Director’s Welcome


Dr. Paola Cesarini

Welcome to the University Honors Program.  Our goal is to provide academically enriching opportunities, effective advising and mentoring, and exciting programming in order to support and challenge you during your undergraduate experience.  Our core responsibility is to provide stellar academic opportunities.  We do that in part through our course offerings, which are the foundation of your experience in the program.  They bring together excellent faculty, innovative topics, an interdisciplinary focus, and of course – the key ingredient – the energy and exciting ideas of our students.  Students take classes in the First Year Inquiry Series and the Honors Interdisciplinary Seminar Series.  Students may also undertake advanced research in their major as their final academic work for college level honors.

We are committed to the building of a community in honors. We approach that goal through a variety of programming opportunities that help to link us together in a number of ways, starting each year with our Welcome Week experience that brings together our new and upper-class students.  Welcome Week starts everyone working together from the day they arrive on campus.  We cap off our academic year with Honors Evening, which showcases advanced student research and where we celebrate our graduating seniors.   Throughout the rest of the year, there are many chances to connect with one another on a number of activities ranging from monthly Pizza and Profs to the significant civic engagement contributed each year in Boston through the Honors Outreach Project (the HOP).

With Residential Life, we have collaborated on a Living Learning Community (LLC) that is located in International Village.  All first-year students live together in International Village (INV) with our two honors Faculty-in-Residence, Professor Rifat Sipahi and Professor Mindelyn Buford.  Upper-class honors students may opt to live in our honors communities in West Village F and C.

At any one time, I can list any number of places our students are in the world –studying textiles in Mumbai, sustainable housing in Argentina, ants in Panama, hemoglobin levels in Peru, gorillas in our local zoo, or WW II spies in Russia.  But more importantly, in our day-to-day interactions on campus, we work with students who are able to meet the challenges of a rigorous undergraduate curriculum, willing to commit to building a community on campus, and open to what is possible to accomplish locally, nationally, and globally.

Our faculty and staff will work to provide you tools to make your time at the University Honors Program supported, challenged, and successful.  Please let us know what we can do to help you on your journey.

Paola Cesarini, Ph.D., Director