Dr. Dora Saavedra, director of The University of Texas-Pan American Honors Studies Program, was the final featured speaker at the Alumni Association¹s spring Faculty Forum series Wednesday, April 4 at the Tower Club.
"This program and University are the jewels in the treasure bag because they are just becoming known as the place to get your education," said Saavedra in her presentation "With Honors ... In Pursuit of Excellence." "The heart of the program is the students, I just get to be the pilot and it has been a wonderful ride."
The Honors Program is an academic enrichment program that offers special honors classes at the freshman and sophomore levels, and an independent study program in the upper levels. It also offers development seminars, guest speakers, educational travel and a national student society to provide enrichment to the basic curriculum.
The program currently has more than 200 students enrolled, with majors ranging from pre-medical to fine arts.
"These students make extreme sacrifices for their education, and that qualifies them to be heroes," she said. "Many sacrifice their Spring Break, weekends and family time, and many can¹t afford to have a job."
Saavedra also highlighted the program¹s research studies, where students explore topics of their own choice in their majors or related area. This year¹s topics included breast cancer, dengue fever and psychological research.
Other areas of the Honors Studies Program are Gamma Beta Phi, a national honors and service society, and scholarships available for qualified students.
Saavedra also discussed the program¹s future, envisioning students receiving $1,000 scholarships for four years and full paid scholarships for top scholars. She added there is a possibility an honors learning community will be established in a wing of the dormitories, and scholarships will be awarded for housing fees.
For more information on the UTPA Honors Studies Program, call 956/381-3461.