Honors Faculty


Honors faculty are known for their teaching excellence and passion for working with students. Drawn from across Westminster's many departments, programs, and colleges, Honors faculty participate in the program because they enjoy teaching highly driven students, they find interdisciplinary approaches to their subjects satisfying, and they value the excitement that team-teaching provides.

Richard Badenhausen (Honors)

Richard's 2004 book, T. S. Eliot and the Art of Collaboration (Cambridge UP) was called by one critic "...perhaps the most interesting critical study of Eliot in a decade." Currently the vice president of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Badenhausen is also the dean of the Honors College and has taught at Westminster since 2001. He received Westminster’s Gore Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.

Kara Barnette (Philosophy)

Kara specializes in American philosophy as well as philosophical issues related to race and gender. Her current work focuses on cross-generational atonement for historical atrocities.

Karlyn Bond (Music)

Karlyn has taught in Honors since 1997. She holds a DMA in piano performance from the University of Southern California. Her other areas of interest are literature, religion, philosophy, and history.

Bill Bynum (Math)

Past recipient of the college's Excellence in Teaching award, Bill has taught in the Westminster math department since 1989—and thrives in an interactive classroom. He currently serves on the faculty team for QUARC (Quantitative Analysis and Research Co-op).

Peggy Cain (Education)

Peggy uses complex thinking and social justice lenses to explore social movements and social change. She has an MA in Latin American studies/economic development and a PhD in adult education. She has extensive experience in Latin America and directs the Master of Arts in Community Leadership and Master of Education programs.

Michael Chipman (Music)

Michael is the head of the vocal performance program, has run the opera studio, and now directs the A’cappella group, SugarTown. He has soloed twice at Carnegie Hall and sung with orchestras and opera companies in the US and abroad. He was the co-author of The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing, published by Oxford University Press in 2007.

Russell Costa (Honors/Neuroscience)

Russ is a cognitive scientist who uses a broad range of experimental and theoretical approaches to study attention and perception. In his classes, he explores the role of science in society, particularly issues concerning methodology, ethics, history, and philosophy of the social, behavioral, and brain sciences.

Alicia Cunningham-Bryant (Honors)

An award-winning teacher, Alicia holds the Kim T. Adamson Endowed Professorship in the Honors College and directs the campus-wide office of Fellowship Advising. Alicia has extensive experience as an archivist and curator at museums in Philadelphia and New Haven, Connecticut; and she has done archeological field work in Egypt and Jordan. Alicia earned a BA at University of California, San Diego (double majoring in history and archeology) and her PhD in near eastern languages and civilizations at Yale University.

Lesa Ellis (Neuroscience)

Lesa is a graduate of Westminster College and, after earning her PhD at the University of Oregon, returned to Westminster as faculty. The winner of the college's 2015 Gore Excellence in Teaching Award, she currently chairs the Neuroscience program and studies genetic and cognitive contribution to anxiety.

Dave Goldsmith (Geology)

Dave Goldsmith is a paleontologist and chair of the geology program. In addition to his research on fossil clams and snails, he has also published several works on the nineteenth century origins of evolutionary theory.

Leonardo E. Figueroa-Helland (Politics, Justice, And Global Studies)

Leonardo is chair and professor of political science, justice studies, and global studies. His teaching and scholarship focus on global politics, political ecology, political economy, Indigenous politics, and critical interdisciplinary perspectives on global issues.

Han Kim (Public Health)

An epidemiologist, Han’s research focuses on global health, particularly in the social determinants of health as it pertains to social justice issues. He is also the director of the public health program.

Matt Kruback (Art)

Matt Kruback's interests include landscape theory, the history of landscape art in Northern Europe and the United States, and the politics of landscape and culture. See his work.

Chris Lecluyse (English)

Chris LeCluyse directs the Writing Center and regularly teaches academic writing, writing pedagogy, and the history and structure of English. He is also a professional singer specializing in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music and is the co-founder of Utopia Early Music.

Hikmet Loe (Art)

Hikmet is an expert on Utah earthworks "Spiral Jetty" and "Sun Tunnels." Her book, The Spiral Jetty Encyclo: Exploring Robery Smithson's Earthwork through Time and Place was published by the University of Utah Press in 2016. She teaches art history and is actively engaged in regional and national art programs related to Land Art.

Gary Marquardt (History)

Gary's research interests focus on the histories of Africa, the modern world, world environment, imperialism, and health and disease.

Nick More (Philosophy)

An expert on the work of Nietzsche, Nick received Westminster College's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and was named Utah Professor of the Year in 2008, for which he was honored in Washington, DC. His book on Nietzsche's so-called autobiography was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

Jeff Nichols (History)

Jeff specializes in Utah, western, and environmental history. He is the author of Prostitution, Polygamy and Power and co-author of Playing with Shadows: Voices of Dissent in the Mormon West. He co-directs the Institute for Mountain Research with Brent Olson.

Kristjane Nordmeyer (Sociology)

Kristjane Nordmeyer is an associate professor of sociology and current chair of gender studies. Kristjane's teaching interests include gender, sexuality, food, cats, and study-abroad in Scandinavia.

Brent Olson (Environmental Studies)

Brent is an interdisciplinary scholar who uses approaches from environmental history and geography to consider the political economy of natural resources in the American West. He is also co-director of the Institute for Mountain Research at Westminster.

Giancarlo Panagia (Justice studies)

Giancarlo studies the intersectionalities of gender with "other" isms and also utilizes a critical analysis approach to crime and deviance. He contributes his expertise to the learning of issues of environment, justice, and nature in the interdisciplinary environmental studies program.

Michael Popich (Philosophy)

Founding director of the Honors program, Michael is an expert on the Holocaust, genocide in Africa, and violence in the Middle East. His current research focuses on social justice and poverty. He coaches Westminster's nationally known ethics bowl team and serves on the national executive committee for promoting ethics bowl. He is the 2017 winner of Westminster’s Gore Excellence in Teaching Award.

Christy Seifert (Communications)

Christy Seifert has a PhD in English with an emphasis in rhetoric and professional writing, and is associate professor of communication. She is the director of the Master of Strategic Communication program and is the author of The Predicteds (a novel published in 3 languages); Virginity in Young Adult Literature after Twilight; and Whoppers: History's Most Outrageous Liars.

Julie Stewart (Honors)

Julie is an award-winning teacher and scholar of globalization and displacement. She seeks to better understand how people re-build community, engage in politics, and strive for upward mobility following displacement. She has published more than a dozen scholarly works on Guatemalan refugees, Mexican immigrants, and US migration policy.

Heidi van Ert (Education)

Heidi has a background in the arts, arts education, and gifted education. She is passionate about creativity and working collaboratively with other people on "nearly impossible" projects.

Michael Vought (Theater)

Michael has chaired the theatre program at Westminster for two decades. During that time he has directed over 50 productions. He recently founded the Great Salt Lake Fringe festival and serves as its executive director.

John Watkins (Economics)

John's teaching and research interests focus on the history of economic thought, political economy, and economic crises. He is a winner of the college's Gore Excellence in Teaching Award.