March 13th, 2015 (Jupiter, FL)–– The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University is excited to announce an important new Summer Seminar for High School Students, made possible by a $20,000 Special Initiative Grant from the Florida Humanities Council (FHC).
Last summer, in partnership with Eckerd College, the Council piloted its first seminar entitled “New Eyes for a New Century: The Humanities 20-20.” After the great success of this program, the Florida Humanities Council launched a new grant initiative in 2015 to support a weeklong, residential humanities-based seminar for rising high school juniors and seniors. This academic year, the FHC funded four seminars, which will include Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, the University of Florida in Gainesville, the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, and Florida Atlantic University’s Wilkes Honors College in Jupiter.
FAU’s seminar will accommodate at least 25 students in a week-long program from June 14 to June 19, 2015. The theme of the Honors College’s seminar will be “Florida on the Edge of Tomorrow: Change, Innovation & the Humanities:” a place-based program that will draw on FAU’s unique geographical location, the MacArthur campus’ proximity to the Scripps and Max Planck Florida Institutes, and the Wilkes Honors College’s strengths in the humanities and social sciences. Each student will be involved in experiential education: getting out of the classroom and, with the guidance of faculty members, interacting with each other in some dynamic environments. The program will serve to introduce high school students to a collegiate living-learning environment, as well as to promote the humanities with the hope of inspiring student participants to pursue a career in one of the diverse fields represented within the humanities. Several of the program’s learning modules will focus on modern Florida and the natural environment.
The Honors College was encouraged to apply for the Special Initiative Grant by Dr. Nancy K. Poulson, Professor of Languages, Linguistics, and Comparative Literature at FAU, former Associate Dean of the Honors College, and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Florida Humanities Council. As a result of this encouragement, the program’s lead scholar, Dr. Christopher Strain, professor of American Studies, along with many other Honors College faculty members, developed a summer program that will highlight several of FAU’s unique strengths. “A number of faculty members have collaborated to brainstorm, make suggestions, and plan academic lessons for the students. Professors Christopher Ely, Jacqueline Fewkes, Dorotha Lemeh, Rachel Luria, John Moore, Ashley Kennedy, Mark Tunick, and William O’Brien will all share duties as instructors this summer,” says Dr. Strain. Other faculty members who will take part in this program include Dr. Jeffrey Buller, Dean of the Honors College. The faculty will link their proficiencies in Anthropology, Social Science, Environmental Science, Biology, Art, History and Philosophy to give students a complex understanding of the humanities and how they can be integrated toward a common goal or focus.
Dr. Strain also noted that one of the most instrumental figures in securing the grant and making this program happen has been Dr. Monica Maldonado, Associate Director of Honors College Student Activities. As the program coordinator, Dr. Maldonado has been responsible for providing extensive logistical support for the project. “She submitted the grant application. She’s planning the marketing and advertising. She’s scheduling the week’s activities. She’s handling the logistics. She is in charge. And it’s been great working with her to make it happen,” states Dr. Strain.
The Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College is very excited to host this program this summer, and is very thankful to all those who have participated in the planning and development of this project. “Faculty and staff at the Honors College work very closely with each other across disciplinary boundaries, both in the classroom and outside of it, so a program such as this one is a natural extension of what we’re already doing,” affirms Dr. Strain.
About Florida Atlantic University: Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.