Duncan becomes honors program director

The Mercyhurst University Honors Program congratulates Assistant Professor of Political Science Natasha Duncan, Ph.D., as the new club leader.

FIRST NAME Boudreau, Ph.D., who formally led the prestigious club is stepping down, and Duncan will be taking over.

Duncan was born in Trinidad and Tobago, and came to the United States to study at Brooklyn College. She then went on to study at Purdue University where she earned her masters and Ph.D. in Political Science.

The Honors Program invites high school seniors to apply to participate in the program their freshman year.

Students who are accepted into the program participate in a preparation year their freshman year here at Mercyhurst. Throughout the year students must maintain certain GPA requirements, take a stipulated number of honors classes, among other requirements. Typically 70-80 high school seniors participate in the Mercyhurst Honors program.

Duncan teaches both core and major classes focusing on comparative politics and international relations.

Duncan is a vital part of the Mercyhurst community.

She is the faculty adviser for Phi Eta Sigma, the freshman honors society, she sits on the International Education Committee which works to create an environment that nurtures study abroad opportunities and welcomes international students to Mercyhurst. She also sits on the Diversity Committee, which began at the beginning of this academic year and relates to issues regarding gender, income and disabilities within the Mercyhurst community.

The purpose of the Mercyhurst Honors Program is to offer students a unique intellectual experience that will enrich their educational career here at Mercyhurst. Honors classes are available to other students, who may be looking for a more challenging class, through a petitioning process.

“I am excited to have this great opportunity to work with such ambitious, motivated students who are always open to new challenges,” Duncan said.

Within the Mercyhurst Honors Program, there is an honors council that acts as a bridge between students and administration. The Honors Council also participates in various on-campus activities, such as Relay for Life and fundraising efforts for the People Initiative Against Poverty created by Sister Katie Brown.

While Duncan emphasizes research opportunities with her students, she continues to focus her research on international migration. She has written numerous articles and a book on immigration policies studying the flow of labor and economic migration.

One idea Duncan proposed was an undergrad honors conference, inviting honors programs from area schools and having intelligent conversations about current events and world topics.

Duncan also wants to offer more research opportunities to honors students, ranging from lab work to various internships. She believes that these opportunities reflect excellence and achievement outside of the classroom and will prepare students for the real world.

Duncan hopes while she is director of the program to emphasize research as well as introduce new opportunities to students within the honors program.