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Grand Prize winner: "Are we self-defined, or are we defined by our interaction with others?" (Prof. Ellen Stohl's U100 class). This project asked students to explore their identities and self-image by spending time in a wheelchair or without the use of one arm or as if they were blind, in order to experience themselves in a radically different context.
1st place Grand Salon project: "Scholarly Journals on Cognitive Disorders" (Prof. Tina Bertacchi-Love's U100 class). Inspired by the novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, students investigated cognitive disorders (ADD, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, eating disorders, panic disorders, and schizophrenia), and wrote scholarly journals pertaining to these issues. They also delivered formal class presentations on their journals.
2nd place Grand Salon project: "Showing What We Share" (Dr. Ellyn Gersh Lerner's U100HON class). Inspired by the many maps, diagrams, and drawings in Mark Haddon’s book The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, students created visual representations of similarities and differences between themselves and one or two classmates.
1st place virtual project: "Our Uniqueness: Deafness" (Dr. Barbara Boyd's U100 class)."The idea for this video was conceived in the spirit of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Just as Christopher finds himself in a world set apart from others and sees life through a unique lens, so do we. One of the factors that defines our lives is our deafness, and we share a taste of our experiences in this video. Ultimately, we hope that the viewer gets the feeling that not only are we deaf, but we are also a vital part of humankind. As much as Christopher is different, he is still one of us."
2nd place virtual project: "How Does Pollution Affect Health?" (Dr. Kim Henige's U100 class). Students identified topics within Health and Wellness in order to research the answers to specific questions. The question addressed in this project is "How does pollution affect health?"
Course Director's special mention: "Facing Freshman Year" (Dr. Anne Eggebroten's U100 class). "Reading emotions on people's faces is difficult for Christopher (the main character in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time). Recognizing our emotions and seeking help is a key survival skill for first-year students. We researched causes behind the 40% graduation rate and made a display of faces and stories demonstrating emotions we have felt this semester."
Course Director's special mention: "Focus Case Study Challenge" (Prof. Lisa Riccomini's U100 classes). "We customized our U100 textbook by creating our own case studies for each chapter, exploring how CSUN freshmen face specific challenges like time management and learning/teaching style awareness in order to be successful in their academic and personal lives."
Honorable mention: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" (Prof. Bernardean Broadous's U100 class). A poster that consists of several puzzle pieces which connect to one another. Each puzzle piece represents a clue to help solve the mystery of who killed Wellington and how Christopher overcame his fears.
Honorable mention: "Mapping Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources in the San Fernando Valley" (Prof. Mary Riggs's U100 classes in collaboration with Dr. Steve Graves, their GEOG 107 instructor). Students have used mapping strategies learned in Geography 107 to locate and compile resources for families with members on the autism spectrum. (Take a look at the resulting Google map, too.)
The first Freshman Celebration took place in 2006 with participation limited to Freshman Connection students. In 2007 the Celebration was open to all students enrolled in a fall U100 class. As enrollment has continued to grow, so has the Celebration.