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Idaho State University


Governance and Leadership

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 (UHP) decision-making processes, as well as promote the program throughout the university and 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 UHP to their colleagues in colleges and departments across the university. 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 is made up of the Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs (an ex-officio member), the Director and the Coordinator of the University Honors Program, two faculty representatives from the College of Science and Engineering, two faculty representatives from the College of Arts and Letters, two faculty representatives from the Division of Health Sciences, one faculty representative from the College of Business, one faculty representative from the College of Education, one faculty representative from the College of Technology, and two 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 simple majority, or 51% of the voting membership.

2019-2020 University Honors Program Advisory Committee

  • Currently Vacant (College of Natural Sciences & Engineering, Sciences)
  • S. Hossein Mousavinezhad - Electrical Engineering (College of Engineering)
  • Zachary Gershberg - Communication and Rhetorical Studies (College of Arts & Letters, Fine Arts)
  • Anna McCarrey - Psychology (College of Arts & Letters, Social & Behavioral Sciences)
  • Alex Bolinger- Marketing and Management (College of Business)
  • Esther Ntuli – (College of Education)
  • Laura McKnight – Dietetics (Kasiska School of Health)
  • Cynthia Tillotson (College of Pharmacy)
  • Darin Jernigan - Physical Theraphy Assistant Program (College of Technology)
  • Cynthia Hill – Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Shannon Kobs Nawotniak – UHP Director
  • Linda Hensen Jackson – UHP Coordinator
  • Leah Renner - Upperclass UHP Student
  • Michael Esquivas - Underclass UHP Student


The UHP 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 UHP 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 Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak, Ph.D.

The instructor/coordinator of the University Honors Program supports the UHP Director in the academic and financial success of the UHP and the academic success of all Honors students. This position further teaches one to two Honors courses per semester. In addition, the instructor/coordinator manages student records, coordinates events, directs Honors Envoy activities, develops engagement strategies, and manages student recruitment. This position is currently held by Linda Hensen Jackson, Ph.D.

Instructor/Coordinator First Year Student Success
The instructor/coordinator of First Year Student Success holds a half-time position with the UHP. This position implements a first year experience mentor program for both the university and the UHP. The instructor/coordinator supports the Honors Program by recruiting, meeting with potential students, advising, fundraising, coordinating Early Registration, and teaching one to two Honors courses per semester. This position is currently held by Dawn Brooks, M.A.

Academic Support
The academic support holds a part-time position with the UHP.  This position assists the Honors Director and Coordinators with teaching, program data analysis, and student recruiting.  Academic support further supports the Honors Program by advising Honors Students, manages student records, maintains and updates the Honors website, and manages the applications and admission to the Honors Program. This position is currently held by Lori Tapanila, M.S.