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Honors Conference

2021 Honors Conference

The Honors Conference on March 11 was a big success! More than 75 participants heard thesis presentations and engaged in valuable discussions about the topics and research. Thank you to all of our amazing presenters, those who attended the conference on line, and our Honors Student Advisory Council members for putting it all together!

2021 Honors Conference Program.pdf

Presenters at the Conference included:

Casey McClellan (Geography/Global Studies) – “To Hold the World Together": A Uinta Basin Homesteading History, 1905-1930
In 1905, the Uinta Basin's Uintah-Ouray Ute Indian Reservation was opened for White homesteading, changing the human landscape and revealing the Great Basin's harsh environment. My thesis maps both the area's indigenous people and Euro-American settlers and finds a few surprises about the former reservation land and the people who called it home.

Sydney Rasmussen (Psychology) - Is Thinness Truly Next to  Godliness?: Examining Moral Judgements Against Women With Larger Bodies in a Latter Day Saint Population
My thesis examines how weight stigma manifests in religious communities, specifically asking if college-age Latter-day Saints perceive women in larger bodies as less righteous than women in smaller bodies. My research found that this was the case for Latter-day Saint women, which carries interesting implications in terms of how to remove this prejudice moving forward.

Dallin Swanson (Exercise Science) -Validity of Intrinsic Foot Muscle Size Measured by Ultrasound and MRI
My thesis is focused on the validity of intrinsic foot muscles size measured by MRI and ultrasound. MRI has long been regarded as the most accurate imaging option; this study is to show the correlation between the two imaging modalities specifically within the intrinsic foot muscles.

Amy Griffin (Communications) - The Streamed Ceiling: The Impact of Female Role Models in Television Media on the Perceived Electability of Women
"It's no secret that women are underrepresented in politics. I'm studying whether watching a competent, intelligent woman lead on a TV drama impacts the public's willingness to elect women in municipal elections."

Austin Heath (Statistics) - STAT 121 Decision Based Learning Development and Implementation

Colt Halter (Psychology) Stress-Induced Plasma Cortisol Concentrations in Infancy are Associated with Later Parenting Behaviors in Female Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)
We know that parenting styles and behavior are linked to a variety of childhood outcomes. But do we know what factors predict parenting style?

John Tippets (Strategic Management)- Risk Management and The Collegiate Real Estate Market During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In March 2020, universities nationwide shut down and told students to go home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. How did students respond in regards to their college housing, and what are the long-term lessons that can be taken away from this time for the college housing industry?

Katelynne Hinckley (Global Supply Chain) -How Has COVID-19 Changed Consumer PArticipation in Value Co-Creation
Covid-19 has changed the way that consumers and firms work together to create value from the experiences that we share within service industries. From remote school and telehealth to streaming services and at-home meal kits, both consumers and firms are actively participating in the co-creative space in order to gain greater value from every interaction.

Michaela McCown (Genetics/Genomics and Biotech) - Lymphocyte Proteomics for Minotoring Long Term Immune System Dynamics

Ronald Zegarra (Biochemistry) - FRET Flow Cytometry - Based Multiplex Screening Assay in Order to Identify Distrupters of Metabolities in Trypanosoma Brucei

Jenica Barker (Dance) Tendu to Tango: An Argument for Emphasizing Various Dance Forms Across the Lifepsan for Maximum Neurological and Mental Benefit
Why dance? Even beyond the physical, interpersonal, motivational, and creative skills it delivers, dance training provides significant neural benefit to the developing adolescent brain from ages 10-25 and the elderly brain inflicted with Parkinson’s disease (PD). According to my synthesis of research, fixed ballet training aligns with the practice and purpose of fixed meditation and its benefits for cognitive focus, neural connectivity, and neurodevelopment disorder treatments. Simultaneously, for PD patients, social dance classes exercise the brain’s incredible plasticity to create new, stable connections and encourage social and creative connections, substantially benefitting the neurological, physical, and mental health of PD-affected individuals.

Gabe Richardson (Physics) -Computational Development of a Miniature Quantum-Dot Spectrometer
My thesis project focused on the development of a miniature spectrometer for space applications of interest to NASA.