W&M’s Honors research: A global reach
Many were intrigued by an item in our last newsletter reporting a vast but little-known online readership of W&M Honors theses. Along with our graduating Honors students, it seems their theses take on lives of their own, all over the globe.
As shown in the map above (with readership numbers listed for various regions), more than 2,000 W&M Honors theses were read in 90+ countries last month!
For example, Kathleen Chellman’s 2022 thesis, “Geologic controls on 137Cs cycling by terrestrial vegetation in the eastern U.S.,” found a following in Windhoek, Namibia, while Kate Lucas’s 2021 English thesis, “Flipping the castle: Evolution of gothic spaces in the domestic sphere,” was read in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
It’s difficult to know exactly how or why our students’ research is read, but in Santiago, Chile, someone in the Ministry of the Interior and Public Safety recently downloaded Leah Damelin’s 2022 thesis, “The effect of subsidies on small exporting sectors in Chile.” Might Leah's research play a role in influencing Chile's economic policy?
Not only does our Honors program have a profound impact on the lives of our students, but through the close faculty mentorship that distinguishes W&M from other universities its size, students are engaging with—and contributing to—vital ideas that are shaping our 21st-century world.
Elizabeth Harbron, Director