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Student Research Touches on Memory at Annual Honors Conference Day

April 24, 2013

Students in the Honors Colloquium "Memory, Remembering, Re-telling" shared their diverse research projects on the theme with peers, faculty, and staff for the 28th annual Honors Conference Day April 25.

Topics covered included the effect of a hockey game on American global politics, the use of food and memory to draw culinary tourists to restaurants, and representations of mental illness in women's autobiographies.

The event, held at the Sweeny Student Center, also featured individual projects completed through an Honors Contract or seminar. Attendees were free to wander among the presentations and ask questions.

"Today's event showcases the fruits of a lot of labor, demonstrating just how talented and motivated our students are," said Dr. Amy Bass, professor of history and director of the Honors Program.

"The projects shown today make obvious just how rich our academic community is."

Dr. Nereida Segura-Rico, associate professor of Spanish, noted that publications, conferences, and events devoted to memory have only increased since she first helmed this particular Honors Colloquium two years ago.

"The interest in the creation of collective memory, and in how those memories are transmitted, or erased, is reflected in many of this year's projects," Segura-Rico said.

Honors Colloquium Projects

"Single Women: Past, Present, and Future," by Regina Alvarado, is an examination of the argument that the powerful memory of the 1950s housewife continues to permeate current societal norms for women.

"The Exacerbation of 'Inherently' Gendered Memories During Times of Increased Stress and Trauma," by Alyssa Capriglione, seeks to show how ideologies that diminish women survive during war and conflict, even when many other aspects of a society have failed.

"Just Add Ice: The Memory of the 'Miracle' and its Significance in American Culture During the Cold War and Beyond," by Alissa Sciommeri, takes a look at the political legacy of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team's victory over the Soviet Union.

"Authentic Italian: The Use of Memory for Culinary Tourism," by Kayla Cummings, questions the claims of authenticity by restaurants in Italy seeking to attract tourists in search of "real" cuisine.

"Everywhere: Youth in Chains and the Memory Revolution," by Amelia Ellis, uses a spate of teen suicides in Bergenfield, New Jersey, to examine how capitalist economies seek to control how teenagers are seen by society. The project proposes "a way in which teenagers can throw off the chains of collective and cultural memory and grow uninhibited by capitalism."

"The Representation of Mental Illness in the Autobiographical Narratives of Women," by Genevieve Fleckenstein, seeks to identify how these authors are refuting culturally prevailing ideas about severe mental illness. Fleckenstein also studied in Tours, France, the summer of her junior year and shared her experiences there.

Honors Contracts

"The Black Quarterback," by Molly McMurray, examines continued segregation in American football at one particular position. McMurray also shared her experiences studying abroad at Queen's University of Belfast.

"Organic Biology," by Ramya Bharathi, documents the vertebrates that call The College of New Rochelle campus home.

"Modern Spain," by Manuela Patino, analyzes works by two main authors of the Generation of '98, Miguel de Unamuno and Pio Baroja. The group refers to novelists, poets, essayists, and philosophers active in Spain in 1898, during the Spanish-American War.

"Make-up!" by Catherine Santivanez, is an advertising campaign designed to target trendy, outgoing women 18 to 25 years old. She used online surveys, group critiques, and other consumer research, and principles of design, art, and communications.

The event also featured the work of students in Honors 108: Race and Ethnicity and Honors 491: Senior Symposium.

(Photo: Amelia Ellis, in costume, presents her research on representations of teenagers.)