Welcoming a New Partnership for the Honors Program

Samantha Perelli, Associate Producer: Newscast

Quinnipiac University’s political science professor, Scott McLean will be joining the University’s Honors Program as the new Faculty Director beginning this fall semester.

New Honors Program Director
Source: Quinnipiac University

McLean has taught at Quinnipiac for 27 years and also takes pride in his role as the Director of the QU in D.C. Washington Program. 

As McLean enters into his new role, he will be working alongside the current Administrative Director of the Honors Program, Melissa Kaplan. Kaplan is also a professor for the first year writing program and women and gender studies. Prof. Kaplan will continue to develop Signature Experiences that complement coursework, organize the senior capstone conference, and support the Honors Program Living and Learning Communities. 

McLean and Kaplan will be advising honors students and they both aspire to build the program to the best of their ability. 

“It’s mainly about coordinating and envisioning how to make the Honors Program even more excellent, even more distinctive,”  McLean said.

Kaplan discussed how the Honors Program allows opportunities that differentiate its program from regular classes.

“These are students that are looking for other opportunities and are really curious and gravitate to other disciplines and other areas, and are eager to take a risk and to be challenged and kind of go for it,” Kaplan said.

In regards to changes for the upcoming year, McLean explained that an initiative was underway to create more honors classes. This plan will give students more variety when they look for honors classes.

“What we’re really looking to do is integrate academic departments and majors more deeply into the honors curriculum,” McLean said. “So, rather than the Honors Program being something very separate and distinct from your academic major, what we want to be able to offer is our Honors Program students more options within their own majors or their minors.” 

Kaplan brings up that the size of the Honors Program has doubled just from last semester to now,  and they are looking for as much assistance in getting more faculty and staff involved at the University to teach more classes for the honors students.

“We need a lot of support, University support, in making sure that we have the courses to support students and making sure that they have the selection of courses,” Kaplan said. 

McLean believes that there is more to the Honors Program than just good grades. He states that the program gives students a chance to speak to people who are asking the same questions they are, while also being prepared to know how to get their questions answered.

“It’s a social experience that’s different than just their major or just their future profession,” Mclean said. “Who are really interested in having a diverse experience with all kinds of different people across the university and in the community.” 

Something that Kaplan is looking forward to for this upcoming year is being able to form more connections and partnerships with other schools within Quinnipiac.

“When we develop a committee, we will have better communication, better networks of support for students,” Kaplan said. “So it’ll be a much better coordinated effort and more effective in terms of how we can support our students better and make the process as seamless as it can be.” 

McLean is excited to step outside of the arts and sciences and get to know other students with his new position.  

“The most exciting thing, the real reason that I wanted to do this job was I’m really hungry for interacting with a lot more bright, engaged, intelligent students who ask a lot of questions, who challenge me to be my best,” McLean said.