Events & Activities

The Honors College community is enriched through a wide variety of scholarly and social events, a spirit we continued to magnify even as we face the challenge of the pandemic. Our events expand students' intellectual curiosity and engagement beyond the classroom context, and foster a sense of community and togetherness.

Fall 2020 turned out to be a busy semester filled with many campus visits and online programs. Spring 2021 has proven to be just as vibrant, and we hope to continue that tradition in the months to come!


Spring 2021 Events Calendar

Speaker Series

February 4: Dr. Armour-Garb’s "Understanding the Liar Paradox"
Dr. Armour-Garb spoke on the Liar Paradox, asking "Have you ever candidly confessed to someone, 'Yes, I am lying,' thus making it impossible for your addressee to agree (if your statement is true, you are lying) or disagree (your statement is false, then you are telling the truth)? So is it true or false? How do we solve the contradiction, if any?" in a night that welcomed students back for the Spring 2021 semester.

February 15: Dr. Scimemi's,"Glutamate Transporters Leave the Bench and Show off their A-game"
Dr. Scimemi spoke on Glutamate, the main excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain. She explored this new era of scientific discovery in which we can now appreciate how altering the time course for the removal of neurotransmitters can regulate the function of the healthy and diseased brain.

February 26: Profs. Major and Tolley’s “Austerity in Higher Education: Visualizing the Decline in Public Funding for Universities”
In a joint presentation, Professors Major and Tolley shared the story behind their co-created art installation on the flaws in the modern education system.

March 2: Dr. McCarty’s “The Quest to Fight Human Trafficking: How Honors College Students Influenced My Research and Hijacked My Life”
Dr. McCarty is a returning Peace Corps volunteer who has spent much of his career working in the criminal justice system, having retired as an Assistant Director from what was then known as the New York State Office of Homeland Security. In this presentation, Dr. McCarty provided a brief overview of human trafficking, his efforts to fight it and how purchasing Fair Trade products can help. He described how the opportunity to teach a course on human trafficking for the Honors College in 2019 ultimately impacted him far more than it did the students. People doing important work in the human trafficking area include historians, social workers and health care providers, among many others, and Dr. McCarty challenged students to work for change within their own discipline.

March 11: Dr. Sanjay Goel’s “Technology Evolution and the Emerging Cyber Security Threats”
The world stands on the threshold of another internet revolution that will leave an indelible mark on society. The internet that we know of today as an information network is quickly becoming a sensory network that cannot only communicate but can also sense and think. This is allowing us to develop self-driving cars, induct digital humans into the workforce, revolutionize health care through precise monitoring, and introduce renewable energy into our grid on an unbelievable scale. All these societal gains will, however, remain unrealized if we do not address the imminent threats that our cyber infrastructure faces and understand the actors who are responsible. This talk laid out the landscape of technology evolution, emerging threats, threat actors and a roadmap for the future.

March 15: Dr. Andrea Lang’s “What is the Polar Vortex?”
Have the high winds of the last month made you all the more curious about various weather conditions? Students joined us to hear what our visiting expert Dr. Andrea Lang had to tell us about the Polar Vortex — what a polar vortex is, why we should care what the polar vortexes are doing, and how to make better winter seasonal forecasts to help decision makers in the energy, agriculture, and transportation sectors.

Student Series

February 10: "Stories of My Name"
Honors Students connected virtually to share the stories behind their name, telling stories of culture, hope, and triumph.

February 23: “First-Gen Night"
Honors Students came together to share stories and listen to others on their experiences of being a first-generation college student.

March 17: “Leprechauns and Legends”

March 25: "How We Do Work”
Planning ahead can be great for your mental health, sharing your organization methods can be cathartic, and watching other people share theirs can allow you to invest in new and exciting ideas. Come discuss issues such as why schedule matters, how technology changes the way we schedule and organize, how planning ahead connects to your well-being, and how planning your life can be both a practical and a philosophical concern.