Honors: Beyond the Borders of the Classroom

In our courses, professors strive to help students understand themselves, others, and the world more richly, and thus prepare them to act well in the world beyond the classroom—both now and after graduation.

The Honors Program at Assumption also supports the life of the mind outside the classroom, off campus, and even abroad. Honors Students benefit from several distinctive co-curricular initiatives of the Honors Program at Assumption.

Summer Research Fellowships

Summer Research Fellowships provide intensive intellectual experiences in which a student partners with a professor in original scholarship. Members of the Honors Program at Assumption are eligible to apply. The fellowship rewards students with $3,500 for their summer scholarly work in partnership with a professor. A professor and student will collaboratively design a research project in any discipline and complete an application for funding at the beginning of the spring semester. The Faculty Honors Council then adjudicates these applications and rewards five to six Summer Research Fellowships each year.

Honors Travel Scholarships

Travel Scholarships help students extend their Assumption educations beyond the College’s campus. Honors students at Assumption often find an opportunity to conduct research outside of New England or to present their scholarship at a conference that requires traveling and conference fees. In addition, Assumption College sponsors several travel opportunities for students each year. These often include a trip to the British Isles led by the English Department, trips to classic European cities like Athens, Paris, or Prague led by the Core Texts and Enduring Questions Program, and SEND service trips to various North and South American cities led by the Campus Ministry Office. Members of the Honors Program at Assumption are eligible to apply for scholarships to defray the costs associated with these trips. Applications should be submitted to the Director on a rolling basis.

Book Summits

Book Summits are communal events in the life of the mind. Each Book Summit focuses on high-quality texts and is led by an outside scholar who facilitates creative, probing, and open discussion—outside of the classroom setting of grades and assignments.

The first fifteen students to volunteer are joined by a few professors in these weekend opportunities to enjoy an intellectual conversation about issues of perennial import. We often begin Friday evening, with dinner and a movie. We then meet Saturday morning and afternoon. Student responsibilities include reading the texts before the discussion begins and contributing thoughtfully to the conversation. In recompense, students get a liberal education, camaraderie, the texts, dinner, breakfast, lunch, and a stipend or credit at the campus bookstore.

Book Summits were first designed and named with the help of the Honors Student Representatives in 2015 and are co-sponsored by the Honors Program and the Core Texts and Enduring Questions Program. Samples of previous Book Summits include Shakespeare’s Macbeth (discussion facilitator: Dr. Samuel Goldman of George Washington University), “Classic Readings on Race in America” (discussion facilitator: Dr. Diana Schaub of Loyola University), Shakespeare’s Othello (discussion facilitator: Dr. Charlotte Thomas of Mercer University), and “Toleration in a Free Society” (discussion facilitator: Dr. Khalil Habib of Salve Regina University).

A friendly discussion of great texts is its own reward. Participants learn something, enjoy getting to know others' minds, deepen their understanding of important issues, and take a vacation from the normal drama and work that otherwise dominates life.

Honors Socials

Each semester, the Honors Program at Assumption sponsors events for relaxation and friendship for its members. These may include, for example, trips to a rock-climbing gym, to a local farm for apple or pumpkin picking, and dessert socials held in the new Honors suite.