By Gabriela Mendoza

Staff Writer

Three LBCC students presented academic research to community college academics at the Honors Transfer Council of California’s annual conference.

The HTCC research conference was March 23 at the University of California, Irvine, involving more than 50 California Community Colleges. The conference provides students the opportunity to share the results of their research, generated in honors classes, in a public setting.

Reem Halabi, Miranda Arciaga and Jason Troia gave individual presentations on their research concerning teaching habits, student study habits, and the media’s influence on grassroots political movements.

Each gave a 12-minute presentation, with a 5-minute period for questions, to a room full of students and mentors.

Halabi’s presentation, titled “Redefining Math”, discussed the manner in which students are taught math. Halabi said she chose the topic because she has seen even the brightest students struggle with math. She argued that teachers lack emphasis on the how and why aspects of math.

“Students are so focused on getting the right answer that they forget how to solve it,” said Halabi, 19, a microbiology major.

Halabi claimed too many math students in the U.S. are taught to reference their textbook while solving problems, and to seek the answer from the book afterward. “How many times in real life are we given the answers? The answer is never. Following such a pattern is what kills creativity,” said Halabi.

Arciaga presented research, produced with her partner Henry Ruff, on student study habits.

Arciaga, 19, a double major in English and psychology, said, “What made the paper interesting is that whatever I learned while researching the paper could be applied to the improvement of my study skills.”

Troia researched the media’s influence on grassroots political groups.

Troia, 32, an English literature and history major, said, “It is a work on how mainstream media sometimes sensationalizes minor elements of protest movements, wielding their power to silence them in some cases.”

Troia cited the Occupy movement and the Tea Party in his research. “I’d like people to realize that their most basic liberties can be threatened in indirect ways, either through censorship of speech or sensationalism of what one says,” said Troia.

Students who present work at the conference are eligible for financial scholarships and the chance to submit their research for publication in the “Building Bridges” anthology, published by the UCI academic journal.

Arciaga, Troia and Ruff had their work published in the journal. The publication may be found as “HTCC Building Bridges 2012” on for about $6, or on for the same price.