Honors students present theses on Research Day

Evi Arthur

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Kassy Murad presents her thesis, “Why Representation Matters.” Photo by Evi Arthur.

Graduating students within the honors program complete an undergraduate thesis in order to graduate with honors. Students choose a topic that is relevant to their major and examine that topic thoroughly, finding applications to real life.

Alongside the written thesis, students also present their findings to their fellow honors students and their professors on Research Day.

This year’s Research Day took place Friday, Apr. 13 in the Wabash Building. Undergraduate honors students also frequently attend in order to get an idea of what to expect in their last few semesters of the honors program.

“It is an original piece of scholarly and/or creative activity that requires developing expertise in the student’s chosen area of interest, and then developing a precise research question to answer or creative challenge to accomplish,” said Honors Program director Marjorie Jolles.

Senior international studies major Lupita Granados Medina chose to do her thesis on the DACA recipients and focused on their personal stories in Medina’s thesis, “Voices of DACA.”

“I wanted to make a narrative about it because most people know statistics but not everybody knows real stories,” Medina said.

“We feel that completion of an honors thesis is essential for students who complete the Honors Program, as it represents the achievement, mastery and demonstration of a level of scholarly and creative skill representative of the most advanced undergraduates,” Jolles said.

Senior international studies major Amy Yucus did her thesis on how LGBTQ+ hangouts have changed and how LGBTQ+ rights have become more mainstream. “I want this to provide a richer understanding of individuals and their stories,” Yucus said about her thesis, “The Internet and Generational Shifts in the LGBTQ+ Community.”

Other theses included “Examining Active Shooter Trainings in Educational Settings” from criminal justice major Dan Simon and “Voting Evolution: Rights, Restrictions, and Court Decisions” from political science major Emma Pannier as well as many other subjects covering a multitude of topics.

Senior psychology major Kassy Murad’s thesis covered media portrayal of different races and ethnicities, as well negative impacts portrayals have. Murad’s thesis, “Why Representation Matters,” also offered suggestions about improving their portrayal.

Murad’s presentation included recent examples such as two-year-old Parker Curry, who was recently famous for her fascination with Michelle Obama’s official portrait at the Smithsonian.

“Representation matters because representation is a form of communication and a language that can be understood universally,” Murad said.

These theses required students to use their research, analytical and inquiry skills on topics of social engagement.

“The honors thesis is a direct engagement of Roosevelt’s social justice mission to educate students to become socially conscious leaders,” Jolles said.

At the ceremony, graduating honors students also received their cords for graduation, earned by their completion of the program to wear during commencement.

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