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Pforzheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1â…ź Fall 2016

SCHOLASTICA From Our New Director, Dr. Musti My role as the newly appointed Director to the Pforzheimer Honors College has been off to a great start! With a background in special education, I have always had to think about the curricular needs of students with academic and behavioral difficulties. Now at the Honors College, it is exciting to think about the curricular needs of students who strive for academic excellence and want a challenging curriculum. The semester has gone by so quickly and in this short time I have had the opportunity to be involved in several events and initiatives, and meet with many students in the Honors College. One of my tasks this semester was to track the status of honors students completing their thesis requirement in their senior year. We have close to 22 students who will be completing and presenting their thesis in May 2017. This new position has exposed me to departments and disciplines outside of the School of Education. All of the students have such a variety in their research topics and I am looking forward to reading more about their work. Given that this is the first year with a mandatory thesis requirement, it was important to reach out to all department chairs and faculty to provide information about the thesis. The process will become more streamlined and straightforward next year. Congratulations to LeeAnn Reynolds, Brian Gersh, Mackenzie Boyce, who completed and presented their thesis. Stay tuned in the Spring semester for more presentation dates and be sure to attend and support the students in May! The second goal I’d like to achieve is to build a greater sense of community among the Honors students. The various events planned throughout the semester are a great way to bring students together. We often speak to the academic and social benefits of being in the Honors College at recruitment events, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking advantage of the

Fall 2016 In this issue: From our new Director, Dr. Musti

1

Message from Dean Dinan

2

Note from the Editor by Alexandra Franciosa

2

My Honors Thesis by LeeAnn Reynolds

3

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sally Dickerson

4

Honors Thesis: What is it? By Dr. Mohsen ShiriGarakani

5

Meet the Honors Council

7

Alexandra Franciosa Editor-In-Chief opportunities that are made available to you at the Honors College If you are planning to do a thesis next year, apply for the research grant when the call goes out later in the semester. Be open and excited about presenting your work at the Northeastern Regional Conference in April every year. If you have an idea about an event, make your voice heard during the monthly open meetings with the Honors Council members.


Pforzheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 ⅼ Fall 2016

Message from Dean Dinan Dear Students, December is upon us and I hope you love snow as much as I do! I cannot wait to see the flakes fall from the sky. A highlight of my semester has been teaching UNV 101. The first semester of college is such a remarkably transformative time for students, and I feel privileged for having shared it with 14 of you. I hope this semester has kept you engaged, excited, challenged, and busy, while providing you with the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people and learn more than you thought possible in three months. I wish you all the best on your final exams and papers, and I hope you find a bit of

time to relax with friends before the semester ends. The winter break will provide you with some time to catch your breath, but if you have been living on campus you will need to readjust to life at home, and perhaps a more reasonable sleep schedule! Happy Holidays!

Letter from the Editor Alexandra Franciosa At the beginning of each New Year (and semester), it becomes vital to remember what is important and not lose sight of our goals. This issue aims to ease some worries about one of those goals, the Honors Thesis project, by providing helpful information and instruction. In addition, this issue introduces the people who are always here to help, from our council to our staff and faculty.

"I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it" -- Thomas Jefferson

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this semester’s issue of Scholastica. I’d also like to remind everyone that any Honors student or faculty member can submit to our newsletter. With your help, Scholastica can be a representation of every voice in the Honors College. I sincerely hope you find this issue of Scholastica both informational and enjoyable. Thanks for reading!


Pfozheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 ⅼ Fall 2016

My Honors Thesis LeeAnn Reynolds

When I was told that I’d have to write a thesis, I didn’t view it as another project for school; I saw it as an opportunity to work on something that I really cared about. I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and making it my thesis not only helped to motivate me, but also allowed me to get feedback on it. Dr. Poe seemed like the natural choice for my thesis advisor, since I’ve had several classes with her and learn well with her teaching style. I knew from previous experience that she gives honest, accurate feedback when looking over a piece of creative writing, and that’s what my novel needed. This doesn’t stop here for me; my long term goal is to get it published, and so I needed someone who would be able to point out what was working well and what needed to be changed. She’s also working on a novel of her own, so I felt that she would understand the novel-writing process and be able to help me with my own book. For me, the best part about being mentored was hearing Dr. Poe’s feedback. She’s the first person to have read it, so I was very nervous about what she would say. When she said she liked it, I was

so relieved! It’s not perfect, obviously; there’s a lot that I had to go back and change, and I’ll probably have to keep on changing it before it’s ready to be published. But I’m a person that thrives on positive feedback, so knowing that this book is worth working on, and that at least one person liked it, is a huge motivator for me. When asked about being a mentor, Dr. Poe said, “LeeAnn is a student who truly puts what she learns into practice, and it is a joy to witness her process and to be privy to her thinking and writing. LeeAnn works intensely to expand and deepen her perceptions of the world. All of these made the experience of mentoring an enjoyable one.” Working on a novel as my thesis has been a huge undertaking, but it’s something that’s close to my heart. When I think about how much more work I still have to do, it seems daunting, but I know that I’m already a whole lot closer to being published than I was at the beginning.


Pforzheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 ⅼ Fall 2016

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sally Dickerson Associate Provost of Sponsored Research What brought you to Pace? Can you give us a brief history prior to Pace. I am a social psychologist – my research examines how we respond emotionally and physiologically to socially stressful situations. I started my career as a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, where I taught psychology classes and conducted research. I then spent 3 years in Washington DC, as a program director for social psychology at the National Science Foundation. I handled the review and selection process for grants that were submitted for funding. This gave me a unique perspective on the grants process, helped me to realize that I enjoy facilitating research and grants administration. This led to my current position as Associate Provost for Sponsored Research; I have been at Pace since September of 2015. Tell us about your role as Associate Provost of Sponsored Research. I oversee grant-related activity for the university. The Office of Sponsored Research helps faculty, staff and students identify funding opportunities for their research, teaching, and creative activities. We also help throughout the application process as they are developing a budget, working on the project or program description, and assembling supporting materials. My job also involves facilitating and supporting different interdisciplinary efforts at Pace, and promoting research activities more generally. For example, our office (together with the Office of Student Success) holds an annual “Faculty and Student Research Day” so that the Pace community can learn more about the exciting research, scholarship, and creative activities that faculty and students are engaging in on both campuses. In addition to my administrative role, I also conduct research and teach (I offer a course on The Psychology of Stress each year).

Why is knowledge of IRB important as honors students begin to think about their thesis research projects? IRB approval is required (both by federal regulations and Pace policy) whenever students, faculty or staff will be conducting research with humans (for example, if you are planning to interview individuals or have them complete surveys). The Pace IRB is here to make sure that research is conducted ethically and responsibly, and reduces the risks involved for those who are participating in studies. What advice do you have for honors students conducting research? I think it is so important to pick an area of research that you find intrinsically interesting and are excited to pursue. There is a lot to learn when starting a research project, and so finding a mentor that can help provide guidance along the way is critical. Most of all, it is important to have fun and view research as a process. It is a way to be able to seek out the answers to questions you find intriguing, and you can’t anticipate all that you will learn and discover along the way! Becoming involved in research as an undergraduate student helped me to discover that I wanted to go to graduate school in psychology and pursue a research-oriented career. But even if conducting an undergraduate research project doesn’t shape your career trajectory as it did for me, it can certainly help you develop many skills (analytical, writing, etc.) that are transferable to many different jobs and educational opportunities.


Pfozheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 ⅼ Fall 2016

Honors Thesis: What is it? by Dr. Mohsen Shiri-Garakani All Honors students on the Pleasantville campus who started at Pace in Fall 2013 or later will be required to produce a thesis in order to graduate with Honors. A thesis is required for all Business Honors Program students regardless of their start time at Pace. Due to its highly positive impact on students’ academic qualifications, the Honors thesis is strongly recommended for all students in the Honors College, regardless of academic year. In this short note I will explain what a thesis is and how to prepare for it. An Honors Thesis is normally a two semester project consisting of two courses: (1) A “Research Preparation” course which focuses on research methodology. Students normally accomplish this step by taking HON 499, which is a 1-credit course offered every semester. After taking HON 499, students are expected to have learned the principles, methods, and steps necessary to establish a rigorous research project. Most importantly, students are required to develop a concrete and welldefined thesis proposal which can be further explored in a subsequent research course as described below. Students are encouraged to take HON499 in their 5th or 6th semester.

What is IRB?

This leaves adequate time to conduct the research in the following semester and have an opportunity to present the results in appropriate venues like the annual conference of the NCHC (National Collegiate Honors Council), usually held in early November of each year.

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is a committee tasked with protecting the rights, privacy, and welfare of human participants in research. All faculty and students who wish to conduct research involving human participants are required to get approval from IRB prior to starting their research. This is especially relevant for honors students conducting their thesis research in their senior year.

(2) A “Research Production” course, during which the students conduct the actual research under the supervision of a Pace faculty member. Students normally accomplish this step by taking a so-called Springboard or Capstone course. If there is no Capstone course offered in the student’s major, then he or she can take Independent Study 395. The thesis must be an original and high quality work so it can be presented as a sample of the student’s best scholarly work in his/her field of study. It is normally expected that the thesis must be a minimum of 25 pages unless an exception is granted by the Honors College Director. Upon the completion of the research and by the end of the senior year, the student is required to present the work formally in a Thesis Defense Presentation session. The defense committee consists of the thesis advisor and a second reader (an additional faculty member or individual) approved by the Director.

How to get started with the IRB process?  

Visit the Pace IRB website Complete the CITI online program. Be sure to read the guide that provides step-bystep instructions for registration. As an undergraduate student, pair up with a thesis advisor who can serve as the primary investigator for your IRB application. Prepare IRB application and submit using the IRBNet platform.


Pforzheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Jon Sangas, President of the Honors Student Council speaks at the Fall Open House Event.

Volume 19, Issue 1 â…ź Fall 2016

Mackezie Boyce presents her thesis to the Honors College.

Dean Dinan with her Honors University 101 class.

The Honors College takes a trip to Broadway!


Pfozheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 â…ź Fall 2016

Meet the Honors Student Council President: Jonathan Sangas - Hello, my name is Jonathan Sangas, and I am the President of the Honors Council. I am a third-year nursing student, who enjoys rigorous work environments as much as destressing. I am a Resident Assistant and work with first-year students in Alumni Hall. My experience and expertise are in the areas of event planning and community development. Vice President: Cati Amaral - My name is Cati Amaral, and I am the Vice President of the Honors College Student Council. I am a Junior Nursing major with a Minor in Psychology. I look forward to working with you all in the Honors College! Treasurer: Alexandra Parisi - My name is Lexi Parisi and I am a junior nursing major. I have been very involved on campus since freshman year and look forward to being your treasurer again. Secretary: Kristin Costantin - My name is Kristin. I am a third-year nursing student, and I live on campus. I have been very involved in the honors program and activities since my freshman year. I am currently the Secretary of the Honors Council, and you can almost always find me studying in the Honors Lounge in Kessel. I am very excited for this semester, and all the wonderful things to come.


Pforzheimer Honors College – Pleasantville

Volume 19, Issue 1 ⅼ Fall 2016

Holiday Greetings from the Staff of the Honors College!

SCHOLASTICA Kessel Suite 200, Room 215 861 Bedford Road Pleasantville, NY 10570.

Profile for Pace Honors PLV

Scholastica Fall Issue 2016  

Scholastica Fall Issue 2016  

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