Bette L. Bottoms, Dean of Honors College Dean Bette L. Bottoms

Dear Current and Prospective Students, Parents, Alumni, Faculty, and Friends:

Welcome to the University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College! I completed my undergraduate work at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, a tiny liberal arts college in Lynchburg, Virginia. I rarely had a class that was larger than 20 students. My fellow students were bright, motivated, creative, and supportive. I received personalized mentoring from faculty who cared about me. I had opportunities to do internships and research with the faculty. When I graduated and applied to graduate school, the faculty members knew me well enough to write strong recommendation letters for me, and I had a completed a senior honors thesis that gave me something substantive to discuss in my personal statement and during interviews.

I am where I am today, and I am who I am today, because of those experiences. I was engaged by the curriculum, I was supported by the personalized attention, and I was given the opportunity to find the self-confidence to thrive.

The Honors College at UIC delivers all of those things. It is the small, student-centered college within the big prestigious research-intensive university. So, UIC Honors College students have the best of both worlds — the personalized experiences I had as an undergraduate, but also the wealth of opportunities that only a big prestigious university can offer. And that leads our students to accomplish amazing things. For example, Mihaela Popescu, who'll graduate from UIC with a Pharm.D. and Ph.D., was one of only 15 students nationwide to be awarded a grant from the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education to support her research on drug treatments for Alzheimer's disease. Mateusz Wietcha founded the UIC Chapter of Colleges Against Cancer, served as its president, and conducted research at the Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration at the UIC College of Dentistry. Barbara Oudekerk is about to get her PhD in clinical psychology from the prestigious program at the University of Virginia, where she has studied psychological interventions for teenagers involved with the legal and social service systems. Saad Abid, who spent part of his senior year in Tokyo studying new political systems, is about to go off to law school, his life-long dream. I could go on and on.

As you will see from this website, students in the Honors College have access to a wide array of important benefits, including direct contact with faculty mentors, individual advising, scholarships, dedicated high-quality computer and study facilities, leadership and community engagement opportunities, research opportunities, small seminars on special interest topics, etc.

To students already in the Honors College, I advise you to take advantage of everything that UIC and the Honors College have to offer. Become a fully engaged, active participant in your undergraduate education. You are laying the foundation for the rest of your life — make it a firm foundation, supportive of an intellectually stimulating, creative, and personally fulfilling life.

To prospective students, I urge you to apply. There's simply no reason not to challenge yourself to the fullest and grab every opportunity available to you, now during college, and later throughout your life. My staff and I look forward to helping you achieve academic success!

To faculty and alumni and parents and friends — thanks for visiting our website, and thanks for supporting the Honors College. Let us know what we can do for you. And if you'd like to get more involved with the college, I'd be delighted to tell you about the many ways you could help us support the very best students at UIC.

Best wishes,

Bette L. Bottoms
Professor of Psychology, 312-996-5153