The University of Nevada, Reno welcomed 121 incoming, first-year students into the highly selective Honors Program this semester. The class includes 41 Presidential Scholars and seven National Merit Scholars. The University was officially notified of its sponsorship status by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation four years ago, and has 46 currently enrolled National Merit Scholars.
The University’s Honors Program is a highly competitive academic program that seeks to provide students who are both academically talented and highly motivated with an enriched educational experience. The program works to provide an undergraduate education that promotes their ability to think competently, understand deeply and act ethically. Students are selected for this program based on high academic achievement, outstanding leadership ability and demonstrated interest in academic and career goals.
“As members of the Honors Program, these students will undertake a challenging curriculum of University Honors courses while participating in academic, professional and social opportunities and completing an Honors undergraduate thesis,” Tamara Valentine, director of the Honors Program, said.
Honors student Erika Mauban, a neuroscience major from The Meadows School in Las Vegas, was drawn to the University because of the Honors Program and the BS-MD program, a seven year accelerated program for students who want to pursue a career in medicine. She is looking forward to having the opportunity to write a senior thesis and to build close mentorships with professors.
“My honors classes stand out as harder classes,” Mauban said.” I love the fact that they are smaller class sizes so I can build relationships with my professors.”
Through the Honors Program, Mauban has been able to meet other academically minded students.
“I like surrounding myself with other students who challenge themselves intellectually,” she said.
The Honors Program accepted students from more than 60 high schools in Nevada and around the country.
Elisabeth Knapen, an 18-year-old honors student at the University, graduated from Notre Dame High School in San Jose, Calif. She is majoring in electrical engineering with an emphasis in biomedical engineering.
“I wanted to be a part of the Honors Program because I wanted to be a part of a community that had a deep passion for academics,” Knapen said. “I knew that the Honors Program would support me throughout my time in college.”
The Honors Program at the University recognizes the quality of these students and credits much of their successes so far to the dedication of the teachers and staff at their high schools.
Gwen DePolo is an 18-year-old honors student from Reno, Nev. She is double majoring in chemistry and music. She joins her older sister, Paige DePolo, a junior honors student majoring in geological engineering and geology.
“I attended Bishop Manogue High School before I came to the University and joined the Honors Program,” DePolo said. “Because of the rigor of the AP classes I took my junior and senior years, I was better prepared for the amount of time spent outside of class studying and working on schoolwork for the honors courses I am currently taking.”
The Honors Program is celebrating its 51st anniversary at the University. This legacy speaks to the success of the program as it continues to be a positive resource for current and future students.
“These outstanding students have chosen the Honors Program at the University of Nevada,” said Valentine. “We look forward to welcoming more of the brightest students in Nevada and around the country in the coming years,” Valentine said.