HONORS COLLEGE NEWS
DECEMBER 2022 ISSUE
LEARN. SERVE. LEAD.
The Honors College at Purdue University Northwest enhances the learning experiences of highly motivated and academically exceptional students.
Honors College students engage in advanced coursework, experiential learning, substantive research, and collaboration with the University’s most outstanding faculty. These opportunities foster academic excellence, leadership skills, social and civic responsibility and other virtues required of outstanding citizens and innovators.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
━ Dean's Book Club
━ Dean's Day Out
━ Honors Living Learning Community
━ Welcome Home Festival
━ Remembering 9/11 with Guest Speaker Don Bacso
━ PNW Honors College the Most Diverse in Indiana
━ Honors Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
- Meet Honors College's 2022 Guest Speaker: Victor Garcia
- Salsa Dancing 101
- Hispanic Heritage Parade
━ Check Out the Spooky Activities We Did in October!
- Hocus Pocus Painting Class and Movie
- Trunk 'N' Meet
- Halloween Social
━ Honors College Continues to Lead the Way in the Sustainability Initiative
━ Honors Hockey Night
━ Student Internships
- Nathan Duesing - Political Science Major and Intern for Indiana Senator Mike Braun
- Hallee Petri - Biology Major and Intern at Meyer Veterinary Clinic
- Tyler Zega - Computer Science Major and Intern at Albanese Confectionery Group
━ Join us in Congratulating our Fall 2022 Graduates!
━ Reminder: Schedule Advising for Spring 2023
━ Important Dates
━ Save the Date: Honors College 5K Walk
━ PNW Days of Discovery
SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM THE DEAN
Dear Honors College Families, Friends, and Supporters,
As the we reach the end of the fall semester and another year, we are happy to share with you some of the wonderful things taking place in the Honors College and to wish you the best for the holiday season and the New Year.
Fall 2022 was a remarkable semester. This fall we welcomed the largest and most diverse incoming class in the history of the Honors College as over three hundred new students joined the Honors family. This brought our total Honors student body to over six hundred, representing every college and major on campus. At the same time, we have become the most racially and ethnically diverse Honors College in the state of Indiana and even more diverse than the PNW student population as a whole!
As important as the “numbers” are, however, the most important aspect of today’s Honors College is the sense of belonging and inclusion our students feel as part of a group of academic high achievers who lead the way in scholarly excellence and in service to the university and community. This newsletter highlights some of the ways our students have excelled in the classroom and laboratory—and beyond. It also features profiles of some of our recent graduates and their outstanding accomplishments. I hope you are as proud and inspired by them as I am.
Thank you for all your support for the Honors College. We wish the best for a happy holiday and a wonderful 2023!
Dean of Honors College
DEAN'S BOOK CLUB
Honors Explores Life's Biggest Questions with The Midnight Library
The Dean’s Book Club is a chance for Honors students from all majors to come together and engage in conversation in an informal, relaxed setting.
This semester, the Dean’s Book Club was held in a beautiful conference room in NILS (240) for two afternoons filled with deep discussion and contemplation. Students read and discussed The Midnight Library, a novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.
Far beyond the edge of the universe sits a library that holds an infinite number of books with an infinite number of stories of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, another for the life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. This novel dares to ask the question, what are all of the choices that go into a life well lived?
The Midnight Library is a beautiful work of fiction that explores the meaning of life as well as the impact of mental health.
Be on the look out for next semester's book selection and sign up to join the discussion!
DEAN'S DAY OUT
This year our Honors College is bigger and better than ever! As a result, this semester called for not one but TWO Dean's Day Out events. If you're not familiar already, Dean's Day Out is a special occasion hosted each semester that includes a day filled with education, exploration, and a whole lot of fun!
COUNTY LINE ORCHARD | HOBART, IN
It's no secret that the best way to ring in fall festivities in the region is by taking a trip to the local and beloved County Line Orchard! Our first Dean's Day Out extravaganza kicked off with a private event including a hayride, smores, games, and spooky stories by the campfire.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT THE GOODMAN THEATRE | CHICAGO, IL
The second Dean's Day Out was an equally special outing. We took a large group of students to see A Christmas Carol at the famous Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
A special reception was held on campus beforehand and included mock cocktails and an assortment of delicious Italian foods. Afterwards, the dean and his merry band of students departed for the theatre to experience a moving play about the iconic character, Ebenezer Scrooge, and his journey to discover kindness, compassion, and redemption in the midst of the holiday season.
HONORS LIVING LEARNING COMMUNITY
Did you know that Honors has its own housing wing?
Located on the third floor of Griffin Hall and recently extended into parts of Peregrine, this exclusive housing option allows Honors students to room together and offers its own special programming. This Fall consisted of door decorating contests, movie and game nights, and a big housewarming party to celebrate the start of the 22-23 school year.
WELCOME HOME FESTIVAL
Our Honors Student Advisory Board planned an extraordinary Welcome Home Festival to meet all of our incoming students and get everyone together in one place. The party featured a cookout, fun outdoor games, and dancing. Students rallied in the hope of a big turn out and promised to "Pie the Dean" if at least 100 students attended. As you can see, the event was a big success!
REMEMBERING 9/11 WITH GUEST SPEAKER DON BACSO
Don Bacso is an accomplished IT executive with over 25 years of experience in business. Mr. Bacso was a frequent traveler as a business IT consultant from 2000 through 2009. One of these trips would put him at World Trade Center Tower 1 on September 11, 2001. He was assigned an office location on the 57th floor of Tower 1.
As a survivor of the attacks on the World Trade Center, he made it his mission to enlighten and educate others on the bravery, patriotism, and sacrifice of the first responders on that fateful day. On September 12, 2022, Don Bacso was kind enough to speak to our Honors College and recount the activities, challenges, and heart break that he faced.
Thank you to our first responders for all you do!
We also owe a HUGE THANK YOU to Don Bacso for sharing his story with us!
PNW HONORS COLLEGE THE MOST DIVERSE IN INDIANA
HONORS CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
MEET HONORS COLLEGE'S 2022 GUEST SPEAKER: VICTOR GARCIA
On September 28th, Victor Garcia led an informative discussion on leadership and his path to success as part of our guest speaker series, Leading with Excellence.
We took this opportunity to award Victor Garcia a certificate of appreciation and announced that the fund's from next year's Honors College 5K Community Walk will be used to benefit the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. The walk is set to take place on April 1st, 2023.
SALSA DANCING 101
Last September, we offered a free salsa dancing class taught by the ever so talented, Sylvia Lopez, a successful entertainer and PNW alumna. People from all walks of life gathered to learn the art of salsa and how to dance to classic artists like Marc Anthony and even more traditional styles of Latin music.
Hispanic Heritage Parade
The Honors College decorated a float and participated in the Hispanic Heritage Month parade. The float drew attention to DACA issues with a special "Dreamers" theme and celebrated the diversity of our Honors College and our amazing Hispanic/Latino students.
CHECK OUT THE SPOOKY ACTIVITIES WE DID IN OCTOBER!
HOCUS POCUS PAINTING CLASS AND MOVIE
TRUNK 'N' MEET
Students and staff gathered in the PNW parking garage to beat the rain and partake in a number of Halloween festivities including a game of cider pong, fall crafts, and a thrilling race to see who can wrap a mummy the fastest!
HONORS COLLEGE CONTINUES TO LEAD THE WAY IN THE SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE
Last year, PNW and Earthling Bee Company partnered to collect more than 200 pounds of honey and debuted the new "Pride Gold" brand.
The goal of this partnership is to promote urban farming and increase pollination levels. In addition, having bee colonies on campus will also open up a number of opportunities for education and research.
You can read more about this process in the following articles:
Since this collaboration, our Honors College students have been on a mission to contribute in an attempt to bring more sustainability to Northwest Indiana. As a result, they've stepped up to the plate numerous times to label and bottle jars of honey. They've even put their creativity to the test by painting beehives!
This year, our students gathered once again in the Hospitality and Tourism Management building to start the process all over again. They formed an assembly line where they meticulously poured and bottled each jar, once again making a huge contribution to the cause.
Thank you Kale Wilk and the Marketing and Communication team for providing these lovely photos of our hardworking students 😀
HONORS HOCKEY NIGHT
Honors showed their PNW pride on December 7th with a special hockey game where we welcomed students new and old for an evening filled with pizza, prizes, and a thrilling halftime show featuring our very own Honors students.
Honors students are encouraged to think beyond their degree requirements and tackle opportunities outside of the classroom. This month we celebrate the following students that are gaining experiential learning through student internships:
Nathan Duesing - Political Science Major and Intern for Indiana Senator Mike Braun
"My internship with Indiana Senator Mike Braun’s office gave me a great behind the scenes look on how our federal government operates. As an intern, I would answer phones, write memos and letters, give tours of the U.S Capitol Building, and other office work.
It was fascinating to work in the center of our government in America and be a part of great senate office. It was a great opportunity to build experience in my resume as well as familiarizing myself with a professional office environment. It was a great internship and I would highly recommend that if anyone is interested they should definitely apply for it!"
Hallee Petri - Biology Major and Intern at Meyer Veterinary Clinic
"I spent 10 years in 4-H showing horses, goats, and swine. This is where I developed my passion for working with animals.
This semester I was at Meyer Veterinary Clinic to get a better idea of the small animal side of vet medicine. In that time, I learned a lot about the pharmacy, lab, and surgery. Surgery was definitely my favorite part and I’m looking forward to learning more. I believe that my time at Meyers has allowed me to learn what I do and don’t like about the field to help further direct my path for the future!"
Tyler Zega - Computer Science Major and Intern at Albanese Confectionery Group
"I am a Full-Stack Developer Intern at Albanese, which most people would recognize as the Merrillville, Indiana based candy company famous for our 'World’s Best' gummi bears! My work as a developer is centered around programming in our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to make it more efficient and easy to use.
Full-Stack Developers are concerned with how features work on both the front-end (user’s perspective) and back-end (behind the scenes), which has been a real challenge for me. The easier part, in my opinion, is back-end development as I can focus on just getting the feature to work. When worrying about the front-end, I always have to be mindful of what a user might be thinking when they are looking at the webpage. I may believe something is intuitive and worded clearly enough to be used by anyone, but not everyone may see it the same way which sometimes leads to confusion and complications. Most of the projects we do in class are made to be used and graded by people who understand programming, so ease of use is almost never as important as functionality. Adjusting to developing features for real-world everyday use has been my biggest struggle, along with writing effective documentation for how these features work.
Full-Stack Development is not my end goal for a career in Computer Science, but it is one of the most common entry-level positions for programmers looking to get into Software Engineering. Testing, meeting deadlines, documenting, and good design principles are all key skills I will need to be a successful Senior Software Engineer, and my internship at Albanese has given me invaluable experience with each of them. You could say it’s a pretty sweet job!"
JOIN US IN CONGRATULATING OUR FALL 2022 GRADUATES!
Samantha Aurelio | Accounting and Finance
"I just graduated with my degree in both Accounting and Finance as well as the Honors College. I was a mentor for the Honors College for two semesters. I really enjoyed this experience as well as getting to bond with all of my mentees! My favorite part of the Honors College was attending welcome days as a mentor. All of the activities were so fun and I loved having a good laugh with all of the incoming freshman. Being able to be there for them during the major transition from high school to college is such an amazing feeling! As I begin my career, I will never forget the memories I made in the Honors College.
My plan for the future is to start my masters at PNW in accounting while starting my position as an audit associate at FGMK, LLC. I am starting my masters so that I can be eligible to sit for the CPA exam. My hope is to pass the CPA exam in the next year so that I can become a certified public accountant. From there I can gain a higher position in the company. I am excited to see what the future holds and the opportunities that await!"
Mya Dixon | Information Systems
"I am an Information Systems major with a minor in Computer Science. I have been in the Honors College for four years. During my four years at PNW, I have been a Peer Mentor and Teaching Assistant. What I will miss the most from the Honors College is the community. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful throughout my four years. Everyone really cares about you and your success. Additionally, the events that the Honors College hosts are always so fun to attend. I am glad that I was able to be a part of the Honors College because of the skills they helped me gain and the community they provided.
My future plans are to start my full-time job at Carl Buddig as a junior Systems Programmer after I graduate. Next fall I plan to come back to PNW to obtain my masters either in IT or Computer Science."
Aaron Ramirez | Health Studies
"I will be graduating this fall with a degree in Health Studies and minors in Biology and Psychology. My favorite parts about my Honors journey was serving on the Honors Student Advisory Board and being a Teaching Assistant. I plan on having a career in Higher Education and am now currently working at Ivy Tech Community College as a College Connection Coach. Within the next year, I plan on pursuing a masters program either at Penn State or Ball State University!"
Sara Timmons | Human Resource Management
"My major is Human Resource Management and my minor is in Psychology.
My favorite part of being in the Honors College is the community and giving back. I love how you are able to feel like a family with your peers and these relationships helped me to keep moving forward and feel ready to tackle all that college brings. I loved how I was able to give back in our volunteering as well as how I was able to mentor and help students in multiple different ways through my Honors College career.
My future plans include finishing out an internship in my field and pursuing a full time opportunity in my field. I am looking forward to all the HR opportunities as well as future life plans!"
Megan Granados | Business Management
"I will be graduating with a B.S. in Business Management. My favorite part of being in the Honors College has been the wonderful friends I have made by getting involved in programs such as Peer Mentoring and the Honors Student Advisory Board.
After graduation, I plan to continue working for the Indiana State Senate while earning my Master of Business Administration, and eventually going to law school."
Ankurpreet Kaur | Biological Sciences
"The Honors College classes were always the part of my week that I looked forward to. From the first semester of my freshman year, I knew that the Honors College would be a special part of my educational career at PNW. All of the professors made the classes so exciting to be a part of. I'm glad the courses provided by the Honors College were different from traditional college courses. These courses allowed me to express my interest in research, mentorship, and leadership. The Honors College truly made me feel a sense of belonging and added to my educational experience.
I am now taking a gap year after my undergraduate studies to apply to medical school and prepare for my professional career."
Also graduating from Honors are:
Timothy Howard | Sociology
Daina Maleiska | Biological Sciences
Kathryn Rochefort | Elementary Education
Congratulations to Kathryn Rochefort who was recognized with the Chancellor’s Medallion, given for having the highest grade point average of all graduates in the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
Stevan Vuckovic | Biological Sciences
REMINDER: SCHEDULE ADVISING FOR SPRING 2023
Class selection grows more limited as we near the start of the Spring semester. If you are an Honors College student in a declared major who has not met with your Honors advisor, Allison Vickers, please schedule an appointment ASAP!
One of the benefits of joining PNW's Honors College is that you have access to priority registration each semester. Please take full advantage of this opportunity by registering for classes early so that you get the schedule you need to remain on track to graduation!
Please remember to visit the Announcements section on Brightspace regularly for important updates.
Enjoy your winter break! See you in 2023.
December 23, 2022 - January 2, 2023
Spring 2023 Classes Begin
January 09, 2023
DATE: April 1, 2023
CHECK-IN TIME: 8:15am
START TIME: 9am
LOCATION: Fitness and Recreation Center, 173rd Street, Hammond, IN 46323
Last year the Honors College raised $5,000 for building supplies for Habitat for Humanity. We then hosted a Wall Build on campus to aid in the construction of a house for a local family in need.
This year, all proceeds from the 5K community walk will be donated to the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana.
This two-day event will include keynote speakers and live, pre-recorded and poster presentations from PNW’s faculty and students.
Days of Discovery strives to:
- Increase awareness of PNW research, innovation and economic development impacts.
- Foster collaboration among students, faculty and the research and innovation community.
- Recognize our faculty and students who participate in research and scholarship.
Students that completed a stacked course in the Fall and Spring semesters are required to present their research at Days of Discovery. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.