The Honors Program is a community of motivated, talented and supportive students who all want to achieve academic success. In the coming years, the Honors Program will be transitioning into the Honors College. The President of the Honors Program is a senior Biology major Grascen Shidemantle. When asked about the Honors Program in general, she said it is a multidisciplinary program. The program mainly includes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Dance, Exercise Science, and Biology Majors.
Shidemantle also said that the Honors program provides a lot of international opportunities and annual trips. For example, the Honors Program will be taking a trip to New York later this year. The trips are usually three to four days and the cost is mostly, if not always covered.
She says that the trips are a good way to let the students explore different cities and have a great time. When explaining the different things you have to accomplish in the Honors Program, Shidemantle went into detail about the criteria one must complete.
“You need to have seven honors courses if you are not on a 3+3 or 3+2 track. You also have HOPS. Two HOPS are equivalent to one honor credit. There are also Units that the honors students must do. These include write-ups, which is going to an event and writing your experience, or community service.”
Shidemantle then went on to explain what the transition from the Honors Program to the Honors College means for SRU.
“Basically, it is very bureaucratic. By going from program to college, it helps get a bigger presence on campus. With the bigger impact on campus, it gives us the opportunity to use more resources.”
Shidemantle also states that the Honors Program also just received an ‘honors space.’ It is a small conference room in Patterson and she hopes when the transition happens, it will allow for more spaces for the honors students to call their own.
Lance Savidge, a junior exercise science major and Community Assistant on the Honors LLC (Living Learning Community) says that living on the honors floor is a great experience.
“It brings together people with common interests and allows the floor to do their requirements together as peers rather than themselves.”
Savidge heard of the transition from Honors Program to College and he is very excited.
“Transitioning from a program to a college will allow more students to be a part of the organization. Having more students means that we get to expand the Honors LLC in the residence halls.”
Honors students range from Community Assistants to students who currently live on one of the two honors floors in Watson Hall, like Paxton Fetterman.
Fetterman is a freshman biology major and Spanish minor. She loves living on the honors floor and being a part of the Honors Program.
“It provides students with an opportunity to do exciting things.”
Fetterman also says that she believes the honors floor is held to a slightly higher standard than other floors/LLCs because it is more work. She is not the only one who thinks this. Freshman history major and theatre minor Erik Warmbien would agree with Fetterman.
“Especially with being on the honors scholarship, I feel pressured to do well in this environment, and it pushes me to try and perform better.”
Warmbein also says that there are perks of being in the Honors Program.
“Priority scheduling is a huge perk. You get to schedule before the seniors and that really helps, especially with being a freshman.”
Nathaniel Shultz is a sophomore Exercise Science major who has lived on the Honors floor for the past two years. Shultz knew about the transition but does not too much about it.
“Not sure of when or how things are going to affect me.”
Also, Shultz says that while being on the Honors floor, you have to maintain a certain GPA and it kind of highly suggests you get involved with more extracurricular activities — community service, donating blood and writing notes.
For Anastasia Michlik, a freshman political science, professional Spanish major with a leadership minor, she likes the Honors Program classes and the fun things they get to do while in the program.
“The classes are smaller which motivates you to do well. We get to have trivia nights, Pizza with a Prof, going to see ‘Wicked’ and other cool stuff.”
For the incoming freshman, the students mentioned in this article have some advice for you.
“If you are not in the honors program, I would highly suggest it. It’s not as daunting as it seems,” says Fetterman.
Shultz says “Find a sophomore in the Honors Program and have them help you with whatever you need.”
Shidemantle says “Don’t be afraid to take risks and do not feel overwhelmed by all the requirements.”
In general, college is what you make of it, so if you put a lot of effort in and join a lot of clubs and make friends it will be fun. Get out of your comfort zone talk to new people. Specifically for the Honors Program, don’t be intimidated by it. Michlik said classes and professors are awesome, classes are more conversation-based and it’s a great way to get involved and have experiences with like minded people.
Finally, Warmbein has this to say to incoming freshman.
“Understand there is pressure to do better but you are still here for a good time. Don’t worry too much about grades and don’t be afraid to talk to people on the floor or in the program.”