Four undergraduate students from The University of Texas at Tyler Honors Program each presented their original research this year at the annual Great Plains Honors Conference in Beaumont.

Honors students representing The University of Texas at Tyler were marketing major Ashley Atkins of Bryan, elementary education major Penny Dutton of Belton, kinesiology major Rebecca Floyd and history major Mary-Elizabeth Smith, both of Tyler.

“The students did such a wonderful job. We are extremely proud of them,” said program coordinator Katherine Hellmann.

Atkins’ poster titled, “Non-Profit Marketing,” explored how job-satisfaction and employee retention affects overall brand perception for non-profit companies. Through a survey distributed to employees of an East Texas Boys & Girls Club, she investigated job satisfaction in multiple dimensions. She showed a detailed account of how employee’s job satisfaction rates can affect a company’s success, and discussed how to attract and retain employees through non-monetary benefits.

Dutton explored the question, “What does it look like for an effective elementary teacher to foster empathy in the classroom?” She compared psychological and educational research from both the U.S. and international countries to find effective ways to develop empathy.

As the creator and coordinator for the “Special Olympics with Swoop” event through the past two years, Floyd analyzed data from the 2016 event to create a more successful event this year. Results from both years were compared, and conclusions for future years were also presented and discussed. 

Smith’s paper, titled “The Transatlantic Use of the Press in Early Modern Europe,” is about the early days of printing and the construction of books in this period. Through her training as a history major and working at the university archives department, Smith has constructed an interdisciplinary examination of the ways ideas, paper and technology collided at this moment in history

The University of Texas at Tyler Honors Program provides an intellectually rigorous, innovative education for students who want to be challenged and stimulated by new ideas, fresh ways of thinking and interdisciplinary opportunities. The program is open to all students from all majors.

Honors students will have the opportunity to learn with some of the university’s most talented professors in small seminar style classes. Students who complete the program will earn a special Honors designation on their final transcript. This distinction will reflect each student’s enriched studies and accomplishments as a University of Texas at Tyler undergraduate.

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One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, The University of Texas at Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at The University of Texas at Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students. The University of Texas at Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.