Honors Students Distinction Project

The crown jewel of the Honors Program, the Distinction Project, allows you to meld your personal knowledgebase and passions in a unique way-creating a meaningful and memorable year-long project that goes deep into a substantive question. With project funding provided, not only will this experience enhance the way you see the issue, it will also enhance the way prospective employers and graduate/professional schools see you. Don't have a project in mind? No problem. We offer mentorship and course choices to help you learn what you live for.

Examples include:

Study the effective delivery of health care in underserved communities, then work to establish a vaccination program through a local clinic.

Synthesize a fluoroaryl polymer that no one has ever seen before and report your work at a national meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco.

Undertake a photograph survey of organic coffee plantations in Central America, then connect that experience to an installation in environmental art.

Research the influence of human activity on river bird populations, then organize a state-wide river clean-up.

Connect experience leading an Early-Readers Roundtable at a local library with a psychological study of the effects of reading on child self-esteem.

Analyze professional golfers in a particular aspect of the game and create a statistic to evaluate players' performance, then present the statistic to the PGA Tour.

Examine original documents of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony housed in the Library of Congress manuscript archive, then draft an experimental novel that imagines letters between the two.


"A strong community of dedicated individuals is probably one of the best benefits of Honors for me.  I have developed friendships with friends who honestly care about their education and who want to do well at Roanoke College.  They want to go above and beyond and get involved with the multiple club opportunities on campus.  There is almost an instant connection with these individuals from the moment you get to meet one another."

- Rebecca Siar '15

"The breadth of experiences I gained from the Honors Program, particularly through the foreign language component and cultural events, led me to a job teaching English in Spain, while my mentors and peers encouraged me to apply for the prestigious Fulbright scholarship, which would allow me to research public health in Mexico. The program´s focus on and support of multidisciplinary interests has given me the tools I need to continue pursuing my dream to serve underrepresented and minority communities as a physician and public health care advocate. "

- Victoria Godwin '14