Honors students set to complete degree work and present theses

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SVSU is home to a large body of students dedicated to higher education.

The Honors Program website describes the program by saying that “the SVSU Honors Program comprises curricular and extra-curricular programs and activities for the academically talented student.”

Students can pursue their major and minor degree work while preparing a thesis, taking part in seminars, researching and socializing with fellow students.

Several requirements preclude entrance for enrollment in the Honors Program, including a 3.5 GPA, enrolling in a specific honors class and creating a thesis.

The thesis is a core focus of the Honors Program, which allows students to delve into their major by focusing on subjects pertaining to their studies.

This process teaches students how to focus on their respective fields and on the problems faced in their fields as well as how they can be fixed.

Honors students begin the process of creating their thesis as soon as they begin their freshman year at SVSU.

During their freshman year, honors students attend information sessions to begin to understand the process of creating a thesis.

They are encouraged to begin considering topics for their theses during their first year, although their final presentations will not be presented until their final year.

Honors students in their second year seek out a faculty advisor to assist them in the process of creating their thesis.

Third-year students propose their theses to the honors board. Upon approval, honors students delve into the research for their respective topics, writing a 30-page paper to be completed by the end of the semester.

The final paper is resubmitted to the honors board for evaluation and final approval.

Finally, honors students in their last year present their thesis to faculty and students. In this presentation, students are able to display what they have discovered in their research and their conclusions based on that information.

Honors Program Chair Elizabeth Rich said that it is increasingly popular for honors students to use their study abroad experiences to contribute to their thesis projects. Last year, honors contributed stipends to help fund over 20 students in study-abroad courses and experiences.

Dr. Rich emphasized how excited the board is about the active approach students are taking to incorporate their experiences with the study abroad program into their thesis work.

Erin Ruhlman, a criminal justice major, is preparing a thesis on drug crime prevention through predictive policing. Ruhlman will not be presenting until next fall.

Business major Michaela Hoogerhyde is focusing her thesis on the marketing field, measuring the effects of gender and mood on luxury perception.

According to Hoogerhyde, there has been a great deal of research done on all three, but never all three at once.

She believes that all three interact to affect how people perceive and evaluate luxury products.

This year, Honors Thesis Presentation Day will be held in Gilbertson Hall on Friday, April 7. Students and faculty will be able to come and learn about the work done and conclusions drawn by SVSU’s honors students over their four year career at SVSU.