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Kapp Prize Awarded to Top Student Presentations

Research on mad-cow disease, migrant rights, third culture kids and domestic violence garner top recognition at the 21st annual Kapp Honors Day.

<em>Winners of the 2017 Kapp Honors Day Prize, from left: Cameron Spitzfaden, Rachel Nemeth, Samantha Kulhanek and Annamarie Williams. Missing is Ethan Akans.</em>Winners of the 2017 Kapp Honors Day Prize, from left: Cameron Spitzfaden, Rachel Nemeth, Samantha Kulhanek and Annamarie Williams. Missing is Ethan Akans.

Student presentations on mad-cow disease, migrant rights, third culture kids and domestic violence were selected for recognition at Alma College’s 21st annual Kapp Honors Day.

Ethan Akans, Samantha Kulhanek, Rachel Nemeth, Cameron Spitzfaden and Annamarie Williams are recipients of the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize for their outstanding Honors Day presentations in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

The prize is named for the late Ronald O. Kapp, who was an Alma College biology professor for 32 years and vice president of academic affairs for 20 years.

A panel of judges from each division selected the prizewinners after assessing the presentations for quality of scholarship as well as how well the materials were presented. The prize is open to all students and groups.

Akans, a senior from Gaylord, and Spitzfaden, a senior from Charlotte, presented “A Molecular Mechanics Study of Prion Misfolding in Mad-Cow Disease.” In their study, Akans and Spitazfaden used computer simulations to examine how the human proteins that transmit mad-cow disease become deformed.

Kulhanek, a senior from Shelby Township, presented “Migrant Rights and International Law: U.S. Policy and the Crisis in the Northern Triangle.” In her study, Kulhanek examined U.S. immigration policies and their ineffectiveness in addressing migrants fleeing Central America to the United States.

Nemeth, a senior from Perry, presented “Belonging Here, There and Nowhere: Experiences and Education of Third Culture Kids.” In her study, Nemeth examined the challenges, experiences and education of children who spend a significant period of their developmental years in a culture outside their parents’ cultures.

Williams, a senior from Midland, presented original drawings and watercolors that address the nature of abuse aimed at women and children. In her artwork, Williams portrays victims and survivors and their real experiences of violence in hopes that other victims/survivors can know they are not alone. 

Story published on April 07, 2017