Freeman Wins Regional Honors Award
Junior Lydia Freeman is one of just five honor students from across Virginia and West Virginia to earn a Best Individual Presentation Award at the 2011 Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Conference.
May 17, 2011
Award-winning honor student Lydia Freeman.
Bluefield College junior Lydia Freeman recently represented BC at the 2011 Virginias Collegiate Honors Council Conference, where she was one of just five honor students from across Virginia and West Virginia to earn a Best Individual Presentation Award.
Established more than 20 years ago, the Virginias Collegiate Honors Council (VCHC) combines universities, colleges and community colleges throughout Virginia and West Virginia to support and enhance programs and activities to meet the needs of exceptionally talented and motivated students.
Hosted by Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, the VCHC Conference is designed to provide a forum for the honor students to share information, offer presentations, and compete for awards.
Freeman, who majors in both English and communications at Bluefield College, competed in an oral presentation session against honor students from across the two Virginias, including scholars from large state universities, like George Mason and Marymount.
“I was really nervous until I got there,” said Freeman. “I realized these people are pretty smart, but I felt confident. I was nervous because my subject matter was so different from everyone else’s. I was scared because it wasn’t conventional.”
Freeman’s award-winning presentation, “The Nature of the Soul,” was an exposition on creative non-fiction, “a very different genre that most people don’t even have a clue about,” said Freeman.
“What creative non-fiction does is it takes first person essays you write in freshman composition, but it adds a deeper level to them,” she said about her presentation. “You might write a story about going to Disney World, but really you’re talking about God. You pay very close attention to the language, so it’s almost poetic.”
Freeman presented her entire essay by memory, which she said added to the quality of her exposition. She also said the memorization helped her answer questions from the judges panel, “because I knew every sentence that was in my paper.”
“I wrote something that matters, and all I want to do with my life is be a writer,” said Freeman. “It was really cool to get recognition for something that I had written. It was original work. It wasn’t like I did well on a research paper and got an A, but I wrote something that mattered to people and that was very rewarding.”
A native of Bristol, Virginia, Freeman is editor of BC’s student newspaper, a blogger for the college’s website, a work study for Admissions, a tutor for the Writing Center, and a member of the Student Union Board and Honor Code Committee. She is also the recipient of the college’s 2011 Communications Award and the 2011 Colley Rampage Award. In addition, she is a creative media intern and a freelance writer for a local newspaper.
“Bluefield College students are just as competitive and intellectually responsible as any student from any college competing at these conferences,” said Dr. Rob Merritt, director of the Honors Program at BC. “Lydia is a prime example of this fact.”
During the VCHC Conference, Dr. Merritt also was honored. He was elected to serve on the VCHC Executive Committee, representing four-year private colleges.