Three Glynn Seniors reflect on their senior thesis-writing process

Author: Felicity Wong

Meredith Wilson Headshot
Meredith Wilson

As the trees on campus turn green again, a sense of excitement pervades the air. Graduation looms in the distance, but so does the deadline for senior theses—a culminating and celebratory work for many in the Class of 2023. Three seniors, Meredith Wilson, Joshua Gilchrist, and Ese-Onosen Omoijuanfo, are in the home stretch of submitting their senior theses for the Glynn Family Honors Program. 

Building upon the work on gender-based violence that she has dedicated much of her college career toward, Wilson is writing a thesis titled “Potentially Strategic and Perpetually Shapeshifting: Sexual Violence as a Possible Weapon of War in Congo.” An Anthropology and Peace Studies major, she analyzes sexual violence as a potential weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its ability to to change forms, hands, and targets. 

Gilchrist, a Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and Theology major, discovered the idea for his thesis topic in a PLS class on lyric poetry. There, he was introduced to T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, which intrigued him because of its cryptic nature and its poet, who was both a modernist and Christian. “‘The Whole Consort Dancing Together’: A Mystical Interpretation of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartetsis an exegesis tracing images of song and dance in Four Quartets to ultimately demonstrate that the poems move toward meaning rather than start from meaning.

Josh Gilchrist Sits In Front Of Bookshelf
Josh Gilchrist

Omoijuanfo, a Neuroscience and Behavior major with minors in International Development Studies and Philosophy, is studying the efficacy of cancer health outcomes and disparity education curricula and education strategies. “Disparities Education Strategies in the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center STEM Focused Youth Enjoy Science Program” centers the experiences of the community of Omoijuanfo’s hometown in Cleveland, Ohio. Seeing her survey design impact her research study in real time was an especially rewarding part of Omoijuanfo’s project. 


Both Wilson and Gilchrist most enjoyed developing their thesis. At first, they struggled to find a specific argument amongst a broad topic. Through multiple phases of brainstorming, drafting, and reading, however, they were able to clarify their ideas into something more cohesive. 

“Piecing everything together felt like a puzzle to me,” said Wilson. “I loved seeing a lot of the different logical strands come together to make an argument.” 

But Gilchrist is also careful not to sugar-coat the thesis-writing process. 

Ese Onosen Omoijuanfo Headshot
Ese-Onosen Omoijuanfo

I spent a while just wading around trying to make some sense of the poems before realizing that I needed a specific topic. That aimlessness was crippling at times.” 


After completing their theses, Wilson, Gilchrist, and Omoijuanfo look ahead to their post-graduate plans. Omoijuanfo, who cares deeply about the role of education in improving medical outcomes, will explore initiatives related to her thesis work when she attends medical school in the fall. While Wilson won’t be focusing directly on her thesis topic, she is now equipped with newly sharpened research skills as she pursues a career in public interest and civil rights law. And even though Gilchrist does not plan to go into the field of literary criticism, he is open to the possibility of returning to school later for a graduate degree in English. 

As for incoming seniors and other students in the Glynn Family Honors Program who are beginning to think about their theses, Wilson and Omoijuanfo offer similar advice. 

“Choose a topic that interests you! So that even as you are writing for hours and reviewing comments, you will be [excited] about the work you are doing,” Omoijuanfo encourages. “If you are passionate about the impact of your research, you will find the motivation to do excellent, committed work.”