Introducing Roosevelt University’s new honors program director

By Darlene Leal, Contributing Reporter

marjorie jolles

Marjorie Jolles pictured above in her new office. Photo by Darlene Leal.

Roosevelt University has recently undergone many different changes, ranging from offices moving to hiring new directors for many departments.

The third floor on the Wabash building contains the new honors program office, along with their new director, Marjorie Jolles. Jolles was appointed as the new director of the program following the university’s decision to downsize the role of former Honors Program Director, Megan Bernard.

The Assistant Director of the Honors Program Sarah Lopez spoke highly of Jolles’ ability to adapt to the new role.

“Marjorie is fantastic. She has jumped in with absolute enthusiasm this summer, immersing herself in learning everything she can – from the logistics of managing the program to the big picture of honors programs nationwide,” Lopez said.   

“Our visions for the program aligned well into a shared vision and I am definitely excited for the program under her leadership,” Lopez said.

Jolles is a currently an associate professor of women’s and gender studies at Roosevelt. Jolles said that the new position is similar, in a way, to teaching.
“I was really pleased for the opportunity to do teaching,” Jolles said. “This really is another way to be an instructor: To think of curriculum design, to think of students needs across a range of majors.”

Jolles said she’s excited to have a greater impact on students.

“We really see the honor’s program as representing the essence of a Roosevelt education. It is my job to really be thinking of that high impact Roosevelt undergraduate experience and to design a curriculum.”

Jolles has been an associate professor for the past nine years. When asked about her feelings about the new position, Jolles said, “Now, in the role of director, I’m really excited to be involved in the student’s lives in this way… There’s a lot that’s new and new things can be challenging, but this is a deeply meaningful, worthy way to be involved in the student’s lives. I was thrilled to take on this role,” Jolles said.

Jolles claimed the only differences between teaching is having to think of all the colleges at the university as a whole to further help the program.

When it comes to changes, Jolles doesn’t want to commit to any changes without the agreement between all students and her staff of advisors. Jolles assures the honors program will be looked over to see better ways to reach out to all students who want to join the honors program.

Jolles is also hoping to take a better look at the gaps in the curriculum, hoping to improve the relationship between education both within the classroom and outside of it.

Overall, Jolles wants the program to become “broader, deeper, and more complex.” However, all decisions will be made collaboratively with the advisory board.

While moving to the Wabash Building feels as though they are more in the center of the college, Jolles seeks to expand the influence of the honors program. It is one of Jolles’ goals of the program to extend their influence to all undergraduate students.

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