The Honor Roll S P R I N G 2 017
> Take Note:
I participated last summer in a biomedical engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates in Simulations, Imaging, and Modeling at East Carolina University. I took images of muscles using an ultrasound machine and created a code that analyzes those images. The goal was to create a more accurate tool for measuring the changes that muscles undergo when moving a joint. The experience not only helped me learn where my interests lie, but it gave me the experience that I will need as I pursue graduate school and job search. Written by: Kylee Schaffer
> Constellation Sensation Honors students presented “Constellation Sensation” in December during the annual Stars, Planets, and Cosmos Symposium. The main part of the symposium showcased the 13 Zodiac signs. Students discussed each Zodiac’s meanings and the stars contained within them. Being a student who enjoys astronomy, this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about a subject that I find fascinating. I would say the most interesting thing discussed at the symposium was the 13th Zodiac sign, Ophiuchus. This constellation, announced in 2011, is considered to be the newest Zodiac Sign and is representative of the Serpent Bearer. If you were born from November 29th to December 17th, this is your new Zodiac Sign! Written by: Eric Perrault
>> SAVE THE DATE! THE 11TH ANNUAL UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CONFERENCE WILL BE APRIL 21 IN SEWALL.
> Summer Research
Savanah Buhite will present her research on “English Language Learners and the Common Core” at the NRHC Conference in April. Hannah Bartus will present her research, “Public Schools: The Unequal Opportunity,” at the NRHC Conference in April. Megan DeArmit was selected to participate in the New Leadership program this summer. Kylee Schaffer will participate in the EuroScholars program this spring and will be conducting research at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
> Honors Stammtisch A stammtisch is an informal group meeting held on a regular basis. The Honors Program co-directors held three stammtischs during the fall semester. The stammtischs made me feel much more connected with the professors leading us through our education. My favorite meeting featured the Rooney Scholar, Annette Forster, as a special guest. I had previously attended her talk on torture and democracy so it was cool getting to learn more about the topic, her experiences at RMU, and her life in Germany in a more informal setting. Written by: Morgan Beatty
Last May I participated in the National Collegiate Honors Council's "Partners in the Park" program, which allowed me to travel to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This opportunity was a great way to meet honors students from around the United States. During the week in Hawaii we stayed at Kilauea Military Camp. During the week we visited the Kilauea crater and took guided tours through the rainforests, lava lakes and tubes, caverns, botanical gardens, a cattle ranch, beaches, and volcanoes of the national park. These guided tours offered opportunities to learn about the Hawaiian culture and legends, the native and invasive species of plants and animals, and the unique history and geography of Hawaii. I even got to participate in a 10-mile hike to a remote beach where we slept under the stars! Over the week, I bonded with my group members through our excitement at new opportunities, the hardships of backpacking the long hikes, scholarly conversations, and small talk about our past and future plans. Partners in the Park programs are available all over the United States, and I would highly recommend this program to any honors student. Written by: Nicole Stone
> Honors Visits Neverland Honors students attended the musical “Finding Neverland” at the Benedum for the fall semester cultural outing. This musical revolves around writer J.M. Barrie and how he got his inspiration to write the story of Peter Pan. Through this musical you can see many of the parallels between Peter Pan and Barrie's real life. The music was fantastic and the story had everything from comedy to tragedy. Written by: Hannah Arnold
>> FALL BOOK CLUBS: THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, ME BEFORE YOU, STANDARD DEVIATIONS, OUTLIERS: THE STORY OF SUCCESS.
> Honors Goes to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
> An Enlightening Honors Seminar with the Rooney Scholar In the fall I attended the Honors seminar on "Torture and Democracy” presented by the visiting Rooney Scholar from Germany, Dr. Annette Förster. The class focused on the topic of Dr. Förster’s research: torture and how it operates in a democratic setting. During the class we attempted to answer the questions “What are the international defense mechanisms against torture?”, “What are the torture methods employed by democratic societies?”, and “Should there be an absolute prohibition on torture?” These topics were passionately debated by the class, and many still disagree on some points. However, one thing the entire class could agree upon was how excellent it was to have Dr. Förster there to guide us through these topics. During her time at RMU, Dr. Förster was also an active part of the community. She invited students to potluck dinners and held several talks on torture in the modern world, the presidential election, and German politics. Dr. Förster’s enthusiasm for encouraging discussion and debate made the semester a little bit brighter, and she will be missed by the RMU community. Written by: Shamus Brady
At the fall event “What I Saw at the Conventions,” four panelists, Dr. Justin DePlato, Dr. Anthony Moretti, Megan DeArmit, and Stan Marciniak, discussed their experiences at the Republican and Democratic conventions. Dr. DePlato, a Pennsylvania delegate, kicked off the panel with his own newspaper article describing presidential candidate Donald Trump. Dr. DePlato explained that Trump is undeniably a successful businessman, and no businessman becomes successful without knowing how to market. Dr. Moretti stated that he was surprised to see a lot of empty seats at the Republican convention in Cleveland — seats of representatives whose support Trump might find necessary to win the election. Megan and Stan worked an internship for CNN and the DNC over the summer that allowed them to have an up close look of the Democratic convention. Megan even got to meet Anderson Cooper! Both reflected that they wished there had been less anti-Trump rhetoric and more pro-Democratic and pro-Hillary Clinton rhetoric in terms of speeches. Written by: Anna Hartwell
> Honors Creates an “Escape Room” In order to fundraise for our annual “Pink Feet” competition, the Honors Program held an Escape Room in October. Kelly Jones, Hannah Arnold, and I brainstormed puzzle ideas and decided the setting for the room would be an abandoned deaf and mute school. This allowed the actors in the room to help give clues, but prevented them from being able to talk or respond to questions. In the end, our Escape Room consisted of three rooms and a lobby area filled with intricate puzzles. We were able to raise $700 for Pink Feet, a new fundraising record for the Honors Program, and we are excited that the funds are going to a worthy cause. Written by: Hannah Bartus
>> CONGRATS TO JESSICA SALES, LORETTA CAROSONE, AND ALLISON HARNSBERGER FOR WINNING THE #PENS4PURPOSE CONTEST.
> Reflections on the Conventions
> Inspirational Advice from the Presidential Fellow I hope to see myself as a successful individual, but I often find myself wondering how to juggle academics, work, and a social life. This fall, honors students had the pleasure of having lunch with Christopher Davis, an individual who knows about juggling multiple tasks all too well. Mr. Davis’ resume is impressive, to say the least. He has work in the FBI’s counterterrorism department, managed security for high profile events like the Olympics, served as a U.S. diplomat, and played in the NFL. Yet he never found having too little time or juggling too many tasks to be a problem. During our lunch, Mr. Davis explained that no matter your social background or economic environment, opportunities to make yourself a great leader will always be available. The key to success is actively and enthusiastically pursuing each and every opportunity, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Time is limited. However, as Mr. Davis stated, if we use our time and energy wisely, it will never be wasted. Written by: Margo Gamble
> Turning Dreams into Reality: Fellowships and Scholarships
Written by: Allison Harnsberger
> Honors Research Symposium As a freshman honors student, I realize that my senior thesis will require a significant amount of time, effort, and high caliber work. However, I did not realize that the topic of my research could be truly exciting and interesting until I attended the Honors Research Symposium this December. After listening to students propose their chosen research topics, I am all the more confident that this project will enrich my education by allowing me to dive into my own thesis in a few years. Written by: Brittany Claybaugh
>> CONGRATULATIONS TO DECEMBER GRADUATES ELISABETH ROSENSTERN AND JOSHUA KWASNY.
I have found that almost all students I have encountered are starry-eyed dreamers. Many students pine to study abroad, while others desire to extend their education beyond simply earning a bachelor’s degree. Unfortunately, due to financial restraints or lack of opportunity, aspirations remain merely dreams, in spite of a student’s outstanding talent or excellent academic standing. Fellowships and scholarships allow students to transform their dreams from intangible to attainable. This fall the Honors Program sponsored a fellowship and scholarships panel at the Career Day for undergraduates. The panel featured scholarship and fellowship recipients Sarah Robb (NSF Graduate Fellowship) and Shannon Mattox (Gilman Scholarship) and many knowledgeable RMU faculty and staff members. In addition to detailing the experiences of Robb and Mattox, the panel outlined the extensive list of fellowships and scholarships available to students. Attending the panel gave me motivation and inspiration to seriously consider pursuing a scholarship or fellowship. While I gleaned from the panel that applying is highly competitive and requires immense amounts of planning, determination, work, and effort, the payoff, if awarded, is astounding. Even if an applicant does not receive the fellowship or scholarship he or she applied for, the applicant has developed and utilized valuable skills that can be used in building a portfolio or in completing future endeavors, such as research or projects. It is never too early to plan, and having foresight may give you an advantage over other applicants. Applying for a fellowship or scholarship can provide you with opportunities that may never be presented to you again during your academic career.
> WWI: The Biggest American War You’ve Forgotten In his roundtable presentation on October 13, Dr. Fanning discussed trench warfare and how America responded to WWI by enacting severe censorship, rationing, and conscription laws, which ultimately led to the structural transformation of the American society. Moreover, he discussed the forgotten army in the “Forgotten War.” African Americans were left to fight in unequal, segregated units. However, while abroad, these troops observed the equal treatment of minorities in France, and upon returning home to once again face Jim Crow laws, a civil revolution was sparked. In the end, Dr. Fanning’s discussion allowed students and faculty to remember our fallen heroes and to realize the immense impact WWI had on the U.S. militarily, socially, and culturally. Written by: Malikul Muhamad
Thank you to our newsletter contributors:
Hannah Arnold Hannah Bartus Morgan Beatty Shamus Brady Brittany Claybaugh Maria French Margo Gamble Allison Harnsberger Anna Hartwell Malikul Muhamad Eric Perrault Kylee Schaffer Nicole Stone