Honors on the rise

Program for high-achieving students announces new tracks, interim leader, new faculty and growing freshman class

Honors Program

UND Honors students convene for class in a newly renovated  space in Columbia Hall, part of $150,000 in capital improvement  investments for the Honors Program. Photo by Tyler Ingham/UND Today.

UND’s Honors Program is on the right track.

More precisely, it’s on the right tracks.

The program specifically designed for UND’s high-achieving students has launched two new curricular tracks for honors students, which will be conducted by Rebecca Rozelle-Stone, its new interim director.

Rozelle-Stone, an associate professor of philosophy, will begin her new role on May 16. She has been involved with the Honors program since arriving at UND in 2010, most recently as an Honors Faculty Fellow.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to work with Honors students in this new capacity,” Rozelle-Stone said. “As a professor, I am a perpetual student of the world myself, and so I look forward to learning from our outstanding students and helping to shape relevant and impactful academic experiences for them with the help of top faculty across the university.”

Enrollment surge

Rebecca Rozelle-Stone

Rebecca Rozelle-Stone, new interim director of the UND Honors Program

Amanda Boyd, who directed the UND Honors for the past two years, will be returning to her duties as associate professor of German in the UND Department of Modern and Classical Languages & Literatures.  Boyd helped design the current program which allows students to choose between two study tracks: “Research Scholars” – a more traditional liberal arts-based honors curriculum — or, “Leaders in Action” – a novel approach to honors, emphasizing experiential learning and civic engagement.

Rozelle-Stone, as an Honors Faculty Fellow, also played a part in curricular changes.

“I’m passionate about ensuring that students receive an education that prepares them to be socially responsible, critically thoughtful and service-oriented citizens in whatever path they pursue,” she said. “I’m also interested in making the requirements for these paths as flexible and meaningful for students as possible.”

These and other developments have Honors poised to achieve new levels of success as early as this fall, when the program expects to welcome one of its largest incoming freshman classes ever – around 160 students, if current enrollment trends persist.

The strong enrollment outlook was driven by the new program and, in part, by $50,000 in new investments from the University to increase incoming student scholarships/waivers.

Faculty boost

This fall, UND Honors also will welcome a number of faculty members to support and facilitate student success. One of the new faculty members to join Honors will be assigned to teach courses for Honors’ Leaders in Action track as well as set up engagements in the community and foster leadership opportunities.

An additional faculty member will teach courses for the more traditional honors track and will focus on scholarly and creative growth opportunities by facilitating student applications for nationally competitive awards, such as the Truman, Goldwater, Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships.

Adding to a strong sense of stability within the program, current UND Honors instructor Merie Kirby will continue teaching Honors 101 for 2018-19 academic year.

Honors Program

In addition to major facilities upgrades, students in the UND Honors Program also are benefiting from $50,000 in new scholarships/waivers. This fall, they also will gain the benefit increased faculty support. Photo by Tyler Ingham/UND Today.

Stylish digs

The anticipated bigger incoming class will not only have the ability to work with a team of experienced faculty but they’ll continue to do so in the stylish and contemporary Honors space in Columbia Hall. The area includes a new multipurpose lounge, study spaces and conference rooms, perfect for class projects and social gatherings – all part of a targeted $150,000 space and furniture investment made by UND to elevate the Honors Program.

Debbie Storrs, senior vice provost, likes the exciting news emanating from the Honors Program.

“The vision of fully integrating excellent faculty from across the campus into the fabric of Honors will give our students distinct leadership and development opportunities, civic and global engagement, intellectually challenging learning and other educational and career-building experiences that produce leaders in action and thoughtful citizens,” Storrs said.

In addition to Boyd, UND Honors also will be saying farewell to Associate Director Robin David, who was recently named a winner of the prestigious Bush Fellowship. David will be leaving UND later this summer to pursue interests working with New Americans as part of her Bush Fellowship mission.

“I would like to thank Dr. Boyd and Dr. David for their leadership in the UND Honors Program,” said Tom DiLorenzo, UND vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Their guidance and mentorship for our highest-achieving students and innovative approaches to honors education have positioned the program to grow and flourish.”

Honors legacy

As a philosophy faculty member, Rozelle-Stone has worked with UND Honors students, assisting with and advising on academic theses. She’s also served on the UND Honors Senate Committee.

Rozelle-Stone received her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 2009, and is an expert in feminist theory, ethics, and phenomenology. She also has previous administrative experience at UND as director of the Women and Gender Studies Program.

Rozelle-Stone knows the power of an honors education from all sides. As an undergrad at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, she says her honors courses were foundational in shaping her ongoing research and teaching interests.

She’s looking forward to her new opportunity to build on that legacy in a leadership role at UND.

“I bring experience and a sincere commitment to the UND Honors Program,” she said. “I look forward to doing everything possible to support our students’ educational goals and ambitions.”