Honors students at dinner

Honors Program

Honors Thesis Presentations x30


By: Dr. Jon Blandford
Director, Honors Program • Associate Professor of English
President, Kentucky Honors Roundtable • Secretary, Southern Regional Honors Council

The culminating experience of the Bellarmine University Honors Program, the Honors senior thesis provides our students the opportunity to work closely with faculty mentors on original research-based, applied or creative projects of their own design. These projects enable our students to take subjects and questions they are passionate about and explore them in much greater depth than they could in a class, transforming them into experts who are able to contribute new and valuable knowledge to their chosen fields of study. Our students emerge from this process not only equipped to excel in graduate or professional school and in their careers, but also with the sense of accomplishment that comes from having completed something that goes well beyond typical undergraduate work.

Every spring we celebrate our graduating Honors seniors by inviting them to share what they learned in a series of final presentations to members of our community, including Bellarmine faculty and staff, alumni, members of our Board of Trustees, and doting moms and dads. As you’ll see in the schedule below, we have a record 30 Honors seniors this time around who will be giving talks on a range of fascinating topics. I am proud of our seniors every year, but am especially so of this group, who completed their thesis work during the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. When it would have been easier and even understandable to quit, these students persevered, demonstrating a continued commitment to excellence and also remarkable resilience and grit. As challenging as this past year has been for all of us, with leaders like these students, our future looks very bright.

Please join me and the faculty representatives on our Honors council for an enlightening afternoon of online thesis presentations on Sunday, April 11. You’ll have to bring your own refreshments this year (sorry!), but there will, I assure you, be ample food for thought. Presentations will take place over Microsoft Teams beginning at 1 p.m. EDT, following a brief welcome at 12:45 p.m. 

For anyone new to Microsoft Teams, here’s a short video with instructions about how to join a meeting.

Hope to see you all (virtually) there!


Panel Schedule for April 11

Click on the links below to join each panel at its scheduled time.

Welcome Message – 12:45 p.m.

PANEL 1  •  1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

  • Olivia Beechem: IT Usage in Auditing and the Impact of COVID-19 / Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Payne
  • Hannah Ferriell: How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected Organizational Trust? / Advisor: Dr. Courtney Keim
  • Allie Moore: The Political Pandemic: Investigating the Relationship between Political Ideology and COVID-19 Compliance / Advisor: Dr. Hank Rothgerber

PANEL 2  •  1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

  • Lexi Cox: Science and Writing and Apes, Oh My! An Iterative Interdisciplinary Approach to Argumentative Writing and Forensic Science in the Secondary English Classroom / Advisor: Dr. Jessica Ivy
  • Alyssa Durbin: Impact of Culturally Relevant, Diverse Literature in Today’s Classrooms / Advisor: Dr. Caitlin Murphy
  • John Sparks: Okay, Boomer: Overcoming Cringe to Teach a Unit on Meme Analysis / Advisor: Dr. Caitlin Murphy

PANEL 3  •  1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

  • Haley Todd: The Effect of Cadmium on Ovarian Adenocarcinoma Cell Lines: An Investigation of the Possible Mechanism of Action / Advisor: Dr. Mary Huff
  • Jordan Stacy: Investigation Into the Cellular Target of 4-trifluoromethoxy Chalcone via DARTS Method / Advisor: Dr. Amanda Krzysiak
  • Allie Richards: Antibacterial and Antioxidant Potential of a novel plant, Eriodictyon californicum, and its Healing Abilities / Advisor: Dr. Savita Chaurasia

PANEL 4  •  1:00 - 2:15 p.m.

  • Kate Lamb: Within the Shadow of the Cowboy: Myths and Realities of the Old American West / Advisor: Dr. Kathryn West
  • John “Jack” Kirwan: A Biography of Vice Admiral Clifton “Ziggy” Sprague / Advisor: Dr. Eric Roorda
  • Emma Haney: An Examination and Evaluation of the Philosophies that Shaped the National Parks and National Forests / Advisor: Dr. Evanthia Speliotis 

PANEL 5  •  2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

  • Katie Vogel: Individual Differences in College Students' Approach to Health-Related Decision Making / Advisor: Dr. Joy Jacobs-Lawson
  • Tyler Satterfield: Physical Activity & Mental Health of College Females during COVID-19: A Longitudinal Analysis of Mood, Body Image, and Physical Activity / Advisor: Dr. Andrew Carnes
  • Harry Moberly: Evaluating the Effectiveness of the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee’s Decision to Extend the Three-Point Line / Advisor: Dr. Daniel Bauer

PANEL 6  •  2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

  • Sylvia Ramsey: Changes in Fecal Glucocorticoid Levels and Microbiome Profile during Positive Enrichment in a Captive Population of Tigers (Panthera tigris) / Advisor: Dr. Caroline Doyle
  • Katrina R. Powell: The Expression of Palladin in the Retinal Pigmented Epithelium and its Possible Role in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / Advisor: Dr. Steven Wilt
  • Zach Kuebbing: Non-Hospitalization Treatments for Major Depressive Disorders: Analysis and Recommendation for Counties /  Advisor: Dr. Courtney Keim

PANEL 7  •  2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

  • Mary Daniels: Why I Won’t “Go Back to Where I Came From”: An Economic Analysis of Illegal Migration / Advisor: Dr. Francis Raymond
  • Mary J. Greenfield: "Coming for to carry me home”: The Integral Role of the Christian Faith in the Plight of African Americans, from Slavery to Black Lives Matter / Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty
  • Lizzie Hamilton: The Financial Impact Of Gender Diversity On Corporate Boards / Advisor: Dr. Bradley Stevenson

PANEL 8  •  4:00 - 5:15 p.m.

  • Taryn Tramill: My Love Should Be Celebrated: A Collection of Queer Stories / Advisor: Dr. Zackary Ross
  • De’Avion Reid: A Mile and More: A Novella and Reflection on the Concept of Body-Swapping / Advisor: Dr. Kathryn West
  • Joshua McCorkle: The Music of Charles Mingus and Kanye West as a Lens for Understanding Race / Advisor: Professor Dave Clark

PANEL 9  •  4:00 - 5:15 p.m.

  • Grace Michels: Introducing Restorative Justice / Advisor: Dr. Heather Pruss
  • Alexandra Doud: Indigenous Restorative Practice: The Abandoned History of the Western Restorative Justice Process / Advisor: Dr. Frank Hutchins
  • Andrew O’Neill: Skepticism of God’s Justice and Ways in the World in Job and Ecclesiastes / Advisor: Dr. Deborah Prince

PANEL 10  8  4:00 - 5:15 p.m.

  • Jacob Scobee: Critical Elections, Media and Historical Hindsight / Advisor: Dr. Aaron Hoffman
  • John Klapheke: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary / Advisor: Dr. Gregory Hillis
  • Cass Marlow: The Columbine Effect: An In-Depth Analysis on School Shooters’ Manifestos and the Themes Within Them / Advisor: Dr. Evanthia Speliotis

Tags: Honors Program , Student Success

About Bellarmine University

Bellarmine University is a vibrant community of educational excellence and ethical awareness that consistently ranks among the nation’s best colleges and universities. Our students pursue an education based in the liberal arts – and in the distinguished, inclusive Catholic tradition of educational excellence, the oldest and most rewarding in the western world. It is a lifelong education, worthy of the university’s namesake, Saint Robert Bellarmine, and of his invitation to each of us to learn and live In Veritatis Amore – in the love of all that is beautiful, true and good in life.