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5 LSC-Tomball Students Present Research at the Great Plains Honors Council Conference

TOMBALL, Texas – Music has always played an enormous role in LSC-Tomball Honors Student Hannah Savoie’s life, but she never thought that her interest in music would one day give her an opportunity to present research in front of hundreds of people at this year’s Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC) conference at Lamar University.

“Students are chosen to submit abstracts for these conferences based on their Honors Day research presentations,” said Professor Ava Veselis, director of The Honors College at LSC-Tomball. “Once accepted to present at these conferences, they spend a good deal of time refining their research, and the final product is one that is academically impressive. I am proud to have these students represent The Honors College—their research is substantive and sophisticated.”

Savoie, along with four other students, Miranda Willborg, Jacob Files, Cheyenne Stokes, and Mary Kouns, presented their fall semester’s research at the conference.

“I love how songs reveal a more explicit meaning once there is a visual representation of those musical stories coming to life in front of the audience through cinematography,” Savoie stressed, before adding, “I chose to do my research over the 2012 rendition of Les Miserables because I simply love musicals. I was a huge fan of the musical, and an even bigger fan of the most recent version of the film that had come out, so I figured I would never get tired of researching this topic. That is when I decided that this was the film I wanted to analyze because I wouldn’t mind watching it a million times for my research.

The GPHC is a regional section of the National Collegiate Honors Council, which provides guidelines for all of the honors colleges and programs in the United States. More than 440 participants from 45 different educational institutions across six states, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, attended this year’s event. This year’s theme was “Exploration through Honors.”

Savoie explained that the feeling of presenting her research in front of scholarly professors and students at a regional level was very rewarding to her.

“I spent two full semesters creating and perfecting the research that I presented at GPHC, so there was a lot of effort put forth, many Venti-sized cups of coffee, and many late nights with little sleep to get my research to where it is today,” Savoie said. “After giving my presentation at the conference, so many people seemed interested and impressed with the research I had done. So much so that I was getting questions for the entirety of my five minute question and answer portion, and a few even wanted to talk to me after. That feeling of accomplishment and pure excitement proved to me that hard work really does pay off.”

As for her research, Savoie revealed that the conflict in the story (2012 rendition of Les Miserables) hinges upon the main character changing his identity from a criminal to a mayor, thus performing Louis Althusser’s act of interpellation.

“After also applying Dana Cloud’s beliefs of accomplishing material escape through revolution, I saw that the idea of escapism from one’s reality provides the audience with a sense of individuality and empowerment,” Savoie said.

“After we see that this type of escapism was possible for the characters in the movie, we long for that feeling of freedom as well. My argument is that each time we watch this movie, we are entering an ideal society where we can vicariously live through the characters and experience the sensation of material escape without actually dealing with the consequences of revolting and the messiness of revolution.”

Lone Star College-Tomball is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway, at the intersection of SH 249 and Zion Road. For more information about the college, call 281.351.3300 or visit LoneStar.edu/Tomball.