High Schoolers Head to UH for Epic Lessons on 'The Iliad'

Houston Scholar Program Providing Early College Experiences for KIPP, YES Prep Students

“The Iliad” has been captivating people’s imaginations for centuries. At the University of Houston, the iconic epic is creating a bridge between Houston high schools and UH’s Honors College.

UH’s Houston Scholar Program (HSP) is bringing 20 juniors and seniors from Houston’s KIPP, the Knowledge is Power Program, and YES Prep to study “The Iliad” at the Honors College. They will attend monthly Saturday lectures and discussions led by the college’s faculty and students. HSP students also will participate in creative activities in which they’ll respond to themes in “The Iliad.” Lectures and activities on “The Iliad” will be conducted Feb. 2, March 3, April 13 and May 4.

“’The Iliad’ is an incredibly rich text that is an examination of war in the ancient Greek world, but it is still relevant today,” said Kimberly Meyer, visiting assisting professor at the Honors College. “It deals with what it means to be a warrior and the costs that come with honor. It is a timeless text that can be mined for ideas that are still being grappled with in contemporary society.”

Meyer is coordinating the weekend curriculum and is among the faculty members who will lead the Saturday lectures. She said that the weekend program will do more than relate modern issues to the classic poem.  It also will offer high school students a preview of higher education and what they can expect at the Honors College.

“The lectures and exercises will help introduce students to exercises in critical thinking and interpretation,” she said. “It also will provide them with an introduction to the university experience. They will learn what a college class is like, and what college-level work is like.”

The Houston Scholar Program is part of UH’s Honors and the Schools program. Presented by the Honors College, this community outreach initiative offers programs aimed at Houston students and educators.  These include Scholars in Schools, a program that brings Honors College faculty to Houston-area schools for lectures and discussions; the Houston Teachers Institute, a professional development program dedicated to strengthening teachers and teaching in Houston-area schools; and Common Ground, which unites Houston-area English teachers and UH professors in dialogues focused on classic literary works. For more details on Honors and the Schools, visit the Honors and Schools website.

The Honors College at UH is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields of study and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty and students. For over 50 years, the Honors College has offered students the best of both worlds: the advantages of a small college together with the comprehensive resources and rich diversity of a large university. For more information about the Honors College, visit http://TheHonorsCollege.com