Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference 2016

By. Karina Castro
Coordinator, Honors Program and Immersion Workshops

This year the Hostos Honors program, made up of co-directors, Professors Cynthia Jones, English Department, and Ernest Ialongo, Behavioral and Social Sciences as well as program coordinator, Karina Castro, decided to take members of the Hostos Community College Honors Program to the Northeast Regional Honors Council Conference (NRHC) on March 31-April 3 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The NRHC conference theme this year was Migration, and honors students across the Northeast region examined the concept in various aspects to encourage undergraduate honors learning. Students presented various papers, posters, and round-table discussion topics throughout the weekend.


The conference provided students the opportunity to share their research and present their work in a formal and broader context. Students were also provided the opportunity to connect with their peers from across the region. Student presentations ranged in topics from “Immigrants in America” to “Re-envisioning School Curriculum in the US.” Hostos Honors students enjoyed hearing presentation topics that covered gender and migration, migrations of race, migration of animals, and the effects of globalization on migration. Each panel presentation consisted of three to four students discussing their research while answering questions or running a discussion group. Additionally the conference incorporated poster presentations which added an enriching visual component to the conference’s theme.


Nine Honors scholars traveled to Cambridge for the opportunity to exchange information and ideas. Two of our Hostos scholars presented at the NRHC conference, Mr. Daequan Leslie and Mr. Feissal Traore. All the student participants enjoyed a tour around the cities of Cambridge and Boston, where they participated in a scavenger hunt and visited the Institute of Contemporary Art. The students were also given the opportunity to attend the NRHC Gala where renowned writer, Michael Patrick MacDonald, participated as the keynote speaker and shared his experience growing up in Boston, his development as an individual, and his overcoming of adversity. Sierra Lebron, Hostos Honors scholar shared, “I connected to the keynote speaker who spoke about drugs in his neighborhood. I agreed with his assessment of PTSD being a true problem in our drug-filled neighborhoods.” The students furthermore enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of a talent show as well as attend a decade themed dance, where Hostos Honors was named the “Life of the Party.”


Mr. Daequan Leslie presented a paper on “Biodiversity vs Globalization,” where he analyzed the concepts and their relations in order to find a balance between the two. Mr. Daequan Leslie worked closely with Professor Ernest Ialongo throughout the semester to create a final paper and presentation for the conference. Mr. Leslie shared, “I have to provide a special thanks to Dr. Ialongo. He did more than help me get my presentation together. When I was distraught and was going through a downward spiral, he installed confidence in me and always had a positive outlook through my dreary situations.” Mr Feissal Traore led a round-table discussion on, “The Impact of Technology and the Natural Sciences on Migration.” He worked with Professor Nelson Nunez-Rodriguez to present his research at the conference. In reflection, Mr. Traore shared, “My round-table presentation went very smoothly and allowed a lot of people to join in on the discussion around my topic.” Both presentations can be viewed on YouTube using the links below:


On behalf of the Honors Program, we are very thankful for the rain of support from the Office of Academic Affairs, faculty, and staff who helped our Honors Scholars. Next year the conference will be taking place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; we hope to be in attendance with all our Honors students presenting their future honors work.


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