Photo of symposium winners
Symposium winners are pictured with Dr. Warren Nichols, COM president, Maria Grimaldo, keynote speaker, Gwendolynn Barbee-Yow, COM professor and GCIC Academic Symposium co-chair and Dalel Serda, COM professor and GCIC Academic Symposium co-chair.

College of the Mainland (COM) hosted the ninth annual Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium (GCIC) Academic Symposium on March 31 and featured more than 50 presentations from students representing Gulf Coast community colleges.

This year’s symposium theme was “Translating, Reframing and Embracing Contradictions.” 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.

Yudith Salas won first place for her project “Traveling Against the Current: From Marianismo to Chicanismo.”

“When I first started working on my draft for the symposium, my intention was not to win,” said Salas. “My intention was to just do my very best and project my message to students, faculty and women who are attending my panel. I wanted to share the message with them, to inspire them and to ignite something in them to pursue what they want. It feels really good to actually win because a lot of hard work was put into this, and I learned a lot from doing this.”

Symposium winners were as follows:

  • First Place: “Traveling Against the Current: From Marianismo to Chicanismo” by Yudith Salas, UHCL/independent scholar, advisor Dalel Serda
  • Second Place: “Generational Violence Against Black Men in Candyman” by Ysel Alcala, Lee College, advisor Georgeann Ward
  • Third Place: “Graham Crackers and Kellogg’s Cereal in Relation to Sexuality” by Deannery Dior Muankaew, San Jacinto College – South Campus, advisor Abbie Grub
  • Fourth Place: “The Importance of Financial Literacy” by Cameron Lanier, College of the Mainland, advisor Elaine Childs
  • Honorable Mention: “Exploring the Workplace Feminism That Changed it All: The 9 to 5 Movement Through Media and Modern-Day Perception” by Rebecca Currie and Diego Moreno, Lee College, advisor Georgeann Ward
  • Honorable Mention: “The Inherent Contradiction Within Feminism” by Rawan Aljaouni, Houston Community College, advisor Brandon Williams

The symposium’s keynote speaker was Maria Grimaldo who spoke on “Embracing Contradictions While Framing and Defining Your Career: Perspective from a Student and Young Professional.”

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