Alumni, Student Testimonials

JSU Honors Alumni Reflect on Program's Influence on Their Success

Andrew and Courtney Newsome and family

The Newsome Family

"It was very open ended, and they gave us a lot of autonomy for what we wanted to do. That’s what made it exciting, because we got to focus on the things that we were passionate about and turn that into something productive.”

—Andrew Newsome

“From the first day, JSU felt like home. It was fun to think that we were all these bright-eyed college students getting the chance to build this thing together.”

—Dr. Courtney Crosby Newsome


David Rickless

David Rickless

“There was a diversity of people and backgrounds, but it was cool to already have your group right there. People who already had the mindset that we were going to succeed."

—David Rickless

Latrice Green

Latrice Green

"I wanted a broader understanding of education and other public interests in America. I began reading, visiting with professors, and even speaking at state and national conferences on the topic of diversity in schools and what we can do to meet the needs of all of our students."

—Latrice Green

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Alexzandria Quintero portrait

Alexzandria Quintero

Class of Spring 2023

“I took three classes in the Honors Program in fall 2020, and they all were relatively small, which allowed for closer relationships with both my professors and classmates. One of my instructors told me that she was incredibly proud of the work that I had submitted throughout the semester and believed that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I had never had a teacher tell me something like that before that moment and I have had a heightened belief in myself and my capabilities since that moment.”

Kevin Barajas portrait

Kevin Barajas

Class of Spring 2021

“The Honors Program gave me the opportunity to take small discussion type classes, so the class feels more engaging. The Honors Program connected me with other like-minded Honors students with whom I was able to build relationships that have lasted throughout college. The Honors Program made me aware of my resources within and outside of school through our meetings and guest speakers. This has been a very valuable tool for me because it has opened many opportunities for jobs, internships, and programs that I have participated in. The Honors Program staff have always been an amazing resource.”

Catherine Jenkins portrait

Catherine Jenkins

Computer Science/Mathematics
Class of Spring 2022

“The Honors Program has granted me access to smaller classes and has given me an outlet to serve the community.  Most importantly, it has provided me with a helpful and encouraging support system in all aspects of my life as a college student.”

Dolores Gersain Rodriguez portrait

Gersain Rodriguez

Elementary Education
Class of Fall 2021

“The Honors Program has made an impact on my education because it has given me opportunities to take courses exclusively for Honors students in which I have seen myself grow towards my profession. It’s not about making the work harder. It’s about exposing students to different experiences on both an academic and personal level.”

Isaac Graham portrait

Isaac Graham

Communications/Music Technology
Class of Fall 2021

“I was able to take part in Honors classes filled with students with a mindset and work ethic like my own, and because of that shared drive and those similar interests, I was able to make many friends quickly.”

Natalie Walls portrait

Natalie Walls

Political Science/Sociology
Class of Fall 2021

“The Honors Program gave me the amazing opportunity to present my research paper at the Southern Regional Honors Conference. I plan on attending law school to pursue a J.D. and become a lawyer. The Honors Program has given me study time, an encouraging environment, and worthwhile advice, which has helped me stay on the right course in my academic career.”

Sabin Banjara portrait

Sabin Banjara

Computer Science/Mathematics
Class of Spring 2021

“The Honors Program has provided opportunities to delve deeper into subjects. I am more informed about several topics that otherwise I would not have knowledge of. The Honors Program provided opportunities to take classes that I didn’t know about.”

Makenzie Hill portrait

Makenzie Hill

Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Class of Spring 2023

“One of my favorite things about the Honors Program is the intimacy in the small classrooms. At larger campuses, it is hard to get to know your professor and classmates, but here at JSU, the Honors professors are personable and easy to approach because of the size of the classes.”

Alec Young, Honors Program Alumnus - Class of 2017