RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Five seniors graduating from the University of Rio Grande Honors Program this Saturday presented their final senior projects to faculty and classmates on campus. Dr. Heather Duda, Honors Program director said her students Adam Johnson, Sarah Bonar, Joshua Wiley, Klaire Smith and Adam Hollingshead put several months of work into their projects.
Adam Johnson, a computer science major, presented his project, detailing the process behind developing a new social media website PolyFruit.
“I wanted to make a social media platform for people to put their creative works. Rio has really helped me learn to go that extra step to not only make a website, but make a great website, and I’m really grateful for that,” Johnson said.
Bonar, a biology major, had the opportunity to intern in a research laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh over this past summer. She said she is thankful to her teachers and advisors for preparing her for the position
“I felt very honored and humbled when I first found out that I was selected for the internship. I knew that the acceptance rate was low, so when I got the news I was elated,” Bonar said. “After the initial happiness wore off, I was worried if I was prepared for the task, but soon found out that Rio amply provided me with the information that I needed.”
Joshua Wiley, a computer science major, said his presentation about an app he is designing to assist students in planning their degree paths by showing them courses needed for their majors and minors.
“For my classes at Rio, I had to develop a strong work ethic and that has helped me as I work on this app,” Wiley said.
Smith, a visual arts major, presented her art exhibition, Worship/Power: A Conversation on Rhetoric, Women, and Creative Processes. She said her goal of the project was to focus on the use of rhetoric and the power it can yield, particularly when looking at the oppression of women.
“This has been a lot of fun and gave me a chance to use all of the skills Rio has taught me for one project,” Smith said. “From start to finish, it’s been a whirlwind of an adventure.”
English and history double major, Hollingshead’s presentation included a brief performance of selected scenes both from Shakespeare’s original Hamlet and from his own interpretations of the play.
“I knew from the beginning I wanted to do something with Hamlet for my senior project, so I reread the play. What really jumped out to me was the lack of female characters,” Hollingshead said. “I changed some of the male characters to a female counterpart to see how it would affect the interpretations. It took a lot of intensive hours to get the project finished, but I enjoyed working on it.”
Duda said she is very proud of the work her honors program seniors put in during their final year at Rio and wishes them luck for their futures.
Jessica Patterson is a communications specialist with the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College.