A select group of 19 Middlesex Community College students has been accepted into the new Honors Program at the College, including Benjamin Gelfand of Madison. The Honors Program was designed to be invitation-only for incoming first-year students who meet strict academic requirements. It includes a lower teacher-student ratio, faculty mentoring, more independent study opportunities, and an early entrance into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor’s Society. Additionally, the program features exceptional educational experiences, cultural excursions, and engaging opportunities for leadership and individual excellence.
The first cultural outing took place November 21 to the Connecticut Forum’s “Big Thinkers” lecture at the Bushnell Theater. The event featured best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, one of the world's most celebrated thinkers and authors, whose bestselling books, “The Tipping Point,” “Blink,” and “Outliers” have influenced the way people think about, discuss, and view the world. Douglas Brinkley, history professor at Rice University and author of the award-winning and best-selling books “The Great Deluge,” “Tour of Duty,” “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc,” “Parish Priest,” and most recently, “Cronkite,” joined Gladwell onstage. The focus of the evening was leadership, success, and thinking big – concerns for the group of honor students.
Before the lecture, students visited the Wadsworth Atheneum, the country’s oldest public art museum, and took a guided tour through the museum’s stately galleries and collections. During both events, students were connected to a history of thought as expressed in art and public speech that ranged from the Romantic period to the new frontier of social media communications. For some honors students, this was their first trip to the museum and to the Bushnell Theater – and was a trip that changed how they view their own futures.
“We want our honors students to think big, and this excursion reinforced that message,” said Adrienne Maslin, MxCC’s dean of students. “Everything that was discussed and highlighted focused on leadership, teamwork, and interdisciplinary learning – and paralleled the readings and discussions these students engage in while on campus. “
The Honors Program supports and encourages broader thinking about issues, topics, theories, and events – and helps students make connections on individual, social, and global levels. Ultimately, students are better able to find value in all they study and to reinforce the idea that all knowledge is connected.
Dr. Eva Jones, MxCC professor and Honors Program advisor,
said, “The trip to the Wadsworth Atheneum and the
Connecticut Forum was a way to extend our academic studies outside of
classroom. Throughout the program and these extracurricular experiences,
students are able to make connections to their other classes and to their own futures.”