Honors Director Richard Badenhausen

Honors Director Richard BadenhausenRichard Badenhausen is Professor and Director of Westminster's Honors program. He also holds the Kim T. Adamson Chair, one of the few endowed Honors chairs in the country. Over the past twenty-five years, Prof. Badenhausen has published widely on the work of T. S. Eliot and modernist literature. His book T. S. Eliot and the Art of Collaboration (Cambridge UP) was called by Oxford's Ronald Bush "perhaps the most interesting critical study of Eliot in a decade."

A leader in the national Honors community, Badenhausen is past member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Board of Directors, an NCHC Recommended Site Visitor, an editorial board member of HIP: Honors in Practice, co-chair of the NCHC Publications Board, and co-chair of the NCHC annual convention's Student Interdisciplinary Research Paper program. He regularly visits campuses around the country to consult with colleges and universities on how they might improve their Honors programs.

Badenhausen has delivered more than three dozen national presentations on Honors education and regularly publishes in Honors journals like JNCHC: The Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council. In 2011, he was one of seven individuals at the national conference in Phoenix to be named an NCHC Fellow, a designation that "celebrates [his] many contributions not only to our organization but more widely to honors teaching, learning, scholarship, and leadership within the growing international influence of NCHC in higher education," according to NCHC President John Zubizarreta.

At Westminster, he teaches classes in the Humanities, War Literature, Theories of Place, and Trauma Studies. Believing that the first year of college is a student's most important developmentally, Badenhausen works in the classroom almost exclusively with Honors freshmen. That also ensures he knows virtually all 150 students in Westminster's Honors program. He is the 2014 recipient of the college's Gore Excellence in Teaching award, which is given to one faculty member each year at the college's commencement ceremony, and two-time winner of Westminster's Manford A. Shaw Publication Prize for his scholarship on T. S. Eliot.

Badenhausen is an active member of the Salt Lake City community. He coached a girls' youth soccer team for seven years and is the chair of the Board of Trustees at Rowland Hall, one of the top independent college preparatory schools in the Intermountain West. He is married to an attorney and has two children, though he seems to spend most of his time with his devoted golden retriever Scout. He received his B.A. from Colgate University and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

View his personal webpage.

Honors Assistant Director Dave Goldsmith

Honors Assistant Director Dave GoldsmithDave Goldsmith is professor and chair of geology at Westminster College. He also serves as assistant director of the Honors program. He is a paleontologist whose research concentrates on the fossil record of evolutionary processes as preserved in snails and clams found in the lake and pond deposits of Northern Utah. His second area of research, a direct result of his work in the Honors program, is on the history of evolutionary theory, from its origins in Napoleonic France to its current struggle for acceptance in American classrooms.

As assistant director of the Honors program, Dave helps to make sure that the Honors experience goes far beyond the classroom. He coordinates the Living Arts program, a weekly seminar series that invites students to think about topics ranging from understanding films to avalanche survival. Dave is also the on-campus liaison for Academic Decathlon, a program that brings Honors freshmen together with high-achieving high school students from all over the state of Utah.

Dave believes very strongly that science is accessible to everyone, and in fact, that all people are born curious about the world around them. In his classes, Dave challenges students to think like geologists—to start from a basic study of individual rocks and work outward from these specific cases until they understand the general rules that govern the planet. Along with this case-based approach, Dave emphasizes the importance of exploration. He has taken students to explore the rocks of Southern Utah, Hawaii, and Baja Mexico.

Originally from Connecticut, Dave studied at Colgate University and Harvard University before coming to Westminster. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and dog. He loves the Utah scenery, but will complain to anyone who will listen about the inadequacy of Utah Pizza.

Unofficial Honors Mascot Scout

Honors unofficial mascot Scout in the snowThe unofficial mascot of the Honors program, Scout is a 'senior' Golden Retriever who was adopted from Companion Golden Rescue in 2005. Scout is named after the intrepid and plucky heroine of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. She comes to the Honors office almost every day and gets lots of attention from Honors students who miss their own dogs while they are away from home. Although Scout prefers tennis balls to a good book, she is always available to keep Honors students company, especially during the stressful time of final exams.

Honors Council

The Honors Council is responsible for overseeing administration of the program. Its membership represents the various constituencies on campus. It is composed of the following.

  1. Four arts and sciences positions, each for a term of two years. Those terms will be staggered so that two of the positions come up for reappointment each year.

  2. One position from the college of business. One position from the colleges of nursing and education, which will alternate every two years between the two colleges. Both of those terms run for two years. The director of the Honors program will serve in one of these six faculty positions.

  3. Two positions from the staff, for terms of two years. The first staff position is filled by the director of the START Center, while the second is filled by the Assistant Director of Admission, or whichever staff member from Admissions has responsibility for recruitment of high achieving students.

  4. Two student positions, which will be filled by the president and vice-president of the Student Honors Council, for a term of one year. In the absence of officers, the student positions will be appointed by the director of the Honors program.

  5. The director of the Honors program serves as the chair of the Honors Council.

2016–2017 Honors Council

MemberTerm Expires
Richard Badenhausen, Arts & Sciences (Chair) Spring 2017
David Goldsmith, Arts & Sciences Spring 2017
Russ Costa, Arts & Sciences Spring 2018
Kristjane Nordmeyer, Arts & Sciences Spring 2018
Cliff Hurst, Business Spring 2016
Peter Ingle, Education Spring 2018
Heidi Van Ert Spring 2017
Han Kim, Health Sciences Spring 2017
Karen Hicks, Staff (START Center) Spring 2017
Wes Yarborough, Staff (Admissions) Spring 2017
Zoey Gray, Student Honors Council President Spring 2017
Holden Rasmussen, Student Honors Council VP Spring 2017