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Awards / Honors

University Honors Program recognized at luncheon

March 10, 2010

The Honors Program faculty, staff, and students truly add greatness to the University and the student body. For their hard work and commitment to excellence, the CSU Activities Board honored them at a recent luncheon.

Vital, friendly office serves 1,300 students

The Honors Program staff (l to r): Cindy Adamy, Bob Keller, Judy Bryant (rear), Diane Burton (front), and Paulette Rudolf.

On the west side of campus at the Academic Village in the unassumingly named ‘Building B,’ is the Honors Program office. To reach it you must first pass the fireside lounge – a cozy room with several couches and a brick fireplace. The building is new and bright and welcoming, as is the staff.

The four full-time employees, one part-time employee, and four work study students serve the nearly 1,300 students on campus that are part of the Honors Program and provide them with a unique, personal experience.

Complete Honors experience

The director, Robert Keller, has been leading the program since 1999. In his 11 year tenure, the program has implemented two Honors Scholar curricula, an application and selection process for admitting students to the program, which has resulted in a significant increase in the quality and performance of Honors students. He also restructured the office staff and the program requirements to advance new initiatives.

The program now provides a complete experience for Honors students, starting with an Honors Day during the summer Preview Program, breakout sessions and honors sections for required courses in all majors, and a thesis capstone that prepares students for careers and graduate school and provides them with a faculty mentor, and a residential learning community.

Busy time of year

This time of year, the staff is busy sorting through over 500 applications, in addition to the 650 with superb academic records that are automatically admitted, to determine the Honors class of 2014. Last week alone they had over 200 applications. With space for only 350 students in each class, the assistant director, Diane Burton, and Keller, have the difficult job of determining who will be admitted. These 350 students will be given opportunities and challenged in ways that will enrich not only their learning experience but their personal development.

The program delivers undergraduate education in a very different way. For example, in Honors 193, the freshman seminar, students can choose from a variety of sections with topics ranging from ‘Got Affluenza?’ to ‘Gender in Our Lives’. The seminars are small and discussion-based with an emphasis on writing to learn instead of just writing to fulfill a requirement. Students also have to give at least one speech in each seminar and are expected to incorporate how history, science, social sciences, and culture have contributed to the topic.

Constant improvements, new partnerships

Creating this sort of program requires constant evaluation of its effectiveness as well as communication with faculty and staff from all parts of campus. In addition to recruiting and admitting new students each year they also incorporate more honors courses and experiences, recruit and retain faculty to teach honors courses, and facilitate new partnerships between students and faculty mentors.

With so much to do and only a handful of staff, their longevity with the program helps them be efficient. The staff works in a decentralized system so each person has his or her own area of responsibility. The work study students, all of whom are in the Honors Program, also fill an important role as they have considerable credibility with peers and parents and often are the most helpful in answering questions.

Hard-working, committed staff

The Honors Program faculty, staff, and students truly add greatness to the University and the student body. For their hard work and commitment to excellence, the CSU Activities Board honored them at a recent luncheon.

If you would like to nominate a group, entity, or College for this recognition, please visit And from everyone with the CSU Activities Board – thank you to all the Honors Program staff for all you do for CSU!

Contact: Kelly Kimple
Phone: (970) 491-5506