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Urban Honors

Honors students themselves are probably the best reason to join the Honors Program. They are diverse, self-directed and ambitious. Our students come from a wide variety of backgrounds and majors but they come together in Honors classrooms to collaborate to solve complex problems and issues.

Honors students are represented across the campus, from film studies to chemistry. Our students comprise a community of scholars, artists and innovators. Most of our students come from Oregon, but we also have students from across the country. More than half of our students are women, more than 30% come from underrepresented backgrounds. Many participate in the McNair program or other academically challenging programs. Many volunteer in community organizations, labs, offer tutoring and travel abroad. Most of all, Honors students want to make a difference.  Read more about some of our students and alumni.

Grace Noda

Grace Noda, Honors Program Freshman
Majoring in Science

I was attracted to the Urban Honors Program because I am a girl who seeks challenge and experience. The Honors Program’s promise of “an engaged and challenging educational experience using the city of Portland” along with opportunities such as internships and research projects is very exciting to me since I’ve always lived near Portland and I love the city. I have always enjoyed community engagements and have volunteered with local organizations and therefore I want to take advantage of its resources and give back to its community...

Tiffany Morrison

Tiffany Morrison, Honors Program Alumna
B.S. in Chemistry:Biochemistry, 2012

Tiffany Morrison came to the Honors Program from Springfield, Oregon to pursue a path that would lead her to medical school. During the summer of her junior year she completed an internship at the National Institutes of Health. About her experience there she says, "Not only was I spending quality time in the lab, but I also was given the opportunities to see novel techniques, theories and ideas be introduced. This overall experience was one I will not soon forget  and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. I spent every day I was there treating it as a chance of a lifetime and because it truly was." 

Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith, Honors Program Sophomore
International Studies: International Development Major

Jenny Smith received the National Association of Secretaries of State Medallion Award from Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown in 2011 for her work registering more than 20,000 Oregonians to vote. The NASS Medallion Award honors individuals, groups and organizations with an established record of promoting voter education and participation...

Karina Espana

Karina Espana, Honors Program Senior
Organismal Biology Major, Chemistry Minor

As a pre-medical student, I thoroughly appreciate the University Honors Program's vision of fostering innovation and student inquiry. I have been persistently challenged and grown in ways that I attribute to the UHP's efforts. I am incredibly grateful for the faculty's endless support in my endeavors. Pursuing research at the National Institutes of Health has been one of the most incredible experiences in my pursuit of a career in medicine...

Patrick Belin

Patrick Belin, Honors Program Senior
2012 McNair Scholar
Anthropology Major

I became interested in the University Honors Program when I learnt that the curriculum was made to prepare students with an interest in moving on to grad school—with the additional selling point that I would be among a significantly smaller cohort as opposed to the University Studies track. Since I have always been interested in the humanities I embraced the material completely and feel much more well-informed about the nature of what we know...

William Holden

William Holden, Honors Program Junior
Russian Flagship Program
History Major

William Holden was a participant in the 2011 Critical Language Scholarship Program through the United States State Department. He was one of about 25 students to study Russian language through an intensive, immersion-oriented curriculum at the KORA Institute in Vladimir, Russia.  Students in this program received lessons in history, Russian literature, grammar, phonetics and media...

Cassie Miura

Cassie Miura, Honors Program Alumna
B.A. in English, 2008

"I regard my experience in the University Honors Program as one of the foremost aspects of my undergraduate education. The skills fostered during the freshman and sophomore years not only taught me to confront diverse bodies of knowledge in a productive and systematic fashion but would later help me to frame the historical and contemporary interests of work specific to my field...

Melanie Billings-Yun

Melanie Billings-Yun, Honors Program Alumna
B.S. in History, 1976

Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun, author of Beyond Dealmaking: Five Steps to Negotiating Profitable Relationships (Jossey Bass, 2010), is an international negotiation consultant. Formerly a research director and lecturer on history at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Melanie has spent most of the past two decades assisting Western and Asian companies, NGOs and public agencies in improving their internal and external relationships through negotiation...