The Honor Roll SUMMER 2015
> Honors Takes Education Off Campus
Written by: Stanley Marciniak
> Undergraduate Research Conference On Friday, April 24, the Honors Program hosted the Ninth Annual Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference. The conference consisted of eight sessions of presentations, a poster session featuring 21 posters, and four teleconference presentations by students from Governors State University in Illinois. The Undergraduate Research Conference is personally one of my favorite events of the year, as it provides the opportunity to see what other students have been researching. I especially enjoy seeing how students can tie their academic studies to things they are passionate about. The day concluded with a short ceremony honoring the best poster award recipients, the Honors Civic Engagement Award recipients, Dean’s Choice panelists, and the 2015 Honors Program graduates. Written by: Katie Shirley
>> CONGRATULATIONS TO MEGAN DEARMIT AND ANDREW MILLER FOR BEING ELECTED CLASS OF 2018 PRESIDENT AND VP
On March 17, the RMU Honors Program hosted a panel discussion with four honors students regarding opportunities for RMU students beyond their inclassroom education. Hannah Arnold studied for a semester abroad in Limerick, Ireland. She shared her experiences concerning the breathtaking Irish landscape, her adjustment to an international education style, and her excursions across Europe. Leah Fleischel participated in an internship program through the Washington Center, based in our nation’s capital, where she interned with Voice of America. Asa Bull created his own study abroad experience in Ireland through an independent study abroad program, Worldwide Opportunities for Organic Farmers. In exchange for his labor, Asa received housing, food, and valuable farming skills. Finally, Jaime Morton became part of “Disney University” through her internship with the Disney College Program. As she “created happiness” by working at Epcot, Jaime remained a full-time RMU student by utilizing the university’s online courses. The experiences of RMU Honors students have imparted unforgettable memories and practical knowledge into their lives as well as their fellow students’, allowing all a chance to consider the fantastic opportunities that RMU can provide.
> RMU Competes at Quiz Bowl Robert Morris University was honored this spring semester with our first chance to compete in a regional Quiz Bowl that contested for nationals. Six students traveled to Youngstown State University to compete in nine rounds, plus two playoff rounds, against other colleges and universities. Other schools such as Edinboro, Pitt, and Carnegie Mellon were represented there as well. The timed rounds used a buzzer system in which we were tested on academic and trivia questions. Although going to nationals is not in our future, we were praised for our enthusiasm, commitment, and drive for it being our first time competing (we were the only school there competing for the first time.) We had the honor of meeting many other students who had worked very hard to reach their standings. It was a joyous experience and we are looking forward to setting up competitions on campus to compete again in the future. Written by: Allison Dushack
> Presenting Senior Thesis Research: Savanah, GA
Written by: Alexis Jones
> Presenting Senior Thesis Research: Harrisburg, PA This past February I attended the Undergraduate Research Conference at the CapitolPennsylvania in Harrisburg to present my Honors senior thesis research, “The Financial Impact of Tommy John Surgery.” The URC-PA conference is an educational event where students from Pennsylvania colleges and universities showcase their research to the Commonwealth’s key decision-makers. Participants spend a day in the East Wing Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol Building presenting their research, networking with other students and professionals, and speaking to state legislators on these important topics. Seeing the interesting projects students from across the state were involved in was an enriching experience. My personal favorite was a project to test if deer cross roads randomly. My project on Tommy John Surgery got a considerable amount of interest throughout the day. It was even mentioned in the opening remarks for the event. Given the opportunity, I would attend the URC at the Capitol again. Written by: Aaron Hartman
>> A RECORD-BREAKING 24 STUDENTS GRADUATED FROM THE HONORS PROGRAM THIS YEAR!
This past March I attended the Association of Marketing Theory and Practice (AMTP) conference in Savannah, Georgia. At this conference I presented my Honors senior thesis research, “Stereotyping or Segmentation? An Analysis of Children’s Advertising Across Networks.” My research mainly focused on gender stereotyping in children’s advertising. I had the opportunity to get feedback on my research, as well as observe other presentations relating to marketing, CRM, and logistics. It was a great networking opportunity, with so many academics discussing their ideas and projects. I have also presented my research to the RMU community at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Additionally, I have submitted my paper for publication with AMTP.
> How LinkedIn Got Me A Job It all started with a phone call from an unknown number and a man with a funny accent. My first reaction was to hang up on him, but he held my attention when he said he was calling about a potential job offer. After hearing a description of the position, I began to wonder how this man found me; I hadn’t submitted an application or resumé to this company. I inquired as to how he got my information. His simple response was, “LinkedIn.” The next few days were a series of Skype interviews, first with the COO of the company and then with an HR professional. A week later I boarded a plane to Chicago to meet with the COO for sushi in the O’Hare Airport. Two weeks after my interview, I finished filling out all of the preemployment contract papers and packed my bags to travel to Munich for six weeks to begin training on my new employer’s software development platform. Moral of the story: Get a LinkedIn account, keep it as up-to-date as possible, and answer that unknown number. It could turn out to be a man with a funny accent offering you the job opportunity of a lifetime. Written by: Joseph Sadaka
> Take Note Tanner Sebastian accepted to Ohio University’s Literature program for his Master’s Marulla Quirk accepted to Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she will pursue an MA in Employment and Labor Relations Nicholas Buzzelli has been accepted to Kent State’s Master’s of Journalism program After graduation, Vanessa Petrasko, Mark Gaynord, and Andrew Trapp, will remain at RMU to complete a Master’s program
> Presenting Senior Thesis Research: Gettysburg, PA
Written by: Marulla Quirk
> The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin On April 16, the Honors Program hosted a screening of a documentary, “The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin,” which was produced by Emmy Award-winning Producer and Director Patrick Lope. Before the screening, Marcel Minutolo, department head of Management and honors student Joe Sadaka did a short presentation on their work monitoring Bitcoin prices and trends. Marcel is currently working on a research project about Bitcoin, comparing its volatility to other crypto-currencies. The documentary was great for someone, like me, who knew next to nothing about Bitcoin prior to the screening. It described the background of Bitcoin, what it was and how it worked, and featured interviews with many of the prominent players in the Bitcoin world. The interviews throughout the documentary were very helpful to show the different aspects of Bitcoin and they demonstrated how slippery the slope was when it came to breaking government currency laws. After the documentary was over, there was an informative Q&A with Patrick Lope and Daniel Mross, the star of the documentary. The Q&A was beneficial because they were able to catch us up with what has happened in the Bitcoin world since the wrap up of the documentary and we also learned more about Patrick’s other projects. Written by: Hannah Arnold
>> THIS SEMESTER’S BOOK CLUBS WERE GONE GIRL, UNBROKEN, I AM MALALA, AND READY PLAYER ONE
The NRHC, Northeast Regional Honors Council, hosts an annual conference in which northeastern American and Canadian honors students can meet and share their independent research. This April, I was fortunate enough to attend the conference in Gettysburg. Since Gettysburg is an influential landmark in American history, the conference theme was “Battlefields of Change.” I presented research on the political commentary of radical revolution as a means of manipulation in dystopian novels such as “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells and “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. My paper was selected to be a part of the “Battlefields of Power” panel. Other notable pieces on the panel included a look at negatively stereotyped mafia movies from the 1940s used as propaganda against Italians and poetry aimed at the middle class as a means to raise awareness of deplorable working conditions before the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The panel sparked great discussion on how college students can use their education to make a meaningful political impact on society. The conference was an amazing experience and I hope that other honors students will take advantage of it in the future.
> Prospective Students Learn About RMU at Scholars’ Day The weekend of February 7 was the annual Scholar’s Day prospective student event. This event brings together the top prospective RMU applicants to learn more about being a member of the Honors Program and to submit their competitive Presidential Scholarship projects. As both an honors student and a Colonial Ambassador, I was invited to be on a panel of students at the event and had a chance to share my college experiences and advice with the high school seniors. During the panel session, audience members were given the chance to ask questions to the panel of 10 current honors students. Some of the discussion topics included college level classes, adjusting to college life, and the benefits of being an honors student. The day concluded with recognition of the students’ achievements so far in their educational careers. Overall, the event provided key information that helped high school seniors learn about the Honors Program at RMU and celebrated the highest performing prospective students. Written by: Megan Waleff
On March 18, Robert Morris University Honors Program students had the opportunity to hear a presentation by RMU professor Daria Crawley on her research involving the extra responsibilities of the busy woman in the workplace. Crawley explained her findings concerning Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCB) which are instances in which a woman chooses to do work outside of her job description. Through her research, Crawley found that job satisfaction, job tenure, and marital status are some of the factors that influence a woman’s inclination to participate in OCB. Crawley concluded that a company or firm should never discount the busy woman because these women are experienced in handling a steady work-life balance and planning their responsibilities. Every student and faculty member that attended Crawley’s presentation was eager to learn more about the background and reasoning behind OCB so that they could use this knowledge in their own workplaces or in the outside world. Written by: Jordan Williams
> Tangled Roots: An American Story Professor Jim Vincent gave a lecture on the parallels between the Irish-Catholic emancipation movement and the US abolitionist movement. Daniel O’Connell, the political leader of the Irish-Catholics, was a huge influence on Frederick Douglass and his famous abolitionist writings and speeches. After Jim’s lecture, he opened up for discussion. The audience was a very diverse group with athletes, professors, students from many different majors, and a Rooney Scholar. A lively, academic group discussion began that explored many topics including the definition of fundamental human rights and civil rights. Many different perspectives and opinions were expressed. Written by: Molly Watterson
>> SAC OFFICERS FOR 2015-16: HANNAH ARNOLD, MONICA DELUCA, PATRICK LAWRENCE, JOHN ROWLAND, AND EMMA WILSON
> A Roundtable on Women in the Workplace
> Changing Mindsets to Succeed in College Professor Maddie Ranade presented methods of succeeding in college, a topic that is on every college student’s mind, on January 30. Ranade’s discussion began with how a fixed or growth mindset affects how students think about their new situation and how they act in the college environment. Allowing for audience input, Ranade was able to show how mindsets that can adapt will make a student’s transition into college easier. She left her audience with tips on how to perform better in academics. Ranade concluded by saying that mindsets can change, and believing that anything is possible and being open to opportunities can create a healthy growth mindset. Written by: Emily McGraw
Thank you to our newsletter contributors: Joseph Sadaka Allison Dushack Megan Waleff. Molly Watterson Emily McGraw Stanley Marciniak Katie Shirley Alexis Jones Aaron Hartman Hannah Arnold
Robert Morris University