Honors Program strives for success

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Honor students stopped to take a picture in front of Sue, the T-Rex at the Field Museum in Chicago.  Photo credit/Renae Michalski
Honor students stopped to take a picture in front of Sue, the T-Rex, at the Field Museum in Chicago.
Photo credit/Renae Michalski

By: Meagan Kowalik
Staff Writer

Students of all majors and minors come together with the Honors Program at IU South Bend.
The Honors Program offers motivated students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher an opportunity to reach their full academic potential at IUSB. The program requires students to complete 18 credit hours of honors courses to graduate with an honors diploma.
“Graduating with an IU Honors Diploma makes our students stand out when applying for jobs or graduate programs,” said Neovi Karakatsanis, director of the Honors Program.
During the upcoming academic year, the program will be sending letters to all first and second year students at IUSB with a 3.5 GPA or higher, inviting them to join the program and to learn about the many benefits of being an honors student.
“It is important to catch students early so they have time to complete the program by graduation,” said Karakatsanis.
Once a student is accepted into the Honors Program, the honor student needs to maintain a 3.3 GPA minimum and take one honors course each semester. In addition, honor students must attend at least three honors events per semester, including service activities.
“Service is very rewarding for our students,” said Karakatsanis. “It’s a way to give back, and it’s really a small token of our appreciation for the scholarships that honor students are given. Besides, it’s just another way for us to get together, roll up our sleeves, and have fun.”
The Honors Program will hold two information sessions at 1 p.m. on September 14 and 15 in Fireside B, located in The Grill. These sessions are open to all students who are interested in learning more about the Honors Program.
Every member of the program receives scholarship money to help with the strain of paying for college. All honor students also have priority enrollment when the time comes to sign up for classes.
“You will never be waitlisted or closed out of a course,” said Karakatsanis.
Students in the Honors Program are given many research opportunities that, according to Karakatsanis, encourage them to further and expand their knowledge and education. Honor students have the benefit of getting to network with highly successful students and professors.
Renae Michalski, president of the Honors Club said one of the biggest benefits of the program is networking.
“All of the connections you are going to build due to just being in the Honors Program—you connect with your professors, peers, and the community,” she said.
The Honors Program at IUSB is not only about academics, but it gives students an opportunity to become involved socially, on and off campus. The Honors Program holds events on campus throughout the semester that allow students to take a break from their studies and have some fun. Events include movie nights once a month and the annual honors picnic.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the program and a favorite among students is the opportunity to travel on all expense paid trips. In years past, the program has traveled to Washington, D.C., for a weekend trip to experience the historical elements D.C. has to offer. The program has made day trips to Chicago to visit museums, take architectural boat rides, and spend time exploring the city. In past years, the Honors Program has taken day trips to Cleveland, Ohio, to visit the famous Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame as well.
The Honors Program offers students “social events and opportunities to travel together and to connect with each other” said Dr. Karakatsanis.
Michalski highly encourages students to apply to this program.
“Just apply. See if you like it. You can always leave. But we haven’t had that happen,” she said. “I absolutely love our program. Everyone is like a big family.”
Students can apply to the Honors Program by completing an application online, found at IUSB.edu/honors-program.
Students who have any further questions regarding the Honors Program can contact Karakatsanis at nkarakat@iusb.edu or Michalski at remichal@iusb.edu.

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