Congratulations to the 2018 Honors Program graduates!
Congratulations to the 2018 Honors Program graduates!
For her spring 2018 Honors Tutorial, Honors student Natalia Kabalan literally made a news story. Natalia’s assignment was to create a short news story on the recycling initiative taking place on campus:
To wrap up the year and give Honors students a break as they studied during finals, the Honors Council organized a final social in McKay Hall’s common room on April 29th. They ordered food from Fresh Kitchen, had games for people to play, and a DJ. Over 200 students showed up.
My time here at Oxford has been better than I could have imagined. I just finished my last tutorial, but it seems like I started only yesterday! It has been personally rewarding to be immersed in British culture and history while learning about interesting and thought-provoking subjects via unique teaching methods. Overall, my time here has been an amazing and gratifying experience.
Fortunately, the University of Oxford encourages visiting students to join clubs and take part in activities. I tried as many activities and clubs as I could find time for: from the walking club, to the boxing club, and even badminton. I especially enjoyed the Oxford University Walking Club because I was able to meet many diverse people and travel to Snowdonia, Wales for a weekend of hiking in the mountains. I was very impressed by the positive experiences of attending club activities because the members were very welcoming and encouraging.
I was also able to experience more of the U.K. with the Oxford Study Abroad Programme (OSAP) and, when time permitted, I ventured about independently. I visited London, Hampton Court Palace, Warwick Castle, Winchester, and achieved a life-long personal goal of visiting Jane Austen’s house and museum. England has such a unique history and culture that really fascinated me, and the U.K.’s relatively small size fortunately makes it easy and affordable to take day trips from Oxford to other cities by bus, train, or plane.
My academic experience in the U.K. has been very rewarding. I have learned so much even only being here for a few months. Besides the knowledge I have gained from each tutorial, I believe I have also enhanced my academic abilities. Researching and writing one or two papers each week has really benefitted my academic abilities, as I have become a more focused and faster reader and an improved writer. I also believe I have gained more independence, confidence, and have better time management.
The Oxford study abroad experience has ultimately changed me for the better. As I head towards graduation in a few weeks, I believe that I am prepared to achieve my academic goals and future opportunities.
Graduating Honors student, Victoria Sunseri, was recently informed that she has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Research Award. Victoria was featured on UT’s website for this remarkable accomplishment.
From April 5th through the 8th, I attended the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Taking place for the 76th year, the MPSA Conference is an opportunity for political science scholars to present their research in a variety of sessions, ranging from lectures and lightning talks to roundtable discussions and panel presentations.
As a participant in the Undergraduate Poster Session on The Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment, I presented my research titled, “The Impact of Ghana’s 2011 Oil Production on the Western Region’s Oil-Bearing Communities,” which I had conducted for Dr. Kevin Fridy’s course on the Political Economy of Africa in the spring 2017 semester. During the hour-and-a-half-long poster session, I got the chance to give ninety-second presentations of my twenty-page paper, answer questions about my research, receive feedback on what to add, remove, or modify in future replications of the research, and embark on discussions that integrated both my research and those of the attendees. The attendees I interacted with and who toured the poster session were all at different stages of their political science academic or professional experience; while some were graduate school students and PhD candidates, others were session discussants and on-the-field professionals. Not only did my participation as a poster presenter put me on the spot and force me to think on my feet countless times, but, even more interestingly, it shed light on the power a subject of interest can have in tying together individuals from completely unrelated backgrounds. None of us knew each other’s names, nationalities, or experiences, yet we talked about natural resources, developing nations, African governments and citizens, and so on, endlessly!
In addition to being a conference participant, I got the opportunity to attend others’ presentations, two of which were paper sessions pertaining to Economic Development, particularly development outcomes, inequality, and ethnicity. Conducted differently than poster sessions, these paper sessions entailed three to four presenters discussing their research papers, discussants raising questions about and providing feedback on these presentations, and both presenters and discussants addressing questions from the audience. Right in front of me was a forum for productive discussions, debates, and exchanges of ideas that was more confident, mature, and advanced than any classroom lecture or group meeting I had ever attended or participated in. While presenting my research at this conference is a testament to the knowledge and experience I acquired during my four-year experience at UT, participating in discussions on various research topics and attending others’ presentations gave me a slight glimpse of all that I have yet to learn as a political science student and scholar!
Dr. Jen Wortham had her HON 102 students participate in the Leadership Challenge Course. The Leadership Challenge Course provides students with opportunities to work together to try to overcome challenging obstacles. Dr. Wortham includes some snapshots of what the students learned using the GroupMe app. Some of the comments from students:
I learned that groups work better when we can communicate well. – Laura Montgomery
I learned to always listen to others’ ideas and try them even if you don’t think it will work. – Maddy Lucas
I learned that you need to look at things from multiple perspectives to solve problems. – Lauren Koelln
It’s easier to balance everything by working together. – Emily Brooks
It’s important not to give up when a plan isn’t working but to be creative in finding a better solution. – Caroline Vocatura
Sometimes you have to step back and make a game plan before attempting to solve a problem. – Allyson Hicks
It’s not always necessary to have a designated leader in a group. – Madeleine Matolak