Honors dean candidate talks about revamping thesis program

Christina Stavale

The low number of honors students completing their thesis projects is a concern for Honors dean candidate Jonathan Godner – it’s something he said he would like to improve if chosen for the job.

In an open conference with students yesterday, Godner said there are certain national standards an honors college must require for its students’ thesis projects. As dean, he would have some influence upon the criteria and said he would like to broaden it to appeal to students in a variety of majors.

“I am not going to sell something that says we are going to have lower academic standards,” he said. “In disciplines, you ought to be able to count what’s appropriate to your major.”

Godner, who received a masters degree in piano literature and performance, used honors music and theatre performance majors as an example. He said he thinks a greater emphasis on the student’s discipline – such as performing – would be more beneficial to the student instead of concentrating on writing a thesis paper.

However, he said he did not want to do away with the thesis paper entirely because it is also beneficial to students.

Chris Richards, sophomore musical theatre major, said he liked Godner’s ideas.

“I like that he’s very discipline-specific for the honors thesis,” he said. “I enjoy that he’s an arts person, too.”

Zack Krocek, freshman visual communication design major, agreed.

“I think it’s good he wanted to focus on what we’re going to be doing (after college) for the honors thesis,” he said.

Contact academics reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected]