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COM Hosts Tenth Annual Academic Symposium

(Texas City, Texas) — College of the Mainland (COM) hosted the tenth annual Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium (GCIC) Academic Symposium on Friday, March 22. This event featured more than 60 presentations from students representing Gulf Coast community colleges, universities and high schools.


This year’s symposium theme was “Preserving Pluralism: An Interdisciplinary Conversation.” The event is held annually to help students grow as scholars by enhancing students’ communication skills, facilitating networking across the disciplines and colleges and helping students build self-confidence and feel ownership of their work. College of the Mainland faculty and staff served as judges and moderators throughout the day-long event.

COM student Richard Iyun won second place for his project “Regulating Social Media in Consideration of Upcoming Generations.”

“I think this is important because it gives you a chance to explore different topics that you didn’t know much about,” said Iyun. “It also gives you a chance to practice your own research skills and practice putting yourself together before the event – that takes a lot of commitment and being able to practice those research skills and writing skills. No matter what happens during the event, you always get to meet like-minded people, you get to strengthen your own skills and you will gain valuable experience.”

Symposium winners were as follows:

  • First Place: “Volleyball: Shining Light on Pluralism On and Off the Court” by Daven J. Bofil, Houston Community College Central, advisor Nick Rangel

  • Second Place: “Regulating Social Media in Consideration of Upcoming Generations” by Richard Iyun, College of the Mainland, advisor Elaine Childs

  • Third Place: “Chronically Ignored: The Double Burden Women Face in Healthcare and Pain Management” by Nova Dowdell, College of the Mainland, independent scholar

  • Fourth Place: “Free the Books: Unmasking the Impact of Book Banning on Education and Expression” by Jade Mayo, San Jacinto College, advisor Judith Maima Skeele

  • Honorable Mention: “The Evolution of Sleeping Beauty” by Emily Beacham, Lee College, advisors Georgeann Ward and Javier Ramirez

  • Honorable Mention: “Preserving Plurality in Language of Immigrant Families” by Anisah Khan, University of Houston, advisors Jason Berger, Blake Heller and Eunjeong Lee

The symposium’s keynote speaker was Dr. Jesús Jesse Esparza who spoke on “Preserving Pluralism: The San Felipe ISD Example.”

To learn more, visit www.com.edu/symposium/.