Campus Salem Gray

27th Kapp Honors Day, Barlow winner announced



On April 6, 2023, Alma College hosted Honors Day for faculty, students and community members. Honors Day is a longstanding tradition at Alma that celebrates student research and creative projects. 

On that night, Audrey Plouffe (’23) was announced as the winner of the Barlow Award. Students, family, and faculty gathered at the Barlow dinner to celebrate all the finalists and hear who had been chosen by Student Congress and faculty voting. 

That evening, Aubrey North (’23), Stevie Hyde (’24) and Lainie Ettema (’23) were announced as the three Kapp prize winners. These presenters were chosen by three anonymous faculty members that viewed all the nominated students’ presentations and collectively chose three winners.

Classes were canceled on this day to give students and faculty the chance to support their peers in presenting their work. Honors Day is also when the campus community saw the results of students and faculty voting on the winner of the Barlow Award.

“Students presenting at Honors Day have the chance to share their work with their peers, faculty members and community members who attend,” said Dr. Morgan Fonley, Director of the Alma Honors Program.

“Beginning last semester, this involved suggesting to students and faculty sponsors that they might consider presenting at Honors day and working with IT to prepare submission forms,” said Fonley. 

The entire planning committee for Honors Day worked on scheduling since last semester to ensure there were as few conflicts with students and faculty as possible. 

Typically, juniors and seniors make up most of the presentations to share the culmination of their work and studies in preparation for graduation, but students of any year are welcome and encouraged to present. Presentations are made up of a wide variety of subjects and fields, topics ranging from research and analysis for literary work to independent research. 

“For Honors Day I am presenting my senior thesis in the Philosophy department, Skepticism and Religion: How Faith Affects Philosophy. It’s a commentary on how skepticism and doubt are actually healthy emotions and great tools when navigating theology,” said Jenna Vargas (‘23), one of the students that presented at Honors Day

Vargas is also presenting how doubt can fit into the teachings of modern-day church denominations. To prepare for Honor’s Day, all senior philosophy students had a weekly meeting with the Philosophy department where they could receive comments and suggestions about their papers. This is one of the many ways that students prepared their research to present. 

Students and student organizations also had the option to present their work as a group or share what their club had been working on throughout the year. History Club presented their Alma College Histories and Mysteries Podcast, a project they had been working on since the start of the Fall 2021 semester.

“I have had the privilege of recording two episodes for the podcast, interviewing other non-white students at Alma on their experiences as ethnic minorities here,” said Madeleine Kim (‘25), Vice President of the History Club. Kim, along with History Club President Aubrey North, will be talking about the episodes that they recorded and what the process of recording is like.

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