Our most outstanding faculty teach in the College Honors Program; each is selected to offer a course only after proposing a course to a Board of faculty peers and honors students. Professors from all disciplines — arts to sciences — participate, often team-teaching with colleagues in other areas. They are committed to challenging students, their ideas, and their world views, while having you explore innovative topics through discussion, independent study, and writing. Many of the faculty are noted for their unique approaches to learning and their rapport with students; most have been recipients of some of the College's highest teaching honors, including the Swink Professorship and Teacher of the Year. Professors in honors truly care that students have life-changing academic and personal experiences that, in the words of Dr. Woody Hood, "...create life-long learners who see that making connections among disciplines is the real power of education."
Each professor brings a unique perspective and view to teaching in the Honors Program:
"My goal in teaching honors students is to help them become active, independent scholars, to encourage them to develop into curious yet confident learners. By making myself venture into scholarly areas in which I have little prior experience, I model my struggles and excitement as I encounter unfamiliar concepts, disciplinary skills, and theoretical perspectives."
Dr. Janice Fuller, Professor of English, Writer-in-Residence; "Animals: The Creatures Around Us," "Bio-Geography and Literature of Islands," "Birds: Evolution and Imagination," "Ireland: Myth and Reality," "Travel and Travel Writing."
"What is valid, what is not, what needs further reexamination, what needs better interpretation — all become fodder for honors students to take material and on their own present their interpretations of readings and questions. Then, they are asked to wrestle fully with the perspective I bring on the subject; this way, honors courses are more student-oriented,"
Dr. Gary Freeze, Professor of History, "Civil Rights and Wrongs," "Jefferson's House," and "Enlightened Kite Flying."
"When I graduated with my baccalaureate degree, I came across a quote that has traveled with me ever since: 'The liberally-educated person is one who is able to resist the easy and preferred answers, not because he is obstinate but because he knows others worth of consideration.' Easy answers are rare in a democratic society. Because of this, I envision education as not just a time-bound occurrence, but as a life-long career. I hope that as students come into my classroom, they will find my enthusiasm for life-long learning a trait that they will take with them as well."
Dr. J. Michael Bitzer, Associate Professor of History and Politics; "Civil Rights and Wrongs," "Politics of Shakespeare," "Homer's American Odyssey," and "Making Leaders"
"Travel is a catalyst for creativity. Many of our students have not traveled outside the country or even their region of the country. Preparation for travel involves students becoming familiar with the people, culture, history, and natural history of a region…getting the students into a different cultural environment allows them to bring fresh perspective to the material in the course and their lives."
Dr. Steve Coggin, Professor of Biology; "Bio-Geography and Literature of Islands," "Birds: Evolution and Imagination," and "Consilium"
"An important way that we make something meaningful is by integrating it into a larger context. So, we also need an overall knowledge of ideas and the shape and direction of the culture, transcending the narrowness of intellectual specialization. These are my goals in my honors classes"
Dr. Seth Holtzman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy; "Philosophy and the Integration of Knowledge," and "The World Comes Alive."