The NRHC, Northeast Regional Honors Council, hosts an annual conference in which northeastern American and Canadian honors students can meet and share their independent research. This April, I was fortunate enough to attend the conference in Gettysburg. Since Gettysburg is an influential landmark in American history, the conference theme was “Battlefields of Change.” I presented research on the political commentary of radical revolution as a means of manipulation in dystopian novels such as The Time Machine by H.G. Wells and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. My paper was selected to be a part of the “Battlefields of Power” panel. Other notable pieces on the panel included a look at negatively stereotyped mafia movies from the 1940s used as propaganda against Italians and poetry aimed at the middle class as a means to raise awareness of deplorable working conditions before the enactment of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The panel sparked great discussion on how college students can use their education to make a meaningful political impact on society. The conference was an amazing experience and I hope that other honors students will take advantage of it in the future.
The Honor’s Seminar offered this past Spring was WDW: Creating the Magic. What does WDW stand for? Walt Disney World, of course! That’s right a whole college class about Disney World. I had to take it, not because I am a Disney freak (which I learned is a compliment to some folks), but because I could not pass up the opportunity to get college credit talking about a theme park. After all, I was a second semester senior with 2 classes left on his check sheet and some elective slots to fill.
I must admit, I was probably the least enthusiastic about the course when it started, but that gave me the most room to become more enthusiastic. I wanted to change my perspective on the theme parks, and I definitely did. The only time I ever visited the park was as a Freshman in High School, so I wasn’t young enough to appreciate the kid aspects but also not mature enough to appreciate the more adult aspects of the parks. This course changed my perspective on the parks and really got me to appreciate the attention to detail Disney pays to their parks. We also had some great guest speakers who shed some light onto certain topics within the Disney “universe”.
My goal for the course was to change my mind about Disney. I still might like Disney the least out of all of the people that took this course, but I have an understanding and an appreciation for Disney now. I feel like I gained one extra layer of thinking after this class. Now I try to pay a little more attention to small details when I work on projects. I also want to have a story for my projects, so they can be explained to anybody. This little layer of thinking is very valuable to me, and that’s where the magic is created.
Want to see a sample of the awesome projects being done in Honors Seminar? Check out Aaron’s creative WDW seminar project: Building a Hypothetical Spain Pavilion in Epcot
This past March I attended the Association of Marketing Theory and Practice (AMTP) conference in Savannah, Georgia. At this conference I presented my Honors senior thesis research “Stereotyping or Segmentation? An Analysis of Children’s Advertising Across Networks.” My research mainly focused on gender stereotyping in children’s advertising. I had the opportunity to get feedback on my research, as well as observe other presentations relating to marketing, CRM and logistics. It was a great networking opportunity, with so many academics discussing their ideas and projects. I have since then presented my research to the RMU community at the Undergraduate Research Conference in April. I hope to resubmit the paper for publication with AMTP in the coming weeks.
Written by: Alexis Jones
On Thursday, February 19th, Chaz Kellem, the Manager of Diversity Initiatives with the Pittsburgh Pirates presented as part of the Diversity Speaker Series on campus. Chaz was born with a rare bone disorder at birth known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which leaves the bones brittle and easy to break. Though Chaz has broken over 40 bones and endured more than 12 operations, he has not allowed this adversity to impact his life, and lives it to the fullest. The presentation was spent encouraging and inspiring students to do the same. Despite the challenges Chaz faces in his everyday life, he still managed to acquire his dream job working with his favorite sports organization, and used this example to demonstrate to the audience that anything is possible. Another point stressed was the importance of leaving one’s comfort zone in order to encounter new experiences. To establish this point, Chaz paired off members of the audience that he felt would be unfamiliar with one another to participate in several activities that saw each group working together to complete various tasks.
Mr. Kellem is an excellent speaker and each of the points he made were moving. It would be hard to imagine that anyone left without a different outlook on their daily lives.
This past February I attended the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Capitol in Harrisburg. Seeing the interesting projects students from across the state were involved in was an enriching experience. My personal favorite was a project to test if deer cross roads randomly. My project on Tommy John Surgery got a considerable amount of interest throughout the day. It was even mentioned in the opening speech for the event. Given the opportunity, I would attend the URC at the Capitol again.
RMU students celebrated women in March with a series of scenes performed at Massey Theater. The Freedom Players, a student theatre organization on campus, put on fantastic performances with scenes from Tea at Five, Our Town, Little Women, Antigone, and To Kill a Mockingbird. The small scenes each demonstrated the unique lives of women, from the small Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, to the blunt Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five. The intimate crowd enjoyed the range of characters and scenes, all giving women center stage in this month of celebration.
On March 18th, Robert Morris University Honors Program students had the opportunity to hear a presentation by an RMU professor, Dr. Daria Crawley, on her research involving the extra responsibilities of the busy woman in the workplace. The presentation was entitled, “She’s Already Busy: An Exploratory Study of Women’s Workplace Attitudes as Predictors of Organizational Citizenship.” Dr. Crawley explained her findings concerning Organizational Citizenship Behaviors, or OCBs, which are instances in which a woman chooses to do work outside of her job description. Through her research, Dr. Crawley found that there are many factors that influence a woman’s inclination to participate in OCBs, including job or pay satisfaction, job tenure, and marital status. Dr. Crawley concluded that a company or firm should never discount the busy woman because these women are experienced in handling a steady work-life balance and planning their responsibilities. Every student and faculty member that attended Dr. Crawley’s presentation was fascinated by her research and was eager to learn more about the background and reasoning behind Organizational Citizenship Behaviors so that they could use this knowledge in their own workplaces or in the outside world.