National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 59–60


Copyright © 2022 Kathryn M. MacDonald


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.

Every time I begin a new semester, I often think about how my honors professors began their classes. There was a palpable excitement in their voices as they discussed how we would explore the given subject through a variety of lenses, uncovering nontraditional perspectives and allowing the conversation to flow freely. I remember the conversations continuing among my fellow honors students long after the class ended. The interdisciplinary seminars I took as an honors student continue to inspire my teaching today. The coursework in my honors program pushed me to embrace research and academic writing. My honors professors instilled the practice to always “dig deeper,” going beneath the surface level of any given subject. I took many classes that transported me to other worlds, be they Ancient Greece, 90s hip hop, geopolitical landscapes, or the deep writings of authors like the Woolf sisters, Plath, and Austen. Worlds that can easily be forgotten made my education exciting. Today, I not only strive to lead my students in interdisciplinary explorations and to bring the same sense of adventure in uncovering new knowledge, but I also get to run the day-to-day operations of the honors program at the college where I am now employed.