Christian Higher Education Since 1892

Honors Program - Departmental Honors Project

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The completion of a departmental honors project is not just the last step in completing the McAllaster Scholars program. It is the tangible expression of the growth in skill, learning, and confidence that we all strive for as Christian thinkers. 

We believe that our most outstanding students will enter their senior year equipped to do independent research in their major field. And we believe there is no better preparation for continued advanced study than doing an Honors Project. Graduate school admissions committees place a high value on students who have already demonstrated the ability to carry out independent research. 

The nature of the Honors Project will vary depending on major. English or Philosophy majors, for example, will write a multiple-chapter research paper on an important question, author, or text in their field. Students who major in pre-med may do research in the laboratory and write a shorter academic paper documenting their findings. Art students who are already required to do a senior art show may wish to write a supplementary paper exploring their method or the aesthetic assumptions guiding their work. 

Through conversation with a lead professor, students specify a research theme and assemble an Honors Project committee of three to four faculty members. The project is expected to take a year to complete. At the beginning of the process, students pursuing the Departmental Honors Project attend a seminar where they receive instructions on every step of the process. 

McAllaster Scholars may earn up to 6 of their 25 required honors hours by taking Departmental Honors Research hours.

  • History/Political Science: Trevor Thompson, 2013, "Crisis 9/11" 
     -Trevor will begin work at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL this summer.

  • Biology: Shari Brauer, 2012, "Salmonella Typhimurium: A Genomic Study"
    -Shari is currently applying to medical schools.  

  • Religion: Josh Cranston, 2012, "The Human and Inhumane: Theological Anthropology in Andrew Linzey's Animal Theology"
    -Josh is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Norway. 

  • Math: Amber Brown, 2012, "Biological Architecture: A Mathematical Description of the Structural Hierarchy of the Human Body"
    -Amber is currently in a PhD program at Loma Linda University. 

  • Business Management: Tim Burge, 2012, "An Evaluation of the United Fruit Company's Presence in Guatemala"
    -Tim is currently in seminary at Princeton Theological Seminary.

  • English: Shannon Nakai, 2012, "Splendid Suns and Patience Stones: A Literary Study of Feminism and Islam in Two Contemporary Works of Afghan Fiction"
    -Shannon is currently a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey.

  • Philosophy: Amanda DiMiele, 2012, "Re-imagining the Disciplined Body: A Foucauldian Analysis of "Healthy Bodies" and the Christian Alternative"
    -Amanda is currently beginning an M. Div at Duke Divinity School.

  • Elementary Education: Rachael Dothager, 2011, "Equipping Inner City Emergent Readers to be Successful Readers"
    -Rachel is currently teaching preschool in Belleville, Illinois.

  • Music: Christy Edwall, 2008, "The Contextualization of Ectasy in African American Worship"
    -Christy is currently doing graduate work in English Literature at Oxford.