Hertz Awards 2012 Go to “Gifted Young Leaders” in Science, Engineering

The Hertz Awards are surely among the most prestigious academic awards that a student can earn: only 15 are awarded each year, chosen from 600 highly-qualified applicants, and the awards have a five-year monetary value of $250,000.

The Hertz Foundation says that its fellowships for “gifted young leaders” are “considered to be the nation’s most generous support for graduate education in the applied physical, biological, and engineering sciences,” and you can, so to speak, take that to the bank.

Fellows have the freedom to innovate in their doctoral studies without university or research restrictions. “The Hertz Foundation nurtures these remarkable scientists and engineers as they develop and explore their genius,” said Foundation President Dr. Jay Davis. “We help genius find itself.”

The Livermore, California Foundation says that for “nearly a half century, the Hertz Foundation has fostered the scientific and engineering strength of the nation by finding the best and brightest from those disciplines. During the past decade, there has been a major shift of the candidates towards those who apply physical and computational tools to the problems of biomedicine and health.”

The Foundation noted that at least 30 students were worthy of the awards, but funding required keeping the total actually awarded to 15. The Foundation plans to extend its fund-raising efforts to provide additional support.

Included in this 50th cadre of Hertz Fellows (2012) are six students from public universities, including four from the universities whose honors programs we follow. Three of these are present or former students in honors programs: Anjali Datta, University of Texas Plan II-Engineering Program; Grant Newton Remmen, University of Minnesota Honors Program; and Yun William Yu, General and Departmental Honors, Indiana University. Kelly Dare Moynihan is a Distinguished College Scholar in Engineering at the University of Texas.

The cadre for 2011 included students from Georgia Tech, the University of Kansas, and the University of Wisconsin.

Here is the complete list of 2012 winners:

Cheri Marie Ackerman, Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley
Nicholas Ranieri Boyd, Computer Science University of California, Berkeley
Allen Yuyin Chen, Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Anjali Datta, Electrical Engineering, University of Texas, Austin
Arvind Kannan, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
Brian Lawrence, Mathematics ,California Institute of Technology
Max Nathan Mankin, Chemistry, Harvard University
Kelly Dare Moynihan, Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas
Austin Vyas Ramanan, Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Grant Newton Remmen, Physics/Astrophysics, University of Minnesota
Jonathan Robert Russell, Biotechnology, Harvard University
Jacob Noah Steinhardt Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
James Ryan Valcourt, Quantitative Biology/Bio-Engineering, Princeton University
Christian T. Wentz, Bioengineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Yun William Yu Applied Mathematics Indiana University, Bloomington

UNC Chapel Hill Honors Theses: A Big Plus for Careers

However much we dislike college rankings that equate quality with “outcomes” such as the highest salaries or mention in Who’s Who, practical considerations are a major part of almost every student’s plans.

The story below by Dana Blohm of the Daily Tar Heel describes how students writing senior honors theses at UNC Chapel Hill have their eyes on research and on the future.

By Dana Blohm
April 11, 2012

Abby Lewis spent her summer doing research for her honors thesis. But instead of heading to Wilson Library, she went to Paris.

While it might be an unconventional way to research for the extensive project, the senior said she was able to analyze unpublished French memoirs, reaching past what she would have been able to accomplish just at UNC.

“To go abroad by myself was challenging, but it was rewarding to have that experience,” she said.

About 340 seniors chose to write honors theses this year, with the most coming from the psychology department, said Jessie DeHainaut, program assistant for Honors Carolina.

In recent weeks, students have been presenting their final theses and defending them against panels.

Senior economics major Jamie Isetts said students must be passionate about their topics to complete the challenging process.

“The most difficult part was realizing how to balance what you wanted to do and what I was able to do with the resources I had,” Isetts said.

Several seniors said they were forced to change their topics due to unforeseeable circumstances.

“I came into it with a clear idea about what I wanted to write and that set me back in a lot of ways,” Lewis said. “Once I stepped back and saw what I had, there was a different paper there.”

Assistant director of University Career Services Laura Lane said students benefit from writing theses in a number of ways.

Lane said writing an honors thesis helps to develop the number one skills employers are looking for — communication.

“For anyone contemplating going into academia, it’s a must,” said economics professor Mike Aguilar, an honors theses adviser.

Many honors thesis students also commented on reaching a new level of research that they were unable to learn in school.

“I think writing my thesis definitely helped me get into graduate school because I can say that I’ve already done in-depth research,” Lewis said.

Students must choose an adviser in their department. Many had relationships with their advisers before starting their theses. “It really helps to know the student ahead of time,” Aguilar said.

Professor Tim Carter said he gets as much out of advising students as they get from him.
“It’s a fabulous opportunity to engage in cutting edge information with a smart student,” he said. “It’s one of the best parts of our jobs as faculty members.”

Senior Chris Nickell, who has Carter as an adviser, said the end product is worth all the work. “To see an argument take shape, and to now have the capacity to talk about the topic on a new level is really rewarding,” he said.

But Isetts said students’ motivations should be genuine, and not just for the recognition.
“Don’t do this honors thesis unless you do it for yourself,” she said.

“Don’t do it to get the honors or it will be a soul-sucking process. It’s for you, so make it your own.”

Honors Programs That Add Value to Kiplinger’s Best Colleges

In this post, we list the honors programs that have the most value-added impact on the universities of which they are a part and that are also on the Kiplinger list of the 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges” report of 2012.

We estimate the honors impact by comparing the U.S. News ranking of each university as a whole with the ranking of the honors program in the category of Overall Excellence.  If our ranking places an honors program or college higher than the national ranking of the university as a whole, then the honors program provides value added.  For example, if University A honors college ranks 24th in our evaluation of 50 programs and colleges, and the university as a whole ranks 34th among the 50 universities we considered in the U.S. News rankings, then University A’s honors college has significant value added.

The value-added programs that we will cover in this series are those at South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan State, Delaware, Stony Brook, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Nebraska, and Indiana.

Since all of these universities are also included among the top 100 best values in the annual Kiplinger report, this means that the honors programs at these schools are a “value-added to the value-added” because the honors programs significantly enhance the value that already exists in the universities as a whole.

The annual Kiplinger special report is a well-known and probably influential publication. The report presents a cost/value analysis, comparing the academic reputation of selected public universities to the total net costs of attending, using both in-state and out-of-state tuition as benchmarks. Kiplinger begins with 500 public colleges and universities, eventually honoring the top 100 as best values.

Kiplinger does not directly consider the value added by public honors programs, although it is certain that part of every university’s academic excellence is related to its honors students and their accomplishments.

Below is the name of the university, its Kiplinger best value rankings for in-state and out-of-state tuition, and its honors program impact rank among the 50 leading state universities we reviewed. The lower the number in honors impact, the greater the value-added factor of the honors program.

University of South Carolina
In-state tuition (57); out-of-state tuition (67); honors impact rank (2).

University of Arizona
In-state tuition (99); out-of-state tuition (100); honors impact rank (3).

The University of Arkansas
In-state tuition (53); out-of state tuition (56); honors impact rank (3).

University of Georgia
In-state tuition (6); out-of-state tuition (9); honors impact rank (7).

Michigan State University
In-state tuition (49); out-of-state tuition (61); honors impact rank (7).

Stony Brook
In-state tuition (35); out-of-state tuition (29); honors impact rank (9)

University of Delaware
In-state tuition (25); out-of-state tuition (23); honors impact rank (10).

University of Minnesota
In-state tuition (54); out-of-state tuition (20); honors impact rank (11).

University of Missouri
In-state tuition (79); out-of-state tuition (80); honors impact rank (12).

University of Oregon
In-state tuition (97); out-of-state tuition (98); honors impact rank (12).

University of Nebraska
In-state tuition (68); out-of-state tuition (82); honors impact rank (14).

Indiana University
In-state tuition (40); out-of-state tuition (65); honors impact rank (15).

Public University Leaders in Prestigious Scholarships 2012

Students at the fifty major public universities whose honors programs are included in our Review earned at least 146 prestigious scholarship awards in 2012. Fifteen of the 50 schools brought home four or more awards in 2012.

Leading the way in 2012 are the University of Michigan, the University of Georgia, Arizona State University, the University of Iowa, Ohio State University, and North Carolina State University.

The scholarships included in the above total are the Rhodes, Marshall, Gates/Cambridge, Churchill, Truman, Udall, and Goldwater awards. The last two are awarded to fund undergraduate research. Michigan, Georgia, and Arizona State led all state universities in these awards for 2012.

The total above does not include other national awards (Luce, Mitchell, Boren, NSF), and it does not include Fulbright Scholarships. We adjust Fulbright awards for the size of the undergraduate population at each school, and we will post those totals later. We will include Luce and Boren awards in our statistics for the next edition of the Review. In addition, we will have a separate post on these awards soon. Arizona State alone earned 10 Boren awards in 2011-2012.

Below is a list of the schools that earned at least four awards in 2012:

Michigan (9)–Gates (2), Marshall (1), Churchill (1), Truman (2), Udall (1), Goldwater (2)

Georgia (8)–Marshall (1), Udall (3), Goldwater (4)

Arizona State (7)–Gates (2), Marshall (1), Truman (1), Udall (2), Goldwater (1)

Iowa (6)–Churchill (2), Truman (1), Udall (1), Goldwater (2)

NC State (6)–Udall (2), Goldwater (4)

Ohio State (6)–Churchill (2), Truman (1), Goldwater (3)

Kansas (5)–Rhodes (1), Goldwater (4)

Indiana (5)–Gates (1), Marshall (3), Goldwater (1)

Pitt (5)–Rhodes (1), Udall (1), Goldwater (3)

Nebraska (5)–Marshall (1), Goldwater (4)

Maryland (5)–Churchill (1), Truman (1), Udall (1), Goldwater (2)

Alabama (4)–Truman (1), Goldwater (3)

Arizona (4)–Udall (3), Goldwater (1)

Minnesota (4)–Udall (1), Goldwater (3)

Washington (4)–Rhodes (2), Goldwater (2)

Georgia, North Carolina State Lead in 2012 Undergrad Awards

With the recent announcement of the 2012 Udall Scholars, we can now report on the leading schools among the 50 in our review that have earned the most prestigious undergraduate awards–Udall and Goldwater scholarships.

The Udall Foundation “awards 80 scholarships of up to $5000 and 50 honorable mentions of $350 to sophomore and junior level college students. The majority of the Udall awards go to students “who have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment including policy, engineering, science, education, urban planning and renewal, business, health, justice, economics, and other related fields.”

Goldwater awards are given to encourage research and excellence in the STEM subjects–science, technology math, and engineering.

This year, the University of Georgia and the North Carolina State led the way in undergraduate awards.

Along with winning three Udalls, Georgia students also earned the maximum yearly award of four Goldwater scholarships. NC State students also earned the maximum of four Goldwater awards to go with two Udalls.

Undergraduate awards are one indicator of the undergraduate research opportunities that are available at universities.

Schools among the 50 to earn at least three total undergraduate awards are listed below:

Alabama–3 Goldwater
Arizona–3 Udall and 1 Goldwater
Arizona State–2 Udall and 1 Goldwater
Georgia–3 Udall and 4 Goldwater
Illinois–1 Udall and 2 Goldwater
Iowa–1 Udall and 2 Goldwater
Kansas–4 Goldwater
Maryland–1 Udall and 2 Goldwater
Massachusetts Amherst–3 Goldwater
Michigan–1 Udall and 2 Goldwater
Minnesota–1 Udall and 3 Goldwater
Nebraska–4 Goldwater
Ohio State–3 Goldwater
Oregon–3 Goldwater
Pitt–1 Udall and 3 Goldwater
South Carolina–3 Goldwater
UT Austin–3 Goldwater

Purdue to Open Residential Honors College in 2013

Here is some great news from Purdue: they plan to open a residential Honors College in the Fall of 2013. See what Assistant Dean Catharine Patrone has to say about this exciting development at one of the nation’s premier public universities. Purdue honors has a bright future, and not only for engineering students.

May 2, 2012

By RACHEL RAPKIN Assistant Campus Editor

With the University’s plan for an Honors College, students will have the opportunity to live and learn from each other while gaining valuable leadership skills.

In July, the Board of Trustees approved the plan to develop the residential Honors College. The University plans for students to be enrolled by the fall of 2013.

Over the summer, during the third module, assistant dean of the Honors College, Catharine Patrone, said first year students will have a chance to preview the Honors College by enrolling in the Accelerated Summer at Purdue program.

“The students will have the ability to take four honors credits,” she said. “In addition to the Honors course opportunity, extracurricular (events will be provided) to help build the community around them.”

Dennis Savaiano, interim dean of the Honors College, said a task force with around 100 members had been meeting since the fall and had been looking into recommendations for the planning of the curriculum, governance, scholarships and post graduate support.

“They came up with a set of proposals. The (University) Senate reviewed the proposals, ( and on April 24) the Senate passed a resolution endorsing the Honors College and another resolution endorsing the curriculum committee,” Savaiano said.

Patrone said with the approvals of the endorsements from the University Senate, the next step is to officially start creating the Honors College curriculum.

“The University Senate approved the college and the faculty governance structure,” she said. “Each college or school (including the libraries) will have one faculty member elected or appointed … They are going to be assigning and approving the Honors College curricula. The governance committee will begin their work in September.”

According to a Powerpoint from Savaiano to the Academic Affairs Committee during March’s Board of Trustees meeting, the Honors College is looking to incorporate more diversity, complement all the colleges curriculum and enhance student leadership.

“The idea (of the Honors College) was to unify our existing programs and make them more robust and grow them so that perspective students would see a richer opportunity, particularly in a residential model,” Savaiano said.

The residential model is going to be an area where students live and learn together. Savaiano said this could increase student enrollment and possibly encourage upper division students to stay in the residences where they can mentor the lower division, or first year students.

“Building a residential model that is a more robust honors experience was certainly our goal,” he said. “Currently there are about 1,200 honors students at Purdue, and we would like to grow that to 2,000.”

Patrone said there are a large number of students who want to be a part of the Honors College, but the dorms are full and they are leaving the University to find another place where they can be a part of a close knit community.

“Students who are looking for that experience are going to other universities,” Patrone said. “They are choosing to go elsewhere and, sometimes, even out of the state. We hope the Honors College will keep them in Indiana and attract them to Purdue.”

Penn State Schreyer Enhances First-Year Experience

Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College will implement next Fall a new program that provides more community and continuity for entering freshmen. The First-Year Experience will also increase the honors credit hour requirement for the freshman year. The interesting story by Daily Collegian writer Aria Moyer is below.

By Aria Moyer
Collegian Staff Writer

Incoming Schreyer freshmen will see familiar faces throughout their first academic year.

Beginning next fall, incoming Schreyer Honors College freshmen will be required to participate in the First-Year Experience — a sequence of general educational writing and speaking classes with the same professors and classmates during both the fall and spring semesters.

The program intends to prevent incoming Schreyer freshman from feeling lost and overwhelmed in different required Writing/Speaking classes, Schreyer Honors College Associate Dean Arun Upneja said.

Upneja said he’s “very excited” to offer this new and inventive format in a course.

Students will be required to take English/Communications Arts and Sciences 137H (Rhetoric and Civil Life I) in the fall followed by English/Communications Arts and Sciences 138T (Rhetoric and Civil Life II) in the spring, which also satisfies the first-year seminar requirement — 137H is the prerequisite for 138T.

Upneja said these plans have been discussed for a year now through wide consultation with both students and faculty of Schreyer Honors College and the College of Liberal Arts, and feels glad to finally see it all come together.

In the past the only similar combination of classes offered at Penn State has been Liberal Arts 101H (Honors Rhetoric and Civic Life).

Upneja said this was a great class for a single semester, but it lacked the combination of credits and community setting.

“This is where the first-year experience would pick up as both an enjoyment for students and sufficient credits,” he said.

The First-Year Experience also ups the number of credits required for a scholar’s freshman and sophomore year from 18 to 21.

With the inspiration from this course, the honors college implemented the First-Year Experience, which allows for a combination of both first year writing and public speaking for a total of six honors credits, rather than four.

Upneja said that he doesn’t view this idea as an increase in credit or requirement but more as a “sequence of courses. ”

The goal of the combination class, he said is to simply keep the same group of students with the same professors — and it will be up to students to make sure they follow the requirement.

Upneja said he understands it will be difficult to maintain the same scheduled class with the same group of people for both fall and spring semester, but he encourages students to do so.

Schreyer’s Honors College Dean Christian Brady said that he feels this “coherent systematic offering” shows the flexibility of the honors college in a more modern setting.

He added that this is a great opportunity to develop students of integrity through a sense of community and ethics. Brady also mentioned that these classes will only be offered to honors college freshmen and aspiring Paterno Fellows.

WSU Asst Dean Brings the World to Honors Students

The Honors College at Washington State University is already renowned for its global education emphasis, and now its assistant dean has received an award for her work.

Assistant Dean of the Washington State University Honors College Jessica Cassleman was presented the 2012 Robert C. Bates Award for her dedication to the advancement of international education programs. The award was administered by the WSU Office of International Programs.

The Robert C. Bates Award is presented annually to a member of the WSU or Pullman community who has: enriched the cultural experiences of the WSU international student and scholar population; promoted global networking through classroom and experiential education; or, increased awareness among the WSU student and/or staff population about our global interconnectedness.

Says Libby Walker, dean of the WSU Honors College, “Those of us familiar with Jessica’s activism and involvement in international education are certainly not surprised that she was honored with this award. We are proud of her accomplishments, and appreciative of Jessica’s dedication to the development of global education in the Honors College.”

Dean Cassleman has not only worked to enrich the lives of hundreds of WSU students, but she has also reached beyond the campus to facilitate bilateral agreements with other U.S. universities and to promote honors education in universities abroad.

Out of the classroom, she helped in the development of an Honors program at the Universidad Austral in Valdivia, Chile; the Federal University of Parana in Matinhos, Brazil; the Regional University of Blumenau, Brazil; and the Scientific University of the South in Lima, Peru. She has also served as key player in the establishment of partnerships between WSU and the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, Chile and Universidad de Concepcion in Concepcion, Chile.

She was a key proponent of the development of the WSU Honors College’s Certificate of Global Competencies, an elective program aimed at the enhancement of students’ preparation for the global environment of commerce, creativity, and scholarship.

Ole Miss, SMB Honors College Thesis Can Equal Jobs

This story about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at Ole Miss shows how the undergraduate thesis required of honors students can help them in their search for postgraduate employment–and how the honors focus on undergrad research can be a model for the university as a whole as it seeks to find the best jobs for grads.

Students Get a Mentor for Engaging in Intellectual Curiosity

By Rebecca Lauck Cleary
April 23, 2012

OXFORD, Miss. – The undergraduate thesis is a hallmark of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi. Now, students will have someone available to assist them with getting started on their projects.

That person is Jason Ritchie, the new assistant dean of undergraduate research at the SMBHC.

Exploratory research has been a required component of the Honors College since its creation in 1997. Most students begin their research in the junior year, leading to a thesis in the senior year, although some students begin earlier. The thesis is an opportunity for students to devote time to exploring topics that particularly interest them in their fields; it’s a chance to learn to ask questions as the discipline asks them and to answer those questions using the methodology of the discipline.

Undergraduate research is vital to a student’s training, said Honors College Dean Douglass Sullivan-González.

“The SMBHC is deeply committed to the role of independent research in preparing our students to be citizen scholars,” Sullivan-González said. “When the leaders of the future start tackling tough issues, we want them to be trained to look closely and clearly at what’s really going on when things look ‘knotty.’ We expect our students to be leaders in finding creative, effective solutions to public challenges.”

Since 2000, Ritchie has been assistant and associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Ole Miss and was named the Cora Lee Graham Outstanding Teacher of Freshmen in 2007. Before that, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1994 at the University of California at San Diego, where he performed undergraduate research on conducting polymers. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1998 from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied the surface chemistry of high-temperature superconductors. He then went on to post-doc at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, studying electrochemistry in rigid polymers.

He has a strong interest in the leadership development of younger chemists, and he believes that serving as assistant dean of undergraduate research will allow him to help develop the careers of students across the university.

“The students come here and it’s intimidating,” Ritchie said. “They need help in the basic process of how to get started with research. I will put together a database of faculty projects so they can look at it and find their interests, and I will give them resources and advice about how to approach faculty members. They may be scared, but I will help them open up the conversation.”

Even the brightest students may be ruffled by the thesis requirement, and Ritchie hopes to alleviate their fears and work with them to find both internal and external research opportunities.

“When a graduate goes on a job interview, they don’t talk about their GPA, they talk about their thesis project, so it really sets them apart and marks them as a strong and independent thinker,” he said. “I personally learned far more doing my undergraduate thesis than I did in class. The honors thesis is a capstone for a student’s undergraduate years, bringing together everything they have learned the past four years.”

Ritchie will work not only with Honors College students, but those across all areas of campus.

“We think this unparalleled learning experience should be available to all students at the University of Mississippi,” Sullivan-González said. “Much of what Dr. Ritchie will undertake will be geared toward increasing and supporting undergraduate research campuswide, not just in the SMBHC.”

The most important lesson of the thesis may be how to stick with a tough assignment when there is only the students’ own character and passions to keep them going. This May, 130 SMBHC seniors are en route to be commissioned, having completed all Honors College requirements, including the thesis.

For more information on the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, go to http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/.

Campus News–IU Hutton Honors College

The following story from the Indiana Daily Student is another example of how honors innovations benefit students from the university as a whole. In this case, an undergraduate publication run by Hutton honors students gives all students a chance to publish their work.

Here is another great piece of student journalism, which describes the Hutton publication.

By Alexea Candreva, Indiana Daily Student

Feb. 12, 2012

Students spend hours planning and researching before writing papers. With the work and passion that goes into academic papers, some students want to have their work published.

One of these students, junior Tess Kuntz, decided to submit her essay from a bilingual education course she took her sophomore year to the spring 2011 edition of the Undergraduate Scholar.

“I heard about the Undergraduate Scholar through the (Hutton) Honors College’s emails,” Kuntz said. “I wanted to have my essay published because I’ve noticed that there aren’t that many academic essays written about education by undergraduates.”

The Undergraduate Scholar, a publication of undergraduate student work, allows students to receive more than just a grade for their classwork.

The Scholar had its first meeting of the semester Thursday, Feb. 2.

Hutton Honors College student volunteers coming from a variety of majors run the publication, but any undergraduate may submit works to the Scholar. The group, which consists of about 20 members, decides together what work will be published.

“We receive around 11 or 12 submissions in a smaller semester,” junior and design editor Erin Boland said. “In the fall there’s always fewer.”

Staff members are required to read all submissions before attending discussion meetings. At the discussion meetings, the coordinator introduces each submission, and staff members vote “yes,” “no” or “maybe.”

Although there are no set rules for what undergraduates may submit to be published, the Scholar does look for certain qualities in essays.

According to the Undergraduate Scholar, the staff chooses to publish essays based on mechanics, style, content, clarity and contemporary appeal.

“We don’t really do creative writing,” Boland said. “We look for academic papers, like something you wrote for a term paper or a research paper for one of your classes.”

The publication gives students a chance to have their work seen by more than just their instructor who graded it.

“For you to say you were published in something, that’s a pretty big deal,” Boland said.

The publication also takes art submissions such as photography, paintings and drawings to include throughout the pages. Even though the Scholar does not publish every submission it receives, the staff invites students to send in as much of their work as possible.

“There’s no harm in trying. Selections are anonymous,” Boland said. “You never really know what exactly will get in. Anything from any major is
fair game.”

In addition to more submissions, the publication welcomes new staff members.

“I joined this year at a call-out meeting,” freshman and Undergraduate Scholar Coordinator Sireen Yang said.

Yang is taking over as coordinator this semester while the coordinator from last semester is studying abroad.

After their initial meeting, staff members are divided into four editing groups, which make changes in style and grammar as they see fit, but they do not change anything important without consulting the author first, Boland said.

“I like the variety you are exposed to. There are so many different topics,” Yang said. “And it’s nice to get to know the people in your editing group.”

A stand with copies of the publication is in the Hutton Honors College student reading room.

Though Boland said the distribution is limited at this time, group members said they hope to spread more awareness of its existence and increase participation in the semesters to come.

“I think word-of-mouth really just helps us the most,” Boland said. “Hopefully it plants a seed in people’s minds.”