Selected on the basis of scholarly and personal achievement, students must have completed between 56 and 89 semester hours by the beginning of the semester in which the award is made, and are preferably a member of Phi Eta Sigma.
Charlotte Lenkaitis will graduate in May 2021 from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in Global Health Studies and Spanish, as well as a minor in Environmental Policy & Planning. Since January 2020, Charlotte has served as the Executive Director for the Food Pantry at Iowa. This fall, she is excited to continue to pursue initiatives at the University and State level to further decrease food insecurity on college campuses. Charlotte began working with her professor on research related to stress among women farmers in Iowa. She is also developing her own research project focused on food insecurity among migrant farmworkers.
"My advice for incoming students is to be open to new experiences and TAKE RISKS! Time flies in college and there are countless fantastic opportunities available. The Honors Program at the University of Iowa has opened many doors for me. I would highly encourage ALL students to get involved in research. Working with my professors on research projects has been one of the most worthwhile experiences that I've had on campus so far."
Entering her third year, Delaney is studying human physiology and chemistry. She enjoys undergraduate research, where she studies the symptoms of neurodegenerative illnesses. She studied abroad in the Dominican Republic for 3 weeks, in which she learned much about herself and the world around her. Delaney enjoys helping others as well, both in and outside of the academic experience. She works with the Honors Program and volunteers for UIHC and Dance Marathon every week.
"I would advise students to really focus on finding their passion and what it means for them. Not everyone is going to be curious or enjoy the same topics/classes, so it is important that everyone finds what they enjoy most in the world and not be afraid to pursue it, even if it means doing it alone. I would encourage students to find something to be a part of and let that group make you feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. College can be stressful, overwhelming, and lonely sometimes, so it is really important to have those people in your corner."
Kelsey Lyons, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, is majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a Pre-Medicine designation and is pursuing a minor in Spanish. Her interest in Spanish language and culture was developed in the summer of 2019 when she had the opportunity to study abroad in Valencia, Spain. Kelsey aspires to a career in radiation oncology. When she is not busy in the classroom, she enjoys playing saxophone in the Hawkeye Marching Band.
"My advice for students new to the University of Iowa and the UI Honors Program is to do something fun, something that you aren't just doing for a line on your resume. I feel like a lot of first-year Honors students come in to college as the top students from their respective high schools, with the goal to get super academically involved. Which, in general, is great. But for me, the best parts of college have been building community with people outside my major and academic discipline. For me, playing saxophone in the Hawkeye Marching Band, going to Zumba classes at the Rec, and going to cheap CAB movies on the weekends are great ways to spend time with friends and relax from the stress of college classes. Basically, study hard, but make time for the things that make you happy, even if they aren't productive."
Mia Battani is a junior at Iowa studying medical anthropology, biology, and psychology on the pre-Physician Assistant track. During her time at the University, she has been involved in research with the Biology Department, volunteering with Students to Assist Recruitment, and working for the Office of Admissions. Within her Honors experience, she has taken multiple Honors class sections and interned in Thessaloniki, Greece shadowing surgeons. She cannot wait to see what this next year holds!
"For incoming Honors students, my best advice is to take advantage of opportunities early-on. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, meet new people, and try new things before the rest of your peers. I promise you’d rather try something and end up disliking it than regret never trying it at all! Some examples of opportunities I wish I would've explored more are study abroad, being involved with research during my first year, and discovering different student organizations!"