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Tulane Honors Program

Friday, August 25, 2006

Looking for HOT TOPICS!

It is truly exciting times here at Tulane! The quiet of summer has given way to the marching band practicing on the quad, the arrival of freshmen on campus, and even the arrival of the slick new pool table and Popular Mechanics electronics at Butler Hall. Today was the first of three open houses held at the office of the Honors Program. A number of the incoming freshmen with their parents stopped by and it was a thrill to meet everyone and to talk about the future of the program.
Now that the semester is truly gearing up, I write specifically to invite all Honors students to begin thinking about topics and/or faculty that they would like to see in the upcoming season of roundtables to be held at Butler.
Beginning in September, we will host two roundtables per month and instead of bringing in a single faculty member, we hope to bring together 2-3 faculty members to discuss a central issue with students. The Honors Program is proposing two overarching topics that can then be enhanced even further by suggestions from you. The two topics are "The Savvy Spectator" and "Corporation and Community." In the first case, we envision a number of roundtables that will address pop culture. We are currently in the process of organizing a first roundtable on cinema. Future topics could address any type of cultural expression from hip hop to sporting events to sitcoms and the ways in which these media reflect, influence and challenge cultural norms and social structures. In the second case, we expect to generate a series of roundtables that will consider the relationship between business and society. Immediate general topics that come to mind include company responsibility in light of environmental issues and, of course, the great debate surrounding the global economy. I'm sure that many of you out there have plenty of ideas about how to flesh out these two themes and I hope you have other topics beyond these themes that you would like to propose.

Consider this a call for hot topics. We are looking for Honors students interested in proposing and organizing one or more roundtables on topics of interest to them either under the umbrella of the proposed themes or outside of them -- you decide! I am also interested in working on new ways to assure that a true and lively dialogue occurs between students and faculty during roundtables. Maybe students should be moderators of the roundtables? Maybe one or two should be included as members of the roundtable? Maybe students should meet to discuss a given topic BEFORE the actual roundtable occurs? Only you can tell us what would be most effective and most interesting. Maybe a mixture of the above, maybe something we haven't yet imagined. I look forward to hearing from you.

And don't forget: NEW AND RETURNING STUDENTS ALONG WITH FACULTY ARE INVITED TO THE HONORS PROGRAM OPEN HOUSE ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 31 AND FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 FROM 3-4:30. Drop by for coffee, juice, cookies and discussion. Share with all your ideas about the future format and content of the roundtable series!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Three weeks on the job

I'm happy to report that my first three weeks with the Honors Program have progressed smoothly. I have met with a number of people on campus who have been instrumental in helping to set up an exciting program for the upcoming year. A number of new and old activities will certainly give everyone plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the Honors community. Below are some of the activities taking place in the first few weeks of classes. Mark your calendars!!!

Freshmen & Parents Welcome, Open House: Friday, August 25, 2006, 1:00 - 3:30, 105 Hebert Hall
Stop by for cookies, coffee, and juice. Meet the new Director, staff, and fellow honors students.

Tie-dye event: Freshmen orientation, Sunday, August 27, 2006, 8-9pm

"Open House": Thursday and Friday, August 31 and September 1, 2006, 3-4:30, 105 Hebert Hall
Stop by for cookies, coffee, and juice. Meet the new Director, staff, and fellow honors students.

First Round table: Wednesday, September 6, 2006, 4:30 - 5:30.
Topic: The NEW Honors Program
Speakers: Dr. D. McGrady, Director of the Honors Program & Dr. J. MacLaren, Dean of Newcomb-Tulane College

Honors Thesis (for Seniors only): Two meetings scheduled: Thursday, September 7, 3:30 - 5pm and Friday, September 8, 3:30 - 5pm, Robing Room, McAlister Auditorium.

Many more events and activities are in the works! Make sure to attend the first Round Table for further information.

I look forward to meeting many of you during Freshmen Orientation and during our Open House.

all the best,
Dr. M.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

FOR FRESHMEN ONLY!!!!

Dear Freshmen,
Please take time to look over the outstanding class offering -- COLQ 101-01 Ways to Know (TR 9:30-10:45) -- a course offered exclusively for Honors freshmen. This course will give you an opportunity to meet and work directly with five of the most respected faculty from across campus AND your new peers. Each faculty member will introduce you to the different methods used in various disciplines (Math, Sociology, History, French, and Physics) to approach intellectual problems. The class not only promises insight into how scholars think and go about doing research, but it offers you the rare chance of synthesizing these approaches to create your own unique method of analysis. What better way to begin your university experience than with a seminar that introduces you to five scholars from five disciplines discussing with you five distinctive perspectives!
If you plan to register for the course or have questions, please contact me directly via email (dmcgrad@tulane.edu) before Tuesday, August 22.
best,
Dr. M.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hello from the new director


Hello everyone! As the new director of the Honors Program, I first wanted to recognize Dr. Chris Brady’s hard work as director of the program for the past 2 years. Under his leadership, the Honors Program implemented a number of new activities/traditions, including the Tie-dye event, the Honors banquet for seniors, the spring Honors picnic, and the donning of Honors cords at graduation, all of which are scheduled to occur this coming year. Dr. Brady has handed over to me a vibrant and successful program that I am dedicated to seeing grow and thrive in the coming years.

During my 7 years here at Tulane, I have worked closely with several Honors students. Whether teaching Honors sections in the French language program or directing theses under the aegis of the Medieval & Early Modern Studies Program, I have greatly enjoyed the stimulating and rewarding partnerships that have always ensued. Indeed, many of my teaching highlights have involved Honors students and on more than one occasion, my own research has benefited tremendously from their input. In my new position, I hope to facilitate and nurture similar types of partnerships between students and professors as well as among students.

In the coming weeks, I will be learning the ropes of my new position. To that end, I plan to meet individually with the deans, visit Butler house, meet with RAs, and hopefully, meet and hear from many of you. Please feel free to contact me via email (dmcgrad@tulane.edu) or by office phone (504.865.5517). I’m more than happy to answer any questions and to hear any ideas you might have to make the Honors Program even stronger. To our incoming freshmen, I look forward to welcoming you during orientation week.

Sincerely,
Dr. M.
Deborah McGrady, Associate Professor
Director, Honors Program

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

New Director: Dr. Deborah McGrady

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah McGrady, Associate Professor of French in the Department of French and Italian, is the new Director of the Tulane Honors Program. Dr. McGrady is a wonderful teacher and terrific colleague and I look forward to the continued growth of the Honors Program under her direction.

Deborah specializes in medieval literature and culture. Her most recent book "Controlling Readers: Guillaume de Machaut and His Late Medieval Audience" will appear this fall with the prestigious Toronto University Press.

Deborah is the recipient of two postdoctoral fellowships (including a Mellon in 2002-03) and the 2005 Mortar Board Teaching Award. During her time at Tulane, she has served as Head of the Undergraduate French Language Program, Director of Tulane Summer in Paris, and Co-Director of the Medieval and Early Modern Studies Program.

James MacLaren
Interim Dean
Newcomb-Tulane College