SNC Honors Program to Send Ten Students to NCHC Conference 2017

November 7, 2017

The St. Norbert College Honors Program congratulates its students who will be presenting their research at the NCHC Conference 2017. The 52nd NCHC Annual Conference will be held November 8-12 in Atlanta, Georgia. At this national conference, honors students from programs across the country come together to present their research. Each presenter must submit a proposal to the National Collegiate Honors Council and be accepted in a competitive process. With that said, it is quite a remarkable accomplishment on the part of our students to have so many presenters this academic year!

This year’s theme from the NCHC, “Just Honors,” will “explore justice both as an academic focus and also the role honors can serve in addressing issues of access, equity, and technology in education.” Along with the opportunity to present research at a nationally-recognized conference, students will also be able to participate in activities such as: listening to keynote speakers, attending art and professional development workshops, participating in a City as Text exploration of Atlanta, attending sessions for honors students, observing an Idea Exchange, touring the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, attending a graduate fair, participating in program development sessions, and more! Senior presenter Sarah Jensen, a second-time presenter, is looking forward to this year’s conference in Atlanta, saying, “I am excited to be returning with a new group of presenters and am looking forward to exploring the historic city of Atlanta. As for the conference, I am most looking forward to hearing the plenary speaker, Bryan Stevenson, who is an NYU professor, lawyer, and social justice activist!”


Additionally, two student staff members of the Honors Office, Alexa Paleka ‘20 and Elisha Jaeke ‘20, will be attending the conference. Aside from sharing these experiences at the conference alongside the student presenters, they will be responsible for documenting the conference on social media and putting together an article and video for the Honors Pulse. As a student editor, Alexa will also be representing the NCHC’s undergraduate research journal, UReCA, which will be presenting in various sessions and engaging in promotion at the conference. Alexa and Elisha will have the chance to participate in the conference itself by serving as moderators for a few sessions throughout the weekend. In between these duties, the two also hope to bring back some knowledge that can be applied to administrating the SNC Honors Program from attending sessions on development in honors programming.

This year’s presenters include: Boris Semnic, Michelle Lobermeier and Alexis Puyleart, Julia Novotny, Sarah Jensen and Emily Hacker (not attending), Grace Schwantes, Colleen Mandell, and Tyler Butts. The St. Norbert College Honors Program is proud of their accomplishments, and wishes all student presenters and atendees good luck and a safe trip! 

Click here to see the complete schedule of events for the conference. 
Included below is a list of St. Norbert College honors students who will be presenting at the conference, as well as descriptions of their research. 


NCHC Presenters

Boris Semnic
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
Crepidostomum cooperi is a fish parasite that has more than one host. Parasite host specificity is a highly conserved event and any deviation from it implies potential for speciation. Using morphological and molecular analysis, the goal of this project was to differentiate the parasites and show relationships between them.
Michelle Lobermeier and Alexis Puyleart
Manifestation of Unity in Muslim Culture
This presentation uses the lens of ancient Muslim culture to explore the idea of unity in both ancient Arabic civilization and the modern world. We will examine and illustrate how Arabic literature, imagery, and architecture embody the Muslim ideology of tolerance.
Julia Novotny
Planarians, Protonephridia and PKD
Planarians, a type of flatworm, have the potential to further the understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease in humans. Planarians are valuable model systems with similar ciliated excretory systems and gene functions of humans. Cilia are involved in the development of excretory tubules, and abnormalities are associated with PKD.
Sarah Jensen and Emily Hacker (Emily unable to attend)
Attitudes Towards College Majors
This study used the Implicit Association Test to examine students’ implicit biases towards the perceived difficulty of college majors. The reaction times of Science and Humanities majors when pairing music or biology-related words with the words “easy” and “hard” were compared, where a faster reaction time indicated a stronger bias.

Grace Schwantes
Exploration in Blue Light Production
Blue light is an important tool in modern technological processes.  A common example of this is evident in the production and use of Blu-Ray™ discs.  Methods using lasers and optical theories were investigated, with a goal of increasing the efficiency of blue light production.
Colleen Mandell
A Survey of Mathematical Models for Mass-Spring Systems
Spring-mass systems have historically played an important role in the development of physics. Simple systems exhibit the behavior of more complex systems like those in mathematical biology and chemistry. In this project, we begin with frictionless linear systems in order to investigate the increasingly difficult nonlinear mass-spring systems under the influence of a resistive friction. The goal is to utilize mathematical tools and modeling to accurately describe how particles react to forces.
Tyler Butts
Effects of sediment dredging on zooplankton and macroinvertebrate communities in the Lower Fox River, WI 2016-2017
Water bodies adjacent to paper mills and other industries are often contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Lower Fox River in Green Bay, WI, is currently being dredged to remove PCB contaminants. Our results show a detrimental effect on zooplankton and potentially macroinvertebrate communities such as decreased density, biomass, and species diversity.  
Zooplanktivory in post-juvenile largemouth bass: A 28-year record from a small north temperate lake
We reported on zooplanktivory on Daphnia spp in largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides, post-juveniles (TL>150mm) over a 28-year period in a small, unexploited, north temperate lake. The objective of this investigation was to establish long range size-class consumption patterns on Daphnia by post-juvenile largemouth bass.


Grace Schwantes

Exploration in Blue Light Production

Blue light is an important tool in modern technological processes.  A common example of this is evident in the production and use of Blu-Ray™ discs.  Methods using lasers and optical theories were investigated, with a goal of increasing the efficiency of blue light production.

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