Five UT Arlington students to present research at Great Plains Honors Council conference

News Release — 18 March 2011


Media contact: Bridget Lewis, (817) 272-3317,

ARLINGTON - Five students from The University of Texas at Arlington will present research to peers from six states during the Great Plains Honors Council’s annual meeting April 1-3 on this campus and the Arlington Hilton Hotel, 2401 East Lamar Blvd.

Seniors Ali Alam, Houda El Fakir, Kimberly Sams, Neri Sandoval and sophomore Yayu Hew hope to gain further insight of their work through peer reviews and critiques. They will join honors students from colleges in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma in the exchange of original and scholarly ideas.

The Great Plains Honors Council coordinates its activities with the National Collegiate Honors Council to promote the flow of information, ideas, fellowship and professional encouragement.

“This opportunity gives the students a leg up,” said Karl Petruso, dean of UT Arlington’s Honors College. “These are supportive venues. Students will present to others who have an interest in their work. It’s almost a rite of passage for those who want to go on and do further graduate research.”

Sams, an English and history major, will receive the Dennis Boe Award for her work on “Claiming Power and Agency: Medieval Women’s Self-Perceptions in Fifteenth-Century Family Letters.” The Boe Award recognizes outstanding scholarly work among undergraduate papers presented at the conference, and includes a monetary prize and engraved plaque.  

Helping UT Arlington honors students reach their full potential is one of Petruso’s key goals, but he also hopes hosting this year’s conference will provide an opportunity to recruit other top-notch students from two-year institutions, who are shopping for where they might go to finish a bachelor’s degree. 

“Students who come to this meeting are not only high achieving and have a good academic record, they generally have something in mind as their next step,” Petruso said. “They’re considering graduate school, medical school, careers in law or in research.”

While on campus, tours of UT Arlington’s new Engineering Research Building, Smart Hospital and other labs will be provided to conference attendees. 

This is the second time in 10 years that UT Arlington has hosted the Great Plains Honors Council conference. Visit for more details.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,800 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


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