BYU Honors Program students keep ‘Chocolate Chat’ tradition with mural painting

BYU Honors Program students held a “Chocolate Chat: Mural Painting” event. It shows creativity and teamwork. (Bella Li)

BYU Honors Program students gathered in the reading room of Maeser building for the Chocolate Chat: Mural Painting event on Feb. 3.

The Honors Program students painted murals of the portrait of Karl G. Maeser and the facade of the Maeser building. 

The activity leader and Student Leadership Council member Brigit Copper said the Honors Chocolate Chat tradition was started as an academic opportunity with chocolate treats as refreshments.

These informal chats are sponsored by the Honors Student Leadership Council. Faculty members are invited to come talk about their research and have discussions with students about timely, important and interesting topics, according to Copper.

Copper stated the tradition continued this year with events incorporating more community and social based activities. Moreover, there will be a first-generation minority student panel next time instead of professor-led discussions, he said.

Christian Pearson, a member of the Honor Student Leadership Council, said he had no experience with mural painting but was glad everyone was trying their best to finish the painting.

Pearson said he has been to many events offered by the Honors Program such as the Honors banquet and ball last year.

As a first-generation college student, Pearson said he feels the Honors Program traditions have enriched his experience at BYU.

Many students aren’t able to get involved in the Honors Program because they didn’t find out about it in time, Pearson said. Thus, he and other members of the publicity committee within the Honors Program are working on raising awareness of the program on campus.

Christian Pearson talks about publicity committee in the Honors Program. He also tells the story of him joining the Program. (Bella Li)

Jacob Johnston, who has taken many classes in the Honors Program, said the program provides many opportunities for motivated students to think differently.

Although it can be a challenging experience for some, Johnston said students in the program can benefit from the experience through exploring interdisciplinary approaches and consider ways in which unexpected connections can be found between different disciplines. 

BYU junior Theresa Bell said she didn’t know anything about mural painting, but had a delightful time trying it out and connecting with like-minded people in the community.

“They’re a lot fun,” Bell said. “There’s usually free food too.”

In addition to the social aspects, she said the informal chats led by faculty members are important because they spark interest on a wide variety of topics and expand students’ horizons.

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