NCHC Student Selection Overview

May 28, 2017

 It’s that time of year again, honors students all across the country are preparing their works to be presented in the fall at the annual honors conference. This year’s conference will be held in sunny Atlanta, Georgia and nine of St. Norbert College’s very own will be headed to the conference to present their work. The Honors Program is thrilled to be sending such a talented group of students this year, and would like to take this time to briefly highlight each of their projects.


First up is Tyler Butts (’18) who will be returning to the conference after a trip to Seattle last fall. This year, he will be giving two presentations titled “Effects of sediment dredging on zooplankton and macroinvertebrate communities in the Lower Fox River, WI” and “Zooplanktivory in post-juvenile largemouth bass: A 28-year record from a small north temperate lake.” Sparing the complex biological details, both presentations focus on zooplankton and their roles in different underwater ecosystems.


Next we have Julia Novotny (‘19) whose work has also been done in the sciences and is titled Planarians, Protonephridia and PKD. The presentation itself discusses the benefits of conducting research on planarians, a type of flatworm, in order to better understand the occurrence of Polycystic Kidney Disease in humans.


Also in the field of biology is Boris Semnic’s (’18) research titled “Characterization of Crepidostomum cooperi (Trematoda) from Yellow Perch, Trout Perch, Bluegill, and Green Sunfish by morphology, 28S ribosomal RNA gene, and cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene.” His study focuses specifically on the fish parasite Crepidostomum cooperi. By examining several parasites, the differences between them were analyzed in order to show how they relate to one another.


Moving to a different area of study, Grace Schwantes chose to focus her study on blue light production. You may be familiar with the implications of this type of production in producing Blu-Ray™ discs. Specifically, she investigated methodologies using lasers and optical theories with the goal of increasing blue light production efficiency in a study titled “Exploration in Blue Light Production”.


Our fifth student who will be participating at the NCHC is Colleen Mandell. Her presentation focuses on the area of mathematics and is titled “A Survey of Mathematical Models for Mass-Spring Systems”. The goal of her research is to utilize mathematical tools and modeling to accurately describe how particles react to forces.


Next, we have a pair of students, Michelle Lobermeier and Alexis Puyleart (with contributions also made by Stephanie Strean) with a project titled “Manifestation of Unity in Muslim Culture.” These students have recently been studying Muslim culture to explore the idea of unity in both ancient Arabic civilization and the modern world. They also examined and illustrated how Arabic literature, imagery, and architecture embody the Muslim ideology of tolerance.


The final research project contains the work of dynamic duo Sarah Jensen and Emily Hacker. These two will be presenting their project “Attitudes Towards College Majors” at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference this fall. Their study examined students’ implicit biases towards the perceived difficulty of college majors.


Again, the SNC Honors Program would like to wish all of these students’ luck as they prepare their projects for the upcoming conference. We are confident in your ability to succeed and cannot wait to see where your dedication and enthusiasm takes you in the future.



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