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Oakwood University Launches Honors Program

Oakwood University Launches Honors Program
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on September 03, 2020

Oakwood University launched its Honors Program with 24 very bright students. The buzz throughout dormitory Honors Wings garnered immediate interest from several other students. After a swift vetting process, the Honors Steering Committee voted electronically on three additional students, increasing the cohort to 27 members.

The program orientation on August 9, 2020, included welcoming remarks by the provost, Dr. Colwick Wilson; a charge by OU president Dr. Leslie Pollard; and a special message from the Oakwood University Church senior pastor, Dr. Carlton Byrd. Dr. Elaine Vanterpool shared a message on behalf of 2015 alumnus, Daniel Chandler, who has organized an alumni support group.

Assistant provost Dr. Karen Benn-Marshall encouraged the students to forge personal and strategic relationships that could contribute to their success in the program and in life. Honors program director Brandon Dent introduced the members of the Honors Steering Committee and reviewed the overall program requirements. Last, and most importantly, Chaplain Andrew Pileggi offered a prayer of blessing and affirmation on the students.



This new Honors Program will serve to attract academically gifted students to the university where they will be transformed “through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity.”

Honors students will have an opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve real-world problems. They will work outside the formal classroom setting with faculty advisors to successfully complete this requirement of the Honors program. The problem categories and respective advisors are:

§ Environmental - Dr. Kenneth LaiHing)
§ Education Disparities - Dr. Colwick Wilson & Dr. Karen Benn-Marshall)
§ Humanitarian Concerns - Dr. Lisa Dalrymple)
§ Social Justice - Dr. Preston Foster)
§ Public Health Disparities - Dr. Sherine Brown- Fraser)

A new seminar, HN 100 - Team Project Orientation, will be offered (virtually) in the coming spring semester to prepare students for these dynamic projects. The course will be taught synchronously, but will be recorded so students with schedule conflicts can experience the course asynchronously.

Honors program director, Brandon Dent, will facilitate the course, which covers the problem-solving cycle, team dynamics, project management and data analysis techniques. Students will work on their projects throughout the sophomore year and present their solutions at the end of the same year to a panel of diverse faculty evaluators.
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