Students, Administrators and Staff Attend Honors Conference in Memphis

Front row, left to right: Students Marie Serrano Ramirez and Valeria Sostre Sostre
Back row, left to right: East Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Foster; student Juliana 
Rivera Febo; Coordinator Honors Program Advisor Kera Coyer; student Isabella Aponte; student Isamar Fernandez Grullon; student Krystal Dominquez; and West Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Molly McIntire

A Message from Stacey Johnson, President, East and Winter Park Campuses

A delegation of three Seneff Honors College administrators and staff and six honors students attended the Southern Regional Honors Council (SRHC) Conference, in Memphis, Tennessee, from Thursday, March 28, through Saturday March 30, 2019. The conference was hosted by Northwestern Louisiana State University at the historic Peabody Hotel in Downtown Memphis and featured a strong focus on student research and regional networking and collaboration opportunities.

Student presenters for the SRHC Conference apply through a competitive conference proposal process; all research abstracts are reviewed against each other with no distinction between the two-year and four-year institutions. As a result, not all of the proposals are accepted to present. This year, two Valencia College honors students were invited to present their research (which they completed for their IDH2912 research project classes):

  • East Campus student Maria Serrano Ramirez for “The effects of opioids on the brain, liver and musculoskeletal system of patients with non-cancerous pain.”
  • Lake Nona Campus student Valeria Sostre for “The impact of food insecurity in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.”

Both Maria and Valeria presented their research well and provided thoughtful answers to their respective audiences during the Q&A portion of their sessions. The Seneff Honors College and Valencia were well represented by the students.

Maria and Valeria went on to join their peers Osceola Campus student Isabella Aponte and West Campus student Krystal Dominguez as conference moderators for the remainder of the conference on Saturday.

One honors student commented, “I’ve learned so much by attending this conference, but the main thing I have learned is how to conduct myself in a professional setting.”

East Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Michelle Foster and West Campus Dean of Academic Affairs Molly McIntire were joined by Coordinator Honors Program Advisor Kera Coyer. In addition to attending the students’ research presentations, they attended sessions on honors curriculum and pedagogy, co-curricular programming, recruitment and student engagement.

Michelle and Molly also networked with faculty and administrators from partner institutions across the Florida College System. In addition, Kera attended the conference’s “Place As Text” roundtable meeting as a national committee member. Feedback from all of the conference sessions and activities was shared with Robyn Brighton, director, curriculum initiatives, prior to the campus conversations on the Seneff Honors College redesign.

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