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Commonwealth Honors Students Take Their Research to the Next Level

December 2019
  • Commonweath Honors Students and their professors Amy Beaudry (R) and Gaelan Lee Benway (L).
    Commonweath Honors Students and their professors Amy Beaudry (R) and Gaelan Lee Benway (L).

For many years Quinsigamond Community College has been a member of the Commonwealth Honors Program (CHP), which is accredited by the Department of Higher Education (DHE). All of the Massachusetts community colleges, state universities, and UMass campuses are part of this honors program, with each school determining their curriculum, based on the accreditation criteria that the DHE has established.  QCC’s Honors Program requires students successfully complete four courses at an honors level with a B or higher. A small, seminar-style, team-taught class, is the capstone course of the program.

The theme of this fall’s capstone was, “Dystopian/Utopian Worlds in Literature and Contemporary Society.” Over the previous summer, each student chose and read a novel from the genre of dystopian literature.  During the fall semester, students worked closely with their two professors, Amy Beaudry and Gaelan Lee Benway, and a library mentor (Denise Cross, Michael Stevenson, or Tiger Swan), to select a real world topic that is addressed in their dystopian novel. They then conducted scholarly research on this topic, wrote a 10-15 page literature review, and presented their findings to the college community on December 4.  Students who presented their research included:

  • Brandon Anderson, Liberal Arts - Psychology, “Alone together: A Society of Electric Sheep and Extremists”
  • Jenna Glode, Liberal Arts – History, “Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Anarchy”
  • Larissa Gloss, Business Administration Transfer, “Visible and Psychological Impacts of Objectification”
  • Haley Gordon, Criminal Justice, “Privatization v. Public Good: Education”
  • Jonathan Lane, General Studies, “The Fight for Liberty”
  • Lily Lavender-Hoge, Business Administration, “Political Fear Tactics”
  • Sarah Maino, General Studies,“The Cognitive Consequences of Forbidden Love”
  • J. Carlos Simoes, General Studies Health Care, “The New Boogeyman: Social Media”
  • Hue Truong, Computer Science, “Collectivism: Thoughts on the Assimilation of Chinese Minorities”
  • Savannah Vangel, Liberal Arts - Psychology, “Government Surveillance”
  • Ryan Waxman, Liberal Arts, “Fear as a Form of Social Control”
  • Sarah Zlody, General Studies, "Prostitution: The Real Story"

Visit Commonwealth Honors to learn more.