One of the major benefits of the Honors College is the ability to carry out a course by “Honors-by-Contract”. The student may complete an extra assignment or presentation in a non-honors course as discussed with his/her professor in order to receive honors credit.
In the spring of 2010, I made an honors contract with Dr. Hicks who was my organic chemistry professor and the head of the Department of Chemistry. The two of us decided that I would complete a mini research project under the supervision of his graduate student Amanda Russell. I worked in the lab with Amanda for the majority of the semester. During this time, I had the opportunity to participate in research that would not normally be available for a sophomore. The research was an excellent learning experience. Unlike in laboratory classes, I was given the ability to work on a project with a purpose rather than learning lab techniques and safety. My mini project was applied to Dr. Hicks’ current research.
This September, I learned that Dr. Hicks and Amanda submitted their research to the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The paper is now in the publication process, and since my research contributed to the submission of the paper, I am listed as an author. Without the Honors College, I would not have had this opportunity. How awesome is it to be able to say you have published research as an undergraduate?