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University Honors Scholars Student Spotlights

T. J. Mitchell

For some, deciding where to spend the next four years of your life after high school can be a difficult task. Picking the right university to attend, researching financial aid/scholarships, and planning to leave home for the first time are often exciting but overwhelming experiences. TJ Mitchell has experienced all of these as he was faced with making the tough decision of choosing which college to attend.  While exploring prospective universities, he and his family toured the ETSU campus at the end of his junior year in high school.  According to TJ, the fact that ETSU was such a welcoming campus and meeting the qualifications and criteria for application to the University Honors Scholars program helped make his decision easier.   Consequently, in the fall of 2005, TJ left Morristown, TN to pursue his educational career at ETSU.

One of the driving forces behind his decision was his interest in the University Honors Scholar program. TJ states, “I learned through the ETSU website and other various sources about the opportunities offered to a University Honors Scholar.  I did some research and found that I qualified and met the requirements for admission, so I applied.”  This turned out to be a great advantage for TJ as he benefited from the many opportunities this program has to offer.

TJ emphasized that the small class size is one of the greatest benefits that the University Honors Scholar program offers.  “It is really good to be able to have the small class size and feel like you belong,” said TJ In addition, TJ states that interaction with professors is an excellent advantage that may not be available at other universities.   “The professors are great.  They want to know about you, your interests, and your life,” said TJ. He also joking adds, “Of course, the money is a benefit.”

In fact, the financial assistance that the University Honors Scholar program offers is a tremendous benefit.  As a University Honors Scholar, students receive a scholarship package that includes full tuition and fees, a book allowance of $150 a semester, and a standard on-campus housing a meal package.  In addition to these benefits, TJ has also participating in several trips including the Honors trip to Washington D.C. and Tennessee Collegiate Honors Council trip at MTSU.

As a University Honors Scholar, TJ is completing a Senior Honor Thesis in Philosophy, his minor area of study.  It is the product of a yearlong research project with ETSU faculty member, Daniel Hedden. TJ got a head start on his thesis beginning work on it in January 2008, before his senior year. TJ’s topic, Psychiatric Euthanasia and the Medical Benefits, is a topic about medical ethics that he chose in preparation for medical school.  “I was actually in the Med School one day looking at a journal about this particular topic and my interest peaked enough to start exploring it as my thesis project,” said TJ. He advises future University Honors Scholars to begin work on their senior thesis early.  Additionally, he says, “You want to pick something that you are happy with and interested in researching because you spend a lot of time on it and it is important you pick something that you really want to investigate.”

One would think that having such a busy schedule as that of a University Honors Scholar would consume most of TJ’s time.  However, that was not enough for TJ.  He has held several leadership roles during his time at ETSU.  TJ is the currently Student Government Association (SGA) President, the former Honors College Student Council President, and he participates in many community and campus- wide activities. When asked how he manages such a hectic schedule, TJ said, “Well it is important to keep things in perspective.  In high school I didn’t really make time for outside activities.  So, I made being aware of the college community one of my goals for my journey at ETSU.  I believe that having the drive and passion for what you do is important.”  His passion for the various organizations that he is currently in or has been a part motivates him to make time for them in order to see them succeed.  However, he does manage to find some time for himself.  He works hard during the week to stay on top of his academic work and responsibilities so can enjoy the weekends.

TJ offers some advice to students interested in the University Honors Scholar Program. He suggests, “First and foremost just do it!  Don’t think about whether you are going to get in or not and don’t be scared of applying.” He also challenges prospective University Honors Scholars to keep an open mind, and not get overwhelmed in the beginning.  He adds, “This experience does help develop you as a college student and person.”

 

 
USPS Mailing Address:
University Honors Scholars
The Honors College at
East Tennessee State University
PO Box 70294
Johnson City, TN 37614-1701

Phone: 423.439.7881
Fax: 423.439.7880
email:  uhscholars@etsu.edu

Street Addresses of The Honors College offices:
  Administration: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
University & Midway Scholars: Ada Earnest House
310 S. Dossett Drive
Honors-in-Discipline Programs: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Fine & Performing Art Scholars: Yoakley Hall, Room 206
161 S. Dossett Drive
Undergraduate Research: Yoakley Hall, Room 129
161 S. Dossett Drive
International Programs & Services: Yoakley Hall, Room 122
161 S. Dossett Drive


East Tennesssee State University The Honors College