Taylor-Crocker Honors Testimonials

What our Honor Students have to say!

black female graduate smilingThe Honors Program truly made my experience at Wesleyan the best it could be. The support from the Honors Program Advisors (Dr. Bill and Dr. Sanborn) was unmatched – I felt that I could come to them with any question, concern, or suggestion, and they would take care of it without me having to worry. The most impactful experience to me was completing my Honors Thesis with my Director (Dr. Preuss). It was a very flexible project that taught me how to conduct a research experiment and present my findings professionally. I believe that it really made an impact on the students and faculty. Through the Honors Program, I enjoyed the privileges of free printing, field trips, special topic classes, as well as being able to have a space where I could privately study outside of my room during times when the library was closed (Honors Lounge). I am tremendously grateful to have been a part of the Honors Program at NCWU.

Rebecca Mitchell '22, Honors Program Graduate, Biology and Psychology Double Major

medical studentI am very thankful for my time at Wesleyan. I was initially enrolled at ECU for undergrad but decided to go to Wesleyan when I was offered the Valedictorian scholarship which included being in the honors program.

During my time at Wesleyan, my closest friends were also recipients of the Valedictorian scholarship. We thoroughly enjoyed our honors classes together, some more than others. I will admit English and humanities with Dr. Ferebee first year was a struggle but I know it made me a better writer and well rounded person. The field trips to Sylvan Heights and the Duke Lemur center were also memories I will always enjoy remembering. American history on film, China business…. and CRYPTOLOGY with the cool enigma (I missed that trip due to working)!

There are so many more things I enjoyed, but I would have to say the greatest outcome from me being a part of the honors program is meeting Dr. Crocker at our first annual picnic. Our relationship grew after each subsequent picnic and I eventually discussed job shadowing with him. While he was not my assigned mentor (I had very little contact with my mentors), he has become a significant part of my life. He also came to my senior thesis presentation at Wesleyan, and seeing how busy he is now I can hardly imagine how he found the time, but he’s that caring of a man. I used him as references for school and a shadowing experience which allowed me to get into PA school. I kept in contact while in school and was the first one in my class to have a job thanks to him. Because of Dr. Crocker, I have been inspired to be a great clinician but also to give back to my community. While I am currently paying off student loans now, I look forward to being able to give back to Wesleyan, including the honors program, when I am financially stable.

Looking back, I am so glad I went to a small undergrad like Wesleyan and participated in the honors program. Going to Wesleyan also led to my scholarship opportunity volunteering at the hospital which led to my job in the ED which led me to my husband!”

Temple Mills – Honors Program Graduate and Biomedical Science major

man with red hair in blue shirt, college staff memberI do think I benefited from my experience in the Honor’s Program.  Probably the single largest benefit to me personally was learning how to write from Dr. Ferebee (you know, the 6 C’s).  I also appreciated the challenge presented in the classes that pushed me to work with the other students in the class to learn.  I was forced to learn in communities instead of always having to do it individually.

Along that same line, I think the program itself helped bring me to a higher level academically because there was no room for slackers in any of the honor’s classes.  It’s kind of like when a good sports team competes against another good team, both are forced to perform at a higher level to succeed.  That’s how I felt in my honor’s classes.  There was no way I could let another student outperform me, so I did everything I could to be my best.

There may be a few things to improve upon.  Off the top, I know that a lot of students who are coming through early college programs and may be a great fit for the honor’s program may be swayed against taking it if it’s going to make them stay beyond the two years they’re planning on being here.  I know, for me it would be a potential deterrent if I knew I would have to take out financial aid for an additional year to cover the $40,000 expense.  Maybe if there was some way to abbreviate the program for those early college students with Associate’s Degrees, it could entice them.  Trying to fit 8 honor’s classes in 4 semesters is pretty tough.

Lastly, maybe having the program more multidimensional could potentially benefit.  For instance, the academic side of things (i.e. what happens in the classroom) is very strong and students learn and grow a lot while in the program.  Perhaps having more service oriented opportunities or extracurricular opportunities (or requirements) may help give it a more well-rounded feel.

I know some of these changes have already been happening since I graduated, but these were a few things I can think of from my time in the program.

Ben Lilley – Honors Program Graduate and Mathematics major

Macon HammondThere is no question that I greatly benefited from my time in the program. I was given countless opportunities that I may have never received had I not been in the program, or if I had chosen another college to complete my studies. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate how the program helped to shape me as a better student, a more critical thinker, and an efficient time manager. The program is very rigorous and challenging, and sometimes can feel overwhelming; however, it pushed me to new boundaries as a student and person. My most favorite parts of the program included the Honors Thesis (my pride and joy!) and the relationships that were created with professors and classmates, alike. I have the program to thank for also making me a competitive applicant for graduate school (in the works as we speak). My only suggestion is to possibly offer more of a variety of honors courses to take as part of the program and improve the marketing of the program in the admissions office. With the exception of my previous comments, I have nothing but positive comments regarding the program and its operation.

I am genuinely thankful for all of the professors who aided along the way during my time in the program, the opportunity to complete a thesis that offered me invaluable experience in numerous ways, and your leadership as the director. I think you do a phenomenal job as a professor and as the Director of the Program. Thank you for helping to make my experience a great one during my time in the Honors Program.

Macon Hammond – Honors Program Graduate and Exercise Science major

African American student

Participating in the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program at North Carolina Wesleyan University was such a blessing! I had the opportunity to take unique courses like Honors English, American History on Film, and Positive Psychology – all of which stretched my mind to seek creative approaches to in-class assignments that translated to life applications. In particular, my honors course on Conservation Biology fueled my current research interest in malaria prevention. During this course, my class took a fun overnight trip to Pocosin Arts, where we learned about the beautyberry plant, and that is how I ended up basing my honors thesis on studying this plant as a potential mosquito repellent for almost two years afterward. The Honors Program provided me with the funds and resources to conduct my research activities as well as the means to present the results through a written thesis and an oral presentation. I even ended up sharing my thesis at the North Carolina Collegiate Academy of Science conference and won 3rd place in Biology! This research has continued into my graduate-level work and is a significant part of what introduced me to the sphere of public health. I can truthfully say that without the Honors Program, I would be ill-prepared to do the level of work that I am doing now.

Besides academics, this program also helped me socially. The honors community is tight-knit. Being in the program situated me within a network of like-minded students who were excited to promote change, were self-starters, and became leaders of organizations. They, as well as the program directors, Dr. Bill and Dr. Sanborn, pushed me to grow professionally by engaging me in meetings where I worked to plan my future courses and motivated me to think about where I was going after Wesleyan. I could go on and on, but needless to say, the Honors Program continues to make a huge impact on my life, and I am incredibly grateful!

Beverly Anaele – Honors Program Graduate and Biomedical Science major

Honor Student with diplomaI had a great experience with the Honors program. I really enjoyed the variety of classes offered outside my area of study. I think it creates a more well-rounded student since these classes require a lot more thought than standard gen-ed classes. These classes were also great because I knew I would be surrounded by like-minded students who took their education seriously and held themselves to the same standards. I appreciated the trips we took to museums too, and the Renaissance Fair for Dr. Templeton’s class.

Looking back, I think my favorite experience was the mentor program. When Dr. Louch was my mentor, I really took advantage of this. I appreciated being able to develop a relationship with her outside the classroom, and I think it really added to the small school family-type experience.

The thesis program is great too. Talking to other students, that is sometimes a key reason for not completing the program. As someone who completed it, I wouldn’t want to have done anything else. It taught me a lot about my time management and being responsible for my workload.  It has been an impressive part if my resume that has come up in a couple interviews as well, and I think my passion and pride behind it comes across very well in those situations.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience, but I do believe, as with anything, you get out what you put in. I think something that might be neat would be connecting incoming freshmen/underclassmen with students in the program. Initially, my thinking was to match student with similar areas of study or similar interests, but I’m conflicted because I think I learned a lot from those who came from different backgrounds as well. This might help with retention because students might be more inclined to stay in the program if they know someone is in a way looking up to them.

Elizabeth “Izzy” Cobb – Honors Program Graduate and Mathematics major

I feel like I benefited from my experiences in the Honors Program.  First off, I feel like my writing skills were drastically improved by the honors courses I took.  I also believe that my research skills were developed and strengthened.  Many of the honors courses required research, so this allowed me to get great experience; and then of course the thesis was the BIGGEST help in making sure all I had learned from the different courses could be applied on a project that I mastered mostly on my own (with the guidance of Dr. Sanborn and my committee, of course).  But this allowed me to better understand the processes that go into research and writing papers, and it allowed me to feel as if I accomplished something BIG on my own.

Also, being the in the Honors Programed allowed me to take classes and attend trips that I would not have otherwise partaken in.  Even though Business in China almost killed me, I learned so much about a culture that ended up being very fascinating to me.  I also confirmed my love for puzzles, codes, and encryptions through your Cryptology Class, and even realized that math can actually be fun. Without the Honors Program, I know I would not have taken Ferebee’s Humanities course, and I would NEVER have read some of the literature that he required us to read that actually taught me to think about society and life in a different way than I had previously done.  I would not have heard of some of the songs that he shared with us in Rock-n-Roll History, and I would not cringe at the sound of someone saying “ummm” or “like” during a presentation, or correct myself when I say either word.

Honestly, I wish more students would be able to join the program or take the courses.  I know these courses definitely challenged me, and they brought me out of my comfort zone (some more than others), and I feel like these are things that students get from their four years of college.  They should be challenged, guided through different processes, and encouraged to work towards these things on their own (knowing that there are always people there to help them if they get stuck); they should be taught how to write, do research, and how to think for themselves.

As for things that I did not like, I did not like that there were no social standards to the program.  I felt as if there should be a certain level of “honor” to the Honors Program.  I know it is hard to regulate or monitor everything, but there were some things that I felt students in the program got away with that “tainted” the program…that lessened my sense of pride, so to speak, of being in the program.  I know this is college and that students are going to do things and make mistakes, but I think there should be a level of responsibility that comes along with being in a prestigious program.  I know there are academic repercussions if a student stumbles, but what about behaviorally?  That was something that I wish the program contained.  I feel that having consequences for certain behaviors, might would have influenced students to avoid those behaviors, or to at least be more conscientious with those behaviors.

Please let me know if there is ever anything that you need from me.  I am so thankful for my opportunities as an honors student, and I hope to see the program continue and thrive in the future.

Megan Brabble – Honors Program Graduate and Criminal Justice, Psychology, and Sociology triple major

Tyler - StudentIn my four years at Wesleyan, I was constantly disappointed in the low level of the classes. Very rarely was a class challenging or, in some cases, even worth going to.  The exception to this claim is the Honors Classes that I was signed up for. The professors who taught the Honors Classes not only gave each class a spin that required critical thinking, but also presented information in a way that invited input.  Through the majority of my Honors Classes, we were encouraged to work in a group and share thoughts rather than write them down on a paper that would eventually be thrown away with no one but us to benefit. Speaking out when I had thoughts gave each of us an individual chance to be wrong, but be told WHY we were wrong. It also gave us a chance to present a unique perspective and be right in more ways than “yes 2+2 does equal 4”. By presenting a new view point, it helped us, as a class, to grow from each other.

Outside of the class room, the Honors instructors were VERY open to office visits. Aside from talks in regards to assignments, the instructors were open to personal stories and conversation. On more than one occasion, I entered into a discussion with an Honors instructor on my own personal life or current events.

Both outside and inside the classroom the teachers and students that were a part of the Honors Program provided a wonderful environment for scholastic achievement.

Tyler Biehl – Honors Program Graduate and Business Administration and Computer Information Systems double major

Katie Beeman student in cathedralI always love talking about the wonderful honors program, so I don’t mind at all!  I definitely had no negative experiences with being in the honors program, quite the opposite really!  However, if I were to make one small critique, I would perhaps (especially if the program is growing) add a third course offering.  This is just me talking with no real understanding of how the administrative side of that works, but it would be nice to have more variety of not only course subjects, but time slots.

That being said, I now feel free to sing the honors college’s praises to my heart’s content.  I have to say that the honors college in particular really prepared me for graduate school, starting with the wonderful, albeit difficult foundation set by Ferebee.  I’ve heard that some students skip being in the program their first year to avoid his classes, but I am so glad I didn’t.  The courses that I took were challenging and most well outside of my own wheel house.  But, I am a better student for taking them.  They made me a stronger thinker if that makes sense.  As I said in your office, it’s a bit of a bragging point to say that I took cryptology!  But also British Baby Boomers gave me a different insight into British history that I have been able to apply to courses I’m taking now.  The way these courses are set up are so unique, some because of the HC’s funding, like going to the NSAs museum, but also in the content, like watching the documentaries in British Baby Boomers, or the film festival in the Medieval Studies course.  I decided what I wanted to do with my life in an honors course.  Junior year, Templeton’s Medieval studies course, I decided I wanted to go to graduate school and concentrate in medieval lit.

Being able to work on a project all year was also something that really prepared me for graduate school.  That time and research helped me get to know myself better as an academic, what strategies work for me, which don’t, time management, ect.  There’s also a confidence that you gain after completing such a large work and presenting it (in my particular case) at a conference and at school.  It’s still one of the things I’m proudest of.

Also, nothing can beat the connections that you make.  Having a group of people that you are already acquainted with going into a new experience like college was a big comfort.  The members of the honors college are on the same page as you academically, so you have a lot of the same goals, which is nice to have people who understand that.

I can’t say enough how thankful I am that I went to Wesleyan and became a member of the honors college.  I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience.  So, thank you Dr. Bill!

Katie Beeman – Honors Program Graduate and English major