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Fall 2014


Stay In Touch: Be sure to let us know what you are doing by completing this short form. www.honors.colostate.edu/alumnicontact.

Greetings from the University Honors Program! As of Fall census, there are 1,555 students in the Honors Program. The 377 new first-year students have settled into college life. The office and HONR 192 recitation sections have been busy with advising, as students put together their 4-year plans and register for spring classes. We will be celebrating our Fall graduates at the Honors Graduate Recognition Ceremony on December 19th in the Grand Ballroom of the newly remodeled Lory Student Center. This newsletter recognizes the achievements of our students and is a way for keeping in touch. I encourage you to send us your latest news to share with us and fellow alums.

Don Mykles, Director


Every gift makes a big difference!


Dr. John (Jack) A. Murray, a member of the first Honors class in 1957, spoke at the Spring 2014 Honors graduation reception in May. He studied veterinary medicine at CSU before switching to medicine at Baylor. He served in the U.S. Air Force and ultimately became a member of the University of Washington Clinical Faculty in Cardiology. He and his wife, Nadine, now spend half of the year in Hawaii operating the Cloud Flower Protea Farm on the island of Maui. A gift from the Murrays has established a CSU Honors Program Visiting Scholar next Fall.

Julia Reigel, who recieved her BS in Economics in 1986, has endowed a scholarship for an Honors student beginning next fall. She is a partner in the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, and Rossati in the Bay area. She earned a law degree from Stanford in 1996 . She worked for the Federal Reserve Bank before joining her current firm which has helped take Google, Seagate, and Apple public.

Bob Richburg, a retired Education faculty member, has been chosen as the Honors Prof of the Year for 2014-15. He had earned the same recognition in 2003-2004. He will present a lecture at 7pm on Wednesday, November 12th in the Lory Student Center Theatre. His presentation is entitled, “If Your Brain Could Talk, What Would It Say to You?”

Mary Pilgrim, Mathematics, has been selected as the Honors Adviser of the Year. Her area of expertise is mathematics education. She is presenting a Fireside chat for first year students this fall.



 Alumni Activities

Andrea Akers, 2009 Willard Eddy Scholar, has started a consulting business called Sweet Grass Consulting to assist deprived communities in assessment and community building.

Steve Maler, 1998, has founded the Open Water Foundation to provide open source software to improve decision making about water. www.openwaterfoundation.org

Shannon Pease-Dodson, 2008, has earned her PhD in Chemistry from Northwestern University and is employed at Dupont.

Jake McMahon, 2011, expects to graduate from Stanford Law School this spring.

Emily Kohli Bishop, 2007, has been working at Walt Disney Imagineering.


Mark Wilson, 2012, has married a 2014 Honors graduate and started his career in in tax accounting.

Diane Bartsch, 1986, has opened her own law firm in Fayetville, Arkansas.


Ksenya Gurshtein, 2004, has been completing a post doc at the National Gallery of Art in the Department of Photographs.

Thomas Walsh, 2008, is completing his PhD in 2014 and will be working in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Sean Luster, 2014, whose band, Red Light Challenge, has become the first band from Hawaii to ever be nominated for a Los Angeles Music Award in its 24 year history.

Travis Hall, 2010, has begun his second foreign service assignment as a consular officer in Beijing, China. He served his first tour in Honduras.

Tania Valdez, 2007, graduated from Law School at the University of California, Berkeley and has been working at the East Bay Community Law Center as an immigration attorney.

Kellen Wittkop, 2013, is studying law at Harvard University.


Adam Miller, 2013, earned a Fulbright to Indonesia after graduating from CSU. He has started a non-profit focused on solving environmental problems in Indonesia. www.planetindonesia.org

Erin Renfrew, 2014, is working for a company specializing in the analytic phase of GLP-regulated FDA and EPA pesticide studies. She is also volunteering with the Colorado Springs Fire Department to develop health programs.


 Goldwater Scholarship

This year's scholarship was awarded to engineering major and Honors student Melissa Wirtz. She was one of 283 undergraduate students from across the country to receive up to $7,500 a year for her final year of study. Click here to view an article featuring Wirtz.


 Student Activities

This year's Resident Advisors in the Honors Living Learning Communities are:

Edwards: Suriya Vijayasarthy, Madison Bender and Katherine Parker
Honors Building: Callie Roger, Jacob Machmer, Ella Chaffin, Kristen Kreuger and Rebecca Harper
Aspen: Jason Platt

Honors Student Association Officers for the year are:

President: Katie Heitz

Vice President: Mary Collins

Volunteer Coordinator: Kellyn Davis

Treasurer: Sarah Coleman



Caroline King will head the editorial board for the Honors literary magazine, Spiritus Mundi.