This Week In Honors

The week of February 8th, 2016

For your Honors "TO DO" list

CHP and Conference Applications

Become a Commonwealth Honors Scholar!

We encourage all honors students to graduate as Commonwealth Honors Scholars, the highest distinction for students graduating from public colleges and universities in the state of Massachusetts. In addition to the regular honors requirements, students must complete a Commonwealth Honors Project, present the project at a public forum or conference, and graduate with a 3.2 GPA or above. About 1/3 of recent graduates achieved this distinction, and we would like to see even more of our students do so in the future.

Commonwealth Honors Projects should be completed in your junior or senior year. We have posted guidelines and an application form on the honors student portal web site. Please note that applications are due on 2/15.


The statewide Undergraduate Research Conference (4/22) at UMass-Amherst and the WSU Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity (4/13) are the perfect forums for Commonwealth Honors Projects. We encourage you to both present your work on campus and then take your show on the road at UMass. Please let us know if you submit applications for these conferences.

CHP Prize

We are pleased to announce the third annual Commonwealth Honors Project Prize. A panel of faculty and administrators will judge the projects at the Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, and the winner will be awarded certificates and cash prizes.

Consult the Honors Directors

Dr. Weierman (English) and Dr. Hood-DeGrenier (Biology) would be happy to answer any questions and guide you through the process. Please consult the professor whose field is closest to your own. Book an appointment using Starfish (on the myWSU student portal). Click here for some proposal writing tips.

Important Dates

2/15: Commonwealth Honors Projects—proposal deadline

2/19: Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass--Application and Abstract deadline

4/13: Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, WSU

4/22: Undergraduate Research Conference, UMass-Amherst

Honors graduation form (May 2016 graduates)

Graduating in May? One last task for the home stretch: please be sure to fill out the Honors Graduation Form found on the Honors student portal by March 15th.

You must complete this form if you wish your honors status to be included on your transcript.
Commonwealth Honors Scholars are also recognized in the commencement program.

Please note that this form is just for the Honors Program; it is in addition to the Intent to Graduate form you submitted to the registrar.

Honors Housing Application

Worcester State University will continue to offer an optional Honors housing option.

Who’s eligible? Returning sophomore, junior, and senior resident students in the Honors Program who are in good standing. Approved honors residents should have a predetermined groups of 4 students who would like to live in the suite in Sheehan Hall.

What’s available? The apartments for honors housing in Sheehan Hall will be 4 person suites with 2 doubles per suite. Students in mixed gender suites may select into a suite with any break down of male and female students with the exception that individual bedrooms must be same gender (2 male or 2 female students in double rooms only).

Steps to follow:

1. Each student must pay their $150 non-refundable Housing Deposit prior to January 29th.

2. Each student must sign their Residence Hall License Agreement and select their Meal plan for 2016-2017 prior to February 15th.

3. Each student must complete the Additional Housing Option Form for Fall 2016 prior to February 15th.

4. Students must include the names of potential Roommates in the form.

5. A review of requests will be conducted by the Office of Residence Life and Housing. Residence Life may reach out to students to discuss expectations and gather additional information.

6. Students will select their space prior to February 22nd through a scheduled group time with Residence Life and Housing.

**Please address all inquiries to Adrian Gage, Director of Residence Life and Housing (

NYC Trip 2016 signups!

We hope you will join us on our annual overnight trip to New York (April 2nd—3rd). We will leave early on Saturday morning and return late Sunday evening.

As always, we will stay at the very nice Crowne Plaza Times Square hotel. This year's trip includes free time on Saturday, and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and tour of Central Park on Sunday. Please note that the hotel, bus, and Sunday activities will be paid for by the Honors Program. You'll need spending money for food, subways, additional activities, etc.

Sign up: Thursday, February 11th in the Honors Lounge (LRC-218)

7:30 a.m.: priority registration for Honors students in good standing (GPA and events) who have never attended the NYC trip before

8:00 a.m.: registration for Honors students in good standing (GPA and events) who have attended the NYC trip in previous years.


-You must sign up in person. If you cannot attend the signup, then please email Dr. Weierman that morning to get on the list.

-We will keep an active wait list for the trip.

-There will be two lists: trip sign up and suggested roommates.

-Don’t worry if you don’t have a roommate: we will find you one! And while we will do our best to accommodate all roommate requests, we can't promise to keep all groups together.

-Please be sure to check your calendars in advance: make sure you don’t have family, work, school, or sports conflicts. This is a serious commitment.
-The library’s front doors open at 7:30 a.m., but you can get in the building earlier through the first floor entrance on the side of the LRC.

-We will notify travelers about their status via email as soon as we've vetted the list.

Honors Events

Students and Goliath: How the Youth Took on the Fossil Fuel Industry

Monday, February 8th, 2016

7 p.m.

Located in ST 102

Students & Goliath is the story of a generation waking up, becoming empowered, and taking the climate crisis into their own hands.

Honors Valentine's Day Party

When: Thursday, February 11th
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Where: Wasylean, 7 Hills Lounge

Do you enjoy a chocolate fountain?

Would you like to make a Valentine's Day card for a local Veterans Hospital?

Come indulge in some delicious chocolate fondue and make a Valentine's card for Veterans to thank them for their service! Cards will be mailed on Friday morning. Hope to see you there!

Hosted by Honors GA Ellen Snyder.

Celebrate National African American Read-In Day

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Lecture beings at 10:30 AM - Book signing following lecture

Located in the May Street Building

Kevin Powell will be coming to campus February 10th in celebration of National African American Read-In Day. Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip hop voices in America today. As a graduate of Rutgers University, he has authored 12 books, of which the newest title is, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood, a memoir about his life and youth.

Study Abroad Fair

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When: February 9th, 2016
Time: 10:00-3:00 pm
Where: Sheehan Hall

Check out the study abroad fair in Sheehan Hall and pick up information on different countries to travel to. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a different culture, meet new people, and have the semester of a lifetime!

For more information you can attend one of the study abroad information session on February 17th from 4:00-5:00 and March 8th from 4:00-5:00. Both sessions will be held in the Foster Room in the Student Center.

Other opportunities

15th Annual Undergraduate Shakespeare Conference

Saturday, April 2nd, 2016
10:00-4:45 pm
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Proposals can be based on works in-progress.

Due March 11th, 2016
The proposal should be 300 words maximum.
Make sure to include student’s name, address, telephone number, school,
and faculty sponsor
Papers should be geared for a fifteen-minute presentation.

Transportation to the Conference (free for all attendees) will originate at The College of the Holy Cross.

For more information:

Presidential Student Ambassadors

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The presidential student ambassador program is a chance for student leaders to serve as representatives of the university and interact with a variety of important constituent groups both on and off campus. These students will have the opportunity to attend social functions, speak about student life and academic experiences, and present suggestions and ideas to improve the campus for generations to come.

Applicants for the PSA program must be currently enrolled as a undergraduate at Worcester State and have completed at least 12 credits here, maintained at least a 2.7 GPA and good judicial and academic standings, and be available to start in Fall 2016 for the full 2016-2017 academic year.

Applications due by February 26th, 2016.

More information about the PSA program can be found here:

Students can apply using the online application found here:

Spring Calendar Highlights--stay tuned for details!

2/15: Commonwealth Honors Project--proposal deadline
2/17 and 2/18: Book Discussions of She's Not There
2/19: UMass Undergraduate Research Conference--application deadline
2/25: University Keynote Lecture by Jennifer Finney Boylan
3/17: President's Dinner and Theatre Night
4/2-4/3: NYC trip
4/13: Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity
4/22: UMass Undergraduate Research Conference

Use the RSVP form to earn honors events credit

Remember that honors students need to attend two events per semester. These events may be sponsored by our program or by other campus organizations. Please consult the honors calendar on the blog and web site (or even embed the honors calendar in your own google calendar) and respond using our online RSVP form. Please let us know if there are any events on campus we’ve missed; we are always glad to add events to the calendar. The RSVP records are maintained by the graduate assistants; please address any questions to Ellen Snyder (

Contact Us

Commonwealth Honors Program at Worcester State University

Dr. Karen Woods Weierman, Director
Dr. Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier, Assistant Director
Mary Flibbert, Honors Assistant
Ellen Snyder, Graduate Assistant
Beth Powis, Graduate Assistant