Honors Program Office Staff

Photo courtesy of Sean Schmoyer

The Wilkes University Honors Program cultivates opportunities for self-directed, self-motivated, intellectually curious students to join others with shared interests and aspirations in a collaborative learning community.

Generally, honors course components enable students to pursue breadth, depth, complexity and/or interdisciplinarity within their undergraduate education, helping to cultivate knowledge and skills that advance students’ intellectual, personal and professional development; their contributions to the Wilkes campus community; and their preparation for post-graduate success, whether through employment or continued education.

Honors components should constitute approximately 15-20% of a student’s work in a class. This could be quantified by proportion of final grade and/or by proportion of total assignments.

Options: Potential Modes of Learning

  • independent work, such as a research, case study or creative project within the student’s discipline (in-depth learning)
  • exploration of broad themes and/or enduring questions across disciplines (breadth of learning)
  • experiential learning, such as internships, field work and study abroad
  • service-learning (conscious and purposeful integration of service and learning elements)
  • residential learning community (conscious and purposeful integration of living and learning elements)
  • intercollegiate undergraduate academic competitions, presentations/conferences, and/or publications
  • experimental or innovative pedagogy

Options: Potential Topics

  • trends, issues and/or best practices within the student’s discipline
  • communities, ideas, practices, methodologies and/or values unfamiliar to the student

Options: Potential Skill Outcomes

  • problem solving
  • project management
  • critical reading (ability to evaluate evidence-based arguments and judgments)
  • critical thinking (ability to make evidence-based arguments and judgments)
  • clear and persuasive writing
  • clear and persuasive oral presentation
  • artistic literacy
  • metacognition (analysis of not just what is known, but also of how it comes to be known)
  • comfort with ambiguity, uncertainty and the unfamiliar

The Wilkes University Honors Program endorses the core values of academic rigor (beyond academic expectations of regular section offerings), leadership, integrity (demonstrated learning of ethics and values), self-awareness (emphasis on self-reflection), importance of building community and appreciating diversity. Honors course components should reflect one or more of these core values.

Terminology

&H (“And H”)

An &H section is added to an existing course in which both honors and non-honors students are enrolled to signal that the honors students have the opportunity to earn honors course credit. To earn this credit, honors students must be enrolled specifically in the &H section and they must satisfactorily complete work complementary to the existing syllabus. An honors student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an honors course to receive honors credit. All other honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0.

H (“standalone Honors course”)

An H section signals that all students enrolled in the course complete work that would yield honors credit for that course. Non-honors students could enroll in such a course with instructor permission, but while they would need to complete all of the same work as the honors students, they would receive only non-honors credit. An honors student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an honors course to receive honors credit. All other honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0.

Spring 2022 Honors Courses

Note: For courses that have Honors ("&H") sections, students must register for the &H section to get Honors credit.

ANT 101 &H - Introd to Anthropology/WGS/HON - Winkler L

  • The course is a general survey of the processes that generate human cultural and biological variation through time and among contemporary human groups. Anthropology essentially looks at human beings, the biology of humans and their development of culture over time and across the globe. This course includes an introduction to cultural and physical anthropology, archaeology, and anthropological linguistics. Honors students: Students enrolled in the Honor’s designated section of this course are expected to turn in additional reflections which relate current events and topics to anthropological issues. These will be due once a week throughout the term.

ANT 102 &H - Cultural Anthropology/HON/WGS - Winkler L

  • This course surveys the methods and topics used in the study, description, and comparison of human cultures. Topics include a look at various aspects of human cultures around the world, intercultural relations, globalization and modern issues, and theories used to explain human culture. Course content is based upon case and cross-cultural studies. Honors students: Students enrolled in the Honor’s designated section of this course are expected to read an assigned ethnography and complete a book review of it. In addition, they are expected to do independent research on the current status of the cultural group featured in the ethnography and do an in-class presentation using power-point on their ethnography and the current status of the group.

COM 101 &H - Fund. of Public Speaking - Briceno M

  • The additional Honors requirements for COM 101 relate to all of the core values of the Honors Program indirectly. However, they are directly related to the following core values: integrity, academic rigor, and building community and appreciating diversity. By observing, critiquing, and attending public presentations, students will enrich their communication skills as audience members and listeners generally. This builds integrity as students gain appreciation for the shared experience of speakers and listeners. Academic rigor is encouraged and tested through the evaluation of the speech critique assignments. Expectations will be high, but intellectual development will be encouraged through the feedback process. Finally, students will build community and encounter diversity via the latter two speech critique assignments, in particular. They will be challenged to get to know their campus and surrounding Wilkes communities by attending a live public presentation outside of the classroom. As they explore and analyze speeches that fall outside of the “great speech” mold, they will encounter diverse voices and perspectives that will contribute to a greater understanding of multiculturalism and inclusion in speech contexts. Honors Assignments: Because we are not afforded extra time for additional speech presentations in class, Honors assignments will take the form of written papers. Students seeking honors credit for the course will complete three speech analyses and critiques, approximately 2-4 pages in length, using the “traditional” criteria of the five canons of rhetoric as the basis for their analyses. These assignments will be worth a total of 200 additional points. Thus, Honors students will be graded out of 1200 points, rather than 1000 points, as stated in the standard syllabus. 

CS 226 &H - Computer Science IV/HONORS- Bracken B 

  • Description not provided.

EC 102 &H - Principles of Econ II/HONORS - Seeley R

  • The course presents basic economic concepts such as opportunity cost, comparative advantage and supply and demand.  It provides an introduction to microeconomics focusing on: the efficiency of markets versus government interventions; the importance of competition in the functioning of markets; consumer behavior; labor markets and differences in earnings; the incidence and real cost of taxes; public policy regarding pollution; and free trade versus protectionism. Honors students: Write two papers that account for 10% of final grade.

ED 345 &H - Assessment in Education - McHenry D

  • Description coming soon.

ENG 120 H - Cultural Crossroads/WGS/HONORS - Stanley C

  • The honors section is unique given two specific assignments that are distinct to that section: 1) a research-based literary analysis (which constitutes the second essay of the semester); and 2) a research-based, collaborative digital project that requires students to design a webpage about a course reading that can serve as an online research resource for students and scholars interested in that course text. Additional features of the class include extra-curricular activities that align with semester-specific course readings (such as attending local or regional performances and/or exhibits). Honors only course.

ENG 234 &H - Surve of Eng Lit II/WGS/HONORS - Davis H

  • This course will provide a broad overview of literature from the Romantic period to the present. While we cannot read every important author or cover all of the relevant ideas, the goal of the course is to have a general understanding of the major ideas and forms of the literature of the time periods. Honors students: Identify an archival project from the period. The archive can be housed at a library or institute or it could be digital. Students will work with professor to design a research question/topic and use the archival research to explore that question/topic. They will either write their findings as a formal essay or design a digital project (like a web page) and present the project and findings in class.

ENV 330 &H - Water Quality/HONORS

  • The physical, chemical and biological processes that affect the quality of water in the natural environment. The measurement of water quality parameters in water and wastes. The behavior of contaminants in ground and surface water. Honors students will complete fieldwork to use a SONDE instrument to collect water quality, and learn how to manage their time in a project to coordinate field work, lab work and data analysis as a part of the SONDE project.

ENV 354 &H - Hazardous Waste Management/HON - Troy M

  • To receive Honors credit for this course, students will need to complete the following project that includes a written assignment and oral presentation. The project is worth 15% of the Honor’s student grade – all other grade components will be adjusted accordingly to account for the remaining 85%. The student will work on an additional individual project providing an overview of the current remediation technologies that are being implemented to treat PFAS (Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances) contaminated groundwater. Note - PFAS are the subject of the book being read this semester – Exposure. A minimum of 10 citations should be included in the report and should primarily include peer-reviewed journal articles. The student will provide periodic updates to the instructor regarding the status of the project. An oral presentation of the project will also be scheduled.

GC 301 - Glob Cult:Iss/Perspect/HON/WGS - Morrison G

  • After topics of interest have been identified and explored, a particular focus on a culture or global issue will be developed by each student in consultation with the instructor. Each Honors student is required to develop a proposal to conduct some future course of action, such as: research project; conference paper, presentation or poster; grant application; artistic project plan. Your Proposal should be submitted in the form of a well written paper (or a completed application for some endeavor) that demonstrates effective synthesis of a semester-long investigation into one aspect of global cultures and/or related issues, and it must demonstrate a clear plan to carry out the project in the future. Each student will also deliver an oral presentation of the Proposal in a Defense to the class. The written Proposal with the oral Defense, together, are worth 20% of the final course grade. Rubrics will be provided.

GEO 101 - Introduction to Geology/HON - Finkenbinder M

  • Honors students will complete a research project focused on the geology of a national park. The project requires the student to select a park in the US or Canada, research the geology of the park, write a 4 to 5 page report, and deliver a 10-minute presentation to the class. The project counts for 15% of the overall course grade.

HNR 000 - Honors Audit

HNR 390 A/B - Honors Seminar - Kuiken J

  • This one-credit interdisciplinary capstone seminar serves as a culminating experience for all prospective Honors Program graduates.  The course is intended to explicitly engage students in reflection on what they have learned at Wilkes and how they can advance those skills and insights along their future personal and professional trajectories. Consequently, the course depends on students’ consistent investment in critically assessing what they have learned during their undergraduate education, how that can be communicated to others, and what that makes possible for future endeavors. In addition to Wilkes University’s core values of mentorship, scholarship, diversity, innovation, and community, the Honors Program also looks to instill the following values in its students: leadership, integrity, self-awareness, and academic distinction.  Consequently, such values integrally inform the work of this seminar.

HNR 390 C - Honors Seminar - McLaughlin J

  • This one-credit interdisciplinary capstone seminar serves as a culminating experience for all prospective Honors Program graduates.  The course is intended to explicitly engage students in reflection on what they have learned at Wilkes and how they can advance those skills and insights along their future personal and professional trajectories. Consequently, the course depends on students’ consistent investment in critically assessing what they have learned during their undergraduate education, how that can be communicated to others, and what that makes possible for future endeavors. In addition to Wilkes University’s core values of mentorship, scholarship, diversity, innovation, and community, the Honors Program also looks to instill the following values in its students: leadership, integrity, self-awareness, and academic distinction.  Consequently, such values integrally inform the work of this seminar.

HNR 398 - Writing Popular Fiction - McLaughlin J

  • This is a 3-credit Honors only course. Neil Gaiman once said that “A (short) story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” It is thus our task in this course to become apprentices of the craft. This course focuses on writing short stories while reading and dissecting longer fiction pieces to develop our abilities to read, write, and talk about fiction. We will analyze published popular fiction works and the writing of our peers through craft annotations and workshops, and we will use a variety of activities and exercises to generate ideas, draft, and revise our own stories. Through these tasks we will dissect the magic trick that is the short story to create our own detailed, moving, and compelling fiction.

HST 101 H- Hist. Found.of Mod Wrld/HONORS - Shimizu A

  • No description provided. 

HST 102 &H - Europe Before 1600/HONORS-Kuiken J

  • Additional research paper length: traditional students produce a 7-10 page paper while Honors students will complete a 10-12 page paper. Traditional students are only required to produce an outline of their research paper prior to completing their final draft. Honors students will be required to produce a full rough draft of their research paper and to discuss it with the professor. Honors students will produce a digital presentation on a topic of their choice from our course. These presentations will be 10-15 minutes in length and will use art, artifacts, architecture or other cultural products from the time-period in question to make an argument related to a historical question. These presentations will be posted to our course D2L page to be viewed by other students.

HST 342 &H - British Empire II/HONORS -Kuiken J

  • No description given.

MTH 111 &H - Calculus I/HONORS - Luo X

  • No description provided.

MTH 114 &H - Calc/Mod for Bio/Health Sci/&H  - Young B 

  • Honors students will have additional take-home assignments which will extend and deepen their understanding of using calculus in biological modeling. Some assignments will use Wolfram Mathematica to visualize concepts and enable more complicated calculations than are possible by hand. Others will involve additional models and examples beyond those presented in the regular 114 class. The honors students may also be asked to serve as group leaders in group problems sessions during class.

PHA 310 &H - Clinical Research & Design/HON - Mielczarek M

  • No description provided..

PHA 398 &H - T: Intro to Pharmacology  - Bomareddy 

  • Pending approval of proposal.

PHL 101 H - Intro. to Philosophy/HONORS - Paul L

  • No description given.

PHL 122 &H - Intro to Symbolic Logic/HONORS - Zarpentine C

  • No description given..
PHL 217 &H - Anim Minds,Animal Lives/HONORS - Paul L
  • Honors students: Reading, discussing, and analyzing Taylor’s book Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation. Constructing and delivering a presentation for the rest of the class that will also involve leading some discussion. Outcomes will include critical reading and thinking as well as clear and persuasive oral presentation (probably some comfort with uncertainty, too).

PS 111 &H - Intro. to American Government -  Toll B

  • For students taking this course as honors credit, additional work is added to your grade. In consultation with the professor, you will pick a research topic to look at throughout the semester. The final paper you complete will be 7-10 pages and will build on a policy area or political issue that you are interested in learning more about. In this paper you will develop the history of this issue/area on the American political landscape, and then will highlight what the two primary political parties think. At the end, you will be tasked with outlining your position on the topic, with the expectation that you understand every opinion can be critiqued. This paper will be staggered (sections written and due at different times). Near the end of the semester, Honors students will also be tasked with presenting (5 minutes) their research to fellow students. You will not discuss your personal opinions, but will talk about the history of the issue area and how the two primary parties view the issue. As this will be presented, honors students can not research the exact same topic thereby allowing other students to learn as much as possible and receive presentations on a variety of issues.

PS 141 &H -Intro to Internal Relat/HONORS  -  Maierean A

  • As an honors supplement to the PS 141 course, honors students will be required to do additional reading, research and to write an additional research paper.

PS 341 &H - Model United Nations/HONORSMiller A

  • This course is a comprehensive examination of the role of the United Nations in the world culminating in the Model UN conference in New York. The course will prepare students to participate in the conference by teaching them the structures and functions of the UN as well as the history and viewpoints of the assigned country. Honors students: Honors students will serve as head delegate for the conference. This is a key leadership position that supports the work of all the students that attend. However, the head delegate should also be someone that has participated in Model UN previously. They will also write a twenty page research paper.

PSY 311 &H - Behavioral Neuroscience - Schicatano E

  • A study of the physiological mechanisms mediating behavior and cognition. Emphasis on the structure and function of the nervous system and the neurophysiological bases of sensory processes, emotion, abnormal behavior, sleep, learning and memory, pain, and drug abuse. Laboratory experience includes brain dissection and psychophysiological techniques employed in human behavioral neuroscience research. Honors students: Spend one week at the end of the semester using some of the modalities provided by the NeuroTraining & Research Center (in Breiseth 214), and propose a study in which use use one of the training modalities (Biofeedback or Audiovisual entrainment) to produce change in participants.

SP 101 &H - Elementary Spanish I - Garcia R

  • Pending approval of proposal.

Honors students must adhere to the following terms to remain eligible to participate in the program, to retain access to the program’s resources and opportunities and, ultimately, to meet all Honors Program completion requirements:

FYF 101 H – Honors First-Year Foundations – 3.0 Credits

Incoming Honors students take a special creative-writing based FYF class that develops collaborative community while cultivating skills in writing, speaking, problem-solving, and critical thinking as well as a comfort with encountering the ambiguous, uncertain, and/or unfamiliar. Students who do not achieve a minimum grade of 2.5 for the FYF 101 Honors course in the fall will be required to take the spring 300-level Honors creative writing course. Wilkes students who have been accepted into the program as current students – after at least one semester at Wilkes - will also be required to take the spring 300-level Honors creative writing course.

HNR 390 – Honors Capstone Seminar – 1.0 Credit

This 1-credit interdisciplinary capstone seminar serves as a culminating experience for all prospective Honors Program graduates. The course is intended to explicitly engage students in reflection on what they have learned at Wilkes and how they can advance those skills and insights along their future personal and professional trajectories. Consequently, the course depends on students’ consistent investment in critically assessing what they have learned during their undergraduate education, how that can be communicated to others, and what that makes possible for future endeavors.

Student learning outcomes include

  • Communicating characteristic topics, methodologies and professional concerns.
  • Associated with their respective disciplines to non-expert audiences.
  • Collaborating with others, both within and outside of their respective disciplines, to accomplish shared goals.
  • Planning and managing long-term projects, balancing personal responsibility with coordination with team colleagues.
  • Organizing and delivering coherent presentation of work, from proposing prospective tasks to articulating evidence-based outcomes.
  • Specifying and critically assessing continuities as well as discontinuities across personal Wilkes educational trajectory and future endeavors.

18 additional honors credits, six of which must be at the 300 level or above

Study Abroad

  • A full semester abroad earns a waiver of 6 honors credits at the 300 level.
  • A summer term abroad earns a waiver of 3 honors credits at the 300 level.
  • Related independent study project (advised by instructor in relevant discipline) upon return earns 3 honors credits at the 300 level (through either fall HNR 395 or spring HNR 396).

Internships

  • One internship, either during a full semester or over a summer term, earns a waiver of 3 honors credits at the 300 level.
  • Related independent study project (advised by instructor in relevant discipline) connected to internship earns 3 honors credits at the 300 level (through either fall HNR 395 or spring HNR 396).

Minimum Cumulative GPA

  • 3.0 after two terms at Wilkes
  • 3.2 after four terms at Wilkes
  • 3.3 after six terms at Wilkes
  • 3.4 after eight terms at Wilkes/to meet all Honors Program completion requirements

A student is allowed only one grade of 2.5 in an honors course to receive honors credit. All other honors course grades must be a minimum of 3.0.

Students falling below the required cumulative GPA threshold will be given one full term to return their cumulative GPA to the minimum required.

Students are always encouraged to draw on the expertise of all Wilkes University community resources, such as academic support and health and wellness services, when encountering academic, personal or other challenges.

First-Year Honors Learning Community

All first-year honors students living on campus reside together in honors housing. This enables students to begin connecting with each other in an environment conducive to their shared values and aspirations. While you may live in the hall of your choice during your remaining years at Wilkes, many choose to continue living in community with other honors students.

Good Standing: Honors Program Community

Participating in Honors Program-sponsored activities, including meetings on campus with prominent guest speakers and engaging with prospective honors students, helps to cultivate knowledge and skills that advance intellectual, personal, and professional development, contributions to the Wilkes campus community, and post-graduate success, whether through employment or continued education. Our weekly newsletter, “The Honors Buzz,” announces these opportunities throughout the academic year.

All honors students must participate in at least one honors-sponsored activity per term. This commitment is waived during a study abroad term.

Good Standing: Student Conduct

Honors students must remain in good standing with regard to student conduct. Any student found guilty of violating university policies is also subject to review by the Honors Program Advisory Council.

Wilkes University Honors Program students are encouraged to use their Enhancement Grants to fund participation in co-curricular opportunities such as undergraduate research and professional conferences, international study experiences, independent research, and unpaid internships.

Questions about what type of funding is available to you should be directed toward the Honors Program, by a visit to the office (Stark Learning Center 120-122) or by email (jennifer.mclaughlin1@wilkes.edu). An Enhancement Grant can be used to support experiences such as international or domestic study-away, internships, or other opportunities beyond what your field of study requires.  Funding cannot be issued in cash, nor can it be used for Wilkes tuition or fees.

More Information

Contact

Jen McLaughlin

jennifer.mclaughlin1@wilkes.edu

570-408-7831