wrote the rules and knew what they would be.”

For the students, the experience was not only educational but also personal. It felt that they were doing more than just researching.

“If I could do another semester of this, I would,” Sype said. “I wouldn’t change much. It made me feel like more than a high schooler and the help Mr. Brady gave us was as critical as the work we put into it.”

Smith hopes to expand the Global Scholar program and help more students achieve this certificate in the near future.

“Who knows what the future will have,” Smith said. “Brady and I might change it as we do. So if you want to see what happens, come back next year.”