Brian Mastroianni, ’14 M.A. Arts & Culture, Published His Thesis in The Atlantic
My thesis pitch brainstorm careened from one buzzy or sensationalistic topic to the next, without hitting on something that was a story.
I settled on art therapy, to merge my interests in arts and health reporting. I stumbled across the website of Houston-based art therapist and psychotherapist Eva Szego, which included information on her work with mime performer Julithe Garrett. Szego put me in touch with Garrett, and I learned about their unique work together that placed mime performance in therapeutic settings. I headed to Houston for 10 days during my winter break to shadow Garrett and conduct extensive interviews with Szego.
When I returned from Houston, my advisor urged me to ground my piece in hard science. I grudgingly approached neuroscience research, skeptical that any of it could seamlessly flow with the rest of my story. Of course, Professor Solomon was right. By reading studies on how movement impacts the brain and body, the work out of Houston was now contextualized by tangible science that gave the story more weight.