Students Win Scholar Awards at LAND 2015 Conference

Release Date

In late February, two HFC Honors students were named Student Scholar Award Recipients at the 2015 Liberal Arts Network for Development (LAND) Conference. Abear Awada and Tiffany Feebish took overall first place at this conference, which was held at the Riverfront Hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Abear Awada and Tiffany Feebish, both of whom are enrolled in the HFC Honors Program, presented their research paper, “Invasive Plant Species.” Their faculty mentor was HFC Biology Instructor Linda Brandt. Awada and Feebish will have their research paper published this summer in the LAND Journal. Additionally, they won $150 each for placing first. They were the only students from HFC to submit a research paper.

LAND seeks to develop and promote a network for strengthening liberal arts education across all 28 of Michigan’s community colleges. LAND sponsors five student competitions to recognize outstanding student work in the liberal arts: student scholars, creative writing, illustration, fine arts and digital literacy.

For the LAND Student Scholars Competition, LAND solicits outstanding research papers from Michigan community college students. The papers are then judged and the top three students are invited to participate in the Student Scholars Conference. Five HFC students were recognized for the Student Scholars Competition, based on their submissions of quality research papers in the following five categories: natural and health sciences, arts and humanities, social sciences (includes history), philosophy, and technology.

“I was surprised that we won. We wrote our paper in a short period of time because it took so long to finish our research. When we wrote it, we didn’t anticipate winning,” said Awada, of Dearborn. A 2012 alumna of Dearborn High School, Awada is majoring in Pre-Professional Biology at HFC. She is slated to graduate in late 2015. Upon graduation, she plans to transfer to Wayne State University, where she will study Nutrition/Food Science. Once her undergraduate work is completed, Awada plans on applying to medical school at Wayne State.

"I was really enthused about submitting the research paper to the LAND conference this year. Winning was an amazing achievement, and having our research earn acknowledgement put me in the highest of spirits,” said Feebish, of Brownstown.

A 2013 alumna of Carlson High School in Gibraltar, Mich., Feebish is majoring in Biotechnology at HFC with a projected graduation date of 2016. Upon graduating from HFC, she plans to transfer to one of the following universities: Wayne State, the University of Michigan (U-M) or Michigan State University (MSU).

“Before coming to HFC, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. After I got here and became involved in the Honors Program, I made up my mind about the future I want to have and the career I want to pursue, thanks to the faculty here at HFC,” said Awada.

Brandt had high praise for her two students.

“They took the idea of quantifying the problem of invasive plant species in the local area and developed it into an extensive lab and field project. They developed procedures for this investigation, spent many hours carrying out the work in the field and in the lab, analyzed their specimens, quantified their data, and wrote this up into a successful scientific paper. Over the many hours spent working in the field, in the lab, and online, they were inquisitive and fun to work with. They have extraordinary critical thinking and observational skills, and I am privileged to have had the opportunity to work with them,” said Brandt.