By: Megan Hartnett
Graceland University will host the Upper Midwest Regional Honors Conference March 22-24. Students and faculty from the Midwestern region will present papers and findings, discuss topics of academia, and have the chance to expand their academic and professional network. The conference location varies each year, and Graceland offered to hold it in Lamoni this year.
The Honors program is an advanced program in which qualified students are given the opportunity to participate. Students admitted into the program take courses that are academically advanced – courses that apply to their chosen majors and minors, as well as their general-education classes. The program, directed by Dr. Brian White, also has a committee of faculty who not only direct the program as a whole but also focus on advising admitted students.
“Graceland’s Honors program is a good opportunity for students to push themselves intellectually and to pursue projects that fit their own unique academic and creative interests,” said White. Students will have the opportunity to present some of those projects – including academic papers and posters – to a larger audience at the regional conference.
Usually there are around 150 to 200 people who travel to the annual conference. “It’s kind of an interesting undertaking to bring this many people to Lamoni,” said Dr. Dan Platt, one of the conference organizers. “They’re coming from hundreds of miles away to our little town for this conference. It’s very exciting.”
There are many preparations that go into such an event, and the Graceland Honors students have done much of the work.
Five committees consisting of Honors students have helped organize and will manage the conference. Each team – promotional, logistics, welcome, programs and activities – has its own student leader. Chase Wood, a sophomore and graphic design major, was chosen to lead the promotional team. “Being a leader has been an experience that has taught me a lot about working with others, recognizing when to delegate, and how to effectively communicate with a team in order to have the best results come from everyone,” she said.
The hard work of not only Graceland faculty and staff, but also those from other schools across the Midwest, will be showcased at the conference. The public are welcome to attend. The Upper Midwest Regional Honors Conference will be a special occasion for both Graceland University as well as Lamoni.