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Students Complete Advanced Honors Research Projects

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Four seniors at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh will complete their advanced honors program research projects this semester.

Yassmeen Abdulhamid, Anja Brand, Sherie Davis and Kathleen Lanzer The advanced honors program consists of developing a research project and proposing it along with a budget to the Honors Council. Once the project is approved, the students begin a minimum of six credit hours, which is extended over at least two semesters.

The students usually spend one semester doing research for their topic. They must also write a 40 to 60-page paper and lead a public presentation about their results.

"The advanced honors program provides a superb basis with valuable experience for students to prepare for graduate-level work," said Dr. David Mowry, director of the honors program and distinguished teaching professor of philosophy. "In addition, advanced honors program students gain an in-depth understanding on a topic or issue that is especially important to them."

This semester's advanced honors students are Yassmeen Abdulhamid, an English literature major from Clifton Park, N.Y.; Sherie Davis, a cellular biochemistry major from Dominica; Anja Brand, an English literature major from Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Kathleen Lanzer, a biochemistry major from Plattsburgh.

"My research centered on Charlotte Bronte, the Victorian English novelist," said Abdulhamid. "I examined the notion of the parasitic male in Bronte's Jane Eyre and The Professor ."

Like Abdulhamid, Brand's research focuses on a literary analysis.

"I am researching exiled Russian writers Vassily Aksyonov and Joseph Brodsky," said Brand. "I am analyzing the methods and symbols they used as preparation for and acceptance of exile."

The students involved also appreciate the level of independence the program offers.

"Working on an advanced honors project has enabled me to design and execute my own project from start to finish," said Lanzer. "I have learned techniques in molecular biology that will help me in finding a job and applying to graduate school."

Davis' research focuses on silencing the ND7 gene in paramecium.

"This advanced honors project has been very helpful in allowing me to realize my love for research," said Davis. "It has also encouraged me to pursue a career in research after graduation." 

The honors program at SUNY Plattsburgh is made up of nearly 300 students from an array of different programs. Students in the program must maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA.

Each year approximately 12 students complete advanced honors research project. Beginning this year, students who have completed the honors program will receive a silver medallion to be worn at graduation, and students who have completed the advanced honors program will receive a gold medallion to be worn at graduation.
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