To learn more about the Honors program, visit the Honors Web site.


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Dean's List

The Committee on Standards has established the following standards for this distinction: Students must complete four full credit courses or their equivalent for the academic semester; at least three of the courses must be taken for grades, with no grades below C-; courses taken for CR/NC must receive a grade of CR; no incomplete initiated by the student for non-medical reason may be taken; and a grade point average of 3.5 must be attained.

The Dean’s List is calculated each semester. A notation of this honor is made on the student’s transcript.

Honors Program

The Honors Program is a distinctive feature of the Colleges, open to qualified students who wish to achieve a high level of excellence in their departmental or individual majors. Working closely with an Honors adviser for the equivalent of one course per semester for two semesters, the student designs a project that is a focused scholarly, experimental, or artistic activity within the Honors field. Its basic value is to afford the student an opportunity for sustained, sophisticated work and for growth in self-understanding as the project develops.  Results of Honors work are incorporated in an Honors paper and/or an artistic, musical, or theatrical production. Honors students take a written and an oral Honors examination. The oral is conducted by their individual Honors committee, which consists of two faculty members from the Colleges and a specialist in the field, usually from another college or university. Successful candidates receive their degree with Honors, and that achievement is noted in the Commencement program, as well as on their permanent record. All Honors papers, including supplementary photographic materials and videotapes, are kept in a permanent collection in the Warren Hunting Smith Library. About eight percent of graduating seniors earn Honors.

Although “doing Honors” may assist students in pursuing their professional ambitions after graduation, such preparation is not the only objective of the program. During the more than 60 years that the Honors program has been in existence, it has responded to changing educational needs, often anticipating them. In addition to traditional Honors projects in which the Honors “field” more or less coincides with the student’s departmental major, Honors work can be done in interdisciplinary subjects and in areas in which courses are not given.  Purposeful off-campus activity, including study abroad, can become part of an Honors project and is encouraged.

2011-2012 Honors Projects

Cory M. Andrews, English
A Doorknob, a Floor, or a Sister to Marry
Caroline Manring, Adviser

Wendi A. Bacon, Spanish and Hispanic Studies
Translating Stereotypes:  Accent in the Spanish Dubbing of Disney Films
Caroline Travalia, Adviser

Wendi A. Bacon, Biochemistry
Myeloma Cell Biology:  The Role of the Bone Marrow Environment in Promoting Myeloma Cells
Patricia Mowery, Adviser

Adam D. Brooks, Chemistry
Precipitating the Future of Technology:  The Design, Synthesis, and Characterization of Molecular Wire Candidates
Christine de Denus, Adviser

Timothy H. Carter, English
The Subjunctive Life
David Weiss, Adviser

Sarah V. Cutts, Art History
Women's Patronage in Rome:  Paralleling Anna Colonna and St. Teresa of Avila
Elena Ciletti, Adviser

Samantha M. Dighton, Writing and Rhetoric
Cyra de Berg   -   A Young Adult Novel Chapters 1-5
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Nina E. Dotti, Writing and Rhetoric
Violence in Fiction:  Mapping the Language of Violence on the Page and in the Imagination
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Scott A. Earl, Economics
The Economics of U.S. Immigration:  A Literature Review and Synthesis
Elizabeth Ramey, Adviser

Daphney Etienne, Writing and Rhetoric
Imagining Haiti
Neeta Bhasin, Adviser

Isaias D. Garcia, Writing and Rhetoric
$wagonomics - The Financial Literacy Empowerment Electronic Textbook
Michele Polak, Adviser

Owen H. Henn, Sociology
Medical Sociology:  Diabetes in the United States as a Social Institution
Jack Harris, Adviser

Sara M. Hollingshead, Writing and Rhetoric
A Trail of Strips:  A Collection of Short Narratives
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Matthew P. Hursh, Public Policy
Affirmative Action:  Examining Its Validity in American Society
Craig Rimmerman, Adviser

Gina M. Iannitelli, Studio Art
Abstraction and Atmosphere—Exploring Spatial Relationships
Nicholas Ruth, Adviser

Patrick P. Kana, Studio Art
Production and Design:  Crafting a Chair in Light of 20th Century Modern Design
A. E. Ted Aub, Adviser

Rachel A. Kopicki, Classical Studies
Ancient Medicine:  Progress and Women's Bodies
James Capreedy, Adviser

Kristen N. Kush, Chemistry
Molecular Wire Candidates:  Synthesis and Characterization for the Race in Technological Advancement
Christine de Denus, Adviser

Hunter  LaCroix, History
Blood in the Soil:  Conquest, Revolution, and War in the Caucuses
Derek Linton, Adviser

Katherine E. Levenstein, Writing and Rhetoric
AmaZINE women:  An Informative Online Zine about Young Women’s Health and Guidance for Healthful Living
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Yaoxin  Liu, Mathematics
A Mathematical Model:  Hepatitis B and Hepatitis D Co-infection
Jonathan Forde, Adviser

Constance H. Mandeville, History
Breezy Nature:  The Story of Elizabeth Smith Miller, Anne Fitzhugh Miller and Political Equality in Geneva, New York
William Harris, Adviser

Sarah E. Marlow, Philosophy
Find and Flourish:  Plato's Theories of Education as a Potential Basis for Reforming Urban Education
Eugen Baer, Adviser

William R. McConnell, Sociology
THE SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF SUICIDE:  Exploring the Network Approach
Wes Perkins, Adviser

Mark C. McInerney, Economics
Financial Instability:  The Effects of Economics Trends on Financial Deregulation
Felipe Rezende, Adviser

Marcela S. Melara, Computer Science
ELARA:  Environmental Liaison and Automated Recycling Assistant
John Vaughn, Adviser

Jordann  Myers, Africana Studies
With a Touch of Make-Up 
  Africana Womanism: A Case Study of Miriam Makeba
Thelma Pinto, Adviser

Caitlin R. O'Brien, Political Science
Toward a Better Democracy:  Non-Rational Political Engagement and the American Democratic Structure
Paul Passavant, Adviser

Bevin M. O'Connor, English
Holding Ivory
Caroline Manring, Adviser

Mirel J. Oese-Siegel, International Relations
The CAPed Farmer:  The Common Agricultural Policy and the Commodification of the European Farm
David Ost, Adviser

Wade S. Perkins, Chemistry
Depsipeptidic Anticancer Natural Products and Analogs via Improved Latent Thioester Mediated Solid-Phase Methodology
Justin Miller, Adviser

Elizabeth A. Perry, Studio Art
Developing My Ability to See:  The Exploration of Success in Visual Relationships and Development of a Voice in Painting
Nicholas Ruth, Adviser

Gideon V. Porter, Political Science
A Perfect Storm:  Why America Does Not Do More to Combat Poverty
Iva Deutchman, Adviser

Mary K. Posman, History
“Why Rochester?” Jewish Refugees 1930-1950 an Anomaly in the Historiography of Guilt
Derek Linton, Adviser

Imani Schectman, Studio Art
Seeking the Self:  Reflecting and Reconstructing Female Identity
Christine Chin, Adviser

Emma E. Pierce Schell, Media and Society
Constructing Communities:  Non-Native Korean Drama Fans Online
Leah Shafer, Adviser

Lauren M. Schwarzenberg, Architectural Studies
Jogo:  An Educational Game for Literacy Enhancement
Kirin Makker, Adviser

Carrie A. Stevens, Writing and Rhetoric
FitFluence:  A Diet and Fitness Website
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Josephine P. Stout, Biology
The Genetics of Fruit Fly Eye Development:  Identifying the Critical Amino Acids of Sobp that Mediate Interaction with the Transcriptional Regulator Sine oculis
Kristy Kenyon, Adviser

Mirabelle F. Thevenin, Writing and Rhetoric
Miranda Rights:  Theory and Practice 
  United States Supreme Court Case Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Cheryl Forbes, Adviser

Tra T. To, International Relations
BEWARE OF THE DRAGON:  Vietnam's Foreign Policy Toward China
Jack D. Harris, Adviser

Jade D. Vasquez, Latin American Studies
Sin City:  The Real Life Story of Violence and Corruption in Ciudad Juarez
Brenda Maiale, Adviser

Shaun P. Viguerie, Computer Science
ISTAT:  Online Interface for  Hypothesis Testing and Statistical Analysis
David Eck, Adviser

Melissa M. Warner, Russian Language and Culture
“Date with a Bird:” Translating Tatyana Tolstaya
Kristen Welsh, Adviser

Elizabeth J. Wasmund, Religious Studies
2011 - A European Declaration of War:  A Religious Studies Approach to Understanding Anders Breivik's Path to Kill
Richard Salter, Adviser

Mary M. Williamson, Art History
Snake/Skin:  A Study of the Transformation of Women into Reptiles in Japanese Narrative Art
Lara Blanchard, Adviser

Chuan Wu, Art
Landscape Perceptions
Nicholas Ruth, Adviser

Shelby M. Pierce, International Relations -  completed  honors in 2010-2011
Language from the Barrel of a Gun:  Understanding the Lord’s Resistance Army Beyond the Western Press
Prof. Kevin Dunn, Adviser

Honor Societies

Phi Beta Kappa is represented at William Smith and Hobart by the Zeta Chapter of New York. Each spring, students from the junior and senior classes of both Colleges are chosen to become members. This is the highest academic honor an undergraduate can achieve and is based on their GPA and breadth of coursework across the divisions.

Other scholastic honor societies are Sigma Xi (scientific research society); Phi Lambda Upsilon (national honorary chemical society); Omicron Delta Epsilon (honorary economics society); Eta Sigma Phi (national honorary classics society); Pi Sigma Alpha (honorary political science society); and Lambda Pi Eta, Nu Omega Chapter (national honorary society in communications).

Hai Timiai is the senior honor society at William Smith. Its members are chosen each year for their outstanding achievements in scholarship, leadership, character, and service by the outgoing senior members.

The Laurel Society is the junior class honor society for William Smith women, which was founded in 1998 to honor the College’s 90th anniversary. Women who are selected for membership have demonstrated a commitment to the community through their involvement on campus, which may include leadership ability, participation in clubs, organizations, or athletics, academic achievement, social awareness, and community service.

The Hobart Druid Society was formed in 1903 to bring together a group of senior leaders to further the ideals of the College: character, loyalty and leadership. According to legend, the Seneca brave Agayentah presented a Hobart student with his oar at Charter Day in the late 1800s as a reminder not to forget those who have come before. The passing of the oar at each subsequent Charter Day, therefore, symbolizes the link between generations of five to seven Hobart men, chosen by their peers, who epitomize those cardinal virtues.

Chimera is the junior honor society, founded also in 1903, to acknowledge those men at the College who, as sophomores, exemplify those same cardinal virtues which set apart those several students selected into the Druid Society. Like their Druid counterparts, Chimerans are inducted on Charter Day.

The Orange Key honor society entered Hobart history in 1923 to honor those rising sophomores who had distinguished themselves in their first year at the College. Nomination is by one’s peers and election by the preceding members of Orange Key.

Endowed Funds and Scholarships

A considerable number of endowed scholarships and prizes are among the memorial and commemorative funds that have been established at the Colleges over the past 150 years. In addition to these endowed funds, grants in support of scholarship aid, prize awards, library support, and other special purposes are received annually from generous friends. A list of endowed funds and awards is listed under Directories.