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Gladys Brooks Foundation Enhances Undergraduate Honors Program
The Gladys Brooks Foundation has made a $100,000 endowment gift to support the University Honors Program.
The Honors Program provides opportunities for Northeastern's most outstanding undergraduates to enhance their studies and enrich their engagement in the workplace and community.
Students participate in special courses that offer deeper exploration of material, smaller classes, and closer faculty-student interaction. Close to 12 percent of the undergraduate population is enrolled in the program.
Many Honors students in their junior or senior year complete an eight-credit Honors project, such as a thesis, creative endeavor, or advanced course work.
Students prepare a proposal, work closely with an advisor, and receive special distinction on their academic transcript.
"Honors projects enable students to delve deeply into a topic of academic or professional interest to them," said John H. Portz, director of the University Honors Program and professor of political science and education.
Honors projects address a range of topics. For example, Melissa M. Misicka, AS '03, a multimedia studies major and music minor, designed a web site on the history of Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp.
In another project, three Honors students created an original musical, Our Father's Sun, a contemporary update of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The students wrote, composed, directed, and produced the show, which premiered in campus in March.
The Brooks Foundation gift will establish an endowed fund, the Gladys Brooks Honors Scholarship Award that will provide upwards of $7,000 annually to a student engaged in an Honors project. Awards are intended to recognize student excellence and provide financial support for their projects. A faculty committee will select recipients.
The Honors Program is important to Northeastern's ability to attract and retain outstanding students. "Bright students expect to be challenged and excited by learning. The Honors Program helps Northeastern meet their expectations," said Portz.
Created under the will of the late Gladys Brooks Thayer of New York, the Gladys Brooks Foundation supports intellectual, moral, and physical welfare by funding programs at libraries, hospitals, and educational institutions.
In addition to the Brooks Award, Honors students may apply for the Matthews Undergraduate Award. Named after George J. Matthews, BA '56, Hon. '86, chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees, the Matthews Award supports two to three students annually in their Honors projects.
|This article appeared in the Spring/Summer 2003 edition of Pathways: The Leadership Campaign.|
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