Honors College takes first-semester freshman to Florence

Zak Kinkaid

The Honors College started a new program this year allowing first-semester freshman to travel abroad to Florence in fall 2016, in order to give students a new experience.

Aaron Hanlin, an honors coordinator at the Honors College, said that while in Florence, the freshmen will be taking an honors colloquium — an Italian art and a language course. The colloquium will be led by Vicki Adams who has more than 10 years of teaching experience as a professor at Kent State.

Adams said she has many exciting plans for the curriculum in the Fall.

One of which is a unit centered around the concepts behind the philosopher Plato, who saw things as a constant, and Aristotle, who saw things as ever changing. Students will see both in many different forms of art, music and literature from the renaissance era.

“It’s quite simplistic, but it is just our jumping off point,” Adams said.

Adams said the amount of joy her students bring her are the reason she continues to teach.

“It’s hard for me, I keep trying to quit but the dean keeps saying, ‘Could you teach one more Vick?,'” Adams said. “So I keep coming back — not for the money, but because it’s so much fun. The Honors students are just terrific, they are inquisitive and just great.”

Adams also touched on how she can point out all of the culture that surrounds them be just walking around or being in a city with students.

“Think of the average bloke in the world. They, the students, are so lucky to do this and they have to count their blessings every day,” Adams said.

When Adams was an undergraduate she went to Strasbourg, France, and stayed for the whole year.

“It was very different from now but it completely affected the rest of my life,” Adams said. “It’s a wonderful experience and very unique. It’s only half a year so it isn’t that scary and it will impact them forever.”

The deadline for applications is April 15 to be accepted into the program. Hanlin said that eight applications are being filled out and there are only 20 positions total available.

“In order to be eligible for the program students must first be admitted to the Kent campus and the Honors College. Students must also complete an additional application for this program,” Amber Cruxton, assistant director of education abroad, said. “Due to Italian law, all non-European citizens must be 18 years of age or older at the time of departure in order to enroll at the KSU Florence campus.”

Cruxton and Hanlin both agreed that they personally would have taken the opportunity to participate in this program if they had it offered when they were in school. They said it will lead to a much more rich experience while increasing the desirability to Graduate Schools of students who participate.

For more information about the program visit the Honors College webpage, the Freshmen in Florence page, or contact Aaron Hanlin or Amber Cruxton for more information.

Zak Kinkaid is the continuing studies and distance education reporter for The Kent Stater, contact him at [email protected].