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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Squirrel Squire becomes an award-winning newsletter at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference.

Squirrel Squire becomes an award-winning newsletter at the Northeast Regional Honors Conference.

Eleven students along with Hillary Sackett Taylor went to the Northeast Regional Conference in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

The Northeast Regional Conference is a three-day weekend adventure for students to present their projects and ideas in multiple different formats from posters, idea exchanges, PowerPoints, to round table discussions.

Students presented a different variety of topics. That ranged from effects of contraception, the Lion’s club, and displayed different ways on how to improve the honors program.

This conference is not your average conference. The first day, students were able to get up, have a buffet breakfast and enjoy the city of Philadelphia. All the students and Professor Sackett Taylor did the Mural Mile.

There was a variety of different murals with different meanings. Some murals were about the art and music of Philadelphia, and some others were about the evolution of women hood. Many of the student’s favorites was a mural that used recyclable materials. The money was used to help an animal shelter that was across the street.

“NRHC was a great chance to explore Philadelphia and create bonds with my fellow Honors peers. From mural tours to presenting to students from different states to the student gala and more” Gwyneth Smith said.

Picture of everyone enjoying the Mural Mile from @westfieldstatehonors Instagram

In between all the murals, students were able to explore Sweet box bakeshop. Also, were able to get lunch at High Street Philly and ate at the Washington Park. Before the day was over, everyone went to the Liberty Bell and enjoyed the history of it.

When the day was over, there was a Banquet and Keynote Address Dinner. Where Marybeth Gasman who is a Samuel DeWitt Proctor Endowed Chair in Education. Gasmen is an author and editor of thirty books, has written over 250 peer-reviewed article, scholarly essays, and book chapters. She went in depth on her upcoming publication Doing the Right Thing: How to do Undo Systemic Racism in Faculty Hiring and went into depth about a call to action on this issue.

The next day four students were up bright and early to participate in the first round of presentations. Gwyn Smith, Tom Messpelli, Lindsey Genatossio, presented an idea exchange about Honors Program finances and internships they all did in the fall. Then, CJ Lantigua presented a poster about how the English language is not the dominate language of the United States.

Then Alexandra West, Haley Kane, Josselyn Donahue, Emily Frost, and Samantha Falcone presented their PowerPoints in a couple of separate rooms throughout the conference. Everyone gave each other’s support and went to as many presentations as possible. Some student’s projects were past SHP’s and even upcoming ones.

“Presenting my senior honors project at NRHC allowed me to connect with other student scientists. After my panel presentation, all of us on the panel discussed our research and asked each other questions about their experiments. This showed me what it’s like to have an academic conversation with my peers.” Josselyn Donahue said.

At the end of the day Kaitlyn Egan and Abdullah Arshad presented at round table discussions. Where Egan presented the futures of funding for honors programs and Arshad presented about how there needs to be more diversity in college and the issue with Islamophobia.

Picture of students holding stuffed torches after presenting from @westfieldstatehonors Instagram

“The NRHC Conference in Philadelphia was an experience that will forever shape my honors experience as well as my future research endeavors. I was so inspired by not only the honors students across the United States, but those from Westfield State that I traveled with as well” Kaitlyn Egan said.

To celebrate all the students hard work and dedication to their presentations, NRHC hosted a Gala called “Shoot for the Stars”. Everyone got dressed up, got some photos taken and danced the night away.

As the last days comes around students were sitting eagerly waiting during awards. Squirrel Squire got called as second place for the 1st ever Northeast Regional Honors Conference Publication Contest.

This experience is something all these honors students will never forget. Next year the conference will be in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

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