This semester we will be posting a series of short essays based on discussions from the upper-level colloquium. Our first entry, written by Taylor Kunkes (Spanish Major), highlights some budget and networking strategies to consider.

Additionally, the colloquium will be hosting a series of workshops that will be open to all honors students. On March 11, Jeremy Corrente from Financial Aid Office will be talking about dealing with debt (Williams Center G103B). On March 25, Laurie Esign from the Office of Human Resources will give a presentation on employee benefits and thinking beyond salaries (Williams Center G103B). And on April 1, Kathleen Gradel from the School of Education will offer helpful advice on shaping your digital identities (Williams Center 204D). All talks are on Wednesdays from 7:00-7:50pm.

We’re often told that college will be the best four or so years of our lives, which leads us to think that it’s all downhill from Now Whathere. But the reality is it doesn’t have to be. On Wednesday, February 18, the honors colloquium held a discussion on what life after college would be like. Discussion ranged from finances, to social life, and to the various resources available to tap into.

For many, finances are the biggest concern after school. Between paying back student loans, purchasing a vehicle, and finding a job or possibly more schooling, who has time to decipher the world of financial logistics? While there are many financial opportunities available, the easiest is to start by finding a method of saving money that works for you. Julie Legnard introduced us to the envelope system. For each aspect of your life, you have a new envelope: gas, groceries, school, miscellaneous spending money, etc. After budgeting for these items, the rest of the money goes in the bank to be saved for a future date. By using this, Julie explained that she’s always covered for what she needs, so she isn’t spending the money on something she wants that could be going towards something she really needs.

In the transitioning world away from college life, many may experience a lull in their social life. Dr. David Kinkela strongly encourages networking. Graduating doesn’t mean cutting ties with everyone from your new alma mater. Professors, other alumni, and many others on the campus can help you connect to new career opportunities, community clubs, and give you new perspectives on what is ahead now that you’re fresh out of school. Campus in many ways is a hub of people, where you’re always surrounded. Out in the real world, these people don’t surround us so closely, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Take advantage of the opportunities your network can offer, look at local community education classes, or just take a walk and see what you find.

The time right after graduation might be hectic with a new set of challenges. The uncertainty of this period is actually a benefit. This transition period can be used for traveling, new discoveries, and most importantly, a well-deserved period of relaxation (if only temporarily).

For other tips on life after college take a look at these articles:

Notable Achievements

Honors Students in the News

Congratulations to Adam Clouthier, a sophomore, computer science major, who won the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:05.77 at the SUNYAC conference championship meet on Saturday.

As part of the Valentine Invitational held at Boston University, Lauren Kotas, a junior speech pathology major, set a personal-best mark in the 3000-meter run of 10:20.46. She now holds the second-fastest time in the event in Fredonia school history. Congratulations!

Finally congratulations are in order for honors students who are members of the Fredonia Mock Trial team. For the first time in its history, the Fredonia Blue Devils’ Advocates have qualified for the National Championship Rounds of the American Mock Trial Association. Of more than 650 teams competing in regional competitions this year, fewer than one-third have earned a bid to the Opening Round Championship Series (ORCS) to be held in two weeks. Congratulations to Douglas Imperi, Miquon Jackson, and Antonio Regulier.

Notes from the Seminar: HONR 230: Discussion on Transnational Crime

HONR 230.spring 2015.dicussionOn February 3, 2015, students in the honors seminar Transnational Crime welcomed twelve panelists from Italy, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Austria, and Trinidad and Tobago to discuss differences in crime, policing, laws, and the social and cultural meaning of crime and criminals in different parts of the world.

The panelists addressed an array of question, including what makes a crime? What are the general perceptions of the police in your country? What U.S. or New York laws did you find surprising? How are criminals treated in your country? What are the legal processes once someone is accused of committing a crime? What are some of the most popular or dangerous crimes in your country?HONR 230.spring 2015.discussion.2

Answers to these questions were both revealing and surprising. For instance, panelists spoke about differences in laws pertaining to speeding, alcohol consumption, and drug trafficking. Getting a ticket for travelling a few miles per hour over the speed limit seemed rather shocking. Others talked about differences in legal drinking age or laws that prohibited drinking all together. Panelists also talked about the 2nd Amendment and how ideas about gun ownership were different in their countries.

Regarding questions about the most serious crimes, panelists from South Korea spoke about white-collar crime. In Italy, organized crime was of primary concern. In Austria, it is property crime. And in Trinidad and Tobago, kidnapping has become a significant problem.

All in all, the dialogue expanded students understanding of crime in different parts of the world. It provided a frame of reference to consider the difficulties as well as the political and cultural differences that shape our understanding of crime in a global age.

It will be interesting to see what issues the class continues to throughout the semester. Stay tuned……

Honors Student Accepted in State Trooper Academy


Image: Justin Hawes, from iVolunteer

Congratulations to Justin Hawes, a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Justin recently received his acceptance letter to the State Trooper Academy in Albany. Hailing from Akron, New York, Justin has been a member of Honors Program since 2011.  He is also a member of the swim team. When he returns home, Justin is a member of the Akron Volunteer Fire Department, see:

Unfortunately, Justin will be leaving campus at the beginning of March to start at the Tropper Academy. If you around campus, wish him well on his new adventure.

Do you have news you would like to share with the Honors Program. Please send your posts to or

Honors Student awarded Lanford Presidential Prize

Congratulations to Antonio Regulier for being awarded the Lanford Presidential Prize. Hailing from Roosevelt, New York, Antonio is completing majors in Social Work and English, as well as five minors in Leadership Studies, American Studies, Public Health, Sociology, and African-American Studies.  He has served as President of the Student Association and participated widely on many campus organizations and initiatives. Within the Honors Program, Antonio has served as a student mentor and has been an active participant in the colloquium, honors seminars, and various service projects. Congratulations Antonio!

See his “Student of the Week” post below

Interview with Professor Vanwesebeeck on Literature and Art (HONR 225, sec 2)

Birger_fpNEWWhat got you interested in studying the relationship between literature and art?
I think I’ve always been interested in “word and image” questions. I suppose that growing up in Belgium–the birthplace of “Tintin” and country with a very reputable comic books tradition–may have something to do with this as does the long legacy of Flemish (and Netherlandic) painters that I was exposed to from a young age on.

How has your thinking on this subject changed over time?

How my interests have shifted? A lot of my recent thinking has focused on how painting and literature offer different ways of representing trauma; and in particular on the commonplace of characters crying in front of paintings. There is a long legacy of such scenes in literature (from Virgil to the contemproary American novelist Ben Lerner) but also in reality, so it turns out. The art critic James Elkins has argued, for instance, that a famous Mark Rothko painting housed in a Houston chapel is arguably the most cried-over painting in any US museum. Why do people cry in front of paintings? Why do writers feel compelled to represent such scenes in literature? What does this tell us about the connections between trauma, literature, and painting? These are some of the questions I’m interested in at the moment.

Why do you think students in the 21st century should engage with these issues?
I believe this course will very relevant for 21st-century students, and all the more so if they are aspiring writers. No writer today can be serious about his/her craft and not acknowledge the relative cultural disadvantage that writing occupies within a society that is of course primarily image-driven society; and where books are often written in a format that allows for easy film adaptation transition. That’s why we’ll start the course with Don DeLillo’s Mao II, a novel which brings this contemporary problematic into the foreground in a very explicit fashion; but I’ll also how these issues are prefigured in such earlier debates as the late 19th-century French symbolist aversion to “photo-recit” (narrative with photos); or the German Neoclassists’ insisistence to maintain a strict “boundary” between word and image.

What is your style of teaching or what does a typical Professor Vanweseneeck class look like?
I tend to take a very holistic and global approach to class material so expect lots of readings from around the world and from a variety of disciplines (art history, philosophy, literature). There will be lectures but plenty of class discussion as well: I am always eager to hear from students how the word-image dynamic plays out in contemporary media that they are much more familiar with than I am (e.g. video games; Twitter;

And, if I could ask, what’s the genesis or meaning of your last name? It’s wonderful.
“Beeck” (meaning “brook”) is the Dutch version of the German “bach” (as in J.S. Bach). “Van” and “wesen” would translate into “of” and “being,” respectively.

Student of the Week: Antonio Regulier

DSC00829Antonio Regulier is from Long Island, NY.  He entered the tundras of Fredonia in the Fall of 2011 as a freshman Keeper of the Dream scholar and a student in the Honors College. He immediately got involved with the dance department and residence life. He is currently serving as the 59th president of the Student Association, making him the official spokesperson for the Fredonia student body. He is also president of the Fredonia chapter of Amnesty International, a human rights organization that fights for world peace and a student manager for the Office of Campus Life in the Williams Center. He participated in the Honors Day of Service with Habitat for Humanity, building two homes in Buffalo for low-income families. He was one of the sixteen recipients of the rising senior Honors scholarship for his essay submission in the category of responsible. Antonio was voted the 2014 Homecoming King! He will graduate this May with concurrent degrees in majors Social Work and English with five academic minors in Leadership Studies, Public Health, African-American Studies, Sociology, and American Studies. Antonio says “the Honors College at Fredonia has made me a better person. The extra courses I’ve taken have challenged my thoughts and has made learning truly rewarding!”


RJ Spinella is a sophomore Exercise Science major at Fredonia. He hails from the small but beautiful town of Sauquoit, New York. At Fredonia, he plays baseball, is on the Student Athlete Advising Committee, and was named to the 2013 SUNYAC All-Academic Team. Off the field and outside of the classroom, RJ enjoys spending time with friends and family. He is a lover of the outdoors and enjoys exploring, vintage motorcycles, and dogs. In hopes of exploring this beautiful country, he plans to one day ride a motorcycle from coast to coast. RJ says, “Look up, this world has a lot more to offer than what fits on a screen.”

unnamed“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” –Benjamin Franklin

Student of the Week: Lisa Muldowney

Lisa is a senior Business Administration student with a concentration in Marketing. She is from Rochester, NY although she hopes to move to either coast after graduation. She is passionate about the way companies manage brand equity and determining how consumers respond to products and companies through research. She spent last summer workinnice edit sissyyyyys (2)g as a social media intern for Browsy, a recent start-up company in NYC that allows Pinterest users to shop their Pinterest boards! She says that working with a start-up that was a part of an accelerator program was an incredible opportunity to really see how business works from ground up and what investors look for in start-up companies. In her spare time Lisa enjoys singing in the a Capella groups on campus. She is a member of The Riveters a Capella group and the secretary of Premium Blend’s a Capella group.

Honors Seminar Fall 2014 Spotlight: Metaphysics

One of the Honors Seminars in Humanities this semester is Metaphysics, taught by Dr. Stephan Kershnar from the Philosophy Department.

Metaphysics is the philosophical exploration of the nature and structure of reality. It looks at fundamental questions such as the following: What is essence of a person (for example, is a person a soul, a body, or both)? Are people are morally responsible for what they do? Are people immortal? Does God exist? It also looks at how the answers to these questions relate to one another. The class explores these issues through lectures, Socratic questioning, group discussions, debates, and various written assignments such as exams, quizzes, and papers.

Stephen Kershnar is a distinguished teaching professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia and an attorney. He focuses on applied ethics and political philosophy. Kershnar has authored over seventy articles on such diverse topics as torture, affirmative action, pornography, hell, faking orgasms, tipping servers, sex discrimination, the most valuable player, capitalism, equal opportunity, slavery, and the nature of pleasure. He is the author of six books, the most recent ones are Gratitude Toward Veterans: A Philosophical Explanation of Why Americans Should Not Be Very Grateful to Veterans (Lexington Books, 2014), For Torture: A Right-Based Defense (Lexington Books, 2012), and Desert and Virtue: A Theory of Intrinsic Value (Lexington Books, 2010).