Spring 2022 Research Exhibition & Awards Ceremony

Spring Research Exhibition

Each spring, Dewberry Hall fills up with students and faculty, with crowds spilling over into the hallway. The occasion? The Spring Research Exhibition and Award Ceremony – a coming-together of community to celebrate the research, creative projects, and service of Honors College students. This year’s ceremony was held on Tuesday, April 26th . 

From the round tables set up for intermixing and mingling of students and their supporters to the many research posters sprawling throughout the lower-level of the Johnson Center, the event is alive with chatter. During the first portion of the ceremony, student-scholars present their research and creative projects to faculty, peers, and other community members.  

Upon the conclusion of the research presentations, which are the result of both group and individual projects, students are recognized for their service to the Honors College and their wider communities, as well as their scholarly and academic excellence. Awards are presented by Dr. John Woolsey, Dean Zofia Burr, and Ms. Eva Bramesco, who work closely with Honors College students.  

Of the many awards presented at the ceremony, one of the most highly anticipated is the Schwartztein Prize for First-Year Research, an annual award which is given to one first-year student who has demonstrated excellence in scholarship.  

Carolyn Soltani, this year’s winner of the Schwartztein Prize for First-Year Research, studied the ethics of CRISPR-Cas9 germline editing in her Principles of Research and Inquiry course (HNRS 110). “I researched how ideal policies can be created for the technology in the germline in the United States taking into account stances and opinions of stakeholders, important factors and oversight and released ethics statements from the international community,” says Soltani.  

In lieu of trophies, all other Schwartztein nominees are honored with a black, plastic tube. The tube, which is emblazoned with the Honors College logo, is a poster carrier: a symbol of the conviction that these nominees, who have already demonstrated strong research skills, will go on to conduct and present meaningful research throughout their academic and professional careers. 

In addition to research, students are recognized for their service to the Honors College, and their commitment to the College’s values of diversity, community, and integrity. Sean Diment, one of the recipients of the Honors College Outstanding Service Awards (co-recipients include Julia Hakeem, Kylie Smith, and Olga Diupina), served as an RA to the Honors College Learning Community. When describing why he was inspired to serve the needs of first-year Honors College students, Diment cites the support he himself received from the Honors College. 

“The Honors College really gave me a sense of community. Over the past few years, I've been so fortunate to have some really close friends, mentors, professors that have really helped shape me into the person I am today, by constantly being a good support system and connecting me to various opportunities,” Diment shares.  “It's been such a valuable experience for me to be a student within the Honors College and be able to give back in many ways as well.” 

In addition to the aforementioned students, the Honors College proudly granted the following awards to its students: 

  • Honors College Alumni Choice Award – Nadia Moallin 

  • Michelle Litwiller Memorial Scholarship – Victoria Gahnma 

  • Schwartztein Prize for First-Year Research – Carolyn Soltani 

  • Honors College Outstanding Achievement Awards - Andres Sandi Espoja & Patty Troup 

  • Schwartztein Awards - Saarah Baig & Daisy Vo 

  • Odin, Feldman, and Pittleman Scholarship - Sophia Ngyuen 

  • Harold J. Morowitz Endowed Scholarship - Moses Hunsaker 

  • Dr. Gerald L. Gordon Scholarship - Noah Mack 

  • Honors College Concerned Citizens Scholarship - Alycia George 

  • Honors College Outstanding Service Awards Julia Hakeem; Kylie Smith; Olga Diupina; Sean Diment