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Small class sizes, professors who know you by name—that’s the Adrian difference.
Sometimes, education can be taken outside of the classroom. Alexis Horstman experienced just that when she studied abroad in South Africa. Her experience influenced her to do a Ribbons of Excellence presentation in 2013, titled Education Beyond the Books: My African Experience. Her presentation focused on the ribbon for Caring for Humanity and the World.
Alex Noelke, Zachary Wilson and Heather Newblom reinvented the face and feel of the Oxcart Magazine. In their 2013 Ribbons of Excellence presentation, the group discussed the trials of defining and discovering the identity of the magazine. The group also discussed the differences between the 2012 and 2013 editions of the magazine, will provided grounds for launching the project forward into new designs and trends for future productions. The presentation was under the ribbon Developing Creativity.
Writing is a creative art—but when does creativity go too far? Delaney Andrews explored this in her 2013 Ribbons of Excellence presentation, focusing on the truth (or lack thereof) in non-fiction writing. As of late, writers have been criticized for their not-so-true representations of real life events and people. The goal of Andrews’ presentation, under the ribbon Caring for Humanity and the World, was to analyze the appropriate ethical oblications a writer has to those whose stories they tell.
Comparing themes and ideas is a hallmark of any English program—and Adrian College is no exception. Alicia O’Connell in her 2013 Ribbons of Excellence presentation looked specifically at Jack London’s “The Sea-Wolf,” and compared it to themes brought up by Thomas Huxley’s and Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory and Nietzsche’s theories on life and values. O’Connell explored compassion within “The Sea-Wolf,” and introduced the notion that compassion was important to human survival, unlike the ideas brought up by Huxley and Darwin. He also fought back against Nietzche’s theories by proving that compassion is not only an obligation, but also assists in survival. “The Sea-Wolf” corroborates the idea that one’s self-interest and compassion towards others can coexist.
Journalism is a constantly changing practice, and that is something that is discussed in the Focus on Journalism class offered at Adrian College. Research from five students—Delaney Andreas, Tyler Oake, Claire Simpson, Michael Neal and Isaac Berkey—looked at the impact of social media, changing ethics and developing technology. Their presentation, under the ribbon Thinking Critically, asked and answered questions (“how did we get from typing on the Underwood 5 to tweeting on tablets?”) and presented the practice of reporting and “jourNOWism” in the 21st century.
Books are treasure troves of ideas and subtle (or not so subtle) references to the culture of the time and beyond. Hilary Hannigan, in her 2013 Ribbons of Excellence presentation, looked at the was narratives have the ability to address moral, social, economic and other issues that existed in the world that the narrative was composed in and the world we live in today. Hannigan looked at Emily Brontë‘s 19th century classic “Wuthering Heights” and how Brontë used her characters to address issues of slavery. Hannigan argued that the narrative brought attention to slavery being in existence during the books composition and asks the reader to become engaged with the current issue of modern slavery. Her presentation was under the ribbon Caring for Humanity and the World.
It is no surprise that authors influence one another—this was the case in the recently published “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. Influenced by Jane Austen’s wildly popular “Pride and Prejudice,” Morgenstern revised and elevated similar themes of morality and behavior to apply to modern thought and action. In her 2013 Ribbons of Excellence presentation, Breanna Toland looked at the connection between the two novels, especially Morgenstern’s critique of both Austen and modern society. Her presentation was under the ribbon Crossing Boundaries and Disciplines.