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Testimonials from Graduates of the English Honors Program

Although English Honors students enter the program with some of the same abilities―such as creativity, perseverance, strong writing and critical thinking―they often take away quite diverse experiences and lessons from the program. Some value the advanced research and presentational skills that enable them to land satisfying jobs after graduation. Others prize how the capstone experience facilitates their exploration of a topic of deep personal interest. Some appreciate the lasting friendships that develop among peers, or still others are grateful the bonds of support and mentorship cultivated with their faculty advisors. Whether receiving English Honors marks an end or a beginning to one's academic pursuits, English Honors graduates extol the benefits of their intensive and singular experiences in the program.


What Former Honors Students Are Saying

My time in the Honors Program prepared me for the times my boss at my Junior Fellowship at the Library of Congress would come to me and ask, "Could you present on this specific edition of this book for a group visiting Rare Books later on today?" and not panic. Well, I panicked a little, but the skills I learned from the Honors Program, such as database navigation and speedy reading, helped me to find useful and relevant information that enabled me to put together a coherent presentation. ―Hannah Stahl, 2014                                        

The Honors Program taught me one of the most difficult things to learn: discipline. I admit to having my days of procrastination, but when it came to my academic career, the Honors Program truly gave me the push I needed to achieve my goals. Discipline and patience is a daily requirement in any job. The Honors Program is not just about achieving a solid line on a resume; it's about establishing yourself as the successful person you want to be. ―Mohua Chakroborti, 2012


Where They Are Now

I am the sole Human Resources Representative for fifty employees at Sears in Vero Beach, Florida. I've found that my honors work, spending a significant amount of time in a discussion-based classroom where individual expression and collaboration are interdependent, truly mirrors the conceptual development necessary for the successful operation of a business.  ―Julie Bingham, 2013

I am a Ph.D. student in the English Department at Rutgers University where I study early American literature. Having the opportunity to talk about my interests in the small classroom setting of the thesis seminars, and being able to have one-on-one meetings with faculty members who worked on similar literary fields and topics as I did, caused me to become an independent thinker and rigorous researcher even before I came to graduate school.  ―Michael Moneschalchi, 2012   

                                                                                                                                                       

Congratulations to the Recipients of the 2017 Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research:

  • Sean Johnson, "Seduction and Simulation: Politics in the Desert of the Real" (Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis)
  • Stacie Klinowski, "Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Finding Ourselves: How and Why We Teach Our Children to Think about Disability" (Faculty Advisor: Laura Wilder)
  • Acacia Mei Larson, "The Yani Enigma: Globalized Art Markets" (Faculty Advisor: Bret Benjamin)
  • Naomi McPeters, "Monstrous Souls Imprisoned in Monstrous Flesh: James Baldwin's Discourse of God, Power, and Love from Go Tell It on the Mountain and The Amen Corner" (Faculty Advisor: Derik Smith)
  • Margaret Norway, "Death & Restoration of the Goddess: Re-envisioning Women in Mesopotamian & Greek Myth" (Faculty Advisor: Michael Leong)
  • Seunghyun Shin, "How Documentary Poetry Imagines" (Faculty Advisor: Eric Keenaghan)


Some Examples of Other Recent Honors Theses:

2017

  • Sean Johnson, "Seduction and Simulation: Politics in the Desert of the Real" (Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Stacie Klinowski, "Finding NemoFinding Dory, Finding Ourselves: How and Why We Teach Our Children to Think about Disability" (Faculty Advisor: Laura Wilder; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research and the Eleanor Rosalie Bazzoni 1906 Fellowship
  • Acacia Mei Larson, "The Yani Enigma: Globalized Art Markets" (Faculty Advisor: Bret Benjamin; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Naomi McPeters, "Monstrous Souls Imprisoned in Monstrous Flesh: James Baldwin's Discourse of God, Power, and Love from Go Tell It on the Mountain and The Amen Corner" (Faculty Advisor: Derik Smith; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research, the UA Outstanding Senior Award, and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence)
  • Margaret Norway, "Death & Restoration of the Goddess: Re-envisioning Women in Mesopotamian & Greek Myth" (Faculty Advisor: Michael Leong; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Seunghyun Shin, "How Documentary Poetry Imagines" (Faculty Advisor: Eric Keenaghan; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2016 

  • Cynthia Adeoye, "Black Comedic Representation in Hollywood Cinema: Exploring the Comedic Roots of Black Satirical Films in the Late 1990s" (Faculty Advisor: Derik Smith)
  • Tiffany Araya, "Trans-cending Gender: The Language of Identity" (Faculty Advisor: Sami Schalk)
  • Kaitlyn Bellettini, "Let's Watch Our Lives on the Screen: Reality TV, Video Game Vlogging, and the Endless Search for Identity" (Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis; Recipient of the Eleanor Bazzoni 1906 Fellowship and of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2015

  • Sarah Connor, "The Writings on the Walls: Demystifying Contemporary Street Art" (Faculty Advisor: Paul Stasi; Recipient of the Presidential Undergraduate Award for Research)
  • Emily Lange, "Revisiting the Scientific Romance: The Failure of Science Fiction" (Faculty Advisor: Erica Fretwell)
  • Olga Neroni, "Unveiling Fantasy in the American Gothic" (Faculty Advisor: James Lilley; Recipient of the Vivian C. Hopkins Award and of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2014

  • Stephen Hitt, “Gothic Histories: The Interplay of Narrative and Subjectivity in Austen’s Northanger Abbey" (Faculty Advisor: James Lilley; Recipient of the Eleanor Bazzoni 1906 Fellowship) 
  • Bridget Flynn, "'It's a Scream, Baby': The ‘Rules’ of Parody and Pastiche in the Horror Genre” (Faculty Advisor: Mary Valentis)
  • Emily Wierzbowski, “The Isolated Self: Re-imagining the Individual in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell” (Faculty Advisor: Patricia Chu; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2013

  • Julie Bingham, “Walking Corpses & Conscious Plants: Possibilist Ecologies in the Graphic Novel” (Faculty Advisor: Eric Keenaghan; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Nana Adjei-Brenyah,Short Odysseys: Literary Writing, Craft, and Function” (Faculty Advisor: Edward Schwarzschild)
  • Austin Litwhiler, “From Pulp to Webpage: Homestuck and Postmodern Digital Narrative” (Faculty Advisor: Patricia Chu; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2012

  • Grace Hobbs, "Aeschylus's Tragedy of Law: Kinship, The Oresteia, and the Violence of Democracy" (Faculty Advisor: Charles Shepherdson; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Rebecca Matt, “Back to the Future: The Mechanics of Temporality in H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine” (Faculty Advisor: Richard Barney)
  • Michael Monescalchi, "Phillis Wheatley and the New Divinity Movement" (Faculty Advisor: Branka Arsic; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2011

  • Jillian Caramanna, “The Backwards Making of a Heroine: Mary Cowden Clarke’s Girlhood in the Shakespearean Conversation” (Faculty Advisor: Martha Rozett)
  • David  Blundell, “Freak Aesthetics: Questions of Body in Disability Studies and Speculative Fiction” (Faculty Advisor: Tomás Noel; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Joseph Stepansky, “Between Hope and Impossibility in Samuel Beckett’s Molloy” (Faculty Advisor: Helen Elam)

2010

  • Amanda Karaskiewicz, “The Monstrous and the Construction of Identity in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, and Jeff Lindsay’s Darkly Dreaming Dexter(Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Greiman)
  • Emmelia Krontiris, “Bipolar Cultural Complexes: Human Experience as the Interaction between the Arts and Sciences” (Faculty Advisor: Eric Keenaghan)
  • Joseph Sturcken, ““Tragical History and Tragedy as Inquisitive Vehicles: Examining the Implications of Marlowe’s Two Faustus Texts” (Faculty Advisor: Lana Cable; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)

2009

  • Melissa Cipollone, “Need Less Expenditures: A Creative Study in Literary Minimalism” (Faculty Advisor: Edward Schwarzschild)
  • Whitney Sperazza, “῾A Woman’s Story at a Winter’s Fire’: Gender Performativity and the Intrinsic Power of the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Macbeth” (Faculty Advisor: Ineke Murakami; Recipient of the Presidential Award for Undergraduate Research)
  • Effie Maglaras, “The Violence of the Gaze: David and Bathsheba in Medieval Illuminated Manuscripts” (Faculty Advisor: Helene Scheck)