Mimi Killinger

Rezendes Preceptor for the Arts

B.A. University of Virginia
M.T.S. Duke University
M.A. Emory University
Ph.D. University of Maine

  • Why I teach in Honors:

Much about teaching in Honors sounded appealing: small class sizes, interdisciplinary study, and creative course design around a preceptorial model. Yet the rewards of teaching in Honors have far exceeded my initial expectations.

The Honors College students themselves are without doubt the most gratifying part. They are curious, hardworking, motivated people with whom it is a pleasure to learn. I will never forget from my first preceptorial the shaggy-haired second-year student who masterfully led our class through quantum mechanics; the taciturn activist whose few words spoke volumes; the faculty member’s daughter who relentlessly questioned us all; and the poetic chemist whose insights were dazzling.

The Honors College administration has created a model learning environment for these students and their instructors. The Dean’s leadership style sets an extraordinarily positive tone as he assumes an informal posture while also remaining deeply committed to rigorous academic work. The Honors staff is both student-centered and supportive of faculty. Through the administration’s efforts, the College is growing, expanding, improving, and I thoroughly enjoy being caught up in the swell of their success.

Finally, teaching in Honors has allowed me to remain a student, as all good teaching should. I have been something of a chronic learner, having pursued degrees in English, theology, religion and literature, as well as history. At one point in time, I studied at an Institute of Liberal Arts in which I saw firsthand the value of sharing ideas across disciplines, of moving outside of one’s own scholarly box. Each week in the Honors College, I have the privilege of confronting diverse materials which are fresh and challenging. I hear a lecture by an expert colleague and guide a preceptorial group through the materials, serving as a master learner at a seminar table rather than an authoritative scholar behind a podium. We all benefit greatly from the intellectual exchange.


  • Recent Honors lectures:

Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (Hon 212)