The Honor Roll FALL 2015
> Honors Research Symposium
Written by: Kendra Slis
> Take Note: Jessica Chin won 1st place at a national computer application competition hosted by the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda’s (FBLA-PBL) Leah Fleischel was the recipient of the Society for Collegiate Journalists Student Journalist of the Year Tara Dillan was recognized as one of the 2015 Integrity First Scholarship Recipients Megan DeArmit was selected to attend the Democratic National Convention and participate in The Washington Center’s prestigious two-week program
> Are There Multiple Levels of Infinity? How can there be multiple levels of infinity? Professor VanDieren addressed this fascinating topic at her roundtable this semester in which she discussed how logicians deal with multiple levels of infinity. In her demonstration, she used simple examples in order to allow the audience to understand complex math concepts. An audience favorite was her use of Hilbert’s infinite hotel example to show how different levels of infinity work. Overall, it was an awesome presentation that makes the abstract concept of infinity a little more understandable to the average person! Written by: Shamus Brady
>> SAVE THE DATE: THE 10TH ANNUAL UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 22, 2016
The Second Annual Research Symposium held in December provided a great showcase of all the important research being conducted by Honors Program students and was well attended by professors, faculty, staff, students, and community members. The symposium had thesis presentations from UHP seniors Leah Fleischel, Cassidy Toole, Elisabeth Rosenstern, and Haley Sawyer in addition to thesis proposals from 22 students. The symposium provided an excellent preview for some of thesis presentations which will be presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference this Spring.
> Tips and Advice on Going to Graduate School In October, the Honors Program co-sponsored a “Going to Graduate School Seminar.” At this event, there was a multitude of panelists giving advice on applying to graduate school including admissions staff, career center staff, faculty members, and past and present graduate school students. I especially liked this event because the information came from different sources with various points of view. The current graduate students went over several tips based on their experiences. Such as, it is never too early to start preparing an application. The career center and admissions staff provided guidelines on what graduate school admission counselors are looking for when reviewing applications. I left the event feeling that I now have a better sense of what to expect when applying to schools and how graduate school differs from undergraduate. Written by: George Dietrich
>> THIS SEMESTER’S BOOK CLUBS WERE LESS
What’s a gentleman to do when the stagnancy of the class system in which he finds himself stands in the way of him being with the woman he loves? Utilize murder as a tool for defying the hierarchy, naturally. Set in London in the year 1909 and featuring a design suggestive of an Edwardian music hall, the musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder takes a seemingly gruesome subject and twists it into an evening of light-hearted revelry. Forty-four RMU honors students had the pleasure of taking in this hijinks-filled delight of a show thanks to the Honors Student Advisory Council’s initiative to broaden students’ cultural horizons. All in all, as an individual who also saw the Broadway production early on in its run, the tour that played the Benedum was an excellent representation of what audiences in Midtown Manhattan have been enjoying since the latter part of 2013. Written by: Robert Dougher
> Law School Seminar The “Going to Law School Seminar” on Monday, November 16th, was hosted by the Pre-Law Society consisted of four panelists. Panelists included two former RMU students who are currently in their second year of law school at Pitt and Duquesne, an admission representative from Drexel University, and RMU’s assistant general counsel and associate director of athletic compliance. Those on the panel were candid about their experience in the law classroom, in their undergraduate studies, and in the legal world after graduation. Many students in attendance were able to ask questions of the panelists and converse about the challenges and benefits of obtaining a law degree. The event was well-attended and certainly helpful to those interesting in pursuing a career in the legal field. Written by: Megan DeArmit
THAN ZERO, GO SET A WATCHMAN, HOW TO WIN AT THE SPORT OF BUSINESS, THE SNOWDEN FILES, AND ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
> A Night at the Benedum
> No Shave November Seven Honors Program students participated in NoShave November this past month, in which individuals forgo shaving for the month of November to “grow” cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research. Beginning on October 31st between 10pm and 12am, the students were allowed to shave one last time before November began. All participants were asked to donate any amount of money that they felt comfortable donating. All of the proceeds were then bestowed to Pink Feet, a fundraising competition that is heavily supported by the Honors Student Advisory Council and supports the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. To celebrate the end of the month and the competition, a party and awards ceremony was held in the Honors Student Center on November 30. Awards were presented to Andrew Mason, Sam Ference, Eric Stauffer, Davis Simon, Spencer Wellington, and Will Camilleri for categories such as: Most Manly, Most Stylish, Best Neck Beard, and Overall Best. Written by: Eric Stauffer
> An Interview with Honors Professor Tess Barry In a world filled with darkness, finding light and happiness can be difficult. However, people like Professor Tess Barry manage to find the light in things and share this light with other people.
Professor Barry describes her personality as a writer as “human.” She praises goodness and beauty. Her work is hopeful and life-affirming. She states, “Poetry doesn’t have to be true, but there is truth in it. There is vulnerability as well.” Written by: Anna Hartwell
> Lunch with a Rooney Scholar On Monday, October 5th, 2015, several honors students had the opportunity to have lunch with Dr. Majid Hashemipour, Robert Morris’s current Rooney Scholar. Dr. Hashemipour is a professor at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus and is visiting RMU to share his expertise in the field of internationalization within universities. Dr. Hashemipour and his wife prepared a delicious traditional Mediterranean meal for lunch that included curry, chicken, chickpeas, rice, and salad. During the luncheon, we discussed Dr. Hashemipour’s efforts to globalize EMU (Eastern Mediterranean University) through his work and study program, which sets up American students with jobs in foreign countries to allay the costs of traveling abroad. His program at EMU is primarily a summer project in which students teach English at the university in Cyprus in exchange for room and board. Overall, the luncheon was a great way to get to know RMU’s Rooney Scholar! Written by: Margaret Bordo
>> CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR DECEMBER GRADUATES: LEAH FLEISCHEL, CASSIDY TOOLE, AND HALEY SAWYER!
A professor in the English department, Professor Barry recently submitted poetry to the Manchester Writing Competition, a concourse that includes fifty countries and tens of thousands of submissions, and she nearly won. The Manchester Writing Competition is not the only notch on Professor Barry’s poetry scorecard. She has been a finalist for North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize (twice), received Aesthetica’s Poetry Award, and was shortlisted for the 2014 Bridport Poetry Prize. Her poems frequently appear in the North American Review. Impressively, Professor Barry has traveled all over the world to diversify her writing, to countries such as Ireland, England, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, and Austria.
> Cupcake Bake-Off Each year the Honors Program participates in Pink Feet, a competition between Robert Morris University, Point Park University, and the CCAC to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This year, we held multiple events to raise money for the competition. We first did a cupcake sale in our schools cafeteria where students could decorate their own cupcake. Another event we did was a Halloween-themed cupcake decorating competition. Teams of two were given six cupcakes and had 25 minutes to decorate cupcakes however they wanted with a Halloween/Fall theme in mind. Judges then selected the best cupcakes. We found this to not only be very successful, but very fun as well. Lastly, in our Honors dorm, Hamilton Hall, we did a "No-Shave November" competition between all of the guys. They had to go the whole month of November without shaving their face. Overall, we raised over $250 for the month! Thank you to all of the honors students who helped and all of those who donated to such a great cause! Written by: Allison Dushack
> Applying for a Scholarship
I decided to apply for the Korean program on the intermediate level. The most difficult part of the application was the essays because of the small word count limits. Through these essays, the applicants should convey their dedication to learning the target language and how they plan to use the language in their future career. It was hard expressing everything I wanted to say in the limited amount of space. My advice for future applicants would be to start the application as soon as possible and to submit the application a few days before the deadline. The application site is known to crash multiple times on the due date due to a high volume of traffic on the site. Additionally, the essays take some time to write, and you should have multiple people read over them to make sure there are no errors! If I were to receive a CLS, I would be able to improve my fluency of Korean. I would also be able to travel to South Korea for the first time and learn more about the culture. For my Honors Thesis I am studying Korean pop culture, so I would be able to see some of this first hand and I would also learn about different aspects of the culture that I have not previously researched. Written by: Jessica Chin
> Constitution Day
Written by: Savanah Buhite
This semester the Honors Program Co-Directors started a new tradition on campus: The Honors Stammtisch! “Stammtisch” is German for “regulars’ table.” It’s basically a table reserved in German bars and restaurants for family, staff, and regulars to gather to socialize. On RMU’s campus, a Stammtisch is an informal lunch get-together with the UHP Co-Directors. The fall semester gatherings were great successes with many students sitting down to chat with the co-directors. Topics at the event ranged from thesis projects and research papers to the upcoming election. It was a great opportunity to take a break from classes and homework to have a casual conversation with Professors Harold and VanDieren as well as other honors students. Written by: Monica Deluca
Thank you to our newsletter contributors: George Dietrich Margaret Bordo Monica Deluca Megan DeArmit Jade Lu-Zoller Robert Dougher Savanah Buhite Allison Dushack Shamus Brady Kendra Slis Anna Hartwell Jessica Chin Eric Stauffer
On September 17th, Robert Morris faculty, staff, and students gathered in Rogal Chapel to celebrate Constitution Day. Audience members entered the inviting chapel to the sound of patriotic American compositions played by some of Robert Morris’ talented musicians. Supported by the Robert Morris Oral History Center and Daughters of the American Revolution, the event consisted of a panel of several veterans. The veterans shared their stories and roles in their tours, which included the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Topics of exploration included the idea of brotherhood, the comparison of Iraq and Afghanistan, leadership in the military and post-traumatic stress disorder. Audience members left with more than just the unique stories of these speakers, but also with a sense of what defending America’s constitution really means.
>> WINNERS OF THE 2015 ENRICHMENT AWARD WERE: DAMIAN DIFLORIO, MARY FUNDERLICH, AUBREY LEASURE, AND JOHN ROWLAND
Honors students interested in learning a foreign language should definitely consider The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. It is a fully funded summer international language and cultural immersion program for U.S. college students. The goal of the program is to broaden the base of Americans studying critical languages and building relationships between the United States and other countries. There are fourteen different language programs available.
> A New Honors Tradition