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Phi Beta Kappa First-Year Book Award Winners

On February 9, the three winners of the First-Year Book Award were announced before the public lecture by Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Nora Naranjo Morse.

Courtland Triplett was selected for his performance in JOUR-177. His first-year seminar instructor, Prof. Genelle Belmas of Journalism, described with enthusiasm Courtland’s presentation at the First-Year Seminar colloquium on the meaning of the First Amendment for his family and a final research paper in which he took on the complex conversation surrounding campus safe spaces. She concluded, “He is responsible, poised, curious, smart, gracious, and delightful.” Courtland has selected for his prize Dissent: The History of an American Idea by Ralph Young.

Hannah Bachmann was selected for her performance in UNIV 101. Her instructor, Associate Director for Academic Programs in the First-Year Experience program Howard Graham, wrote about Hannah’s impressive work on a research project using the archives of the Dole Institute of Politics, one concerning African American representation at the 1972 Republican National Convention and that she presented “with poise, detail, and insight” to, among others, a reporter from the Kansas City Star. Hannah has selected for her prize Suspicious Minds: Why we Believe Conspiracy Theories by Rob Brotherton.

Anita Patel was selected for her performance in HNRS 190. Her instructor, Assistant Director of Student Engagement in the Honors Program Lesley Owens, writes, “Anita is passionate about community health, … but her intellectual interests are astonishingly broad; they include photography, creative writing, design, cooking, food insecurity, and solving pretty much every domestic and international social issue you can think of.” Anita has chosen for her prize The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson.

Congratulations to these great students! Thank you to all of the instructors who nominated their students for this award.


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
Congratulations, all! Way to represent the State of Kansas! https://t.co/rVFaLPDSXJ


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