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Amazing Race

Honors Recruits Top Scholars

On July 12th and 13th, 85 high-performing high school students came to Texas Tech to experience life on the campus as members of the Honors College. These academically-motivated rising seniors were hand-picked by the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions to attend Red Raider Experience based on their standardized test scores and class rankings as meeting the eligibility requirements for the Honors College. They were invited to attend the one-and-a-half day event which aimed to attract them to Tech by introducing them to our beautiful campus and facilities, and to encourage them to apply to the Honors College by introducing them to Honors faculty, staff, and students.

Parents of the RRE attendees were welcomed at a kick-off lunch in the Merket Alumni Center, while Honors staff and student Ambassadors interacted with the students throughout the camp, answering questions about the admissions and application process and about their experiences and involvement in the Honors community.

The event included several activities calculated to mimic student social life at Tech, including free time at the REC, an ‘Amazing Race’-style campus scavenger hunt, and an ice cream party featuring Cowamongus frozen custard. In between floating the Lazy River in the REC Leisure Pool and attempting to locate a life-size bronze statue of the 40th Governor of Texas on the campus, RRE attendees also participated in a few academic activities designed to simulate real Honors College student experiences.

Four different current events discussions, modeled after Friday Lunch Discussion in the College, were held to allow attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions on current topics. Each discussion was facilitated by an Honors Professor: Dr. Gary Elbow, Dr. Jim Brink, Dr. Michael Berry, and Dr. Wendell Aycock each led a small group discussion on topics ranging from “Violence in the Media” to “Crossing Borders.”

The student attendees of RRE met a second group of Honors professors while attending a mock Honors lecture, given by four faculty members in various fields. Dr. Dominic Casadonte gave an interactive Chemistry demonstration exploring triboluminescence using wintergreen Life-Savers. Dr. Micah Green (a TTU Honors College alumnus) presented information on some of the exciting new areas of research emerging in the Engineering field. Dr. Cathy Duran gave a topical lecture in the area of Strategic Management which included a student-led participation activity, while Dr. Jerry Koch gave his group of students an intriguing introduction to Sociology.

The two offices which worked together to plan Red Raider Experience, Undergraduate Recruitment and Admissions and the Honors College, felt that the event was a resounding success. Student Ambassador Breanna Goodwin, a senior Biology and Spanish major from Bonham, remarked that “RRE is one of my favorite opportunities to act as an Honors Ambassador – and it's also one of the reasons why I myself came to Tech. The attendees have a chance not only to experience mock Honors classes and the Lunch Discussion, but to get a feel for the energy and spirit of the Honors College here at Tech. It's been a blast every time I've been able to participate, although, sadly, my group has never won the campus Scavenger Hunt.”