Goldwater Scholar Profiles: UMass Commonwealth Honors College

Editor’s Note:  This is another in a series of profiles of 2014 winners of Goldwater Scholarships who are students at public university honors colleges or programs.

Three Commonwealth Honors College students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have received scholarships for work in the natural sciences and engineering as part of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Another received an honorable mention.

According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology and Director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement (ONSA) at the Commonwealth Honors College, “each participating campus can nominate up to four applicants, so we were particularly pleased that three of our UMass students won, and the fourth was recognized with Honorable Mention. This is a tribute to the great research being carried out by our faculty, and their dedication to advising and mentoring undergraduates in their labs.”  Working with Professor Whitbourne is Dr. Howard Schultz, a Lecturer in the Honors College, who assisted in recruiting applicants and advising those who were nominated on their final applications.

The winners are Alyson Warr, a junior majoring in microbiology from Freetown, MA; Stefan (Marco) Eres, a junior chemistry major from Knoxville, TN; and Marianne Sleiman, a junior chemical engineering major from Greenville, R.I. John Manteiga, a junior from North Andover, MA, pursuing majors in microbiology and biochemistry and molecular biology received honorable mention.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater for his service as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

Goldwater scholarships are intended to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Each competing university nominated its top four students, who were then evaluated by the national Goldwater Scholarship selection committee. From a field of 1,166 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by colleges and universities, 283 received scholarships and 247 received honorable mentions. The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Alyson Warr has worked in the laboratory of microbiology professor Steven Sandler since 2012, and has studied cell division, recombination and repair in Escherchia coli bacteria. She is currently working on a project to identify genes that contribute to a novel cell division phenotype in response to stress conditions.

“With the age of antibiotics drawing to a close, the need for innovative drug targets and novel therapies to control bacterial growth is urgent,” said Warr. “I am committed to contributing to this development by elucidating the mechanistic details of cell division.”

Warr plans to pursue a Ph.D. in microbiology. After graduate school, she hopes to conduct research at a major university with a focus on developing novel drug therapies to control the spread of antibiotic resistant pathogens.

Marco Eres has worked with chemistry professor Dhandapani Venkataraman since 2011 studying organic photovoltaic cells and pursuing a new approach to fabricate semiconducting inks and methods to print photovoltaic cells. The lab is developing nanoscale components in the inks that will self-assemble into structures necessary for the production of solar cells.

Eres said, “I am motivated to pursue this project because it enables me to contribute to the shift in the chemical research community from the study of the relationship of atoms through strong covalent bonds to the study of the relationship of molecules through weaker, non-covalent attractions, a field known as supramolecular chemistry. I aim to use the knowledge I gain in this project to design new functional materials for applications in organic photovoltaics and sensing.”

Eres plans to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering, specializing in supramolecular chemistry. His career plan is to lead a materials science research team in academia or industry.

Marianne Sleiman works with chemical engineering professor Shelly Peyton to study methods for using biomaterial systems to quantify how cancer cells respond to drugs when they are placed in environments that mimic a natural in vivo environment. In particular, they are interested in determining the relationship between tumor stiffening and the efficacy of a variety of underperforming chemotherapeutics.

“I am motivated to continue this leading research by using my knowledge to find a novel method to facilitate therapeutics during the drug screening process,” said Sleiman. “This research will help identify how mechanical and chemical changes in the ECM affect tumor growth and drug resistance, which will improve therapeutic methods, thus furthering cancer drug research.”

After graduation Sleiman will pursue a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and hopes to lead a research team that will focus on understanding carcinomas and finding novel therapies to impede the development of tumors.

John Manteiga has worked with microbiology professor John Lopes since 2012 to study the proteins responsible for the regulation of gene expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast.             

“Understanding how proteins work and interact with one another is an essential step on the path toward curing cancer and many other genetic diseases.” Manteiga intends to earn a Ph.D. and then pursue work in biotechnology, genetic diseases, or pharmaceuticals in an industrial research setting.

According to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, director of the Office of National Scholarship Advisement at Commonwealth Honors College, each nominee was required to submit an application, an essay describing academic and career plans, a research proposal, and three letters of reference.

Goldwater Scholar Profiles: ASU Barrett Honors Students

Editor’s Note: The post below by Arizona State writer Sarah Auffret is another in our series on 2014 Goldwater scholars from public university honors programs….

Three outstanding Arizona State University juniors who already are doing sophisticated research have won Goldwater Scholarships, the nation’s premier awards for undergraduates studying science, math and engineering.

Working in the laboratories of ASU senior faculty and scientists, the students carry out research ranging from developing biosensors for early detection of infectious diseases to conducting microelectronics research at ASU’s Flexible Display Center.

Recipients are Ryan Muller of Phoenix, majoring in biochemistry and molecular/cellular biology; Brett Larsen of Chandler, majoring in electrical engineering and physics; and Jakob Hansen of Mesa, a mathematics and economics major. Each of the four will receive $7,500 a year for up to two years.

All are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, while Larsen is also in the Fulton Schools of Engineering. All three are enrolled in Barrett, the Honors College. A fourth student who received honorable mention is Samuel Blitz, a physics major from Scottsdale.

ASU students have won 55 Goldwater Scholarships in the last 21 years, placing ASU among the leading public universities.

Muller is a resourceful and motivated student who began doing research at ASU while still a student at North High School, and again the summer before his freshman year. Xiao Wang, assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, remembers that even though Muller was initially the youngest member of the iGEM synthetic biology research team, others quickly began to rely on him.

“His ideas were fresh, innovative and motivating to the team,” says Wang. “In fact, the first day he volunteered in my lab, without any prior experience, he implemented a strategy to effectively screen for bacterial colonies that contained the correct transformed plasmid. The team began to rely on his resourcefulness.”

In subsequent years, Muller continued working on the team and was a key player in helping them develop a portable, low-cost biosensor system to detect pathogens in water supplies. They won a gold medal and a spot in the international championship event for one of the world’s premiere student engineering and science competitions.

Interested in expanding their work, Muller and others assembled a team of undergraduate researchers to seek additional funding. Last year, they were grand prize winners at the ASU Innovation Challenge and at the ASU Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative. Their fledgling company, Hydrogene Biotechnologies, may help cut down on water-borne diseases that can kill, such as acute childhood diarrhea.

Hansen, a graduate of Red Mountain High School, is a talented mathematician who has been a delight to his professors as someone who enjoys the formal beauty of mathematics, yet is committed to doing research into real problems that affect humans.

“Jakob is exceptionally talented at mathematics, and is one of relatively few undergraduates that I have taught at ASU who was equally enthusiastic about pure and applied mathematics,” says Jay Taylor, assistant professor in the School of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences. “He was always very keen to discuss the theory underpinning the techniques that I presented in class.

“For his project, he wrote a computer program to simulate a malaria outbreak in a small population and used this to investigate the conditions under which malaria will persist in small populations subject to seasonal variation in transmission intensity.”

Hansen participated in ASU’s Computational Science Training for Undergraduates last summer with Rosemary Renaut, professor of mathematics, who praised his mathematical sophistication to the Goldwater committee. He is continuing his research with Renault into more abstract problems.

Larsen, a graduate of Tri-City Christian Academy, received funding early in his career from the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative. Over the past two years, he has conducted research at ASU’s Flexible Display Center, developing ultra low-power circuits and applying advanced signal processing techniques to personnel detection along borders and in hostile territory.

Larsen says his interest in science was sparked by a Boy Scout leader, an electrical engineer who talked to him about subjects that enthralled him: objects traveling at the speed of light, the astonishing power of fusion and fission reactions, and theoretical designs for time machines and light sabers. Larsen was inspired to excel in science so he could push the boundaries of technology.

Called “a brilliant young man” by Antonia Papandreou-Suppappola, professor of electrical engineering, Larsen shares his love of science by mentoring a group of engineering freshmen and leading a science club for young children at the Child Crisis Center. In the future, he hopes to focus his work on developing mathematical models for defense applications.

“ASU’s success in the Goldwater competition is in large part due to the excellent opportunities our students have had to do advanced lab research with talented and committed faculty,” says Janet Burke, associate dean for national scholarship advisement in Barrett, the Honors College.

“It goes without saying that the drive and brilliance of the students themselves are both important. I have a top-notch Goldwater committee who do a superb job of selecting the students whose applications will bubble to the top of the pile.”

Honors College, Honors Program–What’s the Difference?

Revised, September 8, 2014…

After a lengthy analysis of staffing, class schedules, and honors curriculum in preparation for our new book to be released this Fall, we can say that there are significant differences between honors colleges and honors programs.

On the other hand, despite these differences, both honors colleges and honors programs are equally effective in graduating students who go on to win major awards and acceptance to prestigious graduate program.

In this post, we will focus on the differences between the 25 honors programs we have reviewed and the 25 honors colleges also under review.  All of the colleges and programs are at major public national universities, including most flagship institutions.  The total honors student enrollment at the 50 universities is approximately 90,000.

Here are some figures that illustrate the differences between honors colleges and honors programs:

1. Size–The 25 honors colleges have an average enrollment of 1,900 students, versus the average enrollment of 1,492 in the 25 honors programs.

2. Staff– Honors colleges have more staff members per student.  In honors colleges, the ratio of students to honors staff is 141.7. In honors programs, the ratio is 162.4. It is possible that honors programs have more indirect staff support from, say, the dean of undergraduate education, but the ratios above are based on actual honors staffing figures in 2013-2014.

3. Structure–The additional staff at honors colleges appears to contribute to the higher percentage of a “blended” honors structure at honors colleges.  By a blended structure, we mean that there are both honors-only seminars (often interdisciplinary in nature) offered solely by the honors college, along with many honors classes focused primarily on specific academic disciplines. Fourteen of the 25 honors colleges fall into this category, versus 10 of the 25 honors programs.  Six honors colleges have a department-based honors structure, while eight honors programs feature this more decentralized structure.  This means that, speaking in general terms only, honors programs might be more appealing for students who are more focused on their majors and less interested in the broader approach typical of most seminars.

A relatively small number of colleges and programs have a core structure.  The core programs are almost exclusively based on a set of honors seminars and colloquia designed to offer interdisciplinary perspectives on the humanities, social sciences, math and science, and fine arts.  Often, these courses count for and replace the Gen Ed courses taken by non-honors students.  Honors core programs may or may not require an honors thesis.  Most do not offer a lot of upper-division or department-centered courses.  Five honors colleges are based on the core model, versus seven honors programs.

Average Honors Class size–Honors colleges have a better ratio of students per class section, using data from the Spring 2014 term.  (For colleges on the quarter system, we use a formula to equalize quarter sections with semester sections.)  What honors colleges and programs say about having smaller classes is mostly true:  Honors colleges average about 19.8 students per section, and honors programs about 22.5 students per section for all honors courses.  Please know, however, that both honors colleges and honors programs have some large classes, typically in science.  They offset this fact by offering multiple small all-honors discussion sections and labs.  We did not count discussion sections or labs in calculating class size, only the main class sections.

There is disagreement about the relative value of honors contract classes.  Clearly, such classes do not require all-honors enrollment or staffing and can be accomplished without reducing the “credit” a given professor receives for teaching larger classes, in which a few honors students do extra work.  They are therefore extremely cost-effective for the university.  They can also be a boon for some honors students, who find that they can in fact get into that hard class they need to graduate, even if it’s not an all-honors class.  On average, honors colleges allow 7 contract credit hours and honors programs allow 8.9 contract credits.  (Some colleges and programs, however, allow up to 30 hours of contract credit.)  It is very important for prospective students to gain an understanding of the types of courses that can be counted as honors credit.

Big Fish in the Pond–Using a formula that compares average (mean) honors test scores to average test scores for students in the university as a whole, and students in the top quarter of the university as a whole, we find that there is a greater gap between students in honors colleges and their non-honors classmates than there is between students in honors programs and the non-honors students in their universities. So, based on test scores along, honors college students have a somewhat higher chance of being regarded as the “smart kids” on campus.

Honors housing–Here, although there are many exceptions, honors colleges tend to offer more amenities such as suite-style dorms.  One reason for this is that many prominent public universities have made a conscious decision not to contribute to the “big fish” perception and do not provide separate honors housing at all.  In this group are UCLA, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Please bear in mind that these statistics describe general characteristics of honors colleges and honors programs.  There are many honors programs, especially, that mirror all of the features associated with honors colleges.


Goldwater Scholar Profiles: Purdue Honors College

Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series on 2014 Goldwater Scholarship winners who are students in public university honors programs.

Haefa Mansour – College of Engineering and Honors College

A major in Chemical Engineering, Haefa Mansour is a junior from Mentor, Ohio who intends to pursue a research-oriented career as a professor of chemical/biomolecular engineering and to focus on new protein-based materials for better surgical adhesives. Haefa has worked extensively in the Birck Nanotechnology Center and progressed with her team to the world competition of the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition in 2012. She has worked closely with her mentor, Dr. Julie Liu, Professor of Chemical Engineering, on protein and tissue engineering at Purdue.

Ms. Mansour is actively involved with the Stamps Scholars Program which is also under the HC umbrella.

“Taking the leadership initiative as a freshman, Haefa was named Assistant Director of the Purdue Student Government. She was selected to participate in a weekly leadership session instructed by France Cordova, President of Purdue University, and other important Purdue faculty. Haefa was also named Chairperson of the Engineering Honors Learning Community and is responsible for managing the events hosted by this group of honors engineering students.”

 Sean McDowell – College of Engineering and Honors College

Sean McDowell, from Stevensville, Michigan, is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering with the goal of developing next-generation prosthetic limbs that improve the body’s interaction with a motor prosthesis through a neural interface. He received the Industrial Roundtable Scholarship from Cognizant Technology Solutions and has also presented his research at the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium. He has conducted research in Purdue’s NeuroProstheses Research Laboratory with Dr. Kevin Otto, Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering.

Mr. McDowell has been an integral part of the HONR mentor program since its inception in 2012. He currently serves as one of two mentor captains in Honors College and will serve as the head mentor in 2015.

“If I hadn’t had been involved with the Honors College, I never would have applied for the Goldwater Scholarship. [An HC faculty member] brought up the idea my sophomore year when mentoring for the first-year honors seminar, and then she kept encouraging me to apply through the start of my junior year. Although the research I wrote about is focused on my work in biomedical engineering, my work with the Honors College helped reinforce the balance of skills I needed to be a successful candidate.” – Sean McDowell  April 15, 2014

Nicholas Pogranichniy – College of Science and University Honors Program

Sophomore Nicholas Pogranichniy is from West Lafayette, Indiana, and is a Biochemistry major who plans to pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry. He has worked closely in the lab with Dr. Simpson, Professor of Analytical and Physical Chemistry.  Although the Goldwater Scholarship is open to sophomores and juniors, it is much more challenging for sophomores to win.  This year, only 16% of the scholarships were awarded to sophomores.  

Goldwater Scholar Profiles: Clemson (Calhoun Honors College)

Editor’s Note: The following information comes from Clemson University, and is another in a series of profiles we are posting about 2014 Goldwater Scholars who are students in public university honors programs.

John Farmer, a junior physics major with an astrophysics emphasis area, was born in Florence, SC, and attended Cheraw High School for three years before studying musical performance at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.  He has maintained a 4.0 GPA in a departmental Honors track curriculum while engaging in many research projects.  Past work includes creative inquiry with Dr. Brittain of Clemson University on near-infrared spectroscopy of young stars, radiation simulation for the LHC’s CMS detector as an intern for Fermilab, and galactic astrophysics as an intern at the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile.

A Dixon fellow in the Honors College, he has been named a 2014 Goldwater Scholar and has been nominated for the 2014 Astronaut Scholarship.  In addition, he has been awarded the L.D. Huff awards for outstanding sophomore physics major and outstanding junior physics major, and the College of Engineering and Sciences outstanding junior in the sciences award.  He plans to pursue a PhD in physics and explore a career in research.

The following is a first person account from Goldwater Scholar Kate Showers:

My name is Kate Showers, and I am a junior in Bioengineering from Nashville, TN. I recently received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering which is a federally endowed scholarship program that aims to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.

I became involved with research the summer following my freshman year as an intern at the Vanderbilt Initiative for Surgery and Engineering studying image-guided surgery. Upon returning to Clemson, I joined a Creative Inquiry team exploring ultrasound application in diagnosing soft tissue injuries. This past summer, I worked for the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering at the University of Washington studying human perception methods. In addition to research, I am a Big Sister with Women in Science and Engineering where I mentor freshmen women in STEM and assist in outreach events. In addition, I am the Vice President of Outreach for the College of Engineering and Science Student Advisory Board, an ambassador for the Calhoun Honors College, a past facilitator for IMPACT (a summer social action program for incoming students), and an alumna of the ACC Leadership Conference. Finally, I have also received the Robert B. (’70) and Susan B. Hambright Annual Leadership Program in Engineering Award, the WISE Smith scholarship, the S.W. Shalaby Outstanding Sophomore in Bioengineering award, and the CU Out-of-State Scholarship.

Goldwater Scholar Profiles: University of Georgia

Editor’s Note: The post below by UGA Today writer Sam Fahmy is another in our series on 2014 Goldwater scholars from public university honors programs….

Two University of Georgia Honors Students—Tuan Nguyen and Amy Webster—have been named 2014 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars.

The UGA Goldwater Scholars are among a group of 283 recipients of the one- and two-year scholarships that recognize exceptional sophomores and juniors in engineering, mathematics and the natural sciences. UGA students have received the Goldwater Scholarship almost every year since the mid-1990s, and the 2014 recipients bring the university’s total of Goldwater Scholars to 46.

“I am very pleased that UGA is adding two more Goldwater Scholars to the recent and impressive roster of our students who have been recognized for their success in the important fields of engineering, mathematics and the natural sciences,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Such recognition is also a tribute to the faculty and staff in the Honors Program, whose work challenges and supports these very good students. I know that Tuan and Amy have bright futures ahead of them and I offer them my congratulations.”

Nguyen is a junior from Douglasville majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology as well as mathematics in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He plans to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. degree with the ultimate goal of improving cancer diagnostics and treatment.

Webster is a  junior from Kennesaw majoring in genetics and mathematics in the Franklin College. She plans to pursue a doctorate in genetics with the goal of studying the processes that regulate gene expression while also teaching at the university level and promoting scientific literacy.

“I am so happy for both Amy and Tuan, who are most deserving of this recognition,” said David S. Williams, associate provost and director of the Honors Program. “While each deserves credit on their own, their success speaks to the importance of being able to begin significant faculty-mentored undergraduate research through CURO from their first days on campus. This has led them to be able to take full advantage of opportunities both on and beyond campus.”

Nguyen has earned several honors, including a 2013 Goldwater Scholarship honorable mention. He participated in a summer undergraduate research fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, and is a recipient of the UGA Bernard Ramsey Honors Scholarship, the UGA Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunity Honors Scholarship and a CURO Summer Research Fellowship.

He conducts research in the lab of assistant professor Natarajan Kannan, with whom he has co-authored two articles that have been submitted to peer-reviewed journals. He is a member of the UGA Chapter of the International Genetically Engineered Machine Foundation and has volunteered at Clarke Middle School in Athens through the group. He is a volunteer tutor through the UGA Division of Academic Enhancement and tutors middle school students through UGA MATHCOUNTS.

Webster has conducted research with UGA Distinguished Research Professor Kelly Dawe and will present her findings at the 2014 UGA CURO Research Symposium. In addition, she worked in the lab of genetics professor Daniel Promislow and has submitted her research findings for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. She also participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience at Emory University.

She is a head coach for UGA MATHCOUNTS and a research editor for the Journal of Young Investigators. She also is active in the Genetics Student Organization, the Navigators Student Ministry and has been involved with University Chorus and Women’s Intramural Basketball.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Senator Barry M. Goldwater, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. It was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering, and the Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

The 2014 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,166 students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Honors “Contract” Courses Can Be Valuable if…

Occasionally, we report on the developing scholarly research related to honors colleges and programs, much if it published by the Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council (JNCHC).

As we have been analyzing honors curricula and course offerings for the next edition of our book, we have again observed that most honors programs give students the option to “contract” with a faculty member to do more in-depth work in a non-honors section in order to receive honors credit.

In her 2005 JNCHC article, “Contracting in Honors,”Kambra Bolch, then with the Texas Tech Honors College, sought to answer this question: “Does contracting really measure up to the expectations of the honors experience?”

Now well established, the Texas Tech Honors College dealt forthrightly with this question a decade ago, and Ms. Bolch deftly recounts the experience and then offers answers that should be of interest to prospective honors students and their parents, who should inquire about the frequency and quality of honors contract courses.  (Please see “Solutions” below.)

“Despite a significant growth in the college’s resources and a corresponding increase in its ability to offer stand-alone honors courses, a number of students, particularly in the engineering and science disciplines, still had difficulty completing the required 24 hours of honors coursework to earn an Honors College designation on their diploma,” she wrote.

Another factor leading to more honors contracts was that dual credit and advanced placement credit gave many honors students a chance to apply those credits to general education requirements instead of taking honors courses.  These students then had to find ways to meet the 24-hour requirement, and the use of contract courses increased.  (Now, the college does not allow advanced placement test scores to replace honors courses.)

But the increase in contract courses carried a series of problems.  The typical honors component of non-honors classes was an extra paper, but these were often turned in at the very end of the term, with little previous contact between the professor and honors student, “a situation that seemed antithetical to the expectations of an honors experience.”

Then even more serious issues arose.  Some students submitted plagiarized papers at the last minute, leaving little time to discover the dishonesty.  The quality of legitimate contract work was also uneven.

Accepting that honors contracts had to be retained in some form, the college began a series of meetings, including faculty.   In the end, they came up with the following steps to ensure that honors contracts did in fact meet “the expectations of the honors experience.”


To ensure the quality of contract credits, the college alone certifies the contract work as worthy of honors credit even though faculty retained the authority to issue whatever grades they thought appropriate.

More importantly, the contract forms themselves became much more detailed and specific.

The information sheet “emphasizes three components of the additional work required for the contract: 1) that the student complete a substantial paper or project (15-20 page research paper or a project of equivalent time/effort); 2) that the student share the knowledge/skills/experiences gained through the paper or project with an audience of some sort; and 3) that the faculty member and student have regular contact outside of class to discuss the student’s progress and answer questions regarding the paper or project.”

In addition, the student is “required to state specifically on the contract form how he or she will meet each of the three requirements. At the midpoint of the semester, the faculty member is asked to provide a brief report on the contact he or she has had with the student and to assess the student’s progress to date.”  An honors college staff person, or persons, is designated to work with all contracts and professors, thereby developing valuable knowledge about courses, grading, requirements, and the range of disciplines open to contracts.

Finally, the college began allow honors students to enroll in graduate courses for honors credit.  Because the courses almost always feature seminar engagement along with rigorous reading and research requirements, they definitely meet the expectations of the honors experience.