Some non-Honors students claim they avoid the Honors College because of "all the extra work." But how many "extra" classes, exactly, does an Honors degree entail? The graphic below explains.
By Liz Young
The majority of resident assistants in DeHority aren't Honors students. Ever wonder why?
by Mary Cox
DeHority serves as the campus’s primary Honors Living-Learning Community (LLC), but only two of DeHority’s 14 Residence Assistants (RAs) are Honors Students themselves.
This could be because of Housing and Residence Life’s preference that RAs not be placed in the last hall they lived in; however, according to the Associate Director of Housing and Residence Life, Cathy Bickel, this is not policy, nor does it always happen.
Still, Junior Accounting major Will Leonard, one of the two Honors RAs in DeHority, is not an exception to this preference, as he was not an Honors student when he first applied to become an RA.
Leonard began interviewing for an RA position in February of his freshman year. In the same month he applied for, and was accepted into, the Honors program. The next month he was offered a position as an RA. He does not believe that his acceptance into the Honors program affected his placement at all.
“Honestly I don’t know if the (Hall) Directors were aware of me entering the Honors program,” Leonard said.
One of Leonard’s residents, sophomore telecommunications major Morgan Fuller, who had a non-Honors RA last year, said that her RA being an Honors student doesn’t really matter to her, and that she hasn’t noticed any difference other than personality.
“The whole point of being an RA isn’t to be smart, it’s to be here for your residence. All that matters is if you have the right personality to connect with residents, and making residents feel comfortable and safe,” Fuller said.
Bickel and Leonard both agree that RA placement is affected more heavily by elements other than academics.
“Other factors for RA placement are where the RA wants to be placed, how many new and returning RAs will be on a particular staff and how much balance we need, the type of student they feel they can be most effective with – predominantly freshmen, upper class, a particular major, etc.,” Bickel said.
According to Bickel, Honors RAs just need to be strong academic role models - it doesn’t matter if they are in the Honors program or not.
However, one of DeHority’s non-Honors RAs, senior journalism graphics major Mary Beth Sargent, says that there have been a few instances where she feels she could have better assisted a resident had she been an Honors student.
“Sometimes I’ll have a resident ask me about certain classes or if a professor is good or not, and I have to tell them I have no clue,” Sargent said. “I usually send them to Will.”
In cases like this, RAs and residents can also turn to DeHority’s Academic Peer Mentor (APM), junior marketing Katelyn Warner. Warner’s job is to connect students with the Learning Center and other academic resources on campus.
“RAs are more focused on the emotional and social aspects and I focus on academics,” Warner said. “All of those aspects have to be in balance to be a successful college student.”
Honors or not, RA or APM, Leonard, Sargent and Warner all said they have learned a lot working so closely with Honors students.
“They challenge you,” Leonard said.
“It’s nice to be around students who really care about being here,” Sargent said. “It’s given me a different appreciation for academics.”
By Olivia Power
Every year, the Ball State Honors College sponsors a group of students who want to attend the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This year, the conference will take place on April 8. It will be the 28th annual conference.
Dr. Barb Stedman, Director of National and International Scholarships and Honors Fellow, has attended almost every conference since she began working at Ball State in 1993. Stedman said the Honors College takes about 12 Honors students each year. Stedman also noted that many Honors students attend with other departments within Ball State.
“Ball State as a whole has a tremendous representation [at the conference].” Stedman said.
The Honors College reimburses students who attend for the $50 fee, which includes breakfast, lunch, and a t-shirt from the event. According to Coralee Young, Secretary to the Dean, the funds come from donations from alumni and other donors to the Ball State University Foundation, which helps to assist student travel and other ways of developing Honors students outside of the classroom. The Honors College also offers transportation: a van driven by Stedman herself.
Stedman says that she highly recommends students attend the conference.
“[The conference] is a really low-pressure opportunity to get your feet wet in the world of academic presentations.” Stedman said.
Christina Thibodeau, a sophomore international development and relations major in the Honors College, took advantage of the opportunity and attended the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference last spring. Thibodeau was doing an independent study at the time, and was encouraged to present her research by Stedman.
“[I] was meeting with Dr. Stedman about a scholarship and was in one of her classes, and she was like, you should do this! So, she was really the one who pushed me to do it,” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau presented in the international relations category, and noted that she got to observe many other presentations as well.
“In my independent study, I researched the Islamic State’s propaganda in depth, especially the use of social media.” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau rode with Stedman to the conference, along with three other students, and she says that she got to meet other Honors students, listen to their presentations, and even watch a senior presenting on her thesis. Thibodeau said that she probably would not have gone to the conference without the sponsorship of the Honors College.
“I’m a college kid! I don’t have a lot of money and things like that, and it does cost a little bit of money to go, and I probably wouldn’t have decided to do it because of that, even though it does look really good on a resume.”
At the Butler Undergraduate Research Conference, students have the opportunity to present their research with both monetary and moral support from the Honors College.
“Without Dr. Stedman’s encouragement I probably wouldn’t have gone either,” Thibodeau said. That’s a different kind of sponsorship, but it’s important.”
Editor’s note: Submissions to attend the conference this April are due to the Honors College on Feb. 10.
By Kristin Wietecha
Masks, glamour, tuxes, fancy dresses, and class are what is usually seen during the Met Gala-a grand annual event in which celebrities gather to celebrate the opening of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Extravagant events like the Met Gala and Hollywood’s film industry are what inspired the Student Honors Council with the theme for this year’s formal.
This Friday, Feb. 5 from 8-11 p.m., SHC is hosting “The Premiere Gala: Red Carpet Masquerade“in the Student Center Ballroom.
Guests at the dance will be treated to sparkling non-alcoholic beverages, punch, a chocolate fountain, fresh popcorn, and Hors d’oeuvres, as a means to portray a high-class party in Hollywood. Attendees will also be able to take pictures via a Hollywood-themed photo booth, participate in movie trivia, and enter in a raffle to win movie baskets. There will, as with any formal, also be music for dancing.
The SHC officers believe one of the qualities of this formal that will make the night truly memorable and more successful than the SHC formals of the past is its extravagant aura.
“I think the theme is very fun and will lead to a greater turn-out than last year,” said Nick Marchio, a sophomore and SHC’s Director of Print Promotions.
SHC’s president, Valerie Weingart said, “This year there’s definitely more of an emphasis on ‘formal’ [compared to the formals of the past.] We’re going for more of a fancier…just a classier vibe, just by virtue of the theme we’ve chosen….It’s a little bit more ‘over the top,’ a little bit more than just your [an average] college or social formal.”
Two individuals that are planning to attend the dance, sisters Eve and Autumn Miller, are looking forward to the theme and stepping onto “Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.”
Eve, a freshman studying architecture, said that she’s excited for a new experience.
“I love that the dance is a masquerade because I like the theme, but I’ve never been able to go to one [a masquerade],” Eve said.
Autumn, a sophomore majoring in biology with a zoology concentration, was attracted to the theme for a different reason. “I really like that the theme is Hollywood because I really appreciate the art form and enjoy older movies,” Autumn said.
SHC members say that they expect 100-200 guests at the dance. Honors students are encouraged to bring their friends regardless of whether or not they are Honors College or even Ball State students. Masks are also not required. Tickets are $7 per person if they are purchased before the dance from the front desks of DeHority Complex, Honors House, or Park Hall. Tickets are $10 per person at the door. Guests will receive extra raffle submissions if they bring non-perishable food items to the dance to donate to food banks.
Weingart encouraged those that are debating whether or not to attend to take a chance while also touting about the dance’s chocolate fountain.
“If all else fails, eat some chocolate.”
By Carli Scalf
Ball Honors House opened its doors on Friday, December 11th, from 11:30-2 for Honors students and faculty to eat food, converse, and celebrate the upcoming holiday break. The annual Honors Holiday Luncheon is usually a merry and social event for the Honors community, and this year’s event was no different.
The food spread included fruit, vegetables, cheese and crackers, pulled chicken and pork, and an array of holiday desserts, as well as punch and water to drink. Students especially enjoyed the food, finding it a nice reprieve from a dining hall or apartment lunch.
“There is way more food than I expected, so I would encourage people to come next year if only for the great food,” sophomore Honors student Brooke Mayer said.
After they ate food, students were welcome to write their names on bulb ornaments and hang them on one of the two Honors House Christmas trees. The ornaments hold a special significance; they are kept from year to year, making the tree a kind of archive of some of the Honors students that have passed through its doors.
“Every ornament on the tree is from Honors College Students, past and present. Some students will come back in the following years and try to look for it on the tree,” Kristy Dishamn, one of the coordinators of the event, said.
Coralee Young, another primary organizer of the event, explained why she thinks the students keep coming back year after year.
“It’s nice for the students, and to see how much they enjoy it, especially since it has been held in the Honors House--I think they especially enjoy that homey, inviting feel of the event.”
Sophomore student Maren Orchard felt that inviting presence, and was glad to have a chance to socialize with others in the community: “It’s fun to mingle with some students and professors before the holiday,” she said.
Overall, the event was a success, and the community looks forward to many more years of this treasured tradition.
by Kristin Wietecha
On Friday, Nov. 20, Student Honors Council will be facilitating the Season of Giving Dance.
As its name suggests, the dance is centered around the concept of giving to the less fortunate during Thanksgiving. The dance will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. in Park Hall's Multipurpose Room.
To get into the dance, attendees must bring two-canned or boxed non-perishable food items or $3. These donations will be taken to Muncie's Second Harvest Food Bank to provide those less fortunate with food for the holiday season.
Emily Barsic, the SHC service director, said the idea for the dance started brewing last year during the elections for the current SHC officers. During SHC officer elections, the nominees have to work together to form ideas from prompts that they are given. The other SHC members vote for their officers based on what nominees they thought were most successful with the handling the prompt. One of the prompts last year was designing a dance. A group of the nominees came up with the idea of a dance during the first semester in which attendees paid admission not by money, but by canned goods.
Since this is the first Thanksgiving dance that SHC has organized, the officers do not have a set amount of people that they expecting to attend.
"It's a first-time event, so we're just trying to get people there," Maren Orchard, SHC'S director of online promotions, said.
Besides music and activities, another event will be the crowning of SHC's King and Queen of Giving. Throughout the year, SHC members have been donating food and have received points based on the amount and kind of food that they have donated. The SHC member that has received the most points throughout the year by the end of the dance wins. The people that attend that are not in SHC can have their donation contribute to the total number of points of a friend that is in SHC.
"For cans, I would love to see how much we can do," Barsic said. "Hopefully [the king and queen crowning] will start some competition, but also some desire to help serve."
The dance is an unenforced semi-formal. Casual wear is also accepted and everyone is allowed to attend.
Barsic said that Second Harvest is "very, very thankful for anything that we give them."
Photos and story by Olivia Power
Between the hours of 1 and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, students and their families could play corn hole, eat brownies, drink lemonade, and chat with Honors College Dean James Ruebel at the Honors Family Weekend Backyard Bash.
The Backyard Bash was planned and presented by the Student Honors Council. The group’s president, Valerie Weingart, said that the Backyard Bash began only last year.
“[The Backyard Bash] is just a quick little thing, an hour, just for people to stop by and get a snack before they head off to the game or go on with the rest of their day,” Weingart said.
One of the families in attendance was the family of Tristian Holzhausen, a freshman telecommunications major. Holzhausen has been keeping his eye on Ball State since a visit in eighth grade.
“Ever since I saw it, I was hooked” Holzhausen said, though joining the Honors College took a little persuasion. “I was anxious going into it, but I like [the Honors program,]” Holzhausen said.
Another family in attendance at the Honors Family Backyard Bash was the family of sophomore journalism major Rose Skelly. Skelly served as an Honors Peer Mentor at the beginning of the year. Her younger brother is a Ball State hopeful, and said he was happy to visit Ball State for family weekend.
The family of Ryan Monahan, a freshman who is currently undecided on his major, also stopped by the Backyard Bash. Monahan’s parents attended Northern Illinois University, who some say is Ball State’s biggest sports rival in the Mid-American Conference.
Monahan is the first in his family to attend Ball State. He said he was drawn to Ball State because of the campus, modern technology, and the Honors College.
“The small class sizes and the fact that [Honors classes] are discussion-based was very appealing,” Monahan said.
Weingart said that SHC was delighted to be able to host an event like the Backyard Bash.
“We love having the Honors House. It’s something that a lot of departments don’t have, so we try to use it in settings like this as much as we can,” Weingart said.
By Mary Cox
Every semester, the RAs of DeHority put on two diversity programs for the hall. This semester, they decided to tackle gender inequality with sandwiches, a grilled cheese sale to be specific.
The grilled cheese sale took place in the DeHority lobby on Friday, Oct. 16 from 8 to12 pm. It doubled as an educational opportunity for residents and a fundraiser for the RAs' upcoming retreat.
“We wanted to create conversation, have it be a learning thing,” Asa McCormick, a DeHority RA who helped to run the sale, said. “It’s our job to teach.”
Awareness was the main inspiration behind the event.
“The issue [the wage gap between men and women] is something that tends to get put on the back burner,” DeHority RA Abe , who came up with the idea for the event, said. “It’s been this way for so long people don’t really think about it, or they think there’s nothing else that can be done, or that needs to be done for that matter.”
“People are aware of certain issues, but they tend to miss the real world things that go along with it,” McCormick said. “It’s 2015 and people don’t realize this [pay inequality] is still happening.”
About a week before the sale, fliers went up on DeHority resident’s doors to advertise the event. They simply stated:
“Love grilled cheese?! Grilled cheese sale. Females: $0.75. Males: $1.00."
The lack of information on the fliers raised some questions amongst residents.
“The vagueness of the posters was definitely intended,” McCormick said. “We wanted that shock factor, to turn it into something that was in their faces. The intent was not to be subtle, it was that they would read the flyer and immediately realize the pricing was totally wrong. It got people talking, which is what our goal was.”
After the flyers went up, discussion spread across the residence hall.
“I overheard some of my residents discussing it in the hallway, two guys and two girls,” DeHority RA Jenna Morris said. “I asked them what they thought and the girls were actually more mad. They just wanted to be treated equally, not specially. The guys didn’t really care.”
The feeling that the lessened price was, in a way, a gesture of pity was shared by Sophomore Alyssa Williams, a DeHority resident who bought a sandwich at the grilled cheese sale.
“When I first saw it, it made me mad because it was like they weren’t going to accept my full dollar because I’m a woman,” Williams said. “I want to give my whole dollar; I want to be equal.”
After the intentions of the event were clarified in Residence Hall director, Bart Upah’s weekly email, opinions changed a bit.
“My female residents were coming up and giving me high-fives. They were thanking me for bringing the issue to light,” McCormick said.
In fact, females turned out to support the sale in higher numbers than male residents. At least one male resident even refused to stop by the table, claiming he only had $0.75.
“That’s how it really is in the work force, that’s the truth behind how women get paid compared to men, so theoretically that’s how things should be sold,” Robinson said.
The night of the sale, every sandwich that was delivered came with a slip of paper with an even more detailed description of the event. It read as follows:
“Gender pay gap is simply the difference between male and female earnings, expressed in percentages. For every $1 a male makes, a female only makes 78%, or approximately $0.78. The gap is wider among younger employees, among nearly every industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2013, female full-time workers had median weekly earnings of $706, compared to men’s median weekly earnings of $860. The most effective way to help close this gap is to get informed, and spread the word.”
In the end, The RAs were excited with how the event turned out and the discussions it created.
“I’m thankful for all the support we’ve gotten and that I’ve gotten to talk with some many different residents about this topic,” McCormick said.
“I loved it,” Will Leonard, a DeHority RA, said. “I think it was a great way to bring the subject up, and I hope the conversation continues.”
Additional programs similar to the grilled cheese sale may be coming from the DeHority RAs in the future.
“There’s so many controversial topics for us to get to, such as race inequality,” McCormick said. “And of course we’re always looking for suggestions from the residents. We’re here for them.”
And if you’re wondering what the RAs magical grilled cheese recipe is, McCormick shared that as well.
“Bread, butter, and wonderful Kraft American singles,” he said.
By Noah Patterson
Before students returned home for Fall Break, Student Honors Council (SHC) held the first ever Curriculum Crash Course Thursday evening in the DeHority Exhibition Hall. Students were invited to talk to professors of various Honors courses in 189, 199 and the colloquiums in order to get a better idea for scheduling in Spring 2016.
Many students present wanted to learn more about the colloquiums, which included numerous courses with trips abroad.
“I’m interested in the colloqs and getting experience out of class. I thought I would shop around, and I’m excited by what I’m finding,” Jake Peterson, a sophomore business administration major and political science minor said.
The professors present were just as excited as the students.
“I’ve been teaching Honors 199 for 30 years, and I believe this is the first time we’ve had an event like this. Students don’t usually get a chance like this, and word of mouth is important in getting information about classes out” Dr. Bruce Gaelhood, showcasing his Honors 199 class, said.
“Students can put a face with the course, meet the professor and see the books and a syllabus. Its to both of our advantages,” said Dr. Adrienne Bliss, who will be teaching “Honors 390: Prison Literature and its Role in American Society: Perception, Spectacle and Voyeurism.”
“I wanted to show students my colloquium because I feel people don’t spend enough time thinking about prison. Our generation has to fix this. I believe that Honors students are the best audience to get this information out there, and make some real reforms in our prison system,” Bliss said.
SHC was positive about the turnout, with students coming and going throughout the event.
“I think the night is going well. Students are really interested in putting a face with the course,” Maren Orchard, a sophomore public history major and SHC officer, said.
Orchard organized the layout of the event and contacted many of the professors for the event.
“I’m enjoying seeing the passions of the students and professors,” Emily Miller, a freshman in the College of Architecture and Planning’s first year program said. “It’s especially interesting to see what professors are passionate teaching about.”
By Kristin Wietecha
On Monday, Oct. 5, DeHority Complex's Academic Peer Mentor and Resident Assistants organized a program to provide information to students about four-year planning, midterms, and Honors courses while treating them with s'mores. Thirty-four students attended the information sessions that lasted from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in DeHority's Exhibition Hall.
MaryBeth Sergeant, a senior Resident Assistant, said that she enjoyed teaching freshmen how to construct 4-year plans, schedule and use DegreeWorks. Katelyn Warner, a junior and DeHority's Academic Peer Mentor said, "A lot people had questions on what to study, how to study, and when exactly midterms were." Warner understood that midterms during the first semester of college can be stressful. "I was in some tough classes my freshman year, and I didn't really know what to study."
Some freshmen said that all of the presenters were willing to answer questions and provided useful information. However, some said they became more overwhelmed and stressed due to what needed to be done for 4-year planning. scheduling, and studying for midterms. One anonymous student said, "The RAs and stuff were helpful, but I just became more stressed out from other things that I found out that I have to do."
DeHority staff's next event will be an open mic night on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Exhibition Hall.
Events, trends, and happenings in the Honors community and beyond.