Students Reflect on their Experiences as Wesson Honors Scholars
Nineteen members of the Class of 2009 graduated with honors, having completed the vigorous requirements of the Wesson Honors Program. Among them were five Baccalaureate Award winners (out of 14) and four Capstone award winners. Wesson Honors students were recognized with a number of other awards before and during Commencement: Patrick Benson was named Senior Scholar-Athlete while Elizabeth Ryan was named the Wynne Jesser McGrew Scholar-Athlete and received the Colby-Sawyer Award. Abigail Cramer received the David Winton Award for the highest GPA in her class and was given the Richard Crosby Memorial Award; Noah Richard was recognized with the Guy Floyd Williams Award and the Senior Achievement Award; Aubrey Thomas was the recipient of the Alpha Chi Award and Nicolas Richard was the recipient of the Key Association Award.
The year's last issue of the Wesson Honors Program's newsletter, Honorificabilitudinitatibus, was devoted to the graduating members and included these reflections on their time at Colby-Sawyer.
Thanks and Gratitude - The Honors Experience
By Nicole Farnham
There have been many influences over the past four years at Colby-Sawyer College that have shaped who I am today: truly amazing faculty members; a welcoming, close-knit environment; and challenges, both personal and academic, posed by the curriculum of the Wesson Honors program.
Without this program, I can honestly say that I would not have achieved my full potential. My engagement in a variety of vigorous honors classes has resulted in an enlarged understanding of myself, including capabilities, expectations and future goals. Not only have the honors courses expanded my knowledge base, propelling me toward an understanding of topics outside my English major, but I have also been prompted to think analytically, speak clearly, and act confidently, all key elements of a successful future. Undoubtedly, this program has played a large role in preparing me for the world outside of Colby-Sawyer College, for I envision endless opportunities where I, as a classroom teacher, will be able to incorporate and share the information that I have acquired.
In my Capstone study, as I focused on the transformation of explicit adolescent literature over time, I identified my passion for working with at-risk adolescents, and cannot wait to run my own classroom. Although I have harbored a desire to work in the field of education since my childhood, it is necessary to recognize the honors program, and particularly its coordinator, Professor of Humanities Ann Page Stecker, for its many significant contributions. I owe so much to this program, and I want to thank all of those who were involved in making my college career so productive, successful and memorable.
Expectations and Reality - Looking Back
By Abigail Cramer
When I found out freshman year that being in the Wesson Honors Program meant taking honors courses and completing an Honors Capstone (along with maintaining a relatively high GPA), I was terrified. I was sure that I was going to find it nearly impossible, and I was positive that I would hate every minute of it.
I was proven wrong first by the Honors Pathway, taught by Associate Professor of Exercise and Sport Sciences Russ Medbery that year. Russ made us work hard, but our efforts were rewarded, and we became comfortable in discussions with each other about serious and meaningful issues. We learned to assert ourselves while still being respectful, and I think that we ultimately learned how to start becoming the adults we are today.
I was proven wrong again in the honors classes that I took that forced me to reexamine the ways in which I viewed the world. These classes created in me an ability to see from multiple perspectives simultaneously, which is the goal of studying in an interdisciplinary way. When it came time for me to create an English Capstone project that incorporated more than one discipline, I was happily surprised to find that my multiple perspectives seemed to come together naturally.
My Capstone project grew out of my passion for my future career: librarianship. I decided to examine the images of librarians in popular media and literature to see how those images impact the profession. I found suddenly that, not only had I included the two disciplines of literature and Library Science, but I had actually included a third, media studies. It was when I realized this that I understood just how integral interdisciplinary study had become to my way of thinking.
My initial assumptions about the honors program were proven wrong again (although I had long since changed my mind) when I had the chance to participate in the Wesson Weekend in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, New Mexico this spring. Eight students and two professors ventured to the Land of Enchantment to explore the history and culture, and shat I found was a love for the region. The trip changed my worldview immensely, and it changed my life. I have even decided to spend a few months there in the fall. What more could I possibly want from the honors program?
Having exceeded my expectations repeatedly, I am now extraordinarily happy and proud to say that I graduated with honors from Colby-Sawyer College. The honors program, and many of the faculty involved with the program, played a huge role in my experience at Colby-Sawyer, and many of my closest friends are members of the program as well. Without the honors program, I might have had a pretty average experience in college. With the program, I have had a fantastic experience.
Integrations and Assimilation - A College Experience
By Sarah Breault
My Colby-Sawyer education has helped make me a more informed, well-rounded person. The liberal arts focus combined with my Business Administration major and Sociology minor have helped me to see and understand the world in new ways.
The culmination of my undergraduate education with the Strategic Management Capstone nicely integrated the knowledge gained during my four years here. The addition of the Wesson Honors component to my Capstone further helped me to assimilate my prior learning to create a product that demonstrates my ability to think critically through multiple perspectives.
I could not have progressed throughout the past four years without the wonderful faculty at Colby-Sawyer. The friendly, inviting atmosphere that the professors create allows students to think critically and unconventionally. The small, intimate community within the Business Department fosters support, encouragement and honesty from each of the professors. The individual attention and support that I have received from my professors has helped to make my college experience successful and one that I will never forget.