Florida A& M Honors Week festivities kick off

A week-long showcase of the university’s best and brightest starts Monday. Florida A&M’s Honors Week consists of opportunities for honors students to shine through different events and seminars. The program is also a chance for students of the university to find out how they can get involved with the honors program.The week, stretching from March 30-April 1, will include presentations, forum discussions and guest speakers, including Makeba Earst, who has a doctorate in biology. According to Honors Program Director Emma Dawson, the difference between an “honors student” and a “regular student” determines who is involved with what program.“By the mere fact that we’re students at the university and we believe in higher achieving students at the university connotes that honors is representation of whatever we stand for,” Dawson said. “Honors, of course, is synonymous with college and the university experience.”Both Dawson and program assistant, Frances McMillon, said it is extremely important for students not involved in the honors program to attend.“A student should take away the ability to meet the academic requirements and join the honors program,” McMillon said. “Then they can benefit from the things we provide. The things we can provide are not always academic. Sometimes it’s social skills, sometimes it’s emotional support, sometimes it’s academic support. Just a listening ear.”FAMU Honors Week is unique since it is self-funded. The university does not allocate money for the students in the honors program to hold their own week. Advisers to the program and Dawson said this is not a major issue because the students are dedicated enough on their own.“We seem to pull it together without funds,” McMillon said. “Some students who graduated contribute financially. We have parents that contribute, and it’s not the amount of money bestowed, but the thought behind it and how much they appreciate what we are doing.”Students hung fliers and posters on buildings across campus and sent out invitations all in an effort to increase student participation. Dawson said the decision to attend the conferences should be a “no-brainer.” Gregory Watts, a second-year sociology student from Pensacola, Fla., agreed, saying despite not having the grades to be an “honors” student, he hopes one day to join the program.“I mean, I’m not a genius, but a 3.0 grade point average isn’t bad,” Watts said. “I know I can get the grades to bring it up too, so being around other students who have achieved that success should help.”McMillon said the week gives her a sense of pride in the students who she sees daily. Dawson said being involved with Honors Week brings a sense of school pride.Honors Week starts Tuesday in the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication with an undergraduate conference at 9 a.m.