University Honors Program (UHP)
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Honors Student Spotlight

We are fortunate to have a wealth of high-achieving students in the University Honors Program. Explore the tabs on this page to see just a sample of some of the amazing students in our program!


​​​Tell us about yourself, Bailey. What is your spirit animal?

My spirit animal is definitely a dog! In all seriousness though, I like to think myself fiercely loyal to those closest to me, and also very happy and friendly.

What do you want to be? What are your post-graduate plans? How did you prepare yourself for your career through the experiences you had in Whitewater?

As for my post-graduate plans, they are definitely a work-in-progress. Ideally, I’d like to receive a full-time job with the same company I am currently doing my internship with. And I would not have gotten as far toward my career as I have without the experiences I’ve had at UW-Whitewater. To start with, one of my best friends is someone I met my freshman year in my Honors LC Honors Advantage, and she is the one who led me to apply to this company almost a year ago. I’ve also gained invaluable knowledge and skills not just from my classes at UWW, but my professors, my peers, the Honors Program, and tons of other campus resources. I don’t think any other university would have prepared me for my future as well as UW-Whitewater has.

Congratulations on receiving the Exemplary Senior Award, Bailey! What does it mean for you to be an exemplary student, specifically an honors student?

I am beyond honored to receive the Exemplary Senior Award. For me, this means that I’ve been able to give back to the Honors Program, which has given me so much over the past three years, including friendships, experience, connections, and so much fun along the way. I take great pride in being an Honors student, and striving to work harder and smarter than I did even the year before. To me, the Honors Program means constantly pushing my own expectations of myself, and working to grow not only as a student but as a person as well. My college experience would not have been as great as it has been if it weren’t for this incredible program.

Some students are overwhelmed with the responsibility and commitment to become an honors student. Have you struggled with that too? Wh​at are some struggles you’ve experienced as an Honors student? 

I definitely have struggled a bit with the responsibility and commitment of being an Honors Student, but for me it was a new challenge. College is a brand new experience for almost everyone, and with that experience comes the practice of balancing class, commitments, socializing, among anything else you have going on in your life. So yes, adding Honors Student to that list of responsibilities is no doubt a challenge, but the Honors Program provides you with so many resources to help you work through it and find that balance. Some of the struggles I’ve personally experienced is managing my heavy course load with my commitments to Honors events such as the Program meetings and being on the executive board of Honors Student Association. There were times when I felt like I’d always be stressed and struggling to balance these aspects of my college life. But in time I was able to create such a strong network with the Program, and my friends and fellow Honors Students and the Program directors and interns all were a part of helping me learn to balance my priorities. I have zero regrets in being part of the Honors Programs, and I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Your work as Honors Student Association secretary is remarkable! Could you tell us what programs/projects you’ve organized? What exactly are the duties you fulfill?

So as the Secretary of the Honors Student Association, my main duties include any and all communication from the executive board to our members. Our executive board is also very flexible, and at one time or another we have all helped each other with our duties. One of my ideas for the program was creating surveys for different program and event ideas we had, so that we could get a better idea of what kinds of events our members actually wanted to be a part of. I’ve helped in some way, shape, or form in all of the programs and events we’ve held. This past February was my favorite event that I’ve helped with; we’d decided to sell chocolate covered strawberries in the UC for Valentine’s Day, and the day before the event I spent about 3-4 hours in my kitchen melting chocolate and hand-dipping about 200 strawberries. The best part was that during the sale we completely sold out, and it was our most profitable fundraiser since I joined HSA three years ago.

Impart some wisdom. What’s one life lesson you’ve learned as an Honors student?

One life lesson that I’ve learned as an Honors Student is to not be afraid to ask for help. I know this is a common piece of advice, but hear me out. All through high school and the start of college I’d been afraid to ask for help. I’d always been one of the smarter kids in my graduating class, so other students often came to me for help. This made it hard for me to feel like I could ask for help, because I thought I was expected to know everything. The people in the Honors Program showed me that 1) there is no way one person can ever be expected to know everything, and I’ve met people way smarter than myself, and 2) that it’s completely okay to not know what you’re doing sometimes, and there are people you can reach out to either for help or even just some reassurance and encouragement. Not only did this Program teach me this lesson, but they have also been the ones that are there for me for help and encouragement and reassurance. I cannot stress enough that I would not be who I am or where I am without being a part of this Program.

If you could give a few words to students who are skeptical about joining the UHP/HSA, what will you say? Why should students join the Undergraduate Honors Program and/or the Honors Student Association?

I know it may seem like more work that it needs to be, and I’ll be honest I was skeptical at first myself. I reluctantly signed up for an Honors Learning Community, and honestly I would not have changed that for the world. I’ve made some of the closest friends I’ve ever had from this LC, I’ve gained invaluable connections through the Program, I’ve gained valuable leadership experience, and so much more. This program helped me to grow as a student and even as a person, I’ve changed so much for the better. Every interaction I’ve had with the Honors Program has been positive, and it’s also a great place to turn to when other areas of my college life were not so positive. I cannot imagine a better support system and a more rewarding program than UW-Whitewater’s Honors Program.

High-achieving honors student Nayeli Govantes Alcantar has been awarded the 2018 Outstanding Freshman Award by First Year Experience. Congratulations, Nayeli! We are so proud of you! 
Camille Deller, an honors student and a leader in many student orgs, will be enrolling in a graduate program in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University in Boston in Fall 2018. Congratulations, Camille! 

Haley Wiederhold, recipient of a 2017 Honors Study Abroad Award, is studying abroad this year at Phllipps Universtität in Marburg, Germany. Her coursework includes psychology, sociology, and German. She says that a highlight of each day is "seeing the Marburg Castle while eating fresh bakery items or Döner!" Haley, please bring back some Döner recipes!
Robert Noah Padgett, May 2017 graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics and Psychology, was a standout in both the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Program. He will be pursuin a PhD in Educational Psychology, wth a specialization in Quantitative Methods, at Baylor University. Congratulations to Noah! 
Congratulations to Melanie Sorman, a junior in the UHP and the winner of 2016's highly competitive national Goldwater Scholarship. Also a recipient of the $1000 Honors Study Abroad/Travel Study Award, Melanie, a geology major, will be participating in a semester abroad as part of the Wisconsin in Scotland Program in Fall 2016.
Andrew Phillips, May 2015 graduate with a B.S. degree in Chemistry, a Goldwater Scholarship recipient, and Honors Student Association officer, has undertaken his MD-PhD studies at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Congratulations to Andrew! One of our amazing alumni!