Two members of Freed-Hardeman University’s Alpha Chi chapter spoke at the 2023 Alpha Chi National College Honors Society’s 2023 National Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Casey Jackson, a senior education major, of Knoxville, Tennessee, and Breanna Tonkery, a junior chemistry major, of Vincent, Ohio, represented FHU at the convention which was held from March 30 to April 1, 2023.
In a session on educational research, Jackson gave a presentation titled “Relevance of Teaching Licensure Requirements: Fact or Failure?” Jackson said her research determined that the data required for teacher licensure does not align with teacher expectations. “I’ve been taking those requirements and I know first hand,” Jackson said. She plans to teach fourth grade at Ezell-Harding Christian School in Antioch, Tennessee. Jackson is FHU’s current president of Alpha Chi.
Tonkery’s presentation discussed the result of a chemistry research group at FHU in which she was involved. Her presentation was called, “Plasmonic Properties of Core-Shell Nanoparticles.”
“The goal is to get a different response from a light’s wavelength,” said Tonkery, who enjoyed her first Alpha Chi national convention. “It was a really interesting conglomeration of people from different backgrounds and cultures who were all interested in learning and sharing what they already knew.”
Tonkery was elected as the new Region III Student Council Member for Alpha Chi and will serve for two years as a representative for many schools across the South. “I’m excited to be a part of preparing for the conventions and providing college student input and opinions,” she said.
Dr. John McLaughlin accompanied Tonkery and Jackson to the convention. “The convention is heavily student-focused; students make almost all presentations, so our students have the opportunity to meet and learn from their peers’ research and to network with students and professors from other institutions in their academic fields,” he said. “Students also attend chapter-strengthening workshops; in these meetings, students and faculty share ideas that have worked well on their campuses.”
McLaughlin served as a judge for the creative writing presentations and was recognized during the awards ceremony for 20 years of service as FHU’s Alpha Chi Chapter sponsor. “I’ve very much enjoyed working with Alpha Chi students through the years. They are among the very best students at the university, and I’m always impressed by how well they handle themselves. The ideals of Alpha Chi – to promote scholarship and service – are worthy ones, and I’m proud to be part of an institution that values both,” he said.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associates, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.