Portz Scholars

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) began the Portz Scholars Program in 1990 to acknowledge the contributions of John and Edythe Portz to Honors education. Each year, NCHC institutional members are invited to nominate one paper per institution written by an undergraduate honors student for the Portz Scholars competition. The four NCHC Portz Scholars are featured at a plenary session at the National Collegiate Honors Conference in the fall, and each Scholar receives a $350.00 stipend.

Since its inception in 1990, the Kent State University Honors College had produced more Portz Scholars through its undergraduate thesis program than any other institution in the nation.

Portz Scholars from Kent State University

Dorvan Byler, Kent State University at Stark (2015)

"Flee from the Worship of Idols:”Becoming Christian in Roman Corinth”
Category: Humanities
Honors Director: Dr. Leslie Heaphy
Abstract: This paper explores interactions among Christians, Jews, and pagans in the first and second century Roman Empire with a focus on the city of Corinth, a port city where a diverse range of religious and cultural groups interacted. The paper examines the eighteenth chapter of Acts, Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, and the First Epistle of Clement as well as archaeological evidence from the ruins of the ancient city for clues about the people who lived there. A short historiographical discussion is also included to create space for this topic in conversation with other authors.

Allison Moats, Kent State University (2014)

Thesis Title: “Abnormalities in the Growth and Development of the Proximal Femur: Comparing Ancient to Modern Populations”
Category: Science and Mathematics
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Linda Spurlock
Honors Director: Dr. Donald Palmer
Abstract: The proximal femur is a site of much growth and development during ontogeny. While the developmental program is primarily influenced by genetics, environmental factors such as diet and exercise level impact growth. As the trend toward obesity in developed countries continues, the frequency of the proximal femoral pathology Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) increases. Modern levels of activity experienced by athletes greatly surpass those of ancient populations and may be related to the recent increase in the incidence of Cam Deformity, another proximal femoral pathology. This study compared a modern population (Hamann-Todd) with an ancient population (Libben) and analyzed differences in proximal femoral morphology and incidences of these pathologies. The results support the hypothesis that these pathologies are modern occurrences possibly influenced by the altered diets and activity levels of today.