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GWC Honors Students Win Top Awards at Statewide Research Conference

GWC Honors Students Win Top Awards at Statewide Research Conference

Pictured: Ryan Millet (Left), Randall Debb (Right)

The $1,000 Director’s Scholarship is the Honors Transfer Council of California (HTCC)’s highest award in the state for research and writing, and was awarded on March 2 to GWC honors student Ryan Millett for his “Composed Images: Vincent van Gogh and Claude Debussy,” which compares elements in paintings by Vincent van Gogh with musical elements in the impressionistic compositions of Claude Debussy. Millett argued that these artists, though working with different media, had a similar aesthetic approach in that both often created their effects partly by emphasizing visual or musical elements traditionally associated with the background. “It was a vindication that other people felt the subject matter was interesting,” said Millett, who plans to transfer to Chapman University as a music composition major. His achievement marks the third year since the conference began in 2001 that the GWC Honors Program has earned this honor.

GWC honors student Randall Deeb won a $500 Outstanding Abstract award for his research leading to “The Crescent and the Cross: Muslim and Christian Beliefs in Literature,” in which he showed the parallelism of spiritual principles in literary works teaching or informed by these two world religions. Deeb said the award has given him the confidence to reach for even higher goals. “I was pleased that I had tried, and it was worth every bit of the effort,” he said. Deeb plans to transfer to Chapman University as a film major. The GWC Honors Program has taken top awards for abstracts four years in a row since the Outstanding Abstract award was established in 2006.

The HTCC presented the awards at the Ninth Annual Honors Research Conference for Community Colleges, hosted by the University of California, Irvine, where several other GWC students also made presentations and led debates.

“These students not only chose to present at the HTCC conference, but by all accounts performed exceptionally. This testifies to the high quality of our honors program,” said David Hudson, Administrative Dean of the GWC Honors Program. The primary goal of the GWC Honors Program is to challenge highly motivated students through an enriched course of study providing a broader, deeper, more intense academic experience than that offered in the standard curriculum. The Program leads students to advanced levels of critical thinking, discussion, writing and community involvement.

“Returning with two major awards is highly unusual,” said Chuck Whitchurch, Honors Professor and President Emeritus of HTCC. “But I’m proud of the whole group. They all spoke with the authority one gains by conscientious research and careful preparation. They are definitely continuing the tradition of excellence their predecessors established.”

To learn more about the Honors Program at GWC visit their website at http://www.goldenwestcollege.edu/honors