For Students

Every part of the Honors College is designed intentionally for our students. We want every class, trip, research project, and event to enhance your college experience. We encourage you to take an active part in Honors and welcome student participation in any and all facets of Honors at Westminster.


How to Participate in Honors

  • Honors College newsletter, Honorable Mention (editors, writers, and photographers)
  • Student Honors Council (five officer positions)
  • Honors College student associates (5–7 paid positions)
  • Peer mentoring program (20–25 positions to mentor incoming Honors students)
  • Regional and national Honors conferences
  • Honors writing awards
  • Attendance at Honors-sponsored lectures, meetings, and events

Honors Newsletter: Honorable Mention

The Honors College newsletter, Honorable Mention, is published once a semester. It is designed, written, and published entirely by Honors students. The newsletter features Honors College news; Honors student and faculty profiles; updates on the work of the Student Honors Council; answers to important questions; and announcements about new classes, awards, and funding opportunities. The publication is sent to all Honors students and their families, Honors faculty, Honors alums, and staff and administrators connected to the Honors College. It is also occasionally sent to Westminster College's Board of Trustees and other friends of the college.

Students who are interested in working on the newsletter (or have story ideas) should contact the editors. These editors work very hard to produce a high-quality publication, which has won an award in the NCHC national newsletter competition on five separate occasions, including 1st place in 2010 (Kansas City) in the "student-produced" newsletter category.

Student Honors Council

The Student Honors Council represents the interests of all Honors students. An elected president and vice president—who also have voting privileges on the faculty committee that oversees the Honors College—run the council. Responsibilities of the Student Honors Council include the following:

  • Act as a liaison to the Honors Council.
  • Discuss student concerns in the program.
  • Propose new program initiatives.
  • Originate new course ideas and lobby professors to offer specifics Honors courses.
  • Help generate ideas about topics and speakers for Pizza with Profs and other lecture series.
  • Administer the Profs Pick the Flick film series.
  • Organize academic and social events of interest to Honors students.
  • Create continuity in student leadership within the Honors College.
  • Help establish program identity and community among Honors students.
  • Provide leadership opportunities and training for Honors students.
  • Mentor incoming Honors students.
  • Represent the Honors College at public events or gatherings that require an Honors student presence.

Calen Smith

Calen Smith Calen Smith, a senior neuroscience major has been involved in many of the experiences and opportunities the Honors College offers. During his second year, he was the Historian for Student Honors Council. He has also participated in Honorable Mention through several writing and editor positions including the photography, layout, and managing (incoming). He is going on his second year as an Honors peer mentor. Additionally, he has studied abroad in Glasgow through the Honors Principia Consortium. Calen is currently working towards reprogramming the Student Honors Council to meet the needs of a growing community.

Sharon Sauer
Vice President

Sharon Sauer I am currently a junior majoring in philosophy and minoring in political science. On campus, I am part of Black Student Union and am also a peer mentor for the Honors College. My unique perspective and experiences with the honors college have greatly inspired me to run for SHC office. As an SHC officer, I am working towards fostering a community of open communication between professors and students. I think it is essential that professors are listening to students’ concerns and desires (and vice versa). I am also working to improve Nunemaker’s cozy environment with smaller scale and more modest events where students can hang out in comfort.

DJ Mathews

DJ Mathews I’m a sophomore who just switched to the Biology Major, going for pre-vet so I can take care of dogs all day! I work at Nunemaker, am heavily involved in Cross-Country and Track, and volunteer at Tracy Aviary just down the road from Westminster. So far I love Westminster and the Honors program, it has been a blast being a part of it, and I can’t wait for the next three years to continue learning! I think I am a great Honors council member. I’m always available, literally all the time, and I’m way easy to find.

Tiffany Taghvaiee

Tiffany Taghvaiee I am currently a first-year student at Westminster College. I am a Computer Science major and a Music minor. However, I also wish to obtain an Honors degree. As a first generation and minority student, I hope to provide a diverse perspective to the Student Honors Council (SHC) and help better represent students like myself within the Honors College. I am working towards promoting more diversity within the Honors College. As a member of the Student Honors Council, I aim to propose and arrange events that will connect with ideas and themes explored in Honors seminars. I believe that organizing SHC events connected to interesting topics discussed in Honors seminars will not only give Honors students the opportunity to engage in continued discussion on these topics, but allow students to expand both their perspectives and interests in these topics.

Cameron Welch

Cameron Welch I am a sophomore studying dance and pre-physical therapy as well as planning for the honors certificate. I am an honors peer mentor for the 2018-2019 school year and look forward to filling that role for the remainder of my time here at Westminster. I also have the unique opportunity to represent the honors college this November at the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference on Richard and Alicia’s self-grading panel and hope to be involved in the honors college in more ways similar to this. I would like to advertise and reach out more to students and faculty of the college about what the honors college and students are doing. When I say “doing” I mean the research projects, community outreach and service, seminars, etc… that honors students and staff are involved in. Many people and even honors students themselves are not aware of what the honors college does and the unique opportunities and personalities it holds. I am really interested in the increase in activities being held in Nunemaker for students and I would like to assist in their growth and continuation as well as offer my own ideas for events being held, like students sharing their research.

The Student Honors Council fund provides stipends to Honors College students to help offset the cost of investigating graduate schools. Contact the dean of the Honors College for information on how to apply for these $500 grants.

Honors Book Awards

To encourage and recognize excellence in written work in Honors seminars, the Honors College gives cash awards to the best essays written annually in four different categories: humanities, sciences, social sciences, and special topics & cross-listed classes. The Honors Council also chooses from among those winning papers a “Best Honors College Essay of the Year,” the writer of which 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.

2017–18 Awards
  • Jonny Shapiro, "Life of John"
  • Rebekah Ford, "The Personal Cost of Caring"
  • Jessica Taghvaiee, "Bacon’s Missing Idol: How Empirical Science Has Privileged the Sense of Sight" (winner of the Best Essay of the Year award)
  • Scout Invie, "My DNA Not for Imitation: How Ferguson's Catalyst Model Moves Beyond Generalization and Towards a Critique of Violent Institutions"