Honors Open Meeting

On Monday, November 7th,  the Pforzheimer Honors College held their fall semester Open Meeting in the Gottesman Room of the Kessel Student Center.  After all of the students had arrived and checked in with Honors College Advisor, Professor Christopher Walther, the meeting began. Dr. Janetta Benton, the Honors College Director, took the stage and thanked the students for coming to the day’s event. She then introduced this year’s Open Meeting Speaker, Dr. Joseph Pastore of the Management Department.

Dr. Pastore spoke about the current economic hardships our society is facing– not only in the United States but all over the world, because various international nations are linked together in some way or form. He also spoke about how technology has changed our society and how it also has affected the American economy.  After Dr. Pastore gave us his speech, Dr. Benton then introduced Professor John Cronin, who was awarded the 2011 National Jefferson Award for Public Service.  Professor Cronin is going to be teaching a new Honors class in the spring called, “Environmental Roots and Rights: The Practice and Principles of American Environmentalism.” This students will study the roots of American society and how environmentalists have helped shape it. This course will close with a moot court case, where opposing student councils will present their cases to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a professor at Pace Law School. 

Dr. Cronin also spoke about another new course that focuses solely on the nearby Hudson River. He told us how many cities were able to form successfully because of the river and how it allowed for transportation and protection.  It was also a determining factor in the development of western cities and towns. Many think of the Hudson as a dirty body of water near the city, but Prof. Cronin promises that the course will prove the river to be far more than this, but an integral part of society’s progress.

After both speakers finished, all the professors in attendance were dismissed, allowing students’ voices to dominate the conversation.  Dr. Benton took the stand and posed a series of questions to the crowd. She asked what kind of courses we would want the Honors College to offer in upcoming semesters and what teachers we would want to teach some of them.  She also asked about our interest in the course that Professor Cronin had described. Then the students were allowed to voice our concerns.  Some of us had issues will fulfilling requirements and others had some questions about upcoming events.  Overall, the event was very successful, it is great to know that we have an active role in our education. Students also didn't mind sampling the varied cookie and fruit display in the back of the room!