Honors Forum: Out with Golden In with Taylor
On June 1, Political Science Professor Flagg Taylor became the Director of the Honors Forum. Taylor assumed this position from English professor Catherine Golden after her four-year term ended. Golden began her term on June 1, 2011 just ten years after the first Honors Forum class graduated from Skidmore.
The Dean of Faculty, Beau Breslin, appointed Taylor to this position, but Golden also recommended him for this role. The three previous Directors prior to Golden include professors Michael Arnush, Phil Boshoff and David Vella. Golden is proud to have been the first female Director of the program.
Some of Golden’s notable things she did for the program include working to separate the program from the Admissions process. Last year was the first year that all the students in Honors Forum chose to be members and were accepted based on their grades at Skidmore and potential for leadership on campus. The separation from Admissions has “led to a dramatic drop in our disqualification rate,” said Golden. Other changes enacted by Golden during her term include creating a mission statement, streamlining Academic Festival, establishing guidelines for Honors-worthy writing, increasing diversity within the program, updating the Honors Forum lounge, bringing back an Honors Forum housing option, revamping the application process and increasing participation of Honors Forum members. Even though she has stepped down from her position as Director, she hopes to remain connected to the program.
Taylor has big shoes to fill following Golden. He shared that he “would like the Honors Forum to continue [in] its current role. It exists to promote, cultivate and reward academic excellence at Skidmore. Part of its original mission was also to promote a serious and vibrant intellectual atmosphere outside the classroom.”
There are, though, some changes he would like to see to the program. When asked about these changes, he shared how “the intellectual atmosphere outside of the classroom has been a weakness for Skidmore. When students transfer, they often cite this as one of their main reasons. So I see this part of the Honors Forum mission as particularly important.”
In an effort to improve this, Taylor and the Honors Forum are currently working to plan events meant to promote a culture of intellectual diversity, discussion and debate. More information on these events will be coming out shortly.
For those wanting to learn more about the Honors Forum, click here.
Photo by Rebecca Fawcett/Photo Editor