A kind of synergy takes place in Honors courses, with students treated as peers and their experiences incorporated within the curriculum. Together with faculty that continue to develop professionally and bring knowledge from those interactions to the classroom, Honors courses become quite dynamic, changing with time and technology. Kennan and colleagues from the communication department do quite a bit of outside consulting work, while Wawrzycka is an internationally-recognized scholar on author James Joyce.
This dynamic quality of the Honors curriculum makes it “a nice transition between the classroom and the working world they’re about to enter,” notes Kennan.
The benefits to graduating students are immediate. Their experiences and skills make them immediately employable, or make them highly recruited for graduate programs. They keep in touch with professors they developed professional relationships with in the course of the Honors program, and pass along information to them about their own professional experiences, adding yet another facet to the program.
Earl Johnson graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders in May of 2002, and is now pursuing his doctorate in audiology at Vanderbilt University. He recently sent an email to Orion Rogers to let him know of an exciting development in his studies.
“Good evening, I just wanted to share with you the wonderful experience I had today,” wrote Johnson. “One of my clinical supervisors offered me the opportunity to participate in the first simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant surgery performed at a Veterans Administration Hospital and only the fifth one performed nationally. It was super exciting, mostly I observed, but I also adjusted the overhead table lights, operated the autoclave (equipment sterilizer), and adjusted the stimulus intensity for the equipment monitoring the facial nerve.”
“In achieving its objectives of extending, expanding and enhancing Radford University's focus on academic excellence,” says Rogers, “the Honors Academy provides outstanding students exceptional opportunities. Academic and leadership experiences enrich the lives of Honors Academy members, and they enhance the academic culture of RU for everyone.”
To find out how you can support the Honors Academy, go to http://www.giveto.radford.edu/annual.html and find out more about how your gift to the Annual Fund supports many such programs.