MU Honors Program Poloroid
Honors students gathered for a campus-wide scavenger hunt.
Photo by Kora Beasley

Honors Program Holds ‘Polaroid Party’

Miriam Erbaugh

Honors students participated in a “Polaroid Party” on Sept. 23, a photo scavenger hunt that asked participants to find the locations of given photos and recreate them as selfies. The event took place between 7 and 8 p.m. all over the North Manchester campus. The competition was then judged based on speed and accuracy. In the end, the winners were a self-named team called “The Cowboys.” The event was hosted by the Honors’ Leadership Council and is one of many events they have planned for the fall.

Events such as the Polaroid Party are only one of the benefits of the Honors Program. Dr. Tim McKenna-Buchanan, associate professor of communication studies and director of the Honors Program, pointed to other positive aspects of the Program. “The main benefit is early course registration,” he said. “Students in the Honors Program get to register for classes before anyone else on campus which allows them some flexibility in scheduling their courses. There is also the community that we create through FYWS, My Manchester Experience, My Personal Experience, and the Honors Leadership Council. Beyond that we have an Honors Lounge, and Professional Development Funds.”

Unlike many schools who have honors colleges, Manchester University has an Honors Program. This means that honors students participate in the same classes as the rest of the student body, but they convert one course each semester to honors. The conversion is agreed upon with the professor and approved by McKenna-Buchanan. It can often look like an extra paper or project on something that the student is interested in, or a way to connect multiple subject fields that relate to the student’s interests.

Some Honors Graduates continue with their education to attend graduate programs, but not all students do. McKenna-Buchanan attested to the diversity of the fields which Honors Graduates have pursued. “We have students in Medical School, Dental School, Law School, Pharmacy School, and Graduate Programs in Psychology, Athletic Training, Social Work, Vocal Performance and Global Affairs around the United States,” he said. Additionally, we have graduates working at Riley Children’s Hospital, as staff accountants, Peace Studies Coordinator, and many more.”

In recent years, the Honors Program has grown significantly. Five years ago, there were only 70 honors students, and five who graduated with honors. In the five years since, the Program has almost doubled, now including 130 members, with 14 students graduating with Honors & Achievement and 14 graduating with Honors. The participants are from diverse backgrounds, representing eight different states and 35 of the programs the University offers (including both majors and minors).

McKenna-Buchanan explained how students can get involved with the Honors Program: “Students who have a CGPA of 3.5 or higher after their first semester at MU can apply to be in the Honors Program,” he said. “And if you have questions my office is always open to chat you can email me or stop by my office ACEN Room 310 to chat. On the whole, it is my goal to create a community of academically accomplished students that excel at MU and lead on-campus and in the community.”