At the conclusion of its recent election, the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) announced that Jerry Herron, Dean of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University, had been elected as the organization’s new vice president. The NCHC is headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, and serves as the professional association of undergraduate Honors programs and colleges, Honors directors, deans, faculty, staff and students. The NCHC provides support for institutions and individuals developing, implementing, and expanding Honors education through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, national and international study opportunities, internships, service and leadership development, and mentored research.
“I’m honored to have been elected by members of the National Collegiate Honors Council and look forward to serving the organization in the years ahead,” said Herron. “Through the NCHC, we will continue to support the highest standards of excellence in Honors education.”
Herron’s term as a NCHC officer is for four years. This year, he begins his role as vice president, then will serve as president-elect, president, and past president in the following years.
“We are delighted that Dean Herron has been elected as an officer of the NCHC. This will further enhance the outstanding Honors experience our students enjoy as members of the Irvin D. Reid Honors College and we are proud to be so well represented in this national organization,” said Margaret E. Winters, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Wayne State University.
The Irvin D. Reid Honors College welcomes a new staff member this fall: Ali Salamey as Academic Services Officer overseeing the Honors Start programs and University Scholars. Please join us in wishing Ali a warm Wayne State welcome!
Ali Salamey is a proud Wayne State alumnus, entering the university as a National Merit Scholar and graduating with his Bachelor of Arts in English. After graduation, he moved to New York City and completed the Master’s program in English at NYU. While pursuing a PhD at the University of Michigan in Near Eastern Studies, Ali found his passion for advising students as a teaching assistant and assumed a full-time position as an academic advisor for at U of M. Following up his position at U of M, Ali then became a graduate program administrator in the history department at NYU but soon missed his hometown and returned to Michigan to hold administrative positions at the University of Michigan’s Business and Graduate schools. Ali is very happy to be return to Wayne State and looks forward to working with colleagues who are passionate about their research and teaching.
Wayne State has revised its criteria for awarding merit scholarships beginning in the fall of 2014. Students can learn which merit scholarship they qualify for based on their high school GPA and ACT score at the point of applying to WSU (viewable here online). Three of the scholarships which offer membership in the Irvin D. Reid Honors College are the Presidential, Distinguished, and Gold Scholarships.
The Presidential Scholarship, now valued at $46,000, awards students $11,500 a year for four consecutive years. The Distinguished Scholarship, a new merit scholarship, guarantees students $8,000 a year for a total of $32,000 over four years. Lastly, the Gold Scholarship has a four-year value of $24,000, paying $6,000 a year to qualified students.
To retain their Honors membership and scholarship award, students must have attended one of the four Honors Convocation events held this year, as well as meet specific academic requirements once enrolled as a WSU Honors student. The Convocation events were held in conjunction with Admitted Student Days (on February 17, March 8, and April 4) and Spring Open House (on March 22). In addition to previewing the campus and participating in wider campus welcome activities at the Honors Convocation, students had special time set aside to hear more about Honors from Dean Herron and engage in a conversation about Wayne State with staff, faculty, and alumni. As a condition of accepting their scholarship, students also agree to complete upon enrollment a minimum of 12 credit hours during fall and winter semesters, achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, and maintain good standing with the Irvin D. Reid Honors College.
Participation in undergraduate research, one of the four pillars of the Honors College, has always been a vital part of the Honors curriculum. To facilitate the success of undergraduate researchers in developing their individual projects, Honors recently introduced Research@Honors, a program housed within the Honors College. Though a new initiative, Research@Honors has already offered several workshops and lecture series concerning the areas of undergraduate research that Honors students find most challenging. Some of the workshops already offered include “Presenting Your Research”, “Research and Writing”, “Researching People – An Institutional Review Board (IRB) Review”, and “Conducting Research in and for the Community”. The first workshop this fall was “Building your Research Proposal” and was held on Tuesday, October 15 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM in the Honors College. Featuring guest speakers Librarian Judith Arnold and Writing Center Director Jule Wallis, students learned how to best describe their research problems, provide appropriate context, and develop and articulate research questions and hypotheses.
As the program develops in the future, Research@Honors hopes to partner with faculty and community partners to develop community-based research projects that connect service-learning, another pillar of the Honors College, with research and to promote the participation of Honors researchers in both in-house and national research opportunities, including conferences, fellowships, and internships. The program also highlights the successful research projects of current Honors students as a way to inspire future researchers to develop projects of their own. “Conducting research and the act of presenting one’s research is a transformative experience for students,” says Kevin Rashid, program coordinator. “Providing students the tools to perform meaningful research will continue to pay dividends throughout their academic and professional careers.”
Honors freshmen have been keeping busy during their first semester sightseeing the best of what Detroit has to offer, with visits to the Eastern Market, Redford Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as part of their Honors Cultural Passport experience. The scheduled cultural passport events are designed to complement the Honors curriculum and to take students into parts of the city that may be unfamiliar to them.
The students made their visit to the Eastern Market on October 12. For the vast majority of the students, this was their first trip to the historic farmers market that has been operating for more than a century. The students enjoyed listening to Eastern Market President Dan Carmody explain the market’s rich history and its current role as a food distribution center and catalyst for locally grown produce. The students then had the opportunity to explore the market and work their way south through all five of the market’s sheds. By the end of the morning, many of the students were carrying bags of fresh produce and other items they discovered along the way.
The students were then treated to a day at the Redford on October 20, featuring a special screening of Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”. The Redford, the last operating neighborhood movie theater in the city of Detroit, opened in 1928 and is owned and operated by the Motor City Theatre Organ Society and run by a dedicated corps of volunteers. Before the movie began, students and their guests enjoyed a brief history of the building and a performance featuring the Redford’s magnificent Barton Theatre Organ – one of the largest and last surviving of such instruments in Detroit. The subject of Chaplain’s 1936 film – the rapid industrialization of society and how it dramatically changed city life – is discussed in the context of Detroit in the Honors 1000 course.
The students also made a stop at the Detroit Institute of Arts on October 21 for a lecture from Honors Dean Jerry Herron in front of the Diego Rivera murals and were issued Soundcards from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which will allow them to attend any performance in the DSO schedule. The freshmen also attended a DSO performance together on March 28th and enjoyed "A View from a Bridge" at the Detroit Opera House on April 13th.