An Extraordinary Learning Community

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    Elizabeth Paladin with celloAcademically rigorous classes are part and parcel of the college experience. At some universities, though, they are not challenges you seek to avoid, but experiences you look forward to, embrace, and enjoy. These are the universities where you’ll discover entire programs and communities dedicated to pushing you out of your comfort zone. And encouraging you to think differently, to question more deeply, to disregard the obvious and the easy in your quest for new insights. Programs like those offered at IUP’s  Robert E. Cook Honors College, for example.

    “The Honors College is a place that brings some pretty amazing people and ideas together, a place that prepares you, fully, to make a significant contribution in the world,” said Chemistry major Elizabeth Paladin . “I have thoroughly enjoyed living in Whitmyre Hall and developing friendships with the extraordinary students who live and work here.”

    For Elizabeth, a native of Penn Hills, Pa., it is that combination of a friendly, supportive community and outstanding “big school” academic and professional opportunities that makes   IUP an ideal university choice.

    Elizabeth Paladin in chemistry lab“It’s not just the fact that, here, you can compete for national awards and scholarships or collaborate on serious, real-world research projects even as an undergraduate student—it’s the people you meet,” said Elizabeth. “I remember walking down the hall one day with my cello. A music professor, someone I had never interacted with, who was walking by stopped to ask me how long I’d been playing and if I’d like to play with the cello choir. The next thing I know, I’m attending a rehearsal. I’ve enjoyed being part of that choir ever since. For me, it’s the kind of experience that sums up IUP.”

    From the cello, to athletics, to her passion for travel that has already seen her participate in an IUP study-abroad program in Vienna, Austria, Elizabeth has a wide range of extracurricular activities and interests. But she is, above all, a seeker of knowledge, and what she is truly passionate about is pharmaceutical research. “My goal is to come up with new insights in   the field of polymorphism and co-crystal formation of organic molecules,” she said. “It’s the kind of research that can eventually help save human lives.”

    It’s also the kind of research that recently earned her the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, awarded to only about three hundred of the nation’s most talented science and engineering undergraduate students. “I know this sounds like a cliché, but I believe it is both a responsibility and an honor to be able to use knowledge to serve the world in these ways. Which is exactly what academics at the Honors College is all about,” concludes Elizabeth.  

    • The Honors College is not simply looking for students to give it a good name. It’s looking to equip you to be an effective, contributing member of society and to use your talents and interests to the fullest.