San Jac honors students earn state, regional accolades

Apr 4, 2024Courtney Morris
San Jacinto College news

PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College honors program students racked up accolades this spring statewide and regionally.

Texas State Historical Association

Texas State Historical Association winners
Texas State Historical Association winners
In early March 2024, the Texas State Historical Association presented C.M. Caldwell Awards for best research papers in Texas history. Of four awards for freshmen and sophomores statewide, three went to San Jacinto College honors students for their papers:

  • First place: Victoria Gorton, “Elisabeth Ney: The Sculptress of Texas” (professor/mentor: Luis Reyes)
  • Second place: Vanessa Maciel, “Ann Richards’s Road to Governor” (professor/mentor: Dr. Eddie Weller)
  • Fourth place: Tatum Dixon, “Frenchy’s Chicken: Founding and Growth” (professor/mentor: Dr. Eddie Weller)

These students’ papers may be published in the 42nd edition of the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society's journal, “Touchstone,” in March 2025. This society is the Texas State Historical Association's college-level educational program.

The 41st edition of “Touchstone” — released this March — features seven articles, with four by San Jacinto College’s 2023 C.M. Caldwell Award winners:

  • Lana Tran, “The Legacy of Hurricane Ike on Galveston, Houston, and the Southeast Texas Coast”
  • Tony Gamage, “What Provoked the Houston Riots of 1917? Who Was at Fault?”
  • Annie Forte, “The Life and Career of LGBTQ+ Activist William Waybourn”
  • Nancy Zamora, “The Immigration of Thousands of Jews Through the Galveston Movement”

In addition, the Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society named the San Jacinto College South Campus Chapter, advised by Dr. Abbie Grubb, its Chapter of the Year.

Great Plains Honors Council

Great Plains Honors Council winners
Great Plains Honors Council winners
Twenty San Jacinto College honors students presented their research at the Great Plains Honors Council conference March 22-24 at Oklahoma State University.

Competing against other community college and university students with under 60 credit hours, four students won John Britt Poster Awards in social sciences and STEM categories:

  • Chloe Stegner, Denise Toledo, and Michaela Todd, “The Effect of Test-optional Policies on Undergraduate Applications, Enrollment, and Students” (professor/mentor: Stephen Bonnette)
  • Caroline Noonan, “Smell Ya Later (But Hopefully Not): Ammonia, Fish, and Their Toxic Relationship” (professor/mentor: Dr. Phuong Doan)

The Great Plains Honors Council serves higher education honors programs in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. Partnering with the National Collegiate Honors Council, it promotes information sharing and professional growth.

“I thank faculty members, administrators, and our Board of Trustees for encouraging our honors students throughout the years,” said Van A. Wigginton, Central Campus provost. “Without that support, these accomplishments would have been impossible.”

More than 1,000 students participate in honors classes at San Jacinto College. Learn more about the College’s honors program.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, evolving industries, maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has served the people of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. The College is one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation as designated by the Aspen Institute and was named an Achieving the Dream Leader College of Distinction in 2020. The College is a Hispanic-Serving Institution that spans five campuses, serving approximately 41,000 credit and non-credit students annually. It offers more than 200 degrees and certificates across eight major areas of study that put students on a path to transfer to four-year institutions or enter the workforce. The College is fiscally sound, holding bond ratings of AA+ by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 by Moody’s.

For more information about San Jacinto College, visit


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