On October 11, 2011 the Honors Program sponsored a sailing trip on Lake Michigan for EWU students and staff. Dr. Sanjay Singh, the member of the Honors Committee and a professor of biology, captained the yacht for a three-hour long trip which included watching the moon rise and enjoying Chicago skyline.
Congratulations to Mrs. Marsalis Ross, the winner of the X-Box Raffle!
In the spring quarter 2011 the Honors Program students conducted a fundraiser to help one of their classmates finance her summer internship in China. The Department of Student Affairs generously donated an X-box for the raffle, the students sold raffle tickets, and the University faculty, staff (including the Chancellor!) and students bought the raffle tickets – to win the X-box or to help the good cause. The funds raised were donated to Mayra Gomez, East-West Honors Program member and biology major, to be used towards her educational opportunity this summer. Congratulations, Mayra!
We thank the Department of Student Affairs for their help, and we thank everyone for participating
East-West student gives a talk at Humanities conference, April 2011
Ismael Biyashev, member of EWU Honors program, has this tale to share his adventures at the conference of Association of Core Texts and Courses:
On April 14th 2011, a 4-day conference was held at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. This event was hosted by the Association for Core Texts and Courses for education professionals from colleges around the country. One might ask, not without due cause, what an undergraduate student might have to do with a large gathering of professors outside of seminar, and what kind of benefit, if any, there is to such a pastime. However, having experienced the entire ordeal myself, I think it would be safe to say that this opportunity is welcome, for a multitude of reasons.
I must confess that never before have I felt so utterly and totally outclassed. I sat through most of the proceedings scribbling like a madman in order to make heads or tails out of what was being discussed (and there is definitely no shortage of interesting topics in discussion when 400 PhD’s gather in one place and at one time). The topics ranged from discussion of integrating new texts into established curriculum, to a panel devoted to Feodor M. Dostoyevsky’s “The Idiot” to the nuances of creating honors programs for undergraduate students. I would like to focus a bit more on this last topic, if I may: it seems that between the beginning of one’s higher education to the defense of the thesis, so much time passes that our esteemed teachers forget what it was like to be students themselves. As a result the difference between an ‘Honors’ and “Regular” student becomes limited to the workload. What is missing here is a fresh set of eyes, a novel perspective on an age-old problem, and to me the most logical solution would be direct student- professor interaction on the subject. To my surprise, this specific resolution was, for whatever reason, not discussed.
I was the only person in attendance without a degree of any kind, and as such was rather taken aback by the sheer force of discourse. To see what it is professors do in their spare time is a very revealing experience, to say the least. However, the longevity of ACTC attests to its necessity – the 2011 gathering was the 17th annual symposium to date. Admittedly, a two-hour discussion of the finer points of Kantian ethics is somewhat beyond my consideration, but nonetheless, it serves at least to broaden erudition.
Personally, I rather prefer love and the matters of the heart. As I was preparing for the conference, I was sure that I would be the only one interested in the subject. However, I was very pleased with the fact that there was an entire panel titled “Love and its Discontents”. East-West’s own Professors Glass and Gorman presented talks titled “The Regime of Contemporary American Love” and “The Necessity of Interdiction: the Role of the Teacher in Fellow Teachers” respectively. East-West’s delegation was joined by Dr. Eileen McManus of Dominican University who presented on the work of British novelist Ian McEwan in a paper titled “Neurons in Love: Ian McEwan’s Experiments with the Language of Love”. This last presentation coincided extremely well with my own narration on the connection between evolutionary psychology and ancient Roman text – specifically Ovid’s “Ars Amatoria”. This development allowed the panel to interact smoothly and coherently.
My being overwhelmed, however, in no way means that I disapprove of the methods in use at ACTC. On the contrary, I find that it’s useful to sometimes go on ‘brain overload’ so to speak. First of all, it’s humbling, and second, it serves as a means to be proactive about your education; once we know what we don’t know measures can be taken to lessen the degree of ignorance. This experience proves to me personally that an undergraduate education in the humanities is essential, if for no other reason than that the questions of universal truth and justice for all are far from being resolved in the present, and who if not us, the younger generation, will be faced with them? In our present time nothing could be more abstract than the age old questions of “What is it that makes a student?” “What is this student to do with his education?” and “What does this said education entail?” Having posed these queries, I sign off, leaving you, Reader, to draw your own conclusions.
Where did the world come from? How will it end? Capstone Honors class is exploring how these questions are addressed in sciences, religions and fiction. The trip to Adler Planetarium on June 1st provides a welcome respite from in-class activities and a refresher on the latest scientific advances in cosmology.
Other field trips earlier this year included:
a guided tour of the Spertus Museum
a guided tour and a Dame Myra Hess concert at Chicago cultural Center
Health Week for Honors!
Honors students actively contribute to the Race for Health. Photos, testimonies
This Year’s winners of the merit scholarship
CONGRATULATIONS MERIT SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS!
The East West University Honors program is pleased to announce the winners of the Honors Merit Scholarship for the 2011-2012 year. The Merit Scholarship is awarded annually to Honors students who take all of the Honors level courses offered at East West and additionally maintain the highest academic standing based on Grade Point Average. This year’s winners are Mr. Joseph Mazurziewic, Ms. Diana Salvador, and Mr. David Rodea.
When asked about their feelings on the matter, the winners unanimously declared that the decision was “an honor” and “unexpected”. These simple statements without a doubt attest to the modesty and selflessness of East-West’s top tier students. Mr. Mazurziewic pinpoints “a great deal of hard work and studying” as the key to his academic successes. Academic achievement by no means limits the scope of these gifted individuals in the University’s affairs: both Ms. Salvador and Mr. Mazurziewic demonstrated outstanding erudition and brilliant organizational skills in developing a proposal for reform within the Honors program beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year. “I am very glad to be recognized for all the hard work I have done this year, both academically and socially…” remarks Diana Salvador. Overwhelmed by emotion, Mr. Rodea chose not to present a comment on the issue. Once again, the East-West University honors program as a whole and Honors Coordinator Professor Maria Polski personally congratulate its top-tier students on this momentous occasion; we wish these scholars all the best in their future academic exploits!