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