By Hayley Cox
The Texas A&M University Association of Former Students (AFS) is a major contributor not only to the University as a whole, but specifically to Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR). AFS has been an essential contributor to National Fellowship applicants, Student Research Week, Honors courses, and HUR’s annual event which celebrates graduating seniors. AFS funding has been used to prepare students for National Fellowship applications such as the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. This funding will also be used this spring in order to support Student Research Week, in which over 300 undergraduates present their research and scholarly works. Finally, this year AFS funding will be used to support over 1500 students who are enrolled in more than 300 Honors courses taught by faculty, and to recognize the accomplishments of Honors graduates and Undergraduate Research Scholars. These students will be recognized at an HUR event in May that celebrates approximately 400 graduating seniors.
Over the years, AFS has also contributed to Honors and Undergraduate Research via the Honors Housing Community, the Honors Student Council, the University Scholars Program, and the annual Faculty Social.
The Honors Housing Community (HHC), under Program Coordinator Abigail Graves, has undergone a lot of changes recently. Graves said, “One of the biggest changes we’ve (HHC) made is combining an academic curriculum with a social structure. Students are assigned “families” now, in which there are activities and information is presented about resources and opportunities on campus.” She said, “Our objective is not to produce students that have all the answers, but who have questions. Being an educated individual is about constantly creating our individual process through which we interpret and operate in the world.”
See some photos from our Honors Housing Community “DORMAL” !
The Honors Student Council (HSC) represents and leads Honors students at Texas A&M and serves as a connection between the students and faculty, administration, and governing bodies. Throughout each year HSC holds events for Honors students such as discussions, seminars, and socials. HSC President Kathryn Kudlaty said, “The goal of HSC is to contribute to honors students getting the most out of their honors experience here at A&M by promoting their intellectual enrichment, growing a sense of community, and providing them with a representative voice.” Kudlaty said, “At the end of the day, it is the support and resources entrusted to us that allow us to invest in the current and future generations of honors students.”
The University Scholars Program (UScholars), also AFS-funded, celebrates students who exemplify academic leadership, and develops these students both personally and professionally. It seeks not only to find the most motivated and curious Honors students, but also to challenge them further. A major benefit of the Uscholars program is the one-on-one interaction between students and faculty.
Honors and Undergraduate Research is incredibly grateful for its relationship with the Association of Former Students and the contributions made to its programs and its students. It is because of this generosity that HUR will continue to grow and development in the best interest of its students and the university!