To the Community of Honors Program Alumni,

Gazing from the window in my office in Bowne Hall, I see students soaking up a bit of sunshine on the quad. It has been a cool and wet spring. Long awaited, summer seems close, and we have had a busy and productive spring semester!

We congratulated Kate Hanson on her appointment as the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE). Here is the news on the grand opening of SOURCE: . We are excited to partner with SOURCE to increase the level of undergraduate student engagement in research.

We announced the appointment of Naomi Shanguhyia as Associate Director of the Honors Program. Naomi has worked as Assistant Director, Academic Advising for Honors and Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) for the past 3 years. During this time, she supported Honors students as an academic advisor and thesis coordinator, and also guided students applying for nationally competitive scholarships through CFSA. We look forward to her next chapter as Associate Director of the Program!

On April 9th, we participated in a campus-wide celebration of Mrs. Renée Schine Crown, who has received the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnae Award, the George Arent’s Pioneer Medal, and the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement, for her ongoing commitment to the university. A biography of Mrs. Crown is here:


Picture of the Crowns with Honors Senior David Edelstein

On May 1st, we attended the Honors Thesis Presentation Day. Honors students conducted research and produced creative works which truly represent the intellectual versatility of the university. Their theses spanned across the disciplines, to include the social sciences, humanities, STEM, creative, and professional fields. Read more about their theses here:


Picture of Katie Berell Presenting her Thesis

At the Honors Convocation, along with their families and friends, we celebrated the extraordinary achievements of our graduates. These new graduates will attend graduate, professional and medical schools at Syracuse, Cornell, Columbia, New York University, University of Virginia, Upstate Medical University, and George Mason Law School, among other institutions. One graduate will conduct research in a virology lab at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Some graduates will begin their professional careers at corporations including Deloitte, Fidelity Investments, IBM  and AmeriCorps. Others in the class of 2019 will travel globally to pursue various opportunities such as  work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, teach English in Thailand through the Fulbright program, teach English in Israel, study the Azerbaijani language in Azerbaijan through the Critical Language Scholarship and conduct cancer research at New York University – Shanghai, China.

Picture of 2019 University Scholars

This year’s graduates have given back to their communities, here in Syracuse and beyond. Altogether, the 2019 graduating class completed 9,000 hours volunteering at different organizations such as Northside Learning Center in Syracuse, Upstate University Hospital, the VA Medical Center, Food Bank of CNY, Habitat for Humanity, The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, Global Medical Brigades and the Rescue Mission. Examples of civic engagement projects and pictures of students volunteering are listed here:

As they embark on their retirements, we also bid farewell to Professor John Western (Geography) and Professor Susan Wadley (Anthropology) at Honors Convocation. They were presented with the honors medallion in recognition of their extraordinary support of the Honors Program.

This academic year, many Honors alumni received major fellowships. Emily Malina (2016) received a Fulbright arts grant to produce a film in Bolivia; Nedda Sarshar (2017) was named a Princeton in Asia Fellow; and Lily Fein (2016) was a finalist for the Luce Scholar program. As alumni, you are eligible to apply for many fellowships and scholarships (including the Fulbright, Marshall Scholarship, Rhodes Scholarship, Schwarzman Scholarship and others). The Center for Fellowship and Scholarship Advising (CFSA) can provide you with the necessary support as you prepare applications.  Check out the CFSA website to learn more about these opportunities:


Picture of Nedda Sarshar

Neddar Sarshar (A &S ’17) named 2019 Princeton in Asia Fellow

This summer, we are partnering with the  SOURCE to organize social events for students who are on campus for summer research experiences. Let us know if you will be on campus and we will be sure to invite you to one of our happening events!

Have a wonderful summer and thank you for your ongoing support!

Danielle Smith
Director, Renée Crown University Honors Program

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