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UCLA Magazine Winter 2003
The Rising
Honorable Intentions
The Cardinal of Westwood
The Littlest Bruin
Sensing the Future
Dershowitz, For the Defense
Bruin Walk

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Winter 2003
Honorable Intentions
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Flowering Ideas illustration

With smaller classes and greater access to top faculty, UCLA's Honors Programs is for many students a deciding factor in their choice to become Bruins.

By Roberta G. Wax
Illustration by Laurie Rosenwald

The seven students sitting around a long table in a narrow classroom are absolutely focused as they listen to a guest speaker share her research into surrogate parenthood, turning each of her words over in their minds, digesting the insights she is offering to them.

When she is through, hands shoot up and the questions come flying.

"Is race an issue for surrogates?" one student asks. "Do they ask about the sexual orientation of prospective parents?" asks another. "What is the father's social role in surrogacy?"

Sociology Professor Gail Kligman also is listening attentively, though her focus is on the students and their emerging insights. She smiles as the exchange seesaws back and forth.

"It isn't very often you get to talk about these ideas in a small setting," she says.

But for undergraduates in UCLA's Honors Programs, such classes as Kligman's "Theories of Exchange: Social Life of Gifts and Commodities" collegium are valuable forums for stimulating free-flowing interactions.

Some 4,000 undergraduates are enrolled in Honors Programs, which includes the College Honors, Departmental Scholars and individual major programs. Through Honors, students can participate in research projects, find a mentor and get guidance in applying for major national scholarships and fellowships, including the British Marshall and Rhodes scholarships. There are also several College-based scholarships that benefit students in Honors Programs.

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