Drury University revamps Honors Program & welcomes new class

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 6, 2015 — Drury University is proud to welcome 20 new students into its Honors Program for 2015-16. These exceptionally talented individuals are part of a fresh wave of students coming in at an exciting time for the program under new director Dr. Richard Schur.

Today’s honors students are looking for “hands on” courses that allow them to take ownership over their education, Schur says. Students also want to take these courses as part of their regular degree program rather than as separate classes, he says.

After a comprehensive review of its curricula, Drury has identified more than 70 honors courses that emphasize student-directed learning. In these classes, students pose solutions to scientific, social, and cultural problems, engage in service learning projects throughout the region, complete research projects, and dig deeply into scholarly literature. Drury’s program spans a student’s entire academic career and caps off with an in-depth senior project of their own choosing. Throughout, students can expect close mentorship from faculty members as they explore their academic interests and passions.

Rather than relying solely on past academic performance, the best candidates for the revamped Honors Program are those students who exhibit character traits that lead to long-term success.

“We want students who are ambitious, independent, hardworking, curious, and socially engaged with the world around them,” Schur says. “We believe that those are the attributes that both help a person succeed in the Honors Program and succeed in life.”

Drury has also focused on improving the student experience for honors students. Upperclassmen have founded a new Honors Student Association. The group hosts regular dinners for honors students, plans weekend trips, and comes together to attend local theatre shows and films. Honors students can also live together on campus in Living-Learning Communities during their freshmen year.

Admission into the program is competitive and selective. For this year’s class, the average ACT score for admitted students was a 30, with an average high school GPA over 4.0. The 2015-16 Honors Program class includes the following students (note: one student opted not to be named in this release).

  • Laura Brasier an English and secondary education major from Plano, Texas and graduate of Plano High School.
  • Mason Coble an economics major from Nixa, Mo. and graduate of Nixa High School
  • Miriam Colligan a biochemistry major from Farmington, Mo. and graduate of Farmington High School
  • Haley Davis an advertising and public relations major from Nashville, Tenn. and graduate from Hillsboro High School
  • Victoria Deren an undecided major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Grace Classical Academy
  • Rachel DeWeerd a biochemistry major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Glendale High School
  • Michelle Herman a psychology and criminology major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Central High School
  • Alaina Hoover a biochemistry and pre-med major from Troy, Ill. and graduate of Triad High School
  • Morgan Lamkin an undecided major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Glendale High School
  • Miranda Maverick a psychology, sociology and criminology major from Tunas, Mo. and graduate of Buffalo High School
  • Natalie Maxson a philosophy and religion major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Kickapoo High School
  • Savannah McCauley a psychology major from Rogers, Ark. and graduate of Rogers High School
  • Isabella Melena a biochemistry and pre-med major from Arvada, Colo. and graduate of Ralston Valley High
  • Abby Mercer a music therapy major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Grace Classical Academy
  • Ethan Miktish a biochemistry and pre-med major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Central High School
  • Kris Rose a sociology, history and secondary education major from Liberty, Mo. and graduate of Kearney High School
  • Alex Scott a behavioral neuroscience major from Chesterfield, Mo. and graduate of Lafayette High School
  • Ashley Simpson a history major from Sparta, Mo. and graduate of Ozark High School
  • Nolan Woodman a political science and philosophy major from Billings, Mo. and graduate of Marionville High School

Visit www.drury.edu/honors for more information about the program and the students and alumni involved.

Contact: Dr. Richard Schur, Honors Program Director & Professor of English. Office: (417) 873-6834; email: rschur@drury.edu.