TAMIU Honors Students Learn Much in New Orleans in 2004

TAMIU Honors Students Learn Much in New Orleans


Recently, three Texas A&M International University D.D. Hachar Honors students had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana and meet with university honor students from across the country. (photo)

Rachel Haugen, Liz Sandoval and Carlos Nuñez were accompanied by Dr. Carlos E. Cuéllar, associate professor of history and director of TAMIU's D.D. Hachar Honors Program

The students were selected based on three criteria: GPA, involvement in TAMIU and community activities and good standing in the Honors Program, said Dr. Cuéllar.

He explained that at the 39th Annual Conference of the National Collegiate Honors Council, students discussed honors research, exchanged ideas and attended sessions designed to expose them to new concepts and improve their college experience.

All three students said they learned a great deal from their trip.

"I was exposed to many other honor students from across the nation and I noticed both their intelligence and determination to succeed," said Nuñez, a senior majoring in accounting, "In short, I had my first look at my competition."

Haugen, a junior majoring in Spanish, found the presentations by other honors students particularly helpful.

"Being able to listen to these students present their research projects not only informed me about their actual topics, but also was very useful in teaching me about the art of organizing and delivering a speech," said Haugen.

Topics discussed included African-American culture, understanding Islam and bridging differences through multicultural literatures, said Cuéllar.

In addition to the more traditional aspects of learning, the students reported they found the experience of New Orleans and meeting people from across the country worthwhile.

"The cultural enrichment that I gained during this trip is invaluable," said Sandoval, a junior majoring in economics. "It was a privilege to have acquired this academic and cultural experience with my wonderful academic family."

Cuéllar, who has directed the D.D. Hachar Honors program since its inception in October 1999, has always tried to enrich his students' lives, and many students have spoken of him as a mentor and friend. The itinerary he planned for the three students was designed to expose them to the rich culture of New Orleans, and ensure they got the most from a four-day trip.

"I truly believe that Rachel, Liz and Carlos got an education that rivaled anything they learned this past semester. In spite of the few days we had, I do think that we made the most of our time and experienced a world-class city with its diverse culture," said Cuéllar.

The D.D. Hachar Honors Program offers selected students an opportunity to demonstrate greater personal responsibility for their education. Students accepted into the Honors Program are awarded a four-year scholarship providing funds for tuition, books and fees. This scholarship is renewable each subsequent year, provided the Scholar meets all requirements.

For more information on the D.D. Hachar Honors Program, please contact Dr. Cuéllar at 326.2626, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 421 or e-mail ccuellar@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu