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honors brochureThe Honors Program provides an extra measure of challenge and enrichment for students who are academically distinguished by previous and current achievements and by high levels of motivation and curiosity. It seeks to challenge exceptionally able students to perform at the highest level of which they are capable, to enhance their capacity for critical inquiry and for independent learning, and to develop their potential for leadership in their future vocations.

The UW-Eau Claire Honors Program has two components: University Honors and Departmental/School Honors. Students may complete one component or both.

Honors Program participation is documented on the student's University record, thus enhancing his or her opportunity for future acceptance by graduate or professional schools or in gaining preferred employment. Image to the right links to the University Honors Program brochure.


Student Voices Being Heard in the Community

Ruth Cronje's Honors course, Civic Agency: From Health Care to Life Care, recently completed a project that allowed them to become even more involved in the Eau Claire community. The Cannery District Redevelopment photo map was a group effort that allowed students to get out into the community and photograph important parts of the 26 acre Cannery District, located near Madison Street. The map, while primarily featuring photos, also includes audio clips from students as well as community members. The map was presented at the BE Fit Forum on October 6 to members of the Eau Claire community, including representitives from the City Health Department. Click here to see the featured news story from WQOW.

Honors Courses Teaching Lifelong Skills

Dr. Cheryl LappDr. Cheryl Lapp was recently featured in an article featuring coursest that focus on skills such as cultural understanding and sensitivity. Lapp's course, Empathy Enhancement for Helping Professionals, teaches about the importance of empathy in the nursing profession, and is being offered again this spring! To read the full article, click here. Dr. Lapp also recently received the 2015 Suzanne Van Ort Award for Creativity and Scholarliness for her development of this course. To read that article, click here. Congratulations Cheryl!

Meals with Honors

Meals BrochureEnjoy a meal with your fellow peers and Honors professors as they expand on topics related to their field, class, or area of interest. Click here to view the full brochure of upcoming meals. See any you're interested in? RSVP to a week prior to the event!



More Fame for Honors Rhodes Scholar

Tayo SandersOur very own Honors student, Tayo Sanders, who was recently named a Rhodes Scholar, was featured in an article by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal. Sanders is embarking on his journey to Oxford and we wish him the best of luck and congratulate him on all of his accomplishments thus far. To read the full article, click here.

Dr. David Jones Set to Release His Newest CD

Dr. Jones, UW-Eau Claire English and cultural studies professor as well David Jones on the Honors faculty member, is releasing his sixth CD, "Chippewa Love", October 24. Jones, along with being involved in the university and community, is also a celebrated musician and bandleader for Jones Tones and other local musical combos. To read the full featured article, click here.



6th Annual University Honors Fall Welcome Picnic: Join us for food & fun!Fall Picnic FlyerNursing Faculty Member and Honors Professor Receives Award

Professor Cheryl Lapp recently received the 2015 Suzanne Van Ort Award for Faculty Creativity and Scholarship. This award was presented to Lapp for her development of an innovative teaching strategy in her recent course, "Empathy Enhancement for the Helping Professions". Lapp used theatre applications in the design and implementation of the course that was inspired by her sabbatical work on declining empathy in nursing and medical students. Lapp is continuing her work as a professor in the Honors program this fall teaching a course on global health. Congratulations Cheryl!

Honors Faculty Member Receives Excellence in Service Award

Excellence Awards recipientsEnglish professor and Honors faculty member - and, outstanding musician - Dr. David Jones received the Excellence in Service Award on Augest 25. Jones was one of seven faculty and staff members that were recognized for their excellence. Jones' extensive work as the Faculty Fellow for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusiveness as well as his work as the Faculty Fellow for the University Honors Program allowed him to better serve the university as well as the community. Read more about Jones as well as the other facutly and staff members that received awards. Congratulations to all!

6th Annual Eau Queer Film Festival Coming Soon!Eau Queer Film Festival

The Eau Queer Film Festival is back again for the sixth time! Running from September 30-October 4, the festival will include showings of a variety of films that "challenge the dichotomous norms of gender, orientation, and relationships". Along with the film screenings, director Sharon Shattuck and subject of the film From This Day Forward, Trisha Shattuck, will be holding two different discussion sessions. For more information on the film lineup and the festival in general, you can visit the Eau Queer Film Festival website.

Southern Lit tourBeloved Honors Faculty Member reflect on "What Would Atticus Do?"

Dr. Chuck Hanson has taught in University Honors for all of the 32-year history of the program; teaching the Honors colloquium, "Autobiographies and Memoirs in Western Literature", in fall 1983. University Honors graduates often cite a course taken with Dr. Hanson as their favorite at UWEC. In the essay published on the UWEC website, Dr, Hanson reflects on the character Atticus Finch from Harper Lee's novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird", in relation to current events in South Carolina.

Dr. Hanson is pictured (far right, second row) with students from his "Southern Literature and Culture" course at one of the stops along a literary and historical trip through the southern United States made over spring break

Biology Student Completes First-Ever Honors Thesis

Polar Plunge team jump

Nikki Weiss, who will be graduating with triple Honors in Anthropology, Chemistry, and University Honors, is on her way to completing and defending the first-ever Univeristy Honors Thesis at UWEC. Read more about her thesis, "Constructing a Narrative of the Past: The Story of Skeletal Tuberculosis," and the work she's done to get this far. Congrats Nikki!

The Student Behind the Blugold Mile

Education majors on an immersion trip to Milwaukee.

Over 2000 runners turned out for the 2015 Eau Claire marathon on May 3. This year, the route went through the UW-Eau Claire lower campus at the 11 mile mark for half-mile marathoners and 24 mile mark for full marathoners. Our very own honors student, Nathan Schaffer, organized this special part of the race, termed the Blugold Mile. Read more here.

Future Teachers Learn New Lessons in an Immersion Trip to Milwaukee

Education majors on an immersion trip to Milwaukee.

Honors student, Alison Wagener, along with a group of 16 other education majors from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, spent their spring break on an immersion trip to Milwaukee to teach K-8 students. This trip provided them the opportunity to teach and collaborate with students and teachers in a differnet and more diverse setting. Read more about their experience here.


Honors Students Recognized at 58th Annual Juried Student Art Show

Honors students Kendall Clay, Sydney Flottum, and Matt Zuelke were all recognized for their efforts in the Art Department at the Student Jury Show opening on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Kendall Clay received an Honorable Mention for her photography series, Flaws, as well as Herbert Friend Art & Design Scholarship. Sydney received both the Gerald W. Newton Scholarship as well as the Sigrid Rasmussen Memorial Scholarship. Matt was awarded first place in the show for his Portrait of Augustus ceramics piece. Congratulations to all three!

Honors Students Named Goldwater Scholars

Goldwater ScholarsTwo Honors students were recently named this year's Goldwater Scholars. Sarah Knutson and Elizabeth Stubbs, both active Honors students, were presented this grant through the College of Arts and Sciences, specific to those pursuing a career in natural sciences, math, or engineering. Congratulations! For the full article, click here. For more information on this grant and others like it, follow this link.


Honors Game Design Course Featured in New Article

Students at Game Night.

Dr. Chris Hlas and his Honors course in game analysis and design was featured in a recent article. The class focuses on team building and problem-solving techniques. They recently held a Game Night to showcase their progress in the class. Read the full article here.


Save the Date:

Provost's Honors Symposium, May 1st

The 5th Annual Provost's Honors Symposium will take place on May 1st from 1pm-5:30pm. Please join us in celebrating the excellent examples of outstanding student research, scholarships, and creative activity. Students from all four colleges and representing over 35 disciplines will present their work at this conference. Check out the Provost's Honors Symposium page for details and stay tuned for more the presentation schedule.


Meals with Honors

Meals with Honors Sean McAleerHonors students have been enjoying this semester's selection of Meals with Honors that have covered topics such as the use of therapy dogs, energy use and solutions, interpersonal leadership and our role in the public sphere, and the philosophy of friendship, to name a few. Haven't joined us for a Meal with Honors? Check out the schedule of upcoming meals!



The Making of a Rhodes Scholar

Tayo Sanders

Recently announced Rhodes Scholar and Honors student, Tayo Sanders, was featured in a Medium article, detailing his career as a student, his journey to becoming a Rhodes Scholar, and what's next for him and his career. Read the full article here.


Scholarship Opportunities Available Now!

Two scholarships are now available for University Honors students:

The Ronald E. Mickel Honors Program Senior Scholarship, named for the founding Director of the University Honors Program, awards $1000 to an outstanding student who has reached senior standing by the start of the following academic year. Selection is based on the quality of the application essay, GPA, number of Honors Program courses completed, and leadership and involvement in activities outside the classroom.

The Ryan Prechel Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding UW-Eau Claire Honors student with both a passion for service and exceptional leadership. This scholarship honors one of the program’s prominent alumni and recognizes current students who have demonstrated campus, community, and civic involvement, as well as campus and community leadership. This award includes a $1000 scholarship for the student recipient and a $250 grant to an organization, department, or program of his or her choice.


Tayo Sanders 1University Honors Student is Named Rhodes Scholar

Tayo Sanders, a senior Honors material science major is one of 32 Americans named as a 2015 Rhodes Scholar. From approximately 1600 applicants, 877 were endorsed by 305 institutions around the country which were considered by the selection committee who then interviewed 207 students from 86 different colleges or university. Approximately 80 scholars are chosen worldwide each year. This prestigious honor counts presidents, members of congress, artists, and others who are known internationally for their contributions to their chosen professions.

The announcement was made Sunday, November 23rd, by Elliot Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. Rhodes scholarships, which covers all costs for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England and valued at about $50,000 per year, were established in the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. Mr. Gerson called the scholarship "the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates."

Tayo has been engaged in extensive research, particularly in the area of nanotechnology, as a Goldwater Scholar and presented at several venues, including the American Chemical Society. Additionally, Tayo is the co-captain of the UWEC triathlon team. Spring semester, Tayo will also be a mentor for new University Honors students co-teaching a section of HNRS 100. Tayo will graduate in May 2015 with University Honors.

The full list of the 32 Americans selected for this honor and their bios are available from the Rhodes Trust.

Provost's Honors Symposium for Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activity
- a Great SuccessPHS logo

Forty-one presentations from over 30 disciplines were selected from faculty nominations by the University Honors Council. The presentations and Provost's Reception following the last session will take place on the 3rd floor of Davies Center.

Student, faculty, staff, and community members are all welcome to attend one or all sessions!

Four sessions run from 1 - 5:15 p.m. with concurrent presentation in four conference rooms. Check out the full schedule and attend any session(s) of interest to you.

Details can be found on the Provost's Honors Symposium webpage.

mortar boardAnother record number of University Honors Graduates for May 17th commencement

Forty-four students will walk across the stage to receive their diplomas wearing the gold medallion as a recognition of their accomplishment to graduate with University Honors. A full list of spring 2014 graduates is found on our graduates page.

Welcome to the New Academic Year in University Honors!

Dr. Jeff Vahlbusch, University Honors Program Director, sends the following message to all Honors students:

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the new academic year in Honors!

I hereby invite you to

  •  Join me at the Fall Honors Welcome Picnic:

Thursday, September 19th, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Ojibwe Ballroom, Davies Center.

Eat and drink; meet fellow Honors students and Honors faculty; learn what’s happening in Honors this year and how to get involved; and draw for the chance to (gently) whack some aging Honors administrator with a large cream pie.  RSVP if possible to Pam Golden (goldenp; 715-836-3621); otherwise just show up.

  •  Stay in touch with Honors:

Read all Honors emails—we promise not to send you spam or fluff.

(On LinkedIn, we are the “UW-Eau Claire University Honors Program” group)

  •   Help us reinvent HPO this year—the Honors student organization:

Get to know and work with fellow Honors students, gain and use leadership experience, and help make our Honors Program (and our University) even more wonderful than they are now.  Interested?  Send me an email with the words “I’m interested” in the subject line!

In deep gratitude for your work and engagement in Honors and beyond,


Record Number of University Honors Graduates in 2012!!

In the twenty-nine year history of the UWEC Honors Program, 2012 will mark the first year more than 40 students have graduated with the distinction of University Honors. Surpassing the previous record of 40 UWEC University Honors graduates in 2001, 46 UWEC Honors students graduated with the requirements for University Honors this year!

Eleven more University Honors graduates wear the gold medallion that marks a University honors graduate at the December 22nd commencement representing all four UWEC colleges.

See the full list of University Honors graduates.

Be sure to check out current University Honors activities!

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University Honors communicates with students on facebook

Current, former, and potential Honors students, faculty/staff, and families can follow posts and what is happening in Honors on our facebook page. Check us out!



UWEC University Honors recipient of the 2012 Board of Regents Diversity Award

UWEC Honors Diversity Award

Dr. David Jones, UW-Eau Claire Honors Program faculty fellow, left, and Dr. Jeff Vahlbusch, Honors Program director, center, received a UW System Regents Diversity Award Feb. 10 in Madison on behalf of a campus-wide team that developed and implemented a holistic Honors Program admissions pilot project. Regent Charles Pruitt, right, presented the award. Refer to the press release for full details.