Lisa Volpatti

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I began my journey at the Swanson School of Engineering by living in the First-Year Honors Community in Forbes Hall. The students in this dorm came from diverse backgrounds and had very different interests. However, we all had one aspect in common: the desire to learn and to share this knowledge with others. Since everyone had a different area of expertise, we all helped each other complete difficult homework assignments and study for our exams. The support system that we formed during our first year remains intact today and has extended to include the entire Honors College Community.

After two semesters of an all-honors course load, I felt like I had gained a much deeper understanding of the foundations of engineering and learned study techniques that prepared me for my subsequent classes in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  Determined to share my experiences with others, I became a Peer Advisor in the Swanson School of Engineering during my sophomore and junior years. I informed my students about the inclusive nature of the Honors College and encouraged them to take advantage of the many opportunities and resources that the UHC has to offer. 

At the end of my junior year, I attended my first information session through the UHC’s National Scholarship Office to learn more about the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships. After a long conversation with Judy Zang, I left with the goal of applying to the University of Cambridge for my graduate studies. Ms. Zang helped me to refine my writing and perfect my applications for various scholarships abroad. I never would have thought to apply to such prestigious fellowships without the support of the Honors College, and I am grateful they have been there for me through every step of my education to help me realize my full potential.