Polk State Honors Students Present Work at Academic Showcase

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

The hard work of Polk State Honors Program students was on display Friday during the Fall Academic Showcase.

Each semester, students in the Honors Program present work they’ve completed either for class or simply out of personal curiosity, sharing what they’ve learned with friends and family members, Polk State Honors Program faculty, and College administrators.

This semester’s showcase took place Friday morning on the campus of Polk State Lakeland.

Polk State Vice President for Academic and Student Services Kenneth Ross congratulated the students on their work and taking the extra step of presenting at the showcase.

“Don’t forget about Polk State College 10 or 20 years from now. Maybe some of you will come back and be Honors faculty for us to instill in future students the great things that have been instilled in you through the Honors Program,” he said.

Among the students making presentations:

  • Brandon Crotchett, who read an essay titled “My First Love,” which described the emotional highs and lows of his first romantic relationship. Crotchett wrote his paper under the instruction of Professor CR Junkins.
  • Slade Fernandes, who presented on “Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs,” a subject he studied under Professor Gregory Harris.
  • Jordan Gilbert, whose presentation was titled “The Yoga-Sutras and Its Practical Applications.” Gilbert discussed how yoga helps with concentration and relaxation. He studied under professors Derek Menchan and Lance Russum.
  • Rosemary Reynolds, who presented on Roman mythology after studying under Professor Wade Singletary.
  • Robin Savage, whose presentation was titled “Human Sex Determination: A Biological Analysis.” Savage discussed her research that shows biological sex ranges along a continuum. She studied under Professor Colleen Caldecutt.
  • Luciana White, whose presentation was “Measuring Anxiety Level in Testing Students: Can We Reduce Test Anxiety?” White used EKG readings, which measure electrical activity in the heart, to measure the anxiety of students on test days and whether breathing exercises helped calm them. She found that students do experience increased anxiety prior to a test and breathing exercises are an effective treatment. She studied under professors Anna Butler and Angela Chapman.
  • Katie Widner, whose presentation was titled “Voter Identification in America’s Political Theater.” Her presentation discussed the statistically insignificant incidences of voter fraud at the polls. She studied under Professor Kathryn Hewitt.
  • Jacob Wilson, who presented “A Long Hard Look at the American Political Party System,” discussing the disadvantages of party-line politics. He also studied under Hewitt.

Polk State Honors Program Student Council President Ryan Darley emceed the event and summed all of the presenters up with this: “These students are the best and brightest of Polk State.”

According to District Dean of Academic and Student Services Patricia Jones, who works with the Honors Program, the Fall Academic Showcase capped a busy semester for Honors students. Honors Program students recently traveled to the National Collegiate Honors Conference in Boston, a first for Polk State College. They also recently participated in field trips to the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park and The Mosaic Company, where they hunted for fossils in a phosphate mine.

The Polk State Honors Program offers smaller, more rigorous classes, field trips, priority registration and numerous scholarship opportunities.

To qualify for the program, students must meet certain GPA requirements or score highly on tests such as the ACT or SAT. Graduates of the program have completed at least 18 credit hours with the Honors Program designation. Graduates receive the Honors Program designation on their transcripts and diplomas, as well as recognition during commencement.