The entire focus of the Westminster College Honors program is on our students. Everything that takes place during classes, lectures, research trips, and other events is designed to enhance the college experience of the motivated students that make up the Honors program. We encourage students to take an active part in Honors and therefore welcome student participation in any or all facets of the program. No matter what your interests or background, there is something for you in Honors.

Honors Calendar

  • October 2016: Honors Independent Summer Research Grant presentations, in Nunemaker, by Warren Cook and Tim Lindgren
  • Oct. 12‐16, 2016: Annual National Collegiate Honors Council Meeting, Seattle
  • Friday, December 2, 2016: Priority consideration for early applicants for the fall 2017 Honors class closes today. Decisions by mid-December
  • Monday, December 5, 2016: Honors Peer Mentor Applications Due
  • Friday, February 3, 2017: Annual Honors Writing Award Submissions Due
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Honors Summer Independent Research Applications Due
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017: "Admitted Student Day" with Honors Preview on the campus of Westminster College (rsvp to Admissions: 801-832-2200), for admitted and prospective incoming Honors students
  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017: final deadline for Honors program applications and essays (postmark) for Fall 2017 students
  • Thursday, April 27 or May 4, 2017: Annual Spring Honors Banquet, 7:00 p.m. Reservation required. Email the Honors Program Director to reserve a place at the Westminster Draw
  • Friday following banquet: Annual Faculty v. Honors Students Softball Game, High Noon on Dumke Field (Lunch will be served)

Ways of Participating in Honors

  • Honors program newsletter: editors, writers, photographers
  • Student Honors Council: 4 officer positions, 2 of which sit on Honors Council
  • Honors program work study: 5–7 paid positions attached to Honors
  • Peer Mentoring Program: 20–25 positions to mentor incoming Honors students
  • Honors Conventions: attendance at regional/national Honors meetings
  • Honors writing awards: annual awards for papers written in Honors classes
  • Scribendi: journal of the Western Honors region that publishes art, poetry, etc.
  • NCHC Logo contest: annual contest for those with graphic design abilities
  • Attendance at the many Honors-sponsored lectures, meeting, and other events

Honorable Mention Honors Newsletter

The Honors program newsletter, Honorable Mention, is published once a semester and is archived below. It is designed, written, and published entirely by the students of the Honors program. The newsletter covers news in the program, profiles students and faculty in Honors, offers updates on the work of the student Honors Council, answers important questions students have about the program, and announces new classes, awards, and funding opportunities. It also presents the academic work of an Honors student each term. The publication is sent to all Honors students and their families, Honors faculty, Honors alumni, and staff and administrators connected to the program. It is also occasionally sent to the Westminster College's Board of Trustees and other interested friends of the college.

Students who are interested in working on the newsletter or who have story ideas should contact the editors. These editors work very hard to produce a high-quality publication, which has received numerous awards in the NCHC national newsletter competitions, including 3rd place in 2004 (New Orleans), 2nd place in 2006 (Philadelphia), 3rd place in 2008 (San Antonio), 2nd place in 2009 (Washington, D.C.), and 1st place in 2010 (Kansas City) in the "student-produced" newsletter category. To the right, a happy newsletter editor, Cassidy Jones, accepts the 2010 first place award at the national Honors convention.

Student Honors Council

The Student Honors Council represents the interests of all Honors students. It is run by an elected president and vice-president, who also have voting privileges on the faculty committee that oversees the Honors program. Responsibilities of the Student Honors Council include the following:

  1. Act as a liaison to the Honors Council

  2. Discuss student concerns in program

  3. Propose new program initiatives

  4. Originate new course ideas and lobby professors to offer specific honors courses

  5. Help generate ideas about topics and speakers for Pizza with Profs and other lecture series. Administer the Profs Pick the Flick film series.

  6. Organize academic and social events of interest to Honors students

  7. Create continuity in student leadership within program

  8. Help establish program identity and community among Honors students

  9. Provide leadership opportunities and training for Honors students

  10. Mentor incoming honors students

  11. Represent the Honors program at public events or gatherings that require an Honors student presence

The 2016–17 Student Honors Council
Zoey Gray

Zoey GrayZoey is a junior at Westminster. She is majoring in Public Health, which she hopes to use as a springboard for studying Nutrition in graduate school. She is also minoring in Outdoor Education and Leadership. Zoey is heavily involved in the Outdoor Program at Westminster. She loves backpacking, rock climbing, skiing, and just getting outside to soak up some good ol' vitamin D. She is excited to continue her involvement in the Honors Program by serving for a second year on the Student Honors Council.

Zoey looks forward to renewing students' energy and excitement in the Honors Program. While some Honors traditions like the annual barbeque and softball game are here to stay, Zoey hopes to branch out and add some new events to the Honors roster. She is eager to get more students involved in Honors events. She is also excited to continue welcoming the newest additions to the Honors faculty by inviting them to share their unique ideas at Honors gatherings. Zoey is looking forward to spending another year fostering community among peers, professors, and puppies (Scout) in the Honors Program.

Holden Rasmussen
Vice President

Holden RasmussenHolden is a junior at Westminster College. He is majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Biology. In the future, the hopes to pursue a PhD and continue studying 20th century Continental Philosophy. On campus, Holden is an ASW Senator, Resident Advisor, research assistant, and a bassoonist for the Westminster Chamber Orchestra. In his free time Holden enjoys listening to music in his room or going to see live concerts at local venues. He particularly enjoys sad British rock. If he's outdoors, then he loves playing soccer, trail running, and hiking. He is excited to serve as Vice President of SHC this coming academic year.

Holden is excited to connect Honors students together outside of the classroom this year. He hopes to encourage thoughtful and invigorating conversations at SHC events this year. He also hopes to involve students in the exciting developments taking place in the Honors program in the near future. Furthermore, Holden is interested in seeking out how Honors students can branch out into the community and see for themselves how powerful an Honors education can be both inside and outside of the classroom.

Elaine Sheehan

Elaine SheehanElaine is a junior majoring in English and Spanish. She is heavily involved in various areas across Westminster's campus, including working in Admissions as a college tour guide and representative, working for Residence Life as a freshman RA, and encouraging club involvement through ASW student government work. She loves getting involved and meeting new people throughout Westminster's small community, but especially appreciates the connections made through her involvement in the Honors Program. Elaine has been a writer and editor for the Honors newsletter, Honorable Mention, since her freshman year and is eager to increase student involvement by recruiting many new writers (and future editors) during the upcoming year. She also had the awesome opportunity to serve as a Peer Mentor to the previous year's incoming class. In her free time, Elaine loves going to the theater (or participating in the productions), golfing with friends, or enjoying the mountains she calls home.

I am so excited to continue my involvement with the Honors program through the Student Honors Council! My goal for this year is to spread awareness of the incredible opportunities available to Honors students. I want every Honors student to take advantage of and enjoy these opportunities as much as I have. With the awesome team we have this year, I know the SHC can make it happen!

Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth JohnsonElizabeth is a sophomore from Signal Mountain Tennessee, majoring in Marketing. This is Elizabeth's first year with the Honors Council and looks forward to becoming more involved in the Honors Program. In addition to serving as a member of the Student Honors Council, Elizabeth will be a part of the peer-mentoring program this upcoming year. In her spare time, Elizabeth loves running, hiking with the family's dog, spending time at the pool, and grabbing a cup of coffee with friends.

During this upcoming year, I hope to work with the Start Center to develop a better understanding of how the Honors curriculum is set up and the feasibility of the Advanced Honors Degree when communicating with students. The Honors Programs offers both great academic and social opportunities, and I would really like to create more events in which students can interact outside of the classroom. I look forward to working with the rest of this year's SHC to plan events, and hope to see you there!

Calen Smith

Calen SmithCalen is a sophomore from Kalispell, Montana and Logan, Utah. Calen is currently studying Neuroscience with a minor in Data Sciences. Calen hopes to pursue a MD or a PhD. In addition to serving on the Student Honors Council Calen is also a Resident Advisor, Debate Coach, and Griffin Ambassador. Calen is also the photo editor for Honorable Mention. During his spare time, Calen likes to hike, watch Netflix, read, and chill in his hammock.

As Historian Calen hopes to better document all Honor's events. By better physically documenting Honor's events and showcasing these on social media, in Honorable Mention, and at the Honor's banquet Calen hopes to increase the attendance of events. Additionally, Calen hopes that the documentation of events be available to prospective students so they can see what Honor's life is like.

The Student Honors Council Fund is made up of generous contributions by parents of Westminster College Honors students and monies from other fundraising activities. Parents or other friends of the Honors Program who wish to make tax deductible gifts to the Student Honors Council fund or talk about other development opportunities in Honors should contact the Honors Program Director. Contributors of $200 or more will have their names engraved on the Parents Honor Roll plaque that hangs in Nunemaker Place, home of the Honors program. The Student Honors Council fund supports Honors enrichment activities, especially by enabling student attendance at academic conferences, assisting with senior thesis research costs, and providing stipends to help offset the cost of investigating graduate school.

To encourage and recognize excellence in written work in the Honors seminars, the program gives cash awards to the best essays written annually in four different categories. The Honors Council also chooses from among those winning papers a "Best Honors Program Essay of the Year," whose writer receives an additional cash award. Awards are announced at the annual spring Honors banquet and winners have their names engraved on a plaque that hangs in Nunemaker Place, home of the Honors program.

2015–2016 Awards
Category 1 (Humanities)
  • Holden Rasmussen, "How Does Panopticism Operate in Physical Space?"

Category 2 (Sciences)
  • **Elaine Sheehan, "The Connection Between Body, Soul, and the Gothic Villain"

Category 3 (Social Sciences)
  • Nathan Holtman, "Crime and Society: The 'Rational' Perpetuation of the Social Contract"

Category 4 (Special Topics & Cross-Listed Classes)
  • No Award

The Honors Council, in conjunction with the Honors director, will also select a paper to submit for the NCHC's annual Portz Scholar competition, which is the national competition for best undergraduate writing in Honors programs. Three winners of Portz awards receive $250 each and are recognized at the NCHC's national convention. Typically, that paper will be selected from an upper-level Honors Book Award paper or an essay generated from an Honors Independent Summer research Grant.

**Best essay of the year award.