My Honors experience at Queensborough
By Jean Hwang
The Queensborough Honors Program has changed my life. Before taking Honors classes I did not have any idea about its importance and what to expect. I was quiet and shy when I took Honors General Chemistry I class with Dr. Paris Svoronos and started conducting independent research under Dr. David Sarno in Nanochemistry. English is my second language and I needed to build my communication slowly. Thus, I had to work harder and more than the English speaking classmates. Gradually, I had a strong desire to study chemistry and work in the laboratory. I did not try to stay in the background anymore. Instead I attempted to participate in class and changed my attitude. Actually, I wanted to be a person who was a legitimate member of the honors class. At the end of the Spring semester, I presented my research project findings at the 11th Annual Honors Conference as well as other American Chemical Society Conferences. During my preparation for the Honors Conference, I extended my scientific and expert knowledge, and gained confidence when I completed my presentation. I also felt accomplished. The Honors Program gave me great opportunities such as internships and scholarship awards. Thankfully, I got the chance to be accepted to a paid summer internship program and worked at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC-DEP). In addition, I engaged in two different scholarship programs such as CUNY Research Scholars and the US Department of Education Queensborough MSEIP (Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program).
I had great experiences and opportunities because of the Honors Program- and all occurred during only one year. A year ago, I never thought that I would like chemistry and that I was going to be given these numerous opportunities. Nowadays I am dreaming of a greater advancement in chemistry and I always thank Dr. Svoronos and Dr. Sarno for introducing me to the Honors Program. I look forward to what is ahead of me courtesy of the Honors Program!