Kate Schwarz, a senior music major, was the winner of the Spring 2019 Honors Thesis Pitch at Georgia State University.
Schwarz’s presentation, “Under Pressure: GSU musicians’ responses to music performance anxiety,” highlighted the undergraduate research she is doing along with faculty mentor Martin Norgaard, associate professor of music education in the College of the Arts. Schwarz’s research tracked ensemble musicians during dress rehearsal and performance times, charting their heart rates through fitness tracking devices and their level of nervousness through a survey known as the Kenny Music Performance Anxiety Inventory.
The Honors Thesis Pitch encourages undergraduate honors students to articulate their research projects in a relatable and engaging way in just three minutes or less. The competition is hosted each semester by the Honors College at Georgia State and, this semester, is co-sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Students and Alumni (CASA).
The second place winner of the Honors Thesis Pitch was junior psychology major Donavon Mattox whose presentation was titled “Stress and college affordability.” Mattox’s faculty sponsor is Kenneth Rice, professor in the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services in the College of Education & Human Development.
The People’s Choice award, which was decided based on the overall audience vote, went to Nancy Tran, a senior psychology major, for her presentation, “Mental Health and interpersonal violence in the lives of incarcerated women.” Tran’s faculty sponsor is Sarah Cooke, associate dean of the Honors College and professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The Spring 2019 event was held April 22 at Centennial Hall. A three-member panel of expert university faculty and staff judged the speakers. First place included a monetary award of $150; second place was $75; and the CASA-sponsored People’s Choice award was $50.