UNC Chapel Hill Honors Students Win Eight Major Awards in 2012-2013

Editor’s Note: The following is from UNC Chapel Hill:

The 2012-2013 academic year has been fruitful for students who participated in Honors Carolina offerings and pursued national scholarships. Honors Carolina student Rachel Myrick won the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship last fall, and seven other students joined her this spring as winners of distinguished scholarships and awards.

Will Leimenstoll is one of UNC’s two 2013 Luce Scholar Program winners. His Honors Study Abroad semester in Cape Town, South Africa played a key role in fostering an interest in urban planning that he will continue in Asia. Henry Ross is UNC’s second 2013 Luce winner. He is an Honors Carolina student studying classics and criminal law who hopes to learn more about legal systems in Asia during the coming year.

Kelsey Jost-Creegan is a 2013 Humanity in Action Fellow. She is an Honors Carolina student who explored her interests in migration and human rights through Honors Carolina courses.

Akhil Jariwala was selected as a 2013 Udall Scholar. He plans to utilize the experiences gained as an Honors Carolina student studying business and environment to integrate clean technology solutions across the globe. Patrick Short is the 40th Goldwater Scholar from UNC. He is an Honors Carolina student who served as a coordinator for ten classes in Honors Carolina’s C-START program and is double majoring in applied and computational mathematics and biology.

Will Lindsey recently became UNC 30th Truman Scholar. He is an Honors Carolina student and a history and political science double major who studied Shakespeare during his Honors Summer in London and Oxford. Will seeks to attend graduate school for public policy and law.

Alex Caprara is the 2013 UNC winner of the Beinecke Scholarship. He is an Honors Carolina student who discovered his love for classics in an Honors seminar. Alex will delve further into the field with this graduate award.

These eight students discovered and stoked their interests with the support and resources offered by Honors Carolina.

Rhode Island Honors Prof Receives Sondheim Teaching Award

Editor’s Note: This post was generated by the University of Rhode Island, contact Dave Lavallee.

In the last 21 years, students have sent so many letters of appreciation to University of Rhode Island Professor Cheryl Foster that they fill a big cardboard box.

But now the entire nation knows that Foster, a philosophy professor and associate director of the URI Honors Program, is one of the best teachers in the land.

In fact, it was former student and Rhodes Scholar Rachel Walshe who nominated the Wakefield resident for a Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award. On March 22, Foster was named one of only seven teachers nationally to receive the Sondheim Award and one of only two university professors to receive the award.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., announced the 2013 winners from a pool of hundreds of nominees. The awards were created in honor of Stephen Sondheim’s 80th birthday in 2010.

“Teachers define us,” said Sondheim in a release issued by the Kennedy Center. “In our early years when we are still being formed, they often see in us more than we see in ourselves, more even than our families see, and as a result, help us evolve into what we ultimately become.”

That certainly was true for Walshe, a 2000 URI graduate who earned a Rhodes Scholarship in 2001, and is now a free-lance director who just directed an acclaimed production of Anne Boleyn at the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket.

When she got word of her Rhodes Scholarship a little over a decade ago, Walshe called Foster first.

“She was my first phone call that fateful day. Not to my mother or to my father. But to Dr. Cheryl Foster, the woman who I can say without a shred of doubt is the single most influential person in my life – inside the classroom and out,” Walshe said in her nomination letter posted on the Kennedy Center/Sondheim website.

“Cheryl is more than a teacher. She is an activist; a revolutionary waging class warfare on a system rigged against kids like me,” said Walshe, a child of divorced parents raised on public assistance.

Her letter said she went to a string of mediocre schools in working class towns, and she was the first person in her family to go to a four-year college straight out of high school.

“And now, I was going to Oxford. Against all odds, I won a Rhodes Scholarship. I looked at my competitors from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Amherst and it was crystal clear: this day had been made possible by the unrelenting commitment of a single, transformative teacher.”

Walshe met Foster in 1997 while taking existentialism at URI.

“As demanding as she is passionate, Cheryl requires the same high level of intellectual rigor whether you are a dean’s daughter or a mechanic’s son. Her fearless delivery of the carpe diem message of existential philosophy to her working class students was my call to action: Be moved. Be inspired. But for God’s sake, don’t be lazy!”

Walshe said that is why she is a theater director today. “Cheryl taught me that whether you are rich or poor, black or white, old or young, the way to the brain is through the heart. In her honor, I strive to create important theater that inspires my audiences to feel and think.”

Foster said comments like Walshe’s and so many others strike at the heart of what she does—work to help students develop so they can discover their own goals.
A founder of URIs National Scholarship and Academic Opportunity Office, where she worked until 2005, Foster recently returned to the Honors Program as associate director with a special academic advising role for freshmen and sophomores.

“I have a whole box of notes from students who have written to me over the years,” said Foster, the 1996 URI Foundation Teaching Excellence Award winner. “I have kept them all. On my hard days, I go look at some of them and they remind me why I do what I do. The students are very generous.”

Foster is also the recipient of an American Philosophical Association’s Teaching Award Citation in 1998, and the College of Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising in 2008.

Donald H. DeHayes, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a note of congratulations to Foster, “This is a wonderful and highly deserved honor and it is particularly meaningful that you were nominated by one of your former students. On behalf of all of URI, congratulations and thank you for the passion and inspiration that you bring to your work as a teacher and scholar.”

“Dr. Cheryl Foster is a treasured colleague and phenomenal teacher and scholar who challenges students to pursue their dreams,” said Winifred Brownell, dean of URI’s College of Arts and Sciences. “Students praise the transformational nature of her teaching and advising and describe her as passionate, creative, brilliant, articulate, inspirational, accessible, and engaging.”

Foster said that every day she feels grateful to be part of a community where the choice to teach creatively is taken seriously.

“Over the years my work has improved tangibly due to investments made in that work by my department and college, the provost’s office, the president, the Honors Program and the URI Foundation,” Foster said.

As an example, Foster has on several occasions taken students to the Gamm Theatre and arranged to have the actors and director meet with the class afterward, or to art galleries and talks with artists thanks to the College of Arts and Sciences Excellence Fund. On other occasions she has awarded prizes for various accomplishments (not all academic) in her 300-person Introduction to Philosophy class. The grand prize was always a URI basketball game in the President’s suite.

“Still again the Honors Program has supported in myriad ways the development of courses and experiments that extend a student’s education beyond the normal classroom,” said Foster as she thanked Economics Professor Richard McIntyre, current honors director, and Philosophy Professor Galen Johnson, the previous director, for having faith in her “wacky” ideas.

“And through it all, the Philosophy Department and the URI Foundation have underwritten various endeavors and expenditures that truly enriched my classroom. I am always astonished by the Foundation’s forward-thinking generosity and faith in what we do, and always thankful for my department’s collective commitment to excellence in teaching.”

Ole Miss Honors Student Shines at Public Policy Conference

Editor’s Note: The following post is by Misty Cowherd of the Ole Miss Office of Communications.

OXFORD, Miss. – With the growing debate over federal spending, Travis Gray created quite a stir with his presentation on the economic impact of agricultural subsidies in Mississippi during the recent Southeastern Conference for Public Administration in Coral Springs, Fla.

Gray, a native of Little Rock, Ark., is a senior in the University of Mississippi’s Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. He submitted a portion of his honors college thesis, “The Economic Impact Analysis of Agricultural Subsidies in Mississippi,” which was the only undergraduate paper accepted for presentation at the conference.

An agricultural subsidy is used to pay to farmers and agribusinesses to supplement their income, manage the supply of agricultural commodities and influence the cost and supply of commodities such as wheat, feed grains or sugar.

Using the Regional Economic Model, or REMI, forecasting and policy analysis tool, Joseph “Jody” Holland, visiting assistant professor in public policy leadership, helped Gray with his analysis of a projection model of Mississippi’s economy without federal agricultural subsidies. He also worked with Gray on recommendations for the presentation.

Gray’s longitudinal analysis attempts to identify the economic impact of the state not receiving $400 million to $500 million annually in farm subsidies – how it would affect the farm and food industries in Mississippi. His analysis was that 3,000 jobs would be lost immediately the first year. But with the appropriate market mechanisms, he projected that over time, the economy would correct itself.

“The overall theme of our panel was called ‘Strengthening Rural Economies,’ which was ironic because taking away subsidies will hurt economies – immediately,” Gray said. “But we came up with policy recommendations for after we removed the subsidies.

“Our presentation really dominated the conversation afterwards. The public administrators and scholars really clung to the idea of changing the food system. It wasn’t necessarily a detailed, economic discussion of our methodology, but moreso a big picture about food in America – what we eat and where it comes from.”

The annual conference, known as SECoPA, gives students opportunities to present their research before an audience of practitioners, students and academics, said William E. Solomon, past president of SECoPA and local host chair. This year’s conference included 260 participants, of which 42 percent were students.

“SECoPA conferences are hosted in a different city each year within the Southeast, which offers attendees a chance to meet fellow ASPA members from different areas and also to network with potential employers,” Solomon said. “This conference is very student-friendly and it offers a great way to network with professors, practitioners and fellow students.”

Gray scored high marks not only for his presentation, but also for his professional demeanor during a dinner with executive council, Holland said.

“His paper spurred more discussion than any other paper in the room,” Holland said. “The comments that were received focused on Gray’s policy recommendations. There are negative connotations around farm subsidies, so the conversation was about how these recommendations would affect individuals.

“The feedback was about sharing experiences and models that complemented his recommendations of providing subsidies to local food economies. Even though it may be federal funds used, people suggested that it be managed and implemented at a local level.”

Gray has a triple major in public policy leadership, political science and French. He said he got interested in foreign and agricultural policy in high school – one of his friends owns a sustainable farm and does workshops for farmers. His interest grew by reading books such as the “Ominvore’s Dilemna” and watching documentaries such as “Food Inc.”

“There is always a political debate about subsidies, which is the basis of the industrial agricultural system,” Gray said. “Without subsidies, the system wouldn’t be as lucrative. Industrial agriculture has all these negative externalities: obesity and public health issues, environmental degradation or weakening local economy for globalization. Dr. Holland suggested we look at an economic analysis – look at how subsidies are actually manifested in the economy.

“For the ideas I’m throwing out there, it would take a complete paradigm shift in America to change the way we think about food.”

Gray is unsure how he will use his research in the future. For now, he is focusing on completing his degree. After graduation, Gray plans to attend law school and, possibly, specialize in food law.

IU Hutton Honors College Student Wins $20,000 Award

Editor’s Note:  The post below is from the Hutton Honors College site.

Indiana University junior and HHC student David Bloom has received the 2013 Palmer-Brandon Prize in the Humanities, one of the most prestigious awards given by the College of Arts and Sciences in Bloomington.

The $20,000 Palmer-Brandon Prize is given annually to outstanding full-time College of Arts and Sciences humanities majors to support their continued academic, scholarly and creative pursuits. Recipients are considered to be in the top 1 percent of undergraduates in their discipline.

“David’s exceptional academic achievement and his passion for languages and religious studies make him a wonderful choice for the Palmer-Brandon Prize in the Humanities,” said Larry Singell, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “He is deeply admired and respected by his teachers and fellow students for his leadership and service in the College, and beyond, while at IU. I look forward to watching him continue to develop as a scholar and an agent of positive change in the world.”

Majoring in French, Jewish studies and religious studies with a minor in Hebrew, Bloom’s research areas include the conception of self in the Hebrew Bible, the Apocrypha, pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls. A native of Louisville, Ky., he intends to become a rabbi.

Bloom credited his interest in his research areas to a course he took his freshman year that examined concepts of death and the afterlife in ancient Judah.

“We’re often trying to reconstruct history from a few sources and ancient texts, and in this class, it was fascinating to see that ancient Israel didn’t exist in a vacuum and had a place in this whole culture of ancient near-Eastern societies,” he said. “To take these texts and resources and look at them and see how they impacted each other made all these wonderful connections. Unpacking that puzzle made it very exciting and spurred my interest.”

Bloom plans to attend Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion where, after a year of study in Jerusalem, he hopes to further his education at the college’s Cincinnati campus. The site is home to one of the world’s best Jewish libraries, he said.

Bloom is founder and editor-in-chief of the Undergraduate Journal of Jewish Studies, the only completely undergraduate-driven peer-reviewed and intercollegiate Jewish studies journal in North America.

He is also president and founder of Interfaith Youth Core’s Better Together Campaign at IU; winner of the 2011-12 Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Merit Scholarship in Jewish Studies; recipient of the 2012-13 Sandra and Stanley Trockman Scholarship for Intellectual Engagements and Accomplishments in Jewish Studies; and a 2013 Founders Scholar.

He received the 2012 Albert and Agnes Kuersteiner Memorial Prize, and received first place in the Bill Gallagher Essay Contest through IU’s Department of Religious Studies in 2013.



RIT President on Deficiencies of College Rankings

Bill Destler, president of Rochester Institute of Technology, recently posted on the Huff Post College Page that college rankings are universally deficient because of their focus on “inputs” such as SAT scores and high school gpa’s.  He might well have added financial resources to the list.

Although we have published a de facto ranking of public university honors programs that isn’t based on any of these criteria, we agree that all rankings, including our own, have deficiencies. 

We also agree with Destler that the annual Forbes rankings are the most deficient of all because, even though they claim to rely on output measures, they also focus on “data” from Rate My Professor and Payscale.Com.  The first is subjective, and the second reduces the value of a college education to dollars and cents. 

The Forbes rankings also have a strong bias against public universities, part of which comes from a desire on the part of the people behind the rankings to “reform” public universities so that they become places for cheap, assembly-line education rather than research institutions with outstanding academic programs.

Destler also points out that rankings based on return on investment will only affirm what most people already know:  universities with large numbers of STEM grads, especially in engineering, will necessarily fare better in the rankings because engineering as a field often provides excellent starting salaries for new graduates.

Destler is also correct in claiming that all rankings distort the value of universities to the extent that their rankings methodology apply uniform input measures to essentially dissimilar institutions.  Grad rates for a private university that accepts only 6 percent of its applicants will clearly be higher than a college with a 65 percent acceptance rate based on the extremely selectivity of the former.

In the case of our rankings, we would say that the overreach is somewhat less severe, since all the honors programs we follow have much lower acceptance rates than most colleges and because our dominant category is honors curriculum, which can be extensive and demanding regardless of admissions requirements.

In addition, we have two basic rankings, Overall Excellence and Honors Factors Only.  The former does generally favor honors programs in universities that have more uniform excellence across the student body because there is a metric for achieving Rhodes, Marshall, Truman, and Goldwater awards by all students, and not just those won by honors students.

But Honors Factors excludes the metric for prestigious award and is based strictly on honors-specific elements such as curriculum, grad rates, honors housing, and study-abroad programs.

In the end, our rankings are only suggestive, not definitive.  The same is true for all rankings.  They are best used to suggest possible routes on the journey rather than pinpointing the final destination.


Payscale.Com: Top Public Universities for Return on Investment

Although we have written frequently about the inherent value of a college education and the downside of looking at a degree only in terms of the financial rewards to recipients, there is no question that many, if not most, parents and students are extremely concerned about salary prospects after graduation.

The recent Payscale.Com 2012 ROI Rankings are useful in this regard, especially if prospective students are pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, or business.  There are some caveats about the data: (1) they only include bachelors degree holders and do not include the salaries of alumni who have gone on to graduate or professional school–a significant fact; and (2) they generally favor universities located in the Northeast, the Washington, DC area, or the West Coast, where overall pay is often much higher than it is in other regions.

Partly for these reasons, all but two of the top 13 universities in the Payscale ROI are located in the Northeast or the West Coast.  All of these are private institutions, many with strong financial aid to students, a fact that helps to offset high tuition in determining the ROI.

The ROI itself is the amount of career earnings over and above the median earnings of high school graduates.  For more information on how Payscale derives net cost and ROI, please see the Payscale methodology.

Based on the methodology, below are the public universities that Payscale ranks in the top 100 (in-state tuition only for purposes of ROI).  From the list it is clear that the methodology strongly favors universities with high STEM or business enrollments, that offer specialized programs, such as maritime instruction:

Colorado School of Mines–14

Georgia Tech–17

UC Berkeley–21

UC San Diego–40

SUNY Maritime Academy–43



Texas A&M–58

Virginia Tech–60

William & Mary–61

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo–62

Massachusetts Maritime Academy–63




Missouri Inst. of Science and Technology–73

UC Irvine–80


Stony Brook–88

UT Austin–90

UC Santa Barbara–96












University of Georgia Honors Students: High Achievement in Prestigious Awards

In reviewing honors programs, we maintain stats on “prestigious scholarships”–Rhodes, Marshall, Gates, Truman, Goldwater, Udall, among others–which are won by students of leading state universities.  Often, we cannot tell how many of those awards are earned by honors students at the schools, even though we know that many of them do win awards.

In the case of the outstanding honors program at the University of Georgia, we do know that a very high percentage of the many recent awards won by UGA students have gone to students in the honors program.  UGA as an institution has also established a strong record overall.

Below is a list of the awards won by UGA honors students, just in the past two years.  Bear in mind that only a very small number of Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman awards are granted in a given year–32 Rhodes, 40 Marshall, and 62 Truman scholars, nationwide, in the most recent year.

We also believe that a high number of Udall and Goldwater scholarships is a marker for institutional or program support for undergraduate research.  UGA honors, working with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO) at the school, has been highly successful in recent years.




Goldwater–5 (plus an honorable mention)

Udall–5 (plus two honorable mentions)



See also these posts on our site:

Goldwater Scholars 2013: Public University Leaders

Udall Scholars 2013: Univ of New Mexico Leads, Georgia Best Last Two Years


Twelve KU Global Scholar Seniors Address Symposium

Editor’s Note: This post by KU staff has been lightly edited.

The first University of Kansas Global Scholars cohort presented their research at the Global Scholars Symposium on April 20. The daylong symposium, coordinated by the Office of International Programs, showcased the seniors’ research on topics ranging from developmental disabilities in Kansas and Peru to herbal remedies in 20th century Slavic folklore.

The 12 students served on panels including a final roundtable panel with the entire group discussing their Global Scholars experiences.

“This symposium is a perfect example of the scholarly enterprise that Global Scholars was organized around. The scholars represent the first cohort, whose interests are as innovative as they are creative and intellectually stimulating. This is a perfect way to showcase and share the undergraduates’ talents and promote KU’s mission as an international research university,” said Brent Steele, director for faculty programs.

Global Scholars recognizes and encourages undergraduate students who have an interest in global studies and a strong academic record. The students come from a wide range of disciplines across the university. They were selected for their demonstrated interest in global and international studies, plans for studying abroad, and potential for continued high academic achievement and leadership. Each student participated in a three-hour seminar taught during the spring semester and was paired with a faculty mentor with similar interests during their undergraduate studies. Three cohorts are currently participating in the program.

The Global Scholar presenters:

  • Alexandra Chase, Wichita, senior in psychology and international studies
  • Joshua Dean, Overland Park, senior in economics
  • Katie Fankhauser, Topeka, senior in environmental studies
  • Ryan House, Salina, senior in biology
  • Sarah McCabe, Berryton, senior in journalism
  • Jeff Miller, Lawrence, senior in anthropology
  • Shenji Pan, Jiangsu, China, senior in mathematics and economics
  • Jay Patel, Ottawa, senior in psychology
  • Taylor Patterson, Manhattan, senior in ecology and evolutionary biology
  • Amy Sinclair, Wichita, senior in microbiology
  • Sarah Stern, Lawrence, senior in journalism and Latin American studies
  • Matthew Werner, Wichita, senior in electrical engineering and computer science.

Michigan Liberal Arts Grad Makes It Big in the Business World


The following excerpt of a story by Rachel Severin of UM:

Natasha Luppov (B.A. with Honors, U-M, 2008), former Captain of the Michigan Varsity Cross Country team, has plenty of experience thinking strategically. Natasha currently manages Commercial Operations strategy for Levi Strauss & Company in San Francisco, guiding decisions to drive profitable growth. “I’ve been fortunate for the opportunity to work in strategy for a variety of inspiring companies,” says Natasha.

She began her career as a Business Analyst with McKinsey, working with Fortune 100 clients, as well as the Department of Education, on issues ranging from growth and innovation strategies to operational excellence. Despite an enriching two years with McKinsey, Natasha moved on to work in strategy for Nike. “Essentially, this was my dream job after competing for the Varsity Cross Country & Track teams in Nike products during my four years at Michigan,” says Natasha.

“The Nike experience was nothing short of amazing, complete with the opportunity to lead a variety of strategic initiatives including work for the London Olympics, the Global Running business, and Nike’s new NFL partnership.” It was a difficult decision to leave Nike, but Natasha followed a life-long desire to live in San Francisco, and is delighted to be a member of the Levi’s team.

Natasha credits the LSA Honors Program with providing a collaborative environment where she could challenge her own beliefs. “The LSA Honors experience created an instant small-knit community at Michigan, fostered by inspiring and supportive professors, and a diverse group of talented students. I still remember how humbling it was every single day to be surrounded by classmates who were so smart and accomplished,” recalls Natasha.

At the University of Michigan, Natasha pursued a range of interests, with a double major in Political Science & Russian Language and Literature, and a minor in Art History. In addition to being Captain and 4-year letter winner on the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, Natasha served as the NCAA student representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, an editor for the Michigan Journal of Political Science (recognized by UNESCO as one of fifty top political science journals worldwide).

Natasha was appointed Associate Chief Justice for the Central Student Judiciary – University of Michigan’s highest student court, adjudicating all manner of disputes that arise among members of the approximately 1,000 recognized student groups.

 In five years, Natasha hopes to be running her own business. “I’m constantly flirting with the idea of pursuing my entrepreneurial goals,” she adds. A lover of travel, she hopes to continue exploring different cultures and surroundings (up next: Brazil!). Still an avid competitive runner, Natasha’s current training goal is to qualify for the 2016 Marathon Olympic Trials.

A proud Wolverine and Ann Arbor native, Natasha encourages Honors students to explore the world beyond the classroom during their time at Michigan. “Ann Arbor is an incredible city that offers so many different opportunities, and ones that you’ll remember forever. Attend world-renowned concerts at Hill Auditorium, cheer on the countless number of nationally-ranked athletic teams, visit the many inspiring museums, go for a run in the Arboretum, you can never eat too many sandwiches at Zingerman’s, and don’t forget to frequent The Brown Jug!”

Iowa State to Enhance Engineering Honors Curriculum

The following story is by Mike Randleman of the Iowa State Daily: mike.randleman@iowastatedaily.com,

Beginning in the fall of 2013, an overhaul to the requirements for students in the College of Engineering honors program will be enacted.

Current prerequisites will remain the same to gain admission into the program, but requirements for graduation will change to provide a more diverse experience for students.

University-wide honors requirements of maintaining a 3.5 GPA and completing an honors research project will remain in place.

“What’s really new, and what hopefully will be more appealing to students is that we ask that students in the program illustrate excellence in three categories,” said Amy Kaleita-Forbes, chairwoman of the engineering honors committee and associate professor in agriculture and biosystems engineering.

The three categories include breadth, depth, and community and professional development.

“Breadth means we want them to take some other courses outside of engineering; depth involves really digging into your chosen area of study. Community and professional development can include outreach programs or working on non-technical skills to develop yourself as a professional,” Kaleita-Forbes said.

Within each category, a student is required to either achieve one intense expression, or two moderate expressions.

An example of an intense expression could be the addition of a second minor or major in a science or engineering field.

A moderate expression includes working as a supplemental instruction tutor.

The new system will replace the current points-based system, one that Kaleita-Forbes described as confusing, and limiting students’ ability to branch out without sacrificing honors credits.

“When we talked to alums, a lot of what we heard was they would say they studied abroad and that was amazing, or they took a 400-level psychology class and it was fascinating. The old system didn’t prevent you from doing any of this stuff, it just didn’t credit you for doing it,” Kaleita-Forbes said.

Under the new system, a student can now progress in meeting their requirements by participating in study-abroad opportunities or becoming a learning community peer mentor, among other options.

“What we would like is for the plan of study requirements to credit them and value all the things they already want to be doing,” Kaleita-Forbes said.

While making the changes, which will be officially set this summer, the College of Engineering honors committee reached out to past and current students.

“We talked to students, we talked to alums, we looked at requirements at other universities’ honors programs and decided to rework the requirements to hopefully be more aligned with the things that students are already doing that make them so excellent,” Kaleita-Forbes said.

Some engineering honors students find the current requirements to be confusing and overly rigorous as well.

“The current engineering honors requirements to me do seem more challenging, especially compared to other majors,” said Sam Eastman, freshman in mechanical engineering.

After reviewing the proposed revisions, sent to current honors students earlier this spring, the new requirements “seem doable,” Eastman said.

Students who favored the current points system have the ability to complete their honors degree using the system, but must have their plans of study approved by semester’s end.

Most who have begun under the current system will be accommodated so as not to be at a disadvantage.

“I don’t know that there are a whole lot of students for whom this is definitely harder to accomplish. In fact, I’ve seen numerous students who are clearly meeting these requirements who would’ve really been challenged to squeeze in everything under the old system,” Kaleita-Forbes said.

Students interested in joining the program or who want to receive more information are urged to contact their adviser or their department’s honors adviser, as the website is currently under revision to reflect the new changes and will be fully reflective of the new requirements by this summer.