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Honors College Hosts Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Honors Seniors Present Their Thesis Research
Honors College Hosts Fifth Annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Courtney Mumphrey presents her Honors Thesis research to an audience of Honors College students and faculty members.

On April 9th, the Honors College hosted its fifth annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium in the Grand Salon of the French House and in the West Laville study. 

Students learned about the rewards and benefits of research from keynote speaker Jeffrey Nunn, an Ernest and Alice Neal Professor and Professor of Geology before listening to research presentations by Honors College seniors, who were presenting their Thesis Projects.  

Jeffrey Cunniff, a biochemistry major who presented his research on different oxidizing agents and fluorescence for folic acid detection, said the Colloquium was an opportunity to see what his peers had been researching. 

“It was really interesting to see the wide variation of thesis topics that can be done,” he said. “And we were grouped in sessions according to our majors, so it was nice to see similar research and see what we can gain from each other, while also learning what other students are doing in other disciplines.”

The annual Thesis Colloquium allows Honors College seniors the opportunity to present their research and practice their thesis defense, while also allowing other Honors students and faculty members to learn about the topics discussed.

Nguyen Lam, an Honors nutritional sciences senior, presented his research on macular pigment optical density, body weight and diet in college-aged students.

“The Colloquium was a great experience because I got to share my research with all my peers who had their thesis to present,” he said. “I got to see my peers from many different fields … For me, it was fun seeing that research isn’t just science-based; you can see it in many different fields.”

One student who utilized a non-traditional format to present her research was theatre student Christine Baniewicz, whose interactive presentation involved having audience members work in groups to write their own short plays.

“My thesis was an analysis of the different procedures used in creating theatre on your own and collaboratively … so for my presentation, I thought that the quickest and best way to disseminate what I learned was to have them feel it themselves,” she said. “It was incredibly fun.”

Honors juniors focus on research during their junior year and embark upon the thesis project during their senior year, making the Honors College Thesis Project the culmination of the four-year Honors curriculum.