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Kapp Prize Awarded to Top Student Presentations

Research on World War I poetry, toxicity of road salts and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 receive top recognition at the 23rd annual Kapp Honors Day.

From left: Jeff Abernathy, Logan St. John, John Stefanek, Hunter Wilson, Megan Wilcox, Provost Kathleen Dougherty.From left: Jeff Abernathy, Logan St. John, John Stefanek, Hunter Wilson, Megan Wilcox, Provost Kathleen Dougherty.

Student presentations on World War I poetry, the toxicity of road salts and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 were selected for recognition at Alma College’s 23rd annual Kapp Honors Day.

Megan Wilcox, Hunter Wilson, Logan St. John and John Stefanek 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.

Wilcox, a senior English major from Hillsdale, presented “’We’ll Grasp Firm Hands’: Themes of Cultural Conflict in the Poetry of the First World War.” In her study, Wilcox contextualized the poetry of Charles Sorley, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Thomas Hardy, Rupert Brooke and other English and Scottish poets.

Wilson, a junior environmental studies major from Mayville, and St. John, a senior environmental studies major from Lake, presented “Toxicity of Road Salts in Aquatic Ecosystems.” In their study, Wilson and St. John analyzed the risks to surface-water macroinvertebrates that are exposed to road salts through run-off from snow melt.

Stefanek, a senior history major from Alma, presented “Not Your Typical Southern Strategist: Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1957.” In his study, Stefanek examined LBJ’s role as Senate majority leader in the passage of the 1957 Act. The paper argues that the bill paved the way for future civil rights legislation that LBJ would champion as president.

Story published on April 05, 2019