Seniors end year with honors projects


Breanna Rae Weber

Past and present honors projects can be found in the John Esch Library.

Amanda Smith, Managing Editor

When students come to Lakeland, they are given two choices: Core or Honors. While Core is the popular choice for many students, a select few decide to pursue the Honors route.

Work on the honors project starts when students decide to pursue that path. During the student’s sophomore year, he or she plans their idea out. When the student thinks that an idea is ready, he or she will present it to a committee of several faculty members.

“It’s pretty stringent. No one comes out unscathed,” said Krista Feinberg, associate professor of history.

During the student’s senior year, he or she will execute his or her project. After completing the project, the student will have to present and defend the project to a few faculty members.

“I think it is transformative for many of the students,” said Feinberg. “It’s probably the hardest and most involved thing that they have done, but they feel the proudest (when it is completed).”

This school year, eight seniors have completed their honors project. Lindsey Kleckner, senior criminal justice major, and Amber Smith, senior psychology major, shared their projects in past issues of The Mirror.

Kleckner completed an awareness project that looked into how much people knew about animal cruelty. Smith organized and executed a week-long mental health awareness event. For more information on their projects, check out

Six other students were also working on their honors project this semester.

Paige Gerber, senior international business major, surveyed students on their social media usage and what kind is being used by students. Instead of focusing on every grade, she narrowed down her survey to include freshmen in the Core classes and incoming freshmen students. After completing her research, Gerber plans on presenting the information to the marketing department.

“It was a bumpy road at first, but eventually you find your way,” said Gerber. “Trust me when I say these projects are no easy task! We’ve all worked hard and with graduation right around the corner, it’s like the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Josh Leisemann, senior criminal justice major, surveyed students about their opinions on correctional policy and sentencing. He was interested in seeing whether students favored a punitive-based system that punishes the offender, or a rehabilitative-orientated system that punishes the offender but the offender is given help to improve their behavior.

“I am quite content that I entered into the Honors program because I met great professors who I respect and who respect me and who have bestowed knowledge about their teaching emphasis and the class as well as about the philosophy of life,” said Leisemann.

Karissa Anderson, senior Spanish and elementary education major, created a leadership and student organization development program titled “REMOLD (Restrengthening Muskie Organizations and Leadership Development).” Anderson wanted to help organizations with goal setting, recruitment/retention/motivation and effective communication to get more student involvement. This was done through three workshops in the fall for interested students to attend. In the end, Anderson was able to help some organizations that wanted the help, and she learned how to be a better leader.

“I chose to go into the Honors Program because it seemed like a great opportunity,” said Anderson. “I enjoy being challenged and working hard in my classes, and I felt like joining the Honors Program would best suit these interests.”

Veronika Lau, senior writing and English major, used her honors project to explore her love of space through researching, writing and proposing two grants for Spaceport Sheboygan. These grants were for two exhibits: Science On a Sphere and KEVA Plank Museum. Both exhibits incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning lesson plans. Her honors project taught her how to plan and self-manage a project; appeal to donors to promote positive change in a community; and how to take advantage of the education in a community.

“I am happy with my choice,” said Lau. “I went into the writing program to learn how to use my writing to promote positive change, with a real interest in that change being for future space exploration.”

Brittany Kopp, senior biochemistry major, surveyed students on the retention and satisfaction in the honors program. Her goal with her project is to have an impact on the honors program, and to help those who are currently unhappy about the program.

“Most of the time, I feel very stressed out about the program, but there have been some interesting/challenging courses, and I certainly learned from each of them,” said Kopp. “My first directed reading (the history of the Tang dynasty) and my second seminar (Superheroes!) were irrelevant to my major, but were some of the best courses I have had at Lakeland.”

Stephanie Rock, senior business management and criminal justice major, conducted a project titled “Religious Awareness: Exploring Buddhism Near and Beyond.” One part of her project was a personal journey, and the other was surveying students on what they look for spiritually and religiously. She became interested in the idea of reincarnation through a directed reading and decided to explore the idea more with her honors project.

“I am not happy that I went this route, because I felt as though the set-up of the program needs a lot of work,” said Rock. “I am very proud of my project and worked hard on it, but looking back on the entire program I feel as though the amount of effort that I was forced to put in was not worth it.”

To check out current and past projects, visit the John Esch Library.