Honors Program Updates

It’s been about a year since I last blogged about LMU’s Honors Scholars Program, and a lot has happened since then that I am really excited about. First of all, the Honors Program’s secondary club, the Honors Student Association (HSA), which is also open to non-Honors Scholars, held elections for new officers for the current school year. I am happy to announce that I have been selected to be the HSA’s new president! I hope that I can use this new title to make a name for the Honors Program. I’ve already created a Facebook group for communication among our members, as well as a public Facebook page and Twitter profile. We’ve gotten some pretty positive responses from students and community members on these new social media platforms, and hopefully they will continue to spread the word about the organization.

There’s also been some changes made on the administrative end of the Honors Scholars Program. In addition to some new faculty representatives on the Honors Council for each of the University’s academic departments, the program as a whole has a brand new director. Dr. Elissa Graff has been at LMU for several years now as a professor and most recently as one of the directors of the Tennessee Epsilon chapter of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, and now she has signed on to be our faculty contact for all Honors-related activities. From our very first gathering with her at the start of the school year, we knew that she was going to be a perfect fit for this group. We’ve been struggling to find a meeting space big enough for all of us (we have over 40 students now!), and Dr. Graff managed to secure a permanent place that is perfect for conducting HSA business. Dr. Graff is also the director of the art programs on campus, and she has organized some joint activities with the Art Club, such as last month’s “Paint the Mall Pink” event hosted by the Middlesboro Mall in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The HSA has been hard at work, too, planning a number of fun and exciting events, both on campus and out in the community. In just a few weeks we’ll be hosting a “Throwback Thursday” karaoke night, featuring music from decades past. We’re planning a massive video game tournament right after Christmas break to welcome students back to a new semester, and we’re hoping also to have a car show fundraiser toward the end of the spring term. We’ll be getting together with our good friends from the Art Club again in January for the student organization showcase at the Alumni Night basketball game, and the Art Club will also be one of the competing teams against the Honors Scholars in this month’s Quidditch tournament.

Several members of the HSA also participated in this year’s Halloween Havoc event in Tex Turner Arena. Following in the traditions of activities like trunk-and-treat, Halloween Havoc is a time for parents to bring their kids to a warm, safe place to trick-or-treat, and it’s made even more special by the fact that the people handing out the candy are all LMU students and faculty. Nearly all of the University’s student organizations are present, including our different sports teams, our six Greek organizations, the Residence Life staff, and the Lincoln Ambassadors, as well as many of the different academic departments within each school. Trick-or-treaters can even stay and watch a free basketball game and enjoy some Halloween-themed routines from our cheer and dance teams. It’s one of the largest group efforts on campus, and one that is always hugely successful and widely attended. In fact, this year we had over 800 kids and their families join us in Tex Turner. I dressed up as Princess Anna from the movie Frozen this year, and I quickly found out that this was the most popular theme by far. I saw so many other Princess Annas and Queen Elsas, and even some tiny Olaf snowmen, and every one of them had the biggest smiles on their faces as they passed the Honors table and saw my own stuffed Olaf character.

Finally, the Honors Council is carefully planning yet another round of interviews for new University Honors Scholars. If you haven’t read my previous post about the program, I talked a lot in that one about my own interview process, which included a writing sample and a quick Q-and-A with a panel of LMU faculty members. As far as I know, this spring’s interview days should follow pretty much the same format, possibly with some opportunities for prospective Honors Scholars to interact with current ones to get an inside look at what it’s like to be in the program. If you’re interested in attending that interview day, you can print out the application here. Just be sure to get in all of the other materials as well, including your resume and a recommendation letter!

So there you have it! Just wanted to give you guys a quick update on some of the things the Honors Program has been doing lately. I’m so happy with the growth that we’ve experienced over the past three years, and I’m super excited to see all of our plans and events for this year get off the ground running. If you want to hear from other Honors Scholars about what we’ve been up to recently, you should check out Chelsea’s and Alex’s blogs. Or if you’d like just some general information about the program, you can check out our section of the LMU website or any of our social media pages. And, as always, you can email me any time with any questions you may have, or drop a comment below. Don’t forget also to subscribe to my blog to receive email alerts about each new post!


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