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About the University Honors Program

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The University Honors Program offers enriched educational experiences for bright, talented, and ambitious undergraduate students.

An Elevated Undergraduate Experience

As part of Idaho's only Honors Bachelor's degree granting institution, the University Honors Program (UHP) provides you with opportunities for broader, deeper, and more meaningful learning experiences. However, the program is bigger than academics alone.


UHP students are entitled to these substantial benefits:

  • Priority registration throughout your college career
  • Scholarships reserved for Honors students
  • Individualized advising & Peer Mentoring upon acceptance into the program
  • Small class sizes throughout the Honors curriculum
  • Personal connections with ISU faculty and instructors
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Undergraduate thesis/project development courses
  • Strong preparation for post-graduate studies
  • Leadership experience opportunities
  • Numerous social and service activities
  • Supportive comradery within the Honors community

UHP Key Principles


Inspire students, faculty, and staff to collectively pursue multi-disciplinary learning, active research, artistic interests, and civic engagement to elevate academic pursuits and personal growth.


Foster an academic community to develop competent, inclusive, and engaged global leaders.


Provide a transformative environment promoting intellectual curiosity, academic attainment, and social consciousness through research and civic engagement.


Goals for Student Development

    Interdisciplinary Scholarship 

    The ability to integrate knowledge to express well-constructed insight and originality of thought through multidisciplinary courses and methodologies.

    Intellectual and Creative Engagement

    The ability to use the appropriate methodology and theoretical framework, including design, synthesis, and interdisciplinary research.

    Citizen Scholarship

    The ability to address real-world problems and find ethical solutions; a process that culminates in reflective civic engagement, respect for diversity, and service-oriented action.


    Civic Engagement

    We are continually defining what it means to be an Honors Student in an ever-evolving program. Part of this definition includes a strong sense of community service and involvement in addition to a commitment to high academic standards.

    Honors Students are expected to participate in at least one Honors activity each semester of their undergraduate career at Idaho State University. Opportunities are available through First Year Seminars, University Honors Program Club, Honors Envoy, Honors Mentors, and various university entities.


    Honors Degree Seeking Student Learning Outcomes

    In addition to the learning objectives noted above, the University Honors Program has identified a set of specific outcomes for students who pursue and complete the Honors Degree. Honors Degree candidates will be able to:

    - Conduct independent scholarly work of professional or near-professional quality in their field.
    - Write and publicly defend an Honors thesis or project.

    Honors Advisory Committee

    The Honors Advisory Committee is based on the importance and power of shared leadership. Advisory committee members offer their experience, expertise, and effort to help strengthen University Honors Program decision-making processes, as well as promote the program throughout ISU and the community.

    The Honors Advisory Committee makes recommendations on seminar course selections (HONS 3391), possible co-curricular programming, and vital decisions key to the success of Honors students and the program. Committee members help to elicit support, build understanding, and communicate information regarding the program to their colleagues in colleges and departments across ISU. Committee members are also encouraged to participate in faculty panels for various Honors courses and to attend Honors Thesis presentations as representatives of their respective colleges. The committee generally meets twice each semester.

    The Honors Advisory Committee members include:

    • The Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (an ex officio member)
    • The University Honors Program Director
    • One University Honors Program Instructor/Coordinator
    • Two faculty representatives from the
      • College of Science and Engineering (CoSE)
      • College of Arts and Letters (CAL)
      • Kasiska Division of Health Sciences (KDH)
    • One faculty representative from the
      • College of Business (COB)
      • College of Education (COE)
      • College of Technology (COT)
    • Two Honors student representatives (one lower-classman and one upper-classman)

    Faculty representatives are selected through a collaborative process based on input and nominations from college deans, department chairs, the Director of the UHP, and faculty interest in committee participation.
    The term of service for each faculty member is three years with the possibility of renewal.
    Students may serve for one year with the possibility of renewal.

    The quorum for decisions requiring a formal vote is that of a simple majority, or 51% of the voting membership.

    2023-2024 University Honors Program Advisory Committee
    • Kinta Serve - Biological Sciences (CoSE)
    • Brandon Peecook - Biological Sciences (CoSE)
    • Amanda Zink - Fine Arts and Humanities (CAL)
    • John Dudgeon - Social & Behavioral Sciences (CAL)
    • Jenifer Reader - Nutrition and Dietetics (KDH)
    • Cynthia Tillotson - Pharmacy (KDH)
    • Alex Bolinger - Management (COB)
    • Tayler Elizondo - Human Performance & Sport Studies (COE)
    • Rhonda Ward - Health Information Technician Program (COT)
    • Jacob Andrysiak - Instructor/Coordinator (UHP)
    • Jordan Mayo - UHP Student Representative
    • TBA - UHP Student Representative


    University Honors Program Leadership


    The University Honors Program Director holds a full-time tenured position in an academic department (currently held in the Department of Geosciences). The position is responsible for overseeing all administrative aspects of the program including course scheduling, student advising, recruitment, fundraising, and acts as a liaison between the University Honors Program and other university departments. The Director serves as the faculty advisor for the UHP Club and all Honors Degree-seeking students. The Director is knowledgeable concerning graduation requirements for all majors at ISU, including General Education requirements, and generally teaches one to two Honors courses per year. The Director manages all Honors course contracts and graduation checks.

    This position is currently held by Dr. Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak, Ph.D. (Department of Geosciences). 


    The Instructor/Coordinator position of the University Honors Program supports the Director in the academic and financial success of the program and the academic success of all Honors students. This position further teaches one to two Honors courses per semester. In addition, the Instructor/Coordinators manage student records, coordinate events, supervise Honors Envoys and Peer Mentors, develop engagement strategies, advise the UHP Club, and manage student recruitment.

    This position is currently held by Connor Suddick, M.A., and Jacob Andrysiak, M.Ed. 

    Academic Support

    Academic Support is a part-time position with the University Honors Program. This position assists the Director and Coordinators with administrative tasks and student advising. Academic Support manages student records, maintains and updates the Honors website, manages the applications and admission process to the Honors Program, supervises an Honors Envoy, and provides data analysis.

    This part-time position is currently held by Lori Tapanila, M.S.