When Jack was searching colleges, he knew that he was selecting a place where he would be living for nine months out of the year for four years. “I needed a place that felt like home,” Jack says. And coming all the way from Deerfield, Illinois, his expectations were set high. But La Salle fit the bill. “From the second I set foot on La Salle’s campus, I knew La Salle was that place. Four years later, I could not be happier with my decision.”
He credits the faculty with helping the Honors Program stand out among other schools, “they are heavily invested in personal relationships with each student, available to meet with students at all times – sometimes about the class and sometimes just to check on how we are doing. I do not believe that these types of student-teacher relationships are possible at other schools, and really set La Salle apart.”
And the friendships he’s made among his fellow students, he says, is what makes La Salle really feel like home. “More than the commitment to academic excellence, which is evident, the Honors Program is a special community,” he explains. “I entered La Salle with these classmates, and we have maintained special relationships all four years. The shared experiences are unique and form the foundation of tight bonds that will last long beyond graduation.”
Jack is applying to graduate schools and has hopes of eventually serving in government and knows that no matter where he ends up, it’s the Explorer inside of him that gets him there. “Coming to La Salle was unquestionably one of the best decisions I have made,” he says.
Erin didn’t plan on becoming President of the Honors Program. She didn’t even originally plan on going to La Salle. But as many Explorers will attest, all it took was stepping foot on campus to help make up her mind. “The Honors students are who truly convinced me to come to La Salle.” Erin said. “I was able to witness firsthand the close knit community and support network provided and immediately knew I wanted to attend La Salle. At the end of that day, I even told my dad I wanted a La Salle sweatshirt, which was a big deal for me!”
With the goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator, Erin blazed her path forward at La Salle from day one. While majoring in nutrition, she also makes time for her responsibilities as part of the Honors Program Student Board, La Salle Explorers Advocating Nutrition (LEAN), LIVE Program, Circle K, Academic Tutoring program, and Pheed Philadelphia. But what really rounds Erin’s Explorer experience off the most, she says, is the Honors Program community.
“My fellow Honors students are some of my best friends at school. Freshmen year, all of the students in the Honors Program tend to form this unspoken bond as a result of the Honors Triple. Those friendships seem to stick throughout the rest of college and afterwards from what I have seen with the Honors Alumni.”
Maggie came to Philadelphia from Staten Island, NY because she wanted to attend a university that would challenge her academically, emotionally, and spiritually. The Honors Program is where she knew she would find all of those things and more. Four years later, she knows she made the right move. “My past four years at La Salle would have been completely different without the Honors Program,” Maggie says. “I was given a quality education, countless cultural opportunities through the freshman year supplemental field trips, and friendships that are incomparable to any others.”
La Salle’s liberal arts education is an added benefit that Maggie knows has challenged and inspired her in ways she wasn’t expecting. “As a nutrition major, I may not have received these core classes at other schools; therefore, I was encouraged to get out of comfort zone and learn how to write, read, and think critically.”
Academics have been front and center for Maggie as an Honors Student, but she hasn’t let that get in the way of doing the things that she loves. She has been the treasurer of the Honors Board, a co-chair for Relay For Life, president of the nutrition club LEAN, and active in Habitat for Humanity. In her free time, she loves to bake and has even entered her own recipes and won competitions. You can find her writing in the dining and food section of her local newspaper. And she also leads tours around La Salle’s campus as an Admission Campus Explorer to help motivate interested students and show them what a well-rounded Explorer in the Honors Program looks like.
Brian became an Explorer after being drawn to the close knit community he felt around campus. But no one told him that in the Honors Program at La Salle, that he would also find a family. “The students you go through the Honors Triple with become your friends and dedicated study-partners,” he says. “The upperclassmen are always there to offer advice and tips. Everyone wants everyone to succeed, which I fell fosters a healthy environment for all the Honors students.”
Brian is confident that the genuine relationships he has also built with professors and mentors is something that would be hard to find outside of the Honors Program. “They have always offered their time to help me and lead me in the right direction,” he says. “Whenever I have needed recommendations or references, I have gone to the faculty of the Honors Program because I know they will be able to write something personal and honest.”
With hopes of using his communication degree in the arts and entertainment industry, preferably as a movie critic, Brian is grateful that the Honors Program has taught him skills beyond academics like preparation and time management. The hard work, he says, is well worth it. “I would want students to know that while the Honors Program feels like a difficult path to take, it is a path that is worth the work,” he says. “The relationships I have formed, the skills I have gained, and the knowledge I have acquired are invaluable.”
As a student-athlete who likes to challenge himself, La Salle’s Honors Program provided an environment for Conor Nichols that was intellectually stimulating and challenged him to try new things. “My experience in the La Salle Honor’s Program has been one that has opened my mind to new strains of thought,” Conor said. “The Honors Program challenges students to think in ways they are not accustomed to thinking. From Philosophy classes to classes that look into quantum mechanics, The Honors program challenges its students to tackle all areas of academia.”
His learning in the classroom has exceeded his expectations. For his Honors project, Conor explained that he is “researching and experimenting with 3d printers and their application to sustainable manufacturing.” From investigating to experimenting with modifications, Conor plans to learn if it is possible to alter the properties of the polylactic acid to create 3d printed objects with conductive properties.
But his learning outside of the classroom has been just as impactful to him. “One of my favorite experiences in the Honors program was the Honors Program Labs that introduced me to some of the outstanding educational resources that Philadelphia has to offer. Whether it was attending a play, or visiting a museum, these were great experiences that I would not have had the opportunity to take advantage of had I not been in the Honors Program.”
Emily might be good with numbers but she’s used her time in the Honors program at La Salle to learn and enjoy as much about everything that interests her as possible. “I enjoyed the honors labs a lot freshman year,” Emily explained. “Getting to see plays, and go to museums was a really great experience, and helped me to get to know the city a lot better.”
As a finance and economics major with plans on attending law school after graduation, Emily is also an active member in La Salle’s student theater group Masque and is the perfect example of how a Lasallian Honors experience transforms students into well-rounded human beings.
“The honors program will definitely shape the way your college experience goes,” Emily said. “It’s a very different experience, especially freshman year, from the average university.”
The intimate community and individualized attention is what made Isabel know the Honors Program at La Salle is where she belonged. “Right from the start, I loved La Salle because I could tell it was a very tight knit community,” she explained. “My eighth grade graduating class had only 16 students and my high school had only about 800 students total, so I was used to schools that were small, tight knight communities. That’s why I knew La Salle would be the perfect fit for me.”
But her experience as a freshman undergoing the rigor of The Triple curriculum and as a sophomore finding her stride is what made Isabel confident that she made the right choice. Vasquez said, “My experience in the Honors Program has been one I wouldn’t trade for anything. It has allowed me to grow as a student through stimulating my mind to think in ways I never had and improving my time management skills. Additionally, it has allowed me to grow as a friend because I have made such great friendships through the Honors program in which we are always supporting each other.”