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Larry Carlin 

The successes are adding up for the Honors College as it celebrates its fourth anniversary at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Dean Larry Carlin talks about take-aways from the 2020-21 academic year and his hopes for the return of study-abroad opportunities in 2021-22.

What lessons learned during the pandemic will Honors faculty and staff be bringing forward with them into the new academic year?

Honors faculty and staff learned that they have the impressive ability to deliver high-impact teaching and research even in extremely adverse circumstances. Many Honors faculty and staff have expressed to me that the pandemic fostered a “can do” mindset, a belief that no matter the circumstances, we can still support our students and deliver quality research. They also have learned that they are part of a community of people that support each other during difficult times. I believe these lessons will benefit faculty, staff and our students immensely this academic year.

What’s new in your college for the 2021-22 academic year?

We are excited to kick off the academic year with an in-person Honors Convocation. It will feature a keynote address by Courtney Bauder, Honors instructor and social justice program director. We have several new course offerings this year, including a team-taught, first-year seminar, “Nature and Culture,” and a new senior capstone seminar taught by a faculty member from Radio-TV-Film. We also look forward to the return of several newer Honors classes, including Honors environmental studies and an Honors seminar on Germanic culture and literature. And we’re excited to offer two new study-abroad programs, one entirely situated in Paris, France, and another that will split time in London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

How will your college be celebrating our sesquicentennial?

For the most part, we will join and support the many events planned at the University. But the sesquicentennial aligns with our celebration of a couple of Honors milestones. First, The Honors College is now four years old, so we just graduated our first four-year class, the largest group of Honors graduates in our history. Second, this year marks 40 years of Honors education at UW Oshkosh. We’re still in the planning phases, but we hope to celebrate by bringing in some Honors alumni speakers and by hosting some other events too.

What are your own personal thoughts/goals for the coming year following the unprecedented year we experienced in 2020-21?

I am extremely proud of the way our campus handled the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Nonetheless, I am anxious to hold in-person events again, and I am looking forward to the return of Honors study abroad. The Honors College places heavy emphasis on community and student-faculty interaction, and we can do these things better with the doors of Oviatt House open and with opportunities to travel. My goal for the year is to support Honors faculty, staff, students and alumni so they are empowered to have a successful year. My other goal is to take time to celebrate, for there is much to celebrate this year!

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