Upper Division Honors Program
The second tier of the University Honors Program, the Upper Division Honors Program, is designed for students who are entering into their junior year, although may be started in the senior year as long as all of the credit hours can still be completed in time for graduation. Students who are accepted into Upper Division Honors will choose one of three curricular paths:
Research Path – Students complete an Honors research thesis either in their selected discipline, or may complete an interdisciplinary thesis.
Creative Path – Students complete a creative works project at an honors level appropriate to their discipline. Creative projects may include those in art, music, creative writing, graphic arts, dance or theatre.
Applied Path – Students complete an Honors independent applied project that results in an actual implemented program, event, curricular method, initiative, business plan, non-profit endeavor, or other approved projects that fall “outside the box.”
Students completing the Upper Division Honors receive recognition at commencement and on their diploma.
Check out some recent Upper Division Honors graduates!
Curing Dengue: A Small Molecule Approach to Flavivirus Inhibition
Elizabeth Eichinger, Pre-Health and Biomedical Sciences
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Susan Keenan
With cases of mosquito-borne infections on the rise and the increased range of dengue virus as global warming continues, there is a renewed urgency to develop an inexpensive broad-spectrum drug to treat these infections. Using computer modeling and laboratory testing, Elizabeth analyzed the efficacy of certain small molecules in inhibiting the spread of dengue virus.
Accessing Poetry in a Global Age
Amanda Byars, English Secondary Education
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Lisa Zimmerman
While largely untapped, poetry is a resource with endless potential to engage students with humanity and our global culture. Attempting to extend the benefits, Amanda taught a class on global poetry to college students. Both the qualitative and quantitative data gathered through the course demonstrated a clear increase in students' knowledge of and appreciation for poetry and a deeper connection to community and culture.
The NCAA Academic Progress Rate: A Policy Evaluation
Cody McDavis, Business Administration: Finance
Thesis Advisor: Dr. Robert Brustad
Cody analyzed the Academic Progress Rate (APR), a metric utilized by the NCAA to evaluate how student-athletes are performing academically. By consideration of the metric and a variety of factors that influence the performance of student-athletes, Cody found that this policy may not provide athletic departments with the appropriate focus to ensure academic success, and created and presented policy recommendations to improve the APR metric.
Pipes, Pedals and a Pianist: the Pipe Organ from a Pianist’s Perspective
Jasmine Aas, Music: Piano Performance
Thesis Advisors: Robert Ehle and Kim Pace
Aware of the pipe organ’s importance in western music and the instrument’s recent decline in the United States, Jasmine identified a need in churches for proficient organ players and the potential for pianists to learn the organ quickly. As a pianist herself, Jasmine learned how to play the organ and created a personal account of her experience, discussing the similarities and differences between the organ and piano and how that influenced her approach to each instrument.