Dear THS Senior:

My name is Anne Wilcox. I graduated from THS in the spring of 2012. I now attend CSU Fresno under the Smittcamp Family Honors College (Smittcamp). Smittcamp has given me opportunities that have helped me to make more out of my college experience than most. I would like to share with you a more in-depth view of Smittcamp in the hopes that you may consider looking further into CSU Fresno and the Smittcamp program.

After only one year in college, at the age of 19, I am already in the Fresno State Nursing Program as a student nurse. This is nearly unheard of in the nursing profession. I have been the Supplemental Instruction Leader for over 200 students in the anatomy course at Fresno State since my freshman spring semester. I have taken a class with the dean of physics, attended dinners at the president’s house, and been personally advised by the head of the Honors College, Dr. Honora Chapman. I know many Smittcampers who do scribe work with local hospitals, gain experience interning with local businesses and institutions in their field of study, or participate in research in the fields of biology, geology, physics, etc. Doors are open wide not only on campus but in the community and beyond for Smittcamp scholars.

As you can see, Smittcamp is much more than just a scholarship for eight semesters of tuition and dorm living. Smittcamp scholars receive priority registration when we apply for classes each semester. This allows students to keep on track with major courses and the graduation timeline. The Honors Office on campus is the center for Smittcamp activities. Here, scholars can receive individualized advising, speak with staff about school or service related concerns, and have access to computers and supplies for all of their study needs.

Smittcamp faculty and staff work with scholars to achieve a well-rounded education. Smittcamp is a small liberal arts honors college within a CSU. The liberal arts structure of the SFHC seeks to provide a unique experience to the students admitted. A scholar receives a major education from a large, accredited university that is supplemented with a liberal arts education via honors courses. Scholars enroll in liberal arts honors courses in place of general education courses. Class sizes are limited to twenty-five students and are only open to SFHC scholars. My first semester, I enrolled in English 10H and Natural Science 4H. The dean of physics was my professor for NS4H. In this class, we examined pseudosciences and the paranormal, from UFOs to the channeling of spirits, with a skeptic eye to determine logical fallacies and errors of human perception. In ENGL10H, I was one of seven students. These small class sizes allow for focused group discussions and feedback on an individual level. Beyond these honors courses, scholars are required to take five semesters of Honors Colloquium. Every Thursday, Smittcamp scholars from all years attend a lecture where guests come to speak on a subject, opening discussion to scholar comments and questions.

The family aspect of the Smittcamp Family Honors College is what truly makes it a unique experience. The Honors College was founded by businessman and farmer, William Smittcamp. Mr. Smittcamp personally welcomes each scholar to his family and even stops by the Honors Office to deliver peach cups and cookies from his farm. Students are made to feel part of a family of scholars through monthly social events and volunteer programs that make instant friends of fellow scholars. We are college students from all backgrounds enrolled in different majors but with the same desire to make the most of our college experience. Whether you are an athlete, a club member, an artist, a pledge for a fraternity/sorority, or an aspiring teacher, in Smittcamp you will find these people. You will find that you have a diverse family of scholars not only in class but at dinner, at football games, in the dorms, and out in the community.

Because Smittcamp is funded by community donations, scholars are encouraged to give back to the Fresno community. As a group, Smittcampers have volunteered throwing carnivals at Children’s Hospital, distributing food at the student-run Bulldog Pantry and to the homeless populations in downtown Fresno, cleaning up river beds and parks throughout the city, etc. Smittcamp scholars are the most sought after students for volunteer, club, leadership, internship, work, and research opportunities for their dedication and reputation.

If the above attributes of Smittcamp are appealing to you, please consider applying. You have been offered the chance to apply because you are in the top ten percent of your graduating class. Smittcamp looks to admit students who excelled in school, were active on campus and in their community, and took part in extra curricula. If you took part in AP courses, sports, work experience, community service, or any other activities beyond the average high school experience, the Smittcamp invitation to apply is not a letter that should be overlooked. The application is designed to understand the individual. You are given the chance to express your experiences and interests via a narrative and insightful questions on travel and art. Of all of the applications you will fill out this fall, please make the Smittcamp Family Honors College is one of them. If you are accepted, Smittcamp will benefit your college experience like no other honors program could.

I highly recommend the Smittcamp Family Honors College. The application, along with more information can be found at http://fresnostate.edu/honors/application/index.html. If what I have mentioned peaks your interest or raises questions, please feel free to contact me by phone at (805) 434-8743 or by e-mail at anne_wilcox@mail.fresnostate.edu. I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the application process or the Honors College itself. I could also help set up a visit to the Honors College at CSU Fresno or an opportunity to shadow a scholar in your major of interest. Once again, please keep an open mind and apply to the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Good luck in your college search and application process.

Sincerely,

Anne Wilcox

 


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