Honors Work Showcased

Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014

Over the course of many months - and in cases more than a year - students who prepare Honors projects at Hobart and William Smith invest themselves in an academic quest that's not only deeply meaningful, but one that enables them to gain invaluable experience as they look toward graduation.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, more than three dozen HWS students successfully completed Honors projects. They were recognized, along with their Honors advisers, at the annual Honors Porch Party recently hosted by Provost and Dean of Faculty Titilayo Ufomata. The gathering is an important opportunity to celebrate the achievements and hard work of Honors students.

Culminating in the second semester of one's senior year, the Honors project is a rigorous academic offering through which students pursue specialized ambitions before graduation, while refining vital skills at an advanced level. The program gives students the opportunity to complete work at the most sustained and sophisticated level available in the Colleges' curriculum. 

During the process, qualified students take two or three self-designed courses that concentrate on the same project and are guided throughout their exploration by a faculty adviser.

In addition to the culminating Honors project - usually a research or critical paper or its counterpart in the creative arts - each Honors candidate takes a written examination in their Honors field and an oral examination that covers both the Honors project and the written examination.

Each year, their accomplishments are noted in the Commencement program and during the Academic Achievement Awards ceremony.

Those who received Honors this year in the Classes of 2014 are:

Jennifer L. Abrams, Sociology
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness vs. Peace, Order and Good Governance:  Approaches to Urban Revitalization of Low-Income Communities in Canada and the U.S."
Professor of Anthropology and Sociology James Spates, Adviser

Laura M. Alexander, Writing and Rhetoric
"She Asked for It:  The Perpetuation of Digital Rape Culture in Social Media"
Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Maggie Werner, Adviser

Shannon M. Beston, Biology
"The Ecological Effects of Black Spot Disease on Stream Health in the Seneca Lake Watershed"
Director of Introductory Biology Laboratories Susan Cushman, Adviser

Richard Y. Bonney, Public Policy
"Hydraulic Fracturing, Environmental Concerns and Policy Responses:  How Various State Policy Approaches Should Impact New York's Future Energy Policy"
Professor of Public Policy Studies and Political Science Craig Rimmerman, Adviser

Sarah R. Buckleitner, Writing and Rhetoric
"Finding the Surface"
Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Hannah Dickinson, Adviser

Shan Cao, Studio Art
"Movement and Countermovement in the Form and the Color"
Professor of Art and Architecture Michael Bogin, Adviser

Emily S. Dove, Dance
"Dance as Resistance:  Zulu Identity in South Africa from 1840-1947"
Assistant Professor of Dance Kelly Johnson, Adviser

Melissa E. Freitag, Sociology
"A Fading Soul:  The Preservation of Traditional Vietnamese Music"
Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Jack Harris, Adviser

Ana C. Garcia, Architectural Studies
"From Obscurity to Center Stage:  Redesigning Bicentennial Park"
Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Jeffrey Blankenship, Adviser

Rayma G.  Garcia-Decena, Architectural Studies
"Exploring Urban Cityscapes and Their Spaces Through the Study of Situationist Theory and Laban's Movement Analysis"
Assistant Professor of Art and Architecture Jeffrey Blankenship, Adviser

Meghan E. Gaucher, Writing and Rhetoric
"Indigenous Identity-Making:  The Turkana, Development, and the Western Aid Culture"
Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Hannah Dickinson, Adviser

Yuqi Ge, Economics
"Art Finance and Economic Crisis:  A Study of Capital Gains on Art Sales"
Assistant Professor of Economics Warren Hamilton, Adviser

Stephen P. Gemmiti, Media and Society
"Sex, Drugs, and the Authentic College Experience:  The Story of Young Adulterated"
Professor of Media and Society Lester Friedman, Adviser

Grace C. Gist, English
"Shotek & Divana"
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Stephen Cope, Adviser

Benjamin D. Gould, Geoscience
"Transition Into the Sun:  Perspectives on the Basal Angiosperm Immigration to Sunny Habitats"
Associate Professor of Geoscience David Kendrick, Adviser

Michael D. Green, Mathematics
"A Mathematical Model of College Friendships"
Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science Yan Hao, Adviser

Andrew C. Hellmund, Studio Art
"Sculptural Passages:  A Convergence of Industry and Nature"
Professor of Art and Architecture Ted Aub, Adviser

Alexander B. Kent, Public Policy
The Confidence Game
Professor of Public Policy Studies and Political Science Craig Rimmerman, Adviser

Samuel C. Knopka, Biology
"The Spatial Distribution of the Terrestrial Salamander Plethodon cinereus Along a Forest Fragmentation Gradient in Finger Lakes National Forest"
Assistant Professor of Biology Bradley Cosentino, Adviser

Devyn F. LaCamera, Media and Society
"What Sex Sells:  Examining the Displays of Women in Advertising"
Assistant Professor of Media and Society Lisa Patti, Adviser

Luke C. Latella, English
"Deus ex Modernism - Mythology and Nationalism in the Irish Literary Renaissance"
Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Stephen Cope, Adviser

Guanqun Li, Biology
"Characterization of Agrobacterium vitis chvB Mutant"
Professor of Biology Sigrid Carle '84, Adviser

Erin K. Minty, Writing and Rhetoric
"Rome, Sweet Conqueror Still"
Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Hillary F. Monahan, Environmental Studies
"Negotiating with Nature:  A Study of Genetic Modification in Food Production and its Cultural Effects on a Central New York Amish Community"
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Christopher Annear, Adviser

Aaron P. O'Brien, Sociology
"Good Kids, M.A.A.D. Culture:  How Race, Class and Racial Composition of Home Town Affects a Listener's Interpretation of and Response to Hip-Hop and Rap"
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Reneé Monson, Adviser

Dona G. Occhipinti, Biology
"Approaches to Cardiovascular Research and Its Future Implications in Translational Medicine"
Associate Professor of Biology Mark Deutschlander, Adviser

Ava D. Pavao, Political Science
"Why Women Deserve a Chance:  Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Women in Politics"
Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman, Adviser

Jacob A. Powell, Economics
"The Origins of Crisis - A Marxian Analysis from 1970s to the Great Financial Crisis"
Assistant Professor of Economics Joseph Rebello, Adviser

Nicholas Schmidt, Computer Science
"i3:  An Environmental Sensor Base Station"
Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science John Vaughn P'08, Adviser

Clarissa L. Sullivan, Philosophy
"The Hurdles of Prosecuting Rape:  The Social Standard of Proof Necessitated by Juries"
Professor of Philosophy Steven Lee, Adviser

Arianna C. White, Psychology
"Maya Dreams Big:  An Examination of Children's Literature and its Affect on Personal Growth"
Assistant Professor of Psychology Daniel Graham, Adviser

Nicole M. Zanghi, Individual in Health Science and Society
"Theatre for Social Change in Health and Medicine:  A Case Study"
Associate Professor of Theatre Heather May, Adviser



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