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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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Even as a freshman, Jonathan Dotan knew he wanted more of a challenge than the typical lower-division courses had to offer. He found it in Honors Programs, where he was able to design his own major in information policy, take graduate-level coursework and find a mentor to set him on an advanced academic path.

Collegium classes "breathe oxygen into topics and allow you to make tremendous relationships with top professors," he says, adding that the experience is further enhanced by access to classes where he can study cutting-edge issues alongside M.B.A., information science and law students.

Dotan, now a senior, recently was in Bosnia studying criminal justice. This fieldwork, which was funded by an Irving and Jean Stone Honors Research Stipend and a UCLA Ricardi Research Fellowship, "has really put me ahead in terms of life experience and career options," he notes.

While there are several student-research programs carrying honors credit that are open to all undergrads, College Honors students can also get honors credits for enriched experiences, such as work on the Catalina Island Marine Biology project or internship and study at the Center for American Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C.

The Collegium is not all about advanced studies, however. Courses in the program often will satisfy general education and breadth requirements. Carter, for instance, found that as a non-science major he would not have been able to take a class on radiation oncology. But through the Collegium he was able to take such a course, geared toward the lower division, that satisfied a science requirement.

The interdisciplinary approach also attracts students from a broad academic spectrum. For instance, Kligman's mostly third- and fifth-year students are majoring in life sciences, art history, Spanish, communication strategies, history and political science.

For many students, the program is an impetus to work to their full potential, even at times when they might prefer to cut back.

"The program keeps me on top of things," says Adriana Palomares, an English literature major. "Knowing that my Honors classes require more of my time keeps me from procrastinating." And being around other high-achieving students is a great motivator. "I do not want to be the only one behind in class discussions," she says.

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