Honors graduates recognized at luncheon

April 17, 2015

PLAINVIEW – Wayland Baptist University recognized its honors graduates and honors program participants Friday afternoon at the annual Honors Program Luncheon. This year’s program featured Wayland and honors program alum Dr. Michael Davis as the guest speaker.

Two students will graduate with honors on May 9. Jessica Kenneson, of Colorado Springs, will graduate with a degree in chemistry. Her honors thesis is titled “Examining Binding Affinity of RecA to Mutation Sites Known to Cause Drug Resistance in Mycobacterium Tuberculosis with a Homemade DSLR Documentation System.”

Emileigh Willems, of Shallowater, completed her honors degree in three years, graduating with a degree in mathematics. Her thesis is entitled “Coloring Graphs, (G to the power of 3 over N) with Fractional Powers.”

Each honors grad gave a brief summation of her project. Willems admitted that math isn’t for everyone, but she encouraged those in attendance to research whatever topic interests them.

Dr. Davis, a 1987 graduate, then regaled the crowd with tales of his time and experiences at Wayland. Being one who questioned things, Davis admitted he got into some trouble while in school as he championed causes, such as a Good Friday holiday, that he felt were important. He chronicled his life from the time he was a first-generation college student needing scholarship help to get through school, to where he is today as a manager of the nuclear training policy and compliance for national security technologies site.

Through his humorous observations of his time at Wayland, including identifying Professor of History Dr. Estelle Owens as Don of the Wayland Mafia – because she is infinitely connected and will make you an offer you can’t refuse – Davis encouraged students to “Pursue success through Purpose, Perspective and Persistence.” He said you do this through asking three basic questions: What if? Why does it matter? And why should I care?