From Retreat to Human Sit to SGB, Honors gave Michelle Devor Brown leadership and learning opportunities that she brings into her own classroom—making her Teacher of the Year. Read more of Michelle's Honors story...
Why did you choose Honors?
Growing up in the Humble area, the University of Houston was always on my radar, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to school so close to home. When it came time to choose a college, I scheduled the obligatory tour of the campus and the Honors College. Upon meeting Honors students, faculty, and Dean Estess, I really felt that this would be a great fit for me. The Honors College gave me the best of both worlds: a small community housed within a much larger university setting. Add to that an attractive scholarship package and my choice was clear.
How did the Honors College prepare you to become a great alumni leader?
The Honors College gave me many leadership opportunities and I have been able to use them in my personal and professional careers to succeed. The opportunities to lead started in the Human Situation. The small discussion groups gave us all a chance to lead dialogue in a way that was not available to me in high school. Every year I found new leadership experiences, from being the Historian for Student Governing Board (SGB) to being President the next year. I really felt like the faculty and staff of the Honors College encouraged me to take leadership roles. This encouragement led to me having the confidence to take on leadership positions in my personal and professional life.
What was the most profound take away that has resonated throughout the years?
The Honors College made learning really accessible. Whatever place you were in the class, academically or personally, you were challenged. But, it was different challenge for each student, which made it exciting and led to deeper discussions in and out of the classroom. This challenge created a deep desire for learning, not merely to “get by” like in high school, but a true desire for actual knowledge for knowledge’s sake. The Honors College was always comfortable and challenging and this is something I try to provide in my own classroom.
What's your favorite Honors memory?
Retreat! My freshman retreat experience was such an incredible way to enter the Honors College. It was a great way to meet fellow freshmen in a fun and casual way and it created life-long bonds. Just recently I went to a baby shower for one of the girls I met at Honors Retreat. The friendships I made at Retreat also helped me navigate the large campus as I had a group to get lost with. Personally too, Retreat had a profound impact on my life as I met my husband, Tim Brown, at my freshman Retreat. So, I would say Retreat was the start of a lot of wonderful relationships in my life.
About Michelle Devor Brown
Michelle (Devor) Brown attended the University of Houston and the Honors College from the fall of 1995 to the spring of 1999. She majored in Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Education and graduated Cum Laude and with Membership in the Honors College. Currently, she is the Math Department Head and Algebra I Pre-AP teacher for McAdams Junior High in Dickinson ISD, where she has taught since 2009. She is also the founding sponsor of the MJHS Math Club (the “coolest Geeks in school”.) Last spring, she was chosen as Teacher of the Year for McAdams Junior High and then as the Secondary Teacher of the Year for Dickinson ISD. Also, Michelle is the wife of Honors College alum Tim Brown and mother of Nathaniel, Theresa, and Sebastian. In her spare time, she enjoys sewing, crafts, and family outings.