Kasey Han

Class of 2018

Hometown: Singapore

What is your College Scholar project?
Combining core disciplines of Biology, Psychology and Performing Arts, I'm focusing on the therapeutic benefits of Circus Arts. Developmental Circus Arts explores the positive mental, physical, social and emotional impacts of such acrobatics on human development. While my target is children with disabilities, the rewards of circus can be extrapolated to people of all ages. My aim is to study the social and health applications of Circus Arts. Classes in the Performing and Media Arts department will teach me what it means to be a performer and how to create a performance piece. The Biology department will show me how the body moves and works together, as well as the role of the brain in physical training and social interactions. Various courses in Psychology will not only investigate human sociality relevant to circus, but also elucidate various psychiatric afflictions that may be helped by Circus Arts Therapy. Teaching and taking classes at Circus Culture (Ithaca's very own circus school) has first and foremost allowed me to get happily back into my circus groove since coming to college. With this connection, I hope to start a service club that brings Circus Arts Therapy to local disabled Ithacan children, the efficacy of which I could study as my College Scholar senior project.

What are your most important extra-curricular activities?
As a brother of Phi Delta Epsilon (Medical Fraternity), I'm surrounded by the most supportive and welcoming network of pre-meds. They were among the first to know when I was accepted into the College Scholar program, having encouraged me to pursue my wild dreams of studying Circus Arts while also balancing my lifelong aspiration to become a doctor.

Talk about any summer internships or programs you’ve attended?
The summer after my freshman year, I was a research intern at MIT. During my three months in Boston, I studied the neurological and genetic bases of Autism Spectrum Disorders in mouse models through both behavioral and biochemical approaches. I learned a lot, not only about neuropsychiatric diseases, but also how to conduct good research in general. This summer, I'm continuing to research my interest in the neurological bases of various neuropsychiatric diseases through my internship at the Stanford School of Medicine.