YSU Honors Students Secure Award at National Conference

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Four honors students representing the Youngstown State University Sokolov Honors College gained new experiences and earned an award at the National Collegiate Honors Council conference.

The students presented their research at the conference in Chicago earlier this month after being accepted through a competitive peer-review process.

Three students gave poster presentations on a variety of topics:

  • Scott Gregory, junior, information technology major, “The Power of Video.”
  • Tafadzwa Mapiki, senior biology pre-medicine major, “Phenotypic Characterization of Mouse Model Gammaherpesvirus Tumorigenesis.”
  • Airyana Washington, sophomore, anthropology major, “Cistern Excavation.”

Gregory, who has served as an honors student staff videographer the past three years, explored the benefits of video in learning. Mapiki developed a poster focused on research she conducted last summer during a research experience at the University of Florida that aims to move forward cancer cell research. Washington conducted her own archaeological field work exploration to learn more about a feature found in Worthington, Ohio.

Senior Celeste Kapalin, a public and professional writing major, presented in a general session with Mollie Hartup, honors director, titled “Reimagining Honors-only Orientation Through Campus-wide Collaboration.”

Students had the opportunity to attend sessions with honors faculty, staff and students from around the country, an experience that resonated with the YSU group.

“I did not only learn a lot, but I was empowered by having the opportunity to spend time with other students who are also determined, innovative and hope to impact the world,” Mapiki said.

Kapalin called the conference the perfect blend of fun and educational.

“We got to explore the city as well as meet new people, share ideas and improve our presentation skills,” she said. “It was a valuable experience I will never forget as it solidified the career path I want to take,” Kapalin said.

The student-produced “With Honors” magazine earned a second-place award at the conference. Gregory and Kapalin, who contributed content to the magazine, accepted the award this year on behalf of YSU.

“What makes our magazine so special is that students are the heart of every aspect of its development,” Hartup said. “From writing to layout, including QR codes that link out to video content, our students do it all.” 

YSU has a long history of winning awards at NCHC. 

“Our students are consistently competitive on a national stage through their acceptance of presentation proposals to receipt of top of discipline and other awards,” said Amy Cossentino, dean of the Sokolov Honors College and associate provost for strategy and engagement. “Overall, participating in this conference not only enriches academic experiences but also lays the groundwork for future academic and professional endeavors.” 

Pictured at top: From left are Mollie Hartup, Scott Gregory, Celeste Kapalin, Tafadzwa Mapiki and Airyana Washington. (YSU)

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.