Academics » Odyssey Scholars Program

Odyssey Scholars Program

 
 
 
 
As with Homer's Odysseus, our Odyssey Scholars set out on an epic journey of learning and discovery developed around an area of study which they are passionate about. Odyssey Scholars challenge themselves academically, intellectually, and creatively by designing a two-year course of study that will culminate in a major public presentation. This program combines the elements of Independent Study, Senior Experience, and research (capstone) projects. Students may apply for the program at the end of their sophomore year. 

Read about the scholars below and follow their project blogs here.
 


View the Odyssey Scholars Program brochure by clicking the cover above
 
 
 
 
Abby Crouch '19

"My name is Abby Crouch, and I am one of seven Odyssey Scholars. The focus of my two-year Odyssey Scholar project is studying people who have been marginalized in society, including people who have faced prejudices and have overcome them. By incorporating interviews with individuals who fit my topic, I plan to tell their stories through journalism. My mission is to educate people on views, cultures, and ideas that they don't easily relate to, but can hopefully learn to accept."
 
 
 
 
 
Jake Blanchfield '19

"I have been a student at Sandia Prep since the eighth grade. I decided to transfer from another independent school in Albuquerque, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. After learning that I was accepted to the Odyssey Scholars Program, I was thrilled to get started. My ultimate goal is to learn all there is to know about online business. I have created an online e-commerce business, and every day I strive to learn more and further my online business. During the remaining duration of the program, I hope to deepen my understanding and gain a fresh outlook, spending many hours getting hands-on experience, as well as developing new ideas to offer to the global discussion."
 
 
 
 
 
Emma Mannal '19

"Hi, I’m Emma Mannal. I am a senior at Sandia Preparatory School and recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, from a quaint town on the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. For as long as I can remember, I have always been interested in fashion and design. At age eight, I created my first dress, with absolutely no experience. With nothing more than a stapler, some fabric scraps, and a vision, I designed my first outfit. Since then, I have evolved tremendously as a designer, and have decided to pursue my love of fashion here at Prep. Over the next two years, I will have the opportunity to learn about the business behind the beautiful garments we see, on and off the runway. By using social media and marketing to develop my own personal brand, I hope to catch a glimpse at the inner workings of the fashion industry."
 
 
 
 
Colin Miller '19
 
"I am Colin Miller and I am a 17-year-old senior. Acting is and has been my passion for as long as I can remember. The stage is the one place I feel completely and utterly alive. However, as great of an enjoyment I get from performing, academics always come first in my life. What better place to combine the 2 most important things in my life: The Odyssey Scholars Program. I am vastly aware of the importance of research, turning in timely work, and digging deeper to find as much information about a subject as I can. I maintain at 3.85 GPA at Sandia Prep but strive throughout the year to raise that to an even higher level. My Odyssey Scholars project is writing directing, producing, and performing in a two-man musical along with my mentor and very good friend, Darryl Bryant, MFA. This play’s main focus will have a main focus on autism and how the arts affect those with autism – especially the performing arts, with an overarching theme of how music changed my life, and how I hope to use it to change others’ lives as well. I plan to have the performance(s) at Sandia Prep’s theatre, and all of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to the New Mexico Autism Society to continue assisting those with autism and the families of those with autism. I have made many contacts both regionally, and nationally, including some big-name actors such as Lin Manuel-Miranda and a recommended Broadway ensemble actress named Jennifer Smith. This opportunity will assist me in gaining more responsibility as a person and will continue to further my career as an actor/director/writer. Thank you so much for supporting this project, and I hope you will come see the finished product on May 10 and 11, 2019.
 
 
 
 
Evan Custer '20

"My name is Evan Custer. I am a junior at Sandia Prep. Since I can remember I have gone camping with my family. I am now a Camping Associate in the Sandia Prep Outdoor Leadership Program, where I get to do my passion that I got from all those family camping trips. While on these trips I have realized that when I am in the backcountry I am at peace and life is simple. So when the opportunity arose to do the Odyssey Scholars Program, I chose to design and build an off-road/overlanding trailer. The trailer will have most of the amenities that we have come to love in a compact trailer that you can take for a weekend or a month or more. I will accomplish my project by talking with professionals within the industry and doing independent research on my own. Part of this is that I need to learn some engineering principles to incorporate into my design to make a strong and light trailer. At the end of my project, I will have a fully functional road-legal trailer to go on my future adventures."
 
 
 
 
 
Isabella Bizzell '20
 
"Hi I’m Bella Bizzell, and I am a junior and a part of the Odyssey Scholars Program. For my Odyssey project, I am studying orthotherapy in depth because when I am older, I want to own my own business as an ortho-therapist. Orthotherapy is a mixture of different therapies, methods, and exercises. I am very passionate about orthotherapy because as an athlete, I have had many injuries and orthotherapy has helped me recover quicker and more efficiently to be able to do what I love. Over the course of my two years in Odyssey, I want to intern with an orthotherapist and learn about certain aspects more in depth to get a better understanding of orthotherapy."
 
 
 
 
 

Debi Kierst
Director of Special Academic Programs
dkierst@sandiaprep.org