Tyler Weisman '14
Cody Huber '16, Tyler Weisman '14, Ahmad Nazeri '16
Three Randolph-Macon College honors students
attended the April 12-13, 2013 Virginia Collegiate Honors Conference in Annandale,
Virginia. The conference, held at the Northern Virginia Community College Annandale
Campus, is an annual gathering where honors students and directors from the region’s
colleges and universities gather to exchange ideas and develop innovation in honors
programs. Students at the conference present research and compete for prizes.
This year, Ahmad Nazeri ’16 (computer
science and mathematics major), Cody Huber
’16 (German major;
history and international studies
minor) and Tyler Weisman ’14 (history
major) attended along with Honors Program Director
Weisman presented a paper at the conference titled “Genghis Khan and the First Mongol
Invasion of the Middle East.” He worked with History
Professor Michael Fischbach and designed a series of his own detailed maps as part
of the presentation.
In explaining his project, Weisman says, “I relied on primary as well as secondary
sources to understand Genghis Khan’s motivations, the reasons for the overwhelming
success of the invasion, and the effects of the conquest on Persia, both then and
now. To better explain the invasion, I used my research to create a series of maps
that outline the paths followed by the Mongols. I was privileged to take part in
the conference and enjoyed presenting my work, meeting other students and hearing
Weisman’s project stemmed from a semester-long research
project he completed for one of Fischbach’s upper-division Middle Eastern
“In addition to the usual types of secondary sources that students typically use,”
Fischbach noted, “Tyler’s paper was unusual in that it utilized a number of medieval
primary sources that were available in translation. His final paper was simply superb,
and Tyler can be justifiably proud of having delivered it at such a noteworthy conference.”
Randolph-Macon College has been an active member of the VCHC for several decades,
and hosted the annual conference in 2012.
“Our honors students are quite diverse and talented,” says Trammell. “I am always
reminded of what valuable members of the community they are when I see them engaged
with honors students and faculty from other colleges and universities, wrestling
with the large questions and issues of our day—they are our greatest emissaries
for the value of the liberal arts experience.”
R-MC’s Honors Program
Since its inception in 1982, the Honors Program
has provided outstanding students with a unique mix of academic and social opportunities.
Honors students in their junior or senior years delve into in-depth study of a topic
in their field of interest.
“These Departmental Honors Projects can assume a wide variety of forms,” says Trammell.
“Students can design their own research, or they can complete research in a traditional
program like the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Program (SURF).
Most often, they collaborate with a department chair or favorite professor to pursue
a topic of interest to both of them.”