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The Harrison Honors Program

The Harrison Honors Program

"Acceptance into the Harrison Honors Program helped me decide where I would attend college and introduced me to some of my closest friends. This program has made me realize my full potential as a scholar, and helped me become a more well-versed person.  By joining the Harrison Honors Program, I opened up countless opportunities for leadership roles, as well as travel to the Southern Regional Honors Council to interact with other honors programs from around the Southeast. I firmly believe that the Harrison Honors Program has made my experience at BSC much richer, and I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a program." 
--Sean McCarthy, class of 2016

Participation in the Donald C. Harrison Honors Program is more than an academic distinction; it is a springboard to new and exciting experiences. The program focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to topics, issues, and questions. Harrison Scholars look at problems from multiple perspectives, working together to find solutions—or resolutions—that fit in the complex world in which we find ourselves.

One thing to note: you don’t have to be first in your class to be a Harrison Honors Scholar. What’s most important is that you’re open to new ideas and willing to incorporate, embrace, and encourage differences.

Harrison Scholars:

  • TBSC Honors Program Logoake special honors seminars, which are student-centered and usually limited to 16 to 18 students. They will hone your ability to listen, comment, and deliberate clearly.
  • Conduct an interdisciplinary, independent project framed in collaboration with the program director and a faculty sponsor.
  • Receive access to the Honors Commons meetings, events, and study time.
  • Are eligible for a research stipend of up to $3,000.
  • Receive priority registration, making it easier to get exactly the classes you want.
  • Have the opportunity to travel to present their scholarship at the Southern Regional Honors Council Conference.

Fourteen presented papers in Louisville, KY, in 2013; 11 presented in Tampa, FL in 2012.

  • May enroll in honors-only courses offered by the Birmingham Area Consortium of Higher Education (BACHE), which includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Miles College, the University of Montevallo, and Samford University.
  • Have a notation on their transcript that they graduated as honors students.

For more information, including a course listing, please visit the Special Programs section of the most recent issue of the Birmingham-Southern College Catalog.

Birmingham-Southern College is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Southern Regional Honors Council and the Alabama Honors Council.



    Kent S. Andersen, Instructor of English
    B.A. (1995), Iowa State University; M.A. (1998), American University. Interests:  composition and rhetoric, cultural studies, science fiction, critical theory.

    Amy C. Cottrill, Denson N. Franklin Professor of Religion
    A.B. (1993), Earlham College; M.Div. (1997), Methodist Theological School in Ohio; Ph.D. (2003), University of Cincinnati.

    Daniel Coyle, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
    B.S. (1987), Birmingham-Southern College; M.A. (1992), Ph.D. (1999), University of Hawaii at Manoa.

    Pamela K. Hanson, Professor of Biology
    B.S. (1996), Rhodes College; Ph.D. (2001), Emory University.

    William Hustwit, Assistant Professor of History
    B.A. (2002), Kenyon College; M.A. (2004), Ph.D. (2008), University of Mississippi.

    Matthew A. Levey, Professor of History
    B.A. (1978), Clark University; M.A. (1980), University of Michigan; M.A. (1984), Ph.D. (1991), University of Chicago.

    G. Shane Pitts, Jack G. Paden Professor of Psychology
    B.S. (1992), Athens State College; M.A. (1995), Ph.D. (1997), University of Alabama.

    Duane H. Pontius, Jr., T. Morris Hackney Profgessor of Physics
    B.S. (1981), Birmingham-Southern College; Ph.D. (1988), University of Minnesota.

    Kathleen Greer Rossmann, Associate Professor of Economics
    B.A. (1987), Furman University; M.A. (1995), Ph.D. (1999), University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Mark E. Rupright, Associate Professor of Physics
    B.S. (1992), University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Ph.D. (1998), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Mark S. Schantz, Professor of History
    A.B. (1977), The George Washington University; M.Div. (1981), Yale University; Ph.D. (1991), Emory University.

    Lester Charles Seigel, Joseph Hugh Thomas Professor of Music
    B.M. (1980), Birmingham-Southern College; M.M. (1983), D.M.A. (1991), University of Colorado, Boulder.

    Kevin Shook, Associate Professor of Art
    B.F.A. (2002), University of Akron; M.F.A. (2004), University of Delaware.

    Timothy B. Smith, Associate Professor of Art History
    B.A. (1992), M.A. (1994), University of South Carolina; Ph.D. (2002), Florida State University.

    Sandra L. Sprayberry, Robert E. Luckie, Jr. Professor of English
    B.A. (1979), M.F.A. (1983), University of Alabama; Ph.D. (1988), Florida State University.

    Maria Stadnik, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
    B.S. (2005), B.A. (2005), Youngstown State University; M.S. (2007), Purdue University; Ph.D. (2012), Northwestern University.

    John D. Tatter, Professor of English
    B.A. (1976), Houghton College; M.A. (1979), Ph.D. (1984), Ohio University.

    David W. Ullrich, Professor of English
    B.A. (1975), Marquette University; M.A. (1976), Ph.D. (1986), University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Pamela Venz, Professor of Art
    B.A. (1983), University of Alabama at Birmingham; M.F.A. (1985), Ohio State University.


    Honors Commons in the Humanities Center

    Honors Commons in Munger Hall

    Reserved for use only by Honors students and faculty, the Honors Commons provides a comfortable place for small meetings, discussions with faculty, or for just checking email or taking a break between classes. Located in room 128 of the Berte Humanities Center, across from the Language Lab, the Honors Commons is a convenient stopping-off place between major buildings on the academic quad.


    What Harrison Scholars Say

    "The thing about the Honors Program isn't that it's full of smart people. It isn't even that it's prestigious. The thing about the Honors Program is that it is chock-full of the kind of people who you want to keep around for the rest of your life—people who can get things done to the highest degree, and have a good time doing it."
    --Colin Hills '13Visit with Ambassador Dunford

    "When I came to BSC, I wanted to be part of something that was going to allow me to expand my knowledge in ways that I never thought would be possible. The Harrison Honors Program pushed me out of my comfort zone, while molding me into a scholar and leader who intends to make the world a better place." 
    --Claire Burns '12

    "The Harrison Honors Program at BSC is full of surprises. My Honors classes were some of my favorite classes. Only the Honors Program can combine classic literature, creative writing, journalism, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and races with donkeys!" 
    --Katie Sack '11

    "Not only are Harrison Scholars offered priority in some amazing courses, but they get special opportunities like meetings with speakers and unique service projects that other student groups do not get. I love the special relationships I made with professors and fellow scholars."
    --Emily Wallace '11

    "Albert Einstein once claimed that 'the only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.' This is not the case in the Harrison Honors Program, because grades and busy work are not valued, but enjoyment, a true passion for learning, and development of the mind certainly are.
    --Andrew Clack '13

    "The Harrison Honors Program has provided me with a means to make friends with people of similar interests and values, take interesting classes which might not otherwise be available, and gave me financial aid to study abroad." 
    --Marian Bradshaw '11