NOVA Nighthawk Cor Medrick Places First in Honors Fall Symposium

November 9, 2021

Cor Medrick (19) took first place in the Honors Fall Symposium presenting his research, “Pop Culture and HIV: A Comparison of Television and Film Reactions to the Pandemic from 1980 to 1995.”

In his presentation, Cor provided a sampling of television shows and films from within the time frame and observed similarities and differences among the various representations of people with HIV during the height of the AIDS pandemic. He ended up finding that people with HIV were split into three groups based on transmission vector (sexual transmission, blood transmission and IV drug use). Cor noticed that there was a large focus of blame for two of the three categories; with blood transmission being the only “blameless” scenario for contracting the virus.


Cor is a Pathways student currently working on his associate in engineering. Regarding studying in the honors program, he says he finds it fun to learn about and investigate many different topics. “It also lets me interact with a lot of cool professors.”

He expects to graduate in spring 2022 and plans to transfer through the pathways program to attend Polytech Lyon in France and take part in their PeiP (Parcours des Ecoles d'Ingénieurs Polytech) program, which allows automatic admission to any of 13 participating schools. He hopes ultimately to achieve a biomedical engineering degree from Polytech Lyon.

Raised in Arlington Virginia by a mom with three history degrees and a dad with a double major in history and physics, Cor is the oldest of two boys.

My mom has always been a big support when it comes to education. As much as I learned about essay writing in school, I also learned through reading her college essays. She always encouraged me to study topics that I wanted to learn about, even if I didn’t plan to use them as my career. She is part of why I enjoy history so much and spend so much time studying that instead of focusing more on STEM.“

He says his favorite subject is history, and his favorite class so far has been History-102 because it had a lot of the time periods he liked studying.

“My favorite professor has been Dr. Sue Jean Cho (AL-History). I keep taking her classes, and it is no longer helping my degree, but they are a lot of fun.”

Cor would advise an incoming NOVA student to diversify their classes. “I think it is a lot more fun to take a bunch of subjects with your electives then to just focus on what seems most helpful to your major.”

Cor is part of NOVA's Honors program. The NOVA Honors Program strives to provide qualified students with advanced teaching and mentoring to enhance their educational experience. Our program is designed to cultivate the personal and systemic transformation of students who participate in the program or decide to enroll in individual Honors courses. Learn more:

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