Tag Archives: Dean Middleton

Undergraduate Research in the 2016 Capstone Seminar

Each spring, students in the Honors Capstone Seminar conduct group research projects and share their findings with the appropriate audience. They choose the topic/s, conduct the research, and determine the best means of presenting their findings.

In the past, topics have ranged from the Take Back the Tap movement to gender inequality in higher education to rainwater harvesting to housing stability for the chronically homeless.

Poster for the Honors Research Symposium

Poster for the Honors Research Symposium

This year, the students explored Oregon’s success at reducing recidivism. They examined the economic impact of recidivism, recidivism for adults and juveniles, and the success of specific programs in Oregon. They ultimately argued that the most successful means of preventing recidivism is through programs that focus on altering the behavior of ex-inmates and on providing support for ex-inmates, as well as using a cooperative approach to offering these services.

They shared their findings through a PowerPoint presentation and a research poster that will be displayed in the Learning Commons in the fall. Their presentation was also filmed by Dean Middleton and Randal Painter.

Completing this project supported not only the course learning outcomes but also all five of Lane’s Core Learning Outcomes:

  • Think Critically
  • Engage Diverse Values with Civic and Ethical Awareness
  • Create Ideas and Solutions
  • Communicate Effectively
  • Apply Learning

I look forward to seeing, and learning from, the research findings of next year’s seminar students!

A2-B-C Film Screening

Last night, the Honors Program sponsored a screening of the new, award-winning documentary, A2-B-C  (huge thanks to Dean Middleton for handling the technological side of this event). The film focuses on the growing numbers of thyroid tumors appearing in children exposed to radiation after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. The event drew members from the campus and Eugene communities.


Honors student, Lonnie Clark (right), talks with honors instructor, Eileen Thompson (left), before the screening. Lonnie has already been very involved with raising awareness about the situation in Fukushima.

After the screening, event organizer and honors instructor Sarah Lushia, and art faculty Satoko Motouji, set up a Skype question/answer session with the film’s director, Ian Thomas Ash. For half an hour students and community members asked Ash about the current situation in Fukushima and his experience making the documentary.


Satoko (left) and Sarah (right) during the Skype session.

For more information about this film and Ash’s work, see Sarah’s interview with Ash on the Honors Program website as well as Ash’s blog, his website, and his YouTube channel.

After the Skype session, attendees also had a chance to film messages of support to the families in the film. Ash is collecting these messages from screenings of the film all over the world. He will edit them and give them to the families he follows in the documentary. We were also able to write notes to Ash on index cards that Sarah will send to him.


Sarah talking with Sandy Brown Jensen before Sandy filmed our messages to the families.

The evening’s event reinforced for me that an honors program has a responsibility not only to provide educational opportunities outside of the classroom, but to make these opportunities available to the larger campus and city communities. These events become loci for engaged discourse among students, faculty, staff, and community members, and they are one of many ways that honors programs give back to their communities.