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Completing Thesis Work


Dear Honors students:

If you are actively working on your thesis, this message is of high importance.

You are probably wondering about your honors thesis/capstone work and how that might proceed now that classes have gone on-line. Let me say that I share with you the sentiment that this turn of events is frustrating, saddening and anxiety-provoking. As for you, this is an unprecedented experience for the college.

Together, we will make this work!

This will likely be the first of a few emails, so please bear with us as we communicate across campus to the many departments in which you are conducting research, scholarly and creative work.

What you need to do as student:

First, we ask you to consult with your faculty thesis advisor about your options and develop a plan for work completion, including a mode for you and your mentor to communicate.Note: your thesis advisor might be a bit delayed in responding given that faculty are moving to on-line education. Be patient. If you don’t hear back in a couple of days, email again and call.

If you work in a lab, note that many labs remain open. Communicate with your PI/advisor about whether continuing to work is an option for you.

If your lab is not open, or you are not on campus/in SLC, or you do not feel comfortable returning to the lab space at this time, please discuss a plan for successfully completing the your thesis work.

If your work is in a discipline that does not require you to be physically present (e.g.), please develop a plan with your faculty advisor to communicate and share work virtually.

Second, once you have a plan, communicate this plan to your departmental honors faculty advisor (HFA: and with the Honors College (email to Kelly O’Neill

What we are doing as a college:

  1. The Associate Dean, Monisha Pasupathi, is reaching out to Honors Faculty Advisors in every department and they will communicate the need, with faculty, to work flexibly to facilitate student progress.
  2. The current deadline for thesis submission for Spring Graduation has been moved to May 7that noon (originally April 21).
  3. As Dean of the College I will provide a foreword to all 2020 theses in which the Honors College will note the unusual circumstances surrounding this year.
  4. The Undergraduate Research Symposium has been cancelled so there is no presentation requirement. Again, I am deeply saddened by this as I so much look forward to hearing your presentations and seeing your posters. The College is so large, that I don’t see an ability to adapt this in a meaningful way.

It is worthwhile to remember that the advantage of working and studying at a R1 university is that faculty have global collaborators and are quite accustomed to working at long distances. This is true of our scientists, artists and humanities scholars. Many active labs already incorporate these types of distance and online exchanges into their work.

Finally, our advisors are available as always. We have moved to Cranium Café (virtual meetings) which work extremely well. Do not hesitate to make an appointment.

Please send any additional questions to: Aaron Reynolds( We will collate questions and send out FAQ and answers on a regular basis. We are committed to supporting you as you work with your faculty mentors to finalize your work.

Dean, Honors College

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