Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

LHS grad in scholars program at KU

September 22, 2005

— Jeff Hoins was "born and raised a Jayhawk."

Sitting in the lobby of his residence hall on Daisy Hill, wearing a blue University of Kansas T-shirt and red athletic shorts and reading a book for one of his film classes, Hoins looks every bit the part of a Jayhawk.

The 18-year-old Lansing High School graduate knew growing up that he was going to attend KU. Not even his grandfather's generous offer of four years paid tuition if he switched sides and attended Kansas State University could change Hoins' mind that KU was where he belonged.

Instead, he followed the family tradition established by his older brothers, Chris and Eric, and became a Jayhawk.

A freshman majoring in theater and film, Hoins is also a member of the Mount Oread Scholars Program.

An invitation to become a part of the Mount Oread Scholars is an accomplishment reserved only for students who excelled academically in high school. This freshman-only program, according to the KU Freshman-Sophomore Advising Center, is "designed to attract and retain highly talented students who are not automatically admitted to KU's Honor program" and "accepts students with a combined ACT of 28 to 30, or SAT of 1240 to 1350; and who graduate in the upper 20 percent of their class."

Hoins said he thought LHS did an above-average job of preparing him for KU. He said the high school generally has students with good grade-point-averages and high test scores and that the grading scale is more difficult at Lansing than at other schools in the area. Instead of an A being 90 percent and above as at most schools, at LHS an A is awarded at 92 percent and above. This means a student has to work harder to achieve a high GPA, but this also better prepares them for the rigors of university academics.

Although Hoins, son of Ann and John Hoins, is well prepared academically, he is discovering that his first big challenge this semester is not the class workload but rather walking from one side of KU's 1,000-acre campus, an average 25-minute walk, in the only 10 minutes allotted between classes.

The main goal of this quiet and laid-back student while at KU is to graduate in four years, an achievement that has gone unfilled in his family history. Hoins' family history extends not only to KU but also to his hometown of Lansing, where he describes his family as "old as the dirt." He spent his last summer working at Young Sign Company, his parents' business in Leavenworth.

So far, a month into the semester, Hoins loves the freedom that college life offers, yet has has encountered several challenges in his 15-credit-hour course load. His anxieties are those of most freshmen: his general psychology class has about 1,000 students, the Western civilization readings are too long, and he hopes there is a calculus teaching assistant whose first language is English.

Hoins in one of the few freshmen enrolled in Western Civilization I, a course normally attended by juniors and seniors, and was surprised that the first day he took five pages of notes in the 50-minute class period.

After graduation he hopes to pursue a career in film, possibly becoming a director. He lives on the third floor of McCollum Residence Hall and enjoys living in the dorms because there is always something to do, such as playing ping-pong.

Hoins advice to LHS seniors preparing for college is simple: "Don't spend too much time partying."

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