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The 2100 Building lobby was host to the cream of LPC’s academic crop for a Student Symposium, on Thursday, May 2. 

Of the 243 proposals submitted from all over California, only 80 were accepted presentation at an Honors Research Symposium at Stanford University on May 4. Of those 80 proposals, 12 are the work of Las Positas College students. 

Malcolm Troup was créme de la créme. He had two accepted. He’s joined by cohorts Joanna Chiu, Yana Berezina, Mehrsa Gholikhamseh, Edward Song, Mahi (Mehtaab), Ashley Bowers, Vivian Owens, Raina Dent, Nicole Sahrling and Willow McElderry.

For the 11 LPC students whose research proposals were selected, Thursday’s forum was merely practice. Stanford’s symposium two days later is the theoretical tour de force. 

May 4 is the sum of curiosity, mentorship and first-rate academic prowess. It’s also the 14th annual Community College research symposium put on by the Bay Honors Consortium, which consists of counselors and directors from sixteen honors programs across Northern and Central California. 

In a statement from the hosting school’s Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Richard H. Shaw, 

Saturday is a day “to celebrate the valuable perspectives and profound scholarship of a cohort of outstanding community college students.” 

McElderry — an educational vagabond who, after several years of college-hopping, will graduate from Las Positas with three liberal arts degrees — presented Thursday a philosophical proposal entitled A Non-Logical Standard of Rationality? Logical and Material Rules of Inference

Sahrling took a second-place award Thursday for her presentation on Brainspotting: A Way Through the Silent Epidemic. Her project was inspired by a traumatic, near ballet-career-ending injury. She attributes the success of her psychological and physical recovery to Brainspotting, an alternative therapy that uses one’s field of vision to access “brain spots,” or traumas confined to the subcortical brain. 

“I’m a really curious person,” Sahrling said. “I was just really interested in this tool that changed my life. I wanted to learn more about the neuro and biological mechanisms behind it.”

The majority of the research submission process, from hypothesis to proposal, is supported by the chosen and willing mentors of respective students. Sahrling received counsel from mathematics professor Ashley Young and psychology professor Irena Keller, and McEdlerry from philosophy professor Jeremiah Bodnar. 

“It’s an honor, to be kind of punny,” McEdlerry said of representing LPC at Stanford. Sahrling echoed the sentiments, “It’s such an honor. I’ve grown so much in my time here.”

“I love that we have so many students going, I think it’s like 11 (from LPC),” McElderry paused for a blink to do the math, “which is about 15% of the people (attending). It just speaks to the fact that there are people here who love to learn, share their insights, and are willing to push the envelope in whatever field they’re interested in. It makes me proud to be at Las Positas.”

Top photo: Students check into the 2023 Honors Symposium at Stanford University.  (Photo courtesy of Bay Honors Consortium)

Olivia Fitts is the News Editor and Opinions Editor for The Express. Follow her on X, formerly Twitter @OLIVIAFITTS2. 

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