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Student Conversation about Opportunities at the Honors College

There are a lot of opportunities. I know a lot of people that are given the opportunity to present at national conferences and the honors college is helping to support by giving the money to go to the national conference. A bunch of us went to the Honors College National Conference.

—Shauna Doyle

Dr. McClenahan encouraged me to take my thesis paper to an English conference last year. I never would have considered going to an English conference, and I am not even an English major.


The professors here are just nice people, they encourage you to go out and do things, like encourage you to go outside your field and give a paper at a conference, and, hey, you did a good job so why not?


That's one of the reasons I was attracted to the honors college, because if I came here I could study abroad, do internships, stuff like that.


They are much more concerned about you on an individual level here.


I have the feeling that people do care about what happens to me here. I could imagine, maybe if we were at another school, I would expect that you might be more on your own. But here I just feel people care about my success and what I do. They kind of give you the time schedule as to when we're supposed to do things, academic and career related choices.


I think it's because we are so small that sometimes they'll seek you out. They push us. They're like, hey, did you apply for this? Not only that, but they make us aware of it. Bob Cook came when I was a freshman and he has gotten people internships with computer companies, and I remember him saying something to the people in Fine Arts and saying he could get them internships at the Kennedy Center. They do care about us—they really want us to be great.


I don't think people these opportunities would happen just at any school. Well, maybe they would have the opportunity, but no one is going to seek them out like we do. Professors will pick you out and say things like, 'Hey look at this,' or 'Hey check this out,' because we're small and because they care. I mean they want us to succeed.

I was floored when my advisor, said, 'Oh, I'll write a letter for you.' It surprised me because most advisors at a big university are like, okay you have to do this, this and this… I feel more confident working with the people here. I guess it's because they know me, and they aren't afraid to say, here's something, try this. I think that I actually have a chance… where in larger universities there are so many people and there are so many fewer chances.


It's important when you go through things like getting a recommendation letter. Let's say I had an English 101 class, what would be my chances of my getting to know that professor and the professor getting to know me to the extent that the prof could write me a substantial recommendation letter. So I think that when you have the small honors classes here, you can talk to the professor face to face in the classroom and you can email him a question. Your professor helps you with journals, when you write your paper, and then you have the one-on-one conference time. I think you gain substantial knowledge of each other. So when it comes time for a recommendation letter I have someone to talk to.


In terms of study abroad, I agree with Steph, I think because the college is small, I mean each freshman class is only 100 students, they have more of a chance to seek you out. I know I don't normally take the initiative, and if I had gone to another honors college that was bigger, I probably would have just been one of the freshmen. I'd just be going to through college. I wouldn't have gone to Cambridge, but I did because my advisor told me to do some stuff. The profs, they'll know who you are, and when the opportunities come around, they'll seek you out. So even if you're not one of the people who seek the initiative, this still gives you that opportunity.


I think it's because of the honors college that I'm already applying for grad school, because they really do have high expectations of us.


Yeah, I like the confidence part. Coming from a small high school you think I'm just from a small high school. Now you're in the honors college and you can compete with anybody else in the world and stuff like that.