Research on humanities, natural and social sciences receive recognition at annual event
ALMA — Student presentations on Chinua Achebe’s novel Things Fall Apart, the toxicity of road salts, and the relationship between McCarthyism, the “Lavender Scare,” and Christian evangelicalism at the beginning of the Cold War were selected for recognition at Alma College’s 25th annual Kapp Honors Day, held on April 15.
Madeline Wagner, Camera Stevens, and Caden Wilson were recipients of the Ronald O. Kapp Honors Day Prize for their outstanding Honors Day presentations in the humanities, natural sciences and social 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.
Wagner, a junior English major from Flat Rock, presented “‘This is What a Man Does’: Disconnecting Systemic Practices Harmful to Women from African Cultures in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1958).”
In her study, Wagner provided textual examples of Achebe counteracting and condemning Okonkwo’s depreciative actions in Ezinma and Uchendu’s narratives, as well as the ways in which Achebe connects the violence endured as a result of polygyny to patriarchal control, rather than to Igbo culture.
Stevens, a senior environmental studies major from South Point, Ohio, presented “Factors Affecting Road Salt Toxicity to Hyalella Azteca.”
In her study, Stevens evaluated the effects of exposure duration and temperature on the toxicity of two salts (NaCl and KCl) to the aquatic macroinvertebrate Hyalella azteca.
Wilson, a senior secondary education and history major from St. Johns, presented “In God We Trust: McCarthyism, the ‘Lavender Scare,’ and Christian Evangelicalism in the 1950s.”
In his study, Wilson explored the relationship between the persecution of LGBTQ+ employees of the federal government (the “Lavender Scare”), the rise of modern Christian evangelicalism, and the anti-communist sentiment of McCarthyism at the beginning of the Cold War.
A panel of judges from each division selected the prize-winners 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.