A-Z Index

Celebration of Quality

Celebration 2021
An Interdisciplinary Academic Symposium

3-8 p.m., Friday, April 16
3rd Floor, J.W. Jones Student Union

Celebration of Quality Call for Papers (and other Projects)

The Society of President’s Scholars, the Honors Program, and the Provost’s Office are proud to sponsor the Celebration of Quality, an interdisciplinary symposium spotlighting exceptional student work throughout campus.

The symposium is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at Northwest and may include work completed either this semester or over the last year. Because the 2020 Celebration of Quality was cancelled due to COVID, we also will accept projects from that previous year. Faculty and staff are encouraged to recommend the symposium to students and to sponsor their best work, and students are encouraged to submit their work. The Celebration takes place later in the semester to accommodate projects undertaken this spring term. If you are working on project this semester and believe you will have a completed or mostly completed project to present by April 16th – and if the consulting faculty member is willing to sponsor you and your project – we encourage you to submit your work.  The project itself does not have to be finished by the submission deadline!  We especially encourage you to ask graduating seniors who are working on final senior projects to think about this.

Submissions are closed.

This year’s symposium will be 3 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 16. Sessions will take place throughout the afternoon and evening while posters, artwork, and other projects will be displayed throughout the event. Due to COVID restrictions, there will not be a banquet for Celebration presenters and their faculty sponsors, as there normally is, but there will be awards for the top project presentations and door prize drawings for attendees.

The symposium gives the University community a chance to see the work students are completing across disciplines, and it gives participating students an audience beyond the classroom. In past years, students have presented creative writing, original research, and analytical papers. They have given speeches, conducted panel discussions, and displayed original works of art and visual summaries of their projects in science, education and business. They also have presented dramatic readings and played or analyzed music, and some have presented other original work or projects completed in class or during internships.  The selection committee is open to new and innovative approaches in what students want to present and how they would like to present it!

Please address any questions to Dr. Elyssa Ford at or Savannah Baker at

Thank you,

Savannah Baker, president of the Society of President’s Scholars
Elyssa Ford and Mohammed Meziani, sponsors of the Society of President’s Scholars

Schedule of Events

View Printed Schedule

Time Event Location

Session #1

4-5 p.m.

Arts and Media

  • Abbey Southworth, "The Road to Sanctity"
    Sponsor: Mrs. Katheryn Bilbo
  • Ben Whitney, "Amazing Things: ScrapsKC"
    Sponsor: Mr. Will Murphy
  • Haily Manville, "Georges Bizet and L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Love is a Rebellious Bird), Habanera from Carmen; Frank Wildhorn and The Mad Hatter from Wonderland"
    Sponsor: Dr. Pamela Shannon
  • Grace Roby, "A presentation on Cangio d'aspetto from the opera Admeto by Geroge Fredric Handel and a performance of the aria"
    Sponsor: Dr. Pamela Shannon


Session #2

4-5 p.m.

Various Topics

  • Natalie Cote, "Ready or Not: Emergency Planning in Midwest Museums"
    Sponsor: Mr. John Carr
  • Talitha Santana Baez, "Comparative Genomics of Cadmium-Resistance Isolates within Comamonadaceae Isolates from Contaminated Soils of Picher, OK"
    Sponsor: Dr. James Campbell
  • Mariah Gann, "Books Before Birth: A Qualitative Multiple Case Study of Expectant Families Reading to Baby in Utero"
    Sponsor: Dr. Keely Cline and Mrs. Elizabeth Dimmitt
  • Jake Bartz, "July Revolution Comparison"
    Sponsor: Dr. Kimberly Casey


5:30-6:30 p.m.

Exhibits and Poster Displays


Session #3

5:30-6:30 p.m.


  • Brett Wilson, "Ave Maria (SATB)"
    Sponsor: Dr. Ernest Kramer
  • Julia Swanson, "Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Op. 123 in D"
    Sponsor: Dr. Ernest Kramer
  • Hannah Richter, "Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony"
    Sponsor: Dr. Ernest Kramer
  • Haily Manville, "Johannes Brahms and His Fourth Symphony in E Minor Op. 98"
    Sponsor: Dr. Ernest Kramer


6:30 p.m.

Door Prize Drawing (must be present to win)


Exhibits and Poster Display

Presenter(s) Title Sponsor
Savannah Baker "Exploring Disasters and Risk: An Analysis of Past Research and Potential Mitigation for the Future of Disasters and Vulnerability" Dr. Emily Frazier
Lauren Moye "The Cultural Diversity of the Mongol Empire" Mr. Matt Johnson
Brett Stiles "The Effects of Enrichment Items of Agonistic Behavior in Feeder Hogs" Dr. Kelsey Bruno
Nicole Sommer "Isolation of Oligotrophic Bacteria from Terrestrial Water Sources In the Mojave Desert" Dr. James Campbell
Kayla McArtor Mitos Brasileiros (Brazilian Myths)"" Dr. Karen Britt
Kara Severson "Much Ado About Nothing Newspaper" Dr. Jenny Rytting
Jack Paulson "Effect of Transdermal Banamine on Behavioral Responses to Pain Following Surgical Castration in Beef Bulls" Dr. Kelsey Bruno
Parker Adams "Isolation of Bacteria from the Human Oral Cavity" Dr. James Campbell
Elizabeth Skelly "Reduced Iron Resin" Dr. Mohammed Meziani
Cory Busch "A Memory of Spoon River: A Tribute to Edgar Lee Masters" Dr. Theophil Ross
Gage Zeit-Thornton "Strengthening Your Identity Against the Perception of Others: A Unit Plan on "The Poet X" Dr. Ashley Black
Clinton Davelaar "GT Sport World Tour Predictions" Dr. Nathan Eloe
Camilo Castelblanco Riveros "Synthesis of Nanocomposites Films Using PVA, EVOH, and Polyethylene with Carbon Dots" Dr. Mohammed Meziani

The Celebration of Quality is hosted by the Society of President's Scholars (faculty sponsors: Dr. Elyssa Ford and Dr. Mohammed Meziani; SPS president: Savannah Baker)

Special thanks to the Office of the Provost for sponsoring this event.

Attend & Win

Be sure to enter the door prize drawing! You are eligible for one entry for each session you attend (be sure to sign up each time), so the more sessions you attend, the more likely you are to win! You must be present at the drawing to collect the prize. Drawing will take place after the 3rd Session.

What You Need To Know

Here's why you should participate

  • You will get an opportunity to hear people ooh, aah, clap, smile, and generally respond positively to your work.
  • You can list your participation on your resume. This type of involvement looks great to potential employers.
  • You will impress your family and friends.
  • You will be even prouder of your work than you are now, truly believing all your hard work did pay off.
  • And, you will get a free dinner!

Here’s what you need to do to participate

Submissions are now closed.

  • After you find a faculty member to be your sponsor, fill out the application form. (Faculty are quite happy to do this, and it doesn’t have to be the teacher for whom you completed your work.)
  • If you are presenting with other students who worked on the same project, please put all of your names on a single form. If you and a friend want to present different projects but at the same session, please submit separate forms and indicate your preference to present at the same time.
  • Submit the form. Available online from January 25 - March 29.

Here’s how you can be judged and win

  • Although always dependent on the funding available each year, there usually are cash prizes for the top presentations and posters/displays at the Celebration. 
  • Judging is conducted by Northwest faculty and is based on the materials you submitted with your application, the quality of the work produced, and your presentation on the day of the event. 
  • The judges may be from within your field or from outside of it – or possible both – so judging also is based on your ability to express the importance and quality of your work to an expert and to a novice.

Past Programs

Not sure what qualifies? View our past programs for examples of previous presentations.