Spring 2014 Honors Student Workshop Series
Promotion of research, scholarship, and creative productions is a central ambition of the modern university. It is no different here at JMU. In the Honors Program, completion of undergraduate research projects is mission critical. Our aim is to prepare the ground for students working in their disciplines and interdisciplinary programs, encourage them to develop as citizen-scholars, help them gain proficiency in the research semesters, and stand witness to its mastery in the senior capstone.
Over the years, we have learned that teaching scholarship demands a culture of expectation, a culture that starts with recruiting (as expressed as a value to prospects), is promoted through strong advising, and is practiced throughout the curriculum. This year we endeavor to encourage the growth of mentored undergraduate scholarship at JMU, and raise the "academic bar" for all undergraduates on campus, with a new series of Senior Honors Project Workshops. Workshops take place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 4 PM in the Hillcrest House.
The intent of this workshop series, entirely voluntary and open to all Honors students, is to give students access to information about best practices in undergraduate scholarship. We hope in this way to provide general, logistical support to students as they pass important research year milestones and finish each stage of their senior projects. Academic leaders at JMU highly value mentored undergraduate scholarship as an especially effective pedagogy, and are mindful that scholarship takes different forms in different colleges. Our driving ambition is to support high impact scholarship -- scholarship that involves deep learning that can be applied to the world around us.
Faculty mentors remain critical to the success of the Senior Honors Research Project capstone. They inspire, challenge, and learn from the students who participate. Students work with faculty whose creativity, teaching, and scholarly interests inspire them. They benefit from this program by gaining valuable experience that prepares them for future careers, graduate training, or post-baccalaureate professional programs. Faculty gain energetic research partners who are also top students. Sometimes these partnerships flourish beyond or outside their home departments.
All of these workshop sessions are open to all Honors students, regardless of major or year of study. Topics are listed below. They have been designed to foster hands-on opportunities to ignite the imagination, develop research skills, and build a community of scholars working toward the same goal.