Honors students kick off year with barbecue

University Fellows Jarrett Wolske and Noemi Rodriguez join Victor E. Huskie, decked out in his Honors Program sash.
University Fellows Jarrett Wolske and Noemi Rodriguez join Victor E. Huskie, decked out in his Honors Program sash.

University Honors kicked off the year with its annual Welcome Back Barbeque, with guest of honor President Doug Baker in attendance.

Baker shared his six priorities with attendees and encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities and initiatives at NIU.

More than 200 University Honors students were in attendance and enjoyed from a barbeque spread as well as a meet-and-greet with University Honors staff.

This and similar events provide students the “opportunity to develop relationships with other students, professors and the administrative team of University Honors and feel part of a community at NIU,” said Brandon Phillips, peer instructor for a section of University 101 Honors.

The new University Honors freshmen class, which numbers 223 students, posts the following academic averages: 3.9 GPA, 28.5 ACT and 89th percentile rank.

University Honors engages its freshmen before classes start by organizing a freshmen retreat at the NIU Lorado Taft Field Campus. Working with 14 University Fellows, who are student staff members, freshmen spent two days meeting NIU administrators and faculty, participating in community-building exercises and getting advice from upperclassmen.

University Fellows Noemi Rodriguez and Jarrett Wolske shared their enthusiasm about the events and programs that University Honors has developed to engage students.

As coordinators of Birthday Boxes, University Honors’ service learning project, they plan a variety of fundraising and community service activities. Among these is the “Social Justice Conference: Strengthening our Campus Community while Developing Culturally Effective Students,” scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 19. Details are forthcoming.

For more information on the NIU Honors Program, call (815) 753-0694 or email [email protected].

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