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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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In addition to learning from scholars who are at the top in their fields worldwide, students might also find themselves being taught by experts from outside the university. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, for example, teaches a Collegium course.

"I used to joke that if I could have majored in Honors Collegium, I would have," says Vikki Katz '02, who now is studying for her Ph.D. The Collegium classes she took as an undergraduate, she says, "enriched and gave greater depth to the years I spent at UCLA."

"The professors in Collegium teach subjects that they truly love. They teach for the joy of it," Katz says. The enthusiasm of the professors was so infectious "it made me want to go to graduate school and become a teacher myself."

That feeling of being part of a smaller, more intimate community within the larger whole of the university was "my favorite aspect of Honors Programs," says Mitra Ebadolahi '02. "It shrank UCLA into a manageable place."

While an undergraduate, Ebadolahi spent a month doing field research in Havana for a Departmental Honors thesis on the effects of tourism on developing countries.

"I had such a strong support network that I felt empowered to go out into the UCLA macrocosm and make my mark with confidence," she says. "I had the best of both worlds: a big school with a plethora of opportunities, and a small school within it where I had the support I needed to make the most of those opportunities."

A Rhodes Scholar finalist, Ebadolahi currently is on a Fulbright at the London School of Economics.

Having that smaller school-within-a-school feel has been important for many students.

"When I transferred to UCLA from Santa Monica College, I was scared of the size," says Phillip Carter '97, now a UCLA law student. A Truman Scholar who served four years in the military after graduating with a degree in political science, Carter says Honors Programs helped him navigate the bureaucracy, pointing him towards scholarships and other opportunities and helping lay out an academic plan. "I would not have done as well at UCLA had I not had that advantage," he says.

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