Students recently displayed self-designed projects during Fiat Lux, an academic showcase, held by the Honors Program at Florida Southern College. Dr. Erica Bernheim, director of the Honors Program at FSC, feels as though Fiat Lux gives the campus a chance to celebrate academic achievement.
“Fiat Lux allows FSC’s Honors Program students the chance to show their peers, professors and family members what they have been doing, what they are capable of, and how they have used the resources available to them to complete a self-designed project,” Bernheim, said.
The topics of Fiat Lux presentations varied from organic labels to fish and wildlife protection in Florida. Though many projects were based on topics related to one’s wellbeing, such as the risks of indoor radon, controversial comparisons were researched as well. The drinking age of 21 was compared to the benefits and shortcomings of drinking at 18, an issue that is met with mixed reviews.
Students worked in groups and collaborated with research, results, etc. Fiat Lux includes oral presentations from a variety of majors.
“Although most of the oral presentations at Fiat Lux are given by Honors Students, we also invite students who are doing Honors in the major to present their work, and we include posters from a wide range of disciplines, from biology to business, and everything in between,” Bernheim said.
The projects themselves had the possibility to create many challenges for students, according to Bernheim.
“From a faculty perspective, I’d say that getting the projects together, finding faculty support, and working independently were the most challenging parts,” Bernheim said.
Despite its challenges, Bernheim believes that Fiat Lux shows improvement every year.
“I was incredibly impressed with how professional the students’ presentations were,” Bernheim said. “I think they get better every year and it’s easy to imagine them moving forward academically and professionally, either in graduate school or on their career paths. They’re articulate, organized, and incredibly impressive as a whole, and I feel like the bar is continually being raised. “
Even though each presentation is subject to being judged by other faculty, students who participate in Fiat Lux and are part of the Honors Program don’t focus solely on the competitive aspect.
“I’m impressed by how supportive they are of each other’s projects. Most of these students have known each other since their first day of college, and have worked together in the Honors Core Classes, so it’s wonderful to see that their bonds have carried through over the years.”