Honors Interview Day: Successful

Emily Chudzik, News Editor

On Valentine’s Day weekend, the Millikin Honors Program welcomed over one hundred perspective students and their families for the annual Honors Interview Day. On Friday night, thirty-five perspective students stayed overnight, hosted by the freshmen honors students of Dolson 3. There were a few “get to know you” activities, including the annual rock, paper, scissors tournament, different student panels, and an impromptu movie night.

The overnight opportunity and the interview day is something that Millikin prides itself on as being unique and informative. “I think the main advantage is getting to show perspective students a day in the life of a student. You feel like you’re at college, and [you] get to experience Millikin University, and very few other schools offer that,” Jared Rixstine, junior piano performance and political science major, said. “They might have lectures and food, but not many will offer to let you stay [overnight] to show off what they have.”

On Saturday, President Patrick White welcomed the students and their families with a speech celebrating their high achievements and academic journeys thus far. Perspective students, paired with a current honors student, attended a few sample seminars from professors like Dr. Eric Roark, Dr. Robert Money, and Dr. Michael George. Their parents attended informational seminars about Millikin. Students also attended a “student panel” where current honors students answered any and all questions that the perspective students had about the Honors Program or college life in general. After the sample seminars, students joined back with their parents for lunch. Following lunch, they had their interviews at various times, which the James Millikin Scholars helped conduct.

Dr. Cheryl Chamblin, the director of the Honors Program, was very pleased with the results. “It was fabulous. We had a wonderful turn out. Millikin University is so special and unique in so many ways. You can’t just tell someone about it, they have to see it,” Chamblin said. “We couldn’t have done this without each and every guide, evening host, and interviewer. We had a couple of [perspective] students write to us, and one thing they noted was this day at Millikin was different from other days. They had one student who could answer all of their questions, as opposed to being lectured to by a number of students. That made Millikin look unique, because we are no doubt about it.”

Chamblin also thought the day was beneficial for perspective students and current students alike. “I think the most beneficial part for the perspective students was the seminars. They actually got to see the types of classes they would have when they get into the Honors Program,” Chamblin said. “[As for the current students,] I think this day gets them more excited about the program and reflect on the program itself.”

“[Being in] the Honors Program has given me the opportunity to add my second major. It has allowed me to study topics in depth and with a definite focus, rather than just a survey course,” Rixstine said. “I really enjoy the sense of community as well. I know lots of people in different disciplines and have classes with them. My first year living in the LLC, I made friends who are still my best friends to this day.”

When asked what made her proud to be the director of the Honors Program, Chamblin replied, “What doesn’t? The students are talented academically and in so many other things. They are leaders. They are a wonderful bunch of students that take responsibility and do things well.”

The student panels on Friday were new for this year’s overnight, and the sample seminars on Saturday were a new edition to the interview day as well. In addition, a change for this year, ten to twelve perspective students will be interviewed again for the Presidential and Provost Scholarships. “It will be a tough decision. There are some really strong candidates. They are wonderful high school students and they’re going to be great honors students,” Chamblin said.