Testimonials about the Honors Program:

“I am currently enrolled in my first Honors course, which is a first-year seminar titled “Being Human, Becoming Machine.” … We’ve learned through exploring our own ideas about what it means to be human, as well as analyzing age-old philosophical views and comparing them to one another. It has been an enlightening experience so far to discuss the often unspoken aspects of existing as a human being…. The Honors course I have taken is largely interdisciplinary, with topics touched upon from philosophy, psychology, biology, for example. It has helped tie together content from many of my other courses.” – Ally Hammond

“The only Honors course that I’ve taken is the one that I’m enrolled in now–HON180: Soil, Soul, Society, taught by Professor Grace Eason. While the objective of the class is to teach sustainability through scientific theory and experiential ventures, I’ve learned beyond that. I’ve learned to apply the material in my major (this is quite easy with philosophy) to all of my classes. I’ve learned to look for inconsistencies, holes, and miscommunications within arguments. I’ve also learned to understand the viewpoints of another, and the important distinction between understanding and judgment…. The class takes a field trip almost every week to a local farm to learn about the history behind them and participate in the work that keeps them in business. We’re also not overloaded with work. It’s incredibly refreshing to have a class that’s focused more on doing than on producing completed assignments…. There’s a value there that isn’t captured elsewhere in the UMF curricula.” – John Kaminski

10423768_996603830358185_1007065124849453964_n“Coming into UMF as a transfer student, being part of the Honors Program was an amazing opportunity for me to begin adapting to my new surroundings. Meeting students and professors who are goal oriented and have a work ethic similar to mine made me feel at home, and gave me the push I needed to broaden my horizons. The UMF Honors Program is a place where students enter to evolve their thoughts and opinions, and leave as a changed, more open-minded person.” – Hannah Tompkins

Kelsie Gagnon

“I entered the Honors Program to become a part of a community where I could connect with others, have intellectual discussions and be able to challenge myself…. Honors Classes tend to allow you much more freedom. I wasn’t required to have concrete due dates and was allowed to make my own assignments. Being in an honors class creates an environment that makes you that much more responsible for your learning.” – Kelsie Gagnon


Kate Myers 004

I joined the Honors program because I thought it would be a very rewarding experience…. I took this class spring semester of my sophomore year…. I loved how there were two professors and only nine students in the class. I also liked the class time because it didn’t really feel like a class, it more felt like a bunch of people sitting around discussing…. I would encourage incoming students to join the Honors Program and take all of the honors courses possible because it is a once in a lifetime opportunity.” – Kate Myers


Emily Lewia“I took Eric Brown and Kristen Case’s honors class on The Lyric.  At first, I was a little hesitant about taking the class because I had never taken a class that really focused on The Lyric and poetry before (to be honest, I didn’t even know what The Lyric was). But it turned out to be an awesome, challenging class!  I really enjoyed both professors; the dual teaching was really interesting and was a good change.  I liked how the class was discussion based, too.  The professors really encouraged all of us to add something to the discussion and for someone like me who was nervous to talk, it was really great that they pushed me out of my comfort zone while still supporting me…. The knowledge I learned in this class was so unique and unlike anything I knew before; it will stick with me and that’s something I cannot say about all the classes I’ve taken. I would tell incoming student to take a chance on honors classes that may seem intimidating and scary because great things can come of it!” – Emily Lewia


Sadie Beaudin“My first honors class I took was FYS with Mathew Freytag. It was extremely out of my comfort zone as we discussed ancient philosophers. It really opened my eyes and gave me some true life advice. I kept many of the books from that class because they are great to look back on. My second class I took was with Mariella Passarelli and it was a chemistry class about “The Pill”. This was such an interesting class and I learned a lot about “The Pill” that I would have never known. The experiments that we did in the lab were also so in depth and hands on. The size of the honors class are extremely welcoming as well. With the small classes it provides the teacher more time to work one on one with each student.” – Sadie Beaudin

Rebecca Young“Spring of 2013, I took HON 377A: “20th Century Music & Beyond” taught by Steven Pane. Immediately after the first class meeting, I felt overwhelmed and out of place. I was surrounded by a group of 20 music majors, while I was a freshmen biology student. I said to myself, “What am I doing here?” and spoke to Steve after the class about my concerns. He reassured me that what he was looking for in his students was simply effort and open-mindedness to all types of ideas and music. He also remarked that some of the most interesting perspectives and ideas he had ever experienced were from students without the musical background.… It turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had in a college course…. I think many people may have a misconception of what the honors program at UMF means. It does not mean that the people in the honors program are “super nerds” and enjoy doing two times the amount of homework as a normal class. The courses that the honors students take enhance our learning of topics; in that, we don’t simply read a concept from a textbook. We go out in the field and discuss the real-life application of that concept; or we learn a concept and dig deeper beneath the surface-definition.” – Rebecca Young

Sarah Gould

Unlike many honors program students, I have taken a less traditional path in obtaining honors credit in my degree program. Over the course of my time in the Honors Program, I have obtained credit through a UMF organized travel course to Germany and Austria as well as through my year-long study abroad experience in Le Mans, France. Additionally, I participated in a pilot program to gain honors credit through designing an honors project corresponding with an otherwise non-honors program course. Through these routes, I have managed to continue my degree in Global studies as an honors student despite not being able to take honors designated courses and for this I am very grateful. Each of my honors experiences has allowed me to broaden my horizons and has opened my eyes in ways that I don’t think would be possible in a traditional course.” – Sarah Gould


Aimee Degroat“I always want to push myself as hard as I can and go as far as I can go.  The Honors program was a way to expand and broaden my experience in college and also to take interesting alternative subjects that may not fit in my major…. I took an Honors class on Crime and Punishment. It was taught by Brian Cavanaugh.  It was enjoyable because I always wanted the opportunity to study crime and how we deal with it.  I am very interested in the sociological problems in our society, and thought the class would be a good opportunity to focus on what I wanted to learn about the subject.  It was extremely interesting and it was great to be able to have a little bit of guidance on what to study/where to look for information, but yet also the freedom to do my own research where I wanted within the topic.” – Aimee DeGroat


Ryan Berthiaume“The first Honors class I took here at UMF was my FYS, Encounters with the Western Cannon, with Scott Erb, and it was actually my first ever class here at UMF. Both the timing and the subject matter couldn’t have been a better fit for me as I started my collegiate career with a history related Honors course that really helped me acclimate to college level expectations with the elevated workload associated with an Honors course. I remember my fellow freshman talking about their “cooler” FYS courses that included subject matter like the Beatles and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, but I never regretted my choice. I learned so much about the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that had been glossed over in my high school courses that I knew that the harder Honors course was worth it…. The best advice I can give to new students here at UMF is to not be afraid of signing up for a course that you know nothing about. Even though it can be daunting to try and learn something completely new and out of your comfort zone, it can be extremely rewarding in terms of widening your own subject knowledge as well as the feeling of accomplishment you get from mastering a new course.” – Ryan Berthiaume


20151102_162146 “I’ve enjoyed every Honors class I’ve taken and learned a substantial amount from all my honors professors. One class that particularly stood out to me was Honors Marine Biology, taught by Professor Nancy Prentiss. Unlike most Marine Biology classes, the course material was designed through the ancient Greek perspective, with readings, lectures, and assignments focused on aspects of culture and religion. Throughout the semester our class dissected cuttlefish, painted with bioluminescent bacteria, and traveled to a small island to view tide pool life…. While Honors courses are more demanding, they cover interesting and varied subjects and offer class work that is out of the box. Frequently, I choose an Honors class not only because it fulfills an academic requirement but because it fulfills my own requirement of applying to my broader interests and knowledge goals.” – Molly Hinkel


Sam Bennett 002“I entered the honors program because I have always gotten good grades and I wanted to apply myself to do the best I possibly could, as well as because I found the material in a lot of the honors classes interesting. In particular, I enjoyed Clint Bruce’s class on Surrealism. I learned a lot about the history of art and the social changes that underpinned the evolution of new styles, and I enjoyed the opportunities to get involved with the material by participating in events on campus, such as putting on the Surrealist salon or going to the Boston art museum. I find the honors classes to be intriguing in this respect because they open up new ways to explore the material, allowing the students to participate in hands-on activities relating to the topics discussed in class that are fun and introduce new ways to learn, and the ways in which the honors classes engage with other events and courses on campus allows the students to get more involved with what’s going on at the university than they may have been able to otherwise, opening them up to new events and ideas. My advice to an incoming student would be to pursue what they enjoy and stay focused on it, putting all their effort into following their dreams.” – Samuel Bennet


Delainey Kein“Right now I am taking an Honors Environmental Science class taught by Grace Eason. We are learning about sustainable living and what is healthy for our environment…. Professor Eason does an excellent job making a three and a half hour long class fly by. She gives interactive demonstrations and we spend a great deal of time learning in the fields and at local farms. I was nervous about taking an Honors natural science class because science is a difficult subject for me, but it is significantly more interesting and eye-­opening than I ever could have expected.” – Delainey Kein

Savannah Ridgley“My favorite course that I’ve taken was an honors topics course with Mellisa Clawson called “The Construction of Motherhood,” where we looked at how the culture surrounding motherhood has been shaped in America; there’s a lot about how we view motherhood and where those ideas came from that I didn’t realize beforehand, and Mellisa made the class so enjoyable—even though it was a three-hour night class.  Honors classes have given me more opportunities to shape my views on things and be pushed harder than in some other classes.  In all of my honors classes, I’ve never felt like I was supposed to be searching for the right answer the professor was after; I’ve always felt that I was challenged and encouraged to find my own thoughts on the subject and grow from there….  The honors program has always worked with me so that I could be a part of it and work towards scholar recognition, even when the courses offered conflicted with courses for my majors.  But the professors really want to see you succeed, and they’ll work with you to help you get there.” – Savannah Ridgley


“All three Honors classes I have taken at UMF have been engaging and stimulating. They challenged me to approach issues in new ways and link knowledge I have accumulated through many different classes at UMF. I love the small class atmosphere and the intimate discussions that environment produces. These classes not only broadened my knowledge of the topics discussed, but gave me a wider perspective of the world around me.” – Elise Musicant

“Being a part of the honors program has made my college experience even better. I have taken several honors classes at UMF, including Encounters Western Canon, Gothic Literature, Analyze This!, and a study abroad Geology course in Ireland and Scotland. All four courses challenged me and expanded my educational palette. These courses became some of my favorites because of the content and the awesome professors!” – Emily Rumble