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Fall 2018

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The academic year is off to a great start. The Honors faculty and staff are truly excited to have our students back on campus. The Program has experienced unprecedented growth over the last two years. We welcomed the largest entering class of 463 students this fall. These first-year students and transfer students raised the total number of Honors students to a new record of 1,673 students. Forty-eight instructors now teach 123 Honors seminars this academic year. The Program is managed by an exceptionally talented and dedicated staff: Diane Burton, assistant director; Judi Bryant, program coordinator; Lori Williams, program assistant; Shivon Pontious, advising, student success, and special projects coordinator; and Katie Dorn, administrative assistant.

We kicked off the start of the year with the Honors Welcome event. Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science, spoke about autism. First-year students were given copies of her book, “The Autistic Brain,” at Ram Orientation to read before the event. The Murray Honors Visiting Scholar event featured science writer Carl Zimmer, New York Times columnist and author. He gave a public lecture based on his latest book, “She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.” The Honors Prof Lecture this year features Dr. Nicole Vieira; her lecture is entitled “Get Outside.”

The strength of the Honors curriculum is the Honors seminars. This fall Honors faculty are teaching twenty-five HONR 192 sections, fourteen HONR 292 sections, seven HONR 392 sections, three HONR 399 sections, and eight HONR 492 sections. An exceptional and enthusiastic group of 50 peer mentors lead the twenty-five HONR 192 recitation sections. About 131 students will be completing their Honors thesis in HONR 499.

The Honors seminars emphasize effective written and oral communication, professional development, interdisciplinary learning, creativity and problem solving, and critical thinking. These skills are critical to the success of our graduates in their chosen careers.

The newsletter highlights the accomplishments of our students and our graduates. We are always delighted to hear from you. Keep in touch!

Don Mykles, Director

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Faculty Awards and Recognition

Honors Professor of the Year Award

Nicole Viera

Nicole Vieira was chosen by Honors Students as the 2018-19 Honors Professor of the Year. She has worked in Wildlife Biology and Honors. She will give the Honors Prof Lecture on November 5, 2018. The award includes a $1,000 stipend. Other nominees for the award included:

  • Jana Raadik Cottrell
  • Charles Elkins
  • Aparna Gollapudi
  • Pam Knaus
  • Anne Marie Merline
  • Sarah Zwick-Tapley

Honors Adviser of the Year Award

J Douglas Coatsworth, Human Development and Family Studies professor, was recognized by students as the Honors Adviser of the Year. The award comes with $500. Other nominees included Ann Bowen, Diane Burton, Tanja Hess, Petra Landfester, Robert Schorr, Nicole Stafford, and George Wittmeyer.


Honors Freshman Fall Welcome

Temple Grandin, Animal Sciences professor, spoke to the first year students on the day they moved onto campus. Students had discussions of her book, The Autistic Mind, before hearing her address.

Visiting Honors Scholar

Carl Zimmer, New York Times science writer, will be the Honors Visiting Scholar for 2018. His campus visit and lecture are underwritten by John and Nadine Murray. The topic of his presentation on October 17th will be “The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity”.


Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholars Award

Two Honors students earned Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholars awards from the NOAA Office of Education.

Louisa Markow

Louisa Markow is a sophomore majoring in wildlife biology and minoring in mathematics. She hopes to combine those two interests to help solve ecological problems by applying statistical and quantitative methods to areas affected by ecological disturbances. She earned a scholarship of $9,500 and a 10 week paid summer internship at any NOAA facility. She also received funding to present her findings at national scientific conferences.

Jarod Snook

Jarod Snook also received one of the 150 Hollings Scholarships. Read more about his award here.

Scholarship Winners

Raven Pinto, Track 2 student in Political Science, earned Honorable Mention in the Udall Scholarship competition in 2018.

Natalie Bales

Natalie Bales, Neuroscience major, was awarded the Keller-Lawrence scholarship as the outstanding senior. The scholarship, founded by Mueller family in honor of Bob Keller and Bob Lawrence, provided her with $6,000.

Alex Frickenstein

Alex Frickenstein, Chemical and Biological Engineering major, was awarded a $3,600 Cilento scholarship. He is the first recipient of this new scholarship.

Morgan Bannert and James Kelleher were the recipients of the Jack and June Richardson scholarships. James is a Track 2 student majoring in Biological Science and Morgan is majoring in Animal Science.

Jake Harmon

Jake Harmon received the Students First Scholarship in the amount of $3,000. He is a Track 2 student in Electrical Engineering.

Dalten Fox

Dalten Fox, an International Studies major, earned the Willard Eddy scholarship. He is a varsity track athlete and veteran Honors Peer Mentor.

Lauren Hallstrom

Lauren Hallstrom, English major, was the recipient of a Liberal Arts Scholarship. She served as a co-editor of the honors literary magazine, Spiritus Mundi.

Nolan Bunting

Nolan Bunting, Zoology major, received the Spots Scholarship for summer study. He was able to work as a field ornithologist.

Bridgett Neff

Bridgett Neff, International Studies major, was selected as the recipient of the Gladys Eddy scholarship. This $3,250 award recognizes citizenship, as well as academic achievement and leadership.

Jonathon Ferry and Jonas Cox were the recipients of the Iacino scholarships for incoming Honors freshmen. This is the second year for these $1,500 awards.

Outstanding Students & Graduates

Blake Jackson

Blake Jackson, a sophomore majoring in Agriculture Economics with a minor in Applied Environmental Policy Analysis, was selected to attend a three week Fulbright Summer Institute at Aberystwyth University in Wales. He has been active with the Colorado Farm Bureau and the Honors Student Association.

Kathleen Wendt

Kathleen Wendt received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. She is pursuing her PhD in Developmental Science in Human Development and Family Studies.

Track 2 student Edward Kendall won the Albert C. Yates Student Leadership Award. This Microbiology major was recognized for strong involvement with demonstrated leadership and commitment to upholding CSU's values, traditions, and spirit.

Three former Honors peer mentors were admitted to medical schools this year. Kody Armann, Chiara Flores, and Erica Miller all served as instructors in the first year recitations associated with the seminar.

Honors alumni Joe Santini recently began a new position as a Program Manager at a company named Uncharted:

"After working as a freelance marketer and writer in Sri Lanka for nearly two years, I have returned to Colorado to explore a career in social impact and entrepreneurship. I'm now the Program Manager at Uncharted, a 21st-century problem-solving organization. Uncharted uses the power of an entrepreneurial accelerator to address major social and environmental issues. We have helped social entrepreneurs raise $252 million, create impact in 96 countries, and benefit 37 million lives around the world — and we’re just getting started. My current project is designing an accelerator for Chipotle to help growth stage food ventures take their businesses to the next level."

What's New In Honors

Welcome Our Newest Staff Member!

Katie Dorn joined the Honors staff this fall. She comes to CSU following two years service to Americorps. She has a Master’s degree in Historic Preservation. She volunteers for the local historic preservation board.

Coordinator of Advising, Student Success, and Special Projects

Shivon Pontious, formerly the administrative assistant in the Honors Office, has been promoted to Coordinator of Advising, Student Success, and Special Projects. She is the primary staff member working with Track 2 students.