National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 41–42


Copyright © 2022 Michelle Panuccio


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 1998, when I entered Youngstown State, I had never heard of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), which is now considered to be one of the most critical investments a company can make in building toward success. Just because the focus had not come yet, though, does not mean that the principles were not impacting people’s lives, including mine. At the core, an honors program exists to allow students who are academically strong access to additional resources, courses, and opportunities to test their strengths and push themselves further. This criterion naturally allows for students from a wide variety of backgrounds to come together with common goals. No one is required to participate in honors, and this self-selecting nature of the program allows students to know that everyone there is not only capable but also choosing to work harder, to do more, and to be their best, which is a unique starting point for building relationships.