Learn more about the various groups of people that are vital to the success of the Honors Program. This page serves as a comprehensive list of all those you may need to contact during your time in the Program.

Honors People

The Honors Program 4th floor offices will be open by appointment with staff only & must be scheduled in advance.

For general inquiries contact us at 319-335-1681 | honors-program@uiowa.edu or schedule an appointment with a team member below. 


Emily Hill


Interim Director

Email: emily-d-hill@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-1684

Office Hours (443 BHC): Mondays from 3-5 PM via Zoom or by appointment.

As the Assistant Director, Dr. Hill works on enhancing and supporting educational experiences for honors students through curriculum, experiential learning, academic advisement, and community development. Her research addresses twice -exceptional college students (gifted college students living with mental health issues) and how universities can better support these individuals through staff, faculty, advisement, and programming. 

Dr. Hill’s door is always open for students to visit with her about academics, experiential learning, and life in general. In her free time, she likes to walk her Maltese Poodle, Mr. Gatsby, practice yoga, read fiction, collect vinyl and play it too loud, and travel.


  • University of North Dakota, PhD in Educational Foundations and Research, 2019
  • University of North Dakota, Master of Arts in English, 2011
  • University of North Dakota, Bachelor of Arts in English and Honors, 2008 


Heidi Schmitt


Program Coordinator 

Email: heidi-schmitt@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 467-0911

Office Hours (431 BHC): Contact via email to schedule. 

As the Program Coordinator, Heidi is responsible for supervising Honors Program student staff team members, outreach and marketing efforts, event planning, and ensuring the Honors Program runs smoothly and effectively. Heidi transferred from the Executive MBA Department where she gained insight on program management and assisting students.

When Heidi isn’t assisting members of the UI community, she operates Pristine Pet Care LLC and can be found volunteering with local animal shelters, cuddling her two dogs, or rocking out at a concert.

Ask her about animals, music (proud Swiftie), or program events. 


Camille Socarras


Scholarship Coordinator

Email: camille-socarras@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-1682

Office Hours (435 BHC): Students may schedule via MyUI.

Camille serves as the Honors Scholarship Coordinator, helping students find the right opportunities and managing assigned scholarships for the Honors Program. She has previously been on the University of Iowa campus as an undergraduate, graduate student, and TA, having completed a Master’s degree in French and Francophone World Studies and Literature. After graduating, she taught in the French department as visiting faculty while also working in various other capacities around campus.

While her academic interests are quite varied, Camille feels strongly about working toward social advancement in educational settings, not only institutionally, but in the classroom, as well, holding the ultimate goal of making education challenging, engaged, and accessible for everyone.

She also loves cookies.


Andrew Willard


Experiential Learning Director

Email: andrew-willard@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-8333

Office Hours (413 BHC): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm or by appointment.

Honors Experiential Learning Director Andy Willard helps honors students clarify and implement their plans for internships, service learning, study away—both domestic and international—and life beyond the University.  When Andy teaches, his courses focus on international law, human rights, and policy sciences more generally; and he is committed to fostering the skills and confidence students need to use their knowledge and insight to address the problems—from the personal to the planetary—that concern them.


Holly Blosser-Yoder


Advising Director

Email: holly-yoder@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-1932

Office Hours (417 BHC): Monday-Friday 8:30–9:45 AM via Zoom or by appointment.

Holly graduated from Iowa with a masters in Student Development in Higher Education from Iowa. As Honors Advising Director, she supervises the Honors Peer Advisors and Honors Orientation Ambassadors. Holly also serves as the go-to person for any questions about curricula: choosing honors classes; making a regular class into an honors class by contract; and exploring opportunities such as research, study abroad, and the range of other academic possibilities that interest honors students. A writer with an interest in history and culture, Holly is the author of The Same Spirit: History of Iowa-Nebraska Mennonites. Before joining Honors, she lived and worked abroad in Zambia, Lesotho, and Ethiopia. Currently, she lives on a farm in rural Wellman.


Addison Woll


Assessment Manager & Admissions Coordinator

Email: addison-woll@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 467-4685

Office Hours (409 BHC): Monday & Thursday from 8:30 - 10:00 AM via Zoom or by appointment. 

Addison oversees student program progress requirements, tracks program methods to improve student success outcomes, and strives to support communities of care.  His interest areas include supporting student success outcomes, retention in higher education, specifically in traditionally underserved populations, and how universities can best serve students and the state. You might see him around town volunteering at the I.C. Free Medical and Dental Clinic, a local elementary school garden, or for the Prairieland Freedom Fund.

Addison is a First-Generation student advocate, a Safe Zone designee, staff representative on the UI-LGBTQ+ Council, and consent specialist on the UI-Institutional Review Board 2.

Ask him about backyard beekeeping, house plants, or what “reflection” really means!


  • University of Iowa, MA in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies, 2020
  • University of Iowa, MS in Molecular Medicine, 2017
  • Southeast Missouri State University, BS in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Honors, 2014

Honors Student Admins

Delaney McDowell

Delaney McDowell


Delaney is a senior studying Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry on the Pre-Medicine track. Throughout her time in Honors, she has become a Teaching Assistant for the Honors Outreach Ambassador Program, a Peer Mentor, and now an Admin. Delaney also serves as the Development Chair for Dance Marathon, the Vice President for Phi Eta Sigma, and the Research Assistant in the Integrative Neurophysiology Lab. In her free time, you can find her spending far too much money on clothes or catching up on her favorite TV shows: The Golden Girls and How I Met Your Mother.

Amanda Barrett

Amanda Barrett


Major: Psychology and Spanish

Involvement: Vice President of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Developmental Psychopathology Lab), Director of Serve Iowa for Student United Way, Family Representative for Dance Marathon, Honors Administrative Assistant, study abroad in Spain, UIHC Employee

My focus this year is deciding my career path and future plans... it's okay to be uncertain!

Ask me about study abroad/travel, research, honors involvement, and student volunteering opportunities!




Abigail Jordahl 

Coming soon!


Mishma Nixon


Mishma is a junior from Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is majoring in English and Creative Writing with minors in Cinema and Social Justice. She has just started out as a student admin, and has discovered her new passion for writing emails. She is the cultural director of the Campus Activities Board, the Vice President of Operations in the South Asian Student Alliance and the Communications Director of the International Student Advisory Board. She loves connecting with other honors student and enjoys meeting new people, so don't hesitate to say hi! (All you have to ask about is her current read or the last movie she watched, and you are guaranteed to have a long conversation).

Alexis Carfrae

Coming soon!

Lydia Guo Rsz

Lydia Guo

  • Major: Biomedical Sciences 

  • Minors: Chemistry 

  • Lydia Guo is a second-year student studying Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Chemistry. Within the Honors Program, Lydia serves as a student admin and an Honors Publications design editor. She is an undergraduate research assistant at the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, focusing on cystic fibrosis research. Additionally, Lydia volunteers at the UIHC Medical ICU and is the vice president of UNICEF Iowa. When she isn’t working with cells at her lab, Lydia enjoys watercolor and oil painting at her local art studio.

Thomas Duong

Thomas Duong

  • Major: Microbiology 

  • Minors: Human Physiology 

  • Thomas is a second-year student from Iowa City, Iowa, majoring in Microbiology with a minor in Human Physiology. Thomas started working with the Honors Program as a design editor for Honors Publications and is now beginning his first semester as a student admin. Aside from the Honors Program, Thomas is also an undergraduate research assistant, a volunteer at the Free Medical Clinic, and the president of UNICEF Iowa. Thomas also performs and records music with local musicians and is involved with the Vietnamese Student Association. In his free time, Thomas enjoys running and biking long distances, playing the drums and the piano, and traveling to new places with his friends. 

Honors Peer Mentors

Individualize your honors education! Peer mentors can help. You can email your advising questions directly to the peer mentor of your choice at any time or, if available, schedule a Zoom appointment. Either an email exchange or online appointment via Zoom will fulfill the honors peer mentoring requirement. Already have a plan for your complete 24 University Honors credits (coursework 12 + experiential 12)? Email your details to a peer mentor for review!

Honors students are required to secure peer mentoring once per academic year until they complete the 12 s.h. coursework requirement. Honors professional staff are also available for advising and can be scheduled via MyUI or reached for advising by email at any time.

Emma Carlson

Emma Carlson 


  • Majors/minors/certificates: B.A. Interdepartmental Studies - Health Sciences and B.B.A. Management - Leadership (Pre-medicine) 

  • Year in school, hometown: 4th year from Waukee, Iowa  

  • Ask me about the healthcare and business fields, internships, volunteering opportunities, undergraduate research, and the Honors Program. 





Delaney McDowell

Delaney McDowell


  • Major(s): Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry (Pre-Medicine) 
  • 4th Year Student from Mount Pleasant, Iowa 

  • Ask me about student organizations on campus, undergraduate research, study abroad, and TV show recommendations (How I Met Your Mother is the best, always)! 






Allison Beckner

Allison Beckner


  • Majors: Political Science and Ethics & Public Policy with a History minor on the Pre-Law track. 

  • Second year from Cedar Falls, Iowa 

  • Ask me about on-campus employment, student organizations, or to see photos of my dog! 






Mishma Nixon


  • Major(s): English and Creative Writing with minors in Cinema and Social Justice
  • Involvement: ICRU fellow, Honors Writing Fellow, Campus Activities Board, South Asian Student Alliance, International Student Advisory Board.
  • Currently doing my fall semester all the way from my childhood bedroom in Sri Lanka, which is kind of strange and exciting at the same time.
  • Ask me about being an international student in Honors, Honors in the Major (especially in English/Creative Writing), contracting a class for Honors, and my favourite books, movies and TV shows.

Izzy Greenlee

Izzy Greenlee


My name is Izzy Greenlee and I am a junior from San Diego, California. My major is Nursing with a minor in psychology. Ask me about FSL, getting involved on campus, contracting a class for Honors, or the best study spots on campus!  







Hayley Peters

Hayley Peters


  • Major(s): Biology, Pre-Veterinary
  • 3rd year from North Liberty, IA 
  • Ask me about service learning, finding internships, things to do in Iowa City, and gardening!







David Kim

David Kim 

  • Majors/Minors/Certificates: Neuroscience major, Psychology minor on pre-medical track 
  • Sophomore from Ames, Iowa
  • Ask me about undergraduate research, finding funding opportunities and any questions about settling into University of Iowa! 







Siau-Tong Ding

Siau-Tong Ding 


  • Majors: Environmental policy & planning, Anthropology 
  • Minor: Geography 
  • 3rd year from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 
  • Ask me about honors contract courses, undergraduate research in archaeology and environmental studies, interning with the Office of Sustainability, volunteering at the Office of the State Archaeologists, and being an international student in the Honors Program. 





Rylie Tu

Rylie Tu 

  • Major: Mechanical engineering
  • Minor: Mathematics 
  • Certificates: Naval Science and Technology, Sustainability 
  • Third year from West Des Moines, Iowa 
  • Ask me about engineering, getting involved on campus, and balancing life and school!


Andrew Dupont


I am a first-year student at the University of Iowa studying as an Actuarial Science major with a Business Administration minor and a Risk Management and Insurance Certificate. I have been in the Honors Program since the fall of 2020, and I became an Honors Outreach Ambassador in the winter. I have been involved with Honors Coursework including a first-year seminar on meteors, giving me the opportunity to meet a multitude of new people and a teacher that I would never have met otherwise. I am and plan to be increasingly more involved with organizations on campus as the year goes on! When not doing schoolwork, I will be at the gym, listening to music, playing/watching sports, playing cards, or other dumb things with my friends.

Feel free to ask me anything about student life, classes, the Honors Program, or any other things you can think of! Contact me: andrew-dupont@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Andrew


Erin Bughman


Hi there! My name is Erin and I am a first-year open major. I am interested in psychology and journalism and am hoping to declare a major in one of these fields soon. This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, and I am excited for this Honors experience as a leader. In addition to being an ambassador, I also currently write for Honors Publications where I will explore my interest in writing and journalism. Outside of class I love embroidering, scrolling through Pinterest, and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.

Contact Me: erin-bughman@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Erin


Eva Donnelly


I am currently a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Global Health with a double minor in American Sign Language and Physical Activity & Health. I have been apart of the Honor’s Program since my first-year, and recently became an Honor’s Ambassador.

Since joining the Honor’s Program, I took part in Primetime, lived in Daum, completed my first-year seminar, and worked towards fulfilling my experiential learning. On campus, I am a member of the Global Health Club & ASL Club, an assistant researcher at Exercise is Medicine Lab, and a volunteer with Monsoon. I love to walk around City Park with friends, travel, watch movies, and bake!

Feel free to contact me for any questions about the University of Iowa Honor’s Program at eva-donnelly@uiowa.edu.

Dear Prospective Student - From Eva


Haley Stessman


Hello! My name is Haley Stessman and I am majoring in Business Analytics with minors in Sport & Recreation Management and Spanish, on the Pre-Law track. I am a second-year student and this is my first year as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. I am thrilled to be able to share about my experience in Honors so far – especially about how it has given me opportunities to thrive individually, as well as, garner a smaller community of like-minded students on campus. Aside from the Honors Community I am also involved in Greek Life on Campus, serving as Alpha Chi Omega’s VP of Intellectual Development, and am an Iowa Baseball Data Analyst Manager. In my free time, I love exploring new coffee shops and exercising!

I would love either a casual or more formal conversation about all things Honors, the difficult transition to college, or sports! Feel free to reach out to me via email at haley-stessman@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Haley


Ian Smith


Hello! My name is Ian Smith and I am a sophomore majoring in Chemistry (BA) along a pre-medicine track. I have been a part of the Honors Program since my freshman year where I also lived in Daum.

Being involved with the Honors Program has allowed me to make many connections and friendships with students and faculty from various backgrounds and experiences. Outside of academics, I enjoy volunteering with both the Mobile Clinic and Upstream Clinic at the university. I am also involved in Medicus, the Minority Association of Pre-med Students (MAPS), and the tennis club. In my free time, I love reading fantasy books, watching the Dallas Cowboys, playing tennis, and attending events on campus.

Contact me with any questions and I’ll be happy to help. Ian-Smith-1@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Ian


Jivan Koneru


Hi! My name is Jivan, and I’m a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Biology. This is my first semester as an Outreach Ambassador, but I have been a part of the Honors Program since my first year on campus. I love the Honors Program because it allows me to meet new people and pursue my academic interests. On campus, I’m mainly involved in research and volunteering, and in my free time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, watching football and basketball (go Hawks!), and spending time outside. You can ask me about getting involved in research, fun things to do on campus, and what it’s like being in the Honors Program. Feel free to contact me at jivan-koneru@uiowa.edu!

Dear Prospsective Student - From Jivan


Katie Kustes


Hi! My name is Katie and I’m a sophomore from Bettendorf, Iowa. I am studying Social Work with a minor in Rhetoric & Persuasion and Political Science, with a certificate in Trauma-Informed Perspectives. I intend to pursue a law degree after graduation. This is my second year in the Honors Program and my first semester as an Outreach Ambassador!

Some of my favorite college experiences have been working as a psychiatric nursing assistant at UIHC, being a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, participating in Hawkeye Service Breaks, and being involved in an undergraduate research project. When I’m not working or studying, I love to watch crime documentaries, dive into a good book, or eat sushi.

Contact me: katherine-kustes@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Katie


Kim Lybrand


Kim is a first-year student from Ashland, Missouri. She is studying Flute Performance and Journalism and Mass Communication. Kim has been an Honors Ambassador since the Spring of 2021. She is a member of Women in Business and plays in Symphony Band. You can ask Kim about music at Iowa, double majoring, living in Daum Residence Hall, Primetime, the Presidential Scholars Program, and contracting a course for Honors.

Contact: kimberly-lybrand@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Kim


Mackenzie Anderson


Mackenzie is a sophomore at the University of Iowa studying Health and Human Physiology with a B.A. in Health Promotion as well as being on the Physician's Assistant track. She attended Honors Primetime as a freshman, lived in Daum Residence Hall, and has been involved with the program ever since with this being her first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. While her major keeps her very busy, she is also a peer-mentor within Health and Human Physiology club, Executive Assistant of Kappa Alpha Theta, and works in the UI Hospital as an EKG technician. In her free time she likes to run, workout at the rec center, spend time outside, and make way too many trips to Starbucks.

Reach out about sorority life and school balance, how to get involved, surviving your first year of college, and anything healthcare related! Contact me: mackenzie-anderson@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Mackenzie


Madisyn Grever


Hi! I am a third-year student originally from Sycamore, Illinois. I am majoring in Health and Human Physiology on the Health Studies Track and minoring in Psychology. I am planning to complete a master's degree in nursing after I graduate. I have been involved in the Honors Program at the University of Iowa since my freshman year and this is my first year as an Ambassador. I have participated in some awesome Honors Experiential Learning activities including an internship at a rehabilitation center and a virtual study abroad program. The virtual study abroad was an International Medicine course where we zoomed into a Dominican Republic hospital to shadow the doctors. It was an amazing experience. Outside of the Honors Program I volunteer at the University of Iowa’s hospital and I am an International Student Orientation leader. I have been involved in numerous organizations such as Medicus, Device Advice, and the Running Club. Please reach out if you want to know more about Honors, study abroad, experiential learning or any other questions about the University of Iowa.

Dear Prospective Student - Letter From Madisyn


Maria Hallenbeck


Hi! I’m Maria Hallenbeck and I am a first-year student and first time Honors Outreach Ambassador. I am studying Finance and Mathematics with a Finance Specialization and an International Business certificate. I am a data analyst manager for the baseball team here at Iowa and would love to work in analytics for an MLB front office after college. I am a member of Women in Business and InvestHer through the Tippie College of Business as well. In my free time, I love to watch the Minnesota Twins, read, and hang out with my friends!

You can ask me about being a student manager for baseball, being a Tippie student, or how to get involved on campus at maria-hallenbeck@uiowa.edu!

Dear Prospective Student - From Maria


Molly Harris


Hi! I am a sophomore studying Neuroscience with a Chemistry minor on the pre-med track. While this is my first year as an Honors Ambassador, I’ve had great experiences with honors since I was a freshman through the Presidential Scholars Program, Primetime, and first-year seminars. Outside of honors, I am a teaching intern for Learning about Learning, a GEAR UP Peer Mentor, and an On Iowa! leader. For my experiential learning credits, I hope to get involved in research and study abroad.

Contact me at molly-r-harris@uiowa.edu with any questions.

Dear Prospective Student - From Molly


Noelle Ossenkop


Hello! This is my 3rd year at the University of Iowa and I am studying Computer Science and Engineering. This is my 2nd semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador but I have been involved in the Honors Program since my freshman year. Some highlights include meeting other honors students in my major through honors classes and moving to college a week before my freshman year to participate in Honors Primetime. Over the past few years I have had some memorable experiences at the University of Iowa such as doing undergraduate research and rowing for the University of Iowa Women’s Rowing Team. This semester I am working part-time as a Software Engineering Intern at Collins Aerospace following my 8-month full-time internship that I completed in early January. In my free time I love to be outside, watch Hawkeye sports, travel, and listen to podcasts.

Contact me if you want to know about the best places to eat in the Iowa City area, what it’s like to be an engineering student, or if you have any questions about the Honors Program or the University of Iowa in general! Email: noelle-ossenkop@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Noelle


Rabiah Na’Allah


Rabiah Na’Allah is a first-year student at the University of Iowa studying Graphic Design with a minor in Cinema. This is her first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, and she is so excited! She has met many amazing people in the Honors Program through her participation in Primetime and living in Daum residence hall. Rabiah is involved in various organizations on campus including the Muslim Student Association and African Student Association. When she is not working on school, you can find her doing photography, analyzing her favorite movies or binge-watching Criminal Minds.

Ask her about pursuing an Art major, being a minority student on campus, or how to get involved with the honors program!

Contact me at: rabiah-naallah@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Rabiah


Ryan McLerran


My name is Ryan McLerran and I am a first-year student majoring in neuroscience and pollical science. I have been a member of the Honors Program since my first semester, and I started as an Honors Ambassador in my second semester. My favorite part of the Honors Program is all the exceptional opportunities to grow as an individual and as a student. My favorite activities include reading, playing in band and orchestra, and hanging out with friends.

Dear Prospective Student - From Ryan


Selveyah Gamblin


Hello! I am a second-year student from Peosta, Iowa. I am an Ethics and Public Policy major on the Pre-Law track, interested in advocacy, law and politics. I joined the Honors Program my third semester at Iowa and also became an Outreach Ambassador in her fourth semester. I joined the Honors Program because it offers students a wide variety of opportunities and learning experiences. I am also involved in Student Government. In my free time, I love to read, bake, and watch way too many movies on Netflix. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the Honors Program and all it has to offer!

Contact me: sgamblin@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Selveyah


Veena Kappaganthu


Hi! My name is Veena and I am a freshman majoring in Political Science and Vocal Performance. This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, but I’ve enjoyed the Honors experience I’ve gotten so far, including living in the Daum Residence Hall, Honors Primetime, and an Honors First Year Seminar. Additionally, I’m involved in the University Choir and Iowa Andhi. I love dancing, reading, traveling, cooking/baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Dear Prospective Student - From Veena


Delaney McDowell


Delaney McDowell is a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Human Physiology with a minor in Chemistry on the Pre-Medicine track. She has been working for the Honors Program since the Summer of 2019 as a Summer Ambassador and has been an Outreach Ambassador since. Honors has given her the ability to engage in studying abroad and undergraduate research. Delaney is involved in a plethora of other organizations on campus including Dance Marathon, Best Buddies, and UIHC Volunteering. In her free time, you can find her spending far too much money with online shopping or catching up on her favorite TV shows: Grey’s Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother.

Contact Me: delaney-mcdowell@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Delaney


Anna Luria


Anna is a first-year student from Tiffin, Iowa. She is a Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies major on the Pre-Medicine track, interested in advocacy and social work. Anna has been a member of the Honors Program since her first semester and has been an Honors Outreach Ambassador since her second semester. She is the Vice President of Social Events on the student board of Iowa Hillel, the Jewish student center. Anna is also involved in sorority and fraternity life and holds a leadership position in her sorority. In addition to her involvement in student organizations, Anna is a student employee through University Housing and Dining. In her free time, Anna is a major book worm and enjoys listening to podcasts and hanging out with her friends. If you see her on campus please say hello, she loves meeting new people!

You can contact her at annaluria-luria@uiowa.edu.


Elizabeth Johnson


I am a Junior at the University of Iowa double-majoring in Creative Writing and French with a minor in Spanish. As a student, I have been involved with the Honors Program since my first day on campus and have been an Outreach Ambassador since August of 2018. I am involved in several organizations on campus, including as a player for the University of Iowa Women’s Club Soccer team, as editor-in-chief of The Foundationalist (an intercollegiate literary journal), as a writer for the newsletter of Phi Eta Sigma honors society, and as a buddy in Tippie International Buddies. In my free time, I like to travel, play pickup soccer, write, and hang out with my friends.

Ask me about studying abroad or traveling in general, double majoring, soccer, working as an Orientation Leader, or the writing community in Iowa City!

Contact me at elizabeth-b-johnson@uiowa.edu with any questions.

Dear Prospective Student - From Elizabeth


Allison Beckner


I am majoring in Political Science and Ethics & Public Policy with a minor in History on the Pre-Law track. I am a first-year student and my experience with the Honors Program thus far has been wonderful. The classes and other opportunities that the program provides have been quite beneficial to my education. Additionally, the community that exists within the Honors Program is very welcoming. Outside of classes and an on campus job, I am involved with Hawkeye Caucus. In my free time, I enjoy reading, trying new coffee shops, and spending time with friends. Ask me about on-campus employment, Hawkeye Caucus, and getting involved in student organizations!

Contact me at: allison-beckner@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Allison


Amy Zine


I’m a sophomore majoring in Biology with a minor in Psychology. This is my first semester as an Honor’s Outreach Ambassador, but I’ve been involved with the Honors Program since my freshman year when I participated in Primetime. I’m a member of PSP through the Honors College as well as a dancer in Dance Marathon. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I enjoy hanging out with my friends, watching movies, and being outside.

Please reach out if you have any questions about anything honors-related or otherwise!

Dear Prospective Student - From Amy


Haley Lightfoot


I am a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Chemistry with a minor in physics. My experience with the honors program has been nothing short of exceptional. From Primetime, to my first-year seminar “Bringing Dinosaurs Back to Life”, to now being an Honors Outreach Ambassador, I have loved every minute of being in the honors program. Outside of the honors program I am involved in several different organizations on campus. These organizations include Delta Gamma Sorority, Salt Company, U-Iowa Running Club, and Women in STEM Ambassadors. 

Ask me about fraternity and sorority life, being a woman in STEM, or how to get involved with the honors program!

Contact me at haley-lightfoot@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Haley


Eden Conroy

Hi! My name is Eden and I am a second-year student and first year Honors Ambassador. I am from Naperville, Illinois and I am studying Psychology with minors in Human Relations and Music. On campus I am a part of Dance Marathon, Circle-K, and Active Minds. In my free time I enjoy watching movies, working out, and playing the cello. You can ask me about living at Daum Residence Hall, joining student organizations, and good study spots on campus!

Contact me at: eden-conroy@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Eden


Chi Glaha


Chi Glaha is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Sociology with minors in psychology and criminology and certificates in public health and resilience and trauma. She has been involved with the honors program since her freshman year in college and became an Honors Outreach Ambassador since the Fall of 2020. Honors has given her the opportunity to engage with an introspective project over the Summer as well as connected her with a community that has helped her to navigate her way through being a first-generation student. Besides Honors, Chi is involved with a few other organizations such as Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity, the Council on the Status of Women, and was a UIHC volunteer. In her free time, you can find Chi binge-watching shows such as Criminal Minds, or Vampire Diaries.

Contact me: cglaha@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Chi


Minela Ikanovic


Hello! My name is Minela Ikanovic and I am a sophomore majoring in Ethics & Public Policy with an emphasis in Economics, along with a second major in Philosophy and a minor in Rhetoric & Persuasion. By studying these topics, I am on the pre-law track where I plan to attend graduate school to continue learning about judicial sciences.

I have been involved in the Honors Program since my freshman year; I was involved with Primetime, living in the Honors dorm, and have done experiential learning through academic research with Professor Lai in political science. When I’m not busy studying or working, I like to hang out with my sorority sisters, volunteer with the on-campus pre-law society Phi Alpha Delta, attend student government meetings as a member of the Student Judicial Court, watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and talk about my cat!

Dear Prospective Student - From Minela


Joshua Hutton


I am a junior from Muscatine, Iowa, studying Human Physiology on a pre-medical track. I have been involved in the Honors program since my first week on campus. Elsewhere on campus I am involved in Medicus (the pre-medical group on campus), and I am on the club golf team. I love talking all things sports, my faith, good movies, and exciting world-solving ideas. If you have any questions about any of the things above or any other questions about the University of Iowa Honors program, feel free to contact me at Joshua-hutton@uiowa.edu!

Dear Prospective Student - From Joshua


Leighton Barnes


Hi! My name is Leighton Barnes and I am a first-year student at the university studying Chemistry on the Pre-Medicine Track. I’m currently involved in a number of on-campus activities such as the Success in Rhetoric program, Dance Marathon, Medicus (the pre-medicine club), and the University of Iowa KRUI radio station. In my free time, I love to listen to (and create) music, read a good book or two, and philosophize about the world around me with friends!

Contact Me: leighton-barnes@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Leighton


Morgan Miller


Major: Human Physiology B.S. on the Pre-Medicine Track

Hi! I am a first-year student and an Honors Outreach Ambassador. I have been involved with the Honors Program since before classes officially started when I attended my Primetime workshop. I love the Honors Program because it gives me a safe and caring environment to be myself and form a community within the larger University community. If I am not busy studying or in class, I like to spend time with my friends, paint, listen to podcasts, or watch Netflix. Ask me about living in Daum, being on the pre-medicine track, volunteering at the hospital, the best places to sit at Hawkeye sporting events, cats, and anything baseball related!

Contact me: morgan-e-miller@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Morgan

Students interested in joining the Social Squad Club for Fall 2021 should contact Heidi Schmitt.


Amanda Barrett  


Major: Psychology and Spanish 

Involvement: Vice President of Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Developmental Psychopathology Lab), Director of Serve Iowa for Student United Way, Family Representative for Dance Marathon, Honors Administrative Assistant, study abroad in Spain, UIHC Employee 

My focus this year is deciding my career path and future plans... it's okay to be uncertain! 

Ask me about study abroad/travel, research, honors involvement, and student volunteering opportunities! 


Patty Wozniak  


Major: Marketing  

Certificate: Arts Entrepreneurship and Media Entrepreneurship 

Involvement: American Advertising Federation (national and U of Iowa Chapter), NSAC: National Student Advertising Competition, Co-President of student founded University of Iowa Healthcare Heroes. 

Ask me about Tippie, the business school, and involvement opportunities at Iowa!  


Tasha Gilkison 


Major: Neuroscience 

Minor: Political Science 

Involvement: Marketing and Promotions chair of the University of Iowa Pre-Health Conference, Undergraduate research assistant (Neurodevelopmental disorders and genetics), Dance Marathon family representative, Make-A-Wish committee chair in Chi Omega, and Voting Ambassador in Hawk the Vote 

Ask me about research and pre-health involvement here at Iowa! 


Katie Kustes 


Major: Social Work 

Minors: Rhetoric & Persuasion and Political Science 

Involvement: Honors Outreach Ambassador, Nursing Assistant at UIHC, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Undergraduate Research, Rape Victim Advocacy Program, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Student Advisory Board, Court-Appointed Special Advocate for the Iowa Child Advocacy Board 

My focus this year is to start studying for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and to dive into more research opportunities! 

Ask me about what it’s like being a pre-law student at Iowa and volunteering in the Iowa City community! 


Rishika Avvari 


Major: Biomedical Sciences & Journalism and Mass Communication 

Certificate: Writing 

Involvement: Honors Writing Fellow (Magid Writing Center), Undergraduate Research Assistant (Anatomy and Cell Bio), South Asian Student Alliance VP of Marketing, Pakistani Student Alliance Media Manager 
Ask me about cultural orgs on campus, research, honors involvement, and STEM opportunities to take advantage of! 

Swetha Tunuguntla 


Majors: Microbiology and Management 

Involvement: DORE Emerging Women Leaders, ARH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, Iowa Andhi, Women in Business, Circle K, South Asian Student Alliance 

Ask me about Tippie, Honors opportunities, the pre-med track, and other student resources provided by the University of Iowa! 


Rebecca Lara  


Major: English and Creative Writing  

Minor: Spanish  

Involvement: TRIO SSS, The English Society, UI Environmental Coalition  

My focus this year is to apply for the Teach Education Program to pursue a degree in English education and to get more involved in volunteer opportunities!  

Ask me about the creative writing program or the requirements and benefits of joining TRIO SSS! 

The Honors Diversity Council works to encourage and empower underrepresented students to become leaders, uplift student voices, create inclusive programming and act as an accountability partner for UIHP's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

Madeline Rhomberg

Maddie Rhomberg 


Graduation year: 2022 

Major: Psychology 

Maddie is pursuing a Human Physiology (BS) and a minor in Chemistry for her undergraduate degree and plans on attending medical school after graduation. She is currently involved in research relating to spiral ganglion neuron pathfinding in cochlear implantation, serves as the VP on the Dean's Student Advisory Committee, and works at an assisted living facility as a direct care worker. 




Solange Bolger

Solange Bolger 


Graduation year: 2024 

Major: Graphic Design 

Solange is a student who is passionate about community-building, problem-solving, and learning about others! She is studying to become an Industrial Organizational Psychologist hoping to work in a big city and help a lot of people! She is an advocate for multicultural communities at UIOWA and hopes to work to expand the reach of the community to honors!





Rabiah Na'Allah

Rabiah Na'Allah 


Hi, I'm Rabiah! I am a graphic design major and cinema minor from Peoria, Illinois. I am so happy to be on the Honors Diversity, Equity and Inclusion board here at Iowa. I'm part of some identity-based organizations called Muslim Student Association and African Student Association. I really enjoy creating things, binge-watching Criminal Minds and photography!







Mazvita Makoni

Mazvita Makoni 


Graduation year: 2024 

Major: Biology 

Mazvita Makoni is a freshman majoring in Biology and minoring in Sociology and Chemistry on the premed track. She is a Learning Assistant for Principles of Chemistry I, head of the fundraising committee for the University of Iowa MSF chapter, and works as a tutor for Chemistry students in SI. 





Amy Huynh

Amy Huynh 


Graduation year: 2024 

Major: Psychology and Business 








Alex Escalada  


Graduation year: 2022 

Major: Music 

Alex is currently a third-year from Cedar Falls, Iowa pursuing a BA in music with minors in English and Latinx/a/o Studies. Beyond their studies, Alex is involved with the Latino Native American Cultural Center, the Association of Latinos Moving Ahead (ALMA), and the Bijou Student Filmboard. 

Xiangheng Li

Xiangheng Li  


Major: Psychology and Economics 

Xiangheng Li is a first-generation Asian American student. As a UIHP DEI Advisory member, he commits to advancing the experience of honors students on campus by advocating for improvements in the program. Xiangheng also serves as the first-generation senator in USG. With nonjudgmental curiosity, Xiangheng seeks to learn more about the student body through advocacy and conversations. He always welcomes any students to have lunch/dinner with him. Outside of academic, he enjoys listening to classical music, traveling, cooking, and making educational jokes. 




Elizabeth-Munoz Cuadra

Elizabeth Muñoz-Cuadra 


Graduation Year: 2024 

Major: Human Physiology








Leena Taha

Leena Taha 


Graduation Year: 2021 

Major: Global Health Studies, pre-PA 








Samyukta Karthik

Samyukta Karthik 


Graduation Year: 2023 

Major: Biology (Cell and Developmental Biology track) and Psychology 

Involvements: Dance Marathon DEI Chair, Director of Education and Advocacy for Student United Way, Secretary for Walk-It-Out, Marketing and Promotions Committee for the University of Iowa Pre-Health Conference, Department of Biology DEI Committee, Presidential Council on Teaching Charter Committee, Presidential Committee on Diversity Charter Committee, Crisis Counselor, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Resident Assistant. Feel free to reach out to me to discuss DEI in mental health, DEI in research accessibility/funding, cultural orgs and houses at the university, and student volunteering opportunities centered around DEI efforts! 


Tim Arnold

Tim Arnold is the Information Literacy Librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries. He manages the Middle East and Journalism collections. He is available to teach classes on information literacy, reference management, and social media collection development. 

Click here to schedule an appointment with Tim.

Role of the Board

The University of Iowa Honors Program Advisory Board provides advice and support to Honors at Iowa staff, faculty, and administrators. Members serve as representatives of and advocates for the program, our mission, and our initiatives at local and national events. Members build connections among our students, alumni, and the community at large to strengthen the external support of the program, and work together to enhance the undergraduate experience for honors students at Iowa.

The UIHP Advisory Board gathers twice annually, over the phone in April and on campus in October, to discuss important topics that impact the Honors Program at Iowa. Additionally, select members serve on sub-committees focused on specific program initiatives. 

Members of the Board


Susan Assouline

Professor of School Psychology and Director, UI Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development

Susan G. Assouline is the director of the Belin-Blank Center, holds the Myron and Jacqueline N. Blank Endowed Chair in Gifted Education, and is a professor of school psychology.  Throughout her career, she has been especially interested in the psychological principle of individual differences, which serves as a platform for the Belin-Blank Center’s research (with Megan Foley-Nicpon and Alissa Doobay) in the area of twice-exceptionality.  She also completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) at Johns Hopkins University, which was the impetus for investigations and programming related to academic talent in elementary students and academic acceleration as an intervention for advanced students.  With Nicholas Colangelo and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik, she co-developed the Iowa Acceleration Scale, a tool designed to guide educators and parents through decisions about grade-skipping students.  In 2015, she co-edited with Nicholas Colangelo, Joyce Van Tassel-Baska, and Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik,  A Nation Empowered:  Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students.  She received the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award, the 2018 University of Iowa Award for Faculty Excellence, and the 2019 University of Iowa Leadership in Research Award.


  • B.S. in General Science, The University of Iowa 1975 
  • E.D.S. in School Psychology, The University of Iowa 1984 
  • Ph.D. in Education, The University of Iowa 1988 


Nick Colangelo

Dean Emeritus, College of Education 

Nicholas Colangelo served as the founding Director of the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education. 

Nick's  areas of research were focused on the social-emotional development of gifted students and acceleration as the most effective curriculum intervention on behalf of gifted students. Nick also served as Dean of the College of Education.  Recently, he has written about the commonalities of gifted education and honors education.  Nick currently serves on several advisory boards and proudly serve on the UI Honors Advisory Board.



Susan Hagan

Executive Director, Planned Giving, the University of Iowa Center for Advancement  

As Executive Director, Planned Giving, at the University of Iowa Center for Advancement, Susan assists donors wishing to include any department, college, or program at the University of Iowa in their long-range plans. With her background in estate and tax planning, Susan is able to help alumni and friends of the UI determine the best method, asset, and timing of their gift in order to maximize their support of the university, often working with their professional advisors to develop a personalized gift plan.  Susan also serves as the UI Center for Advancement liaison to the Honors Program, and is a member of the Honors Program Advisory Board.


  • University of Iowa B.A. in History (Honors) and Russian 1990 
  • University of Iowa College Law, J.D. 1994 


Ali Husain

Chief of Endoscopy at Frederick Gastroenterology Associates

I am a gastroenterologist/hepatologist practicing in Frederick County, Maryland, since 2015. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, hosting parties, and exploring new eateries. My wife and two children keep me grounded and try to keep my waistline from expanding.


  • University of Iowa, B.S. in Microbology (Honors) 1994 
  • Oxford University, B.A. in Physiology Sciences, 1996 and M.A. in Physiological Sciences 2012 
  • Washington University School of Medicine, M.D. 2000 
  • Internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics: 2000-200

  • Fellowship in Gastroenterology-Hepatology at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: 2003-2006

  • Practiced at McFarland Clinic, Ames, Iowa as a gastroenterologist: 2006-2015


Emily Hill

Honors Program Assistant Director

As the Assistant Director of the Honors Program, Dr. Hill works on enhancing and supporting educational experiences for honors students through curriculum, experiential learning, academic advisement, and community development. Her research addresses twice -exceptional college students (gifted college students living with mental health issues) and how universities can better support these individuals through staff, faculty, advisement, and programming. 


  • University of North Dakota, B.A. English and Honors 2008 
  • University of North Dakota, M.A. English 2011 
  • University of North Dakota, PhD in Educational Foundations and Research 


Judy Lewis

Emeritus Professor, Public Health Sociologist, University of Connecticut School of Medicine 


  • University of Iowa, B.S. with Honors and High Distinction in Sociology and Psychology, 1968 
  • Yale University, MPhil in Sociology 1973



Tanya Uden-Holman

Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of the University College, University of Iowa 

Dr. Tanya Uden-Holman was appointed Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education (APUE) and Dean of the University College in June 2018.  Prior to her appointment, Dr. Uden-Holman served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Public Health (CPH) for 14 years.  She is a clinical professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy in the CPH.  Dr. Uden-Holman’s portfolio includes the Academic Advising Center, Pomerantz Career Center, Office of the Registrar, Office of Assessment, Academic Support and Retention, First-Year Programs, the BAS/BLS degree programs, Honors Program, Distance and Online Education, and Army and Air Force ROTC.  In all of her activities, Dr. Uden-Holman is committed to creating an environment where every student can be successful. 


  • University of Iowa, B.A. (1987), M.A. (1989), and Ph.D. in Sociology 1992 


Pat Rolston

Managing Partner, Federal Group 

Pat Rolston is the co-founder and active Managing Partner of Federal Group, LLC one of multiple start up businesses he has been associated with since graduating from the University of Iowa with a BBA in 1978. These entrepreneurial start ups have given Pat the opportunity to have traveled around the globe and work with research scientists, engineers, and executives who all have been instrumental in his ongoing education. These people continue to be an integral part of Pat's life and now many are fully in support of helping those students who are looking for mentoring as University of Iowa Honors students. As a member of the University of Iowa Honors Board and having served on other boards Pat is always looking to help connect people who can benefit from these associations and his cumulative experiences as an entrepreneur. 


University of Iowa, B.B.A. 1978 

Faculty Placeholder

Kate Bushman Smith

Practicing Attorney, Washington DC 


  • University of Iowa, B.S. in Political Science and Economics 2001 
  • University of California Los Angeles, J.D. 2004 




Resized AS

Art L. Spisak

Honors Program Director


  • Loyola University, Chicago: Ph.D. in Classics

Art Spisak is a professor in the UI Classics Department and the full time director of the Honors Program. He began teaching in honors in 1998, and has been an honors education administrator and researcher since 2006, previously at Missouri State University and then at Iowa (since 2011). In recent years he has been heavily involved with the leadership of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the national organization for honors education. Over the years he has presented and published extensively in the field of honors education. He is also an NCHC accredited program reviewer.

Richard Tyner

Richard Tyner

Senior Counsel, Norton Rose Fulbright 

After graduating from the U. of Iowa, Mr. Tyner as a Marshall Scholar completed an MA in Government at the University of Manchester in England and a PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics. He then completed a JD at Yale Law School, following which he had a career as an international lawyer, practicing in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Paris and London. Mr. Tyner retuned to the US, reconnected with the U. of Iowa in 2014 after a long absence, and is now delighted to serve on the Advisory Board to the Honors Program and the Advisory Board to the Political Science Department. He is also actively establishing scholarships in the Honor Program, the French Department, the Political  Science Department and also in International Programs.”


  • University of Iowa, B.A. in Political Science and French (Honors) 1970 
  • University of Manchester, England, M.A. in Government 1971 
  • London School of Economics, Ph.D. International Relations 1975 
  • Yale Law School, J.D. 1979 


Brett Williams

Senior Staff Research Engineer, Lockheed Martin (retired)


  • University of Iowa, B.S. in Physics (Radar and Optical Sensor Technology) 1983 





Lana Zak

ABC News, White House Press Corps 


  • University of Iowa, B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science 2000 
  • Harvard University, M.A. in Public Policy, International Security and Political Economy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government 


David Hamod

President and CEO, National U.S.- Arab Chamber of Commerce 


  • University of Iowa, B.A. in Political Science with Honors 1981 
  • Johns Hopkins, M.A. in Advanced International Studies 



Nicole Kirkwood

Nicole Kirkwood

Director of Marketing Strategy, Fannie Mae


  • University of Iowa, B.A. in Economics (Honors) and Global Studies (Honors), 2001
  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management, MBA, 2007


Rachel Akeson

Senior Research Scientist, Caltech


  •  University of Iowa, B.S. in Physics and Astronomy with Honors, 1991
  • California Institute of Technology, Ph.D. in Astronomy, 1996

Rachel Akeson is a senior research scientist at Caltech, where she works on NASA astronomy missions such as the Kepler mission and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope.  Her research area focuses on the formation of stars and planets outside our Solar System.


Powers and duties of the Honors Steering Committee include providing direction on honors education at Iowa, advising on major policies for Honors at Iowa, and serving as representatives of the Honors Program in their departments or units. Meetings usually occur twice each fall and spring semester. The Honors Director prepares the agendas, chairs meetings, and keeps records as the committee finds useful. Any member may offer items for discussion as the Honors Steering Committee sees fit.


Selection of the Honors Steering Committee is to represent major campus constituencies of the Honors Program. It includes the Honors Director, the Honors Associate Director, faculty representatives from all five of the degree-granting undergraduate colleges, as well as a student representative from the Honors at Iowa population. It also includes representatives from the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and the Office of Admissions. Faculty members serve three-year terms, which are renewable once. Appointment is by the Honors Director after consultation with college deans or their representatives.

Current Committee Members:

Susan Assouline: Director, Belin-Blank Center

Sarah Bond: Associate Professor, History; CLAS

Margaret Chorazy: Director for Undergraduate Programs, Clinical Assistant Professor, Epidemiology; College of Public Health

Gerta Bardhoshi: Associate Professor of Counselor Education and Supervision, School Counseling Program Coordinator, College of Education

Tori Forbes: Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry

Brent Gage: Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, Admissions

Ruth Grossmann: Assistant Professor, College of Nursing

Karen Heimer: Professor, Sociology

Emily Hill: Assistant Director, Honors Program

Kirk Kluver: Director, Admissions

Mason Koelm: Student Representative, Honors Program

Anton Kruger: Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

John Murry: Professor, Marketing

Art L. Spisak: Director, Honors Program

Shaun Vecera: Professor, Psychology and Brain Sciences