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2013 Portz Scholars

The NCHC Portz Scholars Program began in 1990 to enable NCHC to acknowledge John and Edythe Portz’s many contributions to honors education.  We continue to honor their memory by selecting the top four research/creative papers by undergraduate honors students who have been nominated by their institutions for their outstanding work.

In addition to the NCHC Portz Scholars Program, the Committee on Awards and Grants annually awards several NCHC Portz Grants in recognition of and support of innovation in honors programs and colleges.

The Committee on Awards and Grants is pleased to announce the 2013 NCHC Portz Scholars for the 23rd year of the competition.  Members of the Committee read approximately 48 outstanding papers during the first part of the summer and selected the top four NCHC Portz Scholars student papers.

The 2013 NCHC Portz Scholars are:

Lianne Barnes, University of Nevada Reno

Lianne Barnes, University of Nevada Reno

Lianne Barnes, University of Nevada, Reno
Honors Director, Tamara Valentine

“Six is Sapphire, but is Sapphire Six? Bidirectionality and Numerosity in Grapheme-Color Synesthesis”

In grapheme-color synesthesia, numbers and letters create a color experience that is consistent, automatic, and unique to each synesthete. Recent studies have examined the way viewing graphemes elicits colors as well as the possibility of bidirectional synesthesia, in which viewing colors may elicit graphemes in the minds of synesthetes (Dixon, Smilek, Cudahy, & Merikle, 2000). This thesis addresses the issue of bidirectionality to see if specific colors elicit the information represented by graphemes in a manner that is cognitively accessible to the synesthete observer.


Alexandro Leme, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Alexandro Leme, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Alexandro Leme, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Honors Director, C. Earl Ramsey

“Documentary Photography and Surrealism in Interwar Paris: A Dialectical Resolution”

In 1924, with the publication of the Manifeste du Surréalisme by the poet André Breton the Surrealist movement was officially launched. Surrealist photography at first was mainly produced in the darkroom through the manipulation of negatives often using techniques such as photogram, multiple exposure, solarization, etc. This work endeavors to establish a dialectical reconciliation between the real and the surreal, and between the real and the constructed. Underpinning this study is the premise that a single photograph may shift meaning as it moves from the place where it has been taken to the place where it is published or viewed.


Ceclia Morales, Texas A&M University

Ceclia Morales, Texas A&M University

Ceclia Morales, Texas A&M University
Honors Director, Sumana Datta

“Creating Mother: Mothers’ Legacies in the Context of the Conduct Literature of Seventeenth-Century England”

This thesis, focusing on seventeenth‐century English writers, examines the genre of Mothers’ Legacies in relation to the conduct literature being written around the same time. It discusses the manner in which

the women writers of Mothers’ Legacies both confirm and deny the ideal form of womanhood laid out by conduct writers. By writing from the place of the mother, these women are fulfilling a socially prescribed role, but by publishing for a wide audience, they are stepping out of their traditional domestic domain. The end result of this thesis is the delineation and explanation for the gap between what seventeenth‐century women are told to do and what they actually do.

Honors Deans and Directors can download the application for the 2014 Portz Scholars competition at the NCHC website. The deadline for the 2014 competition will be Friday, June 6, 2014.

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National Collegiate Honors Council
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