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

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


Dr. Shaun Vecera

Dr. Shaun Vecera

he/him/his

Director

Email: shaun-vecera@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-0839

Shaun Vecera graduated from the University of Oregon before moving to Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1995. He has been a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Iowa since 1998 and became director of the University Honors Program in 2021. Professor Vecera studies visual attention and cognition and is the author of more than 90 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications on his research. Current research in his lab is exploring the role of learning and experience on attentional control.

In addition to his research, Professor Vecera is very involved with and committed to undergraduate education and student success. In addition to his role in the Honors Program, he is leading the development of a campus-wide learning framework for undergraduate students. From 2016-2021, he held the Herman J. and Eileen S. Schmidt Chair for leadership in undergraduate education, and he received the 2017-18 President and Provost Teaching Award for Teaching Excellence. He has also been recognized with the Honors Program Teaching Award in 2019 and the inaugural Award for Outstanding First-Generation Student Advocacy in 2019. He serves on several university committees that support undergraduate student success. Professor Vecera teaches classes of all sizes, including an honors first-year seminar titled How Psychology Can Save the Planet.


Dr. Emily Hill

Dr. Emily Hill

she/her/hers

Associate 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 Associate 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 (real or virtual) is always open for students to visit with her about academics, experiential learning, and life in general. In her free time, she likes to practice yoga, read fiction, collect vinyl and play it too loud, and travel.

Education:

  • 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

Heidi Schmitt

she/her/hers

Program Coordinator 

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

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

Remote Availability: Wednesday & Friday

As the Program Coordinator, Heidi is responsible for supervising Honors Program student admin 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 her pet care business 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

Camille Socarras

she/her/hers

Scholarship Specialist and Project Coordinator

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

Office Hours Wednesday-Friday (435 BHC): Contact via email to schedule. 

Remote Availability: Monday and Tuesday

Camille helps students find the right opportunities and manages assigned scholarships for the Honors Program. She also serves as Staff Advisor to the Presidential Scholars Program and Honors Diversity Council. Camille 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.


Alyssa Yao

Alyssa Yao 

she/her/hers

Experiential Learning Specialist 

Email: alyssa-yao@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-3557

Office Hours: 

Remote Availability: Monday and Friday

Alyssa graduated from Grinnell College and moved all the way to Iowa City, where she's now pursuing a Master's in higher education and student affairs. As the Experiential Learning Specialist, she'll be advising and supporting students throughout their experiential learning process and helping them make meaning of their experiences. Some of Alyssa's interest areas include assessment, first-generation student success, and continuing DEI efforts. 

Outside of work, you can find her making some sort of dough-related food (working on perfecting soup dumplings and challah currently), eating at the local pho restaurant, or listening to true crime podcasts. 


Holly Yoder

Holly Blosser-Yoder

she/her/hers

Advising Director

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

Office Hours (417 BHC): Students may schedule via MyUI.

Remote Availability: Off-site days fluctuate due to schedule. 

Holly graduated from the University of Iowa with a masters in Student Development in Higher Education from Iowa. As Honors Advising Director, she supervises the Honors Peer Advisors and Honors Outreach 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. She also serves as advisor to the honor society Phi Eta Sigma and to Honors Publications, the student editors and writers who produce the Honors Newsletter, Alumni Connection and many articles on the Honors Program blog. A writer with an interest in history and culture, Holly is the author of The Same Spirit: History of Iowa-Nebraska Mennonites. Before joining the University, she lived and worked abroad in Zambia, Lesotho, and Ethiopia. Currently, she lives on a farm in rural Wellman.


Addison Woll

Addison Woll

he/him/his

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. 

Remote Availability: Tuesday & Friday 

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!

Education:

  • 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

she/her/hers

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

she/her/hers

Amanda is a senior double-majoring in Psychology and Spanish. She has been involved in the Honors Program as a peer mentor, administrative assistant, founder of the Social Squad Club, and as current president of the Honors Society, Phi Eta Sigma. She is an undergraduate research assistant for the Developmental Psychopathology Lab and for the Center for Disabilities and Development at UIHC. She stays busy by also being involved in Dance Marathon, Student United Way, and working at UIHC and ChildServe! Feel free to ask Amanda about starting an Honors thesis, books, dogs, Europe, and her favorite coffee shops in Iowa City!

 

 

 


Abbey Jordahl

Abigail Jordahl 

she/her/hers

Abigail is a third-year student double-majoring in French Literature & Culture and International Studies on the Human Rights and Development tracks. She is the President of UI Students for Human Rights, serves as the Event Coordinator for UNA, and is an undergraduate research fellow studying cooperation in civil conflicts. She enjoys spending free time at coffee shops and exploring Iowa City with friends!

 

 

 

 

 


Mishma Nixon

Mishma Nixon

she/her/hers

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

Alexis Carfrae

she/her/hers

Alexis is studying political science and pre-law with a minor in criminology and is from Waukee, Iowa. She is an at-large Senator for the Undergraduate Student Government, honors program fellow, honors admin, and a campus tour guide. She enjoys iced coffee, the state legislature, and walking tacos from the library!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lydia Guo

Lydia Guo

she/her/hers

Lydia Guo is a third-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 with UIHC Guest Services 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

he/him/his

Thomas is a third-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. 

 

 

 


Hannah Yerly

Hannah Yerly

she/her/hers

Hannah is a third-year student studying Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Chemistry. This is her first semester as a Honors administrative assistant and volunteer for RVAP. Ask her more about experiencing first-year seminars, research, Greek life, student orgs, and anything else! In her free time she enjoys reading, playing with her cat, cooking, and taking walks around Iowa City. 

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 

she/her/hers

  • 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

she/her/hers

  • 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

she/her/hers

  • 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

Mishma Nixon

she/her/hers

  • 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

she/her/hers

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

she/her/hers

  • 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 

he/him/his

  • 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 

she/her/hers

  • 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 

she/her/hers

  • 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

 Drew Dupont

he/him/his

I am a second-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 spring semester of 2020-21 academic year, making this my 3rd semester. I am in the Actuarial Science Club, UIowa Microsoft Competition Committee, and plan to be increasingly more involved with organizations on campus as the semesters pass. When not doing schoolwork, I will typically be at the gym, listening to music, playing/watching sports, and enjoying the campus life! 

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

Erin Bughman

she/her/hers

Hi there! My name is Erin and I am a sophomore from Dubuque, IA. I am studying Psychology with minors in social justice and human relations.  This is my third semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, and I am excited to continue outreaching to prospective students. I love Honors for a ton of reasons, those included being the smaller community it provides at this university and the connections I can make to like-minded students in my Honors sections.  Outside of class I love embroidering, scrolling through Pinterest, and making oddly specific Spotify playlists.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions Honors or Iowa related! I would love to chat. 

Contact Me: erin-bughman@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Erin

 

 

 


Jivan Koneru

Jivan Koneru

he/him/his

Hi! My name is Jivan, and I’m a fourth year student at the University of Iowa studying Biology. This is my third 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, 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

 

 

 


Molly Harris

Molly Harris

she/her/hers

Hi! I am a third-year student from Ottawa, Illinois studying Neuroscience on the pre-med track. I have been involved with the Honors Program since my first semester and this is my third semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. I’ve had great experiences with Honors throughout my time at the University of Iowa and have felt very connected within the Honors community. Outside of the Honors Program I participate in undergraduate research and work as an emergency department scribe. In my free time I love to listen to podcasts, spend time outside, watch TV series, and paint! 

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

Dear Prospective Student - From Molly

 

 

 


Selveyah Gamblin

Selveyah Gamblin

she/her/hers

Hello! I am a third-year student from Peosta, Iowa. I am an Ethics and Public Policy and Political Science double major on the Pre-Law track, interested in advocacy, law and politics. I joined the Honors Program my third semester at Iowa and 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

 

 

 

 


Delaney McDowell

Delaney McDowell

she/her/hers

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 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. 

Contact Me: delaney-mcdowell@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Delaney

 

 

 

 


Anna Luria

Anna Luria

she/her/hers

Hi! I am a third-year student from Tiffin, Iowa. I am studying Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies and Political Science. After I graduate, I plan to get a Master of Social Work degree with the end goal of working with a non-profit or doing educational work. I have been part of the Honors Program since fall 2019 and an Honors Outreach Ambassador since spring 2020. Outside of honors I have been on the student board of Iowa Hillel and am involved in sorority and fraternity life. In my free time I love to read, listen to podcasts and music, do craft projects, and dance up a storm (even if there is no music).  

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

 

 

 

 


Allison Beckner

Allison Beckner

she/her/hers

I am a third-year student majoring in Political Science and Ethics & Public Policy with a minor in History on the Pre-Law track. I joined the Honors Program as an incoming student, and it has enriched my college experience. I have taken numerous honors classes that have challenged me and introduced me to others who are dedicated to academics. I have also found a community through Honors, which has brought a lot of fun to my college experience. Outside of classes I work and am a Teaching Assistant for Honors Outreach Ambassadors! In my free time, I enjoy crafting, drinking coffee, and spending time with friends. Ask me about honors program requirements and getting involved in student organizations. 

Contact me at: allison-beckner@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Allison

 

 

 


Eden Conroy

Eden

Hi! My name is Eden and I am a third-year student and second year Honors Ambassador. I am from Naperville, Illinois and I am doing a double major in Psychology and Education Studies and Human Relations with a Minor in Music and a Certificate in Resilience and Trauma Informed Perspectives. On campus I am a part of Dance Marathon, Active Minds, and a research lab. In my free time I enjoy reading, playing the cello, and watching movies.  

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

 

 


Joshua Hutton

Josh

he/him/his

I am a senior from Muscatine, Iowa, studying Human Physiology B.S. I have been involved in the Honors program since my first week on campus. Elsewhere on campus I am involved in National Society of Leadership and Success, 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

Leighton

she/her/hers

Hi! My name is Leighton, and I am a third year at the University of Iowa majoring in Chemistry and History with a minor in French. I have been involved in the Honors Program since my first semester and love the program for its supportive community. When I’m not studying, I work in a chemistry lab, participate in the Community Health Outreach Program, and love to create music! 

Ask me about getting involved on campus (and taking advantage of all the cool things UIowa has to offer), working on honors experiential learning, rock climbing, or what music group you should listen to next! 

You can contact me at Leighton-barnes@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Leighton

 


Morgan Miller

Morgan Miller

she/her/hers

Hi! I am a third-year student studying Human Physiology on the Pre-Med Track with a minor in Gender, Health, and Healthcare Equity. I also work at the University Hospital in the Radiology Department. I love the Honors Program because it provides a caring and inclusive environment to be myself and form a community within the larger University community. I'm also involved in the Health and Human Physiology Club, Global Health Club, and UIBio. When I'm not studying or at work, I like to paint, read, listen to podcasts, watch baseball, and look at pictures of my cat (not necessarily all at once).  

Ask me about being a woman in STEM, how to get involved on campus, the best places to sit at Hawkeye sporting events, cats, or my Ultimate Ranking of every Taylor Swift song. 

You can contact me at morgan-e-miller@uiowa.edu

Dear Prospective Student - From Morgan


Tyler Voas

she/her/hers

Hi! I’m a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa studying Psychology with a minor in Global Health. I have been an Honors Outreach Ambassador since the Spring of 2019. On campus I am also involved with the Doctors Without Borders club, I’m a peer mentor for a course called Life Design, and I am a Voting Ambassador for Hawk the Vote. I also work at the study abroad office as a peer assistant. In my free time, I like reading, creating digital art, and spending way too much time watching (and rewatching) shows like The Handmaid's Tale and The Good Place. Ask me anything about studying abroad and getting involved in the Honors community! 


Lauren Rosenstock

she/her/hers

Hi, my name is Lauren! I’m originally from Madison, WI. I'm a second-year student at the University of Iowa. I’m a second-semester HOA, but I have been a part of the honors program since my first-year. I am majoring in Biomedical Sciences Pre-Med with minors in Chemistry and Art. I love the honors program because it offers so many amazing opportunities for its students, and it brought me some of my best friends! I am also a part of UIBIO, WISA, the Presidential Scholars Program, honors research, and much more. I love being outside (studying on the Pentacrest is the best), working out, and spending time with my friends. I also love getting out of my room to study so if you need a study spot recommendation don’t be afraid to reach out. 

Contact me if you too are an out of state student, are looking to get involved in clubs or honors research, want to know the prettiest places in Iowa City, or have any questions at all! Always feel free to reach out!

Contact me via email: Lauren-Rosenstock@uiowa.edu 


David Roth

David Roth

he/him/his

Hey there! I am a second-year student from Peosta, Iowa, double majoring in Actuarial Science and Mathematics. I have been in the Honors Program since my freshman year where I took an Honors Primetime course about birds, an Honors first-year seminar on meteors, and a self-discovery class through the Presidential Scholars Program. I’m looking forward to helping out as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. Outside of the Honors Program, you can find me at the gym, tutoring at the Mathematics Tutorial Lab, playing games on my Switch, or just shooting the breeze with my friends.  

So, please, reach out if you have any questions about the Honors Program, Presidential Scholars Program, or anything related to the University of Iowa. I’ll be happy to help.   

Email: david-roth@uiowa.edu 

 

 

 


Alexi Tauras

she/her/hers

Hi everyone! My name is Alexi, and I am a first-year student studying Biochemistry on the Pre-Medicine Track. I am originally from Lake Zurich, Illinois, but I would love to say that I've been a Hawkeye my whole life. In addition to being involved in the Honors Program as an Outreach Ambassador, I would love to talk to you about my experience in Honors Primetime, first-year seminars, and coursework. When I am not studying or working, I love to go on walks throughout the campus, have coffee dates with friends, listen to music, and read outside. 

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have about the Honors Program and student life on campus! 

Contact me: alexandra-tauras@uiowa.edu 


Aly Loomis

she/her/hers

Hi, my name is Ally and I’m a freshman majoring in neuroscience. I’m also getting a minor in psychology and I’m on the pre-med track. This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador and I’m excited to share about the honors program! My favorite experience with honors so far has been my first-year seminar and I plan to get involved with research for experimental learning credits. I’m also involved with dance club and volunteering in the neurology unit at the hospital. In my free time, I enjoy playing the piano and the ukulele, reading, and listening to music. Feel free to ask me any questions about honors or anything!

You can contact me at allison-loomis@uiowa.edu.


Audrey Balester 

she/her/hers

Hi! My name is Audrey Balester (she/her/hers), and I am a first-year student from New Lenox, Illinois. I am double majoring in English and Psychology. This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, and my second semester in the Honors Program. I also volunteer at the UI Hospitals & Clinics in the Cancer Inpatient Unit and am a residence hall tour guide. A fun fact about me is that I love music and I collect vinyl records! Please reach out if you have any questions about the Honors Program or about the university in general!   

Email: audrey-balester@uiowa.edu


Ellie Holstad 

she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Hello! My name is Ellie, and I’m a freshman from West Branch, Iowa. I’m majoring in Political Science with a certificate in Human Rights on the Pre-Law track. After I graduate from the University of Iowa, I hope to attend law school and begin my practice. The honors program has been a part of my university experience since I stepped foot on campus, and this is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. Besides honors, I’m part of the First Gen Hawks program. When I’m not at school or work, you can typically find me listening to Hozier or reading.  

I’m happy to answer questions about Primetime, maintaining an off-campus job, living off-campus, Pre-Law, good study sports, or any other questions you might have.

You can contact me at eholstad@uiowa.edu 


Jasmyn Jordan 

she/her/hers

Hi! My name is Jasmyn Jordan and I'm from Normal, Illinois.  I joined the Honors Program as an incoming first-year student.  This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador!  I am a first-year Criminology major on the Pre-Law Track.  I would like to become a juvenile lawyer.  My Honors experiences include, but are not limited to: Living in Daum Residence Hall, Honors Primetime: Insect Science for Hawkeyes, Honors Coursework: Rhetoric and Classical Mythology, Honors DEI Council, and the Presidential Scholars Program. I have been involved with Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Poetry Editor for Ink Lit Magazine, Women in Business, Sociology & Criminology Club, NAMI Creative and Outreach Committee, and On Campus Employment.

You are more than welcome to reach out to me at jasmyn-jordan@uiowa.edu 


Jatin Dhamrait 

he/him/his

Hi! This is my second year at the University of Iowa, where I am studying Biomedical Engineering: Biomechanics and Biomaterials on the Pre-Medical track. This is my first semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador, but I have been a part of the honors program since my freshman year. The honors program has really exposed me to eye-opening opportunities – it introduced me to life-long friends, helpful classes, and it encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone for extracurriculars. Outside of honors, I am part of the Reinhardt Bioimaging Research Team, Engineering Student Council, and volunteering at the UIHC. Other things I enjoy doing are hammocking, napping, and backpacking. Feel free to reach out to talk about anything! Especially if you have a hammock spot in Iowa City to share.   

Contact me! jatin-dhamrait@uiowa.edu 


Montala Carruthers

she/her/hers

My name is Montala (Mon-Tay-La) and I use she/her pronouns. I am a second year Public Health major with a minor in Criminology and a certificate in Resilience and Trauma Informed Perspectives. I'm addition to being an ambassador, I am also the Events & Outreach Coordinator for the Undergraduate Public Health Organization and I work as a pharmacy technician. I am a dog mom of 2 girls who love to dance, take road trips, and watch football. You can ask me about Honors coursework, getting involved on campus, or any other questions about surviving college! 

Contact me at montala-carruthers@uiowa.edu with any questions. 


Natalie Kehrli 

she/her/hers

Hi there! I am a second-year student majoring in Psychology on both the Pre-Medicine and Pre-Law tracks. I am originally from Manchester, Iowa. I am involved in many activities including Alpha Phi Omega, Camerata Choir, the Backpack Project, Women in STEM Ambassadors, Medicus, UIHC Volunteering, the Red Cross, and the Dance Marathon Leadership team. I am also the Student Life Director for the Associated Residence Halls here on campus! In my free time, I love to read, write, draw, listen to music, drum, sing, and volunteer. You can ask me about making the decision to come to the University of Iowa, applying for the Honors Program, Honors Primetime, living in Daum Residence Hall, the Pre-Med or Pre-Law tracks, or earning Honors Credit. 

Email: natalie-kehrli@uiowa.edu


Rabiah Na’Allah 

she/her/hers

Hi there! My name is Rabiah Na'Allah and I am a second-year student at the University of Iowa studying Art and Cinema. I’m from Peoria, Illinois and this is my third semester as an Honors Outreach Ambassador. I have met many amazing people in the Honors Program through my participation in Primetime, living in Daum residence hall and my involvement in the Honors Diversity, Equity and Inclusion council. I am involved in various organizations on campus including the Muslim Student Association, African Student Association and Student Advocates of Planned Parenthood. When I'm not working on school, you can find me doing photography, analyzing my favorite movies, or binge-watching Criminal Minds.  

Ask me about majoring in Art, living in Daum, and getting connected with students of color on campus! 

Email: rabiah-naallah@uiowa.edu

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


Patty

Patty Wozniak  

she/her/hers 

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

Tasha Gilkison 

she/her/hers 

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! 


Rebecca

Rebecca Lara  

she/her/hers  

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! 

  


Sanya Sami

Sanya Sami

she/her/hers 

Major: Human Physiology

Certificate: Leadership Studies

Current Involvements: Volunteering at various health clinics, working in a research lab, Academic Director for the Health and Human Physiology Student Organization, STAR (Students to Assist Recruitment), Medicus, and Women in STEM. 

My focus for this year is to find more opportunities to shadow healthcare professionals and various medical specialties. 

Ask me about what it’s like being a pre-health student or about finding leadership opportunities to take part in! 

 

 


Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson

she/her/hers 

Major: Biomedical Sciences

Involvement: Undergraduate Research (Abel Lab), External social chair at Chi Omega, Dance Marathon, Emergency Medical Services Student Interest Club, Intramurals, and the UIBio diversity, equity, and inclusion team.

My focus for this year is to begin studying for the MCAT and dive further into undergraduate research!

Ask me about my favorite study spots or being a pre-med student at Iowa!

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 

she/her/hers 

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 

she/her/hers 

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 

she/her/hers 

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 

she/her/hers 

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 

she/her/hers  

Graduation year: 2024 

Major: Psychology and Business 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Alex Escalada  

they/them/their(s)  

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  

he/him/his 

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 

she/her/hers  

Graduation Year: 2024 

Major: Human Physiology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leena Taha

Leena Taha 

she/her/hers  

Graduation Year: 2021 

Major: Global Health Studies, pre-PA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Samyukta Karthik

Samyukta Karthik 

she/her/hers  

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! 

Timothy

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

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.

Education:

  • 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

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

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.

Education:

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

Ali

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.

Education: 

  • 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


EH RS

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. 

Education:

  • 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

Judy Lewis

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

Education:

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

 

 

 


Tanya

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. 

Education:

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

Pat

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. 

Education:

University of Iowa, B.B.A. 1978 


Faculty Placeholder

Kate Bushman Smith

Practicing Attorney, Washington DC 

Education:

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

 

 

 

 

 


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.”

Education:

  • 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

Brett Williams

Senior Staff Research Engineer, Lockheed Martin (retired)

Education: 

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

 

 

 

 


Lana

Lana Zak

ABC News, White House Press Corps 

Education:

  • 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

David Hamod

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

Education:

  • 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

Education: 

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

Rakeson

Rachel Akeson

Senior Research Scientist, Caltech

Education:

  •  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.

Responsibilities

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.


Membership

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

Anton Kruger: Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

John Murry: Professor, Marketing

Shaun Vecera: Professor, Psychology and Brain Sciences