Friday, October 7, 2011

CAP Honors Program alumni inspire current students

Alumni from the Capital Scholars Honors Program at the University of Illinois Springfield returned to campus on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 to speak with current students about how the program benefited them.

“(The alumni) are connecting their interdisciplinary coursework and the work they did in the honors program with their careers,” said Karen Moranski, UIS associate vice chancellor for undergraduate education.

Among the returning students was Blair Brown, the first CAP Honors alumna to earn a doctorate degree. Blair graduated from UIS in 2006 and went onto earn a doctorate in Psychology. She now works at a behavioral hospital doing individual, group and family therapy, along with other evaluations.

“I don’t know that the road would have been so easy for me if it weren’t for the CAP Honors Program,” said Blair.

The CAP Honors Program is a four-year baccalaureate experience open to a small number of highly qualified college students. Focusing on the student's total growth in the personal, academic, social, and civic arenas, the CAP Honors Program features interdisciplinary and collaborative learning and is designed to develop student talents through small classes that encourage lively exchange between students and professors.

“The students need to understand the value of this particular kind of curriculum. It’s not a curriculum other college students may experience,” said Moranski.

Chris Wyant, a 2006 graduate of the program now teaches high school English. While he didn’t always understand the extra work and requirements of the CAP Honors Program, he’s now realizing the benefits.

“I think the challenge of it allowed me to become more used to the challenging work environment and constantly being forced to think things through and really think in a complex way about things,” said Wyant.

Other alumni who participated included Carly Hawkins ’05, Samantha Kruse ’10 and Anna Van Voorhis ’10.

For more information on the Capital Scholars Honors Program and for requirements, visit their website.

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