Honors Staff Directory

The Honors Program 4th floor offices will be open by appointment 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. 


Resized AS

Art L. Spisak


Email: art-spisak@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-1685 

Office Hours (447 BHC): via Zoom by appointment.

Dr. Spisak graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a PhD in Classical Studies. He 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. As director, he represents the program both on and off campus with the goal of bringing it the resources it needs to support high achieving students. In recent years he has been heavily involved with the leadership of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the national organization for honors education. Over the years he has presented and published extensively in the field of honors education.

His outside interests are reading, woodworking, and handball.


Emily Hill

Assistant 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 dog Diesel, or rocking out at a concert.


Camille Socarras

Scholarship Coordinator

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

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

Camille serves as the Honors Scholarship Coordinator and Presidential Scholars Program Advisor, 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): Set up appointment in MyUI or contact by email or phone.

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, as well as advising the Honors Publications editors and writers. Holly 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, Tuesday & Thursday from 1:30-2:30 PM 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 work includes supporting student success outcomes and retention in higher education, specifically in traditionally underserved populations. He seeks to understand how universities can best serve students and the state as an academic interest.  He is published for work in traumatic brain injury performed at the IC-VA and hypertension therapeutic pathways performed at the Carver College of Medicine.

When he is not diving into data, Addison keeps busy with backyard beekeeping, working in a local elementary school garden, and volunteering at the IC Free Medical Clinic. His door is always open to students to discuss their concerns, debate if chaos theory or string theory better define the meaning of life, and the importance of the IRB.


  • 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


Kelly Thornburg

Director of Scholar Development

Email: kelly-thornburg@uiowa.edu | Phone: (319) 335-1874

Office Hours (405 BHC): Current students my schedule virtual Scholar Development conferences via MyUI. Alumni who are interested in pursuing a national fellowship should reach out by email to set-up a meeting time.

As Honors' Director of Scholar Development, Kelly works to offer both challenge and support to undergraduates and recent alumni pursuing scholarship, fellowship, or grant opportunities here at Iowa and in national competitions. Her record of service is rooted in the engagement of underrepresented populations in key social and political processes through education and advocacy and includes connections to the National Rural Development Partnership, Teach For America, Planned Parenthood, the Veteran's Administration, and Iowa NEW Leadership.

When she’s not reading personal statements or helping students identify their super powers, she is drawn to the concrete satisfaction that (sometimes) comes with small-time organic garlic farming and renovating the old farm house she shares with her partner and their four-legged kids.

Education & Training:

  • Cornell College, Bachelor of Special Studies with honors in Politics and Women's Studies, 1999
  • University of Iowa, Master of Social Work with honors in Individual Practice, 2008

Website: University of Iowa Undergraduate Fellowships