Introducing Roosevelt University’s new honors program assistant

By Darlene Leal

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Sarah Maria Rutter sitting in her newer office, located on the 3rd floor in Wabash. Photo by Darlene Leal.

Sarah Maria Rutter is not new to Roosevelt University, previously working in the academic advising department since September 2016. On Feb. 19, Rutter was officially appointed as the new honors program assistant.

When Rutter was given the news about her new position, she said she was very excited. Rutter always liked working with students because she likes the ability to build relationships, communicate and support them. She also has a background in academics and advising, which gives her a hand in both understanding the students and what is required of her.

“I have a particular content for academics, so I really like the in programming. The kind of thing we do here in honors. So that transition has been really good,” Rutter said.

Rutter said the transition between academic advising to working in the honors program has been easy and exciting.

“The transition has also been good in terms of learning. It has been fairly easy to learn what needs to happen on honors because I was in academic advising for so long. So much of what I need to learn about this job, I already knew,” Rutter said.

Rutter can partially attest the easiness of the transition to the program’s director Marjorie Jolles.

“Also, Marjorie has been terrific to work with,” Rutter said. “She is very open at idea generating.”

Marjorie Jolles said she is also excited to be working with Rutter. Jolles said that Rutter has brought on a lot of experience and innovative ideas to the honors program.

“In a short time she has already developed productive advising relationships with honors students and implemented plans for building the program, both in and outside the classroom,” Jolles said.

Jolles said Rutter will only help the program continue to grow.

As far as current projects, the honors program’s Research Day is on April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m in WB 418. On this day, honors students will present their honors thesis to the RU community.

“Research Day is coming up so we’re working on that. We’re talking to students about their thesis projects as they’re getting ready to present. I think that’s a very important tradition,” Rutter said.

Rutter also mentioned the possible program changes that would further improve and make the students’ ability to finish the program much easier.

“We also are hoping to develop some curriculum that allows for some flexibility. Scheduling can be difficult,” Rutter said. “You know, if you’re a biology major and you have to take very specific biology courses, math courses and chemistry it can be difficult to complete the honors program.”

A change that can be expected is the partnering with the McNair Scholars program.

“Professor Jolles mentioned that we’re also excited about implementing new learning outcomes, with the aim to emphasize increased academic rigor and experiential learning,” Rutter said.

Despite getting some changes, the honors program will still stick to many of the practices currently in place.

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