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Honors Day celebrates student work

By : Momoji Furudate

BU’s 11th Annual Honors Day was a tribute to excellence in its many forms, with both a showcase of outstanding student work and a ceremony commemorating top students from across campus.

More than 30 students displayed their work Friday in the Mandela Room as part of the Undergraduate Showcase. Artwork and projects outlined the walls and students were standing by to answer questions.

Kristyn Pluchino, a senior chemistry major, displayed her research of fluorescent polymer chemosensors. “I synthesized new polymers,” Pluchino explained, “that sense potential toxins in water.”

The diagrams showing the process of her research might be baffling to any non- chemist. She pointed to the part of the polymer called the receptor, of which she systematically varied the amount to make the chemosensor more sensitive. “The polymer gives off a fluorescent glow in uncontaminated water. When toxins are in the water, that glow fades. With the conjugated polymer chemosensors, they are sensitive to metal [and] can detect lower concentrations than the current sensors being used by the EPA,” said Pluchino. She hopes her research will yield an attractive potential sensor to test EPA standards.

Decker School of Nursing students sponsored a display on “Current Innovations in Nursing Practice.” Citing Ludwig von Bertalanffy’s general systems theory, their projects reinforced a holistic concept of care that starts first and foremost with nurses’ well-being. If physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of nursing are neglected, nurses cannot perform their caregiver function, and often “burn out” from work-related stress.

For her political science honors thesis, senior Maureen Foley interviewed prosecution and defense attorneys to compare differences in how they select juries. She measured the attorneys’ reactions to questions they asked potential jurors and displayed her findings in charts and graphs.

Bedros Magardichian, a senior engineering major, presented his work on 3D scanner applications. With 3D scanners and rapid prototyping systems, he was able to replicate real car models in a virtual environment.

Sydell Glasser, a senior studio art major, sat by her monotype prints ready to discuss the process and perspective of her art. “I try to take the human form and look at it more as a landscape,” she said. “It’s taught me a lot about working with figure and with landscape.” By “abstracting” human figures, she is able to nurture a delicate interplay between herself and her work. “There’s a saying: ‘Art finds the artist as much as the artist finds the art,’” she said. “I concentrate less on traditional rendering and follow paths of light.”

The ceremony recognized the recipients of the University Student Excellence Awards, BU Foundation Awards, Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence and membership in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, as well as Student Employee of the Year winners.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08