MSJC honors students earn scholarships at statewide event

Several Mt. San Jacinto College MSJC honors students were chosen among hundreds of statewide community college students to receive scholarships during the 11th Annual Honors Research Conference at UC Irvine.
Stacie Macias of Lake Elsinore,  and the team of Brittney McKenzie of Canyon Lake and Erin Stehli of Beaumont earned $500 scholarships during the March 26 event.
They were among 22 students from MSJC and 320 community college students from across the state who presented at the conference. More than 700 attendees from 30 colleges were at this year’s conference, the highest attendance in the conference’s history.  Attendees included student presenters, student volunteers, Honors Program directors, UC Irvine faculty and administrators, Community College Administrators, faculty mentors, and faculty and student attendees.
Honors Research Conference is jointly organized by the Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC) with the University of California at Irvine.
The Honors Transfer Council of California is an organization composed of the directors of the various Honors Programs at community colleges throughout California.  The main goals of the HTCC are to promote transfer opportunities for Honors Students, to develop premier Honors programs at community colleges and to increase the level of scholarship among our students.  Both of the MSJC Honors Coordinators (Christina Yamanaka and Erik Ozolins) are members of the HTCC.
Macias, McKenzie and Stehli were among the students who submitted abstracts based on research papers. A total of six abstracts were recognized at the conference. Macias earned a $500 scholarship for her paper titled “Libraries that Changed the World: Alexandria and Toledo.” McKenzie and Stehli shared a $500 scholarship for their paper called  “The Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Yeast Screened by Plant Pigments and Antioxidants.”
Other MSJC students who received recognition at the event were:
Alexandria Tuttobene, of Temecula, received the $300 Honors Transfer Council of California’s Exceptional Achievement Scholarship. The HTCC Scholarship committee selected the recipients based on essays that described the impact that belonging to an Honors Program has had on their lives.
Four MSJC Students, Joseph Stacy, Palita Thamparipatra, Sarah Stebbings and David Torres, produced excellent posters from their research and presented the posters during the opening session of the conference.  Joseph Stacy earned an Honorable mention in the Science Poster Competition from the Poster Judges for his poster “Is Boiled Water Toxic?” and a small cash prize that went with the award.  These were a continued growth in the number and quality of posters from MSJC in the past couple of years.
All of the presenters had been aided in their research by faculty mentors.  This year's mentors included Christina Yamanaka, Nick Reeves, Michael Plotkin, Larry Barkley, Erik Ozolins, Michelle Stewart, Pam Ford, Dewey Heinsma, Jim Davis, Erie Leduc, Jennifer Barron and John Seed .  Most of the mentors were in attendance at the conference to see the student presentations. 
Along with the mentors, Stacey Searl –Chapin, Cathy Brostrand, and Paul Hendry attended the conference to support our students.  Carlos Lopez, Dean of Academic Program on the San Jacinto Campus, and Richard Rowley, Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Science,  also attended to support the students and the MSJC Honors Program.  At the introductory session, Deans Lopez and Rowley were recognized along with other administrators from other colleges for the support that they provide to the Honors programs at their respective colleges.
Other MSJC students who presented were John Elison, Meg Elison, Colleen Tozer, Shayla Esarey, Michelle Bayne Josaih Tolopilo, Seth Barrial, Samuel Fall, Jeffrey Miller, Lissa Zappardino, Sarah Westbrook, Andrew Barrial, Samantha Alu and Quinn Allen.  All of the students did a fantastic job with their presentations and reported that the conference was an excellent experience as they are preparing to transfer this year or next year.
Additionally, nine MSJC Honors students, Araceli Boatman, Gabriel Davis, Melody Davis, Rebecca Lundquist, Mark Qubain, Elizabeth Ragsdale, Luis Rangel, Crystal Temples and Bill Trisler, participated in the conference as volunteers.  All three served as session facilitators, introducing the presenters and helping them keep the presentations within the allotted 12 minutes.  Several other MSJC students attended the conference to help them get ideas for their honors projects that they will be working on during this semester and Fall 2011 in the hopes that they will be able to present at next year's conference.
22 MSJC students presented honors projects at the annual Honors Research Conference at UC Irvine.