4 students hanging out at the Illini Union outdoors on a warm day

James Scholar Honors Program

Challenge yourself to impact the future.

Class of 2020

The graduating seniors in the James Scholar Honors Program leave us with some memories and advice…

What does being a James Scholar mean to you?

Tyler Gold

"As a James Scholar, I was able to develop personal relationship with professors who have become my mentors over the course of my time at Illinois. I am very thankful for this program as it expanded my networking community outside the classroom."

Yiting Du

"It means a totally different experience. Participating in this honor program, I got the opportunity to complete many different projects with more direct interaction with my professors. I really learned a lot and explored many knowledges outside the classroom. All the projects were creative, fun, and helpful for my future development."

Veronica Lane

"The James Scholar program gives students a chance to get out of their comfort zone and get new experiences. It also offers students an opportunity to build stronger connections with professors and gain interest in different subjects!"

Briana Legner

"Being a James Scholar means that I can dive deeper into my studies and connect with faculty and staff that I would have been scared to approach if this program did not guide me to do so."

Kevin Ding

"Being a James Scholar means being building closer relationships with AHS faculty through deeper examination of course content."

Malinda Mullet

"I've gained so much confidence working in my professors lab and making impactful contributions to research in the field of speech and hearing sciences."

Do you have any advice for prospective or current students in the program or college?

Megan Sebahar

"Don't be afraid to reach out to instructors (professors and TAs) and form connections. They want to help students find opportunities and succeed."

Jessica Philipp

"Go to office hours and meet with professors/faculty outside of class! Do not be afraid to explore classes outside of your major/college."

Kennedy Burrell

"My advice for prospective or current students in the program is to choose a project that is not only interesting, but will stimulate and add informative knowledge to your life. Sometimes, choose projects that are not within your major. You never know how much information you will learn from other fields of study."

Lily Ellyin

Get involved as much as possible in anything that interests you- the four years fly by!

Molly Kunstbeck

"Stay on top of your project!! Make a calendar and set yourself due dates if they aren't outline for you. It seriously helps so much and do not be afraid to ask your instructors for help or a meeting. They help more than anything even if it's just to chat about your progress. Don't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone with these projects because if I didn't, I would not be where I am now."

Andrea Christoforou

"Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone."

Rucha Shastri

"Take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to you! AHS is full of amazing experiences and you don't want to miss out on something worthwhile."

What was your favorite AHS memory?

Simran V Maini

"My favorite AHS memory was presenting my project on The Little Company of Mary Hospital in Health Planning."

Kennedy Burrell

"My favorite AHS memory is when I participated in the Walking School Bus Program. In this program, I was able to walk a group of young children to school."

Carly Frerichs

"One of my favorite AHS memories is my very first class of college. It was KIN 122 with Professor Justine Kaplan, and she told us to introduce ourselves to our classmates next to us. Little did I know at the time, this classmate ended up being one of my closest friends throughout my four years!"

Samantha Gallo

"One of my favorite memories has been going on the AHS Italian Healthcare Systems study abroad trip last summer."

Rachel Rahman

"I loved the opportunity to serve as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for CHLH 455. I loved being able to help others succeed and motivate students to get involved in AHS."

Ashley Burgess

"As a pre-physical therapy student, I loved taking REHB 330: Disability in American Society. Dr. Rice is an amazing professor and physical therapist and she allowed me to observe a wheelchair fitting for an athlete at DRES, introducing me to an aspect of physical therapy that I had never seen before."

Katherine Weber

"Being a part of Dr. Ishikawa's Voice and Speech Rehabilitation Lab."

Leslie Taylor

"I loved being a part of the RST Student Advisory Council because I was able to meet a lot of great people and provide input on decisions for the future of our department."

Eleena Ahmed

"Representing my RSO on AHS fall welcome day and providing advice and information to new students."

Johnathon Schulte

"My favorite AHS memory is the research I was able to assist with as a member of the ADAPT Lab."