Final Honors Project Presentations

The Honors Program is proud to present our current Honors students sharing their thesis projects. Please come support them. Refreshments will be served. Students interested in the Honors Program are encouraged to attend and participate.


Summaries of the 2010 Presentations

Consciousness Studies: Implications and Importance
~Adrienne Danner~

Consciousness, and the relationship between the mind and the body, remains one of the most elusive relationships to understand and explain, despite the vast number of attempts to do so. My goal is not to explain consciousness, but to focus on why we should place importance on obtaining an answer and to explore the ramifications for each of the main theories. It may be that we are already beginning to create computers and machines which have the potential for consciousness, and therefore, we need to understand the scope of what we are dealing with and to consider our responsibilities if we do create a conscious machine.


The News that is Fit to Print: How the Relationship between the Press, the Public and Policy-Makers in the U.S. has Changed and Who Changed it
~Dan DeMay~

This study offers a look at how the U.S. media has gone from political mouthpiece to objective reporter to a hybrid of both. Comparing the press during the Nixon administration to that during George W. Bush's, it looks at where the media served its watchdog role and where it didn't. The report offers a few explanations as to how and why the media failed in certain areas, along with at least one possible solution for the future of media.


Affordable and Sustainable Residential Buildings: Keys to Promoting Sustainability in the Built Environment
~Vy Phan Thao Nguyen~

Sustainable architecture refers to strategies which minimize the use of natural resources, optimize energy-efficiency, and recycle building waste. A key issue in realizing sustainable development is to incorporate the economic aspect of a building into its sustainable design; especially within the residential building sector, cost causes sustainable architecture to be inaccessible to most of the population. Therefore, the key to promoting sustainable architecture on a large scale depends on affordable, as well as sustainable, residential buildings.


A Study of Artists and Their Work
 ~Christina Coronado~

Over the past few quarters I have been studying four artists from different time periods in an attempt to determine what characteristics make each individual an “artist.” Through my research, I began to wonder what exactly defines art, more generally, and am currently exploring the larger question, “What makes an individual's creation, a piece of art?”


Medicalized Maternity Care in America
~Sara Snedeker~

Over one hundred years ago women were just beginning to give birth in hospitals. Today, almost 85% of American babies are born by the hands of an Obstetrician. Yet, despite this intervention of modern, hospitalized medicine, America ranks 42nd among industrialized nations for Infant Mortality, and Cesareans and other medical interventions are on the rise. Given statistics like these, modern western approach to child birth may not, in fact, be optimal for the child or the mother. Come learn about the American maternity system and how the birthing context and experience affects mothers both physically and emotionally.


Fundamentally Speaking: An Insider's Perspective on Religious Extremism
~ Andreas Munson and Ava Munson~

Religious fundamentalists are sounding forth a battle cry in our present age as they seek to usher in the Kingdom of God as the new world order. They have formed a counter-culture wherein the members oppose mainstream institutions and recreate past traditions which they design as the blueprint of a utopian society. Diametrically opposed to secular humanism, they proclaim absolutist ideals and do not tolerate divergence from their standard of purity. Amalgamating into a unified being, members sacrifice their personal identities in pursuit of the collectivist dream. This fundamentalist cry rings with power and our world must listen. As members from this counter cultural movement, siblings Andreas and Ava Munson, outline the basic tenets and structural components of extremism as they offer a case study of Christian fundamentalism, exemplified by Vision Forum. They relate the story of their exodus and reveal the dangers a perfectionist-driven vision poses to the ideal of liberalism and the spirit of an open society.