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Honors Program Celebrates
25th Anniversary

RELEASED: May 14, 2007

Excellence SealEAU CLAIRE — Twenty-eight University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will graduate with University Honors May 19, one of the largest groups since the first honors student graduated 20 years ago.

Nearly 600 students have earned University Honors since the program began in 1983, said Paul Hoff, honors program director. About 400 students are now enrolled in the program.

"The honors program provides an extra measure of challenge and enrichment to academically distinguished students," Hoff said. "It challenges exceptionally able students to perform at their highest level, enhances their capacity for critical inquiry and independent learning, and develops their leadership potential."

To be admitted to the program, first-year students must have a minimum ACT score of 28 or SAT scores of 1870 or higher and be in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class.

Honors students take 24 credits of colloquia and electives that can be used for general education credits or in their major/minor concentrations. They must complete the First-Year Honors Seminar and Senior Honors Seminar, and attain a GPA of at least 3.5.

The honors program was one of the reasons she chose to attend UW-Eau Claire, said Heather Hanewall, a Beloit native who is majoring in English and Spanish.

"It provides an array of classes that focus on current events and specialized subjects, as well as small class sizes," Hanewall said, noting that honors classes are limited to 20 students.

Students get to know professors and other students better, and the courses are typically more discussion-based, said Hanewall, who plans to teach in Mexico or Spain.

"The classes have challenged me to do better in my coursework and enabled me to see different areas in a new light," Hanewall said.

Jonathan Jablonsky, a business finance major from Berlin, said the program appealed to him because of the small classes and opportunities to learn about a professor's research through honors colloquium. He also appreciated that some honors students can register early.

"By registering early, I was able to get the classes I needed, when I needed them, so I could graduate in four years," said Jablonsky, who will work as a financial analyst at the legal publishing firm Thomson West in St. Paul, Minn.

Ben Holmen, a physics major from Colfax, said his communication skills improved because of the dynamic nature of honors classes.

"I'm confident in groups and find it easy to voice my opinion," said Holmen, who will work as a Web developer after graduation. "I've learned to value and appreciate the opinion of others and carefully measure their words."

UW-Eau Claire students who will graduate May 19 with University Honors are:

Kelsey Allenstein, management and Spanish, Weyauwega

Derrick Becker, management information systems, Turtle Lake

Kristin Blake, Spanish, Appleton

Ashley Borman, political science, Kenosha

Justin Boyd, business finance, Hudson

Breanna Christensen, journalism, Coon Rapids, Minn.

Alissa Condra, information systems, Rhinelander

Bradley Deleu, biology, Bristol

Kristin Geiser, management, Chilton

Heather Hanewall, English and Spanish, Beloit

Kristin Harris, nursing, Franksville

Laura Hoffelt, biology, Bruce

Benjamin Holmen, physics, Colfax

Jonathan Jablonsky, business finance, Berlin

Kimberly Johnston, English, Burlington

Amy Kiefer, nursing, North Mankato, Minn.

Stacy Kouba, physics, Two Rivers

Courtney Meyer, political science, Eagle River

Kristina Miley, mass communications, Eau Claire

Patrick Murack, biology, Waukesha

Megan O'Connell, biology, Medford

Randall Pingrey, music, Madison

Polly Russell, accounting, Stoddard

Holly Samson, music, Elk Mound

Zachary Schroer, religious studies, Eau Claire

Elizabeth Smith, chemistry, Sauk Centre, Minn.

Stephen Smith, computer science, Cassville

Megan Ziegler, nursing, Monroe

-30-

JW/JB

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