Three NTCC Scholars to Speak at Lunch & Learn

students presenting

By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director

On Thursday, February 21, at 12:15 PM in the Community Room of the Mount Pleasant Library three members of Honors Northeast will present original essays on regional issues. Two will constitute trail-blazing studies of Mount Pleasant’s Hispanic Community, and the other, a pioneering essay on the internationally acclaimed opera star from Northeast Texas, Barbara Conrad.  Hannah Dickson, Student Representative, and last-year Boe winner of the Great Plains Honors Council will present a “Special Confluence,” a study of how Mount Pleasant, in a thirty-year period, became a city where Hispanics became the largest ethnic group.  Daniel Landaverde, a top-performing first-year scholar, will examine  Hispanic Mount Pleasant from that standpoint of the quality of the immigrant experience.   Finally, Eckman winner, Verania Leyva, will examine the unique way Barbara Conrad related to the civil rights movement.   The Lunch & Learn is free and open to the public.  An anonymous donor will provide pizza and drinks, especially to those who email Dr. Andrew Yox ahead of time, at <>--during the presentations.

All three speakers will address questions of vital significance about the minority experience of our area.  How did Southern Anglos in a community like Mount Pleasant respond to, or participate in the transformation of their city?  If we note how the classic text of immigrant dysfunction—the Jungle by Upton Sinclair resembled the meat-packing interests of Pilgrim’s Pride, what kind of experience have Mexican-Americans had in Mount Pleasant?  Finally how did an African-American female from a broken home in the 1950s, go from a church soloist to an international sensation in opera?  

NTCC Honors Director, Dr. Andrew Yox, notes that he is “thankful that Dickson, Landaverde, and Leyva-Garcia took the time to conduct valuable local interviews, and were courageous enough to assess these largely uncharted, and vital areas of regional research.  All three have interesting and relevant ideas to share.”

The Mount Pleasant Public Library at 601 North Madison has over 33,000 materials available for checkout.  It maintains a museum of Titus county with interactive displays, and Caddo replica home.

Honors Northeast is currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2018-19 academic year.  Contact ayox@ for information.  The program will also be featuring its film on Barbara Conrad, Friday, 8 February at 7PM at the Whatley Center for the Performing Arts.  All three Lunch & Learn presenters also will be in the film, which was researched in part by Verania Leyva-Garcia of Mount Pleasant.