On Thursday, December 13, while most Honors Students were enjoying the first day of winter break, and our 29 University Honors Program graduates were preparing to bid Aggieland goodbye, a group of 15 student leaders from Honors Student Council, the Honors Housing Community Student Leaders, and University Scholars gathered in the chilly morning air to kick off the second-annual Honors Student Leader Retreat. This retreat provided an opportunity for students from our various Honors communities to make and reinforce connections, share experiences, and consider goals for all Honors Students.
The day started at the Aggie ChallengeWorks course. Fueled by donuts, milk and juice, students worked their way through a series of activities designed to stimulate creative problem-solving and break down barriers. In the process they endured planetary annihilation, time travel, and the extreme physical challenge of the “meat grinder.”
One of the most salient lessons the students learned was that communication takes work, especially when ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to give input and contribute their strengths. At the end of the morning, the word that summarized the experience was “trust.”
Next the group headed off to Rudder Tower for lunch while thinking through the various expectations we have for the Honors community. The object of this session, facilitated by Dr. Craig Rotter, was to help identify what an ideal Honors experience would look like.
Adelia Humme ’15 noted that “having Dr. Rotter as our discussion leader was fantastic. He is a great motivator and gets students to generate ideas without even recognizing that they are working.” A primary objective of the retreat was to develop a project priority list that Honors Student Council can address in the coming year. Some of the ideas generated include:
• Strengthen upperclassman Honors Student community
• Develop structured international Honors opportunities
• Find a common space for Honors Students to meet and share ideas
• Create small peer-taught Honors courses like University Scholar Faculty Mentor Groups
• Introduce more students to research opportunities across disciplines
Honors Student Council will continue to work with the ideas generated and seeks Honors Student input and participation as they work to make the Honors experience at Texas A&M the best it can be.
To view all the photos from the retreat, check out our photo album.