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38th class Of KU University Scholars named.

Monday, December 3, 2018

The University Honors Program named 30 University of Kansas sophomores to the University Scholars Program. The program was founded in the spring of 1982 by Judge Deanell Tacha, then Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Professor Francis Heller, then the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science. The program now counts over 750 alumni.  The University Scholars Program is designed to recognize and encourage KU's most academically talented and motivated sophomore students who have demonstrated intellectual achievement and curiosity. Students are selected in a competitive application process for their academic credentials, commitment to education, intellectual promise, involvement and interests outside of the classroom, and recommendations.

As juniors, the selected students will participate in an interdisciplinary seminar and work with Honors faculty mentors to pursue academically enriching opportunities. Through interdisciplinary coursework, mentorship and student networks, the program provides a cohort of sophomores with opportunities to develop their intellectual capabilities and interests to the fullest and better prepare them for careers, further study and leadership roles in today’s complex society. 

The 2018-19 University Scholars are listed alphabetically with their hometowns, majors and faculty mentors.

Naomi Becerra:  Valley Center, KS; majoring in political science and public administration; mentored by Shannon Portillo, School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Jaya Chakka:  Collinsville, OK; majoring in behavioral neuroscience and molecular, cellular and developmental biology; mentored by Michael Kirkendoll, Music.

Jennifer Chen:  Overland Park, KS; chemical engineering; mentored by Diana Carlin, Communication Studies.

Saron Demeke:  Lenexa, KS; majoring in behavioral neuroscience, minoring in education and French; mentored by Stephen Ilardi, Psychology.

Linda Deng:  Shawnee, KS; majoring in engineering physics and digital electronic systems, minoring in Mandarin Chinese; mentored by Phil Baringer, Physics and Astronomy.

Jackson Dinsmore:  La Crosse, KS; majoring in biology, minoring in psychology; mentored by Drew Vartia, Chemistry.

Colin Floyd:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in computer science, astronomy, and philosophy, minoring in political science; mentored by Brian McClendon, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. 

Samuel Galapo:  Leawood, KS; majoring in accounting and finance; mentored by Greg Cushman, History.

Arman Hadjian:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in biochemistry and Spanish; mentored by Cindy Berrie, Chemistry.

Nicholas Hinman:  Olathe, KS; majoring in philosophy and political science, minoring in economics and global and international studies; mentored by Jen Harrison, Business.

Lauren Jennings:  Dardenne Prairie, MO; majoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, minoring in psychology and chemistry; mentored by David Tell, Communication Studies.

John Johnston:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in physics and mathematics, minoring in economics; mentored by Matt Otto, Music.

Aroog Khaliq:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in English and psychology; mentored by Megan Kaminski, English.

Natalie Kidwell:  Prairie Village, KS; majoring in history; mentored by Marie Brown, History.

Zachary Kulphongpatana:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in computer science and mathematics; mentored by Perry Alexander, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Kyra Larson:  Lawrence, KS; majoring in political science and history, minoring in education studies; mentored by David Farber, History.

Wanheng Li:  Meishan Sichuan, China; majoring in behavioral neuroscience and East Asian languages and cultures (with a concentration in Japanese language and literature); mentored by Joan Sereno, Linguistics.

Paula Lopez:  Andover, KS; majoring in history, minoring in Spanish; mentored by Lumen Mulligan, Law.

Nathan Martin:  Leavenworth, KS; majoring in chemical engineering; mentored by Mark Shiflett, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

Alexis McGhee-Dinvaut:  Olathe, KS; majoring in psychology; mentored by Nyla Branscombe, Psychology.

Amanda Nguyen:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in biochemistry, minoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies and chemistry; mentored by Lisa Sharpe Elles, Chemistry.

Caitlin Riffer:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in political science, minoring in women, gender, and sexuality studies; mentored by Beth Innocenti, Communication Studies.

Kelsey Rolofson:  Grover, MO; majoring in English and political science; mentored by Paul Outka, English.

Karishma Shah:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in finance, pre-medical track; mentored by Matt Stein, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Meredith Shaheed:  Lawrence, KS; majoring in political science, history, and environmental studies; mentored by Tony (Anton) Rosenthal, History.

Dania Shoaib:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, minoring in public policy; mentored by Heather Getha-Taylor, School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Morgan States:  Florissant, MO; majoring in business administration; mentored by Shawn Alexander, African & African-American Studies.

Hannah Steinert:  Wichita, KS; majoring in supply chain management and environmental studies, minoring in music; mentored by Steve Leisring, Music.

Logan Stuart:  Coralville, IA; majoring in economics and chemistry, minoring in Chinese; mentored by David Slusky, Economics.

Anna Trofimoff:  Overland Park, KS; majoring in chemical engineering; mentored by Tim Jackson, Chemistry.

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Why KU
  • Course offerings are “among the most comprehensive in the nation,” according to “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs”
  • 98% of University Honors Program graduates are employed or accepted to graduate school within six months of graduation
  • 40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
  • 9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
  • 1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
  • 60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
  • KU honors students select their advisors from top-ranked KU faculty