Favour Fadayomi is a freshman honors student with a major in Pre-Medicine, a concentration in Microbiology, and a minor in Chemistry. She is also a Whitinger Scholarship recipient through the Honors College. After finishing her first semester at Ball State, Favour shares the details of her HONR 189 class with Dr. Obed Frausto: Latin American Thought and Decoloniality, her reception of the Whitinger Scholarship, her story, and her advice to current and prospective Ball State students.
As a curriculum requirement, Honors students take HONR 189, Inquiries into Global Studies as a substitution for their university core curriculum (or gen-ed) social science tier one requirement. Under the HONR 189 class umbrella, there are many topics or areas of study to choose from. In the spring semester of 2024, there were four different sections of HONR 189 available. Students could choose from Latin American Thought and Decoloniality with Frausto, Music & Politics with Gertsenzon, Changing Times, Changing Places with Thorington, or The Arabic Language, Culture, and National Identity with Bidaoui. Freshman student Favour Fadayomi chose Dr. Obed Frausto’s section of 189, focusing on the Latin American experience and culture through the dissection of colonialism.
“This class was very eye-opening,
Westernization and Colonization are deeply rooted in how the world works. We’d have a reading from Decolonial Investigation of the Western World which dove into how the colonial matrix of power has encapsulated the whole world. In a sense, and no matter how we look at it in history, it would never be the true picture of history because it’s been fragmented. The only pieces we interact with are those influenced by colonization. In this class, we didn’t want to strip away everything we knew about colonization, but we wanted to link it to what we didn’t know. We wanted to see how colonization impacted society so we could influence the cycle and form a new society through the things we know and what we know through the traditions of culture,” Favour said.
For Favour, she said what surprised her most about this course was that it wasn’t just reading a book and listening to lectures, it was the discussion. She says that there often were no assignments outside of classtime other than reading small parts of the book, due mostly to the fact that every class centered around discussion and talking to classmates to deepen understanding and share their lived experiences.
She recommends this class because it’s a “palette cleanser” that breaks up all of the classes in your major and your boring/standard gen-ed classes. This class, in her opinion, helps you understand the intricacies of society, and it expands your knowledge of how the economy works, how society works, and how you can be a better person by changing the way you see and interpret the world. Understanding how your lived experiences differ from others is central to the Honors College curriculum, and Favour is no stranger to sharing her experiences.
“I grew up in Nigeria for about 11 years of my life. From the age of 9 to 11, I was in boarding school, which is similar to high school. That’s when I moved here, and I had to start middle school all over again,” Favour shared about her life. She chose Ball State because it was the perfect amount of distance from family, not too close and not too far, and because Ball State provided unique opportunities for her to learn and grow independently. When asked about applying for the Honors College, she said she turned it in the night it was due, but that she “made the right choice” in choosing Honors.
Through her Honors application, Favour was also invited to apply for the Whitinger Scholarship, which she then won. “I turned in the essay and I wrote about representation of black women in STEM, and I turned it in with no help or advisors, and I was so excited to get an email about being a finalist,” she shared about her application.
Advice for Current High School Students
When sharing her story, Favour offered some advice for students who are looking at the Honors College, because she thinks it would have helped her in her college search. She said:
“Scrap whatever you think ‘honors classes’ are. At Ball State, Honors classes are classes that help guide you through your college life and there are so many resources you can get through the courses.”
She also encouraged students to be themselves, trust their gut and intuition, and make choices that will benefit them, no matter what others think. “Don’t listen to outside pressures when you’re making decisions, make those decisions solely based on your opinions and feelings. At the end of the day, you know yourself best, so you can take that advice, but don’t forget that you need to do what is best for you,” Favour announced.
At the end of the day, the Honors College is a way for students to learn about how society and culture are formed to better understand the experiences and lives of others in their circles and beyond and provides a place for students to exist as themselves through discussion and community. Favour’s experience with Dr. Obed Frausto’s HONR 189 class is a great example of what the Honors College does, and the pathways it provides for students.