Rachel Evadne Goodhue '93The Honors Program brought me to Swarthmore. Twice. As a student, honors seminars were as long, intense, and challenging as I had hoped they would be. The professors were even more knowledgeable and creative. What I hadn't imagined before I began the program was how rewarding it would be to prepare for seminars by reading, writing seminar papers, and completing problem sets. I hadn't imagined how much I would learn from my fellow students in seminars - and while preparing. In honors, we learned how to master a subject, rather than how to master a syllabus or a set of syllabi. The examinations over all of my honors topics at the end of the senior year created a true capstone experience. For me, the economics involved in American social history became more apparent as did the socio-political forces that underlie the field of economic development.
As a professor, I seek to integrate what I experienced as an honors student into my undergraduate and graduate teaching. Thus, it was a very special privilege for me to be invited to serve as an honors examiner in economic development in 2003. What struck me most was how little the core experience had changed for students. The students I examined had mastered the material, and not just the high points of the syllabus. They were committed to thinking about important issues in economic development: the role of agriculture, women and development, and how economic development interacts with the natural environment. Serving as their examiner was an inspiring experience that allowed me to give something back to the Swarthmore honors community.