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Honors Program Alumni and Parents Come to the Seminar Table for “Taste of Honors” by Erica Levi Zelinger
Assistant Director of Communication, Pennoni Honors College

Taste of Honors PanelIn an effort to offer enrichment learning opportunities to non-traditional populations, on Saturday, March 19, Pennoni Honors College and the Office of Alumni Relations piloted “Taste of Honors” to 45 alumni and parents of current Honors Program students.

“Taste of Honors offered a sense of the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary material that we introduce to our students in the PHC – It showcased one important element of what we do – the seminar-style, interdisciplinary courses that are our hallmark, and the dynamic teaching that characterizes them,” says Paula Marantz Cohen, Dean of Pennoni Honors College.

Taste of Honors also provided the Honors College a chance to highlight to other constituencies what differentiates Pennoni from other colleges at the university.

“Honors courses are unlike any course taught elsewhere at the university,” says Daniel Dougherty, Director of the Honors Program and Associate Dean of the Honors College.  “The most immediate outcome and success of this event is the learning that took place.”

Attendees chose two classes from a topically diverse list of six, including:

  • “How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes”
    Adjunct Professor Dr. Fred Abbate
  • “The University: What it Offers; Why it Appears to Cost so Much; Where it’s Heading”
    Provost Emeritus and founding Dean of the Honors College, Dr. Mark L. Greenberg
  • “Killer Fiction: A Writing Workshop”
    Author and Adjunct Professor, Cordelia Frances Biddle
  • “Why Make Such a Scene?”
    Playwright, Novelist, and Instructor, William di Canzio
  • “The Myth of ‘Star Wars’”
    Assistant Teaching Professor and Interim Program Director of Screenwriting & Playwriting, Matthew Kaufhold
  • “The Origin of Life: Earthly, Cosmic, Divine?”
    Associate Teaching Professor of History, Dr. Lloyd Ackert

Pennoni Honors College and the Office of Alumni Relations sees Taste of Honors as a jumping-off point for future revenue-generating and fundraising endeavors as well as goodwill for the College. Moving forward, it will organize a focus group to gauge the response of attendees and to obtain ideas for future activities for a broader audience.

“This is a pilot program,” says Dougherty. “But what has to happen regardless of format and location is that it has to be our unique offering and we have to consider what will make it Honors.”