What If I Want to Transfer In?

As a student worker in the Honors office, I get a lot of questions from students who want to transfer into the Honors program. So, hopefully, I can answer some of those questions here!

The short answer to “Can a student from wider DePaul transfer into the Honors program?” is yes–as long as that student is a first-year. With the core courses for Honors, it’s difficult for upperclassmen to transfer over and still fulfill all the necessary credits.

If you are a freshman and you do want to apply for Honors, there are a few steps you have to take.

Before applying you should consider meeting with your advisor to talk about your goals and expectations and what role Honors will play in you achieving those. Every major is different and there will be unique considerations for each student when it comes to transferring. It is also worth reaching out to the Honors faculty to express your interest in the program and get more information about applying.

Applications are reviewed at the end of each quarter, but the sooner you submit one the better. The first thing you need to do in the application process is to take a foreign language placement test in the language you learned in high school. The majority of Honors students are required to take at least one year of intermediate to advanced language courses, so this placement test will determine where you should start. If you didn’t take a language course in high school or if you want to learn a new language, you will take two years of courses (one of which will count as open elective credit). This test can be found under “Modern Language Link” in D2L.

As part of the application, you will also need to write a one-page reflective statement on why you want to participate in the Honors program and why you think you would be a good fit. Applications can be competitive, so use this as your moment to stand out!

Honors is a great way to expand your horizons academically and socially, and we’re always glad to welcome eager students with a desire to learn.

For more information, visit the official DePaul website.

If you want to apply, email honorsprogram@depaul.edu


The Spirit of DePaul Award

On September 1 at the annual academic convocation, our own Nancy Grossman was honored by receiving the Spirit of DePaul of Award.

The Spirit of DePaul Award highlights institutional Vincentian values and their relation to the achievement of DePaul’s mission, while personally honoring and recognizing members of the DePaul community for their leadership and service in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul.

We are so proud of Nancy for receiving this incredible honor, and it is well deserved. Nancy Grossman received her M.A. in The Teaching of Writing from Columbia College, Chicago, and her BSW and MSW degrees from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She began her career at DePaul in 1987 as a part-time instructor in the English department, transitioning to a faculty-staff position in the Honors Program in 2002. During her time in the Honors Program, Nancy’s initiatives included the Honors Student Government, the Honors Ambassador Program, the Honors Living and Learning Community, and the Honors Student Conference. Nancy advises Honors students in the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences and oversees student research initiatives and alumni engagement. Her debut novel, A World Away, was published in 2012 by Disney/Hyperion. Nancy teaches creative writing and young adult literature courses for the English department, as well as the Senior Capstone in service learning for the Honors Program. She was the recipient of the Gerald D. Paetsch Academic Advising Award in 2011 and, of course, the Spirit of DePaul Award in 2022. 

Our Honors community is very lucky to have such an inspiring member and leader as Nancy, and we are so proud of her amazing achievements. Congratulations Nancy!


Welcome (and Welcome Back)!

Hello Honors students, new and returning!

If you can believe it, the 2022-2023 academic year is almost upon us. The next two weeks will see freshmen moving into their dorms, upperclassmen teaching freshmen the ropes (while relearning them themselves), students making their quarterly visit to the bookstore, and lines at the Fullerton Starbucks becoming exponentially longer.

As a student who started two years ago, in the Summer of 2020, it’s novel to witness this return to normalcy in regards to orientation and move-in. I can hardly believe that I am now among the upperclassmen ushering in this year’s freshmen. Though it hardly feels so in the thralls of classwork, college years travel at an extraordinary pace.

You have all hopefully had a lovely Summer, whether spent at home or abroad, and I am sure many stories are to be exchanged once the school year begins. The transition from academic reprieve to studying and homework may not be the most exciting–especially for those of us now hitting the upperclassman workload–but let there be comfort in reuniting with friendly faces and resuming familiar routines. Here at the Honors Program, we are making plans for the new year and have a line-up of events to welcome students back to campus.

The Honors Program’s annual Honors Retreat will be on September 6, during which incoming Honors students will learn more about the program as well as meet the Honors Student Government officers, Honors mentors, and Honors faculty members.

Once the school year officially begins, we will also announce the schedule for our biweekly Honors Student Government meetings as well as HSG-planned social and academic activities. Follow the Honors Blog and @hsgdpu on Instagram for up-to-date news regarding Honors events. (For more information about Honors Student Government, visit our HSG page and blog post).

We can’t wait to see everyone again! May this academic year be the best one yet!


Course Profile: HON 205 Brazilian Music and Dance

Some of the most unique and beloved courses offered by the Honors Program are HON 205 classes, or Interdisciplinary Arts. These courses explore the interconnection of art and its cultural contexts, delving into the complex and fascinating roles art plays in our lives. One of the sections offered explores Brazilian Music and Dance, taught by Professor Cathy Elias. This class studies Samba, the archetypical Brazilian song form, and Carnaval dances that have become a form of cultural heritage and self-image for Brazilians. Professor Elias was kind enough to sit down and talk with me about this course, giving incredible insight into the power of music and dance.

With an impressive background in music and cultural studies, Professor Cathy Elias has always been enthralled with the power of music. Her class explores how music holds a mirror to society, offers new approaches to explore complex issues, and is a force that connects us all. Professor Elias also highlights how important it is to step into the unknown and challenge ourselves to explore outside our comfort zone. She emphasizes how it is crucial to enter unfamiliar contexts, be eager to listen and learn, and be open to changing one’s opinions or worldviews. 

Through a variety of pedagogical approaches, this class fully embraces the idea of interdisciplinary studies. A typical week consists of lots of music, interspersed with visits from a mix of incredible guest speakers. A couple of these visits entail lessons on Brazilian dance and instrumentation, which Professor Elias was kind enough to provide pictures and videos of (check them out below)! Again, this class is about pushing yourself and fully embracing new experiences, an idea Professor Elias encourages at every step.

For those interested in taking a leap and exploring the beauty of Brazilian music and dance, Professor Elias typically teaches this section of HON 104 every winter quarter. Learning to step into the unknown and appreciate differences is an incredible skill and one that is applicable in almost every aspect of life. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the music along the way!

To read a more in-depth exploration of this wonderful class, check out the upcoming edition of Honorable Mentions for Spring 2022!


Photos from the 2022 Honors Conference

2022 has been a year of triumph, well earned after two hard-fought years of resilience and perseverance. For me and many other students, this year has been the first opportunity to see how so many of DePaul’s, and specifically the Honors program’s, annual traditions and events are supposed to look. Zoom has become somewhat second nature at this point, but in-person conversation and community building is difficult to replicate.

Among our return to in-person events have been our biweekly HSG meetings, the Honors Ball, the Honors senior gala, and the Honors Student Research Conference. This year’s conference was the first in-person conference in two years and the first conference for many students and Honors faculty. Our many talented and brilliant Honors students presented the best of their work from their Honors classes to fellow students, professors, and family members. Below are some pictures from the event. Thank you so much to everyone who attended and congratulations to those who presented!


The Newberry Library’s Undergraduate Seminar: My Experience

I often find myself somewhat haphazardly filling out applications for things sent to me through email. Any Honors student is well aware of just how many of these emails are sent; the network of opportunities is part of the Honors Program’s draw, after all. Granted, my impetus is usually an “Eh, why not?” when it comes to applying for said opportunities, but it is an approach that has yet to fail me.

So when I saw an email Fall Quarter about an opportunity for Honors students to study at the Newberry Library for class credit, I filled out the application immediately. I like libraries and my major is dependent on research and historical analysis so it seemed like the program would be a good fit. Once again I asked myself the reliable “Eh, why not?”, wrote my cover letter, and submitted my application without a second thought. Resume building in action.

As I would learn later, the Newberry Library hosts an undergraduate research seminar every year during DePaul’s Winter and Spring quarters. The seminar brings students from DePaul, Loyola, Roosevelt, and UIC to learn about an annual topic relating to Chicago’s history and craft their own research thesis paper. (P.S: To myself and to any other prospective applicants–you will have to write a 20 page research paper by the end of the seminar!) Students have the opportunity to speak with Newberry staff and get a glimpse into the operations of an archive and research library.

The Newberry Library is an internationally renowned public research library located in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. It houses documents that date back to Renaissance Europe!

Right off the bat, a 20 page research essay seems intimidating–and make no mistake, it is a lot of work–but you have a lot of time to think it out and work on it. Because this is a cross-university class, it takes an entire semester. The first half, roughly lining up with DePaul’s Winter Quarter, is focused on teaching you about Chicago’s history through primary and secondary documents (we read real recorded speeches from Eugene Debs as well as Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, for example). The second half of the class is dedicated to independent research and actually tackling the beast that is the essay. Though it’s called independent research, there’s a wide swath of people at the Newberry dedicated to helping you find resources and giving you research advice, especially since they know you’re a student who is new to the archives. Here’s a little pro-tip by the way: always talk to a librarian. Not only are they lovely people, but they are guaranteed to help you out on any project you’re working on.

Since the 2022 seminar was specifically about Chicago’s history of migration, I decided to write my research paper on Italian immigration and their participation in the Leftist movements of the early 20th century. Coming from an Italian family myself, I wanted to honor the story of immigration and activism that came from Italy. The Newberry’s archive had plenty of cool stuff: a hand-written letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti to Eugene Debs, Italian-language IWW pamphlets, and immigration political cartoons. They even have an entire online archive of foreign-language newspapers from Chicago’s immigrant communities translated to English, a resource I utilized for my paper quite a lot. I am interested in archive work, so I certainly appreciated the opportunity to navigate the Newberry’s methods of organization and conservation. Thanks to their helpful staff and the professors leading the seminar, I was able to produce a final paper that I was proud of and can happily add to my writing portfolio.

Immigrants played a significant role in labor movements like the IWW. I explored these contributions in my NLUS research paper.

The NLUS Seminar is certainly a commitment. I wasn’t aware of how much work goes into an intensive research paper before applying, but I definitely felt it firsthand in the second half of the class. If you’re a history major or if research is up your alley then I would definitely recommend this class. If research is NOT your thing, maybe steer clear. I was also surprised by how much fun was infused into the class. I got to meet a wide range of people from different schools and years and majors and I left the experience with some new friends. By far the best part of the class was getting to meet Stephen Wade, a Newberry fellow who studies and performs folk music (and played the banjo in Spongebob, no big deal). I feel there’s not a lot of publicization about the NLUS seminar, but it’s definitely something worth checking out, especially for Honors students with a passion for history. Keep an eye out next Fall for application information if you’re interested! And, as always, if you have any questions about the program then feel free to reach out to me!


All You Need to Know About Honors Student Government

Honors Student Government is the foundational backbone of the Honors experience at DePaul. Through HSG leadership, Honors students are introduced to the wide array of people and opportunities within the program. For those outside of the Honors Student Government board, HSG might seem to be just a biweekly obligation, but what exactly do Honors officers do and how do they contribute to your experience as an Honors student?

As a member of HSG myself–I currently serve as the Communications Director–I want to give a breakdown of each position on the board and how you can become involved in HSG yourself. We are a democracy, after all!


The Positions

President

Obviously, the president of Honors Student Government is the highest elected position. The president is responsible for overseeing other board members, organizing and leading the biweekly HSG meetings, communicating with Honors faculty and students, and writing a quarterly letter in Honorable Mentions, among other responsibilities. In many ways, the HSG president serves as a representative for the whole Honors program. A prospective president should therefore have excellent communication and leadership skills. According to the current Honors constitution, to be elected president one must also have previously served as another position on the Honors Student Government board for at least one year.

Vice-President/Treasurer

As the second in command, the Vice President helps the president with their responsibilities as well as their own individual responsibility of keeping track of HSG’s financial needs and event costs. The Vice President is also expected to take attendance at all HSG meetings and fulfill the role of President should the President be unable to attend a meeting or event.

Communications Director

The Director of Communications is responsible for managing and creating content for HSG’s social media presence. As of now, HSG has both an Instagram and Twitter page to which the Communications Director posts. It’s their job to spread information and publicize Honors events as well as to get feedback and encourage participation from students in the program.

Academic Representatives

There are two academic representatives on the Honors Student Government e-board and they are responsible for communicating the needs and concerns of students to the Honors faculty and staff. If students have an area of interest they want to be represented in an Honors class, for example, they would reach out to the HSG Academic Representatives. The representatives may hold various events throughout the year like study groups, town halls, or letter writing.

Social Co-Chairs

There are two Social Committee Chairs in HSG who are responsible for coming up with and planning social events for students of the Honors program. Past events have included movie nights, arts and craft sessions, and the annual Honors Ball. The Social Chairs work alongside the Communications Director to spread the word about events and generate program interest.

Service Co-Chairs

There are two Service Committee Chairs in HSG who, like the Social Co-Chairs, generate ideas for service opportunities and work alongside charities and organizations to spread information on causes or events. Past volunteer opportunities have included handing out water to runners in the Chicago Marathon, giving out candy at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and working alongside BeTheMatch to find eligible bone marrow donors.

Ambassador Co-Chairs

There are two Ambassador Co-Chairs on each year’s e-board. HSG’s ambassadors are responsible for advertising and promoting the Honors Program to prospective DePaul students. They attend admission events, help train student guides, and talk directly to incoming students themselves.


Participating in Honors Student Government is a great way to gain leadership experience, allows you to connect with other students in the program, and earns you Honors Leadership–putting you one step closer to graduating with Honors Distinction. Any student who has already earned 10 Honors Points–thereby earning Honors Partnership–is eligible to run for HSG office.

The elections for the 2022-2023 e-board will be held on May 20th at 3:30. If you’re interested in putting your name on the ballot, reach out to Priscilla Bautista with the following information:

  • First and Last Name
  • Year in School in Fall 2022 (Sophomore, Junior, Senior)
  • Position you are interested in
  • Paragraph detailing why you want this position and why you would be a good fit
  • At least one idea/initiative that you would like to contribute to HSG in this role

If you would like to see the current 2021-2022 e-board, visit our HSG page


TEDxDePaul: Carlos Roqués

After having to cancel the event in 2020 and streaming it virtually in 2021, TEDxDePaul is making a triumphant in-person return this year! For six years, DePaul has hosted its own TED event where current students, alumni, and staff are chosen to present on a pre-decided theme. The theme for 2022’s TEDxDepaul is “Metamorphosis”.

Selected to speak this year are six representatives of the DePaul community demonstrating diversity in ages, occupations, and academic pursuits. Among this year’s speakers is Carlos Roqués, a current sophomore in DePaul’s Honors Program. I reached out to Carlos to ask him about his preparation process and what he anticipates for the event.


What’s your year and major at DePaul? Do you have a double-major or minor that you’re pursuing?

“I am a sophomore Animation major with a minor in philosophy.”

How did you hear about the DePaul TEDx event and what persuaded you to apply?

“I was home during winter break and saw it pop on my DePaul Newsline feed, with nothing else to do I figured I’d apply.”

Without giving too much away, what are you planning to discuss and present at the convention?

“My presentation revolves around the animation industry; where it came from, where it is, and where it’s going. But also, the impact it’s had on my life, and why I believe it is such an influential art medium.”

What does the theme “metamorphosis” mean to you and how does it connect to your topic? Why do you feel that this is prescient to our current moment?

“Metamorphosis is essential to life; we are all a result of the changes we’ve undergone. My talk examines the metamorphosis animation has gone through and how I believe it should change in the future, but also my own personal metamorphosis as a result of my upbringing surrounded by cartoons.”

 Have any of your experiences in the Honors program been helpful in the preparation process for TEDx? Do you feel like, through this experience, you’re gaining skills that will be applicable to your future?

“Many of the Honors classes I’ve taken have given me a much deeper understanding of topics and issues that would have otherwise never had occurred to me. A standout was Philosophical Inquiry with Prof. Walker, it opened my eyes to the global struggle for equality and the colonial roots of Western hegemony. Honors classes have made me a much stronger writer, which has helped in the process of creating this TED talk. I am confident that these courses will have prepared me for entering the entertainment industry.”

What do you hope to get out of this experience and what do you hope your audience walks away with?

“I’m just hoping to just create some positive dialogue and that the audience walks away with a greater appreciation for animation.”

What are you excited about? Nervous?

“So incredibly nervous! But excited to get up on stage and have some fun.”

Would you suggest participating in TEDx to future Honors students? What advice would you give them?

“I encourage all Honors students to apply next year! My advice would be to find something you’re truly passionate about and take a stand on it, or reveal something no one has thought about yet. Be creative and be yourself.”


Thanks so much to Carlos for answering our questions! If you want to hear Carlos and other members of the DePaul community speak at TEDxDePaul, visit the official website


Reflecting on the 2022 Honors Ball

As I’m sure everyone in the Honors program is aware, after weeks of hype-building and email-sending, the Honors Student Government hosted this year’s Honors Ball last Friday, April 8th. This was the first Honors Ball to be held since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking a two-year absence. For many in HSG, myself included, this was their very first time planning or attending an Honors Ball. 2019’s Honors Ball, themed “Monochromatic Disco”, was all but a forgotten memory.

Thus tasked with planning the ball, and thereby reintroducing it to Honors students, HSG wanted to go all out. It would be the social event to end all HSG social events. This Honors Ball would be the biggest of all, and it would mark a triumphant return to in-person gatherings and celebrations. But with many of us not having any sense of the framework for an Honors Ball, we worried that this might prove to be a daunting task.

HSG’s homemade photo-op

As this past Friday demonstrated, however, our fears were unfounded. The number of people in attendance outnumbered those who RSVP’d for the event, exceeding 100 people in total. This is by far the greatest turnout HSG has seen for any of its social events this year and blows past Honors Ball attendance out of the waters. If we were intent on redefining the Honors Ball, then I’d say we achieved our goal. Students arrived fully decked out in old prom dresses and tuxedos, fitting perfectly with the “Night on the Red Carpet” theme of the event. They sang and danced through the night, notably communing in a group rendition of Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” that I was lucky enough to witness from a bird’s eye view.

This event of course could never have taken place without the help of the Honors faculty and the Chartwell’s staff who helped cater and set up the event. The 2022 Honor’s Ball was a collaborative experience, and I’d like to acknowledge the planning and work that went into the event–from the managers of Cortelyou Commons to Blue Demon Theatre (who so generously donated their lights to us). Thank you everyone for attending and helping out with the event! May next year’s ball rise up to meet this one (and I’m sure that it will)!

Our lovely e-board thanks you for coming!

If you have any photos from the Honors Ball that you’d like to share, either contact us at dpuhonorsblog@gmail.com or send them to the Honorable Mentions team at hsgnewsletter@gmail.com


What is Honors Distinction?

In my previous post explaining Honors Points and what they mean, I mentioned that these points can help students along the pathway to Honors Distinction. But what exactly is Honors Distinction, and why should you work towards it?


Honors Distinction is a 3-Tiered Title

In order for an Honors student to achieve Honors Distinction, that student must first meet these three qualifications:

Honors Partnership

Partnership is the first step students can take towards achieving Honors Distinction. Students can earn Honors Partnership by accumulating 10 Honors Points through attending various Honors events and participating in Honors activities. As a partner, students then have the chance to run for Honors Student Government or to work in the Honors office. Partners can also present their work at the annual Honors Conference.

Honors Leadership

Leadership is the second step students can take towards achieving Honors Distinction. To receive this title, a student must serve in a leadership position in the Honors program. This can be as an HSG officer, an Honorable Mentions editor, an Honors employee, or an Honors mentor. Students are automatically eligible for leadership positions after earning Partnership and can run for office in the Spring of each year. See our current list of board members here.


Honors Scholarship

Honors Scholarship is the third and final step to reaching Honors Distinction. A student reaches Honors Scholarship after either presenting a paper at the Honors Student Conference or by completing a senior thesis. Students do not need to have obtained Leadership as a prerequisite for earning a Scholarship, but they will need to have earned Partnership.

What are the benefits of earning Honors Distinction?

Only a small portion of Honors students, between 5-10%, graduate each year with Distinction. To have earned Distinction on top of completing the rigorous Honors curriculum is an extraordinary feat. At graduation, students who have earned Honors Distinction wear a unique cord along with the standard Honors cord, and they are individually celebrated at the Senior Gala. Students with Distinction will soon also be permanently commemorated with a plaque bearing their name. The Honors Program is a chance for high-achieving and ambitious students to work alongside and form meaningful relationships with a large team of in-field professionals and student peers. Students who go above and beyond in participating in the Honors community are making the most of their experience and helping to build a flourishing academic community.