2017 Summer Fellows

Jayme Harlander

Cultural Effects on Innovation

The purpose of this study is to explore how history and culture intersect to create an innovative ability, or lack of, within a country, using Denmark and Finland as examples. AnnaLee Saxenian’s book Regional Advantage compares two regions of the United States and their ability to innovate. The text looks at the nexus of history and culture in the two respective regions (Silicon Valley and Route 128 in Boston). I will be applying the same analysis to the two countries of Scandinavia, discussing the conflict between bureaucracy and egalitarianism. As an academic and business professional, I was motivated to construct this study due to my intrigue of the perplexity of business cultures, aspects of cultural immersion, particularly in Scandinavia, and a need to understand cultural barriers motivated the researcher to undertake this study.

The goals of this paper include: documenting cultural differences based on selections of Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory and analyzing their effects on innovation in business. The comparison of history, culture, and innovation between Denmark and Finland stem from various elements of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory. Upon analyzing this theory, stark comparisons in business cultures reveal numerous examples of innovation influenced by history. In turn, this sheds light on innovation today and suggests the nature in which each respective nation should conduct business.

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Nina Ricci

Nina Ricci

The Path Toward Religious and Cultural Inclusivity: The Need for Critical Inquiry

My proposed thesis seeks to explain the essential practice of critical inquiry. In order to do so, I will explore Christian and Buddhist, as well as Christian and Muslim, attitudes on the subject of critical inquiry and assess how these stances affect their engagement in interreligious dialogue. The proposed thesis will then present the impact a religion has (based on the successfulness of these religious interactions) on a society’s perception of other religious and cultural practices. Overall the thesis argues for more open-minded attitudes and the need for religious and cultural inclusivity by starting with the proposition that practicing critical inquiry is a necessity to moving forward.

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Alex Seefeldt

Alex Seefeldt

Missa Gloriae Patris (Mass to the Glory of the Father)

As a capstone for my individualized major in choral and liturgical composition, I will compose a musical setting of the Latin Mass Ordinary. The piece will be for mixed choir and organ and run approximately 25 minutes in total. It will be premiered as part of an actual mass liturgy, both on and off campus. My primary goals for the piece are to create beautiful and sacred music appropriate to the Mass and contribute to the vitality of the Catholic sacred music tradition.

What I want to do with my mass setting is to contribute to the tradition of the great solemn masses of history, exploring this crossroads of liturgical worship and creative expression. The importance of having beautiful liturgical music is like the importance of having beautiful church buildings. Both exist to elevate people’s minds to God and call them to prayer and contemplation, but even beyond that, in their beauty they are acts of worship per se. The Church teaches that beauty in the world reflects God’s infinite beauty, and where it flourishes, so flourishes God’s grace. Because of this, the action of creating beautiful things is a worthwhile end in and of itself and is one of the fundamental expressions of religion.

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