Announcing the Inside the Honors Studio Workshop Series

The University Honors Program is excited to announce a new professional workshop series, Inside the Honors Studio!


Inside the Honors Studio will provide Honors students opportunities to work closely with Honors faculty to enhance their knowledge of a particular area of study or skill; to give back to the community in a tangible way; to hone their professional skills; and provide many more opportunities to grow through the University Honors Program. Successful completion of a program (i.e., participation in all sessions, demonstration of key competencies learned throughout the series) will be considered as completion of one of the Honors courses required for Graduation with University Honors Distinction.


Honors is offering two programs for the series debut:


The first is Transformative Storytelling: Personal Narrative at the Intersection of Justice and Healing, led by Honors Professor of the Practice Michael Patrick MacDonald. Professor MacDonald will lead the students in his community-based Transformative Storytelling curriculum, The Rest of the Story, developed and implemented with survivor communities in Boston, New York, and Northern Ireland to foster healing among families who have experienced trauma or long-term conflict. Students will learn about the power of sharing the stories of victims and survivors and the role of empathy in transforming conflict, bridging difference, and building community.


The workshop series will include a presentation by Professor MacDonald on transformative storytelling and its role in restorative justice; an interactive transformative writing workshop, implemented with communities in Boston, New York, and Belfast; and, short-term community-based service with the Louis D Brown Peace Institute in support of the production of an anthology of writings by survivors who have lost a family member to homicide.


Professor MacDonald teaches two seminars and leads a Dialogue of Civilizations for the University Honors Program, in addition to being Writer-in-Residence and Honors Professor of the Practice. He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir, All Souls: A Family Story From Southie and the acclaimed Easter Rising: A Memoir of Roots and Rebellion. Professor MacDonald was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2019, which took him to Northern Ireland to write and work on issues of social justice.


Transformative Storytelling will meet October 1, 7:15-8:45pm, & October 22, 29, November 6, and tentatively, December 3, 2019, 7pm – 8:30pm. Interested students can register here.


The second program, led by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman, Associate Professor and Interim Department Chair in Theatre, is Eloquent Presentations. This series will provide Honors students opportunities to enhance their professional and leadership competencies through an interdisciplinary lens, combining theatre-based improvisation and voice and speech exercises to enrich their mental agility, spatial awareness, adaptability, teamwork, risk-taking instincts, intuition, and more. The ultimate goal is to increase students’ confidence in their abilities to command an audience.


Professor Ocampo-Guzman has over twenty-five years of professional theatrical experience, and has acted, directed and coached over 50 productions in several countries. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Directing and a Graduate Diploma in Voice from York University, Toronto, and is a Linklater Master Voice Teacher.


Eloquent Presentations will meet across the academic year, with two meetings in the fall semester (October 10 and November 21, 2019, 7:30pm – 9:30pm) and three meetings in the spring semester (February 26, March 25, and April 7, 2020, 5pm – 7pm). Interested students can register here.