To learn more about the Honors program, visit the Honors Web site.
To browse the 2016-2018 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2014-2016 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2012-2014 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2010-2012 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
To browse the 2008-2010 Catalogue online as a PDF, click here.
The 2006-2008 Catalogue is still available online as a PDF. To browse it, click here.
If you have questions or comments about the new online Catalogue, please send us your feedback.
COURSE CATALOGUE : HONORS AND AWARDS
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.
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.
2015-2016 Honors Projects
Aaron Ackbarali ’16, Mathematics
The Atiyah-Singer Index Theorem and Fractal Geometry
Jonathan Forde, Adviser
Emma Anderson ’16, Anthropology
Autoimmune Paleo Protocol: How the Unhealable Heal
Jeffrey Anderson, Adviser
Nicolette Andrzejczyk ’16, Biology
Histological effects of Endocrine Disruptors on Male Blacknose Dace (Rhinichthys atratulus) in the Seneca Lake, NY Watershed
Susan Cushman, Adviser
Geneva Calder ’16, Public Policy
Big, Bad, Western Pride’ and its Place in Influencing LGBT Rights in Latvia
Craig Rimmerman, Adviser
Kelly Craig ’16, English
What Happens Here Stays Here: Sense of Place and Identity in Las Vegas Literature Kathryn Cowles, Adviser
Annabel F. Cryan ’16, International Relations
Big Food, Big Problems: An Analysis of the Environmental Impacts of the U.S. Industrialized Food Industry and a Potential Local Solution
Jason Rodriquez, Adviser
Virginia DeWees ’16, Educational Leadership
Fostering Social Justice in U.S. Independent Schools through Culturally Relevant, Transformational Leadership
Jim MaKinster, Adviser
Noah Feeman ’16, Media and Society
Musical Interdiegesis: Soundscape and Leitmotif in Narrative Video Games
Rebecca Burditt, Adviser
Alexander Gatch ’16, Biology
Age and Size as Predictors of Mercury Accumulation in Lake Trout from the Finger Lakes
Meghan Brown, Adviser
Keri Geiser ’16, Geoscience
Reconstructing the Historic Trophic State of Four New York Finger Lakes using the Sediment Record and Water Quality Data
Tara Curtin, Adviser
Michelle Gomez ’16, Physics
Starspot Crossing Transits in Long-Candence Kepler Data: A Search for Correlations between Starspots and Stellar Properties
Leslie Hebb, Adviser
Jessica A. Graves ’16, Latin American Studies
SALIR ADELANTE: A Study Of Peruvian Migration and the Immigrant Experience
Brenda Maiale, Adviser
Olivia Hanno ’16, Psychology
Culture’s Role in Educational Goals: How Culture Dictates the Effectiveness of Sex Education in Rural Highland Guatemala
Brien Ashdown, Adviser
Macy Howarth ’16, Geoscience
Climatology of Wind Chill Temperatures Across North America
Neil Laird, Adviser
Garrett Janssen ’16, English
A Line in the Sand
Vinita Prabhakar, Adviser
Quincey Johnson ’16, Environmental Science
Fine-scale aboveground carbon distribution of forests with varying lithology: A comparison across two watersheds
Kristen Brubaker, Adviser
Amelia Littleton ’16, English
you took a photo of me looking
Geoffrey Babbitt, Adviser
Kathryn M. Mendez ’16, Biology
The Potential Use of Environmental DNA for Detection of Hemimysis anomala
Meghan Brown, Adviser
Colleen Moore ’16, Music and International Relations
Conflict Transformation and Music in the Israel/Palestine Conflict
Catherine Walker, Adviser
Ryan Mullaney ’16, Public Policy
Black Schools, White Cash: Historicizing Black Education Debates
Khuram Hussain, Adviser
Maximillian Piersol ’16, Philosophy
The Force of Art: A New Natural Philosophy
Carol Oberbrunner, Adviser
Edward Pressman ’16, Architectural Studies
Rethinking the Automobile: Addressing the Potential of the Automobile in the Next One Hundred Years Through Design
Kirin Makker, Adviser
Kristin Ressel ’16, Psychology
The Early Bird Gets the Worm: How an Early Childhood Education Program in Rural Guatemala Prepares Students for First-Grade
Brien Ashdown, Adviser
Daniel Schonning ’16, English
A Ruined Stairway in Snow
Geoffrey Babbitt, Adviser
Cassidy Smith ’16, Psychology
It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Overcoming Barriers Against Help-Seeking with Community Social Capital
Brien Ashdown, Adviser
Karly Wagner ’16, Sociology
Gender and Race on Display: A Study of Cultural Production and Social Reproduction in Museum Exhibits
Kendralin Freeman, Adviser
Lauren Walter ’16, Biology
Comparative Genomic Analysis of Apocynaceae Plastomes
Shannon Straub, Adviser
Allison Wilcox ’16, Chemistry
Enzyme Mechanism Influences Macromolecular Crowding Effects
Kristin Slade, Adviser
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 sophomore and 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.