Hannah Zamora, of Niagara, ON, found common ground with students from across the globe at a conference in California.

The Association for Core Texts and Courses Student Conference, held at the Liberal Arts Institute at Concordia University, Irvine, brought together students from multiple disciplines and universities around the world.

“I was really happy to have this opportunity, and I was shocked I was selected for it,” Zamora said. “People from all over the world and from all different disciplines found this common ground with core texts. It was great.”

It was a whirlwind experience for Zamora. She arrived in California March 3 and she left two days later, but her time there was full and memorable.
“I’m kind of a shy, introverted person, but I ended up seeking out company because everyone was so welcoming and so excited to talk about what they were passionate about. I even ended up having a conversation about the thesis I’m going to be writing next year with one of the professors. It was really cool.”

The conference focused on liberal arts education, something Zamora is familiar with as a St. Thomas student. The paper she presented, titled “Knowing the Audience: Deception as Henry V’s Constant Political Tool” had undercurrents of critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving.

“The paper was about Shakespeare’s Henry the V, specifically Henry’s time with the thieves, and how that rag-tag band of people educated him for when he became king. The central part of that was the use of his own critical thinking, intelligence, and creativity to make the education work for him as he moved forward,” she said.

“It’s about how Henry lies or preforms to his audience, but he knows his audience so well that the lies really stick. The audience makes it real for him.”

Zamora, a third-year double honours student in Great Books and English, was chosen as the St. Thomas nominee for the conference after winning an internal competition held on campus among Great Books honours students. She was then chosen by the conference to be one of the attendees.

Zamora is one of five students from the university to attend the event, joining Robyn Seale (2009), Mikala Gallant (2011), Hilary Ball (2013), and Natalia Gutierrez (2015).