Honors Program

News and Press Releases

 

2013 News

Wayne State College Honors Program is committed to nurturing talent

The Wayne State College Honors Program has no perks or privileges. Unless you count opportunities, the program has none of the trappings for honors students found at many institutions around the country.

 

“We don't have honors lounges with food and refreshments for honors students, honors classrooms, an honors building, honors computer labs, special honors social events, etc.,” said Dr. James O’Donnell, dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and head of the WSC Honors Program. “We keep the program consonant with WSC's mission of access and opportunity. The only true perk we provide is based on student action rather than privilege.”

 

What WSC’s Honors Program does have is a commitment to nurturing talent. One of the immediate rewards has been the opportunity to represent Wayne State at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) annual convention.

 

Wayne State College Honors students Michelle Anderson, Seth Dallmann, Kimberly Garhart, and Jill Stara presented their Honors projects at the 2012 NCHC convention held Nov. 14-18 in Boston, Mass. Anderson, Dallmann, Garhart, and Stara were the only Nebraska Honors students presenting at the 2012 conference. In fact, for four of the past six years, WSC students have been the only students from the state of Nebraska invited to present at the conference.

 

With more than 300 students in the Honors Program from across nearly every discipline at the college, enrollment in the program has more than doubled since the 2004-05 academic year. O’Donnell began overseeing the program in 2004.

 

“Our honors students often serve as tutors and leaders in student government and our co-curricular organizations,” O’Donnell continued. “The work of our honors students is often recognized well beyond our region and state, bringing attention to Wayne State and the quality of education that is available here.”

 

Michelle Anderson’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Dr. Elise Hepworth, was titled “What All Music Educators Must Know Teaching Music to Students with Special Needs: An Exploration of Instructional Strategies and Common Difficulties.” Anderson is the daughter of Keith and Debra Anderson of Villisca, Iowa, and graduated from Corning Community High School. She is majoring in music education.

 

“My decision on choosing Wayne was based on the location, size, cost, and the successful music program,” Anderson said. “I enjoy the honors program because it opens the door to more classes and furthering my education.”

 

Kimberly Garhart’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Dr. David Bohnert, was titled “Orchestral Works by Debussy and Respighi Transcribed for the Modern Wind Band.” The daughter of Rodney and Mary Garhart of York, Neb., Kimberly is a graduate of York High School and is majoring in Instrumental Music Education.

“I felt that Wayne State was home,” Garhart said. “I pulled up to campus for my visit and knew instantly that I was a Wildcat. The band and the music professors helped me make my final decision.”

 

Garhart found plenty more reasons to love Wayne State once she enrolled in the Honors Program after her first two years at the college.

 

“I have learned so much on how to score music for bands and it is something I really want to continue to do,” Garhart said. “I would love to go to graduate school for composition and I definitely believe that if it wasn’t for the Honors Program, I would have never found my passion of composing and arranging music for instrumental ensembles.”

 

Jill Stara’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Elise Hepworth, was titled “A Survey of Contemporary Disciplinary Strategies to Meet the Needs of Differentiated Learned in the Music Classroom.” Jill is the daughter of Kevin and Betsy Stara of David City, Neb., and is majoring in K-12 Music Education.

 

“With its reputation for producing great educators and after meeting the music faculty, I knew that Wayne State College was a place where I would be encouraged to reach my potential and excel in my studies,” she said.

 

Seth Dallmann’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Dr. David Peitz, was titled “Developing Methods to Study Magnetically Controlled Molecular Motors.” The son of Mike and Marti Dallmann of Wilber, Seth is a graduate of Wilber-Clatonia High School and is majoring in pre-pharmacy with a chemistry health science concentration. Dallmann’s poster was among a small handful of honorees at the conference, through being chosen as the winning poster nationally in the category of Business, Engineering, and Computer Science.

 

Composed of approximately 900 institutional members, the National Collegiate Honors Council is the primary organization supporting Honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide. The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation, and active learning.

 

 

2012 News

Four WSC Honors Students Present Work at National Honors Conference

Wayne State College Honors students Michelle Anderson, Seth Dallmann, Kimberly Garhart, and Jill Stara presented their Honors projects at the 2012 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) convention held in Boston, Massachusetts November 14-18.  Approximately 150 Honors students nationwide were invited to present at the conference via a competitive process that included applications from the Honors Programs at the University of Alabama, Chapman University, Radford University, St. Norbert College, Virginia Polytechnic State University, Northeastern University, Missouri State University, Slippery Rock University, Utah State University, University of Rhode Island, and others.  Anderson, Dallmann, Garhart, and Stara were the only Nebraska Honors students presenting at the 2012 conference.


Michelle Anderson’s Honors project was supervised by WSC professor Dr. Elise Hepworth and entitled “What All Music Educators Must Know Teaching Music to Students With Special Needs:  An Exploration of Instructional Strategies and Common Difficulties.”  Anderson is the daughter of Keith and Debra Anderson of Villisca, Iowa, and graduated from Corning Community High School.  She is majoring in music education and while at Wayne State College has participated in the WSC marching band, symphonic band, wind ensemble, keyboard ensemble, woodwind ensemble, chorale, and choir. She is also a member of the National Association for Music Education, International Clarinet Association, Nebraska Music Teachers Association, Alpha Lamba Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi. 

 

Seth Dallmann’s Honors project was supervised by WSC professor Dr. David Peitz and entitled “Developing Methods to Study Magnetically Controlled Molecular Motors.”  The son of Mike and Marti Dallmann of Wilber, Seth is a graduate of Wilber-Clatonia High School and is majoring in  Pre-Pharmacy with a Chemistry Health Science Concentration.  At WSC Seth has participated in the Health Science Club, Intramural Council, Student Activities Board, Residence Hall Association, and Youth Group, and has also been a Resident Assistant for three semesters. He has also presented research projects at the National Academy of Science, Nebraska EPSCoR, and the American Chemical Society. He plans to attend Pharmacy school where he will pursue a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.   Dallmann’s poster was also among a small handful of honorees at the conference, through being chosen as the winning poster nationally in the category of Business, Engineering, & Computer Science.


The daughter of Rodney and Mary Garhart of York, Nebraska, Kimberly is a graduate of York High School and is majoring in Instrumental Music Education.  Kimberly’s Honors project was supervised by WSC professor Dr. David Bohnert and entitled “Orchestral Works by Debussy and Respighi Transcribed for the Modern Wind Band.”  While at Wayne State College, Kimberly has participated in Kappa Kappa Psi (National Honorary Band Fraternity), serving as historian and president; National Association for Music Education, serving as treasurer; German Club; and numerous music ensembles.  She served as a section leader in the “Pride of Wayne State” Marching Band and as a Holland Success Center Peer Tutor for Music.  Upon graduation, Kimberly will continue to transcribe and arrange music for the wind ensemble and small instrumental groups.

 

Jill Stara is the daughter of Kevin and Betsy Stara of David City, Nebraska and is majoring in K-12 Music Education.  Her Honors project was supervised by WSC professor Elise Hepworth and entitled “A Survey of Contemporary Disciplinary Strategies to Meet the Needs of Differentiated Learned in the Music Classroom.”  At WSC Jill is involved in the WSC Black and Gold Show Choir, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Kappa Kappa Psi (honorary band fraternity), Cardinal Key, Phi Kappa Phi, Catholic Neumann Center, and other organizations.  Jill plans on graduating in the Spring of 2013 and will then begin her teaching career in the Fall.

 

Comprised of approximately 900 institutional members, the National Collegiate Honors Council is the primary organization supporting Honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide.  The NCHC supports and furthers Honors education through its publications, workshops, and conferences.  The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation, and active learning. 

 

2010 News

WSC Honors Student Invited to Present Work at National Honors Conference

Wayne State College Honors student Joshua Riesberg received invitation to present his Honors project at the 2010 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) convention held in Kansas City, MO, October 20-24.  200 Honors students nationwide were invited to present at the conference via a competitive process that included applications from the Honors Programs at Drexel University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Chapman University, University of Alabama, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Emporia State University, and others.  For the third time in the past four years, a WSC Honors student was the only Nebraska undergraduate Honors student invited to present at the national conference.

 

Riesberg’s Honors project was supervised by WSC Professor of Geography Dr. Randy Bertolas and entitled “Origins of the Ancient Athenian Democracy and the Democratic Republic of the United States of America.”  Given the increasing number of countries adopting democracy throughout the world, Riesberg’s project explores how citizens have historically affected democratic change.  The study investigated social and political development in advance of democratic governments being adopted in Ancient Athens and the United States of America.

 

Joshua Riesberg is the son of Kent and Karen Riesberg of Papillion, NE.  He will graduate from Wayne State College in December 2011 with teaching endorsements in History Education and Life Science Education.  Riesberg has been active in many extracurricular activities at Wayne State College including History Peer Tutor, Newman Center president, Phi Kappa Phi student vice-president, Pi Gamma Mu secretary, Blue Key member, Alpha Lambda Delta member, and intramural swimming and power walk champion.  He has also been on the Dean’s List every semester of his time at WSC. In 2008 Josh traveled to Greece with nine other Wayne State students, sparking his interest in Greek culture and history. 

 

Comprised of approximately 900 institutional members, the National Collegiate Honors Council is the primary organization supporting Honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide.  The NCHC supports and furthers Honors education through its publications, workshops, and conferences.  “I am delighted that Josh’s excellent work led him to this opportunity to present his work and meet Honors students from throughout the U.S.,” said James O’Donnell, Dean of the WSC School of Arts and Humanities and Director of the WSC Honors Program. The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students with an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation, and active learning. 

 

2008 News

WSC Honors Student Presents at National Honors Conference

Wayne State College Honors student Kimberly Vrooman presented the results of her Honors project at the 2008 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) convention held in San Antonio, Texas October 22-26.  200 Honors students nationwide were invited to present at the conference via a competitive process that included applications from the Honors Programs at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Elmhurst College, Capital University, University of Maine, University of New Mexico, California State University, College of Notre Dame, of Alabama, University of San Diego, and others.  Vrooman was the only Nebraska Honors student invited to present at the 2008 conference.

 

Vrooman’s Honors project was supervised by WSC professor Dr. Tim Sharer and entitled “The Effects of the Closings of Class I Schools in Nebraska.”   Historically, Class I schools have played a major role in the educational process for Nebraska’s youth.  A large number of these schools were rural, one-room schoolhouses with small enrollments, that later became known as Class I schools.  Today, faced with changing demographics, many of these rural schools are being forced to reorganize, consolidate, or close. Before they were officially dissolved on June 15, 2006, Class I schools averaging 3.84 students per grade and 3.62 teachers per school. Vrooman’s study closely examined the community and societal affects of the closings of these rural K-8 schools in Nebraska.

 

Kimberly Vrooman is the daughter of Jim and Terri Vrooman of Atkinson, Nebraska.  A graduate of a rural K-8 school and 2004 graduate of Atkinson West Holt High School, Kimberly is majoring in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education at Wayne State College.  While at WSC, Kimberly has been involved in Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society, Northeast Nebraska Teacher Academy, Habitat for Humanity, the WSC Wind Ensemble, and has served as Vice President of the Wayne State College Navigators.  Kimberly will graduate in December 2008 after completing her student teaching.

 

Comprised of approximately 900 institutional members, the National Collegiate Honors Council is the primary organization supporting Honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide.  The NCHC supports and furthers Honors education through its publications, workshops, and conferences.  “I am delighted that Kimberly had this opportunity to present her work and meet Honors students from throughout the U.S.,” said James O’Donnell, Dean of the WSC School of Arts and Humanities and Director of the WSC Honors Program. The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students with an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation, and active learning. 

 

2007 News

WSC Honors Students Present at National Honors Conference

Wayne State College Honors students Leann Bolte and Ashley Villarreal presented the results of their honors projects at the 2007 National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) convention held in Denver October 31-November 4.  100 Honors students nationwide were invited to present at the conference via a competitive process that generated more than 200 applications including those from the Honors Programs at Syracuse University, University of Puerto Rico, Mercyhurst College, Columbia College, Kent State University, University of Maine, Franklin Pierce College, and Gallaudet University.  Bolte and Villarreal were the only Nebraska students invited to present at the 2007 conference.

 

Bolte’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Dr. Shawn Pearcy and entitled “The Effect of Drugs on Wound Healing,” examined the effect of pharmaceutical drugs and their impact on repairing epithelial cells after injury through the use of cell culture and microscopic analyzing techniques.   Majoring in Biology and Chemical Health Sciences, Bolte will also be receiving a coaching endorsement upon graduation from WSC.  While at Wayne State College she has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, Haven House, Science Club, Vice President of the Students Against Destructive Decisions Chapter, Cardinal Key, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Societies.  She is also in the Rural Health Opportunities Program and upon graduation will begin medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.

 

Villarreal’s Honors project, supervised by WSC professor Dr. Randy Bertolas and entitled “A Comparative Geographic Study of Attitudes and Actions toward Recycling at selected Midwestern Colleges and Universities,” investigated the affects of geographic location and academic interests on environmental attitudes among college students.  Villarreal is pursuing a teaching field endorsement in health and physical education K-12, and a subject endorsement in Geography Education. While at WSC Ashley has a member of Pi Gamma Mu and Gamma Theta Upsilon honor societies, and is currently Vice President of the Physical Education Professionals Club.  Prior to her attending WSC in the spring of 2005, she spent six weeks on a mission/traveling experience in Taiwan, a country that no longer uses plastic bags in stores and where significant recycling takes place.

 

Comprised of approximately 800 institutional members, the National Collegiate Honors Council is the primary organization supporting Honors programs at colleges and universities nationwide.  The NCHC supports and furthers Honors education through its publications, workshops, and conferences.  “I am delighted and proud that Ashley and Leann had this opportunity to present their work and meet Honors students from throughout the U.S.,” said James O’Donnell, Dean of the WSC School of Arts and Humanities and Director of the WSC Honors Program.  “Because this was also our first time in sending students to the conference, I am also excited about the future opportunities this organization will provide for our Honors students.”  The Honors Program at Wayne State College has been a member of the NCHC since 2005, seeking to provide students with an in-depth learning environment focusing on discussion, exploration, experimentation, and active learning. 

Honors Program Related Links

Philosophy, Goals, and Features

Applying

Honors Courses

Independent Studies

Honors Colloquium Students' Abstracts & Biographies

Neihardt Scholars Program

Honors Housing

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Upcoming Events

Sept. 4-Oct. 1

WSC Art & Design

Faculty Exhibition

Opening Reception

Sept. 4, 5-6 p.m.

 

Sept. 26

UMKC Conservatory Singers

Ramsey Theatre,

12:00 p.m.

 

Oct. 3-Oct. 16

Service-Learning Historical Photo Restoration Exhibition

Opening Reception

Oct. 3, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

 

Oct. 4

Service-Learning Alumni Reunion,

Nordstrand Visual Arts Gallery and Ramsey Theatre, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

 

Oct. 4

Band Day

Downtown Wayne,

9:30 a.m.

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