.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tulane Honors Program

Friday, January 12, 2007

Welcome back!

Dear Students,
I suspect that many of you will be heading back to campus this weekend and I just wanted to extend a warm welcome!

As you gear up for your first week back, please mark your schedules for the first round table of the semester – one that was inspired by you! Having received the suggestion that we recognize Martin Luther King Day with a round table on diversity, we contacted Prof. Michael Cunningham of Psychology who has been involved at all levels on campus in promoting diversity. He will speak in Butler Hall on Thursday, January 18 at 4:30 on “Diversity includes all of us at Tulane… Or does it?” Refreshments will be served to complement the discussion. Please join us for a discussion on why we want diversity and what we can do to make it happen.


Next week I’ll send you the entire list of round tables for the semester, but know that topics planned – many of which came from your suggestions – range from

• “Internships: How to Make Sure You Get on Board” and “Why Travel Abroad?” to a session entitled “Word to the Wise,” which will consist of a panel of seniors sharing advice about writing the Honors thesis (even freshmen will want to hear this, I promise!)

• a screening and a discussion led by Professor Pavlovic, Spanish, on Almadovar’s film Live Flesh to a jazz performance followed by a discussion by Professor Landis, Music, on New Orleans jazz

• and a number of round tables that will spotlight Honors students and the work, research, and outreach that they are doing.

And that is just the beginning of the great things we have planned! Special separate luncheons are planned for sophomores and juniors and a faculty member of their choice in February, an Honors barbecue on April 2 will signal the opening of Honors week, and, of course, there is the senior reception to celebrate the graduating class!

So, here’s looking forward to an eventful, enriching, and exciting Spring 2007!

Pack those bags, board that plane, and make your way to the new UC to buy your books!!!
See you soon,
Dr. M.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

FREE FOOD for those long study hours

Dear Students,
Study Period begins this weekend through Monday and we in the office would like to nourish your bodies as you are filling your minds with knowledge and wisdom!

On Monday afternoon we are offering a true New Orleanian food fest, brought to you from the Gumbo Shop. Beginning at 11:30 on Monday, December 11 in Butler Lounge, we will be serving a hot meal including:

Vegetarian red beans & rice
Chicken enchilada casserole
Jambalaya

Caesar Salad

Brownies
Bread pudding with whiskey sauce



YUMMMMMM!!!! Feel free to stop by and grab some food and head back to your room. Or if you feel like a longer break, stick around to chat, laugh, and grab a second serving!

See you then,
Dr. M.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Student Initiatives


It is AIDS-Awareness week and as you probably already know, a student-driven Honors round table will take place this Wednesday at 4:30 in the Butler Lounge. Dr. Latha Rajan and Dr. Lisanne Brown, both from Tulane Medical School, will lead a discussion on "AIDS Funding: How Should We Spend the Money?" Ice cream will be served.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 6 at 4:30 in Butler Lounge. Answering student requests, Ms. Laverne Kappel from Education Resource Center will offer a "crash course" on " 'Final' Study Strategies."

We are already thinking about round table events/topics for next semester. If there are topics and/or faculty you would like to see spotlighted, let me know! Send your ideas and we'll get the ball rolling!

Best,
Dr. M.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Events & Course Offerings

Dear Students,

Just a quick reminder that we have a number of activities scheduled for this coming week.

Don’t forget the round table on “Culture and the Computer: Theories of Internet Spectatorship” by Professor Michele White, Communication, on Wednesday, 4:30 in Butler Lounge. Have you ever thought about the expectation that you will slump in front of a computer or that you will rapidly scan a website as opposed to read carefully line by line in a horizontal fashion? Well, you should, because the internet world expects that from you! Professor White will very literally talk “outside the box” and engage us all in a discussion of our crucial role as spectators – both as masters and slaves – of the internet. Delicious refreshments promised!

For our seniors who are plunging into the Honors thesis experience, we are having a “vin d’honneur” for you and your director on Thursday, 17 November, in Cudd Hall from 6 – 7:30. Drinks and appetizers enhanced by a homegrown jazz ensemble will be served up in your honor. You should have received an official invitation, but you do need to RSVP by Monday. Please also take the time to invite personally your director, who also received an invitation. We hope that you will all come out for this event and that it will give you the opportunity to talk with your director in a casual atmosphere as well as meet other students working on their thesis.

As you know, Spring registration has already begun! I am delighted at the number of you who have signed up for Honors courses. It is a true testimony to your engagement with the program and to the caliber of interesting course offerings that well known faculty across campus have proposed.

I would like to highlight the three Mellon-funded colloquia offered this semester (that’s right, no longer two, but three!). As I mentioned at the meeting at Butler, these courses are specially created for Honors students. They are interdisciplinary, intended to address a non-specialized audience, and created to attract a diversity of students that will bring unique perspectives to the classroom experience. All of the courses are enhanced by speaker visits and excursions and they represent the ongoing interests of the faculty member conducting the course. That is, these are courses ripe for discussion because the faculty member is currently exploring the topic (and even in the process of writing on the issue) and because they are seeking to think on a larger scale about issues to match up with the diverse audience. I hope that you will seriously consider taking advantage of this opportunity. It is a chance to explore an area of interest you might have never considered, to meet your peers in a 15-person classroom, and to foster a close relationship with a faculty member. These courses promise dancing, canoeing, and “getting medieval.” Do you really want to miss out on all that???? Here they are:

COLQ 402: FROM THE TACO TO THE TANGO. LATIN AMERICAN ICONS OF MUSIC, DANCE & FOOD. By Professor M. Miller.

THIS COURSE WILL USE AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH THAT CONSIDERS HISTORY, SOCIOLOGY, FILM STUDIES, PERFORMANCE STUDIES, LITERATURE, ETHNOMUSICOLOGY & CULTURAL STUDIES TO STUDY SEVERAL OF THE ICONS OF IDENTITY & CULTURAL PRODUCTION IN LATIN AMERICA'S PRINCIPLE REGIONS. STUDENTS WILL HEAR, SEE OR TAStE SOME OF THE ELEMENTS THAT TYPIFY LATIN AMERICA FOR U.S. & INTERNATIONAL AUDIANCES, AND WE WILL EXAMINE THESE ICONS IN LIGHT OF THEIR HISTORICAL & POLITICAL CONTEXTS. WE WILL ALSO CONSIDER THE ROLE OF NEW ORLEANS & OTHER U.S. CITIES IN THE TRAFFIC & EXCHANGE OF TASTES, SIGHTS & SOUNDS BETWEEN NORTH AMERICA & ITS SOUTHERN NEIGHBORS. ALL COURSE READINGS & DISCUSSIONS WILL BE IN ENGLISH. Guest lectures will include local musicians and tango dancers!!!

And BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND:
COLQ 412: GRAND CANYON COLLOQUIUM!!!!!!!! By Professor R. Parsley. A study of the anthropology, archaeology, biology, geology, and history of the southern Colorado plateau region, especially the Grand Canyon. Lectures, readings, and research paper followed by a post-semester 8-day float trip though the marble and Grand Canyons. Honors Option available. Please contact Dr. Parsley for further details (parsley@tulane.edu)

COLQ 401: Joan of Arc – Medieval Martyr, Modern Myth. By Prof. D. McGrady. CROSS DRESSER? HERETIC? SORCERESS? WARRIOR? OR MARTYR? WE WILL EXAMINE JOAN'S TRIAL, HER CANONIZATION AS A SAINT AS WELL AS HER PORTRAYAL IN MODERN WORLD FICTION, THEATRE, FILM & THE VISUAL ARTS - FROM VOLTAIRE'S SATIRIC ATTACK ON JOAN TO JAPANESE GRAPHIC NOVELS, FROM SILENT FILM TO MODERN DANCE.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Courses, Talks, and Business, oh my!

Dear Students,

I’m writing early this week because I wanted to alert you to a couple of events and exciting changes to the program. So, please, read on!

On Monday, October 30, 2006, there will be an informal meeting in the Butler lounge from 4:30 – 5:30 to discuss Spring Honors course offerings AND to discuss scholarship opportunities. Concerning courses, we have a lot of new and interesting offerings (some of which have not yet appeared on the registrar list) and I wanted to take the time to provide you with some of the more salient details about the courses and the faculty. As for scholarships, we’ll talk about a series of upcoming deadlines for scholarships of interest to sophomores through seniors, but freshmen – we’ll also talk generally about what prestigious scholarship committees are looking for in a candidate and believe me when I say that you want to know in your freshmen year!

On Wednesday, November 1, 2006, we’ll continue with the round table tradition but with a twist – we’re always trying to keep you on your toes! This time, two faculty members : Professor Joel Dinerstein, English, and Professor Javier Leon, Music, will discuss “Black & Latin Music on Film: Representations and Repercussions” from 4:30 – 5:30. There will certainly be lots of music, images, and questions. We promise to keep the refreshments close to the Latin theme!

Finally, for our freshmen in Business, you will be happy to know that you’re in business! The Freeman School of Business now provides the freshmen class and thereafter the opportunity to participate in the Honors Program and to graduate with full university Honors. Beginning next year the School will offer sophomore-level Honors courses to enhance the Liberal Arts and Science and Engineering offerings. In lieu of a Senior Honors Thesis, Business Honors students will do a case study project. This project will place the student in the role of a manager required to address a variety of issues facing a hypothetical company. Students will be required to support their decisions with outside research to complement classroom acquired knowledge. As for non-Business school majors, you will be delighted to hear that many of the School’s offerings will also be open to non-majors.

All the best,
Dr. M.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Taking stock

It was a busy week with lots of great events and fabulous participation on the part of Honors students.

Once again our round table was a success, in large part because of the vocal participation of so many of you. You impress every faculty member who walks into Butler lounge with your ease in asking questions and your intellectual curiosity!

On the Sophie B Wright front, we are moving forward with our various activities geared toward helping the teaching faculty there provide students with many rich learning opportunities. Both the Vice Principal and the primary science teacher met with us this week to start setting up first a Science Club and then a Science Fair – the first ever at Sophie B. Wright. Thanks so much for those who turned out for the meeting. We hope that there are many more of you who will come forward to participate. It will take a large and committed group to help these students learn basic science skills and create large-scale projects, but the rewards will certainly be worth the hard work. In addition, Neil Conrad has started introducing debate skills to SB Wright students and Steven Sullivan is getting materials together as we speak to begin work on his Senior Honors Project – a mural at SB Wright. One thing is certain: the Honors Program has an exciting and positive role in the education of those middle school students! Don’t miss being a part of the experience.

Honors course offerings have been coming in to the office on a daily basis this week and I’m certain that you will all be thrilled with the choices. We have some of the very best faculty on campus dedicated to working with you in the spring and their courses are without question among the most exciting offerings available. You can see many of the titles of these courses on the registrar’s website (check under Newcomb-Tulane/Honors Courses), but in the coming weeks, we will provide detailed summaries of the Honors course offerings on our website for your benefit. So keep a look out!

Best,
Dr. M.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Get geared up for a charged Honors week!


Not a day will go by this week that you won’t have a reason to think of the Honors Program and if you stick with us, you surely won’t be bored.
Grab a calendar, print this out, do what you need to not forget the following events! Since the week will fly, let me start at the end and work back:

Thursday, October 19 at 4:30 in Butler Lounge: SPIES, LIES & SCIENCE – unquestionably at the top of the list of cool titles!!! Professor Karen Taylor of the Department of Communication will lead the fourth round table of the year. To give you a taste of what you’re about to hear, here is Professor Taylor in her own words:

“I grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos is famous primarily for being the birthplace of the atomic bomb. It was the top-secret mountain hideaway where the best scientists in the U.S. were sequestered for about three years during World War II in a desperate race to be the first to develop the "ultimate weapon," thereby attempting to beat the Germans and ensure victory in the war. Today Los Alamos is no longer quite as isolated, but the Los Alamos National Lab continues to be the primary employer. LANL's dominance means that the city, at 7500 feet above sea-level (Denver, the so-called mile-high city, is at 5000, if you want a comparison), has the highest concentration of Ph.D.'s in the country. The city also continues to be one of only two sites in the U.S. where top-secret nuclear weapons research is conducted. I grew up therefore surrounded by secrecy and science, and keenly aware of the tensions between those two powerful enemies. The community of Los Alamos continues to be relatively isolated, and as a teenager I was troubled by what I saw as a communication gap between the scientists and surrounding communities. So I went off to college determined to try to bridge that gap.”

Guess where she went! --- Tulane University!
And refreshments? Of course. What exactly, you ask? Well, of course, IT’S A SECRET. You’ll have to come on by to find out….. You know it's going to be good...

Wednesday, October 18 at 4:30 in the Honors Program office, 105 Hebert: It’s official! Sophie B. Wright will have its very own, first time ever science club!!!! Your outpouring of interest was very exciting news at the school and the Vice Principal is coming to campus to meet with all interested parties to make plans for the upcoming Science Fair. IF you want to be involved, PLEASE don’t miss this important meeting.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 at 4:30 in Butler Lounge: Because of the vibrant debate and discussion that will undoubtedly pour over from Monday evening’s talk (see below!), our own Stephen Richer (Class of 07’) has offered to lead a discussion on Israel/Palestinian relations.
Pizza and soft drinks provided, you bring the opinions.

Monday, October 16, 2006 at 7pm in McAlister: The Honors Program is part sponsor of Avraham Burg, the youngest speaker ever in the history of the Israeli Knesset (1999-2003) and a staunch supporter of peace in the Middle East will give us an “Update on the Middle East." Involved in the pro-peace initiatives known as the Geneva Accords, Burg seeks a negotiated peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people. He’ll talk for about 45 minutes and then the floor will be open to discussion and debate.