IC Honors: Alumni Panel recap!

Earlier today in Textor 101, we had our first Alumni Panel with Valerie Falcionieri ’13, Bob Volpicelli ’09, Matt Payne ’01 (you can find more full bios in our post here).


Our alumni discussed getting into grad schools, what it’s like to work in the “real world,” where to go after graduation, how not to be scared of taxes, and reminisced about their time here at IC.

They also each talked about their favorite Honors seminars they took at IC – “the Honors genetics course blew my mind,” Matt said.

“Human Natures and Cultures with Carla Golden,” Valerie said. “Lots of discussions have spurted from that class.

“Cultural Encounters with five different visiting professors,” Bob said. “It was a jarring transition from one discipline to the next. It was kind of like watching your parents bicker – but it modeled what academic discourse is like.”


A big focus of the discussion was how important the cross- and inter-disciplinary nature of the Honors program is. “You’re not being taught, you’re learning to learn,” as Matt said. It’s important to dabble, to explore, to find what interests you and pursue that, regardless of your background, major or school. The “real world” tends to be fast-paced and you don’t always get told what to do, the alumni agreed. Sometimes you’re expected to do average on something just to get a project done, and that’s okay (but often hard to accept for passionate and perfectionistic Honors students)! Make sure to make connections with students, professors and alumni inside your major and school as well as outside of it – you never know who might end up in a field in which you’re interested in working.


Thanks to everyone who came, and especially thanks to Val, Bob and Matt for taking the time to come visit IC again and talk about their lives past the Honors program!