[ScienceStudents] Reminder: Honors Thesis Fellowships application deadline, September 13th!

Katie Lipp klipp at smith.edu
Fri Sep 7 17:23:07 EDT 2012

A reminder to all who are writing honors theses this year: the deadline to
apply for a fellowship through the McKinley Honors Fellowship Program is
Thursday, September 13th at NOON. Please note that we also need your
advisor's recommendation by this time. Please help to remind your advisors!

All details are below.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Katie Lipp <klipp at smith.edu>
Date: Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Subject: Announcing Honors Thesis Fellowships, 2012-2013
To: sciencestudents at div3lists.smith.edu, ScienceEdu at div3lists.smith.edu

Dear STEM majors,

We are writing to let you know about the *McKinley Honors Fellowship Program
*. As a way to encourage all eligible Smith students to undertake an honors
thesis in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, we are offering
$2,250 research fellowships to eligible seniors. Our goal in offering these
fellowships is to enable qualified students to pursue honors and fulfill
their work-study obligation by working with their sponsoring faculty
member, and to provide Honors Research Fellows with leadership
opportunities in the form of presentations and interaction with students
who may pursue honors in the future. Fellowships within the McKinley Honors
Fellowship Program are funded by the* Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI
Honors Fellowships)* and a generous gift of *Janet McKinley ’76*, a former
member of Smith’s Board of Trustees *(McKinley Honors Fellowships)*.

*What is an Honors Thesis? (Modified from the Computer Science Website) *

An Honors Thesis is usually a year-long project completed by a student in
her senior year, working with a faculty member. The research counts for
8-12 credits during the academic year. The student hands in her written
thesis by April 15th of her final semester, and "defends" the thesis by
giving a public presentation on her work to faculty and students. This
presentation is usually scheduled for the last week of the semester. The
Department/Program faculty vote on the level of honors to be awarded at
graduation based on an evaluation of the written thesis, oral presentation
and GPA within the major.

*Why do an Honors Thesis? *

If you are eligible (eligibility is determined by department/program), it
is an option that should be considered seriously, as undertaking honors
research is both an intense and rewarding experience. Honors is often a
highlight of a student’s undergraduate career. Further, it is not uncommon
for thesis work to lead to a presented/published paper, and completing an
honors thesis is viewed favorably by graduate and professional schools.

*How do I apply for honors?*

In terms of choosing a thesis supervisor, there are essentially two models.
Model one is that the student comes up with a topic and convinces a faculty
member to supervise the work. More prevalent is Model two, in which the
student approaches a faculty member, and says (effectively): “Can you
suggest a topic?” The student then gathers the topics suggested by willing
faculty and chooses one to pursue. Often, a student has already worked with
the faculty member and so is well aware of the possibilities for further
research in the lab. Once accepted into the Honors program, a student will
typically meet weekly with her thesis supervisor and more intensively at
crucial junctures of the research and writing. All guidelines and details
about the Honors process are available at

*McKinley Honors Fellowship Program – Benefits and Expectations*

• Honors Fellows will each be awarded $2,250 in two $1,125 installments,
one at the start of each semester
• Each Honors Fellow will be expected to:

o Conduct research for an honors thesis in a STEM field
o Meet at least once in the fall semester with Katie Lipp to discuss plans
and expectations for the year (see below)
o Participate in at least two events during the year at which the Fellow
will speak with other students about pursuing honors (these may be classes,
lunchtime seminars, or workshops)
o Mentor individual students who are considering or interested in pursuing
o Before graduation, submit a brief statement discussing (1) your honors
research experience, (2) in what ways being an Honors Fellow was beneficial
to you, (3) any suggestions you have for the structure of the fellowship
program, and (4) your plans for after graduation.

*How do I apply for an Honors Fellowship?*

This part is simple. Send *Amy Avard (aavard at smith.edu)* an email with the
following information *merged into one PDF document (multiple individual
documents will not be accepted)*:

• A copy of your honors proposal
• A copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine)
• A brief statement explaining (1) how a fellowship through the McKinley
Honors Fellowship Program will support success for your project, and (2)
why you believe you will be a good role model for students who are
considering honors for their senior year. Please also include your 99
number at the top of your personal statement.

We also require:

• A brief, informal statement of recommendation emailed from your thesis
advisor (this can and should be separate from the other documents listed
above). While this need not be an extensive letter, your advisor’s input is
useful to the committee when reviewing all applications.

The application, including your advisor recommendation, is due by* NOON* on
*Thursday, September 13th* and we will award the Fellowships the following
week on *Friday, September 21st*.

*Special notes:* HHMI and McKinley Honors Fellowships are both part of the
McKinley Honors Fellowship Program and do not require separate
applications. While all students may apply for HHMI and McKinley Honors
Fellowships, work-study obligation and financial need are considered as
applicants are selected. January graduates, please contact *Katie
Lipp*directly if you wish to apply
*(klipp at smith.edu)*.

*We hope you will consider applying, and we’d be happy to answer any
questions. Applications will be reviewed by the McKinley Honors Fellowship
Program Committee, which includes Katie Lipp and faculty from at least
three departments and programs.*

Kathryn Lipp, M.Ed.
Program Director for Health Professions and Mentoring Programs
Bass 112, Clark Science Center, Smith College
Phone: 413.585.4296
Fax: 413.585.3786

Kathryn Lipp, M.Ed.
Program Director for Health Professions and Mentoring Programs
Bass 112, Clark Science Center, Smith College
Phone: 413.585.4296
Fax: 413.585.3786
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