Two female students and one male student laugh together as they exit the main entrance of Thunderduck Hall.

Richland College Honors Program Planning Study Abroad Trip and Other Activities for 2018-19 Academic Year

The Richland College Honors Program has several new developments in progress this year, including an honors study abroad trip to the British Isles May 20-30, 2019.

The honors study abroad trip is an opportunity for students to experience literature coming to life as they explore the British Isles. During the 11-day course, students will receive credit for an honors level British Literature course and participate in selected readings, all while experiencing the stunning landscapes and imposing medieval architecture in Ireland, Wales and England.

“Bringing history, literature and culture to life by experiencing what we’ve only seen in pictures, heard in a classroom or imagined in our minds is what I enjoy most about studying abroad,” said Erin Kelley, English faculty member at Richland College who will lead the trip. “The exposure to different cultures on this trip will broaden your perspectives in ways you have never imagined. Studying abroad is an invaluable experience.”

Kelley is excited to teach her first study abroad trip, as she is passionate about both traveling and English. “My most memorable moment I’ve had while traveling has been seeing Juliet’s balcony in Verona, Italy,” she said. “Since I was a teenager, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ has been my favorite Shakespeare play. This play ignited my love for British literature and is basically why I’m a professor today. Seeing Juliet’s balcony in person was a dream come true!”

“Studying abroad is a high-impact practice,” said Kathleen Stephens, Richland College Honors Program coordinator. “Students receive the most educational benefits from such practices. By studying abroad, students become more culturally aware and sensitive, learn about their roles as global citizens and add these unique travel experiences to their resumes.”

Unlike the study abroad trip, the other Richland College Honors Program developments happening this year will be on American soil. On May 10, construction began on the new Honors Student Center, located in the current honors office space in El Paso Hall. With an expected completion date this summer, the Honors Student Center will be the first center of its kind in the Dallas County Community College District. It will offer a student computer lab, quiet study area, collaborative space, kitchen for students and staff offices.

“The Honors Student Center is an important step toward meeting all the basic characteristics set forth by the National Collegiate Honors Council, of which we are a member,” said Stephens.

In November 2018, Honors Program student Kirubel Solomon Moges will be presenting a poster at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in Boston titled, “Capital Punishment is the Ultimate Deterrent to Peacebuilding.” This is the first Richland College Honors Program student to have a presentation accepted at a national level. “Moges and all of the Richland College honors students are rising to the challenge of the program, which makes me very proud,” said Stephens.

To participate in the Honors study abroad trip, current DCCCD students must be accepted into the Richland College Honors Program, which requires a 3.25 GPA or higher and nine or more completed college-level credits. Previous Richland students who have transferred to a four-year college or university may also return to take the course. Scholarship opportunities are available at www.efcst.com/scholarship and full trip details are available at https://www.efcollegestudytours.com/professors-trip/2063544SV

The Richland College Honors Program provides highly qualified students with an enriched and challenging academic community where they develop the capabilities necessary to excel in their educational and career goals. In May 2018, 42 students with the Richland Honors Scholar designation and 18 additional students with the Richland Honors Certificate designation graduated from Richland College. Learn more about the Richland College Honors Program at https://www.richlandcollege.edu/cd/instruct-divisions/rlc/mshp/honors-program/pages/default.aspx.