|Matthew McDermott and Beth StAmant from the University Honors program.|
|Read Aisthesis online.|
UMD’s University Honors (UH) program provides students with “social awareness, broad thinking, and volunteering experience that allows you to learn about the world,” said Beth StAmant, a junior Integrated Elementary Special Education major and UH member.
This year, for the first time, UH published their annual Aisthesis journal exclusively online. Click here to view the journal. The issue features writings in the genres of poetry, research, fiction, and nonfiction. The three-credit advanced writing honors course associated with this project is taught by Associate Professor Liz Wright.
Associate Professor Ryan Goei, director of University Honors, recognizes the hard work honors students put into their research and the value this research adds to the honors programs.
"The journal is a way to highlight the scholarship of students in honors programs across the country," said Goei. "Aisthesis gives them an opportunity to publish their work and to disseminate their scholarship to a broader audience to impact the academic discussions in their fields."
The entries published in Aisthesis were selected by UH students and their professors. It was the students’ responsibility to seek out entries via email, send the requirements, and sort through the submissions. This gave the UH students a chance to read and review the work of scores of other honors students. "Publishing a national journal increases the visibility of UMD and the University Honors program both locally and nationally," said Goei.
Aisthesis chooses entries from national collegiate honors programs. “We accept entries from other places because it opens the perspectives of what other students are doing, instead of just focusing on St. Louis County,” said Beth. “It allows us to make connections and build bridges with these students.”
Producing the journal required teamwork, leadership, and organizational skills from the students. The whole process provided students with significant experience and preparation material for future projects.
“Working with the online publication process for Aisthesis was something new, other than the research and writing that we have done for it so far” said Matthew McDermott, a junior civil engineering major and UH member.
The University Honors program is composed of about 200 students ranging from freshman to seniors. However, students cannot join UH after their sophomore year. “Being in UH has taught me to be more socially aware. I have learned about different cultures, and I have become a broader thinker” said Beth.
Through the UH program, students are exposed to professors and professionals in varying fields. “The professors in the honors program are more flexible with the requirements; they leave space for you to learn in the direction you want to,” said Matthew.
This opportunity has inspired students to “do bigger and better things,” Matthew said. “When there is someone standing right in front of you displaying their success, it makes it seem more possible.”
University Honors is designed to bring together highly motivated students and dedicated faculty to provide a small university environment within the larger university community. The program offers students who are serious about their intellectual and personal growth a variety of special classes enhanced by cultural events, leadership, civic engagement and research opportunities.
For more information, visit the University Honors Program homepage.
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