With the 2023-24 academic year right around the corner, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh college and campus leaders are sharing programming and staffing updates. Today, Honors College Dean Larry Carlin offers highlights for the year to come.
What’s new in your college for the coming year?
The Honors College continues to grow. We are excited to welcome Laura Carnahan, our new teaching assistant professor from the geography department. Carnahan will teach a first-year Honors seminar as well as an Honors lab on weather and climate. We also have a new Honors capstone seminar that focuses on the concept of identity, which will be taught by German professor Monika Hohbein-Deegen.
In addition, we are working on establishing a new Honors living and learning community that will open its doors for the fall 2024 semester. This will be centrally located in Evans Hall and provide valuable opportunities for students.
Finally, we switched our study-abroad offerings this year: our January study abroad will go to England, and our May study abroad will go to France. We have a lot to look forward to this year.
What do you see as some of the important trends coming for students entering the careers reflected in your college offerings?
Employers continue to emphasize the importance of excellent communication skills, problem-solving skills, and the importance of working collaboratively. Our core curriculum, from the first-year Honors seminar to the senior capstone, offers excellent opportunities to develop these skills. We are intentional about what we are offering and why we are offering it, and this intentional approach is often driven by the trends we see occurring in post-undergraduate life.
What are the most important things students learn by going to college but not necessarily in the classroom?
Students learn and grow outside the classroom in many ways. Our vast array of student organizations provides students opportunities to develop time management skills while working collaboratively with their peers. But I think one of the more important things that students learn is about themselves. College provides a wonderful opportunity to discover one’s passions and values, and a lot of this discovery happens outside the classroom by engaging their peers, studying abroad and especially by trying new things.
If you could personally go back and take one more undergraduate class, what would it be and why?
I would take a class in astronomy! There are two reasons: first, last spring on the Honors study abroad, we visited Greenwhich, England, home of the former Royal Observatory. I found the history of discovery there absolutely riveting. Second, and more importantly, my son just completed his first year in college, and he is studying astrophysics. Thus, I have learned so much from him this summer about outer space, and I find it fascinating. I would love to take at least one or two courses in astronomy so I could be a better student and discussant with my son!