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The Honors Program

Introducing Kerrie Bondi, Assistant Director, Honors Program

Kerrie Bondi came to the RIT Honors Program in February as Assistant Director. Kerrie holds a bachelor's degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master's degree in counseling. She spent five years at St. John Fisher College and 12 years at SUNY Geneseo. At Geneseo, she created a Peer Career Advisor program, developed the Emerald Career and Professional Development Leadership Certificate, taught many of the workshops, and worked individually counseling students on their career plans. At RIT, Kerrie supervises the student workers in the office, as well as the Complementary Learning advisors and the Honors mentors. She also helps plan office events such as the Brick City Homecoming luncheon, dinners for students and the "Honors Experience" pre-orientation program. Kerrie is working with a group of students and RIT Production Services to develop a new web site as well.

The Class of 2017

The Honors Program welcomed 143 first-year students this semester. Representing a variety of cultures, economic backgrounds, and geographic regions, the class of 2017 comes from a pool of over 750 student applicants.

Honors Curriculum Committee (HCC)

In April 2013 RIT's Academic Senate endorsed a new curriculum framework proposal for the Honors Program. As proposed in the framework, a new faculty oversight body for Honors has been established. The Honors Curriculum Committee (HCC) members represent RIT's colleges and will work to guide the developing honors curriculum framework, as well as encourage faculty participation in the Honors Program. HCC members named to date include Robert Barbato (SCB); Zoran Ninkov (COS); Jacquie Mozrall (KGCOE); Christopher Homan (GCCIS); Uli Linke (COLA); Linda Tolan (CAST); Heidi Miller (CHST) and Willie Osterman (CIAS).

Honors Program Curriculum Development

Over the summer, Danielle Smith (Honors Program director), Uli Linke (anthropology and sociology) and Jessica Lieberman (fine arts) developed the first component of the framework - an Honors Seminar course entitled "Explorations of Place and Space". The Honors Seminar is a foundational course that will incorporate the 'city as text' model as implemented by the National Collegiate Honors Council's signature programs. The course's emphasis on inquiry, analysis, and interpretation will facilitate student-engaged learning. In exploring pertinent place and space related issues and topics through experiential, active, and site-specific learning, various aspects of the human condition are discovered. The goal is to have faculty from across the colleges at RIT teach the course. The course is designed to allow faculty to determine the particular aspect of "place and space" they wish to emphasize. The course is expected to be offered in fall semester 2014 and is now being reviewed by the Curriculum Committee in the College of Liberal Arts.

Honors Activities in the Colleges CIAS
  • Honors alumnus Ryan Harriman '12 has installed a photography exhibit in the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences Student Services office (Gannett Hall). The exhibit is open to the public.
  • Honors students Tom Bardenett, Ed Foose and Matt Lees were part of an RIT group that competed in the Sleepless in Lake Placid film festival over the summer. Their film, "Stuck in the Stay", won the Audience Choice Award at the ceremony - the second year in a row for RIT.
  • The CIAS Honors program sponsored a trip to Ithaca on October 5th for over 30 students. For details and pictures, visit the CIAS Honors blog.
  • CIAS Honors students will be fundraising throughout November to support college events and activities. Watch for information about the first chicken BBQ and holiday portrait sessions.
College of Science
  • Benjamin Merritt, COS Honors student, is traveling to New Haven, Connecticut with Dr. Michael Coleman to present information on the cyclopropenation of internal alkynes through the use of a copper catalyst at the 2013 American Chemical Society Northeast Regional Meeting.
  • Megan Iafrati, Susan Kratzer, Elizabeth Bondi and Victoria Scholl presented "Putting the Capstone First: Turning the STEM Curriculum Upside-Down" at the STEMTech Conference in Atlanta, GA this October. The second and third-year Honors students shared their freshman year experiences in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (CIS).
College of Liberal Arts
  • Stephanie Dymek, a fourth-year student in the public policy program with a career focus on increasing women's representation in STEM fields, is currently completing her co-op requirement by providing support to the NSF ADVANCE Connect@RIT grant on campus. The goal of the NSF ADVANCE program is to increase the representation and advancement of women in academic science and engineering careers, ultimately leading to a more diverse STEM workforce. In her role, Stephanie assists the team with conducting benchmarking research to inform programming and policy development, managing student program associates, creating materials, and managing the upcoming Connectivity sessions sponsored by Connect@RIT and run by the women of color (ConnectWoC@RIT) and deaf and hard-of-hearing teams (Connect@NTID). For additional information about the NSF ADVANCE program and its goals, visit the website
Honors Students in Study Abroad
  • Kelsey Buecheler (CHST), Lane Lawley (GCCIS) and Sol Boucher (GCCIS) spent spring quarter in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and Nicole Lantoni (CAST) is studying in Dubai this term.
  • Ten students, including CAST Honors student Erin Downs from RIT's Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety program, spent three weeks in Budapest during summer quarter. Two weeks were spent taking a Corporate Social Responsibility course at Corvinus University of Budapest with many of the Corvinus faculty.