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K-State Today

April 22, 2022

University Honors Program announces annual award winners

Submitted by Sara Luly

The University Honors Program has announced Kansas State University student and faculty award winners for 2022. All award winners, as well as graduating seniors, will be celebrated at the annual University Honors Program year-end reception from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 22, in 123 Leadership Studies Building.

The honors program selects four students annually for their demonstrated academic excellence and involvement in the honors program community. Students either self-nominate or are nominated by faculty at K-State. 

The Outstanding First-Year Student Award goes to two students: Anna Guhr, sophomore in finance and entrepreneurship with a minor in German, Hillsboro, and Diego Ortiz, sophomore in architecture, Lee's Summit, Missouri. In their nomination essays, both students reflected on their academic achievements and the value of their honors coursework. They shared their positive participation in the honors program both inside and outside the classroom.

The two non-freshman recipients of the Outstanding Student Award are Hannah Schoonover, senior in elementary education with a concentration in special education, Chanute, and Cheyanne Brunner, senior in psychology and gender, women and sexuality studies, Wamego

Schoonover developed a paper she had written as part of an honors contract in her ENGL 355 course, under the direction of Anne Phillips, professor of English. The paper will be published in the journal Kansas English. 

Brunner was nominated by a faculty member and is completing her honors project, “Treatment of Eating Disorders in Transgender Populations: Problem, Impact, and Alternatives,” under the direction of Rachel Levitt, teaching assistant professor of social transformation studies.

The University Honors Program Teaching and Mentoring Award is presented annually to two faculty or staff members who have demonstrated outstanding teaching and mentorship for honors program students. Award recipients are nominated by current honors program students and recipients are selected by the honors program awards committee. 

This year's recipients are Andrew Duncan, teaching associate professor of chemical engineering, and Benjamin McCloskey, assistant professor of classics in the modern languages department and the history department. 

Duncan was nominated by a student who cited his dedicated support of their honors projects and strong advising support of honors opportunities. Duncan was also praised for his ability to foster intellectual curiosity and expand learning beyond the prescribed curriculum. 

In their nominations of McCloskey, multiple students praised his ability to find a balance between challenging students to "learn to their full potential" while also "being attentive to students who are struggling." They also praised McCloskey for his attention to students' individual strengths and interests, as well as his willingness to create honors contracts that reflected those interests.