Community, Continuity, and COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Honors Program has developed new strategies to support our students as they continue their studies from the safety of their homes. Within twenty-four hours of the campus closure, Honors students began receiving regular updates on the transition to online learning,
virtual "think tank" sessions were organized to address student concerns, the faculty Honors Council approved an emergency scholarship appeals process, the spring service requirement was modified, and special project due dates extended. Since mid-March, the use of Zoom and MS Teams has helped to maintain the community spirit that defines Honors and preserved student access to personalized advising and peer discussions.
Undoubtedly, we are disappointed that our trip to the Arctic Circle has been postponed until May 2021 and empathize with the frustrations felt by our seniors about the delay of the Honors Senior Showcase and Spring Graduation. However, the inconveniences of disrupted travel plans and delayed celebrations matters little if our social distancing efforts help to protect our friends and family. If we all work together, it won't be long before trips and celebration begin again.
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve over the summer, the Honors Program will follow UHD guidelines and the recommendations of public health authorities to ensure that the well-being of our students remain at the center of all decisions made.
Three for the Peace Corps!
Three Honors graduates plan to take their commitment to serving others to a whole new level as Peace Corps Volunteers in 2020. Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed their deployments to fall, they are all excited for the future and eager to get started making a difference. We're looking forward to hearing about their adventures in service and wish them the best for the future. For more information about the Peace Corps visit peacecorps.gov.
Xena Orozco, B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies, December 2019
Location and Assignment: Indonesia, Teaching English and Teacher Trainer
"The Honors Program helped me prepare for the Peace Corps by providing opportunities to travel abroad to learn about education and school systems in other countries, such as Finland and Sweden in the summer of 2017."
Isbah Khan, B.S. Mathematics, B.A. Philosophy, May 2020
Location and Assignment: Tanzania, Secondary Math Teacher
"Being a Peace Corps volunteer will give me the opportunity to learn from people who are dedicated to build better communities and expose me to challenges that will strengthen my personal growth. Being part of the Honors Program allowed me to meet peers from diverse backgrounds share in the belief that education transforms and enriches all lives for the better. The engagement I've had in my Honors courses and outside the classroom with my Honors peers has prepared me tackle the challenges society faces and be a leader for hope and change. Additionally, I've learned how to celebrate all talents, benefit from the different aspects everyone brings to the table, and the value the importance of working together to achieve goals."
Thomas Canny, B.B.A. International Business, B.S. Political Science, May 2020
Location and Assignment: Tonga (Polynesia), Elementary English Teacher, Early Education Specialist
"Community service has always been a part of my life, but always secondary to school or work. Before I start grad school, I want to make it my full-time occupation for a while. Honors helped me develop the community-building and communications skills that will be essential in Peace Corps service. Because of my experience with the diverse group in Honors, I believe I will be able to settle into my community and build connections quickly."