RCC’s Honors Program Boosts Student Scholarship

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If you are an academically motivated student, the Honors Program at Roxbury Community College gives you an opportunity to delve more deeply into the subject you are studying.

Rhonda Gray is an Associate Professor of English at RCC and Coordinator of the Honors Program. She says, “Students who thrive in the Honors Program are self-starters. They take the initiative to go after what they want and take full responsibility in steering their projects. They become leaders.”

Students Deepen Critical and Creative Thinking Skills

The main goal of the Honors Program is to offer students the chance to create research-based projects where critical thinking, innovation, and hands-on application of the topics are explored.

There are two basic ways for RCC students to enter the Honors Program. Students can take one of the three standard required Honors courses, English Composition 1 Honors, English Composition 2 Honors, or a 200-level course called the Honors Colloquium. The other way is for a student to work along with their instructor to complete an Honors Project application in which they propose a project. An Honors Committee reviews the application and gives feedback. After the application is approved, the student, under the direction of the instructor, begins the research. At the end of the semester, students must submit a formal written report of their projects and also present their work through a 10 minute power point presentation in order to receive honors credit designated on their transcript.

Honors Projects
Vary Widely

The scope of the Honors Projects covers of broad spectrum of topics. Below are three examples:

Free Blacks in Liberia
The project is a painting series that reflects the experiences of freed slaves who migrated to Liberia in 1816 to seek a less racially oppressive environment.

Biomanufacturing and Phospholipase D Signaling
The student performed a literature review to understand the biological and therapeutic potential of phospholipase D and proposed a protocol to examine the enzyme using Roxbury Community College’s bioreactor.

Mass Incarceration and the Caste System
The project examines Roxbury Community College’s views on Michelle Alexander’s argument that mass incarceration constitutes a new form of a caste system implemented during the Jim Crow Era.

*Michelle Alexander is the author of the best-selling book “The New Jim Crow.”

Everyone Benefits

The academic research done by students has staying power in the classroom as it may contribute to a revision of the faculty member’s curriculum. During Honors presentations, a diverse audience listens as Honors students explain the student-faculty collaboration on the project, the nature of the research, and invites audience feedback.

PhotoThe Spring 2014 Honors Program student presenters are (front row) Martika Cox, Sharon Olivo, David Hines, Gigi Guerrier, April Andrew and Walter Flores, (back row) Waller Finnagan, Shaoyu Chang, Dimone Mannon, Mallory Harris and Alain Eugene.

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