Planning the 2022 Honors Ball

The Social Committee leaders of HSG are currently setting the plans in motion for the biggest Honors social event of the year, the Honors Ball!

This will be the first year since quarantine that the Honors program has held its annual Spring Quarter ball, an Honors-wide party held in DePaul’s Cortelyou Commons with dancing and snacks, and, most importantly, FUN!

Since the Honors Ball is such a big event for the program and since many of us on HSG haven’t had the opportunity to attend one before, the Social Committee wants to hear student ideas for themes and is looking for help putting the event together.

If you’re interested in working on the Ball, or if you have ideas for the theme/what’d you like to see at the Ball, please fill out this form for the Social Committee:

More information should be coming out soon once a theme is decided and COVID protocols are established. We hope to see you all there this Spring!

Guest Speaker Dr. David Stovall

Since the Spring of 2020, Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been under attack due to distortions and lies about its creation and purpose.  As part of the “Taking a Stand” speaker series, Dr. Stovall will explain what CRT is and its utility in the battle between myth-making and historical accuracy.

This virtual event will take place on Thursday, January 20th. 6:00 – 7:15 PM.

Please register on Eventbrite by clicking here.

Honors Open Forum

For anyone who has ever been to an Honors Student Government meeting, you know that we are constantly looking for student feedback and trying to devise new ways to improve the Honors program to best meet everybody’s needs. In our continued mission to ensure students get the most out of their Honors experience, HSG has planned an open forum event to be held after our meeting on Friday, January 21st. Students that attend the forum will be able to talk directly with the Honors faculty and propose changes they would like to see made to the Honors program in the future. We would love to see as many people there as possible! The event will be held in Room 103 in the Arts and Letters Hall and there will also be a chance to Zoom into the forum for those who would like to participate remotely. More information will be coming out soon from the Honors Student Government president, Elizabeth. See you then!

Guest Speaker Dr. Robert Valgenti

Dr. Valgenti is a visiting professor of Philosophy at the University of Bologna.  An expert on food ethics, he is a member of The Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (, which focuses on using college dining halls to promote healthy, sustainable, and ethical food consumption and distribution.  He will discuss the various ways that the food system not only weaves its way through every facet of campus life, but also offers an opportunity for activism on a wide range of topics.

The lecture will be held in Arts and Letters Hall, Room 103, and attendance will be limited to forty guests.  All attendees must comply with DePaul’s COVID-19 safety protocols and vaccination requirement.  The event will also be broadcast on Zoom for those who would prefer to attend virtually.

Please register for either the in-person event OR the Zoom broadcast.  Guests who register for the virtual event will be sent the Zoom link in a confirmation email.

Honors Program students who attend this event will receive one Honors Point.

This event is co-sponsored by the Honors Program, the Philosophy Department, the Geography Department, and the Sustainable Urban Development Program.  

The Honors Program Invites You to Everybody

The Honors Program invites you to join us on Wednesday, October 13th for a performance of The Theatre School’s production of

“This modern riff on the fifteenth-century morality play Everyman follows Everybody, who is a personification of us all (chosen from amongst the cast by lottery at each performance) on their quest to resolve life’s greatest mystery – the meaning of living.” 

Space is limited, so reserve your free ticket as soon as possible.

Please arrive at the Healy Theatre (2350 N Racine Ave.) on the Lincoln Park campus between 6:30 and 7:00 pm to pick up tickets at the box office before the performance. The performance begins at 7:30 pm.

You can also find more information on the show here:

This event awards one Honors Point.

Art Institute Tour

The Honors Program invites you to attend a guided tour of some of the great works on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. The group will meet outside the main entrance of the Art Institute at 4:45 pm on Thursday, September 23rd. The guided tour will be from 5:00-6:00 pm. Space is very limited, so please RSVP right away to save your spot. If you aren’t able to reserve a ticket, please join the waitlist and keep an eye on your email in case space opens up.

Register at

Students who attend this event will earn one Honors Point.

Like Love Contest Winners

On Thursday, February 16th, the Honors Program hosted Creative Writing Professor Michele Morano who did a reading and led a discussion of her latest collection of essays entitled Like Love.  Prior to Professor Morano’s reading, the winners of the Like Love creative writing competition read their work.   Listed below are the authors, and their winning entries.  Congratulations to all! And thank you to everyone who contributed their writing. 

About the Authors:

Natalie Dizon

Natalie is a senior Neuroscience major with double minors in Biology and Psychology. Currently residing in her hometown of Tinley Park, IL, she plans on applying to grad school after DePaul to become a Pathologist Assistant. Outside of academics, Nat is a member of DePaul Neuro Club and KALAHI (DePaul’s Filipino Club). You can find her roller-skating or listening to music in her free time. 

Riley McLaughlin

Riley is a senior English-Creative Writing major, with minors in both Women’s & Gender Studies and Professional Writing. She is originally from New Lenox, IL, and now lives in Wrigleyville. After finishing out her undergraduate studies in March, Riley plans to get a job in content writing, publishing, or editorial work. 

Maya Williams 

Maya is a freshman Playwriting major and currently living in Aurora, IL. Outside of school, she also enjoys songwriting and drawing. After college, she plans to find work with editing and writing. 

Blood Wedding Virtual Theatre Event

In this folk tragedy adapted by Maria Irene Fornes, a bride struggles with unresolved feelings for a former suitor. On the night of her wedding, a moonlit escape ignites a chain of events that will forever haunt the families of those involved. The women of Blood Wedding confront passions driven by love and vengeance while challenging Spanish traditions of marriage and honor. (By Federico García Lorca, adapted by Maria Irene Fornes, directed by Lisa Portes).

  • Access to the recording begins Friday, February 5th at noon for a 24 hour window and the link will be sent via email.
  • Tickets are first come, first-served.
  • RSVP via Eventbrite and visit the Honors Blog ( for more information.
  • Email a screenshot of the end of the performance to Elizabeth Woodruff ( to earn one Honors Point.

Click on this link to register.

Pigeons, Walking, Writing, Oh My!

Author: Deyana Atanasova 

If you’ve been referring to pigeons as “the rats of the sky,” you might want to reconsider your perspective.  

That’s precisely what accomplished author and professor Kathleen Rooney asks readers to do when reading her newest novel, Cher Ami and Major Wjittlesey, which is told from two perspectives: an army soldier in WWI and a messenger pigeon. If you want to hear about it more in-depth and better than I could ever explain it, you can learn more about it here from Rooney herself. 

(The cover of Rooney’s newest novel, Cher Amie and Major Whittlesey)

Yet, even without reading the novel, we can all be a bit more conscientious of how we regard and interact with the world, including what we take for granted and what we remember.

In an Honors Speakers event on Thursday evening, January 21st, right after the inauguration, several students from the Honors Program hopped on a Zoom call with author Kathleen Rooney and had the opportunity to hear a live reading and engage in a Q&A. The topics talked about ranged from writing processes, walking as an adjacent activity to writing, buckets of historical knowledge, the publishing industry, and of course–really cool pigeon facts.

For example, did you know that pigeons can actually recognize the alphabet and learn upwards of 60 words? Or that when looking at a group of people, they can actually discern us as individuals? Meanwhile, chances are, if we were to see the same pigeon two days in a row, we would never really be able to tell them apart.

The moral of the story is, we take things for granted. And yes, that’s a truism, but if you asked me whether I would miss the sight of a pigeon under the Adams/Wabash stop by the Brown Line before quarantine, I’m not sure I would have understood the gravity of the question.

And by the way, this conversation doesn’t even include the whole “pigeons aren’t real” discourse which, quite frankly, seems like a silly joke but becomes quite harmful when unpacking the deep double standards of surveillance. Dr. Eric Anthamatten’s philosophical piece “Visibility is a Trap: Body Cameras and the Panopticon of Police Power unpacks this much more (shout out to Dr. Fanny Söderbäck’s HON 105 Philosophical Inquiry class for featuring this reading). So, what does this have to do with pigeons again? Well, you might have also seen all of those Bernie memes with the mittens. There was one in particular where Bernie was photoshopped sitting in front of a bunch of pigeons, giving off that Michael Scott feeding the pigeons in the park vibe. And in fact, there’s even a meme generator where you can photoshop Bernie sitting anywhere in Google Maps Street View.

An unphotoshopped photo of Bernie at the inauguration

I found myself becoming bothered on social media during and after the inauguration as I was trying to come to terms with the idea that yes, the new administration would mean undoing a lot of harm.  But it is not a like a carrier pigeon flew in from a beam of light in the sky with the one-step policy solution to battle systemic racism, the prison industrial complex, implementing universal healthcare, mitigating the pandemic, etc.

To borrow a pun from Rooney on the night of the live reading, I do not advocate for the “pigeonhole” idea that now we can go back to “normalcy” and compartmentalize politics. We need to keep learning, unlearning, and re-learning. We simply cannot forget not just the past four years but the underlying centuries of oppression that led up to it.

If you’ve made it this far into this post, you’ll know that we landed pretty far from where we took flight. But I think that’s part of the beauty in writing, in that you can meander and walk around, connecting checkpoints and making meaning.

If anything, maybe the next time you see or think of a pigeon, you’ll sign a petition or learn more about the local work being done by heroes in their communities right now. Maybe, you’ll end up picking up a copy of Rooney’s novel and reading it, savoring every clever line of and about the dynamics of language. Or, you’ll look up the slightly unsettling amount of figures of speech out there related to pigeons.

In the Q&A portion of the live reading event, Rooney also said something along the lines of “usually, stuff finds a home.” I forget the context given my rushed, chicken pigeon scratch handwriting, but I hope that in some way, shape, or form, you got something from this piece and that it has found a home, albeit even a fleeting one. P.S. In other (un)related news, a pigeon was spared from the death sentence recently in Australia. Lots to unpack there, too.