The University of Alabama Honors College has one overarching goal: to help exceptional students reach their potential. Creating opportunities for students their first year on campus is a critical part of our mission. Honors Year One is student-directed programming that helps new students engage with their fellow students and with faculty; discover opportunities and interests; and participate in areas of service. Special events, academic opportunities, and other first year-only events address the unique needs of the newest members of the Honors College.

Because of the importance of engaging with the Honors College from the beginning of each student’s academic career, beginning with the freshman class of 2017, all Honors College students will be required to participate in an Honors Year One experience during their first year. HYO experiences engage students with fellow students and faculty and foster deeper, more meaningful connections to Honors.

The following courses fulfill the Honors Year One requirement for the 2019/2020 academic year:

UH 100: Honors Connection and Honors Connection LLC

UH 102: Common Book-The Book of Unknown Americans

UH 103: Alabama Action, Health Action, and Outdoor Action

UH 155: Various course titles of freshman seminars that include different topics

Please note, for students in Randall Research Scholars Program, University Fellows Experience, and STEM Path to MBA, UFE 101, RRS 101 and GBA 171 or 172 also fulfill the Honors Year One requirement.

Each year, the Honors College selects a book as the Honors Common Book, which all freshmen read, along with faculty and staff. The 2019/20 Honors Common Book is The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez. The story of Mexican immigrants in Delaware, the story also relates to first year students’ experience trying to fit into new environments.

The Residential College allow students to have access to educational programs and extra-curricular activities exclusive to the Honors College. The Honors community includes the entire Ridgecrest community, including North, South, East, and West, which forms the center of the University’s tightly-knit Honors community. Honors Housing also includes select space within Paty Hall and Blount Hall, which offer different housing styles at different costs.

In addition to the benefits of living with other Honors College students, faculty-in-residence in each residence hall further increase the value of such an opportunity. Residential College faculty-in-residence offer unique programs, social events, and serve as informal advisors for students living in the Residential College.

Dr. Sara Hughes: Dr. Hughes is the assistant director of Creative Writing at UA, and she hosts the Pure Products Reading and Lecture Series. Her first book, The Disappearing Act, won the 2016 Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry and was published in 2018. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Rattle, Reed, and Atticus Review.

Dr. Steve Mobley: Dr. Mobley is assistant professor of Higher Education at UA. His areas of research interest include how LGBTQ students navigate racial and class differences in higher education and how they impact educational policy, especially at historically black colleges and universities.

Prof. Matt Wisla: Prof. Wisla is an instructor in Advertising and Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. His research interests include corporate policy relations, crisis communications, international communications, Asia expertise, and public affairs.


Honors Year One Events

International Coffee Hour – Event Information 

Every Friday this Fall 11:30 A.M. – 1 P.M. | 121 B.B. Comer Hall 

Throughout the academic year (August through May), Capstone International Center (CIC) and International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) host a weekly event, International Coffee Hour. All international and American students, scholars, faculty and staff are welcome to join.

Environmental Justice: Research, Conversation, and Networking Across Disciplines– Event Information 

10/16 2 P.M. – 5 P.M. | Lloyd Hall Room 202

An interdisciplinary discussion on environmental justice from the perspectives of social work, public health, engineering, nursing and law. Contact info: Brenda Smith,

LACLS Film Series: Vengo volviendo – Event Information 

10/16 6:30 – 9 P.M. | 0009 Bevill Building

Screening of the Ecuadorean film Vengo volviendo as part of the Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies Program Fall 2019 Film Series. Best friends Ismael and Luz travel through the Ecuadorean Andes as Ismael weighs the decision to emigrate to the United States. During their journey, they encounter people, stories, and legends that raise questions about Ismael’s identity.

Working with Vulnerable Communities – Event Information 

10/18 10 – 11:30 A.M. | Student Community Engagement Center Capital Hall

Community Engagement Networking Series: This session is designed to encourage networking and collaboration, with an emphasis on developing transdisciplinary community engagement partnerships. Special guest speaker: Dr. Kellie Mayfield, Georgia State University. Refreshments will be provided.

2019 Gladney Lecture: Dream Hampton, “Telling Stories to Bring About Change” – Event Information 

10/23 6 – 7 P.M. | 208 Gordon Palmer

Emmy-nominated filmmaker, writer, and activist dream hampton will present the 2019 Rose Gladney Lecture for Justice and Social Change at the University of Alabama on Wednesday October 23rd. Her talk, “Telling Stories to Bring About Change,” will discuss her recent works (including the HBO documentary “It’s A Hard Truth Ain’t It” and Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly”), race and representation in the film and TV industries, and the intertwined roles of art and activism, and will be moderated by UA’s own Dr. Kristen Warner (Department of Journalism and Creative Media). The Gladney Lecture will be at 6 p.m. in Gordon Palmer auditorium.

An Evening with Danez Smith – Event Information 

10/23 7 – 8 P.M. | Theater Ferguson Student Center

Danez Smith is a black, queer, poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of [insert] boy, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry, and Don’t Call Us Dead, a finalist for the National Book Award. Danez’s third collection, “Homie,” will be published by Graywolf in Spring 2020. In 2018, Danez became the youngest winner of the prestigious Forward Prize for best poetry collection and the recipient of the Poetry Society of America’s inaugural Four Quartets Prize. They have also earned fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mental Health Brown Bag – Event Information 

11/1 Noon – 1 P.M.  | Ferguson Student Center Room 3700

Join the Department of Health and Wellbeing for the Mental Health Brown Bag series with free lunch every first Wednesday of the month from 12-1 p.m. in the Ferguson Student Center, Room 3700.

Challenges of Decolonization in Education – Event Information 

11/8 4 P.M.  | 311 Carmichael Hall

The idea of decolonization has become a central motif of the progressive forces in education around the world. It has been robustly articulated in systems as diverse as South Africa and Canada and in many parts of the United States. Yet the challenges facing these aspiration are considerable. These challenges are not only practical but also conceptual and political. It has ben noted for example that colonial political interests and epistemic systems are hard to shift in a world that is shaped fundamentally around western ethnocentric notions of modernity and historical progress. I want to argue that one of the key analytical problems associated with the contemporary discourses of decolonisation is their tendency to work from a range of binaries, both epistemic and political. I suggest that these binaries are historically constituted and their continuing use, even in the language in which resistance to colonial dominance is often conceptualised and organised, undercuts the political aspirations of decolonisation, rendering them ineffective.


LACLS Film Series: El boton de nacar – Event Information 

11/13 6:30- 9:30 P.M.| 0009 Bevill Building

A visual and socic meditation on the connection between water and Chilean history that juxtaposes the stories of two persecuted groups: the victims of the Pinochet regime and the indigenous people of southern Chile.