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A new honors program based on the field of cultural studies rigorously combines theory and practice, resulting in significant academic and personal growth among participating honors students. Particular activities and assignments connect academic theories to real world experiences, including writing a ‘shopping’ paper, eating dinner at an Indian restaurant, conducting an ethnography, playing the Game of Life, and participating in a walking tour of Ground Zero. Pre- and post-test assessments, five qualitative surveys, and an end-of-the-year comprehensive portfolio are used to document student learning. A new honors journal publishes an essay by each student from the first year in the program. Key areas of growth are identified as students’ ability to apply academic theories, be confident as students, comprehend difficult reading material, and write sound academic papers.