More than 50 presentations scheduled for 8th Annual Academic Symposium April 15

By Tom Di Camillo
Director, Media & Community Events

PINAL COUNTY, Ariz. - More than 50 presentations will be unveiled on Friday, April 15, when Central Arizona College's Honors Program sponsors the Eighth Annual Academic Symposium: Building Bridges.

The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. in the classrooms throughout the Gloria R. Sheldon University Center (Building T) on the Signal Peak Campus located at 8470 N. Overfield Road just east of I-10 between the cities of Coolidge and Casa Grande.

There is no charge to attend and members of the community are invited to partake in the many presentations being held during the symposium.

"The symposium is an academic conference where students share original projects, research or talents with other students and faculty," Ginny Atkinson, CAC's professor of English who is one of the directors of the Honors Program, explained.

Participation in the symposium is open to any high school or college student in all disciplines from Pinal County and the surrounding areas.

With Building Bridges as the theme, the types of presentations include poster presentations, panel discussions and talks on topics representing areas such as humanities, sciences, social sciences, fine arts and service learning.

"The academic symposium offers students the opportunity to present and discuss original work in a conference setting with others in an atmosphere of fellowship and scholarly inquiry," Atkinson explained. "It is a chance for a student to gain confidence and to better understand and appreciate the importance of contributing to a community of like-minded learners."

The following is a list of sessions with descriptions of the presentations.

Poster Session (on displayer throughout the symposium)

Faith Seeks Understanding through Reason
Lorenzo Gil Badiola - Vista Grande High School

The project consists of a comprehensive outline of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. In addition to covering the ubiquitous five proofs of the existence of God, it will cover the gamut of his philosophical system. Making use of various sources including two encyclopedias of philosophy, various histories of philosophy, Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologicae, and Stanford's Web Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the project will give an almost-complete picture of St. Thomas Aquinas' ideas. The second part of the project will cover the mysticism of the Middle Ages.

Honors in Action
Yvette Boulier, Mercy Lopez, Jen Ballard, Lynda Dickey & Lisa Walker -
CAC's Aravaipa Campus

Research of Tuberous Sclerosis
Aisha Chavez - CAC Signal Peak Campus

This project consists of the in-depth research of genetics and subtypes of the disease Tuberous Sclerosis, which includes Complex I and II in children and infants. The research includes the positive effects of using chemotherapy agents to reduce the risk of brain tumors for these patients.

Overmedication of America: The ADHD and Bipolar Epidemic
Justin Coyne - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The project's scope is to present the side effects of misdiagnosis of ADHD and bipolar, and the search for possible alternatives to replace the pharmaceutical drugs prescribed for these mental illnesses including natural medicine approaches, lifestyle alternatives such as diet and exercise, and alternative medical procedures such as acupuncture and speech therapy.

Going Where No One Has Gone Before: Social Equality Messages in the Star Trek Episodes of the 1960s
Brittni Evans

In what ways did the early TV version of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek promote social change and portray gender and race equality? How did it affect that generation?

The Zodiac Killer
Joshua A. Garcia - Vista Grande High School

The PowerPoint presentation on the Zodiac Killer begins by explaining who the killer was and why he was famous. It explains his victims, how he murdered them, how he was never caught, his clues, taunts and ciphers, and how and why his legend lives on.

Body Language of Lying
Jennette Gutierrez - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

This poster displays how one can recognize the physical signs of deception. The use of polygraph testing also will be shown along with facial and neurological cues.

The Honors Program at CAC
CAC Honors Program Students

Information about the goals of the Honors Program, the benefits to the students, the curriculum of the program, and how students become involved will be presented.

Rubik's Cube Solving Robot
Vijayant Kanwar - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The student has constructed a Rubik's Cube-solving robot that can solve any complex sequence faster than an average human being. It is built using Logo Mindstorms - programmable construction sets that include sensors, motors, USB interfaces, wheels and a camera.

Educational Success through Student Centered Learning in K-3
Wendy Marcum - CAC Signal Peak Campus

Students who are actively involved in their learning process are more engaged and motivated to learn. Student-centered learning is more appropriate for the developmental stages of kindergarten through grade three. Student-centered learning promotes the use of thinking skills and results in a deeper learning of the subject matter as opposed to recall and recognition.

Birth Order: The First Born Advantage
Nikki Oxford - CAC Signal Peak Campus

In the context of research presented about birth order, it is safe to conclude that first-born children have an advantage over later born children - they are born in a time when the family has more economic resources, parental investment is higher since there is only one child, and they are allowed a broader social and emotional development through childhood. First-born personality development and socialization fosters individuals who tend to show more leadership skills.

Cindy Ramirez - Signal Peak Campus

The project focuses on the benefits of inclusive classrooms. Inclusion has been described as incorporating children who have a disability in a general education setting. The presenter will emphasize her research and analysis on how incorporating an inclusive classroom benefits both the students with disabilities and those without disabilities.

Monster Making
John D. Ruane - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The title Monster Making is literal. The presenter explores the descriptions of characters - especially those of supernatural derivation - found in several 19th century works of British Literature by creating paper mache visual interpretations. The presenter creates a different form of visual interpretation of literature, but also - and more personally - gives literal form to one of the most important reasons for reading - imagining.

Modern Comics
Justin Stabley - Vista Grande High School

For the last few years, this student has taken his drawing skills further than a simple hobby. Near the beginning of his freshman year in high school he gained an interest in comic books and graphic novels. Over time he began to find the job of making comics appealing and moved his education toward writing and graphics. The presentation is his effort over a two-year period.

The World as I See It through Photography
Kylee Waddle - Vista Grande High School

This student shares her photography through fun and exciting views about life and the way we live it. The audience will be taken through an emotional rollercoaster of joy and happiness.

University of Arizona & Northern Arizona University Representatives
Representatives from each state university will talk about their institutions.

Session 1 (1-1:50 p.m.)

American Judaism: For the Love of God
Kristin Jimenez - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The paper traces the origins of Judaism, explains the beliefs, and argues that Judaism has had an impact on American culture. Judaism is more that a religion; it is a culture, a faith and a people.

An Overview about Brazil
Savanna Melius - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The presentation will focus on the growing importance and emergence of Brazil as an influential global player. A review of Brazil's history will provide perspective on the similarities and differences regarding U.S. experiences, as well as the challenges that the country has to face in the coming future.

Circus Flavius Amphitheater
Rodolfo Velasco, Annette Felix, Tanya Rubio, Daniel Baeza, Malinda Herrera, John Rodriguez, Jose Covarrubias, Stacy Esparza, Daisy Ibarra, Danielle Alvarado & Raul Dominguez -
Santa Cruz Valley Union High School

Students will present their model and a PowerPoint on the Circus Flavius Amphitheater - who, where, when, why and how. All of the historical data, rediscovery, and modern times with a brief commentary on the Christians and the Coliseum will be discussed. Also discussed will be the process of making the Coliseum model.

Honors in Action: Literacy Project
Sharon Maupin - CAC Signal Peak Campus

Alpha Theta Delta, CAC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, developed a literacy project to assist the GED program for the Democratization of Information: Power, Peril and Promise Honors in Action Project.

Prom Fusion Fashion Show Fundraiser
Devaney Charles, Kennedy Nightingale & Torie Sabo - Vista Grande High School

The presentation is about the planning and performance of a fashion show entitled Prom Fusion. The purpose of the show was to raise funds for the school's junior prom. The students will present a video and PowerPoint about the show, while the audience will learn about the hard work through a behind-the-scenes look at the process.

Cultivating Citizenship: Community Learning Leadership
Michelle Johnson - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The council-manager structure of city government provides opportunities for citizens to serve as leaders in their community. Citizens who engage in these leadership positions with the intent to serve the public become effective and trusted leaders who foster a greater sense of community in the cities in which they reside.

Nathaniel Gingrich, Ashlynn Hanohano, Sharina Arandia & Ty Adair -
Apache Junction High School

The students were charged with the task of realistically hybridizing two living organisms, and to treat the resultant species as if it were an actual evolutionary path. The responsibilities and research focused on the general appearance and behavior of the species, as well as three of its consolidated biological systems.

Brandon Ingraham, Tasha Vande Krol & Zach Martyn - Apache Junction High School

Students combined two animals - a cheetah and a chameleon - to make a hybrid that would never happen. The result was an animal that had the speed of a cheetah with the ability to change colors that would be the deadliest creature on this planet.

Acute Radiation Syndrome
Heather Mendes - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

What are the effects of radiation upon those who work with it? Is it safe for them? This poster also discusses the effects of acute radiation syndrome upon the cardiovascular system of the body.

The Sons of Extinction
Ben Phelps - Vista Grande High School

The student performs a monologue about the trials of a young man escaping persecution.

I Wonder - Solo Dance Performance
Marie Watson - Vista Grande High School

This piece was choreographed and performed by the student in the 2nd Annual Community Choreographer's Showcase at Vista Grande High School.

Hand Jive from the Musical Grease
Vista Grande High School Drama Department

Born to Hand Jive was a featured number in Vista Grande High School's first musical - Grease. The cast of Grease features students from Vista Grande High School, Casa Verde High School, Central Arizona College, and members of the community. Several members of the cast are honors and AP students who also are part of the International Thespian Society.

All Shook Up Dance Performance
Angelica Lara & Zachary Brown - Vista Grande High School

This is a period swing dance piece choreographed and originally performed by the students during the 2nd Annual Community Choreographer's Showcase.

Charissa Doty-Cade, Michelle Duarte, Jade Duchene, Tekka Dalani, Angelica Lara, Malorie Martinez & Brittni VonRonne - Vista Grande (H.S.) Dance Company

This is a modern dance performance choreographed for the company's debut performance at the Arizona State Dance Festival by the AZ Dance Educators Organization, an affiliate of the National Dance Honors Association.

Modern Alice
Bryan Avila - CAC Signal Peak Campus

From Disney's 1951 Alice in Wonderland to Dennis Potter's haunting rendition, Alice has been portrayed in various forms. Alice's cultural similarity with social morale presents a shifting acceptance in social norms. Society has changed greatly in gender equality since the early 20th century. Tim Burton's film exhibits the expanding roles of women in society - breaking stereotypes and pursuing careers.

Session 2 (2-2:50 p.m.)

Pilate, Pirates and the Princesses: Conjure Women in American Literature & Popular Culture
Heather Moulton - CAC Faculty

CAC's faculty presentation of a paper presented at a national conference argues that the neglect of the conjure woman cannot continue, especially with the proliferation of her image in contemporary media, literature and film. A brief history of the conjure woman in literature will be offered before moving on to her impact in movies (movie clips will be shown as part of the presentation).

Reidhead Valley Farms: A Sustainable Small Farms Business Plan
Elizabeth Reidhead, CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

This presentation details the process of researching and writing a sustainable small farms business plan. Each stage of development is discussed. It begins with the original conception and moves into each segment of the business plan. Final decisions made through the planning process are presented.

Rubik's Cube Solving Robot
Vijayant Kanwar - CAC Signal Peak Campus

This student has constructed a Rubik's Cube-solving robot that can solve any complex sequence faster than an average human being. It is built using Logo Mindstorms, which are programmable construction sets that include sensors, motors, USB interfaces, wheels and a camera.

Nathan Merrill, Allison DeHague, Haili Brewer & Kailin Knox - Apache Junction High School

The students crossed two preexisting animals to create a unique hybrid - the American badger and the gray fox - to make the Oscuro. The presentation consists of its physiology, homeostasis, temperature regulation, the skeletal system, and all of its basic animal traits and facts.

Sol Hurlbert, Tyler Rauch, Mandi Johnson & Emerson Tucker - Apache Junction High School

The students combined the grizzly bear and the African elephant to make an animal hybrid that resulted in the Bearphant. This presentation showcases its different systems, its habitat, habits and other specifics to make this animal work.

Canine Parvoviral Enteritis: Healing Through Nature
Jo Beaudry - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

The HNR 205 project covers the dangers of vaccination in canines, and the healing attributes of nature versus the conventional application of pharmaceuticals in canines diagnosed with canine parvoviral enteritis. Elements and ingredients that are found in vaccination and treatment for parvo are compared to the elements and ingredients found in nature. Feedback from practicing naturopathic veterinarians about successful natural applications for the disease also will be presented.

Behind the Genes
Shannon Weidner - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

This deep ancestry project explains how genetic anthropologists use genetic markers to identify the ancient ancestors of all humans and trace their migration from their origins in Africa to continents throughout the world.

The History of Scrimshaw
Ian Cockrill - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

The student will present the history of scrimshaw and report on his attempt to replicate a piece of scrimshaw in the traditional nautical theme.

Amber Moe - Vista Grande High School

This history of modern dance project will be presented in a colorful slide show. The presentation will included a short history of contemporary dance, as well as videos of dance classes featuring the student's performance and her choreography.

Photography, Photo Manipulation & Graphic Art
Matthew Jaimes - Vista Grande High School

The presentation consists of a slide show featuring photos both manipulated in Adobe Photoshop CS4 and untouched, as well as drawings colored or completely created using Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Art Techniques
Kevin Wise - CAC Signal Peak Campus

In this presentation, the student will discuss his artwork by explaining the various media and techniques used, as well as other aspects of the artwork. He also will discuss his inspiration and why he chose art as a career path.

Session 3 (3-3:50 p.m.)

Why Are Bad Habits so Fashionable?
Tiffany Zinn - CAC Signal Peak Campus

This presentation will reveal why people smoke, the side effects of smoking on our health, the side effects of smoking in our lives, some personal stories about dealing with a smoking family, and contacts to get help for quitting.

The Jackass Effect
Brian Gutierrez - CAC Signal Peak Campus

This project examines American male adolescents ages 12 to 19 and their participation in risky stunts or pranks. My presentation explains that they participate in this performance sport mainly to prove their masculinity. Although participating in these activities seems harmful, the presenter argues that Jackass stunt participation is a new form of a rite of passage.

Pleasure F*ck Nation
(Guests should be aware this presentation possesses content equivalent to an R movie rating)
Krystal Benfield - CAC Signal Peak Campus

Has pleasure become the most ascendant undertaking of our daily lives? Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the daily news to be overloaded with stories of drug abusers, sex offenders and gambling addicts. This paper explores American's obsession with instant gratification.

Breanna Milkey, Autumn Rhodes, Erin Herbert & Tyler Meason - Apache Junction High School

Creating an animal hybrid is an extremely educational process. By deciding to combine the panda and the lion, these students explored the many similarities and differences between the bodily structure and functions of the two mammals. Many modifications were implemented to construct the cuddly yet ferocious hybrid.

Is Ethanol a Good Substitute?
Brandon Terrazas - CAC Signal Peak Campus

In the world of biofuel, one of the biggest players is ethanol. An important question that scientists have been asking - Is ethanol a viable alternative to gasoline? This presentation offers both pros and cons of using ethanol as a substitute for gasoline.

Algae: The New Biofuel
Jason Allen - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

As fossil fuels run low on supply, as well as pollute our atmosphere, humans are searching for alternatives. Ethanol was proposed through corn; however this method requires use of food, as well as massive amounts of land for production. Now algae, a high oil producing organism, may prove to be the key in obtaining a cleaner and more efficient biofuel.

Literacy: Social Promotion vs. Grade Retention
Sharon Maupin - CAC Superstition Mountain Campus

This presentation provides an overview of the problems that socially promoted and grade retained adults have dealing with life after graduation.

Revenge is a Sweet Thing
Mikkella Reese - Vista Grande High School

Revenge is a Sweet Thing is a novel in which the main character, Jenna Miller, is blind-sided by an all-consuming revenge of an unknown person who has started to kidnap her friends and send her harassing notes. Jen has to figure out who the kidnapper is before it is her turn to fall against the Boss and the Minion.

Influence of the Concept of a Design or Designer in Biology and Physics on Worldview
Maxwell Akorli - CAC Signal Peak Campus

The scope of this project is how the arguments for and against the concept of a design or designer in biology and physics influences worldview. The project is simply about how science affects beliefs. The objectives were to find out what design and designer mean in the context of biology and physics, and to identify the three main worldviews.

The Honors Program at Central Arizona College's is designed with academically outstanding students in mind. Throughout the two-year program, students are encouraged to research, discover and debate ideas - while remaining inquisitive throughout their tenure in the program. The culminating experience for honors students is the Honors Project.

Within the Honors Program structure, students take courses in common with other honors students and choose courses of particular interest. The selected courses are sometimes called extended courses because they start as existing courses that are extended to challenge Honors Program students.

For more information about the Academic Symposium or the CAC Honors Program, please contact the Honors Program Office by phone at 520-494-5380 or by e-mail at

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814