Every part of Westminster University’s Honors College is designed intentionally to support you and your education. Every course, trip, research project, and event will enhance your university experience. You are encouraged to take an active part in Honors, as student participation is welcomed in all facets of the Honors College. Available opportunities include:

  • Employment as a student associate (5–7 paid positions that help run the Honors College in the areas of co-curricular programming, marketing and publicity, tech support, and diversity initiatives)
  • Serving as a peer mentor to help guide incoming honors students through their first year of the program (25–30 positions for upper-class Honors students with extensive experience in the program)
  • Attending regional and national Honors conferences
  • Studying abroad at the University of Glasgow
  • Attending honors-sponsored lectures, meetings, and events
  • Participating in the student-run Honors newsletter (Honorable Mention)
  • Participating in the Student Honors Council

two students standing by bike

Honors Newsletter: Honorable Mention

The Honors College newsletter, Honorable Mention, is published once a semester. It is designed, written, and published entirely by Honors student editors, writers, and photographers. The newsletter features Honors College news, Honors student and faculty profiles, updates on the work of the Student Honors Council, answers to important questions, and announcements about new courses, awards, and funding opportunities. The publication is sent to all Honors students and their families, Honors faculty, Honors alums, and staff and administrators connected to the Honors College. It is also occasionally sent to Westminster University's Board of Trustees and other friends of the university.

Students who are interested in working on the newsletter (or have story ideas) should contact the editors. These editors work very hard to produce a high-quality publication, which has won an award in the NCHC national newsletter competition on five separate occasions, including 1st place in 2010 (Kansas City) in the "student-produced" newsletter category.


Student Honors Council

The Student Honors Council represents the interests of all Honors students, meeting regularly to discuss ways to improve the Honors experience for students. An elected Honors student president and vice president—who also have voting privileges on the faculty committee that oversees the Honors College—run the council in addition to 3 other officer positions. Responsibilities of the Student Honors Council include the following:

  • Act as a liaison to the Honors Council
  • Discuss student concerns in the Honors College
  • Propose new program initiatives
  • Organize academic and social events of interest to Honors students
  • Create continuity in student leadership within the Honors College
  • Help establish program identity and community among Honors students
  • Represent the Honors College at public events or gatherings that require an Honors student presence
  • Raise awareness of relevant opportunities to the student body
  • Operate according to the Student Honors Council Constitution and standard practice for a student organization and the Honors College

Sophie Mackay, President

Sophie outside, smiling and wearing a patterned shirt

My name is Sophie Mackay and I’m a second-year honors student majoring in health policy & equity with a Spanish minor. As a managing editor for the Honorable Mention and a first year-peer mentor, I’ve learned so much about our community and what makes it run.

As a member of the SHC past and current, I’ve seen opportunities to increase visibility of the council and its events through more comprehensive advertisement and engagement with students. As current president, I plan to create platforms for all students of the honors college to have a voice and to strengthen the honors community through an effective student government that represents your values.

Rylee Cudney, Vice President

Rylee smiling with a dark background

I am a first-year Honors student with a 3.92 GPA. I plan to major in psychology with a minor within the business department. In my short time here, I have become involved with many Honors events. I work as an SHA in Nunemaker and I also applied to be a peer mentor in Fall 2024.

As SHC Vice President, I want to help come up with more resources for the community to get together outside of the Tuesday Conversations for first-year students. I think opportunities to discuss class work, review essays, and overall build connections as a whole Honors community would be an incredibly beneficial topic for the Student Honors Council.

Atira Schulte, Secretary

Atira's headshot

I am a junior this year and I am majoring in Philosophy, minoring in History. I joined the honors college the second semester of my sophomore year by lateral entry. I attend Honors events when I am able, but I am very motivated to begin attending more. I am a tour guide for the university, meeting with and touring with prospective students and their guests where I regularly get good feedback from these guests as well as my supervisors. I also have been working very hard this semester and last to revitalize Westminster's chapter of Phi Sigma Tau (the International Honors Society for Philosophers) and have been named acting president by the advisor/ members of that club. I also compete on the Ethics and Bioethics Bowl teams for Westminster. I was selected as an undergraduate researcher last summer and this one.

As SHC Secretary I have a few goals. First, I'm aware that some students on campus have conceptions of the Honors College and its students that are not exactly favorable. I would like to be a representative that could help change this conception, by interacting in better ways with other students that I'm not sure has been achieved in the past by other Honors members and utilizing the relationships I have with those who aren't part of the Honors college. Second, I would greatly enjoy planning events that I think could attract more students and faculty to attend. I understand that planning events around everyone's schedule is very hard, but I think that there are some avenues by which we could increase the engagement of Honors students to attend and enjoy these events. By garnering more interest in these events, I believe students (and faculty) can develop closer bonds that will result in a more inclusive and friendly environment. Lastly, building off the idea of creating new events, I would like to work to develop more events and opportunities centered around professional growth.

Indra Kruerger, Treasurer

Indra standing in front of a wood background

I’m a freshman majoring in Justice Studies and minoring in Sociology. As an honors college student, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in community justice events and projects. I presented an honors paper discussing ideas about gender, justifications for punishment, and abolition at a conference at SLCC. I was also a panelist on a panel discussing disability at Westminster for Disability Justice. I am currently working on a project to survey Westminster students about their experiences with Humanities/Social Science courses. The aim of this project is to encourage the university to pour more resources and attention into those departments and also to support our wonderful Humanities/Social Science faculty.

I love the Westminster University and Honors communities so much; both have been integral to my experience. As SHC Treasurer, I want to try to work on events being accessible for the disabled community here at Westminster. Many of the events that happen on campus are not very accessible which prevents disabled community members from participating and I hope to change that. SHC events should be for everyone!

Lucy Smith-Lahrman, Historian

Lucy standing on a staircase

I am currently a sophomore at Westminster! I am a Literature, Media, and Writing major with a Literary emphasis and a Gender Studies minor. As a transfer student who joined the Honors College through the Lateral Entry pathway and SHC Historian, I hope to advocate for greater outreach to transfer students.

The Student Honors Council fund provides stipends to Honors College students to help offset the cost of investigating graduate schools. Email the dean of the Honors College (rjb@westminsteru.edu) for information on how to apply for these $500 grants.

Katherine Metcalf Nelson Writing and Creative Arts Awards

To encourage and recognize excellence in written work in Honors courses, the Honors College gives cash awards to the best essays written annually in 4 different categories: first-year seminar, sciences, social sciences, and the arts. The Honors Council also chooses from among those winning papers a “Best Honors College Essay of the Year,” the writer of which receives an additional cash award. Awards are announced at the annual spring Honors celebration and winners have their names engraved on a plaque that hangs in Nunemaker Place.

  • Lauren Rothman, “What has normal become?” (winner of the Best Essay of the Year Award)
  • Amanda Lee, “Science & The Self”
  • Etta Sklar, “Policy Proposal for the State of Utah: Combatting the Eviction Crisis”
  • Payton Casey, “Cacophony: Creation to Destruction”
  • T. Masami Tadehara, “Human Needs Beyond the Basics”
  • Lienne Cupal, “The Scripting of the Irrational Woman” (winner of the Best Essay of the Year Award)
  • Mariah Trujillo, “Patching Ourselves Back Together”
  • Saydi Anderson and Juli Sandhu, “Brittle Intentions: The Fragility of Past, Present, and Future Art"
  • Saydi Anderson, “Wandering Through Grief”
  • Katie Valdez, “The Limitations of Modern Objectivity: How Modern Science Can Overcome Bacon’s Idols of the Mind as Demonstrated in the Film Arrival”
  • Lienne Cupal, “The Power of Being Unquestioned”
  • Sophie Caligiuri, “Write Home While You’re at War: Urban Graffiti as a Response to Conflict” (winner of the Best Essay of the Year Award)
  • Kathryn Jensen, “Work Becomes Play and Play Becomes Work (and Murder)"
  • Lienne Cupal, “The Fairest of Them All” (winner of the Best Essay of the Year Award)
  • Samantha Paredes, “The Neglect of Reason throughout History”
  • Sophie Caligiuri, “The Joke's on You: How The Dark Knight Portrays the Societal Benefits of Crime”


Contact the College with Your Questions