University Honors College attends national conference


 Honor's college

From left: Jonathan Schiffert, Andrea Winter, Bruce Pier, Dr. Carolyn Thompson, Nate Humphrey, Barbara Jacobson, Carla Baxley and Tom Martin.

Seven students from UNC Pembroke's University Honors College (UHC) attended the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Chicago Nov. 5-9.

It is the second time that UNCP's three-year-old program has traveled to a national association meeting. Approximately 2,000 students from across the nation and abroad attended the conference.

Honors College Director Carolyn Thompson led UNCP's contingent.

"This is a great opportunity for our students to meet and exchange ideas with their peers from around the globe," Dr. Thompson said. "A highlight for us was the presentation of a paper by Barbara Jacobson and Tom Martin. We also attended several special forums and took advantage of cultural opportunities in Chicago."

Jacobson, a junior biology and chemistry major, and Martin, a junior philosophy and religion major, presented a research paper titled, "Athletes in Honors." Martin is on the soccer team and Jacobson runs cross country and track for UNCP.

"Their research found that athletes in the Peach Belt Conference graduate at higher rates than the student population as a whole," Dr. Thompson said.

Athletes are one of several groups that UNCP has targeted for recruitment into the Honors College, so the research has practical applications, Dr. Thompson said.

UNCP's new Honors College has 80 members, who qualify through strong outstanding academic achievements. The five-year goal is to have 150 members in the college, which seeks to offer outstanding students an enriched program of academic and cultural opportunities.

Attending the conference were Carla Baxley, Bruce Pier, Andrea Winter, Tom Martin, Nate Humphrey, Jonathan Schiffert and Barbara Jacobson.

The UNCP contingent also participated in a national forum on "Americans Role in the World," that is part of an Honors College course that Dr. Thompson teaches. The course and forum are part of the "Democracy in America" program sponsored by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

"The program examines America's changing role in the world as well as the need for civic engagement in a democracy," Dr. Thompson said.

UNCP Honors College students also visited the Sears Tower and the Chicago Art Institute, where they took in an exhibit of the works of French painter and printmaker Edouard Manet.

"It was a great mix of attending our national conference and taking in the wonderful cultural attractions of a city like Chicago," Dr. Thompson said."