The Indiana University East Honors Program will host the 2016 Mid-East Honors Association (MEHA) annual conference April 1-3. More than 200 students from 20 different colleges and universities will visit the IU East campus for the prestigious event.
Students attending the MEHA conference will present academic research papers and posters illustrating research projects, attend social functions, take advantage of networking opportunities and tour Wayne County historical sites. Multiple academic disciplines will be represented including science, biology, history, literature, math, computer sciences, and social sciences. Four students – Liza Hosbrook, Sierra Bass, Casey Bindewald, and Mariah McKenna – will present art projects in Meijer Artway.
Researchers presenting at the conference include 24 IU East students. In all, over 60 IU East Honors Program students are presenting or participating in the conference.
For example, Trevor Boram, biochemistry and mathematics major from Arcanum, Ohio, will present a paper on using virtually simulated forcefields to predict the behavior of adenine tracts. Tia Wiest, elementary education major from Eaton, Ohio, will present on clues to the race of Ishmael, narrator of the novel Moby Dick. Marisa Vanzant, secondary education major from Boston, Ind., will present on feminism in the Willa Cather novel O Pioneers. Erin Hoodlebrink, biochemistry major from Hagerstown, Ind., will present on cinematic representations of the Salem Witch Trials.
IU East Honors Program Director Alisa Clapp-Itnyre is very excited about the conference.
“We have been active in the MEHA organization for about seven years, taking about 30 of our students to its regional conference every year, so it seemed time to finally host it. It is the first time an IU campus has hosted it, and we’re pleased to showcase our campus and our program in this way,” Clapp-Itnyre said.
In addition to the presentation sessions, events will include a Friday night pizza-party/trivia mixer, and Dean Dorrell, an Abe Lincoln impersonator, will welcome conference goers at the welcome and keynote event. A “City as Text” program will highlight the rich history of east central Indiana. The conference will conclude with a banquet at the 4th Floor Blues Club, featuring live music from two student bands.
Although not open to the public, the conference will also be a boon to the local economy, particularly the lodging industry, with blocks of rooms reserved at several Richmond hotels, with local historical sites, Historic Depot District, and other businesses benefiting as well.