Honors Program: Meet Our Students

Honors Program students were asked to respond to the following questions:

  1. After you heard you had been selected to apply, what motivated you to submit an application to Holy Family's Honors Program?
  2. What is your favorite aspect of being part of the Honors Program so far?
  3. What's your major, and what do you hope to do in the future?

A few of their responses are below.


Alyssa Zintner

Alyssa Zintner - HFU Honors Student

1. After receiving notice that I was invited to apply to the Honors Program, it was definitely intimidating. Knowing that the Honors Program would challenge me in the best way possible and would also look phenomenal on my future resume, I immediately applied. I am so happy I actually did apply because it has been one of my favorite aspects of HFU. Although it was tough to adjust in the beginning as a freshman, the resources allow for a smooth transition. I firmly believe that the Honors Program will help me tremendously as a future nurse!

2. My favorite part about being in the Honors Program would definitely have to be the yearly trips that we go on together. Although you have classes with many of the same students, our educational trips allow you to make lifelong friendships that you might not have the chance to do in a classroom setting.

3. My major is currently nursing and my ultimate goal is to work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I eventually would like to go back to graduate school to become a nurse practitioner!


Dayna Howitz

Dayna Howitz - HFU Honors Student

1. When I was first invited to apply for the honors program I was excited. I had been part of the honors society in my high school, so I thought of this as a way for me to enhance my college education. I knew I wanted the most Holy Family could offer me, and applying to the honors program has given me that.

2. My favorite aspect to being apart of the honors program is the smaller class sizes. Having a smaller class size allows for better discussions, and gives everyone a chance to state their opinion. We all learn from each other, and can bounce different ideas off of each other. These class discussions make the honors classes unique, and enhance our understanding of the topic. The smaller classes, also, allow us to get to know each other more.

3. I’m a nursing major, and I am not exactly sure what I am going to do in the future. I want to work in a hospital, either on a cardiac floor, or in the operating room, or even the trauma department. I do want to get my masters, and maybe one day my doctorate.


Meghan Rakus

Meghan Rakus - HFU Honors Student

1. When I was first selected to apply, the Honors Program Council described the classes as “higher level of thinking”. Many would initially view this as a more difficult level of thinking; however, after many Honors courses I have learned this is not the case. This higher level of thinking will have students not only learning the subject but also why it matters in today’s society and their majors. Each Honors Program experience provides students with a lesson that will help them better understand the world around us.

2. My favorite aspect of the Honors Program so far is the class discussion within the Honors courses. Every student is passionate whether it involves history, religion, literature, or one of the other topics we have tackled. The most amazing part is having the wide academic diversity in these discussions. The nurses will bring insight that the Education and English majors are unaware of and vise versa. This provides the students to become more open minded and strengthen their ability to have a productive intellectual conversation.

3. I am an Early Childhood Education Pre-K-4/Special Education PreK-8 major. I hope to eventually get my Master’s degree and to work in educational administration within the area.


JoAnne Mamie

JoAnne Mamie - HFU Honors Student

1. I initially was not going to apply, but it was my Dad who really pushed me to complete the application. I am very thankful he did, because I was able to make many new friends and gain experiences that I would not have been able to apart of if I never applied.

2. My favorite aspect of the Honors Program is that it is not just about academics. The Honors Program incorporates experiences that involve culture and service, which really makes college a more holistic experience.

3. I am a Nursing major, and one day I hope to go back to graduate school and become a nurse practitioner.


Mandi Gurecki

Mandi Gurecki - HFU Honors Student

1. I decided to apply for the Honors Program because I felt that it would be an exciting challenge, and that it would push me to work harder in all of my classes, as well as in the Honors classes.

2. My favorite aspect of being part of the Honors Program is having the opportunity to spend time in and out of class with like-minded individuals who have the personal drive to strive for the best.

3. I started college with a major in Criminal Justice, and in my sophomore year I added a Psychology major after taking the Honors Psychology 101 course and loving it. After I graduate, I hope to attend graduate school and one day work in law enforcement.


Paul Jones

Paul Jones - HFU Honors Student

1. When I had first received the invitation to apply to the Honors Program, I had to take into consideration whether or not I thought I was a right fit for the Honors Program. I find enjoyment working in a close knit group and being able to make contributions to the betterment of society, even in the most minute way. When I found out how active the Honors program was in not only the campus life, but that they contributed to our great community as well, I knew the Program was one I wanted to be a part of.

2. My favorite aspect of the Honors program is how active we are both on and off campus. We have helped other campus groups with events, held numerous fundraisers, and went on cultural trips to broaden our horizons intellectually. Being able to grow as an individual and develop a sense of belonging with like minded people is the best aspect of the Honors Program.

3. I am a Psychology major with a minor in Childhood Studies, and I plan to become a school psychologist.


Rebecca Howard

Rebecca Howard - HFU Honors Student

1. When invited to apply to the Honors Program at Holy Family, I was intrigued by the idea of smaller class sizes and more interpersonal discussion in classes.

2. The best part about the Honors Program, is yes, small classes, but even more it is the group of peers I am privileged to connect with on a daily basis as we have several classes together, allowing us to really bond as a group.

3. I am a Nursing major and I hope to work in the NICU or labor and delivery ward of the hospital so I can continue to work with infants, as I very much enjoy doing.


Patrick Murray

Patrick Murray - HFU Honors Student

1. After I had been selected to apply to the Honors Program, my motivation to submit an application was rooted in the fact that I wanted to set myself apart from many others on an intellectual and academic level. I was told the curriculum was a bit different and more engaging compared to standard college classes, so that prompted me to apply as well.

2. So far, my favorite aspect of the Honors Program is the small class size. Aside from allowing me to feel much more engaged in the material being discussed, it also has given me the opportunity to form lasting friendships. Such a small number of people makes the Honors Program feel like a family, which is a value that this school holds very dear.

3. As of right now my major is history, but I will be changing it to English as soon as I'm able. I'm not fully sure what I'd like to do in my future, but I am leaning toward a possible career in journalism or communications.


Victoria Edmonds

Victoria Edmonds - HFU Honors Student

1. I was motivated to submit my application because I wanted to be a part of something as significant as Holy Family University's first year of the Honors Program. Holy Family had a great reputation already, but being a part of the program will put me a step ahead of everyone else when I graduate.

2. My favorite aspect is how, because we all have a lot of the same honors general education courses, I have more of an opportunity to develop relationships with different people in my classes, and then I am able to see them and connect with them in another class. I also love being in an academically challenging environment. In the beginning, being around the other honor students was intimidating, but then I saw how we compliment and challenge each other and how that's what makes a strong class.

3. I am a Nursing major. In the future, I plan to get my BSN then my MSN in Nursing, and then go on to specialize as a nurse practitioner.