The Honors Program in Human Biology would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of faculty mentors from across the University. The amount of time a reader dedicates to an honors thesis student varies throughout the year and depends on student need, the nature of the project, and the amount of guidance a student has from other members of a research group. Some general guidelines are given below:
Regular meetings – We strongly recommend that faculty hold regular meetings with their honors advisees. One of the main goals of the Honors Program is professionalization. While students may learn very quickly how to gather data independently, they learn more gradually from their mentors how to be scholars. Sometimes students hesitate to ask for meetings, out of respect for the advisor’s time. By establishing a regular meeting time, students and mentors can overcome meeting inertia.
Critical periods for faculty guidance – There are several periods when students need to work especially closely with their readers: in February before the application is due; in May when the proposal reviews are returned; the following October as students write the literature review; during data analysis and interpretation; in late April when students submit their first thesis drafts.
Post-docs and graduate students as supervisors – Sometimes faculty mentors rely on post-docs or graduate students to supervise honors thesis students. In such a case, it is extremely important for everyone involved to be clear about expectations, to understand who will act as the primary supervisor, and to communicate often about the project. Graduate students and even post-docs usually have little experience as mentors, and faculty oversight can help keep the project on track.
The Human Biology Honors Poster Symposium is a day-long series of poster presentations. Students present their research for five minutes and field questions for several more minutes. The syposium showcases the excellent work produced by Human Biology students in a fun and highly supportive atmosphere. Human Biology encourages faculty, family, and friends to attend the presentations. Participation in the poster symposium is required for Honors students graduating in spring. Students graduating in fall or winter may may arrange a public oral presentation of their work for another time.
The Honors Symposium normally takes place during the 8th week of the quarter. The schedule for the most recent symposium may be seen here, and photos and videos may be found on the HumBio web site. Excellent and entertaining advice (from Prof. Colin Purrington of Swarthmore College) on preparing and presenting posters may be found at http://www.swarthmore.edu/NatSci/cpurrin1/posteradvice.htm.
The day of the symposium, Human Biology hosts a reception for students, their mentors, and their families to celebrate the students’ achievements.
The first reader is responsible for assigning the final grade for the Honors student. Near the end of spring quarter, both first and second readers will receive an evaluation form from the Student Services office, to be turned in before the student can be cleared for graduation.Return to Honors home
Last modified Fri, 31 May, 2013 at 14:56