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Video: Is my honors thesis good enough to get published?

“I’m not sure you’re answering my question,” says geology professor John Creasy. He’s addressing Bates honors candidate Keegan Runnals ’11, who, after about an hour of defending his geology thesis, is still on solid ground.

It’s April at Bates, the season for an academically intense Bates tradition in which honors candidates, behind closed doors, respond to questions, both lobbed and hurled, from a panel of academics.

At Bates, the thesis examiners include one expert from outside the College, in this case University of Iceland geophysicist Páll Einarsson, taking part via video conference.

Creasy, collegial yet persistent, pushes Runnals to think about his theory in a different context.

Runnals’ thesis seeks to explain how volcanic eruptions on an Icelandic peninsula affect the movement of faults and fissures. Creasy, collegial yet persistent, pushes Runnals to think about his theory in a different context, like on the ocean floor.

In this video, Runnals has just learned that his thesis has earned honors. As he takes his seat, he asks Einarsson — whom Runnals knows from doing fieldwork in Iceland — if the thesis is good enough to be published in an academic journal.

Held April 7, the Runnals’ thesis defense featured a committee comprised of Creasy, Eirensson, geology professor Dyk Eusden ’80 (Runnals’ adviser), and politics professor Aslaug Asgeirsdottir, chair of the committee.



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