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An Inspired and Inspiring Saturday!

Annual Honors Conference 2024

You don’t want to miss the annual Honors Conference! This event is a highlight of the academic year and will be held on Saturday, March 30th in the Maeser building from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Tickets are on sale now! The Honors Conference features presentations from your fellow Honors students on their theses, Great Questions essays, and other exemplary work – all centered around the theme of “Bridging the Gap through Interdisciplinary Studies.”

The morning begins with a light continental breakfast and keynote address. We are delighted to welcome back Professor Luke Howard who taught “Race and Music” as part of the Unexpected Connections course series. His keynote address “"We Are the World: Forming a Global Ideology through the Arts" promises to be an interdisciplinary highlight of the morning.

Dr. Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the Sydney (Australia) Conservatorium of Music, and graduate degrees in musicology from BYU and the University of Michigan. He taught at Minnesota State University Moorhead and the University of Missouri Kansas City, and in 2002 returned to BYU where he currently serves as Associate Director in the School of Music. He was a singing member of The Tabernacle Choir from 2007 to 2021, and host of the Choir's Piping Up! organ broadcasts from 2020 to 2023. His sprawling, interdisciplinary research focuses on the popular reception of well-known orchestral works from the 20th century, and he is currently preparing a reception history of Handel’s beloved oratorio Messiah." Here are a few other fun get-to-know-you facts about him:

  • Go-to ice cream flavor is Graham Canyon... of course.
  • Actually, shopping at Costco is the best thing to do first thing on a Saturday morning. Beating the crowd and getting out of there before any lines form at the cashiers brings an immensely gratifying sense of achievement.
  • I've taught nearly 150 sections of GE and Honors classes at BYU. I love the GE and Honors programs! I think the true value of a BYU education isn't so much how well it prepares you in your major (important as that is!), but how well it prepares you to be a knowledgeable, compassionate, and thoughtful global citizen and follower of Christ. The major will (maybe) simply help you pay the bills along the way!

Following the opening session, participants will get to choose from a variety of presentations during three 45-minute breakout sessions, with presenters in each Maeser classroom. You may find inspiration for your own culminating Honors experiences as you hear from fellow Honors students about their work (see the list of presenters below). After a couple of rewarding hours of inspiration and discussion, Dean Rick Gill will conclude the conference, followed by lunch!

Be sure to reserve your ticket today for $8! Not only will the amazing presenters inspire you, you’ll also receive breakfast, an Honors swag bag, and lunch. See you there!

Great Question Essays

Kyle Bird: To Dream the Impossible Dream
Kendra Pinegar: I Still Don’t Understand
Cielo Bake: The Girl with the Red-Tinted Glasses
Sam Taylor: The Cloak of Matter: Why Do I Value Free Will?
Amelia Scott: On Leaving
Brianna Arauz: Choosing Hope
Emese Izso: Cassiopeia - What Do We Find in The Dark?
Lucia Wesemann: This is Not Original
Noah Trepanier: Willing to Reconsider
Ryan Jensen: All’s Fair In Literature And War - What’s A Crime When Murder Isn’t
Isabella Roque: Self Portrait as an Allegory of Painting
Mason Eddy: Under Pressure

Honors Theses

Naomi Julian: One Size Does Not Fit All: Creating Educational Equity for Later Diagnosed Autistic Women
Emma Fox: “The history of every country begins in the heart…of a woman”: Willa Cather’s Reclamation of the Female American Immigrant through Western Edenic Narratives
William Martindale: Partisanship, Security, and Global Status: Anatomy of Taiwan’s 319 Shooting Conspiracy Theories
David Chandler: Here-, There-, And Every Where-: Exploring the Role of Pronominal Adverbs In Legal Language
Mary Harris: Power and Participation: Women's Participation in the Arab Spring and Its Impact On Opinions of Women Empowerment
Ashley Hunsaker: Transformational Experiences and Decision-Making Processes: Factors Influencing the Choice of College Major
Zachary Stevenson: Leaving Town: Loss and Restoration in Marilynne Robinson's "Housekeeping"
Caroline Catterton: Effects of Enzymatic and Chemical Bisulfite Conversion on Cell-Free DNA Fragmentation
Zac Shakespear: Silicates in Brown Dwarf Atmospheres
Katrina Lantz: Saving Babies: How Anencephaly and Spina Bifida Can Be Prevented
Kayla LaFroth: Why I Wrote a Werewolf Romance Novel for my Thesis
Whitley Williams: Facebook Complaints on Dating by Gender
Emily Rodriguez: Exploring The Border Identity of The Residents of Ambos Nogales: A Pilot Study
Tyler Hutchinson: Identifying Highly Responsive Locations for Spinal Motion Tracking Sensors
Allison Dahl: Recommendations for Adapting Religious Materials for People with Aphasia