Sean is passionate about studying sound and how it affects the world around us.

Sean Collier is a Juniors Honors Program Scholar from the little town of Marion nestled in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Aside from being a part of the Honors Program he is also involved in the Bonner Program, Concert and Chamber choirs, Marching Band, Math Club, the E&H Chamber Winds, the Wind Ensemble and tutoring and mentoring. In what free time Sean can find he enjoys arranging and composing music and spending time with friends and family. Sean is pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Music with a self-designed minor in Pre-Acoustic Concepts and Context - a minor settled within the rich connections between physics, mathematics and music. After E&H he hopes to continue his education in Acoustics or Applied Mathematics and work with patients through the field of Bioacoustics.

I’ve always been interested in how we as humans, and animals in general, communicate and process all of the noise that surrounds us, and in this field, I would work with and study just that. Amazing research is being carried out in this field and it makes me extremely excited to potentially be a part of it.
— Sean Collier '18

We believe the best way to learn about our Honors Program and the Interdisciplinary Honors Diploma is from our students. Therefore, we used this opportunity to ask Sean some questions that you may have been wondering.

Q. When you chose Emory & Henry did you already know about the option of an Interdisciplinary Diploma? Did this influence your decision to come to E&H or stay at E&H?

A. I actually did not know about the option. When I came to Emory & Henry, I had an idea of what I wanted to do, and what people had suggested for me to do, but I wasn’t set in any real plan yet. Within the first few weeks of freshman year, I really began to look into what it took to become what I wanted to be when I grew up. It was here that I found the option to self-design, and I believe this did influence me to stay at Emory & Henry since it allows for so much creativity and individuality and grants access to a plethora of networking opportunities. It is something that should definitely be advertised more often!

Q. Why did you decide to create your own Interdisciplinary Diploma?

A. I decided to create my own minor for a few reasons, the first being that no other minor fit what I wanted in its entirety; with the self-design option, I could pull together courses that had direct connections with what I wanted to study now as well as courses I felt would prepare me for future academic plans. It allocates so much freedom for research and independent study of topics already understood while facilitating the search for something no one has thought of.

Q. What is the most rewarding aspect of creating your own Interdisciplinary Diploma?

A. The most rewarding aspect would have to be discovering and creating the connections between different disciplines. Connections are all around us, and often times we never notice them. For me, I saw what could exist between math and music. I always hear, “Wow, two different parts of the brain,” or “Math and music? Those have nothing to do with each other,” but as I learn about the two of them and the relationships brought about through physical relations, I can’t help but believe that everything is interconnected in some way, not only in academics but also in life. It’s thought provoking when you’re sitting in class and notice a relationship you never thought about before, and for me, those provoking thoughts are what I want to keep finding.

Q. What would you tell first-years about self-designing an Interdisciplinary Diploma?

A. If Emory & Henry doesn’t offer what you want to study, dream it into reality. If it exists somewhere else, bring it here. The faculty and staff are willing and excited to help students in their endeavors, especially when a student wants to think outside of the box. If you do choose this route, don’t be afraid to get professors, both at E&H and beyond, involved; strategize, compare and contrast, and get as much input as you can. Make sure you do your research, network with people of similar interests, and most importantly, be your creative self and make it yours. This is your brainchild: no one else’s. 


All photographs were provided by Sean Collier '18