Students who participated in the Honors Program Showcase took their presentations to the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference.
Susan McPherson, a QCC English professor who co-teaches the Honors Capstone Course, said the conference, held at UMass Amherst on April 28, is an excellent networking opportunity for students. There were more than 1,200 student presenters at this year’s conference, representing 21 campuses in the public higher education system. The conference is co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, and the Massachusetts State University Council of Presidents.
“In addition to the networking possibilities, students are given a platform to showcase their semester-long research and view they types of research their peers are doing at other community colleges and at the four-year university level,” Ms. McPherson said. “The presentation types include a panel, with oral presentation; poster presentations; and e-poster presentations; we had a combination of all three types delivered by QCC honors students.”
Ms. McPherson and Jean Kennedy, a Human Services professor, co-taught the Honors Capstone Course, which honors students are required to take to graduate. It is a seminar-style course, each student works on a research project for the semester with the goal to create a scholarly writing project and presentation. This is one of the requirements of the Commonwealth Honors Scholars program, and helps students prepare for the four-year college experience.
The following students presented at the conference: Richmond Amoako, Leah Berthiaume, Stephanie Collins, Kristi Dorr, Rachel Ferdinand, Amanda LeBeau, Nathan Manna, Ethan O’Connell, Peter Orlovsky, Alondra Pichardo, Cristian Robles, Maximus Seale and Mary Tremblay. Research topics ranged from artificial intelligence, drug resistant bacteria to the future of self-driving cars.
For more information about the projects they researched, see previous newsletter story.
Some STEM students also attended the event. The STEM Starter Academy funded a bus to take students, faculty, and staff to the conference. The keynote address was given by Gerald B. Downes, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at UMass Amherst, who spoke about his research in neurological disease and disorders.
The Honors Program at QCC is accredited by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education as a Commonwealth Honors Program. It is part of an integrated, collaborative system-wide network of honors programs in Massachusetts public higher education. Students participating in the Honors Program:
- Complete selected courses on an Honors level.
- Participate in an Honors Colloquium.
- Participate in cultural and social events.
- Receive personal guidance and peer support.
- Increase their transfer and scholarship opportunities.
For more information about the Honors Program and Showcase, visit the Commonwealth Honors Program website.