In mid-February, we are just beginning the process of speaking to admitted students who have yet to decide where they will attend in the fall. These are students whose higher-education experience hasnít even started and they are looking forward to it with great anticipation. But itís still not a bad time to think about life after the UVM experience is over, about careers and professional and graduate school. After all, this matter is on studentsí minds. The 2012 CIRP Freshman Survey, based on responses of nearly 200,000 full-time students at over 280 four-year colleges, reveals that 88% of the first-year class says that ďto be able to get a better jobĒ is a very important reason for attending college. This proportion is at an all-time high for the survey, well above the 68% figure in 1976.
The Pursuit of Knowledge
Is Not What It Used To Be
One of the cornerstones of the philosophy on which we have built the First-Year curriculum in the Honors College has been a belief in the value of a common course. In our experience, there is no better way to grow a dynamic intellectual community in the Honors College (and specifically, in University Heights North) than to have all our first-year students taking small seminars, but reading the same texts and working on the same writing assignments. For the first four years of the Honors College, that common course was called "Ethical Thinking": in both the fall and the spring, students in individual small seminars that met twice or three times a week all shared a curriculum and also came together as a whole group to attend a guest lecture or performance on Thursday evenings in what has fondly come to be known as Plenary. The practice of a common course continued into the next four years in a first-year course called "The Pursuit of Knowledge." The course differed in content from the previous one, but Plenary remained, as did a common syllabus both fall and spring.
Spotlight on: Undergraduate Research and Thesis Prep with Ben Rouleau '14
Ask Ben Rouleau '14, and he'll tell you his path to his intellectual niche was prompted simply by taking initiative during his first year of college to reach out and ask to be involved.
"You talk to one person, and they recommend these opportunities for you," Rouleau, an Honors College student and civil engineering major, said of his experience at UVM. "So it's a winding journey, and you end up where you're supposed to be."
Paying it Forward: Public Service and Mentorship with Kesha Ram '08 and Corina Pinto '15
Kesha Ram has been a tireless leader in Vermont since graduating from the Honors College in 2008. The former student body president was elected to the Vermont State House shortly after leaving UVM. This past winter, after being re-elected to her third term, Ram began working in the Community and Economic Development Office office for the City of Burlington where she fosters community engagement and outreach.
Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Jana Kraft
"Animal Products in Human Nutrition - Food for Thought," was a course Dr. Jana Kraft had been hoping to teach for some time, so when she was invited her to teach her first sophomore seminar in the Honors College this spring, she jumped at the chance.
Catching Up With: Ali Dubin '11
Honors College alumna Ali Dubin reflects on her time at UVM, her community of friends in the Honors College, her thesis in art history, and talks about her work as a graduate student in the Recreation and Outdoor Education program at SUNY Cortland.
When you look back at your time at UVM, what first comes to mind?
When I think of UVM a series of images comes to mind. The first is my first year floor mates and I sitting in the hall, hanging out and playing music. The second is the view of Lake Champlain from the Williams fire escape. Lastly, I envision the inside of Williams, where I had most of my classes, and that unique smell of books, wood and paint that is particular to that building.
Spring 2013 UVM Student Research Conference
The Student Research Conference, UVMís annual showcase event for student research and scholarly activity, will take place this year on Tuesday, April 23. Held each year in the Davis Center, the Student Research Conference is an opportunity for students to share their recent work and garner the recognition they so well deserve.
The event is co-sponsored by the Honors College, the Office of Undergraduate Research, and the Graduate College, will be looking to build off of last yearís record participation where 365 UVM students (including 68 Honors College students) from all seven colleges presented research. In addition to the poster sessions and slated speaking events, several research grants, including the Simon Family Public Research Fellowships, will announce its 2013 grant winners at the event.