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Eight University Honors Program Students Present Research at Honors Conference in Montana

Eight University Honors Program students at the University of Idaho presented their undergraduate research projects in March at the annual Western Regional Honors Council (WRHC) conference at Montana State University in Bozeman. Honors student participants were selected by the conference organizers based on a competitive proposal submission process. The conference was attended by honors students, faculty and staff from honors colleges and programs at universities throughout the Western United States, ranging from Alaska to California.

Samuel Myers, Ren Dimico, Abigail Hale, Brenna Peever, Abigail Dunn, Natalya Usachenko, Elizabeth Hoots and Alice Cassel traveled to the conference with Diane Carter, senior instructor in the Department of Psychology and Communication Studies. Carter teaches honors courses in communication. The students' majors vary, and their research spanned a number of academic disciplines.

Several of the students selected for the conference previously received a University Honors Program grant for undergraduate research and creative scholarship in support of their research projects.

Student presentations were grouped into panel and research poster sessions during the conference, which also included opportunities for students to network, a keynote lecture and live music performances on the campus of Montana State University. The conference organization rotates every year among the Western member states and each host university arranges for a unique activity or event related to their geographic location — in this case a day trip to Yellowstone National Park.

One conference participant described her experience as transformative.

“I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I signed up to present at the Western Regional Honors Council Conference, but I came away inspired. Meeting so many passionate students from all across the western US and listening to them talk about the subjects they love was transformative, and the enthusiasm was contagious. It gives me so much hope to thank that these are the leaders and thinkers going out to solve the world’s problems!”

The 2019 event was only the second time University Honors Program students showcased their research at the annual regional honors conference.

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