The low hum of voices and the sweet serenade of scholarly discussion was a draw for a number of passersby at the Honors Colloquium this May. The evening began with a small reception featuring a dazzling array of treats and a number of poster presentations. The easels were adorned with posters on topics as wide and varied as the Honors Program itself, ranging from an investigation into the cultural premises of Newbery Award winning children’s literature, building a local food culture, adapting diagnostic tools through the use of nanoparticles and thermally-responsive polymers and more.
Historically known as the “Honors Research Colloquium,” this year the Honors Student Advisory Panel, a group of students who bring together the Honors community and serve as student representative to Honors, decided to expand the premise of the Colloquium. This year, presentations included students’ research, leadership, travel and service learning experiences. This new premise was designed to align with the alterations to the Honors curriculum, which incorporates each of these four elements (research, service, leadership and travel) into the new set of Honors requirements.
The diversity of Honors experiences was further demonstrated with the equally varied set of oral presentations. A few of the highlights of this portion of the Colloquium include a presentation by sophomore Katelin Chow, a journalism major, who related her experiences and lessons learned from interning at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with NBC Universal. Sarah Ellison, a senior double-majoring in the Program on the Environment and political science, presented her research on Garry oak ecosystems, focusing specifically on the threats to the species in sites like the San Juan Preservation Trust’s Point Disney Preserve Waldron Island, Washington. Christopher Pierini, a senior in biochemistry, detailed his studies on ubiquination pathways and the importance of studying MDMX and MDM2 proteins for purposes of cancer research.
All of the presentations, both oral and in poster form, were impressive and demonstrated the caliber of excellence and the wide range of interests and experiences within the Honors Program. Faculty, staff and students alike look forward to next year’s event.
About the author: Charmi Ajmera is a senior Honors student majoring in international studies.