NCHC Conference 2009: Washington, DC

Though the leaves in Maine had already changed, we drove 14 hours south and were able to experience the colors of autumn all over again in our nation’s capital! Twenty-one students, five faculty members, and 5 staff members attended the NCHC conference in Washington, DC from 28 October through 1 November. Trip highlights? Here are just a few: a screening of the documentary film, The Linguists, about endangered languages around the world; proudly accepting another 1st place award for our magazine, MINERVA; a performance (in our hotel!) by the Capitol Steps; and a stealthy group photo at the pool– totally worth the effort!

Charlie's idea! No one fell in.

(More photos here.)

This year’s trip had a special send-off: in early October, many of our students were able to meet Betsy 55 and Bill Leitch, who make this trip possible each year. It was a wonderful visit and we are all grateful for their support of research and travel at the Honors College.

UMaine Presentations:

Dean Charlie Slavinparticipated in a Developing in Honors Session where speakers shared ideas regarding Fundraising for Honors: A way to ease budgetary pain? Slavin also presented with Mark Haggerty, Rezendes Preceptor for Civic Engagement, and Mimi Killinger, Rezendes Preceptor for the Arts, on The Formation of Rubrics for Evaluation of Honors College Theses. Emily Cain 02, Coordinator of Advancement, took part in a Developing in Honors panel focused on Protecting our Programs from External Demands. Barbara Ouellette, Coordinator of Student Academic Services and Budget, participated in another breakout session entitled Honors Housing: Living-Learning Communities, where she was able to highlight the new renovations in Colvin Hall!

For their project, Beyond College Avenue: Civic Engagement in the UMaine Honors Experience, Karin Baard 12 (English and Spanish), Timothy Baker 10 (mathematics) and Keri West 12 (English and history) worked on strategies for incorporating volunteerism into the Honors College– a topic of interest to many of our students.Samantha L. Paradis 12 (history and theatre) and Gregory Viens 12 (ecology and environmental studies) presented Reading between the Lines: Newspaper-Generated Poetry and the Global Perspective, along with their Honors 111 preceptor, Melissa Ladenheim, and Honors Associate Stephani Nola 07. They focused on using newspaper articles as a pedagogical tool for explaining themes raised in the curriculum.

Kristen Kuhns 10 (anthropology) and Morgan Brockington 11 (anthropology) presented Ethnogenesis: The Construction & Dynamics of the Honors Classroom Culture, along with Honors preceptors Ladenheimand Edith Elwood.They discussed the formation and negotiation of classroom culture, based on survey data and class observation. Killinger, François Amar, Honors preceptor, Katherine Brown 11 (marine science), and Rachel Snell 06, Honors Associate, discussed integrating cultural events into the Honors requirements, through Honors 180 (now Honors 188). Their presentation was entitled From Page to Stage: Performing Arts in the Honors Curriculum. Julie Herbert 11 (history) & Brianna Monahan 10 (food science & human nutrition) presented Decorum Delegates! Decorum! Integrating the Theoretical and Practical: A Comprehensive and Practical Study of United Nations Internal Proceedings in the 21st Century. They propose an Honors seminar focused on the history and operations of the UN, culminating with a trip to McGill University’s Model UN.

Two UMaine Honors presentations were placed at the same roundtable, arranged by theme. Carly Gaudette 11 (chemistry), Erica Brown 11 (molecular and cellular biology), and Honors preceptors Amar andElwood presented Can Honors Bridge the Two Cultures? Integrating Science into the Core. Bradie Manion 12 (biochemistry) also took part in the discussion, with a focus on Exploring Gray Matter: Science and Technology Expanded through Honors.

Across the room, more UMaine students were engaged in a lively discussion based on Currents & Contexts: Enhancing Student Awareness with Global Issues. This conversation was led byHaggerty and former Honors 170 student facilitators: Ankita Chowdhury 10 (molecular and cellular biology), Michael Maberry 10 (history), Nolan Southard 10 (mechanical engineering), Kasey Spear 10 (English and secondary education).


Presenting posters at the conference were: Amy Foley 10 (biochemistry and molecular & cellular biology), The Effect of Artificial Sweeteners on E. Coli and Dictyostelium Discoideum; Chowdhury (molecular & cellular biology) Ovalbumin Expressing Candida albicans as a Model to Study the Role of the Innate Immune System in the Stimulation of an Effective Adaptive Immune Response to C. albicans; Matthew Ciampa 10 (financial economics) & Derek Hardy 10 (financial economics), Ability of Financial Futures to Predict Eventual Spot Prices.