Honors Writing Competition

“How has being a member of the honors college improved you as a person?”

This past Spring 2011, all Honors College students were invited to enter a competition in which they were asked to write an essay or poem answering the question, “How has being a Member of the Honors College Improved You as a Person?”  Many submissions were received.  An essay by John Mannhart and a poem by Johnathan Trosa were selected as the winning entries.

My Honors Experience

The Pforzheimer Honors College is not just an office located on the third floor of Mortola Library; it is a welcoming environment that promotes academic and individual growth.  As a sophomore in the Honors College, I have learned the importance of academic excellence and the powerful combination of service and leadership in collegiate success.  I greatly attribute the cultivation of these skills to my time spent not only at Pace, but also in the prestigious Pforzheimer Honors College.  Like every incoming college student, I was searching for more than scholastic enhancement.  I wanted a community atmosphere, something that felt like home.  Although Pleasantville is vastly different from my Long Island upbringing, the Honors College gave me a home away from home.
 Constantly being surrounded by familiar people in my classes, at events, in my dorm, and in the Honors office has allowed me to become comfortable enough to be outgoing and proactive in meeting new people.  Studying with the same individuals that I rode the shuttle bus with was a comforting feeling and living in the Honors dorm, Dow Hall, provided me with a sense of community outside of the classroom.  Once I started gaining confidence I became more outgoing--not only with fellow Honors students but with the entire Pace community.  I began taking advantage of Pace’s wide variety of opportunities by joining clubs and organizations, attending many campus events, and obtaining various jobs.  My many campus commitments and leadership roles enabled me to win the Pace Freshman Student Leader of the Year Award.
 With my growing confidence I wanted to take on leadership roles, specifically within the Honors College.  By working as a student aid in the Honors office, I am able to actively help create an Honors community.  I address student and parent concerns, help plan and organize Honors events, and interact with inquisitive incoming students.  Working along side Dr. Benton and Professor Walther has greatly improved my community service involvement and academic ambition.  I also recently applied to be a peer advisor in an Honors section of University 101 because acting as a mentor to other students has become a priority of mine.  Seeing how much I have grown makes me want to help other Honors students grow in the same way.
In high school, I lacked the motivation to participate in community service activities, but the Honors College helped me take advantage of many service opportunities through events.  Honors works closely with the Pleasantville Cottage School and gives students, including myself, the chance to regularly volunteer there.  “Wrapping Gifts for Underprivileged Children,” “Decorating the Cottage School,” and the “Honors UNV 101 Halloween Party” are some of my favorite, annual events that allow me to help these children and myself to grow.
 I am very grateful for the influence of the Pforzheimer Honors College in my life.  Without it I may not have become the person I am today and I hope to continue growing as a student, leader, and individual. 

By John Mannhart


All it Made me Be

Intelligence is not a grade,
Or passing a series of tests.
Creativity is not using shades,
Or music that sounds best.

Leadership is not having others do,
Exactly as you say.
For any given person,
Can do this any day.


Intelligence is the mind,
That thinks in its own way.
Creativity is the courage we find,
To be us despite what others say.

Leadership is serving others,
And gaining their respect.
Each of these we have in Pforzheimer,
Just as we’d all expect.

By Johnathan Trosa