University hosts student conference

This weekend 417 students will take part in the annual Great Plains Honors Council Conference, which John Brown University will be co-hosting with Oral Roberts University.

Honors undergraduate students from across the nation will present their academic research. These students represent at least 43 different regional universities, including the University of Arkansas and Texas A&M.

Events include a poster competition, presentations on Saturday, and excursions to surrounding areas in Northwest Arkansas, including a tour of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“It’s important for JBU to be a welcoming school to other universities,” Abigail Danley, Honors Council member, said. “Our call is to love others and be hospitable.”

Danley said that everyone involved in planning the conference has sought to capture this year’s conference theme: the entrepreneurial spirit, or the ability to learn and apply something new.

“All abstracts that were chosen had to do with entrepreneurial spirit,” Danley said. Danley was one of the students who helped select which of the submitted abstracts would be presented at the conference.

“I looked at STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] abstracts,” Danley said, smiling excitedly, “I read some that got me pumped.”

Six of John Brown University’s students will be presenting. All conference presentations will be on Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon, and will cover a wide variety of topics. University students are welcome to attend.

“It’s going to be a great time,” Glenda Manos, administrative assistant for the Honors Program, said. “JBU students are welcome to go and meet students from other universities, as well as listen to the presentations.”

“It’s here, and it’s a chance to celebrate and enjoy academics,” Danley said, sharing how much she enjoys going and hearing about other people’s hard work, particularly in majors outside of her own. “It’s a way to learn about things I never would have even thought of,” Danley said.

Trisha Posey, director of the Honors Scholars Program, said there will definitely be “something that you’d be interested in hearing about.”

Preparing for the conference has been a year-long project. Elyse Partee, president of the Honors Executive Council, is in charge of the welcome desk committee and the moderator committee, as well as recruiting, organizing, and training moderators. She said the hardest part of her job has been recruiting people.

“The Honors Program has been really great. It’s a pool of people ready and willing to help,” Partee said. “Glenda Manos has really done a great job. She’s one of our best resources.”

“It’s a great event for JBU,” Posey said. “It’s an honor to host, it shows the strength of the University and the strength of our facilities. It’s also an opportunity to show hospitality and to shine.”