The Washington Center – Mariane Ntagungira

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I’ve been in Washington DC a little over a month now, and it has already been the most incredible experience. I am currently spending the semester at The Washington Center, which includes an internship from Monday to Thursday, an evening course once a week and a career readiness seminar on Fridays (that we call LEAD). I’m interning at an international development organization and my evening course is about international organizations and humanitarian law (I love both so much). I am so grateful that being part of the Honors Program gave me this opportunity. I’ve been able to participate in conferences, network, and meet amazing professionals who inspire me (networking is key!). I have also been able to visit monuments and museums and so much more. From eating at the best food trucks to exploring the district every weekend with my roommates to feeling like a professional every day, TWC is an experience I know I’ll never forget! If you have the opportunity to spend a semester “abroad” or if you want to add an internship to your resume, I strongly recommend TWC. Talk to your advisor and see if it’s possible! You will not be sorry! If you are already interested and want to know more, I am more than happy to share about the process before coming to DC and my experience so far (mariane.ntagungira@spartans.ut.edu).

Conferences – Adeline Davis

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Adeline Davis recently presented some of her scholarship at the Irish Studies Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her presentation was well-received, as attested to by her mentor, Kathleen Ochshorn:

I wanted to thank you again for your support of Adeline Davis’s trip to the Irish Studies Conference in Jackson Hole. Her paper was well attended and her session chaired by the conference organizer. She was the only undergraduate presenting and nearly everyone there commented on the quality of her work, her poise and her intelligence. Professors were recruiting her for their graduate programs. We were able to dine with accomplished scholars, and Adeline loved the intellectual exchange. She also spoke with graduate students and recent Ph.D.’s who gave her advice and related their own experiences. This sort of opportunity is invaluable for our best undergraduates. It also spreads the word about the quality of UT.

Honors Courses – Pathways on the Riverwalk

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Dr. Jen Wortham and Dr. Abe Miller took their pathways students on a walk through Tampa using the Riverwalk. The Riverwalk is a great way to explore downtown Tampa while simultaneously enjoying scenic views of the Hillsborough River and The University of Tampa. Pathways courses help UT students adjust to Tampa and give them a number of engaging opportunities to learn.

Honors Activities – Scorpion Hunting

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On October 30th, Dr. Abe Miller from UT’s Health Sciences and Human Performance department, took a group of Honors students to collect scorpions. Dr. Miller is an expert on scorpions. He provided a good background on scorpions, illustrated how they luminesce under a black light, and provided instruction on how and where to spot them. We were a little worried that we might not see any after our first foray netted us only a wolf spider. But the next trail we tried was bountiful. Within 45 minutes we caught 15 and let another 5 or so get away.

Coffee Conversation – David Stern

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On October 16th, UT’s Provost, Dr. David Stern, led a Coffee Conversation with Honors Program students in the Honors dorm. The conversation was focused around the following question, “What do nationalism, populism, authoritarianism, sovereignty, and even illiberal democracy mean and why are they so important in understanding our contemporary world?” The conversation was wide-ranging, covering instances of populism and nationalism around the world.

Making News – Jessica Elson

The cover image for the story from the UT Journal on seahorses
The cover image for the story from the UT Journal
Honors student Jessica Elson was recently highlighted in a UT Journal story on the work being done on Sweetings Pond on Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas by UT professors Heather Masonjones and Emily Rose. The story noted Jessica’s important contributions and insights to the project as well as her own independent research she is conducting as part of the research team.

Honors Activities – The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center

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On October 13th, the Honors co-Directors, Dr. Kacy Tillman and Dr. Ryan Cragun, took a group of Honors students to St. Petersburg to visit the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center. The Chihuly Collection was beautifully arranged and fascinating to see. After viewing the collection we attended a demonstration on glass blowing that lasted for about 45 minutes, watching one of the resident artists create an original work.