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Fall 2016

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Greetings from the University Honors Program! We welcomed nearly 400 first-year students to the Honors Program, bringing the number of students in the Program to 1,588. This is the most students ever in the history of the Program! The staff and HONR 192 recitations are helping students put together their 4-year plans and register for spring classes.We are fortunate to have an exceptional and enthusiastic group of 46 peer mentors who teach the HONR 192 recitation sections. In addition to the HONR 192, 392, and 492 seminars being taught this fall, we added second-year seminars to the curriculum; students can choose between HONR 292 (Ways of Knowing in the Arts & Humanities) or HONR 293 (Ways of Knowing with Global & Cultural Perspectives). We are continuing to expand our offerings of summer session and study-abroad courses. We now offer Honors seminars or courses in Zambia; Rome, Italy; Oxford, England; and Semester at Sea. We will be celebrating our Fall graduates at the Honors Graduate Recognition Ceremony December 16, 2016 in the Lory Student Center Grand Ballroom. This newsletter recognizes the achievements and activities of our students and alumnae. I encourage you to send us your latest news to share with us and fellow alums.

Don Mykles, Director

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Professor Awards

Pam Vaughan Knaus received the Honors Professor of the Year award. Dr. Knaus came to the University Honors Program from History. She teaches seminars on Italian gangsters, the 1960’s in America and Abraham Lincoln. She received multiple nominations from her students but all indicated that she showed passion and knowledge about her subject and personal concern for each of her students. One nomination noted that Dr. Knaus was “one of the most engaging teacher I ever had.” She was recognized at the Spring Honors Graduate Recognition Ceremony and she will present the Honors Prof lecture in the fall. She will receive a $1,000 stipend. She was selected from a pool that included:

Tara O’Connor Shelley
Autumn Bernhardt
Mary Elkins
Jana Raadik Cotrell
Aparna Gollapudi

Melissa Wdowik was chosen to receieve the Honors Adviser of the Year Award. Dr. Wdowik is the Director of the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center at CSU and a faculty member in Food Science and Human Nutrition. Karli Nash nominated her because of the outstanding support she provided in the Honors thesis process. She characterized her as knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and supportive. Karli indicated that she cared deeply about the field of nutrition and about her students. Dr. She will receive a $500 stipend. Wdowik was selected by the officers of the Honors Student Association from a pool that included:

Andrea Williams
Kathy Hutcheson
Pam Vaughan Knaus

Joan Steitz, Ph.D., has been chosen as the CSU Honors Program Visiting Scholar for 2016. She succeeds Carol Greider, Ph.D, who won a Nobel Prize in 2009 for her work with telomere research. Dr. Stetiz has done pioneering work with RNA. She is currently the Sterling Professor of Molecular, Biophysics, and Biochemistry at the Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. She will be visiting the CSU campus in October and will present a lecture on October 12th. This scholar lecture series was gifted by donors Jack and Nadine Murray. Dr. Murray was a participant in the first honors class in 1957. More information can be found at http://medicine.yale.edu/mbb/faculty/joan_steitz.profile

Professor Recognitions

Robert R. Keller former University Honors Program Director, addressed Honors graduates at the Spring 2016 Honors Graduate Recognition Ceremony. Dr. Keller served as the Director of the program from 1999 until 2012. He is retiring from CSU after 44 years of service to the Department of Economics and the University Honors Program. Under his tenure the Honors Scholar designation was introduced and the Track 2 program was developed.

Temple Grandin spoke to incoming first year Honors students. New students moved into their campus residence hall rooms one day earlier than other first year students enabling them to join the Honors peer mentors and staff in hearing Dr. Temple Grandin speak to them on “Thinking in Pictures”. Each student was given a copy of her book by the same name so that they could be acquainted with her life with autism. Dr. Grandin was just elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences where she joins Dr. Diana Wall and the late Marshall Fixman. She has also been named a CSU Best Teacher in 2016, had a U.S. Patent & Trademark Office trading card issued in her name, and a piano painted in her honor.

Honors Program offered courses abroad in the summer of 2016. Honors seminar locations included Zambia; Oxford, England; Rome, Italy and a course that travels to London, Budapest, and Stockholm. Professors Ellen Brinks and Carl Burgchardt piloted seminars in Zambia and Italy last summer.


 Jack and June Richardson Scholars

Keith Christian aspires to do medical research and practice surgery. Curing Multiple Sclerosis is a specific interest of his. He has done research on campus, volunteered at a medical practice and hospital, as well as mentored students in the Key Community and tutor students in Triunfo.


Alina Lugo is a sociology major interested in studying culture and sociology in order to develop sustainable approaches to reducing crime. She has served CSU as a Triunfo tutor and is an officer for the CSU Sign Language Club. She works in International Student and Scholar Services and has volunteered with SpeakOut!, a Turning point writing workshop.


Tracie Van Horn is a Biochemistry major who wants to become a pediatric pharmacist. She is the president of the Pre-Pharmacy club at CSU. She has spent three years working in Michael Tamkun’s lab doing research. He rates her in the top 5% of all the students (graduate and undergraduate) that he has supervised in his 18 year career.


Willard Eddy Scholarship

Bergen Adair is majoring in English and aspires to be a travel writer. She has served as an editor for the Collegian and the Honors literary magazine, Spiritus Mundi. Bergen has been a frequent blood donor. And on the lighter side, she has been a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.


Taylor Ellis is a Communication major who hopes to do graduate study in Criminal Justice in order to eventually work for the FBI. She served as a Peer Mentor to incoming Honors students last fall and has done research under the auspices of the Honors Undergraduate Research Program. She is employed as an Admissions Ambassador.


Elizabeth Hale is a transfer student majoring in International Studies. She is the president of the Arabic Club and aspires to teach Arabic. Elizabeth studied in Jordan. She has served as a Liberal Arts Ambassador at CSU and on the Inclusive Excellence Commission. Elizabeth has also been an advocate at the Sexual Assault Victim Advocates.


Kadin Kostelic is an Art major looking to pursue a career in graphic design. She has participated in the CSU Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Ensemble and the Chamber Music Ensemble. Her art work has been published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence and she has exhibited at the TILT art competition.


Keller-Lawrence Scholarship
provided by Paul and Clare Muller

Dillon is a Biomedical Engineering major who aspires to become a doctor. Dillion serves as a research assistant in Chris Gentile’s lab where he investigates cardiovascular disease and vascular dysfunction. Dr. Gentile called him the “most gifted “ student in his lab.

Honors Outstanding Scholar Awards

Hayley Noah  aspires to work for an international non-profit organization promoting the environment and human rights. She was inspired by her service to Habitat for Humanity in Thailand and a subsequent service trip to Tanzania. She is a member of the International Justice Mission and Spanish clubs at CSU. She volunteers for the Global Village Museum and local Cat Rescue.

Ryan Thompson has always been interested in global health issues but has narrowed his career interest to economics and the environment and issues of climate justice. He is currently studying abroad at the University of Leicester in the UK. At CSU, he has been a member of Global Ambassadors and a Link Leader for INTO.

 The Students First Scholarship

Jesse Bain is an Anthropology major with a specialization in archaeology. Formerly a musician, he transferred to CSU where he is studying pre-columbian MesoAmerican culture. His faculty recommendation indicated that he is in the top 1% of students.

Spot's Scholarship

Frances Commercon spent his summer at an unpaid internship in China. He has previously spent 4 months in southwest China studying rubber plantation restoration. He speaks Chinese and has developed a research agenda. He is co-founder of the CSU Field Ornithologists.

Gladys Eddy Scholarship

Sarah Bibbey is a Social Work major with a Spanish minor. She spent the year after high school graduation as an exchange student in Ghana and has participated in the Uganda/Rwanda International Leadership Experience. She served as a resident assistant for an international floor. Sarah is a co-founder of the organization Enliven Africa.  

Outstanding Students

Elizabeth Hale named one of 54 Truman Scholars. The award provides $30,000 for graduate study. She hopes to become a professor of Arabic. She is the first Truman scholar from CSU in nearly 40 years. Sarah Bibbey and Emily Robitschek were also nominated by CSU. Both are Honors students. Details can be found at http://source.colostate.edu/elizabeth-hale-named-truman-scholar/print.

CSU Honors students win the Rocky Mountain Honors Council Student Symposium competition for the second year in a row. The best presentation on the subject of “the ramifications of legalization of marijuana in Colorado” were judged by a three person panel and the award went to the host school. The CSU contingent consisted of Rebecca Cohen Perez, Kelsey Dobesch, Alexis Elio, Mikaela Kendall, Emily Legatski, Lacy Ann Lichtenhan, Amanda McDaniel, Mackenzie Owens, Emily Reynolds, Lynsie Roper, and Benjamin Roth. The group can be seen in action at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04854XqcfCY

Resident Advisors for the Honors Residential Learning Communities have been named for 2016-2017. They are Mera Habib, Nikki Cunningham, Emily Hortareas, Zachary Haigh, Callie Rogers and MacKenzie Owens.

Social Work student, Sarah Bibbey, establishes an NGO in Ghana. “Enliven Africa” is focused on providing women in rural areas with small scale entrepreneurship opportunities. To date fourteen single mothers have enrolled in seamstress training. More details can be found at http://www.enlivenmamaafrica.org

Mitchell Bordelon, Jillian Gerberich, and Marina Rodriguez received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships. The three year annual stipends of $34,000 allow the students to conduct research at any accredited graduate education institution in the U.S. Details can be found at http://source.colostate.edu/seven-nsf-fellowships-go-csu-students

2016 CURC Winners

Service Learning Posters

1st Place, Sarah Bibbey
3rd Place, Bailey Cross

Oral Presentation Awards

1st Place, Francis Commercon
2nd Place, Nick Dannemiller
3rd Place (Tie), John Shannon
3rd Place (Tie), Jacob Moore

Art Awards

3rd Place, Andres Flores

Research Posters

Highest Honors

Lukas Foster, Kaitlyn Heitz, Katarina Werst, Nicole Segaline, Haley King, Meagan Chriswell, Callie Rogers, Alexander Boyarko, Tori Weingarten

High Honors

Mitchell Bordelon, Samantha Eckert, Wahida Khan, Katrina Puck, Katherine Redd, Madison Zenk, Madison Harmon, Olivia Luyties, Ryan Rykhus, Megan Hamrick, Krista Henderson, Michaela Good, Keith Christian

College Honors

Amy Smith, Benjamin Rodwell, Laura Harper, Dominique Ramirez, Haley Stapleton

Click here to view more details about our CURC Winners!

Student Activities

Honors Student Association Officers for the year are:

President: Sarah Coleman

Vice President: Maclean Panshin

Volunteer Coordinator: Samantha Lange

Secretary: Adelle McDaniel

Treasurer: Kayla Ashland

Social Chair: Nina Phillips