BGSU Honors Dean's Blog

I'm Simon Morgan-Russell, Dean of BGSU's Honors College. Find me on Twitter @SMorganRussell.

Follow along with the Honors College at and @BGSU_Honors

Guest Blogger: Jodi Devine


 My name is Jodi Devine and I am the Associate Dean of the Honors College and the Director of the Honors Learning Community. My role in Honors is a great one because it allows me to work with all of our students on a daily basis either as an academic advisor, the instructor of one of our HNRS 2010 sections, or with HLC students as we travel around the region and participate in events in Founders. When I am not working, I am often doing something with my family…mostly watching or keeping score at one of my kid’s games.  My daughter, Katie, loves softball and plays year round. My son, Jack, is more of a renaissance man and enjoys all different types of activities including taking apart mechanical devices and playing basketball.

 As the summer comes to a close, we officially wrap up the orientation program and say goodbye to one of our favorite Honors colleagues, Denise Vollmar. Denise had been with the Honors College for 20 years. Many students had the opportunity to work with her and I trust they agree, her retirement is a loss for our College.

 As we officially turn our attention towards the new academic year we welcome 291 new first year students and two new advisors to our staff – Aryn Lipnicki and Kerry Klima. We also welcome back Dr. Kacee Ferrell Snyder who was out on leave as she introduced Baby Gavin Snyder into the world. 

 The faculty and staff in Honors worked hard to prepare for opening weekend, first classes, and fall trips and events. Mark your calendars now to have your families visit during Family Weekend.  The Honors College will host an open house on September 13 in the Honors Den.  Time and details to come soon!

 If you’re a part of the Honors Learning Community, get ready for some outstanding fall semester trips. We’ll go to Hocking Hills, Stratford, ON, Ann Arbor, and two theatre performances. Freshman will register for weekend trips on 8/22…don’t forget to have a credit card available to provide a deposit to hold your spot on the trip. New for this year, the HLC has also recruited some of the best returners to serve as Honors Fellows. Fellows will help make sure you get settled into your suite and that you get to know your neighbors.

 Enjoy the last moments before the term begins…we’ll see you sooner than you think!

Class of 2018!

This past weekend, we completed our SOAR program for the summer. 291 new Honors students are joining us in the fall, with 220 of them choosing to join the Honors Learning Community. We all very much enjoyed getting to know our new students and their families, and we hope that they enjoyed their day with us, too.

 I also faithfully photographed our SOAR students every day, much to their consternation! All of my photographs can be found at our Facebook page at Thanks to all of you who have “liked” these photographs so far – we hope that it will give you an opportunity to begin building our community even before you arrive on campus in just a few weeks’ time.

 For the next post on this blog, we’ll be hearing from a guest blogger: Dr. Jodi Devine, Associate Dean of the Honors College and Director of the Honors Learning Community. I know that she’s excited to welcome everyone back to BGSU in August! Best wishes, until then, for a good summer vacation.

How will you measure your success?

We’re about a week into SOAR – our summer program of Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration. We’ve enjoyed meeting students and finding interesting and challenging courses for them, and letting them see what the Honors College and Honors Learning Community can do for them at BGSU.

 One of the questions we ask our students to consider over the summer is “What are your markers for success during college?” This is an interesting question! Often students joining the Honors College from a high school environment have been accustomed to measuring their success only in terms of grades and scores: GPAs, ACTs, and HS ranks. Of course, these measures are important – and your successes in these areas are some of the ways we assess your eligibility and suitability for Honors at BGSU. But now that you’re here, what are your milestones for success?

 Perhaps, if you’re a scientist, you might measure your success by forming a relationship with a mentor and working in her/his laboratory. Or, if you’re an actor, by auditioning for a role in a performance and getting the part. But there are so many ways for you to experience the richness of a college education at BGSU – through internships, service learning opportunities, study abroad, collaborating with fellow Honors students to engage with regional culture; participation in any of these experiences could become goals for you, and markers of your success.

 So, here’s my challenge to you this week: what do you want from your education at BGSU? And how will you measure your success?

Welcome to the blog I keep as Dean of Bowling Green State University’s Honors College! I hope to be able to showcase the activities and achievements of our students, staff, and faculty during the coming year, as well as feature some guest writers to cultivate a broad perspective on the Honors College experience at BGSU.

Next week we begin to welcome the students of the Class of 2018 to campus as they visit for SOAR: Student Orientation, Advising and Registration. I’m looking forward to meeting our new Honors students as they select courses for the fall semester, at last putting faces to the names I’ve read on application forms and essays this past year.

You can follow along with the Honors College at BGSU through Facebook ( or via Twitter @BGSU_Honors. You can also follow me on Twitter @SMorganRussell.

Enjoy the summer!