Holiday Greetings to our Honors Program Alumni!

Rocio Rivadeneyra staff photo

Rocio Rivadeneyra staff photo

I am writing to you as Honors Program gets ready to host its eighth annual Graham Cracker Challenge. This event has become a favorite annual tradition in our program. One that both students and staff look forward to. It’s a chance for students to exercise their creative productivity as they create structures from graham crackers, frosting, and various candies and confections. As a judge, I look forward to seeing their unique themes and presentations. I am always amazed and inspired by our students’ innovation. I am looking forward to our festive atmosphere tonight.

2018 has been an amazing year for the Honors Program. We brought in our second largest freshman class and our largest group of transfer students to date. In addition, the diversity of our program continues to grow. We have the most diverse student population in our history and we introduced a new Dimension of Honors Learning (our learning objectives): Intercultural Competence. Our students have enjoyed this additional topic in our first-year seminar and have requested more courses and experiences related to this dimension. In order to keep us with student interests, we are rolling out a new Advanced Honors Seminar called Culture, Context, and Identity.

Our students continue to be engaged in our program participating in our six Honors Learning Experiences and community programming. Next semester our students will be engaging in two travel opportunities. Some of our students will be traveling to Memphis, Tennessee, as part of Alternative Spring Break to work on waterways conservation. Another group of students will be traveling with me to Cuba using the National Collegiate Honors Council’s model, City as Text, to learn about the culture, history, arts, health and education systems, and politics of this diverse and complex island.

As you can see, there are a lot of exciting developments in the Honors Program at Illinois State University. We look forward to hearing about the developments in your life as Honors Program alumni. Please drop us a line and let us know what you’ve been up to.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!


Rocío Rivadeneyra

Director, Honors Program