Honors students to present research at symposium March 25

A crowd of approximately 25 show up to watch students give their presentations during the 11th Annual Redwine Honors Program Symposium on March 25. Photo by Arianna Davis

The Redwine Honors Program’s 11th Annual Honors Symposium is scheduled for March 25 at 10 a.m. in Dillard 189. The event will compile honors students research projects, and offer a chance to present the findings followed by a faculty panel to discuss cultural diversity and contributions to their success.

According to Juliana Lehman, assistant director, the honors students will present a wide range of topics that “showcase the academic research done.”

Although the event is open campus wide, Lehman said the attendance usually runs between 30-40 people. However, the presentations cover topics from psychological research to current events which interests a larger variety of students Lehman said.

“We’ve had topics all the way from snake venom to Japanese manga and the presidential debates in the past,” Lehman said. “It’s fun to watch the students engage with the presentations and ask questions about the topics. Sometimes they ask something and blow away the professors there to critique the presentations.”

Salim Azzouz, associate professor of engineering, Jeff Hood, associate professor of math and Magaly Rincón-Zachary, biology professor, have volunteered to critique the presentations before the students present them at the Great Plains Symposium the following week and will conclude the event with a panel discussion on cultural diversity.

The honors students selected Azzouz, Hood and Rincon because of their culturally diverse backgrounds and experience intertwining the differences honors program treasurer Brooke Benson, nursing  junior, said. Neither Azzouz nor Rincon are from the U.S. while Hood, an American native, has relatives from Scotland.

The honors program has various students from foreign countries like the Caribbean and Germany that Lehman said sparked the initial interest in the cultural diversity topics.

“The honors program chose diversity because it is constantly brought up in conversations through the media,” Benson said. “We wanted to focus on cultural diversity, and these professors have experience first hand at the benefits.”

According to Vice-Chair of honors student committee Luke Saunders, psychology and sociology senior, the symposium offers non-honors students the opportunity to see what the program orchestrates and hopes this encourages students to learn more about the program.

“Apparently we have a lot more people outside the organizations coming to the symposium, and it will be interesting to see how it goes,” Saunders said. “I’m interested to see what the faculty will have to contribute to the event because of their experiences and listen to what they have to say about it.”

The audience’s connection to the presentation “brings life to the event” Benson said and encourages the honors program to continue the symposium.

“Some students can be intimidated by professors, but when they see them present information and share their backgrounds, relationships can be built,” she said. “These professors and students have spent extensive time on various projects and we get to come together and show that to people and each other. At times, the honors students will disconnect from each other, and through this event we get to reconnect and discuss classes and interests that have inspired us over the time apart from one another and it’s worth noting these discoveries.”