Honors: New Lounge Slideshow

Have you checked out our new space in Peggy Ryan Williams yet? We’ve still got a computer lab with free printing and great study spaces, but we also have much more room, a kitchen area, and free coffee and tea! Additionally, PRW has an outstanding view of Cayuga Lake. Here’s a sneak preview of our new digs – come check them out for yourself!

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Honors FYI: Ottawa Ticket Sales

Welcome back, Honorites!

Our first trip of the semester is fast approaching. This Saturday, February 4th we will be going to the Ottawa Winterlude in Ottawa, Canada!  During this trip, you will have all day to skate on the worlds largest skating rink, check out the ice sculpture competitions, or play in North America’s largest snow playground. Ottawa is also has a number of great museums and restaurants!

Tickets for this trip will be going on sale, first-come first served, THIS THURSDAY FEBRUARY 2nd during the lunch hour in Muller 215 (Dylan’s office).  Tickets will be $15 each. We accept cash or check (no credit cards).  We will be selling about 37 tickets total.  As usual, you may buy 2 tickets for friends with time conflicts.

Things you will want to consider for this trip:

  • We are going to CANADA, thus you MUST HAVE a PASSPORT or a special ID.
  • This is an all-day trip.  We will be leaving campus from Textor Flagpole around 6:30am in the morning, and leaving Ottawa around dark, arriving back at campus no earlier than 10pm.
  • This has the WORLD’S LARGEST ICE SKATING RINK.  So bring your skates!  (You also have the option of paying to rent some).
  • Spending money!  We will be providing bagged breakfast, as always, however food and spending money for the rest of the day.  Take the currency exchange into consideration.

For the full events calendar for the rest of this academic year and other important honors stuff visit our blog at ichonors.com!! Please email  ehutton@ithaca.edu with any questions. See you on Saturday!

Honors FYI: Upcoming Film Screenings

Next week there will be two local screenings of documentaries focused on the relationship between media, politics, and truth. After both films there will be discussions featuring Jeff Cohen, the founding director of IC’s Park Center for Independent Media. These events may be of particular interest to Honorites enrolled in this spring’s seminars on Terrorism and Insurgencies, Imagining Hitler, and Authoritarianism in Literature. The descriptions of both films, along with dates, times and ticket links, are below:

Sun, Jan 29, 2pm, Cinemapolis (1 showing only)
Jeff Cohen will be joining a post-screening Q&A with filmmaker Jen Senko, who directed this doc on the rise and impact of rightwing media. The film dissects the misinformation spewed for decades by Fox News and conservative talk radio that has given rise to more than a few Trump voters. Jeff is interviewed in the movie, along with other media critics, plus a couple dozen individuals representing the millions of families and extended families that have been split up after a family member joined the Limbaugh/Fox (and now, Trump) cult.
Info/tickets: http://cinemapolis.org/film/the-brainwashing-of-my-dad/

Tues, Jan 31, 7pm, Cornell Cinema (1 night only, Willard Straight Theatre)
Jeff Cohen will lead a Q&A after the movie, which he co-produced. It stars Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Nermeen Shaikh, Cenk Uygur, Matt Taibbi, John Carlos Frey, Carl Bernstein, Jeff Cohen, and the late, legendary muckraker I. F. Stone. The doc illuminates government lies from the Vietnam era to today, and the independent journalists who expose those lies.
Info/tickets: http://cinema.cornell.edu/Spring2017/all_governments_lie.html

IC Honors Student Spotlight: Katie Woodilla ’19

This week’s student spotlight features Katie Woodilla, a sophomore exercise science major with a concentration in clinical and exercise wellness. Katie is from Hermon Maine. In addition to her studies, Katie is a member of the special events committee on the Student Activities Board, an active participant in Ithaca College’s swing dance club, and an actor with Macabre Theatre Ensemble. You may have seen her in Macabre’s production of Heathers the Musical earlier this Fall! To learn more about Katie, continue reading below!


Favorite part about IC:
My favorite part about IC is definitely the community-like atmosphere on and off campus. Coming from far away, I did not know anyone and I immediately felt like I was a part of the Ithaca family. Everyone loves making new friends and relationships beyond the classroom, creating such an inviting environment that is hard to leave at the end of each semester. No matter the major, people are always going out of their way to make connections with one another.

Favorite Honors seminar you’ve taken and why:
Great Debates in Film and Fiction was the seminar that has stuck out in my mind the most by far. Co-taught by professors Thomas Girshin and Tyrell Stewart-Harris, these two always brought both sides of the argument to class. We discussed the concepts of truth, justice, crime, and punishment through analysis of popular texts and films. I loved the fact that we had the opportunity to watch various movies like the Matrix and Ghost in the Shell and documentaries such as Crime After Crime throughout the course and pick them apart, trying to figure out why things happened the way they did and how it connected to the bigger picture. The question as to ‘what is truth?’ was one of the underlying themes and to use that when reading classics like Crime and Punishment or The Republic opened up my eyes to all of the literature and media around me. We often perceive information one way, but this class allowed me to dig deep and try to find the answers to some of our most asked questions.

Coolest opportunity you’ve had through IC and/or the Honors program:
Some of the coolest opportunities that I’ve had at IC are the trips through the Honors program. I’ve had the chance to travel to Niagara on the Lake to see a professional theatre production of ‘Sweet Charity’ as well as tour the town and sight see. I also traveled to Ottawa last winter for one of their local festivals; I was able to see the largest ice skating rink in the world, an ice carving competition, eat some amazing food, and walk around to get to know the city. The best trip, however, was the NYC trip where we went to the Modern Museum of Art and also saw the Tony award winning musical, ‘Fun Home.’ There are constantly trips going on through honors and I love that they are always changing; you never know what’s coming next!

We’re always looking for interesting students to highlight in our Spotlight series.

Do you know a really cool first year Honors student? Nominate them here!
Do you know a really cool Honors student? Nominate them here!
Do you know a really cool alum of the Honors program? Nominate them here!

Email ropila@ithaca.edu with any comments, questions, concerns or nominations.

Honors FYI: H&S Summer Scholars

Applications for 2017’s H&S Summer Scholars Program are due February 13 at 12:00 p.m. An info session for the program will be held Wednesday, February 1st at 4 p.m. in Business 301.


Here are program details:

H&S majors developing projects in the areas of creative arts, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences are eligible and encouraged to apply. As a Summer Scholar, students are paid to engage full-time in 8 weeks of research, scholarly, or creative projects between June and August. All Scholars work in collaboration with a faculty mentor.

We will offer between 15 and 20 student awards this summer, depending on funding availability. Summer Scholars are paid between $3,000 and $3,200 for eight weeks of full-time work. Additional funding for Summer Scholars to cover project-related expenses, such as travel, materials, or fees, can be requested (up to $600). Faculty Mentors will receive a stipend of $1,250 for their work during the summer. Students who are financial aid eligible will also be considered for an Emerson Humanities Collaboration Award through the Summer Scholars program; no additional application materials are required to be considered.

For previous Scholars’ portfolios and detailed information about eligibility and expectations, please consult complete guidelines here. 

Both student applicants and Faculty Mentors must submit a proposal – applications this year are online and accessible via the above link. Awards will be announced no later than March 11th.

If you have any other questions, please contact hsadmin@ithaca.edu.



Honors FYI: DANA Internship Program

The DANA Internship Program provides stipends for students to conduct educational projects during the summer or academic year as well as an additional scholarship for the school year. Students should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, be eligible for federal financial aid for the 2017-18 school year, and work with a faculty mentor on their project, even if it does not take place on campus. Interested students must file their FAFSA by February 1 and submit the online application, available here, by February 13 at 12:00 p.m. Here is a quick overview of the program and its guidelines.

IC Honors: Welcome Back

Dear Honorites,  

Greetings and Happy New Year!  I’m writing to introduce myself and share my excitement as I begin as the Director of the Honors Program. 

I’m thrilled to work with the whole Honors team—students, faculty, staff, administration, and community partners. It’s clear we have a fabulous curriculum, and a creative, dedicated community. I began meeting some of you last semester.  I can tell you’re an amazing bunch, and I can’t wait to know all of you.

In this message, I want to tell you a bit about me, let you know about some exciting developments for Honors in 2017, and ask for your input for this coming year.   

 New Director: I’m coming to Honors as a tenured faculty member in the department of sociology.  My research and teaching are about social change. I work with a national network of organizations committed to building a movement to end poverty, with the regional Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and with grassroots organizations around the world. I also bring experience with service learning, civic engagement, and international programs.

I love working with curious, engaged students and am committed to connecting you with exciting opportunities. My own involvement in inter- and cross-disciplinary projects gives me deep respect for the rigor such efforts require. For example,

  • My food justice research connects me with natural and social scientists, chefs, farmers and business owners working to build sustainable food systems.
  • In the movement to end poverty, I am guided by homeless people, farmworkers, low-wage workers, student activists, and health care advocates who use art, stories, poetry, theater and music to agitate, educate, and organize.
  • I’m inspired by health professionals, earth scientists, citizen scientists, chemists, ecologists, and policy-makers who critically examine fossil fuel extraction to address climate change.

At IC, I’m thrilled to work with students who strive to build a better world, who want to solve puzzles, and overcome barriers. Whatever your major, whatever your talents, I’m excited to get to know you.

More personally, I love Ithaca and upstate New York. I love visiting forests, ponds and waterfalls, on foot, on a bike, or on skis if there’s snow.  I love my family. My parents live nearby, and I have a little nephew in Texas who calls me “Yi.” My husband and I were foster parents last year, and the baby we helped raise is now successfully reunited with her biological parents. We enjoy getting to play with her every week. I also love singing with the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, a community choir led by IC’s amazing music education professor and maestro, Dr. Baruch Whitehead.  (Come hear us sing sometime!)

Building on what works: I’m really excited to work with the big crew of people who make this program what it is. This includes the Honors Steering Committee and the Student Advisory Board, the staff of our Residential Learning Community, as well as people from every school and every unit in the College.  I’m grateful to Tom Pfaff for his leadership since 2013, especially on implementing the curriculum around academic challenge, global citizenship, cultural engagement, scholarly achievement, and civic engagement. I also want to acknowledge prior directors Bob Sullivan and James Swafford, and founding director Hugh Egan. We’re now an all-college program and we’re known around the country. People are already contacting me to learn about what we do. (And I’m just learning myself!)   

New Administrative Assistant: This month we’re hiring a new Administrative Assistant to work with Honors and the Center for Civic Engagement. After helping orient the new person, Dylan Schoch will return to his role with the H&S Dean’s office. I’m grateful for Dylan’s capable support for Honors. His impeccable organization prepares us well for a smooth transition. 

 New Space: In January, the Honors Program is moving to a new space on the garden level of Peggy Ryan Williams Center.  The Provost invited us to make this move.  The Honors Steering Committee and Student Advisory Board discussed our options, and we’ve decided this is an exciting opportunity, even if it may take some getting used to.  

I’m happy to say this is a solid upgrade. We have a good deal more space than in Muller.  We’ll have a lounge and computer lab with printing, 24-7 key swipe access, sweet new furniture, spaces for collaboration and quiet study, and a shared conference room. We’ll also have coffee, tea, and cocoa, and a big shared kitchen with refrigerator and microwave.  I think you’ll find it comfortable, inviting, and cheerful!


Our office will share a suite with the Center for Civic Engagement, with recently hired director Dr. David Harker. We aim for this shared space to facilitate synergies between Honors and Civic Engagement.  Be on the lookout for an opening event, coming soon!    

This space is yours and we hope you’ll feel right at home! It’s a 5-minute walk from Campus Center. Our door on the garden level of PRW faces Job and the Business School and opens just below the Dillingham fountain. You can also walk indoors from Campus Center via the 2nd floor of Dillingham. 

New thinking, as always: An aspect of Honors that I find energizing is the opportunities for students and faculty to be creative, to innovate, and experiment through Honors.  I’d love to hear your latest thinking. Please click here to share your thoughts with me about the Honors Program. You can say what you love, give suggestions about the program, or volunteer to share your talents.  I’d love to hear about your passions and curiosities, and brainstorm with you about how you can put them at the center of your education here at IC.   

Please also stop by to say hello and introduce yourself.  In addition to the Opening Event at our new space, we’ll be hosting a series of informal conversations.  I have open office hours Tuesdays 2:45-3:45pm, Wednesdays 1-2pm, and Thursdays 11am-12pm. You can book office hours with me here.

Warmest wishes,