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Honors Program opens doors for publishing major

Elora Karim

Illinois State Honors student Elora Karim.

For Elora Karim, a publishing studies major and Spanish minor, joining the Honors Program was a natural choice. Karim saw the program as a way to gain additional knowledge from her classes, while also helping her become involved on campus.

“Honors means you are putting an extra effort into your class to understand what you’re learning,” Karim said. “It is all about creating a community of people who you know are also going to have the same values from you in terms of what you want from your university and your setting.”

Outside of class Karim, who is also a Presidential Scholar, has taken on additional responsibilities as a secretary for the University’s Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology (CeMaST) and as a night editor at the Vidette. Yet by far her most ambitious move to enhance her education took place during the spring 2014 semester when she studied abroad in Granada, Spain. Karim found that Granada not only worked well with her academic goals, but also expanded on her personal interests.

“I chose Granada because it would complete my minor and also there is a huge Islamic background in the city and I’m Muslim. So I really wanted to explore that side of history.”

Karim decided to maximize her time abroad by travelling every chance she had. Over the semester she travelled to 10 other countries including Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, and Spain.

Being able to spend time studying in another part of the world was eye-opening for Karim, who relished the chance to experience new cultures and perspectives.

“The education you get there is completely different,” Karim said. “It really knocks you out of the comfortable path you’ve lived in in America. Spain was an interesting place because it is part of the western world but has influences from eastern cultures.”

Since returning, Karim is considering turning her Spanish minor into a second major. While she still hopes to one day work as an editor at a publishing house, she is also considering translation work becoming an aspect of her career. In the meantime, she plans to focus on her studies and campus involvement, while also staying connected with the Honors Program.

“Honors gives you so many opportunities in terms of your professional life, your social life, and your educational life—it opens a lot of doors,” Karim said. “You meet a lot of people who can help you in the future or give you some really cool inspiration. That aspect is completely worth it to me and should be worth it to anyone who wants to succeed.”