New program recognizes outstanding senior projects

Three seniors were recognized recently for their research projects during the Z. Smith Reynolds Library’s first Senior Showcase. The Senior Showcase honored students who were recommended by their faculty advisors for completing outstanding research projects. The three students recognized during this year’s Senior Showcase were:

Anna Nicodemus
Walkersville, Md.

Major/minor: History/French

Future plans: Pursuing a master’s degree in education at Wake Forest and teaching social studies in secondary school.

Topic: “Prudential Unionism: Southern Sentiment, Unionist Reasoning, and Maryland’s Allegiance in Early 1861.” Nicodemus researched the reasoning for Maryland’s decision to not secede from the Union before the Civil War. She concluded that there was enough sympathy for the Southern cause that the state could have chosen to leave the Union, but ultimately the state opted for the stability and security of staying with the North.

Faculty advisor Paul Escott, Department of History: “Clearly written and persuasively argued and documented, this paper is based on an impressive body of research in primary materials. This paper is the best piece of research that an undergraduate has produced for me in the 22 years I have been at Wake Forest, and I have advised Ms. Nicodemus to pursue publication of it.”

Courtney Vris
Wilton, Conn.

Major/minor: French/Education

Future plans: Licensed to teach K-12 French. English teaching assistant in Paris next year.

Topic: “Renée Saccard et Paris, ville complice, dans La Curée d’Émile Zola” (Renée Saccard and Paris, urban accomplice, in Émile Zola’s La Curée). Vris analyzed a novel by influential French-writer Émile Zola to show how the writer’s descriptions of place reflect and influence the moods and behavior of the novel’s main character. Her research paper was written in French.

Faculty advisor Kendall Tarte, Department of Romance Languages: “Her analysis is meticulous, original, and thought-provoking. Courtney’s French is excellent; her thesis is well-written and clearly presented, and her arguments are fresh and innovative.”

Mallory Durr
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Major/minor: Political Science/International Studies

Future plans: Pursing a career in international policy in Washington, D.C.

Topic: “Divided Societies: Power Sharing in Multilingual Democracies.” Durr compared how four nations (Switzerland, Belgium, India and South Africa) structure their governments to accommodate linguistic differences in their populations.

Faculty advisor Helga A. Welsh, Department of Political Science: “Her choice of case studies is particularly interesting as she investigates countries with different linguistic backgrounds and language policies. Her thesis is novel and intriguing. She shows that no particular power-sharing model is by definition superior to another. Rather, they have to be complemented by a culture of cooperation and compromise. Her literature review is exemplary in its breadth and incorporation in the body of work.”

Categories: Community, Student, Wake Forest College