Honors Perspective, Spring 2012
Greetings: Since the last issue of the Honors Perspective, we have moved to our new office space in 150 Richards Hall. The space is beautiful – bright, spacious and with tons of “bells and whistles” including some pretty fancy technology assets. We celebrated the new space in a number of ways during the fall, including an Open House in October when we had about 400 guests come through one afternoon, our pre-finals study break with donuts and cider for everyone, and a special “graduation dinner” for our January grads. Next time I’ll remember to order champagne although it was quite festive even without it.
I want to thank many upper-class students for their efforts this past fall. Thanks first go out to our 175 Welcome Week volunteers – you all helped once again to make the first week on campus an exciting and rewarding one for our entering students. Thanks to my Enhancing Honors Mentors – you are so willing to try new things and become intrepid explorers of the city with the newbies on campus. Finally, thanks to our Ambassadors, who got into the swing of things at the first Fall Open House and will help us out until the last spring Welcome Day.
First year students were not “volunteer slouches,” over 90 students signed up for the First Pages initiative- Honors Readers – and first year students led the pack. Thanks to all of you!
Our newest academic advisor – Justin Silvestri – joined us in the late fall and together with Colleen Cronin and has helped to double our advising staff. Under steady guidance of Associate Director Sheryl Mayuski, we implemented a new advising initiative that we hope will be effective in helping you chart your course on campus.
The fall classes were terrific. In addition, students were visiting all over the city with interesting people that faculty helped them meet. We are especially pleased to have three faculty teaching in the Honors Program this year who are interdisciplinary faculty with appointments in two separate colleges: Professor Lee Makowski – College of Engineering and College of Science, Professor Kristen Madison – Law School and Bouve College of Health Sciences, and Professor David Lazer – College of Technology and Computer Science and the College of Social Science and Humanities. Their participation in our courses opens us to what “interdisciplinary” really means in terms of research and policy. Our First Year Inquiry Series courses continue to build around the program’s Thematics: Social Development; Conflict and Peace Building; Science, Technology and Human Values; and, Inquiry, Advocacy and Social Values.
Updates from our Faculty in Residence at International Village include the arrival of Professor Carey Nolan’s daughter Anneka and Professor Rifat Sipahi’s success in garnering numerous grants to support his research. Both professors joined us in fall events and we look forward to working with them in the spring. The RA’s for the upper-class Honors Living Learning Community hosted an event that Sheryl, Justin and I attended in the late fall – it was great to meet with so many students interested in advanced honors opportunities.
Spring is always a scamper. We will be working closely with our Ambassadors in the recruiting of a new class of students for the fall. We will be running our spring Honors Outreach Project, along with hosting our gala Honors Evening. We also will have an event for graduating students and their parents during Senior Week.
In addition, I am pleased to announce that we have reconfigured the Honors Student Council as the Honors Advisory Board. We had many applications to be on the board and I think we have a nice balance of colleges and years on campus. They will be working with the honors staff closely as we address a number of programmatic issues in the spring.
One of our target goals is to figure out what role we will play in the November meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council which will be in Boston. We will keep you posted as plans for that conference emerge.
We will also be running a series of fellowship workshops in the spring – please look at the new fellowship web site we worked on (http://www.northeastern.edu/fellowships/why-a-fellowship/) and give us a call if you have any questions. Associate Director Lauren Pouchak will be taking the lead on helping you to complete your applications. We are in the midst of fellowship season and are especially interested in meeting with any juniors interested in this type of option.
We have 22 students who will be joining us in Italy this summer on our Rome Dialogue of Civilization under the tutelage of Professor Gordana Rabrenovic. We are thrilled she is leading the trip this summer (along with our own intrepid explorer, Lauren Pouchak). Professor Rabrenovic has led Dialogues to Belfast Ireland, the Balkans, and Israel and has spent time all over the world. So we will benefit from her world-wide view.
We are all looking forward to working with you this spring. As always, Carol DiCecca, our Administrative Assistant will be the first person many of you will meet with when you come through our NEW DOORS!!! Come by and meet Justin, or join Colleen in the HOP initiative. Sheryl is especially helpful for those of you considering a Junior-Senior Project and Lauren will be working closely with all the volunteers for First Pages. Our terrific graduate assistants Katie Merrill and Elizabeth Jacoby will be working to help our seniors through their exit interviews among other activities.
As always, our regular programming such as Pizza and Profs, ticketed events, leadership training, and fellowships advising continues chugging along so watch the weekly notices carefully for schedules.
We will be opening up the competition for Partners in the Park soon so look for that announcement. In addition, we will be sending out a call for mentor volunteers for next year – and will have some preliminary meetings before the end of the semester.
All and all, we are looking forward to a great semester – hope to see you at our new space! Let us know if there is anything else we can do – stop by, the door is open.