Mesalands Honors College Students Present Research

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 – This evening Mesalands Community College Honors College students presented research on various topics from media to medical. Students and staff enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies as they browsed the student’s research. Mesalands Community College Honors College is now celebrating its fourth semester leading the way under the direction of Director Dean Garcia.

Kirsten Gonzales

Kirsten Gonzales presented on Cerebral Palsy. She defined the disorder “. . . attributed to injury or disturbance in early developing of the brain specifically the sensorimotor areas.” Her presentation gave visual examples of the brain’s developmental signs of the disorder. “It is the most common cause of motor disability in children and includes a large adult population.” Kirsten Gonzales explained.

Kirsten Gonzales is also a student in the Mesalands Community College Nursing program. She emphasized her desire to utilize her nursing education in order to care for those experiencing the disorder. Her past experience working in the medical field inspired her research project.

Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown chose to study Science Fiction through the “Alien” Films. In his presentation Ryan named “. . . the Alien franchise as [is] one of the foundational bedrocks for modern science fiction cinema.” When asked his favorite film of the series, he chose Alien, the first film in the franchise. When asked why, he summarized the film as encompassing the foundation of the series in its balance of horror and science fiction. He juxtaposed the films with their directors and their contribution to the series. “Ridley Scott’s original film blended horror and sci-fi while James Cameron’s Aliens blended sci-fi with a concoction of action-horror.”

Ryan concluded, “Each of these movies carry a variety of concepts popular in science fiction, including the dichotomy of beauty and terror in creation, alien life, the advancement of robotics, and what it means to be human.” The original film credits listed Tom Skerritt (Dallas) first, a position usually reserved for the lead or hero. However, Dallas was killed off early in the film revealing Sigourney Weaver (Ripley) as the lead character. An insight Ryan found unique and purposeful.

Miranda Tenorio

Miranda Tenor presented on the Meningitis disease. “Meningitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes (Menges) covering the brain and spinal cord.” Miranda listed five types: Bacterial, Viral, Fungi, Parasitic, and Amebic. The rarest being Amebic Meningitis caused by Naegleria Fowler and is usually fatal.” A microscopic amoeba commonly called a “brain-eating amoeba.”

Meningitis can be fatal if it is not treated immediately. It can kill within twenty-four or forty-eight hours. Common symptoms include: headache, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Later symptoms include: stiff neck, altered mental status (confusion), lack of attention to people and surroundings, seizures, hallucinations, and coma. Meningitis is contracted through the nose or mouth, often from manmade lakes or bodies of water. Blood cultures identify the bacteria in the blood. It can also travel from the blood to the brain. “Meningitis can occur after pneumonia.”

Each of the students worked under the guidance of instructors Dr. Simone Klutzny and Dr. Gregg Howard. “Honors College serves as a convergence of students across campus and disciplines, providing the opportunity to enrich one another through innovation, creativity, and intellectual exchange.” Stated Vice President of Academics Joel Kiser. “involvement in the Honors College cultivates social engagement, intellectual development, and translates into credentialed honors noted on their transcripts identifying high rigor in critical research.”

Mesalands Community College honors high academic achievement producing students who lead the way in their chosen field of study and academic excellence.