Students ‘Embrace the Possible’ at Conference

By Giannina Gonzalez

Staff Writer

The Undergraduate Humanities Conference and Humanities Presentations titled “Embracing the Possible… Exploring the Impossible” did just that on March 13 as upperclassmen presented 24 different presentations to students and faculty.

The presentations ranged from “Mitotic Aberrations in Pluripotent Stem Cells: Plk1 and Separase Expression” to “Woman’s Suffrage and the Progressive Movement.”

The presentations included students from various disciplines in the division of Humanities. In addition, Honor’s program students shared their projects and research.

Not only did the presentations allow students to share their findings but many of the projects also directly affected Seton Hill University (SHU).

Senior Julia Whidden presented her Honor’s Capstone titled “It’s Clear, But We’re Green.” The presentation illustrated the impact that Styrofoam use in the cafeteria has. She worked to get more environmentally friendly “to go” containers into the dining hall. Users buy the containers for five dollars and can use them to get food to go in the dining hall. Upon their next visit they bring the used container and exchange it for a new clean one. The used one is then washed and sanitized and used again.

The new containers are currently only being used by faculty members, however Whidden said that students should be able to use them this semester. First students will need to prove that they have a scheduling conflict. Upon approval their name will go on a list and they can use the containers free of charge.

Last year from January to May SHU used over 8,000 Styrofoam containers. Whidden says that number should be cut to 6,000 this year with only the faculty participating.

Senior Kaleigh Ruffner’s theme was “Motivation’s Role in Language Learning.” Ruffner, a Spanish and education major focused on the different motivational reasons why individuals choose to learn a second language. She spoke about the importance of students learning a second language and how the learning of a second language is influenced by motivation.

“More people need to see [bilingual education] more as an opportunity than a threat. Schools in El Paso have implemented bilingual education out of necessity,” Ruffner said. “It does not need to be done out of necessity.”

Students were encouraged to take an interdisciplinary approach as they took on their themes. Through an interdisciplinary approach, students are allowed to consult and apply different fields of analysis going right along with the liberal arts approach of SHU.


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