Jesuit Chronicle

Senior Kavya Ravishankar presents disease model on student loan debt


(via Forbes)

JHS Senior Kavya Ravishankar presents research on student loan debt using mathematical disease model

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Student loan debt is like a disease. 

While this simile might sound like a common statement regarding higher education financing, recent research conducted by senior Kavya Ravishankar has found a deeper truth to this statement through the use of a disease model.

Ravishankar spent last summer at George Mason University studying the SEIR Compartmental Model of Epidemiology under Dr. Padmanabhan Seshaiyer. The model she studied serves to simplify the mathematical modelling of infectious diseases through dividing the affected population into four compartments: susceptible, exposed, infected and recovered. 

While looking at this model, the SEIR Compartmental Model of Epidemiology, Kavya began to consider potential applications outside the field of Epidemiology. That’s when she recounted a discussion on student loan debt that occured in Mr. Falkner’s English class and decided to explore the use of this disease model on this issue.

“Most of the research that has been done on student loan debt has been more data collection. We have an abundance of data on how many people on how long it is taking people to pay [their student loans] off and things like that, but there isn’t really analysis on the data,” Kavya said. “This is a pretty unconventional method but I thought it would be interesting to look at it from this point of view just to see what else you could find out about [student loan debt].”

The model was first created to research the Bubonic plague and since then has been used exclusively in the study of infectious diseases, such as Ebola. The SEIR model categorizes those at risk into four categories: susceptible, exposed, infected and recovered. 

Kavya defined the susceptible as graduating seniors enrolling into college, the exposed as students who are paying off their loans as part of their original repayment plan, the infected as adults in severe debt as they try as they try to meet loan payments and the recovered as adults who have successfully paid off their loans. 

Kavya’s research demonstrated the parallels between student loan debt and infectious diseases, concluding that, for a substantial portion of the US adult population, once they had “caught” the student loan debt, they remain infected for an extending period of time, about 21 years. 

With student loan debt therefore classified as a disease, Kavya believes that the solution to mitigate the disease is education. The overwhelming belief in the United States is that the benefits of attending college always outweigh the cost, but recent research has demonstrated that obtaining a college education is more of a risk than anticipated by the majority. The solution is educating susceptible high school students so they are aware of the risks they are undertaking by attending college, Ravishankar demonstrated. 

This fall, Ravishankar published an abstract and presented her research at a conference held at Illinois State University. After this presentation, she received the confirmation to write a research paper on the manner, which will be published in the SPORA Bioinformatics in late December or Early January. 

Indiana-area Jesuit high school faces controversy with the Church


Indiana-area Jesuit high school faces controversy with the Church

An ongoing conflict between Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis has garnered international attention following the involvement of the Vatican in late September. 

The conflict stemmed from an order by the archdiocese for the school to fire an openly gay teacher who has been legally married to another man since 2017. Following two years of dissent between the archdiocese and the Midwest province of Jesuits on the manner, the archdiocese rescinded the high school’s status as a Catholic institution this past June. 

“To effectively bear witness to Christ, whether they teach religion or not, all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis recognizes all teachers, guidance counselors and administrators as ministers,” the Archdiocese said in an official statement printed alongside the decree. “Regrettably, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has freely chosen not to enter into [an] agreement that protect the important ministry of communicating the fullness of Catholic teaching to students. Therefore, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.” 

Brebeuf Jesuit responded to the decree with a statement signed by the school’s president, Fr. William Verbryke, stating, “Brebeuf Jesuit has respectfully declined the Archdiocese’s insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse within a civilly-recognized same-sex marriage… After long and prayerful consideration, we determined that following the Archdiocese’s directive would not only violate our informed conscience on this particular matter, but also set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school’s operations and other governance matters that Brebeuf Jesuit leadership has historically had the sole right and privilege to address and decide.” 

That same day, the Midwest Province of Jesuits began an appeal of this decree through the formal appeal process of the church, which ultimately led to the matter being taken up by the Vatican.

“The general reaction was that a lot of [students] felt extreme disappointment in the archdiocese but also a lot of us were proud that our school made the decision to not fire the teacher,” Dexter King, an editor of The Brebeuf Arrow, said. “Students quickly rallied around the school.”

While awaiting response from the Vatican, the school was no longer identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese and was no longer allowed to officially hold mass. The implications of this order were additionally felt in athletics, after Brebeuf was barred from two All-Catholic Invitationals between other schools in the Indianapolis Archdiocese, a girls golf tournament on August 5th and a cross country meet on September 14th. 

On September 23rd, the Vatican announced an interim suspension of the decree while the school awaits the final decision of the Congregation of Catholic Education, a process that will take months, if not years. In the meantime, Brebeuf Jesuit has returned to holding mass on campus and has regained recognition as a Catholic institution. 

“I am very hopeful that the resolution will favor Brebeuf because our school is Jesuit primarily and therefore the Jesuit superintendent should have authority over the Archbishop as to the governance of my school,” King said. “I only hope that the Church makes the best, most inclusive decisions possible going into the future.”

About the Writer
Photo of Jack Kelley
Jack Kelley, Alumni 2018-2020

Jack Kelley is the associate chief editor for this year’s Jesuit Chronicle. A senior at Jesuit High School, Kelley has journalistic experience as a staff...

Column: athletic expectations at JHS


COLUMN: Athletic Expectations at JHS

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It’s no secret that Jesuit has developed a reputation for athletic success. In the past three years, JHS was twice named the number one athletic program in the nation by MaxPreps in 2019 and 2017 and named the number two program in the nation in 2018. Heading into the Fall playoffs, Jesuit holds the number one seed in three of the four OSAA brackets and won first place in the Metro League in all six fall sports, and last year the Crusaders took home eleven state titles, eight more than the school with the second most, Summit.

It is also no secret that athletic achievement has become somewhat normalized at Jesuit. Achievements such as winning the Oregonian Cup in 13 of the past 14 years and the administrative move that took place last fall to no longer hold assemblies following every state championship victory has caused some students to feel like this success is expected.

“I would definitely say that success at Jesuit has become normalized,” Nolan Gregg, a goalie on the 2018 state championship men’s soccer team, said. “But I don’t really think that it’s a bad thing.”

Gregg feels that there is an expectation for athletic success, but he credits this as a motivating factor and a reason why Jesuit has been dominant in the state of Oregon.

“When I put on [a Jesuit] jersey, I feel that I need to play well to represent our school,” Gregg said.

 Like Nolan Gregg, I have also found the normalization of athletic success at Jesuit to have beneficial effects. 

From my first JV2 soccer practice in August of my freshman year, I remember my coach telling us about this reputation and that many teams considered the game against us to be the biggest of the year. Having coached previously at various other high schools around the state, he told us that his players would prepare to play Jesuit for weeks and that we had a target on our back to perform as best as we could. This is a challenge that pushed my teammates and I to go to start practice early and to stay late, and as I have moved on to levels of competition beyond JV2 soccer, the expectation for success and the work that I have put in with my teammates to follow these expectations has become much greater. 

Living up to this reputation is a part of the reason why my track teammates and myself have developed an intensive year-long training program. I have found that there’s a certain pride that comes with competing with “Jesuit” across your chest that creates a desire to emulate the athletic greatness that JHS has become known for. In the weight room, on the track or on the athletic fields hundreds of athletes in a variety of sports can be found every afternoon, working to meet these expectations and contributing to this culture that ultimately yields athletic success. 

About the Writer
Photo of Jack Kelley
Jack Kelley, Alumni 2018-2020

Jack Kelley is the associate chief editor for this year’s Jesuit Chronicle. A senior at Jesuit High School, Kelley has journalistic experience as a staff...

Zoe Ferguson Making a Splash in the Music Industry


Senior Zoë Ferguson Makes a Splash in the Music Industry


Associate Chief Editor

At just 17 years of age, Senior Zoe Ferguson has already begun making a splash in the music industry. Her latest single, DIP, has amassed over 350,000 streams and last year, she was selected to the exclusive EMERGE program, a talent-search program from Atlantic Records. 

Ferguson started making music at the age of 13, drawing inspiration from her father who is also a musician. When she was 15, she started sharing her music, posting songs on Soundcloud and a music instagram account.  “I got some traction from [the account] and some producers in Portland asked me to work with them,” Ferguson said. “After that, I just started taking things more seriously and tried to get a bigger following in Portland.”

Following this initial success, it did not take long for Ferguson to attract the attention of industry-leading producers. Last year, Zoe applied for a teen-talent search program called EMERGE from Atlantic Records, a label whose artists include Cardi B, Bruno Mars and Lil Uzi Vert. Of the 7,000 applicants, Ferguson was one of 15 that Atlantic Records flew out to Los Angeles for a tryout in front of the label’s top producers. After making it through additional rounds of cuts, she was selected as one of the two artists to make music with producers who had worked with the likes of Khalid and Billie Eilish. 

More recently, Zoe has been working with Portland-area producer Graham Barton, who produced Ferguson’s highest streaming song to date, DIP.

The song, which has accumulated hundreds of thousands of streams on Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud and YouTube, received its start in Jesuit’s Clark Library.

“One day, I was writing my junior paper, in the library during class, and I had just gotten the track from Graham who was like, ‘Can you write to this?’, so I was listening to it in class and I was sick of doing my junior paper so I wrote it there in class,” Ferguson said. “Clare was across from me, helping me figure it out and that’s when I got the chorus done.”

“We were laughing about [the song lyrics] because she pulled them out of thin air,” Claire Kreutzer said. “She always knew what she wanted the concept of the song to be, so seeing all of the lyrics play out was really interesting to me.” 

The song was released this past July and received a boost in streams after it was added to a Spotify-curated playlist with over 750,000 followers called “Pop Right Now”. 

Following her senior year, Ferguson hopes to take a gap year and further pursue her dream of becoming a professional recording artist.

Senior Anna Kearney believes that Zoe has what it takes. “I think that in no time she will be a household name and singing music as a career, Kearney said.  “She is so happy when she is singing and really feels at home.”

Ferguson’s latest single, Medicine, dropped October 3rd.

About the Writer
Photo of Jack Kelley
Jack Kelley, Alumni 2018-2020

Jack Kelley is the associate chief editor for this year’s Jesuit Chronicle. A senior at Jesuit High School, Kelley has journalistic experience as a staff...

Jesuit Named #1 Athletic Program in the Nation


Courtesy MaxPreps


Jesuit Named #1 Athletic Program in the Nation

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For the second time in four years, Jesuit High School was identified as the number one athletic program in the nation by MaxPreps and awarded the MaxPreps Cup.

Following 11 state championship titles during the 2018-19 school year, Jesuit beat out Carmel High School in Indiana and became just the third high school to have won the honor twice.

In addition to state championship titles, MaxPreps awards points for second place finishes and national rankings in the top 25. The size of a state, the popularity of the sport being played, the school’s playoff classification and the number of teams competing in a playoff classification are all taken into account in the MaxPreps point system.

In the fall, Jesuit received points for their state titles in girls soccer, boys soccer and volleyball, and their second place finishes in boys and girls cross country. Additional points were awarded for ranking second in the nation in girl’s soccer and ranking eleventh in the nation in women’s cross country.

The winter season yielded three additional state championship titles in boys swimming, girls swimming and boy’s basketball.

Few will soon forget the boys basketball title run that took place at the Chiles Center in early March, which saw the Crusaders upset #1 ranked Lake Oswego and basketball powerhouse Jefferson in the semi-finals and championship game, respectively.

“Going into it, just about no one believed that we had a chance,” current senior guard Matthew Levis said. “It was a surreal moment really, when the final buzzer went off and we beat them by 6 or 7. I was just there sitting on the sidelines in disbelief that we had just won a state championship and I had thirteen of my closest friends to share it with right on the sideline with me and an entire Jesuit student section right above me cheering us on. I’m never going to forget that moment for the rest of my life.”

Despite these successes, Jesuit came into the spring season trailing Carmel High School in MaxPreps rankings by over 400 points. However, state championship victories in boy’s tennis, boy’s golf, girl’s golf and baseball gave Jesuit the advantage over Carmel. Points awarded for a national ranking of 18 in boy’s golf and a second place finish in girl’s track put the Crusaders at 2,243 points to finish the 2018-19 school year, 156 points ahead of Carmel.

“It’s a wonderful honor that within our state, within our market, we do really well that it is recognized at a national level,” Athletic Director Mike Hughes said. “It’s a compliment to the well roundedness of our school. There are some schools that are known for being a great football school or a great basketball school, but there are few schools that do it in all of their sports programs like we do, so we take pride in that.”

According to Hughes, numerous factors are responsible for Jesuit’s athletic success over the years, including strong parental support and the experience of our coaches. “When you have coaches that have been here for 37 years, Coach Rothenberger, 32 years, [Coach Ken Potter], 31 years, [Coach Gene Potter], you tend to learn a thing or two about how to be successful,” Hughes said.

About the Writer
Photo of Jack Kelley
Jack Kelley, Alumni 2018-2020

Jack Kelley is the associate chief editor for this year’s Jesuit Chronicle. A senior at Jesuit High School, Kelley has journalistic experience as a staff...

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