Honors Program Recognizes Graduating Seniors at Luncheon

April 16, 2018

Mike Davis standing at a podium
Dr. Mike Davis displays his straight A. Davis was the guest speaker at the annual Honors Luncheon where students graduating with degrees with honors are recognized and given the chance to summarize their honors research.

In the midst of ongoing celebration of academic success, Wayland Baptist University focused on its honors program at Friday’s Honors Luncheon. The honors program represents the highest level of academic achievement at Wayland, going beyond standard curriculum to challenge students to make the most of their college education.

Five students will graduate with honors at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 5, in Hutcherson Center. Each student was recognized at the luncheon and given the opportunity to give a brief synopsis of his or her honors thesis research.

Oscar Chavira, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in psychology, conducted his research on “Understanding the Relationship Between Statistics and Prior Perceived Performance and its Effects on Future Performance in Baseball Athletes.” He was trying to determine if athletes who receive regular statistical reports on their performance work harder or reach a level of complacency. Chavira said he found no significant statistical variations, but further research should be conducted on a larger test group.

Carley Hardage, graduating with a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in exercise and sports science, conducted her research on “Sleep Deprivation and its Physical and Cognitive Effects on Collegiate Athletes.” Hardage tested the sleep habits, napping habits, and caffeine intake of college athletes and determined that Wayland athletes are sleep deprived. She said the next step would be to determine the effects of physical and mental performance.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration with Honors degree in economics and finance, Aaron Martell focused on “The Impact of Industrial Parks in West Texas” with his honors research. He looked at the economic development of cities with industrial parks as compared to those without. His interest was sparked by Plainview’s plans to develop an industrial park. His findings, however, showed no statistical difference between those cities with and without defined industrial parks.

Abigail Pearce, graduating with a Bachelor of Science with Honors degree in justice administration, looked at “Stressors in Child Protective Services” for her honors research, focusing on CPS workers in New Mexico. CPS has a high turnover rate and Pearce was looking to identify specific stressors that contribute to job dissatisfaction. Pearce found that workers who have a definitive plan (such as working in a specific job for 5 years) experienced less stress than those who were uncertain about their career future.

Nina Wyre, who will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors degree in two-dimensional studio art, was the last to present. Wyre, focused on “The Aurora Hour: Finding Purpose in the Junction Between Art and Christian Faith.” Wyre wanted to show that it is possible to educate others about the gospel through artwork. Her art will be featured in the senior art show that will be held in the Abraham Art Gallery at Wayland April 20 – May 4.

Dr. Mike Davis, who graduated from Wayland in 1987 with an honors degree in philosophy, then spoke to those in attendance about his time at the university and what he loves about meeting fellow Pioneers and hearing their stories. He then challenged students to avoid the seven deadly sins that can undermine efforts and be destructive. Davis said avoiding those sins can lead to being the solution to social problems, and that it is important to “rely on ourselves, others and God to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.”