Please join us in reviewing your accomplishments this past year
Please join us in reviewing your accomplishments this past year
Oakland University
Honors College
Dean's Update
Highlighted HC Courses
Advising News
Honors College Student Association
Future Leader Dogs at OU Club

Celebrating Excellence
Honors College "In the News"
At the Winter 2021 Oakland University Commencement, Henrik Syse, Vice-Chair of the Nobel Prize
Committee, spoke directly to Honors College graduates. The fact that he would speak at the ceremony at all was
testament to the generosity and considerable good humor of Dr Syse. The fact that he would speak to graduates
of The Honors College is testament to you – the students, the alumni, the graduates, the staff and faculty of The
Honors College. I would bet no over graduating class of any Honors College anywhere had a Nobel prize committee member addressing them.
     Students of The Honors College set the bar high this past fall and winter. That might seem like a strange statement, given the year behind us, as now we slowly begin to emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic. But some of that statement lives in the ways in which Honors College students, staff and faculty approached the year, more than aware of the challenges, sometimes so terribly impacted upon by them, and yet with a sense of empathy and grace and commitment and intention and expectation. Expectation, strangely, because there is one thing that has been clear these past semesters, is that Honors College students, graduates, staff and faculty expected more of themselves and delivered more of themselves to the service of others and to the ideal of
excellence than could have been asked in a period of such turmoil.
     This year more students graduated from The Honors College than ever before – over 164 graduates this year. There were more students graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA than ever before, 8 in the Winter ceremony alone. And there was more successful undergraduate research undertaken that ever before. More student graduated as Presidential Scholars, completing the Presidential Scholar Medallion program, which involves additional resume building activities – almost half of the winter graduating class, in fact. More presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) than ever before. More community service hours were undertaken by Honors College freshmen than ever before, using online platforms that allowed them to bring their assistance to people around the world.
In addition to the wonderful work of students, and those who became Honors College graduates, we had visits this past fall and winter from the following (to name just a few): David Kelley, the CEO and Founder of IDEO, arguably the world’s best known design firm; Nik Patel, the Chair of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Academic Board; Renee Gittins, Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association; Enrique
Lamadrid, a field worker and presenter for the Smithsonian Institution's Festivals of American Folk Life; Ellen Garland, Senior Royal Society University Fellow in the School of Biology, University of St Andrews and Ann Allen, Research Ecologist at the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center; and, Laurel Carney, the Marylou Ingram Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience,
Electrical & Computer Engineering at the University of Rochester, New York. These among others – including many of wonderful Honors College faculty!
     No, Fall 2020 and Winter 2021was not “incredible”. Sometimes it was horrendous – terrifying, disappointing, alarming, upsetting, disheartening, frightening. What was incredible, however, were our students– from our tenacious Honors College freshmen who embraced the Making Discoveries freshmen colloquium in its virtual format, to their spectacular TAs and Dean’s Student fellows who worked beyond requirements to
make that happen, to our other students who weathered the storm of class changes and ultimately to our Honors College graduates. You are all incredible. My personal, heartfelt thanks to Karen and Anne and Sheri, and also to Michelle, Jenna and Anne H., all of whom made Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 possible when often logic suggested it shouldn’t have been. Supporting the incredible takes the truly amazing – and you are.
Professor Graeme Harper BA MLitt DCA FRGS FRSA FRAI
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
Dean, The Honors College, Oakland University

HC 2020: Literature in Medicine
Kathleen Walsh Spencer
Good health care professionals pay attention to details, and the best HCPs pay careful attention to the details of their patients’ stories. Understanding the stories of our fictional and nonfictional “patients” in
classic and contemporary literature has given honors college students an opportunity to examine practices of communication, empathy, and professionalism in future professional roles.  Students in the Literature in Medicine course (HC 2020) become mindful readers of literature which translates to close observation and listening skills with patients.
HC 2040: Duels, Conspiracies, and Affairs: Political Scandals in U.S. History                     
Nicholas DiPucchio
In the age of social media and 24/7 news, scandals have become unavoidable aspects of American political life. Whether leaked stories of extramarital affairs or bribery, political scandals have ruined the careers of presidents, legislators, and local officials. This persistence of controversy begs the question: how have scandals shaped U.S. political history (1776-2000)? The Honors College offered my class a chance to explore this question in the Fall 2020 semester.
HC 2060: Optimism: Finding Happiness
Susan Lynne Beckwith
When I propose an Honors seminar, it isn’t because I know all there is to know about a topic, but because there is so much more to explore and more I want to learn. And how better to learn and who better to learn with than OU Honors students?!?! 
This Fall, in Optimism: Finding Happiness, we first explored the question of ‘what is happiness’ by reading philosophers such as Seneca. This philosophical foundation paved our way to journey to other countries, such as Finland, to consider Socio-Cultural and Anthropological Constructions of Happiness. After circling the globe, we looked at the circle of life, and studied Happiness at different life (and financial) stages. 
Read the rest of article and see LINKS to TIK TOC, PREZI, KAROKE, EMBROIDERY & PAINTING; depicting the students "happiness:
HC ADVISING NEWS!  from Assistant Dean, Anne Jackson
Happy Summer, Honors College students! Hope you all have some time to rest, relax and get geared up for fall, 2021! We are so excited for what the fall will bring, including a special surprise in The Honors College that was created just for you; our Honors College Advising Center in 210 Oak View Hall. A space where you can drop in and chat with an adviser, staff, fellow HC friends, GA’s, and mentors. We have new furniture, a slushy machine, popcorn machine, TV for movies, games, and more! We can’t wait to see you soon and find out what you did this summer and your plans for the year ahead! Remember that The Honors College advising team is dedicated to helping you create an individual plan that will get you to goal, whatever that might be! Even if you’re a bit unsure about your goals (we all are at some point!) we are here to help you! I think it’s always helpful to talk things through and get ideas!

I also have exciting news of our newest Honors College Advising team member, Meagan Richard! Meagan will serve as our Senior Academic Adviser, who comes to us from The College of Arts and Sciences Advising and has a wealth of experience and skills! Welcome, Meagan!  I know she is really excited to begin working with all of you, so stop in and say hello! You’ll also find the familiar faces of Anne Holtvluwer and Jenna Przeslawski as Honors College Academic Advisers who are excited to welcome you back for fall as well!

As the Assistant Dean, I am always here for you! If you have questions, concerns of any sort, or want to chat about an idea you have, please let me know! Honors College students are my top priority and I want to ensure you have an amazing undergraduate experience and reach all of your academic, professional, and personal goals! Know that you brighten my day (every day!) and I encourage you to reach out any time!  

See you soon and enjoy every minute of summer!                                           Anne

October 2020- HCSA Spooky Movie Night 
For our Halloween event, we all watched the movie Enola Holmes via Netflix Party. Students were able to watch the movie while chatting with each other in real time as well! We had a great time watching and hanging out with friends.
November 2020 & April 2021- HCSA Trivia Nights
We used Google Meet to play our trivia night Kahoot game with HC students. We had multiple categories of trivia, including sports, history, pop culture, and more! We also awarded prizes to the winners and were able to enjoy fun and fast paced trivia games in real time. 

Meet the Professors -March 2021  
Students learned about Honors College course offerings for the summer, fall, and winter semesters.  

President: Annabella Jankowski
This past year, the Future Leader Dogs Club did some amazing things!

Our first meeting consisted of some great Kahoot competition that brought awareness to our members about visual impairments and their common misconceptions.
In October, the club celebrated blindness awareness month by holding our first event and adorning the sidewalks of Oakland with facts about visual impairments and common images representing the community. This was a great event, as it was our first time meeting our members in person and, of course, the dogs came too!
We rounded out the fall semester making dog toys to be donated to a local shelter and bonding over many laughs about the strange semester. In the winter semester the club had many special guests come speak including a Leader Dog client who told us her and her dog’s story.
Unfortunately, the club had to cancel an in person scavenger hunt event that would have been the last meeting of the year. But we are looking forward to making it even better next fall!
Overall, we made the best of an unusual year and have many plans for next year. We can’t wait to welcome some new members and, hopefully, some puppies! 
President: Riley Druia

Celebrating Excellence!

I rarely worry that we will one day become complacent about the achievements of students of The Honors College. I don’t get concerned about that because each new class of freshmen and each new group of graduates is distinctive and brilliant in their own way - as is every student who joins us. We never grow tired of telling the stories of Honors College students who publish in prestigious journals while still undergraduates, or who make game-changing contributions to their professional fields, or who are recognized for their contributions to the well-being of a community, or who lead a student organization or the entire OU student body. But sometimes there is reason to pause a moment and take a little time consider further the achievements of students and graduates of The Honors College.

Dean Harper

Honors College Dean authors creative writing book

By day, Graeme Harper serves as the mild-mannered dean of Oakland University’s Honors College. He oversees the continued growth and success of an ever-expanding lineup of some of OU’s most talented students, arranges important academic conferences and community symposiums, and continually finds new ways to make learning fun.
After hours, often working by candlelight (figuratively) till the wee hours of the morning, he sets out in pursuit of one of his many passions: understanding and communicating about creative writing. That has led him to his latest project, publishing a new book called Discovering Creative Writing.                                     For the rest of the story....

HC student awarded $10,000 scholarship for leadership in engineering

When Oakland University student Peyton Schmid found out she had won the Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship via a Zoom call earlier this summer, she was in disbelief. The highly coveted $10,000 scholarship, named in honor of the former President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, is awarded annually to only 10 engineering students at premier partner universities around the world.                For the rest of the story...

Honors College presents inaugural Humanitarian Award to OU alumna

Annie Fuelle, an alumna of Oakland University’s Honors College, has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural Honors College Humanitarian Award, which was established to recognize students who have demonstrated “sustained humanitarian involvement” during their time at OU.          For the rest of the story....

Honors College students talk medicine with Royal Society of Medicine Academic Chair

Dr. Nikhil Patel, chairman of the Academic Board of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) since 2019 shared his medical insights with about 65 HC students . 
This was a great opportunity for our students, many of whom are very interested in medical careers, to hear from one of the world’s most influential medical education leaders and a very distinguished guest like Dr. Patel,” said Honors College Dean Graeme Harper.     For the rest of the story....

OU's Honors College celebrates record number of graduates

As Oakland University marked spring commencement, members of OU’s Honors College had plenty of reasons to celebrate. 

The College reached 164 graduates this academic year, the largest yearly crop of graduates in its history, and the highest academically achieving. Eighty-three graduated as Presidential Scholars, demonstrating academic excellence and community engagement at the highest level throughout their time at OU. 
“Oakland University students constantly amaze me,” said Dr. Graeme Harper, dean of The Honors College. “The fact that so many are graduating at this level this year is testament to the achievements of all our OU students.”
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