National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 3–5


Copyright © 2022 Paul Ewing


As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.

In 1966, the University of Toledo Honors Program encouraged students to create their college curriculum. As a result, I created an interdisciplinary major in Russian studies. When confronted with different disciplinary approaches, goals, and values, students must think outside the boxes. Interdisciplinary studies generate critical thinking, flexibility, and creativity. Russian language, history, and political science raised questions about the relationships between culture, political theory, and historical outcomes. The two-semester Honors seminar in Russian and Soviet literature (in translation) provided a point of contrast with the first book of Anna Karenina for third-year Russian. A translation must transcend both languages. Translators work as artists, not as machines. The M.A. in European History came next. In my thesis, The Martyrs of Westminster: Burton, Bastwick, and Prynne, I argued that the Court of the Star Chamber’s 1637 inquisition of these men resulted in the abolition of this kangaroo court by the Long Parliament in 1641. Again, critical thinking, creative thinking, and flexible thinking contributed to the formation of the thesis, not to mention its research and writing.