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Alumni Activities

Ms. Dusty Dye graduated from Berry in the spring of 2009 with a BAH degree in history. She then moved on to the University of West Georgia to pursue a master’s degree in history with a concentration in Public History. She will graduate in August 2011.

Ms. Dye recently shared her reflections on writing an Honors thesis:

"I have lately been reminded of the tremendous value of my experience in the Honors Program at Berry. In particular, my work on my Honors senior thesis has been absolutely indispensable as I embark on writing my master's thesis. Interestingly enough, my research topic for my master's thesis actually grew out of the interest in Colonial America that I developed while researching Colonial Williamsburg for my senior thesis. I'll be writing on funereal culture in South Carolina during the Colonial and Revolutionary eras. I've translated my research on mourning customs(which I have been engaged in for over a year) into a paper that won an award for graduate research, an outdoor exhibit at Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta that will open in February of next year, and a forthcoming presentation for the National Council of Public History about historic interpretation in sacred spaces like cemeteries. I could actually go on further, but I only wanted to let you know how much the Honors Program has benefited me in my education and career. I honestly believe that my master's thesis would be almost impossible to complete without my previous experience. I'm well on track (and somewhat ahead), and I owe it all to the Honors Program."


Justin Neal, who graduated in 2002 with a major in economics and a minor in government, married his fellow forensics team member Lindsey Hutcherson. Since graduation, he has become a Certified Financial Planner through the CFP Board and earned his Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant designations from the American College.

Justin currently works for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network as a financial planner. He has recently been asked to direct the college intern program for his office. He was also recently appointed by Governor Perdue to the Board of the Department of Human Resources for the State of Georgia.

Here are his comments on his memories of the Berry College Honors Program:

“The Honors program provided some of the most intellectually stimulating experiences and classes that I participated in during my college years. I looked at Honors classes with anticipation and expectation. The curriculum allows creative and contextual exploration of different subjects with an emphasis on the way different subjects cross-pollinate and influence each other. It was the purest experience of what liberal arts was intended to produce. It was a delight to sit with other focused bright minds and seek truth and knowledge with open encouragement from some of the sharpest and most interesting professors that Berry has to offer. I was pushed and pressed to excel and grow in my intellectual development.”

Here is Justin’s “hindsight advice” to current or prospective Honors students:

“Please do not forget to study abroad. I was able to study in England, and I can honestly say that failure to take advantage of the opportunity to travel, live and study in another country and culture is one of the worst tragedies for any student, and especially one who participates in the Honors program.”

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