Three Students to Present at Florida Collegiate Honors Conference

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Three Polk State College students will make presentations at the upcoming Florida Collegiate Honors Conference – the largest number of students to do so since the College began participating in the event.

The Florida Collegiate Honors Council is a professional association of undergraduate honors programs and colleges in Florida. Since the 1990s, it has hosted an annual conference, allowing Honors professionals and students the opportunity to network and share expertise.

Polk State College began attending the conference in 2009, as part of its emphasis on growing its Honors Program and to offer Honors students the opportunity to connect on a professional level with other Honors programs.

The Polk State Honors Program is designed for highly motivated, talented students and offers smaller, more rigorous classes. To graduate from the Program, students must complete at least 18 credit hours with the Honors designation.

In spring 2008, there were 83 students in the Honors Program; now the total stands at 293.

The students presenting at the conference include:

  • Amber Crews of Bartow, whose presentation will discuss the medical procedure hemispherectomy, a brain surgery used to treat patients who suffer from seizure disorders.
  • Caroline Sibley of Winter Haven, who will discuss the background and culture of Holland during the Dutch Renaissance.
  • Warner Squire of Bartow, who will present evidence that meditation enhances academic performance. Squire adds that he plans to petition the Polk State College administration to create a meditation room on campus.

Including the three students who will give presentations, a total of 12 Polk State students will attend the conference – the largest group yet to represent the College at the event.

Dr. Patricia Jones, district dean of academic and student services, said the College’s growing representation is a result of the Honors Program Student Council’s heightened activity on both the Lakeland and Winter Haven campuses.

“This is the first year we’ve been able to have an active student group that organizes extracurricular activities. Many of the students going to the conference are from this group,” Jones said.

Robin Savage, 19, the 2011 valedictorian at Auburndale High School, is now president of the Lakeland chapter of the Honors Program Student Council. With her outstanding academic record, she had plenty of choices for pursuing higher education. She chose to start at Polk State in large part because of the Honors Program.

“The Honors Program courses are smaller and offer discussion-based learning. One of my classes was seven people, including me. You get to make a personal connection with your classmates and your professor. Once I took an Honors class, I fell in love with the program,” said Savage.

Savage pursued a leadership position with the Honors Program Student Council because she hopes to spread the word to other students about the Honors experience.

“You can really have that one-on-one experience that so many college students desire,” she said.

For more information about Polk State’s Honors Program, email

The FCHC conference will be Feb. 24-26 in Palm Beach Gardens.