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Students embark on interdisciplinary study

Proudian Scholars 2019

Future policymakers, anthropologists, sociologists, musicians and scientists were among the 15 students recently named as the 2019 cohort of Proudian Interdisciplinary Honors Scholars at the University of Redlands. In a program described by its alumni as an opportunity “to study with other eager minds” and with courses that “take you to questions you never imagined,” the scholars will spend their sophomore, junior and senior years engaged in challenging educational experiences.  

“Proudian is about building a cross-campus, interdisciplinary community of high-achieving, intellectually ambitious students who study, learn, and experience together on campus and off,” says Dr. Kathy Feeley, associate professor of history and current director of the program. 

Feeley, along with other committed faculty members and in a dedicated Proudian seminar room, guide scholars who participate in interdisciplinary seminar learning and a symposium during their sophomore year, possible study abroad in the junior year and senior thesis preparation and presentation in their senior year. 

Biology major San Tun ’19 plans to combine study of both biology and psychology, “more specifically, the impact of a life-changing diagnosis, such as cancer, on a patient’s family,” working toward a medical degree and practicing oncology. 

Through the Johnston Center, Selena Phelps ’19 has designed a major in anthrozoology—the study of human-animal interactions and their implications. “Interdisciplinary by nature,” Selena says, “there are biological, social, and ethical components, as well as representation of animal-related topics in writing.”

Throughout their program, the scholars will work with faculty and peer scholars from the current and other cohort years. Students who complete an honors thesis and who graduate with a GPA of 3.45 or better, or a set of exemplary written evaluations, are candidates for University honors. Each year a significant number of Proudian seniors are elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

The Proudian Interdisciplinary Honors Program was founded in 1977 through a contribution from Andrew and Sallee Proudian to honor Andrew’s father, Vahe Proudian. Students are selected in their sophomore year through a process of nomination, submission of an academic essay and interviews with University faculty and current program scholars.