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Honors Day

Honors Day 2021

April 22

North Central College is excited to bring you our first-ever virtual Honors Day, so you can enjoy the event wherever you like! Included on this page is a link to our Honors Convocation that will be available all day to view, information about Honor Society events and a schedule for our Rall Symposium that includes links to live and pre-recorded presentations. For more information, please view our virtual Honors Day program.

Honors Convocation

Watch the 2021 Honors Convocation in the video to the right. A list of all award recipients can be found starting on page 2 of the Honors Day program. Congratulations to all of our award winners!

Honor Society Events

Congratulations to all students being inducted into an Honor Society. Due to restrictions for gathering in person this year, some groups will be meeting virtually, others in person and a few have decided to postpone or cancel induction ceremonies. If your group is not having a ceremony, your advisor will be communicating how cords will be distributed.

For more information regarding events that are taking place, please refer to page 1 in the Honors Day program.

2021 Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research

This year’s Rall Symposium for Undergraduate Research highlights the work of 95 undergraduate researchers supervised by 49 faculty mentors resulting in 79 presentations. It will showcase two types of presentations: interactive oral sessions featuring students presenting in real time and a pre-recorded oral session.

Twelve interactive oral sessions will be spread over four, one hour time slots. Each session will be hosted through Microsoft Teams, which can be accessed using Microsoft Edge or by downloading the Microsoft Teams app. Attendees can watch students present live and ask questions after each presentation. Links to each interactive oral session are listed in the schedule below.

The pre-recorded oral session will be hosted through Flipgrid. These presentations will be available all day. Viewers can watch the presentations at any time and post questions or comments to the presenters. Around 12:30 p.m., the presenters will log in and respond to any questions posted by viewers. To access the pre-recorded presentations, please click here.


If issues arise when trying to access any of the presentations, please contact one of the Rall Symposium Co-Coordinators:

  • Brendon Mason: bjmason@noctrl.edu or 630-637-5420
  • Becky Sanders: rlsanders@noctrl.edu or 630-637-5175



Rall Symposium Schedule of Events

9 – 10 a.m.
Interactive Oral Session #1

Session 1-1: Picturing the Past 
Moderator: Laura Lodewyck

  • Finding One’s Geographical Compass: The Division Lines of Color in “Passing”
    • Hannah Kohl ’23
  • North Central’s Student Body Through the Great Depression
    • Luke Kwiatkowski ’23
  • Imagining the World of Lizzie Siddall
    • Anica Schubert ’21

Session 1-2: Investigating Identities
Moderator: Hale Ekinci

  • The Effects of Sociocultural Factors on Body Image in Female Collegiate Athletes
    • Naomi Hill ’21
  • The Representation of Dominican Masculinity Within the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
    • John Kurpiel ’21
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T LGBTQ+ Elders
    • Author: Diego Mateo ’23

Session 1-3: Dissecting Disease
Moderator: Steve Johnston

  • Quantifying Reactive Astrogliosis During Prolonged Forced Abstinence from Oxycodone Self-Administration
    • Jordan Nowlin ’21, Benjamin Wong ’21, Max Farson ’21, Megan Vogel ’22, Bridget O’Brien ’21, Kasie Conness ’21, Jack Bastable ’22 and Alya Kahn ’23
  • Brucella Bacteriophage Trigger Immune Cell Signaling
    • Jack Plewa ‘21
  • Quantification of Fos Activity in the Orbitofrontal Cortex and the Basolateral Amygdala During Oxycodone Incubation
    • Benjamin Wong ’21, Max Ferson ’21, Jordan Nowlin ’21, Megan Vogel ’22, Kasie Conness ’21, Bridget O’Brien ’21, Jack Bastable ’22, Alya Kahn ‘23


10:15 – 11:15 a.m.
Interactive Oral Session #2

Session 2-1: Protests and Politics 
Moderator: Sophie Hand

  • Finding Their Voices: Political Protest in East Germany
    • Matt Boelke ’22
  • The People Stopped a Nuclear War: The Influence of Domestic Politics on the Cuban Missile Crisis
    • Rachel Maida ’21
  • The Traditionalism of the French Revolutionary Bourgeois
    • Claire Mikulcik ’23

Session 2-2: Crafting a Calming Culture 
Moderator: Leila Azarbad

  • The Effects of ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) on Sleep and Relaxation
    • Giovanina Kelly ’21
  • Development of a Training Module for Student Facilitators of Student-Led Support Groups at Undergraduate Institutions
    • Daniel Wallace ’21
  • Emotional Benefits of Brief Creative Movement and Art Interventions
    • Nicole Zimmerman ’21

Session 2-3: Communicating during COVID-19
Moderator: Amy Buxbaum

  • How has COVID-19 Affected Organizational Communication? A 45 Minute Roundtable Discussion
    • Jette-Mari Anni ’23, Elizabeth Arnold ’21, Daisy Chadra ’21, Isabella Corso ’21, Kate Rasmussen ’21, Sara Sheridan ’22 and Alex Shevtsov ’22


11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Pre-recorded Oral Sessions

To access these presentations, please click here.


1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Interactive Oral Session #3

Session 3-1: Religion and Respect
Moderator: Brian Hoffert

  • No Human Is Illegal: The Stories Behind the Immigration Process
    • Jessica Galindo ’21
  • What Would Jesus Do? How Self-Identified Christians Should Respond to the Immigration Crisis in the U.S.
    • Michael Longworth ’22
  • Religious Pluralism and the Balance Between Community and the Individual
    • Prerana Shrestha ’21

Session 3-2: Interrogating Intolerance and Influence
Moderator: William Muck

  • A Narrative Study of The Sopranos: Is It Racist?
    • Giuliano Catalano ’21
  • Yes, but What Kind?: An In-Depth Look at Donald Trump, the Populist
    • Jackson Frank ’21
  • Parental and Community Influences on Racial Biases
    • William Swofford ’21

Session 3-3: Establishing Enviable Environments
Moderator: Gwendolyn Tedeschi

  • Restoring the Midwest: A Look into Ecological Restoration in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin
    • Anna Baltudis ’21
  • Consumer Perceptions of the Different Types of Corporate Social Responsibility
    • Natalie Cebulski ’21
  • Local Food’s Impact on the Environment and Society
    • Alyssa Crum ’21


2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Interactive Oral Session #4

Session 4-1: Probing Perceptions
Moderator: Stuart Patterson

  • Does Agency Matter? Government Action and Public Opinion
    • Iselin Brady ’22
  • Understanding Chinese Values on Built Environments
    • Juliet Mathey ’22
  • A Look at the Benefits of Spanish Acquisition with Heritage and L2 Speakers as Classmates
    • Abigail Treado ’21

Session 4-2: Studying Stressful Situations
Moderator: Nicole Rivera

  • Jumping Out of the Bus’s Way: Students of Color’s Struggle with Trauma and Stress in the Education System
    • Nicholas Cheop ’22
  • When Does this Get Easier? Interpersonal Communication Skills and Concepts for Adolescents
    • Grace Klooster ’21

Session 4-3: Wondering What Works
Moderator: David Cordero

  • Market Testing Frameworks for Entrepreneurs: A Comparative Analysis and Application
    • Gillian Croasdale ’21
  • The Responsibility We Wear
    • Warner Hellyer ’21
  • Working Hard or Hardly Working
    • Rachel Newlin ’21

Honors Program

The Honors Program is designed for students, pursuing any major, who are interested in taking intellectual risks and engaging in rigorous and meaningful work. It is an opportunity to test and push your limits with the support of expert faculty and encouragement of fellow honors students.

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