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Students Reflect On 'Honorable' Experience

June 14, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Meredith Mohr

Students in the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College get to experience the more hands-on, up-close and personal aspects of academic and extracurricular life at college, filled with shared core classes specifically designed for them, close-knit Spivey House living, professors who know them by name and weekends filled with community service and study groups.

“At other colleges I found myself speaking to machines more than administrators and felt a real divide between the professors and the students they taught,” senior banking and finance major and Honors Ambassador Will Caron said. “I never received the warm, personal assistance that I had come to expect from educators. I found it at SHSU.”

Program participation can have its challenges—the classes are oftentimes difficult and require many long hours of studying, reading and writing in preparation for tests and projects; there are service hours to complete and a grade point average requirement to meet each semester; and specific classes must be taken each term before graduation with highest honors can be achieved. But many honors students find that their hard work pays off in the long run.

With the guidance of their professors, with whom honors students often work closely, several upperclassman like Caron have been able to earn prestigious internships that further enhance their education.

Last summer, Caron interned at Alvarez & Marsal, a leading global professional services firm headquartered in New York City and offices in over 40 major cities worldwide. Recent broadcast journalism graduate Heather Itzen was the recipient of the Dan Rather internship at CBS News in New York City.

“At Alvarez & Marsal, I was able to apply my academic knowledge while consulting banks and private equity firms during perhaps the largest global recession in history,” Caron said. “The internship reaffirmed my belief that I am following the right career path and provided me with motivation to continue excelling in order to earn a good job after graduation.”

The program isn’t all work and no play for participants. The Honors College plans a variety of trips and events including cultural activities, such as attending theater productions like “Rent,” or basketball games each semester that bring students together outside of the classroom.

At the end of the day, many honors students agree that the value of the educations they are receiving extends far beyond the classroom.

“My involvement with the honors program has taught me the value of teamwork,” Caron said. “I have realized that simply because you disagree with another person’s actions, it does not give you the ability or the excuse to stop working with them.”

“I first joined the program because I wanted to prove to myself that I could graduate with honors,” Itzen said. “But now, I know that I have done more than that. I have gained confidence from my time in the honors program. I feel I have challenged myself academically but also have become a more successful person along the way. I now understand the awards that come with hard work and the results that determination and courage can bring.”

Students interested in joining the honors program can apply online at www.shsu.edu/~honors/. The application deadline is June 30, and applications must be accompanied by a transcript, two letters of recommendation, an essay and a resume. Membership requirements are listed on the application.


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