Pictured (standing from left) is: Stephani Calderon, Emily Parker, and Jacob Brantley. Seated is Jesse Rivera. These four NTCC Honors students recently presented scholarly work before the National Collegiate Honors Council in Boston.
Northeast Texas Community College is the only community college in the nation to have sent student presenters to the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) every year since 2008. This year, Presidential Scholars Jacob Brantley, Stephani Calderon, and Emily Parker, as well as Honors Scholar, Jesse Rivera upheld this unique tradition as they traveled to Boston.
These NTCC sophomores joined a larger body of student presenters, primarily juniors and seniors, from universities such as the University of Alabama, the University of Maine, the State University of New York, The Colorado School of Mines, Emerson College, Oral Roberts and many others, presented their scholarly work November 15-17 in Boston. Only a few other community colleges in the nation had students admitted to present.
“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students to gain experience and exposure at the national level. They are not only ambassadors for our institution, but also for community colleges. Their level of professionalism and commitment to academic excellence was truly impressive,” Dr. Andrew Yox, NTCC Honors Director, said.
Brantley, the 2011 Daingerfield Valedictorian, presented work on the perils of progress in modern medical research. His study of Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, and the Texas Medical Center showed how increases in knowledge coincide with increases in specialization and cost, and how progress in medical procedures can be accompanied by a sizable decline in healthy lifestyles.
Calderon, an award-winning business student from Mount Pleasant High School, presented her work on sovereign default. She argued that the United States is plunging into bankruptcy, and even to a frightening ratio of indebtedness to GDP, a point she called the “Scarlet Number.” Calderon gave examples of what happens when a government defaults, citing the cases of Germany in 1923, Venezuela in 1903, and Haiti in 1915.
Parker, the 2011 Pittsburg Valedictorian, presented work on the decline of racism. Taking the cases of Massachusetts, South Carolina, and Texas, she showed how in each, various earlier benchmarks of racism can be compared to more recent developments showing increased tolerance, and an end to hate crimes such as lynching, ethnic cleansing, and anti-integration violence.
Rivera, from Mount Vernon, updated a work he had developed as one of NTCC’s two Boe nominees for 2012. His presentation illustrated the “tragic fixation” of Indian holdouts on their own tribal spirituality in a time of warfare. Such spirituality led not necessarily to endurance, but to drug-use, self-torture, and an unhelpful emphasis on magic. Rivera focused on Victorio, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, Tecumseh, and Quanah Parker.
The NTCC student scholars were able to present their work before the trip to Boston at a Presidential Luncheon at NTCC before the Friends of NTCC Honors, including prominent members of the NTCC Foundation. An anonymous donor provided each student with $100 dollars to spend during the trip.
Dr. Mary Hearron and Yox, who mentored the students in these projects, accompanied them to Boston. Yox also presented work at the NCHC on the “Mission of Honors Education.” Other NTCC faculty members who played a major role in advising these projects included Dr. Melissa Weinbrenner, Dr. Paula Wilhite, and Heidi Wooten.
On Saturday, after the student presentations, the six from NTCC had a dazzling walking tour of Boston, and its Freedom Trail, led by Dr. Hearron. For more information about NTCC honors, visit www.ntcc.edu/honors.