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The (thesis) defense rests

MAY 5, 2012

For those that would rank a spirited academic debate right up there with an evening watching Breaking Bad, the senior thesis presentations held over the last few weeks at AIC were quite a treat. Over several days, students and faculty packed out a classroom in Amaron Hall to hear seniors in Professor Maulucci's Honors Program argue a variety of positions - topics ranged from the efficacy of Trident gum to whether Obama's healthcare legislation had the states in an unconstitutional full nelson (according to presenting senior Jake Alves, the answer is "sort of").

We at Dispatches cannot tell a lie: we're pretty impressed by any scientific argument that makes heavy use of suffixes such as "-oids," "-ized," and "-aceous." (It's a character flaw.) So... Ashley Johnathan's discussion of peptide therapeutics was bound to leave us in the dust. In reviewing our notes, there's a lot of this kind of thing: "Designed peptides that will inhibit binding of ____________ to ______________?" accompanied by a doodle of a stick figure scratching his beach ball-shaped head in the margin of our notebook. In retrospect, those missing words feel pretty clutch.

Zach Weber-Parker got the room humming (not literally - that would have been off-topic) on the subject of paying student-athletes. You can imagine that this one generated a few passionate opinions during audience comment. We'll leave you with this food for thought from Weber-Parker's presentation: the average male college basketball player is worth $265,000 annually to his school. Fun fact. Discuss.

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