2021 Honors Conference Offers Broad Range of Research

Interpreting translated language in choral music. Introspective writing on issues of personal health. Issues of ongoing poverty in urban environments. Finding structure in the world around us. These were some of the themes presented by the ten Millsaps College students who participated in the 2021 Honors Conference held on February 5, 2021.

At Millsaps, the low student/professor ratio allows all classes to be taught at what could be considered an honors level. Participation in the Honors Program takes things to the next level, and is open by invitation to juniors with a GPA of at least 3.300. Invited students conduct research in the spring and summer of their junior year, and then document and revise their research and defend their work before the Honors Committee in the fall of their senior year. Final presentations are made at the annual Honors Conference in the spring of the senior year.

This year’s participants and presentations included:

  • Emma Cavagnaro (honors in government and politics) – The Impact of Tort Reform: A Study of Policy in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee
  • Eleni Fanouraki (honors in philosophy) – A Thought That Came Full Circle. “Being a Part, Being a Whole: The Structure We Need in Our World”
  • Olivia Edwards (honors in economics) – Environmental Factors and Maternal Health in Mississippi, 2013-2018
  • Beth Dowdy (honors in anthropology) – Rising St. James, A Case Study: The Implications of the Natural and Built Environment on Cancer Alley and St. James Parish, Louisiana
  • Lauren Ladner (honors in music) – Translation as Interpretation: A Contextual Analysis of the Role of English Translations in American Choral Pedagogy
  • Nathan Pyle (honors in creative writing) – Obsession
  • Anne Marie Lofton (honors in mathematics) – On the Unimodality of the Independence Polynomial of Trees Using the Generalized Tree Shift
  • Lauren Singleton (honors in creative writing) – Self on Trial: A Commentary on the Health of My Environment, Mind and Society
  • Rachel Switzer (honors in English) – A “Beautiful Little Fool?” Filmic Interpretations of Daisy Buchanan for The Great Gatsby
  • Lacee Winfield (honors in anthropology) – Persistent Poverty: Housing and Economic Injustice in an Urban Environment

Presentations by students were livestreamed from the McMullan Lecture Hall in the Selby & Richard McRae Christian Center. In keeping with the college’s strategic theme of “Across the Street and Around the Globe,” Fanouraki presented her research from her home in Greece.

“I am always impressed with the research, depth and quality of the presentations from students at this conference, and this year was certainly no different,” said Dr. Cory Toyota, associate professor of organic chemistry and director of the Millsaps College Honors Program. “The scope of this year’s presentations – from anthropology to economics to creative writing – certainly showcased the broad academic accomplishments of our students.”

Winfield was honored following the conference with the presentation of the Phi Beta Kappa Award for Outstanding Honors Thesis and Presentation. Dowdy received honorable mention for her Honors Thesis and Presentation.

The full Honors Conference can be viewed here on the Millsaps College YouTube channel.

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