National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Honors in Practice, Volume, 15, 2019


Copyright 2019 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


“Honors Work: Seeing Gaps, Combining Gifts, Focusing on Wider Human Needs” describes the authors’ collaborative work with high school girls to bring Canadian activist Leigh Boyle and “The Lipstick Project” story to Maine in April, 2017. “The Lipstick Project,” which Boyle founded and directs, is a women-run volunteer organization based in Vancouver that provides free, professional spa care services to terminally ill patients. The authors contend that their collective efforts with the high school girls to organize “The Lipstick Project” events in Maine brought together a number of community constituencies in important ways, reflecting qualities and values central to honors education. The authors cite the writings of the late Samuel Schuman, a widely involved and highly respected honors administrator and teacher, for their characterization of honors education as, at its best, engaged, imaginative, and socially conscious. The authors note how, through Boyle’s visit and “The Lipstick Project” gatherings, they confronted significant and bridgeable gaps: gaps between high school girls and college women, gaps among care providers and the university community, gaps in understanding the need for creative care. They conclude that identifying and addressing notable gaps can be an excellent starting point for an honors undertaking, particularly gaps that cross disciplines, form links to the local community, and focus on broader humanist concerns. They offer their experience as a replicable model for other honors communities to consider.