Partners in the Parks – Alexandra Marter

I had a wonderful trip with the Appalachian Trail PITP program two weeks ago. The Virginia mountains were gorgeous and I learned a lot about conservation issues along the trail. Included are a few pictures from the trip. Some are of my group doing trail maintenance volunteer work, some are of the forest, and one is of me at the Blacksburg Farmer’s market during the trip. I am deeply grateful for you and the Honors program for giving me this unforgettable experience!

Aquarium Assistance with Jessica Larson

Larson seated with one of the ambassador penguins at The Florida Aquarium

Seeking out your dreams and aspirations is an important aspect of college, yet one that most students save for graduation. Freshman honors student Jessica Larson, however, seized the opportunity the moment that one arrived. Rising from a impermanent assistant at the Halloween event to a consistent staff member, Larson was able to earn a position at The Florida Aquarium through persistence and perseverance.


Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work at an aquarium in some way. When I came to college, I was originally going to wait a semester or two to adjust before getting involved in any extracurriculars. However, because I needed hours for my Pathways class, I decided to go for it. 

Now, she gets to work with a variety of animals, including otters, penguins, and lemurs. When something special comes around, never hesitate to chase after it!

Honors Activities – Judgement at Nuremberg

Dr. Rey's Honors course at the theater after the play.
Dr. Rey’s Honors course at the theater after the play.

Students in Denis Rey’s Honors Introduction to Government and World Affairs class visited Stageworks Theatre several weekends ago to attend a matinée performance of Judgement at Nuremberg. The students, pictured on the set after the performance, were impressed with the dramatic portrayal of the events that transpired during the attempt to hold perpetrators accountable for the crimes committed during the Holocaust. They were conflicted between the arguments made by both the prosecutor and defense attorney and contemplated whether principles such as collective responsibility applied, a broad concept that implicated most if not all of German society, or whether a narrower standard should be employed. In the end, students benefited greatly from watching these dilemmas play out. The Honors Program provided the funding for this learning experience.

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.

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.