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Greetings from the University Honors Program! We welcomed 420 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 15, 2017 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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Tenaya Newkirk received the Honors Professor of the Year award. Dr. Newkirk taught the honors section of Organic Chemistry. Her nominators all commented that she actually made learning fun (“How many people do you know that can make organic chemistry fun?”) They also noted that she uses direct interaction with students and a chalkboard, instead of technology, to motivate students to want to understand at a deeper level. She will receive a $1,000 stipend. Other nominees included:
Meena Balgopal: Biology
Autumn Bernhardt: Honors
Gerald Callahan: Microbiology/ Immunology/ Pathology, and English
J. Douglas Coatsworth: Human Development and Family Studies
Jana Cottrell: Honors
Aparna Gollapudi: English
Keith Jaggers: Honors
Shane Kanatous: Biology
Pam Knaus: Honors
Gloria Luong was chosen to receieve the Honors Adviser of the Year Award. A professor in Human Development and Family Studies, Dr. Luong was nominated by a transfer student who flourished under her direction. She was recognized with a plaque and a $500 cash prize at the Honors Graduation Reception. Other nominees included:
Eric Aoki: Communication Studies
Ellen Brinks: English
Ann Bowen: Collaborative for Student Achievement
Mark Brown: Clinical Sciences
Xinfeng Gao: Mechanical Engineering
Stephanie Malin: Sociology
Nancy Irlbeck: Agriculture
Ann Magennis: Anthropology
John and Nadine Murray have again provided support for the Honors Program Visiting Scholar. Now in its third year, the visiting scholar program will recognize Karolin Luger for 2017. She occupies the Jenny Smoly Caruthers Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at CU-Boulder. She discovered the 3D nature of chromatin. She was recruited to CSU from Basel, Switzerland. At CSU, she was recognized as a University Distinguished Professor.
Carole Greider, Nobel Prize winning telomere researcher, inaugurated the series in 2015. She was followed by Joan Steitz, a pioneer in RNA research. The lecture is scheduled for October 18th.
Mary L. Cleave, Ph.D., P.E., is a former NASA astronaut and administrator who graduated from Colorado State University’s College of Natural Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in biological science (’69).
As an astronaut, Cleave flew on two Space Shuttle Atlantis flights as a mission specialist. In her first flight, in 1985, she helped deploy communications satellites, completed two space walks, and performed numerous experiments. During her second flight, in 1989, she helped launch Magellan which went on to map more than 95 percent of Venus’ surface.
Willard Eddy scholarships ($1,000 each) went to Rachael Worthington (left) and Rachel Bench (right). Ms. Worthington is an Art major with an interest in journalism. She is the President of the Society of Professional Journalists on campus. Ms. Bench is a Psychology major with a deep interest in prison reform. She served as a Peer Mentor in the Honors Program.
Special scholarships were awarded by the Honors Director to Bailey Cross (left) and Diana Diaz (right). Bailey aspires to go to law school and eventually work on human trafficking issues. Diana hopes to get a Master’s degree in Public Health so she can work in the area of aging.
Baylee Lakey also received an Honors scholarship. She is a journalism major who interned for an Oklahoma senator. She hopes to attend law school to prepare for a career in public service.
The Keller-Lawrence Scholarship was awarded to Hannah Powers. This $6,000 award recognized her work as an intern at Uhambo USA, a non-profit dedicated to helping children with disabilities in South Africa. She has plans to continue this work with the ultimate goal of work on Capitol Hill.
The Jack and June Richardson Scholarship of $3,000 was granted to Olivia Luyties. Her work in the Santangelo lab has earned recognition that will result in publication and an honors thesis. She hopes to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley.
The Students First Scholarship ($3,000) went to transfer student, Arianna Delgadillo. She participated in the Key Community, Ram Ride, and Campus connections. She is interested in pursuing factors affecting resilience in young people.
The Spots scholarships to support enriching summer activities went to Amy Holcomb and Ryan Martinez. Amy is a Biomedical Engineering student who attended a 10 week clinical research program at Children’s Hospital in Aurora. Ryan is a Health & Exercise Science student who used the funding to support his participation in a three week honors course in Zambia. He assisted in local health clinics.
Fulbright Scholarship awarded to Rebecca Hermann. Environmental Health and Spanish majors combined with extensive work abroad combined to earn Rebecca a chance to teach English in Columbia as a Fulbright Scholar. After completing that assignment she hopes to go to graduate school to study Public Health. Full details can be found at http://source.colostate.edu/dual-disciplines-combining-science-spanish-help-eradicate-disease/
A liberal arts scholarship was awarded to Shakota Dilley. She is an anthropology major who expects to graduate next year, the first in her immediate family to do so.
Truman Scholarships include two CSU students, one from Honors. Francis Commercon received $30,000 for graduate study from the Truman Foundation. He is one of 62 undergraduates recognized nationally. He hopes to pursue graduate study at Cornell University. Details are available at http://source.colostate.edu/francis-commercon-kiloaulani-kaawa-gonzales-named-truman-scholars/
James Iacino, B.A. Political Science 2005 and M.B.A 2012, made scholarships available to incoming students Ashley Andringa, Matthew Funk, and Holly Haroun. This is the second year that Mr. Iacino has provided support for incoming students. He has been recognized as the Graduate of the Last Decade.
Louise Breyer Scholarship fund seeks more donors. Ten years ago, Louise Breyer retired from the Honors Program where she served for 17 years. She started in 1983 and took a leave of absence after adopting her 5th and 6th children. She came to Honors from the Dean’s Office in Engineering. An IBM selectric typewriter and 3 x 5 notecards provided her with the means to keep track of the 200 students in the program in 1983. She currently lives in Phillipsburg, Kansas where she was born and her mother was born. Her six adopted children from Korea have spread across the west. The same is true of her Honors “kids”. Many of them remember her energy, humor and support. Donations are needed to reach the level that scholarships can be granted in her name.
Kaori Keyser distinguishes herself as an active Eco Leader. As a peer educator in the residence halls, she raises awareness about environmentally responsible behaviors. Full story available at https://source.colostate.edu/kaori-keyser-born-eco-leader/.
Adam Miller, B.S. 2013, co-ckson wojfounded Planet Indonesia, a nonprofit addressing economic development with environmental emphasis in low income rural communities that are hot spots for illegal logging and animal trafficking. The nonprofit employs more than 30 people. It recently won a United Nations award for an environmental nonprofit.
Diane O'Meara, became a Physician Assistant after a few years in research. She subsequently moved to the United Kingdom where she is part of a national program to help expand the relatively new profession called Physician Associate.
1st Lieutenant Aaron Olsen, 2013, joined Major Erin Hadlock in Afghanistan as Army Aviation pilots flying Guardrail Common Sensor aircraft. Only 1% of Army pilots are trained to fly these single wing planes.
Kaia Renouf, went from a teen with substance abuse issues to a 2016 CSU graduate in the Honors Progam. She also volunteered with Campus Connections as a mentor to at risk youth. She is currently working in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences in education and outreach.
Emily Bishop, a 2007 graduate in Technical Journalism, is working at Walt Disney Imagineering as a member of the team responsible for designing and building attractions, resorts, cruise ships and other entertainment venues.
Thomas Walsh, a 2008 Civil and Environmental Engineering grad, completed his PhD and is employed at Murray, Smith, & Associates in Seattle.
Jackson Wojciechowski, Business graduate in 2017, began his Master’s in Accountancy at The Ohio State University this fall.
Eric Lancaster, a 2003 Health and Exercise Science graduate, is currently serving as an EMS Captain in Austin, Texas.
Emily Steele, a 2008 Civil Engineering graduate earned a master’s degree and works as a Hydrologist and Project Engineer at Hach in Loveland.
Kara Leach graduated from medical school in 2016. She earned her undergraduate degree in Microbiology. She is employed at Schumacher Clinical Partners in Denver.
Lindsey Whittington, a 2016 graduate in Biochemistry, earned early acceptance to the CU Anschutz Master’s of Public Health program in Global Epidemiology. She started her studies in the fall of 2017.
Scribendi, the literary arts magazine for honors in the western United States, has published six works by CSU students. These submissions were selected from a pool of 337 works from all over the United States.
- Tim Sanchez has had his musical works accepted before. This year “Contention 3” was chosen in the open media category.
- Lindsey Paricio had her black and white photo, “Stop and Stair” included.
- Sophie Gullett won the staff choice award for poetry for her work, “hide and seek”.
- Alyssa Meier had her work “Canary in the Mine” accepted in the short fiction category.
- Cienna Semsak had two photographs in the 2017 edition, “Elephant Eye” and Rainbow Lorikeet.
The University Honors Program sadly acknowledges the passing of two members of the Honors family:
Robert Wendell King, a member of the first Honors class in 1957, passed away in April. Professor King had a long and distinguished teaching career. In addition, he was a notable author. The student editorial board of the honors literary magazine, Spiritus Mundi, dedicated the 2017 edition to his memory.
John F. “Jack” Richardson passed away in January 2017. He was a long time supporter of the Honors Program where he established the Jack and June Richardson scholarships. He and June hosted dinners at their home for the recipients and their mentors as well as attending their theses defenses and graduation receptions.
Celebrate Undergraduate Research and Creativity hosted nearly 400 student presenters on April 17th. Several Honors student earned cash prizes for their submissions.
Baylee Schell was awarded third place in the Sustainable Energy and Environmental Stewardship category for her research on “Yeast Growth Viability Assays of Oil and Gas Produced Water”.
Francis Commercon was recognized for his oral presentation on “Wildlife Exploration in Tropical China”.
Ashley Brown earned first place in the Social Justice and Diversity Category for work “Autoethnography: Effects of a Lack of Gender Nonbinary Inclusive Classrooms in CSU Statistics Classrooms”.
Sarah Bibbey placed second with her work “Leadership Experiences of Disability Rights Advocates in Ghana”.
Cienna Semsak was recognized for her art piece, “Elephant Eye”.
Two of the top six overall research posters were submitted by Honors students Sarah Johns and Jordanne Lesher.
Honors Student Association Officers for the year are:
Co-presidents: Kayla Ashland and MacLean Panshin
Secretary: Nina Philips
Treasurer: Sara McMahon
Honors Office Staff AdditionsLori Williams has assumed the duties of office management formerly held by Cindy Adamy. She comes to Honors with 17 years experience on campus.
Shivon Pontious is new to CSU in her role as administrative assistant. She and her family moved to Colorado from Idaho. In addition to working in the Honors Office, she is pursuing her master’s degree in Student Affairs.
Nicole Vieira, Fish and Wildlife Biology, has worked part time on increasing Track 2 participation. The Honors Track 2 (discipline-specific) program continues to grow in size and diversity. Notably, several colleges and departments have added new track 2 programs, including the interdisciplinary liberal arts major, the fermentation science major, and the hospitality management major. We are also excited to see an increasing number of international students joining as track 2 students! Their unique cultural perspectives and contributions have enriched the Honors seminars, as well as the Honors Program as a whole. One important goal for the Track 2 program this year, and for future years, is to provide opportunities for social interactions among these discipline-specific students. To this end, we hosted the “free lunch” series, where Honors students gathered at Academic Village Ram Horn Dining to eat and make merry!
Class of 2021 admission statistics showed a dramatic increase in applications. Nearly 1900 applications were received for fall 2017 admission. Over half were admitted and 45% of those confirmed their intention to enroll at CSU and Honors. The fall freshman class exceeded 420 incoming students, which made it the largest ever.