This year, the conference will take place on April 8. It will be the 28th annual conference.
Dr. Barb Stedman, Director of National and International Scholarships and Honors Fellow, has attended almost every conference since she began working at Ball State in 1993. Stedman said the Honors College takes about 12 Honors students each year. Stedman also noted that many Honors students attend with other departments within Ball State.
“Ball State as a whole has a tremendous representation [at the conference].” Stedman said.
The Honors College reimburses students who attend for the $50 fee, which includes breakfast, lunch, and a t-shirt from the event. According to Coralee Young, Secretary to the Dean, the funds come from donations from alumni and other donors to the Ball State University Foundation, which helps to assist student travel and other ways of developing Honors students outside of the classroom. The Honors College also offers transportation: a van driven by Stedman herself.
Stedman says that she highly recommends students attend the conference.
“[The conference] is a really low-pressure opportunity to get your feet wet in the world of academic presentations.” Stedman said.
Christina Thibodeau, a sophomore international development and relations major in the Honors College, took advantage of the opportunity and attended the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference last spring. Thibodeau was doing an independent study at the time, and was encouraged to present her research by Stedman.
“[I] was meeting with Dr. Stedman about a scholarship and was in one of her classes, and she was like, you should do this! So, she was really the one who pushed me to do it,” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau presented in the international relations category, and noted that she got to observe many other presentations as well.
“In my independent study, I researched the Islamic State’s propaganda in depth, especially the use of social media.” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau rode with Stedman to the conference, along with three other students, and she says that she got to meet other Honors students, listen to their presentations, and even watch a senior presenting on her thesis. Thibodeau said that she probably would not have gone to the conference without the sponsorship of the Honors College.
“I’m a college kid! I don’t have a lot of money and things like that, and it does cost a little bit of money to go, and I probably wouldn’t have decided to do it because of that, even though it does look really good on a resume.”
At the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference, students have the opportunity to present their research with both monetary and moral support from the Honors College.
“Without Dr. Stedman’s encouragement I probably wouldn’t have gone either,” Thibodeau said. That’s a different kind of sponsorship, but it’s important.”
Editor’s note: Submissions to attend the conference this April are due to the Honors College on Feb. 10.