This Week In Honors

The week of February 15th, 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. Please contact Dr. Weierman if you need a short extension.


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

3/11: Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity, 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 Events

University Keynote Book Discussion: She's Not There

Don't miss the discussion of the book, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders, by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Hosted by Dr. Karen Woods Weierman, Dr. Jennifer Hood-DeGrenier, and Dr. Sam O'Connell (VPA/Theme Semester Coordinator). Refreshments will be served.

Wednesday, February 17th at 3:30-5:00 p.m. in Sheehan, Room 109
Thursday, February 18th at 2:30-4:00 p.m. in Wasylean, 7 Hills (Room 109).

Thursday, February 25th at 7pm Jennifer Finney Boylan will be here for the University Keynote Lecture.

Study Abroad Information Session

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When: February 17th, 2016
Time: 4:00-5:00 pm
Where: Foster Room in the Student Center

If you missed the Study Abroad fair or just want more information come to the information session on Wednesday February 17th or March 8th. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience a different culture, meet new people, and have the semester of a lifetime!

Remember that the Honors Program offers study abroad scholarships and travel grants--see the directors for more information.

Green Grows the Future: The Perennial Promise of the Garden City

When: Thursday, February 18,

Time: 3pm – 4pm

Location: ST 318

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:

Winter Cold Got You Down?

Here are a few ways to be happier!

1. Realize that happiness doesn’t mean having everything you want and being problem-free all the time.

2. Remember that your negative thoughts are not true. They’re just thoughts.

3. Start your day by reminding yourself one positive thing about your life.

4. Anyone can benefit from therapy, so consider making an appointment for a checkup. Our counseling services are wonderful.

5. Actually take the time to plan short-term pleasure AND long-term goals.

6. Don’t forget that your physical health has an impact on your mental health, too. Get up and go for a walk, maybe bring a friend with you to keep you company.

7. Treat yourself with compassion and lots of love.

8. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health!

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
3/11: Celebration of Scholarship and Creativity abstract deadline
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