Dear Reader,

I am proud to present the latest volume of Continuum, the Capital Scholars Honors Journal. Our seventh volume inaugurates a tradition, which, I hope, will continue for years to come. It unifies student work around a common theme. The process of selecting this year’s theme was a collaborative one, involving both students and faculty serving on the journal’s editorial board. In the end, we chose the theme of “diversity”, a concept that is embraced not only within the program but university-wide as well.

The essays in this volume, therefore, all touch upon some facet of diversity.

We begin with two essays by Claire Starling: the first tackles diversity from an environmental standpoint, while the latter offers a critique of the lack of diversity in the U.S. film industry. These two essays are followed by Madison Hollinshead’s “The Influence of Benevolent Sexism on Rape Laws”, which examines the correlation between gender bias and legislative proceedings. As Madison demonstrates, it is a lack of diversity, and a lack of openness to diversity, that prevents non-traditional women from receiving equitable treatment in rape investigations and prosecutions. Natalie Kerr joins the conversation by making the case for a more inclusive and diverse approach to climate change research. In her essay, Natalie explains why indigenous peoples, like the Maori of New Zealand, remain “disproportionately threatened by climate change disasters” (3). The last two essays in this volume offer a more intimate and personal look at diversity. In “Ideal Self”, Damir Temir reflects on his experiences growing up in Kazakhstan and then in the United States. As Damir puts it, defining one’s ideal self is a “complicated process” that is shaped by family, culture, and ideology (3). The final essay in this volume, Diego Prat’s “My Trauma”, speaks to the healing power of sharing, exploring, and making sense of a traumatic experience. In his essay, Diego reminds us that time heals all wounds, no matter how deep they may be.

In closing, I would like to thank all those who worked on this volume. First and foremost, I would like to thank the contributors for sharing their thought-provoking work with the rest of us. I would also like to thank our wonderful editorial team—Ciara Tieman, Mae Matoka, and Nick Dabbs—for soliciting and reviewing countless submissions. An extra thanks goes to Nick Dabbs for carefully proofreading and editing the final manuscript. Finally, I would like to thank our peer editors, Diana Vazquez, Maddie Minnick, and Steph Reynolds, for their helpful and constructive comments. It was truly a pleasure working with each of you.

We hope you enjoy reading this volume of Continuum as much as we enjoyed creating it!


Diana I. Dabek
Managing Editor, Continuum
Coordinator and Instructor of Honors Composition
UIS Capital Scholars Honors Program

Academic Essays

Microbeads: Health Product or Environmental Hazard? by Claire Starling​

Whitewashing in the U.S Film Industry by Claire Starling

Whitewashing in the U.S Film Industry by Madison Hollinshead

New Zealand as an Example of Indigenous Inclusion in Environmental Issues by Natalie Kerr

Ideal Self by Damir Temir

My Trauma by Diego Prats