The University of Memphis Helen Hardin Honors College will be hosting the Works In Progress Symposium (WIPS) Nov. 11 from noon until 5 p.m. to reward and recognize undergraduate students for their academic excellence.

WIPS is an event that gives honors students a chance to share their research and findings from a thesis assignment or research project. The thesis and research topics can come from any of the majors on campus. Each thesis will be turned into a 15-minute oral presentation, followed by a five-minute discussion.

Jonathan E. Holland, assistant director at the honors college, provided more details about WIPS and the process of entering, as well as the benefits for students who plan on entering. Holland said students that enter will complete an oral presentation on their research and will receive feedback and comments from university faculty.

The students will be scored and judged with prizes awarded to the top three presentations in each category. Holland also said WIPS gives students a chance to take their research further and discuss them at conventions outside of the UofM.

“The students can improve on their presentations with the feedback, where we’ll encourage the students to present their topics to conferences outside of the university like the National Undergraduate Research Conference, or a conference in their field,” Holland said.

Honors students on campus have already begun preparing for WIPS. Sophomore International Business major Stephen Hopkins said he has been preparing his thesis since the beginning of the semester, saying how much a big opportunity it is for him.

“For me, this is a huge chance to get exposure from major companies and corporations,” Hopkins said. “This could lead to a major job opportunity down the road if I can do well enough on this ­– I’m not the only one that thinks like this either.”

 Senior Mechanical Engineering major Justin Lewis said he was also planning on entering WIPS, saying that this was a good chance to build on his skill set rather than using it for a job opportunity.

“For me, it’s all about adding onto my skillset,” Lewis said. “The sound of a job opportunity is great and certainly part of my motivation, but the chance to brush up on my presentation and research skills, as well as being able to present original ideas to a larger audience, is what I look forward to.”

For students looking to enter, they can contact the honors office at or go straight to to apply. Applications for WIPS are due Oct. 18.

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