Major: Secondary English Education
Hometown: Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania
High School: North Penn High School
Q: What is being in the Honors program like?
A: I really enjoy it. It’s an extracurricular activity that’s extremely beneficial, I believe. The students in the Honors program love to learn, and I love to learn, so for me it was really exciting to be able to connect to other students who share this love of learning. And there are a lot of very unique thinkers in the Honors program, so a lot of different perspectives are offered at our meetings, and it’s really exciting to hear the different ideas. One student has a knack for drawing diagrams. He can explain anything through a diagram. And it’s funny to see this abstract concept conveyed through a very practical, concrete diagram. So it’s really nice to interact with other people who have similar interests, but then also diverse interests because we’re all different majors and different ages. I’ve gotten really close with one of the girls who’s a freshman, and I’m a junior, but she’s an English major so we share a love of books. It’s cool to connect with people you wouldn’t otherwise get to know.
Q: What motivated you to join the Honors program?
A: I wanted to stretch myself further. The courses offered within my major are really great and valuable and I’ve enjoyed them, but I wanted to go a step further. And for me, I wanted to make my Honors Thesis relevant to my future employment context, which is teaching English. So I kept my topic very similar to my major, but some people branch out and do something different. It’s kind of a chance to pick something and research it in-depth, and to pick something that you wouldn’t maybe research otherwise. You can go either direction with that. For me, I wanted to keep it very relevant to my future, but it was a good opportunity to gain more insight in a specific area in education, while also growing in my relationship with Mrs. Gleason as my advisor. In general, the Honors program is a really great way to connect with excellent professors and students. The faculty advisors of the Honors program are Mr. and Mrs. Palladino, Dr. Ebersole, Dr. Master, and Dr. Toews. They’re all so wonderfully diverse in their expertise, so if you have any interest, one of them would probably have an affinity for it and know something about it which is really cool. So to get to know them better through the Honors program was really exciting for me as well.
Q: What advice would you say to someone who is considering enrolling in the Honors program?
A: I would say if you love learning, do it, because that’s really what it’s all about. Learning in general as a group, and then learning specifically about something that really interests you. Either learning about something new, or just going a different direction within your context; and it’s a really great opportunity to go beyond the curriculum that’s provided to you in your major. I think it’s a really valuable academic experience, but also personal pursuit of growing as not only an intellectual, but also as a Christ follower. A lot of it does tie back to biblical integration. In our meetings, there’s always biblical integration. In the thesis itself, there’s biblical integration. Why does this matter biblically? How does this connect to God? How do you learn more about God through the process? So yes, very worthwhile pursuit academically, personally, and spiritually as well.