The Ethel Waddell Githii Honors Program exists to encourage an intimate, supportive and engaged intellectual environment for young women who prioritize their academic work and connect their scholarship and intellectual curiosity to the African American liberatory tradition of scholars, artists, inventors, healers, scientists, public intellectuals and political actors.
The Program is designed to be interdisciplinary in order to acknowledge and support the diverse scholarly / creative aims of a community of highly academically motivated students. Honors Program provides a rich array of venues—reading programs, lecture series, cultural events on and beyond the campus— encouraging young scholars to demonstrate intellectual leadership as a habit of mind and a quality of the ethical citizen.
Students form lifelong friendships and partnerships as they read, write, share their questions, curiosities and discoveries, and engage in exploratory discourse arising from complex social, environmental, philosophical and political challenges both local and global.
All Honors students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities that include our Domestic Exchange program, which offers opportunity to study at 29 American campuses, and Study Abroad to diverse locations in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. The Honors Director and Program Coordinator work collaboratively with key academic departments and programs across the campus to provide students an array of opportunities, which include competitive access to numerous science and research scholarships via institutional partnerships, professional internship opportunities, and the chance to meet numerous visiting scholars and artists routinely visiting the campus, and other AUC campuses. The Honors Program works to prepare students to get to know and work with highly talented faculty mentors committed to introducing students to the challenges, rigors and excitement of posing and pursuing their own research questions.
Honors Program provides some financial support for students who elect to travel and present papers at student and professional conferences in the U.S.
All Honors students have the opportunity to take their research to a Senior Thesis project, or equivalent advanced project, in any one of the specializations offered in the curriculum. Dual Degree Engineering students are encouraged to engage in an early program planning process intended to deliver a liberal arts engagement for her, despite the brevity of her three-year stint at Spelman College (and early departure to her 2 year completion at university).
What does it mean to join the Githii Honors community?
The Githii Scholar pledges to a code of ethics, exemplary scholarship and relevance. She takes charge of her intellectual process; seeks to pose and pursue questions that reflect her own passions and commitments.
She honors her multiple communities. Her leadership model is fluid, permitting both individual and collaborative pursuits to effect “positive social change.”