BHC Spotlight: Jason Brugman '21
Why did you choose the Batten Honors College?
For most of my schooling, I’ve been in smaller subset groups. In elementary school, I was in an academic program with about 75 other kids in my year who had started learning at a quicker pace. In middle school, I continued on in a similar honors program, and for my first two years of high school, the school was on an air force base in England and only had about 45 kids total. I finished high school in a program which only had about 20 other kids in my year. These smaller groups helped me get connected and build friendships. This helped especially once I began switching environments in high school. Having a Batten Honors Cohort of 40 students helped me step into the larger community of Virginia Wesleyan University, and although we usually don’t hang out as a cohort, many of my closest friends are still in the Honors College.
What benefits have you gained from the BHC?
Often times, when applying for programs or scholarships, there are specific tests or hurdles which you have to pass through to demonstrate your academic ability. Being a member of the Honors College, a lot of on campus organizations recognize a certain amount of scholastic ability which doesn’t need to be demonstrated in further tedious essays or applications. In addition, there are a few special perks for BHC students as well, such as priority registering for classes, off campus trips (I’ve gotten to see a behind the scenes tour of the VA Beach Aquarium as well as take a trip to Busch Gardens Christmas Town for free), and housing in the townhouses in Honors Village.
Highlight a specific research, internship, and/or study abroad experience.
In the spring of 2019, I went on a service trip with Chaplain West and some other students to Puerto Rico. There is still a lot of devastation and damage from Hurricane Florence to homes and communities. It was an incredible chance to bond with my peers and be able to make a difference in one person’s life. Being immersed in the culture and environment felt easier since I was there to help and not as a tourist. Experiencing the hospitality, the cuisine, and the mindsets of the people helped me to shape my worldview and take events in my life in perspective.
How did the BHC curriculum or program prepare you for this experience?
The BHC curriculum focuses on immersing students in classes they may be unfamiliar with. Experiencing classes and content that I wasn’t as familiar with or didn’t find as inherently beneficial helped me to navigate foreign circumstances.
What did you hope to achieve/gain from your BHC experience?
I hope to continue to gain a sense of community from working with the different cohorts of the Honors College, as well as seize additional opportunities that come my way because of my spot in the BHC.
What are you involved with on campus at VWU?
- Boyd Fellow
- Chaplain’s Assistant
- Marlin Ministries
- Sigma Nu Fraternity
- Dean’s List
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