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September 17, 2013

Purdue Profiles: Adam Lower

Adam Lower

Adam Lower, Honors College student recruiter. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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Adam Lower envisions a near future in which the brightest, highest-achieving high school students in the country covet an invitation to join Purdue's Honors College.

As the Honors College's student recruiter, Lower travels across the state and the local area -- and attends events on campus -- spreading the word about Purdue's newly formed Honors College. His mission? Touting the world-class opportunities that Purdue and the Honors College offer. Soon, he hopes to expand that mission to include national recruiting.

 How do you help promote the Honors College to prospective students?

The Honors College is still very new -- this is its first academic year as a college rather than a program -- so my goals right now involve spreading awareness to students and potential partners on and off campus. For example, this summer I met with many high-achieving students who were considering joining the Honors College. I talked with them about how the Honors College and its offerings could benefit their education, I worked with professors to allow them to sit in on classes that interested them and I answered any questions they and their parents had. This year, we have about 560 first-year students in the Honors College.

This fall, I'm going to visit selected high schools that are highly ranked academically in Indiana and surrounding areas. I'll be presenting information about the Honors College directly to some of our state's brightest students. I also plan to attend functions across the state for high school counselors so I can give them information they can then present to their own students.

Each spring, we also hold Golden Honors Days, which are daylong, on-campus programs for students invited to join the Honors College. They include faculty talks and breakout sessions with current Honors College students and their parents.

How will you expand recruiting efforts in the future?

Although we're focusing on in-state areas right now, we hope to expand recruiting to establish a national presence. I hope students across the country will learn about the Honors College and be interested, and I hope I get to share our message with students at the top high schools across the country.

What does the Honors College have to offer high-achieving students?

As we say in one of our taglines, students in the Honors College will gain more in-depth knowledge in their major and more breadth as far as interdisciplinary coursework. The Honors College emphasizes teaching students to think with a global perspective, and honors courses are challenging and expose students to intensive, focused scholarship in multidisciplinary fields.

For example, all HONR courses are taught by the best faculty on campus and are capped at 20 students each. Honors College students are required to take 24 credit hours, including 19 credit hours of elective honors courses and five credit hours of interdisciplinary honors coursework. Students are admitted to the Honors College in tandem with their academic colleges, so honors coursework is highly synergistic.

What else is unique about the Honors College?

There's a residential component to the Honors College. First-year Honors College students staying in University Residences live in multidisciplinary communities that foster collaborative spirit and individual growth. All honors students also live with other students of different majors, so they're exposed to students of other interests and backgrounds. There are also a lot of co-curricular activities and service-learning opportunities for honors students. In summary, the Honors College is a very well-rounded academic experience.

What's your favorite part about recruiting students to the Honors College?

A component that's very fun for me is called the Honors Ambassadors program. Through that program, 16 honors students help me promote the college at on-campus events, assist during prospective students' visits to campus and essentially provide students' perspectives to our recruits. I enjoy working with our student ambassadors because they have firsthand experience of the Honors College's benefits.

I also enjoy being able to tell prospective students about the great experiences we can offer. The students we recruit have a lot of options, but the things Purdue and the Honors College can offer -- including undergraduate research opportunities and the chance to learn from and collaborate with some of the world's top scholars -- are unequaled.

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 49-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu