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Kapp Prize Awarded to Top Student Research Presentations

April 07, 2014

Original poetry, enzymes and environmental policy were research topics selected for recognition at Alma College’s annual Honors Day.

Students presentations on the poetic treatment of the human condition, enzymes that make molecules more water soluble, and innovations for analyzing state environmental policy variables were selected for recognition at Alma College’s annual Honors Day.

Andrea Aguilera, Christy Robinson and Anna Leonard are the 2014 recipients of the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize for their outstanding Honors Day presentations in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.

From left: Anna Leonard, Christy Robinson, President Jeff Abernathy, Andrea Aguilera.From left: Anna Leonard, Christy Robinson, President Jeff Abernathy, Andrea Aguilera.

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.

View full list of student presenters.

Aguilera, a senior from Minooka, Ill., presented “Uncaged Truth: A Collection of Difficult Poems.” For her senior thesis, Aguilera examined “deeper truths about the human condition” through an examination of specific emotions, memories and “seemingly insignificant details.” Her presentation included both a reading of her poems and a performance of spoken word. Her faculty sponsor was William Palmer, professor of English.

Robinson, a senior from Ortonville, presented “Ligand Binding Affects bSULT1A1 Protease Sensitivity.” In her study, Robinson examined the ability of sulfotransferases, enzymes found naturally in the human body that help make molecules more water soluble, to bind with ligands and the resulting effect of this ligand binding on protease sensitivity, or the ability of proteases to cleave molecules. Her faculty sponsor was Joe Beckmann, professor of biochemistry.

Leonard, a senior from Dexter, presented “An Analysis of the Formation of State Policies with Special Attention to the Variable of Environmental Events.” In her study, Leonard presented innovations for analyzing state-level environmental policy variables such as recycling policy, water quality, toxic waste, energy and transit, and environmental events. Her faculty sponsor was Feler Bose, assistant professor of economics.