William & Mary students have been pursuing Honors projects focused on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders even before the program's charter in 2016 through the Charles Center for Academic Excellence.
How to Pursue APIA Honors Thesis Projects:
(In addition to the regulations posted on the Charles Center website, students interested in pursuing Honors projects in APIA are required to follow these steps BEFORE they begin the process at the Charles Center.)
- The process starts as early as the beginning of your junior year. Consult with the APIA faculty who you have worked or studied with the most during your residency as an APIA major or your major advisor since they will likely be the most familiar with your academic portfolio. Be prepared with at least two ideas for your Honors Thesis that you can discuss with them. It will be best if you already have preliminary abstracts and a bibliography of at least three sources that you can email them in advance so they can also prepare for the meeting. The professor will likely advice you regarding other relevant professors who are more suited to the discipline or area where you are pursuing your honors.
- By mid-summer (July) or earlier, you will have finalized your abstract proposal with the faculty who has agreed to direct your honors thesis. When you have their final approval, your thesis faculty director will forward your abstract proposal to the Director of Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies. Once approved, the Director will request the Charles Center to create a section of APIA 494 in the following fall. Your thesis faculty director will also assist you in forming your examination committee.
- The rest of your senior summer would be focused on reading your selected bibliography. If you are well ahead of schedule, you may begin synthesizing your literature review or pursuing preliminary interviews or any preparation as relevant to your project.
- Your literature review should be completed by October, so that you can have an outline prepared by early November.
- Continuance Defense, Fall Semester: By the end of the fall semester, you are expected to submit a rough draft of your project which your thesis committee will then assess and evaluate in the Continuance Defense, that takes place in the exam period of the fall semester. The student is to organize the Continuance Defense with all committee members in attendance. The student will present a 15 minute overview presentation which includes their schedule, outline, and summary of literature review. Projects disapproved for continuance to APIA 495 will be assigned grade and credit through enrollment in APIA 480: Independent Studies.
- Honors Defense, Spring Semester: The first half of spring semester will be taken up by completion of the full draft, a final version of which should be sent to all committee members two weeks before the scheduled defense. The Honors Defense will take place by the end of the first week of the examination period. It is the student's responsibility to schedule and communicate the details of the Honors Defense to all the members of the committee.
Here are successful Honors projects available in W&M Scholarworks, accessible by clicking on the hyperlinked titles:
- Arthur Matsu's College Years: Historicizing His 1920s Experiences by Benming Zhang
- Nanay's Kusina or Carinderia? The Perceived Lack of Filipino Restaurants in American Dining by Amanda Andrei
- Performativity of Abject Identity: Jonathon Hsu’s Coming Out Asian American by Jonathan Hsu
- Understanding North Korea in the Korean Diaspora: Teaching North Korea to American Students by So Dam Hong
- Why We Need Asian Pacific Islander American Studies by Jin Hyuk Ho
- Performing Generational Trauma: Quan Chau's The Specter by Quan Chau. (Recording of The Specter is available by clicking this link.)
- Meeting the Lumpia Filipino: Self-Orientalism in Filipino America by Jamelah Jacob