By Kristina Pickering
This past October, eight students and two teachers had the opportunity to attend the National Collegiate Honors Conference (NCHC) held in Orlando, Florida at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Hotel. From October 27 to October 31, seniors Janelle Sangalang, Megan Slaughter, and myself, juniors Jolisee Gray, Zohra Ahmed, and Julie Asbury, sophomore Jensen Armstrong, graduate Fidelia Asomani, and professors Dr. Angela Spratt and Dr. Lauren Moore shared their work spanning from topics of biology to philosophy to politics.
Student presentations highlighted in the conference included Asbury’s idea exchange entitled “Study Abroad COVID Style!” which discussed how the Morrissy student program worked with another university in the New Czech Republic to create a book of writings on students’ perspectives during COVID-19. Another popular topic was Armstrong’s panel presentation with Spratt, Morre, and myself entitled “Honors at 40: Learning About our Past, Understanding the Present, and Planning the Future” that looked at the research being done to analyze the history of the Morrissy Honors program for its 40th anniversary celebrated this spring.
Ahmed, a first-time attendee and presenter at NCHC, presented her research entitled “Associations Between Benzodiazepines and Diphenhydramine Regarding the Treatment of Anxiety.” This research focused on the antianxiety agent of benzodiazepines by looking at possible alternatives that can alleviate symptoms more safely. She enjoyed the conference and stated that “it was interesting to get to know a little more about my peers as well as meet new people and get a small glimpse into their lives as well.”
Throughout the five-day experience, students engaged in academic discourse with other universities on eugenics, diversity, education reform, women in medicine, and other topics aside from the academic discourses, networking, and expanding knowledge. Students could also explore the Disney scene with a trip to Epcot during the conference, exploring the hotel with the sky trams and swan boats, and engaging in numerous student activities led by student representatives, including myself.
Student activities included an 80’s themed dance with colorful costumes and big hairstyles, an open mic night where students could show their talents, and a student committee session to get feedback from students on what the organization needs. The week was based on the input and response to the conference to see what could be done in the future for the conference. For example, next year, students will be attending a conference in Dallas, Texas. Pack your cowgirl boots and cowboy hats!
Photo Courtesy Kristina Pickering
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