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November 25, 2006

Students Present Research at Honors Thesis Symposium

St. Edward's University for its Second Annual Hilltopper Golf Tournament Learn about everything from Crisis of Identity to Advertising’s Negative Effect on Young Girls at the Fall 2006 Honors Thesis Symposium. Help support St. Edward's University honors students as they present their research from 1-4:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 in Mabee Ballroom A, Robert and Pearle Ragsdale Center.

“The senior thesis encourages students to find a topic or project they are passionate about and work really hard on it,” says Barbara Filippidis, professor of English and director of the Honors program since 1999.

Some students researched controversial topics. Others explored issues related to their majors or found ways to connect their personal experiences with scholarly inquiry. As part of the Honors Program requirements, the students consulted with a faculty mentor and director of the Honors program to design an individualized project. A handful of the students will go on to present their work at a scholarly conference.

Michael McGee, an Accounting major and Honors student, will discuss The Role of the U.S. Student in the Quest to Improve America's Image Abroad, based on research he conducted on attitudes toward America while he studied abroad in Bilbao, Spain, this summer.

Honors Student Rachel Hrabal, who is working on a double-major in Philosophy and Biochemistry, applies both fields in her study of the ethics of genetic enhancement in her research, Genetic Enhancement versus Disease Cure: How the Public Got It Wrong and How the Scientists Never Got It.

Since it started in 1987, the St. Edward’s University Honors Program has grown from just a few students to approximately 145 students. Joe Pluta, professor of Economics and Chair of the Department of Economics, directed the program until 1999. Philosophy professor Bill Zanardi contributed to the program from the beginning and continues to teach honors classes and direct senior thesis projects.

The first Honors Thesis Symposium was held in fall 2002. Prior to the symposium, thesis students presented their work individually. The event gives students an opportunity to showcase their work to the university community and gain experience participating in a scholarly forum. Most students are seniors when they work on the thesis project, but students are eligible to register for the thesis once they have 75 hours and five honors courses with the required cumulative and honors GPA.

Honors Thesis Symposium Schedule

Friday, Dec. 1
Mabee Ballroom A
1-4:30 p.m.

1 p.m. Jessi Lopez — Chilean Photography: From Pinochet to Cuerpos Pintados
Faculty Mentor: Sybil Miller
1:20 p.m. Ashley MilesAdvertising’s Negative Effect on Young Girls
Faculty mentor: Harald Becker
1:40 p.m. Brianna D. Sandoval — For the Good of All: The Integration of Dentistry and Society      
Faculty mentor: Pat Perry
2 p.m. Rachel Walker — Ha-Elegiyah: Remembering the Holocaust with Yitzhak Katzenelson
Faculty mentor: Kelley Coblentz Bautch
2:20 p.m. Michael Wesley McGee — The Role of the U.S. Student in the Quest to Improve America's Image Abroad
Faculty mentor: Barbara Cassidy
2:40 p.m. Break
2:55 p.m. Rachel Hrabal — Genetic Enhancement versus Disease Cure: How the Public Got It Wrong and How the Scientists Never Got It
Faculty mentor: Mark Cherry
3:15 p.m. Sarah Christie Sotoodeh — Crisis of Identity
Faculty mentor: Harald Becker
3:35 p.m. Lica Abu-Esba — Pharmaceutical Advertising: Opening Pandora's Box
Faculty mentor: Eamonn Healy
3:55 p.m. Jason Rydzewski — Cleansing Waters: From Mikveh to Baptism
Faculty mentor: Kelley Coblentz Bautch

For more information about the Honors program, visit

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