Prospective Students

An Albion College student studies in the Observatory building.
A student dives into his studies in the Observatory building.

Albion College's Honors Program

Albion College's Honors Program provides an exciting and unique variety of academic experiences for highly motivated and talented students. The Program's mix of small discussion-based classes, independent research, academic rigor, and personal attention provides Honors students with special challenges and opportunities for growth. Many of the College's finest teachers and scholars regularly contribute to the Program's curriculum.

The Program provides honors students with opportunities to participate in museum and theatre excursions, our Honors Student Council, various campus symposia, the hosting of distinguished campus visitors and a variety of other social and intellectual activities.

The Honors Program at Albion was founded in 1976 and in August of 2004 it was renamed The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program. The Honors Program is located in the historic Observatory building and contains a seminar room for honors classes, the Honors coordinator's office, as well as meeting, lounge/library, computing and study areas for honors students and their guests. 

Thank you for your interest in the Honors Program. Most students apply and are admitted to the Brown Honors Program in their senior year of high school. You may begin the process of applying to the Program through our online application.

Here Are a Few of the Events That Honors Students Have the Option to Attend This Semester

Fall 2014

Spring 2015

Research Projects

Shelby Fox-Purrier ‘16
For my FURSCA (Which is just researching for my thesis) I am looking into how the introduction of chemical weaponry in WW1 changed the way things were done tactically. So this summer I'm travelling to France and Belgium to do some hands on research, plus then I'm spending the summer here at Albion reading scholarly works to compile a Historiography paper and to find additional primary source documents.

Nick Webster ‘15
This summer I'm going to be working at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida as part of an undergraduate research program. I'm going to be looking at a genetic mutation that is highly correlated with Alzheimer's disease. When I come back for the fall semester, I'm going to be starting a thesis looking at a method of binding specific cell types, a project that could have many implications in the medical field

Cassie Ward ‘15
This summer I'll be on campus working on a FURSCA project. For my project I will be exploring the genre of the picture book, striving to learn more about the history of the genre, and to understand the ways picture books create a formal relationship between image and text. The ultimate goal of the project is to propel my own understanding of the relationship between word and image and to use that understanding to complete a picture book of my own. The book that I create will be shaped by the research into both literature about picture books, and my analysis of already published books. The book will be a demonstration of my deeper understanding of the relationship between text and image, displaying insight into the ways that they work with and inform one another.

Kathleen Casbeer ‘17
I'm finishing up a research poster on the history of Albion's chemistry department. I've been working closely with the chairs of the chemistry department and the library archivist. I get to research with original material in the archives every week! My poster will be shown at the upcoming Elkin Issac symposium.

Audrey DeGroot ‘15
I'm researching the history of Albion (town and college) through the historic negatives in the archives. I'll be making contact prints of over 300 glass negatives. Then I'll be scanning them in to create digital copies and printing out digital negatives. These digital negatives I will turn into large format Van Dyke Brown prints. The final step will be researching the best images and writing up blurbs about their significance. It will all be displayed in a month long exhibition in Bobbitt at the end of July!

Andrew Zimmer ‘15
Thanks to the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program at Albion, I had the incredible opportunity to go abroad- in scenic Scotland, nonetheless! Having spent more than 3 months here I must say it's been more than an unforgettable experience; and it's only getting better- my trip across Europe starts with this semester's end on May 7th! In my time here I've made friends with locals, fellow American travelers, and other University students from all around the world. Once a week all the international students get together with the International Society for food, fun, and a night out on the town. Only at this time are students from all over the world together in one place and spending time with one another; it's not uncommon to talk globally about political differences or questions regarding one another's culture at large- a lot of playful finger-pointing at such events is welcomed. There are few instances in a person's life where one can feel so globally connected with such a culturally diverse group of people. I can't help but think that these are some of the memories that I will forever cherish in my heart. I can't wait to return to Albion, but I certainly am grateful for the opportunity of having such an experience.

Patrick Buck ‘15
This semester I am taking 2 units of thesis research credit with Dr. Timothy O'Neill in the history department on pre-modern Chinese schools of political philosophy. This is part of the research for my honors thesis that I have been working on since last summer when I did a FURSCA project with Dr. Midori Yoshii on the history of English-language biographies of Mao Zedong. I also did a unit of directed study with Dr. O'Neill last semester on the Legalist (in Chinese, "Fajia") school of Chinese political philosophy. I will do FURSCA again this summer for 5 weeks under Dr. O'Neill researching the history of the application of the Legalist school's ideas ancient Chinese state and first imperial dynasty of Qin (from 355-206 BCE). Afterwards I will be at Middlebury College studying in a Chinese language-intensive program.

In the fall, I will write my honors thesis under Dr. Geoffrey Cocks in the history department on Mao Zedong's intentional fostering of comparisons in Chinese media during the late Cultural Revolution (1971-1976) between himself and China's first emperor, Zhao Zheng, who reigned as king of the western Chinese state of Qin (from 246-221 BCE) and then as emperor of the first Chinese empire (from 221-210 BCE).

Patrick Lopez ‘16
I'm currently working on a thesis regarding Russian strategic interests in the Middle East. While the genesis of the thesis predates the Crimean situation, it's really added some weight to my argument. Basically I'm trying to prove that the US shift away from Europe and the Middle East represents a disengagement, and that disengagement will create a power vacuum in the Middle East. Russia has the right combination of military might and political will to fill that power vacuum.

The thesis will include in depth explorations of Russian diplomatic ties to major players in the region, particularly how their influence on Iran and a growing influence with Israel might bring stability to the region. The Russians certainly believe that this is their century, and I'm exploring how that vision is being fulfilled.

Christopher Herweyer ‘17
I am currently working on a research project, through the history department, detailing one of the houses belonging to the college. The house, 501 Michigan Ave., was for forty years, the home for Albion's President. I am going to be presenting on this house at the Elkin Isaac Research Symposium, as well as presenting my information to members of the history department and other administrators of the college.

Alex High ‘15
This summer, I will be doing an internship at the Binder Park Zoo. I will be an animal care intern, which basically means I get to do rotations among all of the different animals as a keeper-in-training. I will also be able to do a rotation in the vet hospital! I'm very excited for this opportunity, it's a dream internship for me! :)

Megan Sheridan ‘16
I am currently working with Dr. Rohlman in researching the structure and function of DNA and RNA apatamers (polymer chains) and their binding to the cell surfaces of Aspergillus fungus. This research will aim to create a method of early-detection of Aspergillus fungal infections and prevent establishment of the fungus in patients with suppressed immune systems. I will be working this summer with him through FURSCA at the University of Michigan, and will be continuing research next fall to hopefully complete a thesis on data collected.

I have also been working for Dr. Chase through the Student Research Program, and his research on the cultivation and movement of domestic animals of the ancient Indus society. I have created diagrams of various bones in domestic animal species of interest that may be used to compare the bones and any possible trends. I am currently finishing my second year in the Student Research Program with Dr. Chase.

I have been participating in diversity events under the Umbrella Organization as the Officer of Public Relations for the Muslim Student Association, where we have successfully increased the number of events and participants in our association, and started as a Teaching Assistant for Dr. McCaffery's Advanced Synthesis chemistry lab this semester.

Megan Wickens ‘15
I’m a junior in the Honors Program, so right now I’m beginning the process of writing my thesis. When I say “beginning,” I really do mean the very beginning; I don’t exactly have a topic yet! But this summer I will be doing an internship in London! For two months, I will do neuroscience research with some “Britons.” Hopefully, this research will become the basis for my thesis. And if it doesn't, that will be okay too. I’m an assistant in Dr. Wilson’s behavioral neuroscience lab, so I’m also considering using my experience there to write my thesis. We use earthworms as an animal model to study escape and avoidance learning. It’s cool because the learning that earthworms do is highly conserved across other species. It’s like finding the simplest, most direct way to answer a big question: How do animals (including humans!) learn to expect something they don’t like, and take action to avoid it? Apart from science, I spend much of my time here running cross country and track. It keeps me busy, but I've made so many great friends. I wouldn't have it any other way. Go Brits!

Paul Stewart ‘16
I am currently studying Economics and Management with an emphasis in Accounting and a Gerstacker Minor. I will be participating in two accounting leadership programs this summer. Currently serving as General Manager of WLBN Radio, I have have restarted the radio station and built several connections between Albion's station and other college stations. In January of this year I became an F.C.C. licensed amateur radio operator and now serves the community as a storm spotter for the National Weather Service and emergency communications responder for the A.R.E.S

See what other research projects our students are working on

Glasgow University Program

The Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program is proud to announce an off-campus research and study opportunity at Glasgow University in Scotland. Click on the accompanying Glasgow PowerPoint for an introduction to this program. You will find an exciting honors course on the Scottish Enlightenment, and courses ranging from Anthropology and Art History to Chemistry and Physics. Students enrolled in the Glasgow program will be taking difficult form 3 and 4 classes.

Our Glasgow program is intended for upperclass honors students who receive the highest recommendation from Albion faculty and who also have the support of the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program director. Learn more on our Current Students page.

Here is a couple of emails from two of our current students that have been studying there:

Lindsay Weiss
I've been at the University of Glasgow for a little over a month now, and I just wanted to write to thank Albion Honors for making the Principia Consortium program available to myself and other honors students. I couldn't have chosen a better way to spend my semester! I love living in Glasgow, and my Scottish Enlightenment class offers a great taste of Scottish history and culture. It's a really valuable class that I'm grateful to have the opportunity to take. We've gone on two field trips as a class, and I've met some great people.

In addition, the University of Glasgow offers a lot of day trips and weekend trips geared towards international students so that they can experience the best of Scotland. During orientation week, I had the option to go on a trip to Edinburgh, which was fantastic - though not quite as wonderful as Glasgow! Last weekend, I went on a trip with a friend of mine to Dundee, Stonehaven, and Aberdeen. At Stonehaven, we stopped at Dunnotar Castle, which is surrounded by absolutely stunning scenery that's unlike anything I've ever seen back in Michigan.

Best of all, however, is the sense of independence I've gained and the knowledge that the world is so much bigger than I previously realized. I remember thinking that students who had studied abroad were exaggerating when they raved that the experience will "change your life." It does. I love the freedom to walk the City Centre if I'm in the mood for browsing the shops, plan day trips with my friends, and go beyond what I'm comfortable with. I've tried haggis, Irn Bru, and shortbread. The little differences - chip-and-pin machines, slang, the Glasgow rain - take a short bit of getting used to, but they made me realize that some elements of my day-to-day life that I take for granted are, in fact, distinctly American. My mind has become more open.

All in all, if a student has the chance, they should most definitely study abroad. This has been one of the best experiences of my college career.

Andrew Zimmer ‘15
Thanks to the Prentiss M. Brown Honors Program at Albion, I had the incredible opportunity to go abroad- in scenic Scotland, nonetheless! Having spent more than 3 months here I must say it's been more than an unforgettable experience; and it's only getting better- my trip across Europe starts with this semester's end on May 7th! In my time here I've made friends with locals, fellow American travelers, and other University students from all around the world. Once a week all the international students get together with the International Society for food, fun, and a night out on the town. Only at this time are students from all over the world together in one place and spending time with one another; it's not uncommon to talk globally about political differences or questions regarding one another's culture at large- a lot of playful finger-pointing at such events is welcomed. There are few instances in a person's life where one can feel so globally connected with such a culturally diverse group of people. I can't help but think that these are some of the memories that I will forever cherish in my heart. I can't wait to return to Albion, but I certainly am grateful for the opportunity of having such an experience.