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Name: Michael Watson
Honors in: English/Writing
Hometown: Whitehall, PA
Title of project: Where is My Place? An Exploration of Home, Locale, and Niche in the World Through Memoir, Lyric Essay, and Poetry
Abstract or brief description: This project consists of a collection of essays and poems exploring emotional landscapes and their connections to the natural world. Some of the themes include family, home, and industrial history.
How did you get interested in your topic? I began studying the history of abandoned industrial sites such as Centralia, Pa., and Bethlehem Steel. From there, my interests expanded to include my family's relationship to those places, and a search for identity and home.
Do you intend to research your topic further? If so, how? I will be attending Rutgers University in Camden, N.J. next semester, and I hope to further explore these topics through creative writing.
How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? I learned a lot more about the writing process as well as how to write and assemble a large body of creative work.
How has the department (or faculty advisor) prepared you for the future? My advisor, Dr. Joyce Hinnefeld, was very helpful in directing me towards writing powerful and cohesive lyric essays. She helped me to revise my work and shape it for future publication.
What advice do you have for other students interested in honors? Take this opportunity to explore something that you aren't normally able to explore in traditional classes. Challenge yourself as it will prepare you for more critical thinking and more advanced projects after college.