News Archive

Congratulations honors college alumna Alexandra Ferguson on being named a 2016 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow in addition to being admitted to MIT's doctoral program in Brain and Cognitive Sciences!

Congratulations to Alexis Lenderman on being named a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow!

Congratulations to Rachel Larson on receiving the Gary L. Buffington Memorial Scholarship!

Congratulations to the 2017 Presidential Scholars!

In an effort to uphold the Lee Honors College vision to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment, we are looking for your perspectives on the current state of our college's climate. Your contribution to this conversation will help advance inclusion and diversity initiatives that provide the college, its students and alumni with the language, knowledge and fortitude to engage with the world around us. 

We are asking current honors students, faculty and staff to take a few minutes to thoughtfully complete a survey on how they perceive the current climate of the Lee Honors College regarding inclusion and diversity.

To access this survey, please visit and click the "student login" button. You will be asked to type in the room number - Mustafa3567. Please complete the survey to the best of your ability. Keep in mind that all responses are anonymous. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by being honest, thoughtful and thorough. We thank you for your time and all that you contribute to the Lee Honors College.

Congratulations to Kaitlyn Phillips and Lauren Nowakowski on placing in the University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition!

For those planning to attend "An Evening with Sybrina Fulton" Wednesday, March 29: There is no need to register and we are not ticketing for Ms. Fulton's talk. Chenery Auditorium seats 1,500, and we are confident there will be adequate seating for all who are interested. The doors open at 6:30, and seating is first come, first served. Ms. Fulton's talk is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. We hope you will join us for this important community event. Click here for information on the Lyceum Lecture series.

Congratulations to Mariel Dehn on your first place win at the 2017 National Grocers Association Student Case Study Competition!

Congratulations to our PSST Student Coordinator, Sam Dayton, on your Tau Beta Pi scholarship win!

Congratulations to Jill Puckett and Nathan LaWarre on being named University Innovation Fellows by Stanford University!

Congratulations to honors student Dan King on your Kalamazoo Beer Exchange scholarship!

Congratulations to honors students Lloyd Herndon, Connor Anderson, Marissa Pertler, and Travis Webster on your placement in the International Collegiate Sales Competition and the National Sales Challenge!

The Lee Honors College welcomes Dr. Gary Bischof as our eighth dean beginning January 1. Read all about it on page 3.

Goal-oriented student aspires to serve and succeed. Check out this feature on honors student Alexis Lenderman!

Honors college seniors Giulia Avelar and Jake Tholen are featured in an article on Study Abroad in the fall issue of WMU Magazine. Check them out on pages 26-27!

Finalists for the position of dean of the Lee Honors College have been named. Christine Byrd-Jacobs, Associate Dean of the Graduate College and Gary Bischof, Chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences will give public presentations followed by a brief reception in the honors college lounge at 1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 2 and 3, respectively. For more information and to peruse the candidates' curriculum vitae, please see the Provost's site.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2016 Scholar Scare 5K has been canceled. Refunds will be processed for those already registered very soon.

Western Michigan University seeks nominations and applications for the position of Dean of the Lee Honors College. The dean serves as a senior administrative officer who reports directly to the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and is responsible for the academic, programmatic, administrative and fiscal oversight of the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University. The dean will provide leadership for guiding the future of undergraduate honors education, in consonance with the mission, vision and the three pillars of the University. The dean will work closely with partners across the university to ensure that the honors college provides high-caliber honors programs that contribute to the overall success of students from diverse specializations and backgrounds. The dean will also work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, alumni and local, national and international communities to foster outreach as well as to explore development opportunities. Please see this PDF for more information.

Check out new alumnus Kurt Wendland's WMU story!

Thank you President Dunn for your outstanding service to WMU and your support of the Lee Honors College! Dr. Dunn will retire June 30, 2017 after 10 years as WMU's 8th president.

Check out this great feature story on Walt's Pilgrimage in the Los Angeles Times!

Check out new alumnus Simba Chirara's WMU story!

Congratulations to our 2013 Medallions!

Check out Medallion Yessica Garcia's WMU Story!

Congratulations to the 2016 Foundation Scholars!

Congratulations, Aaron McClendon on receiving the Gary L. Buffington Scholarship!

More on the 2016 Presidential Scholars.

Congratulations to Nicolas Theoret on being invited to compete in the Magna Student Innovation Challenge!

Congratulations to Matthew Baird on receiving the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship!

An update on the condition of the Kalamazoo River following the 2010 Enbridge oil spill can be found here.

Capitol Interns and Dr. Carla Koretsky
The spring 2016 honors college Capitol Interns from left to right, back row: Eliza Measzras, Sarah Wirth, Izamar Contreras, Ana Arvizumata, Calvin Balk. Front row: Kate Kolean, Dr. Koretsky, Eden Krull, Caleb Foerg, Paul McQuaid

Congratulations to the 2016 Presidential Scholars!       

Congratulations Anthony! Anthony Helms, director of academic advising for Western Michigan University’s Lee Honors College, has been named Advisor of the Year by the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society national organization.  

Honors students Row the Vote at the Lee Honors College.

You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting, some helpful tips.

The fall 2015 edition of the alumni and friends newsletter is now available online!

Virginia Tech scientist talks ‘Flint water crisis’ with WMU students, staff

The university libraries have created a Flint water guide to help users find information sources that will allow them to better understand the issues surrounding the Flint water crisis.        

Campus talks, exhibit focus on water as an essential global resource.

Join us January 21 for the opening reception of our spring art exhibit tied to the Lyceum Lecture Series - Our Blue Marble: Water, Home and Humanity. The opening will be held in the honors college lounge at 6:30 p.m. with remarks from the artists at 7.
Our Blue Marble Art Exhibit Opening Reception Flier

Congratulations Trevor Sweeney, on making the Academic All-MAC honor list. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that particular sport.

Congratulations to Sam Bell on placing second with teammate Lauren Bone in the State Farm Marketing and Sales Competition. The challenge included three events: speed selling where students deliver a two-minute personal pitch; a 15-minute referral role-play where students meet with a business partner to try to restart a relationship and gain referrals; and a sales role-play, a second 15-minute meeting to determine the needs of an organization and set up a future product demo. In addition to placing second overall as a team, Bone placed third overall and Bell placed fourth individually. The duo also placed third in the marketing presentation category.

WMUK interview with Dr. Koretsky on road salt contamination of drinking water and urban lakes.

Congratulations to Joseph Barnett and Stephen John on winning the 2015 Collegiate Inventors Competition!

Media coverage of First Lady Sue Snyder's and Dr. Rebecca Campbell's visit to campus. WWMT WKZO MLive

Check out the Encore piece on Dr. Koretsky's research on the effects of road deicers on lake water!

More accolades for Joseph Barnett and Stephen John.

Click here to listen to the WMUK interview with Gloria Steinem, a fall Raise Your Voice featured speaker.

Senior Joseph Barnett was in Tampa in October representing the work he and alumnus Stephen John did on their NeoVent invention at an award ceremony for the Biomedical Engineering Society.  He then traveled to Beijing to attend the Grand Challenges Global Health Summit, an international meeting co-hosted by the Gates Foundation, USAID, and China's Ministry of Science and Technology, among others. The summit is only open to a few hundred people and is intended for leaders in global health to collaborate on healthcare solutions for the underserved. Barnett and John are being sponsored by the Lemelson Foundation, who have partnered with them to get their technology to hospitals in the developing world.

Original Raise Your Voice show uses Theatre of the Oppressed methods.

The Peer Student Success Team helps make inclusive campus for freshmen. Check out the story in the Western Herald!

The Study in the States course "Entrepreneurship: Understanding Startup Communities" received one of seven 2015 Innovation in Business Education Awards from the MidAmerican Business Deans Association.

Congratulations to Joseph Barnett and Stephen John on being selected as finalists for the 2015 Collegiate Inventors Competition with the US Patent and Trademark Office!

The Lee Honors College has been featured on the Public University Honors blog. Check it out!

Congratulations Trevor Sweeney!

Kalamazoo Promise scholar's unlikely road from homeless kid to honors graduate. Maurice Washington featured on MLive.

Joseph Barnett and Stephen John win fourth award for NeoVent.

Congratulations to Stephen John and Joseph Barnett on their 2015 James Dyson Award!

Honors student Kristen Canavan awarded Critical Languages Scholarship to study in Jordan.

Congratulations to Stephen John and Joseph Barnett on their 2015 Lemelson-MIT "Cure it!" Student Prize Undergraduate Team Win and winning the inaugural Brian Patrick Thomas Entrepreneurial Spirit Award from Starting Gate!

2014 Medallion Yessica Garcia is featured on MLive!

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Ben Offrink and his girls on Shelby's passing. May you find comfort in your memories and in each other.

Study in the States Call for Proposals:

The Lee Honors College seeks proposals from WMU instructors for Study in the States courses. These courses allow students to travel in small groups with WMU faculty experts to conduct place-based, experiential learning outside of southwest Michigan. Deadline for applications is September 18, 2015. Click here for information on submitting proposals.
Congratulations to Emily Smith on winning First Runner Up in the Miss Michigan pageant!
 Emily Smith Miss Michigan pageant

Lee Honors College students are featured in two articles in the spring issue of WMU Magazine.

Congratulations to the spring 2015 Lee Honors College graduates! Graduation program

Entrepreneurship: Understanding Startup Communities: Honors students who traveled with Dr. John Mueller on this new spring Study in the States course presented to community members at a meeting at Starting Gate their thoughts on how the gears mesh and put forward an idea for an business incubator like those they saw on their travels.     

Congratulations to Stephen John and Joseph Barnett on their 2015 Lemelson-MIT "Cure it!" Student Prize Undergraduate Team Win!

Congratulations to all of the honors college students selected as presidential scholars. 2015 Presidential Scholars Convocation

Congratulations to Jake Tholen on his Barry Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention!

Congratulations to Team Lee Honors College who took the top prize in the Kalamazoo Literacy Council Scrabble Fest!  

Western's Major Monday series features honors student Jasmine Scott

Stop by the honors college April 21-24 for our Thesis Celebration Days!

Congratulations to Connor Smith, new class president!

Longtime WMU friend, honors college namesake Carl Lee dies at 96
The Lee Honors College staff, faculty and students were saddened to learn of the passing of Carl E. Lee Sunday, Feb. 22. The generosity of Carl and his beloved wife of more than 60 years, Winifred Lee, who preceded him in death on Oct. 23, 2012, has benefited thousands of WMU honors students. A public memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College. Memorials may be directed to the Carl and Winifred Lee Honors College or Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church. More information

Honor students place second in Rossini Scholarship
Lee Honors College students Amanda Cockroft and Katherine Dayton, both graphic and printing science majors, were awarded second place in the Rossini Scholarship competition. Their project on recycling flexographic printing plates received an award of $9,500, $2,000 of which went to the department. The students attended the FTA Forum, a flexographic printing conference last year to accept the award and were asked to present their research at this year's forum.

Anita Hill to kick off new 'Raise Your Voice' speaker series
Anita Hill, the woman who captivated the nation with her testimony of sexual harassment directed at then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, will launch a new speaker series at Western Michigan University.

Six receive Inspired Learning Grants through the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo
Five individuals have been awarded  $2,500 Inspired Learning grants and one person will receive a $1,000 grant from the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

Alpha Lambda Delta and Advisor Anthony Helms earn recognition
The organization was selected as the RSO Most Committed to Service for November. It was nominated because of their leadership and dedication to the WMU campus community. In addition to this, Anthony Helms was selected as the RSO Advisor of the Month for November for his leadership and dedication to the WMU campus community. Congratulations to both Alpha Lambda Delta and Anthony!

WMU’s Alpha Lambda Delta chapter wins award for the ninth straight year
Western Michigan University’s Alpha Lambda Delta chapter has again been awarded the annual Maintaining the Flame Award from the national ALD organization for exceptionally active membership and dedication to community service. 

Honors college marks International Day of Persons with Disabilities
The Lee Honors College marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities Dec. 3. The United Nations General Assembly made the proclamation in 1992 and annual observance of the day aims to increase awareness and understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of people with disabilities. Dr. Shaila Rao—associate professor of special education from the WMU College of Education and Human Development—presented the final lecture in this fall's Lyceum Series, which the College hosts each semester. Titled "Disability Impairment, Handicap, Disorder: Global Perspectives," Rao's presentation touched on the World Health Organization's Report on Disability and world facts about disability. Her presentation also included video clips that highlight various disability issues and aim to raise awareness about those issues within WMU and the broader Kalamazoo community. An estimated 20 to 25 people attended the presentation.

Seeking applicants to serve as editor in chief for the 2014-15 issue of The Laureate
The Lee Honors College is seeking applicants to serve as editor in chief for the 2014-15 issue of The Laureate. For 13 years, the honors college has published this distinguished literary journal. Each year an honors college student, typically a junior or senior, is selected as editor in chief. This student edits The Laureate under the close guidance and mentoring of Professor Becky Cooper. The editor is responsible for soliciting, reading and selecting poetry, prose and photography to be included in the issue. This important work may serve as the editor's honors thesis. The ideal candidate will have a passion for literature and creative writing. To submit your resume and letter of interest, or for additional information, please contact Becky Cooper at

WMU’s Alpha Lambda Delta chapter wins award for the ninth straight year
Western Michigan University’s Alpha Lambda Delta chapter has again been awarded the annual Maintaining the Flame Award from the national ALD organization for exceptionally active membership and dedication to community service. 

Scholar Scare 5k to support enrichment program scholarships
The Lee Honors College invites runners, walkers and families at Western Michigan University and the greater Kalamazoo area to join in a fun Halloween-themed 5K/1K on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.

2014 Distinguished Alumni Announced
Lee Honors College alumnus Donald G. Southwell (B.A. ’73) is among those being honored.

War hero, Olympian Louis Zamperini dies at 97
Zamperini was a guest speaker in October 2012.

Twenty-four incoming students win $50,000 Medallion Scholarships
Twenty-four freshmen have won coveted Medallion Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall. Medallion Scholarships are the highest merit-based award WMU can bestow on an incoming freshman. Valued at $50,000 each over four years, they constitute one of the largest merit-based awards in American higher education. For a details and a list of this year’s winners, see the full release.

Photo of Matt Bahleda.WMU Alumnus Starts Legal Career
O'Melveny & Myers LLP has a long history of practicing law and has earned a strong reputation in one of the largest economy and leading technology states—California. In November 2014, a Western Michigan University graduate hopes to add to that history as he creates a legacy of his own. Matt Bahleda '07 is a graduate of WMU's College of Arts and Sciences and the Lee Honors College.

Honors student Deirdre Courtney is showing undergraduates can do research and is doing it with gusto

Lee Honors College graduate assistant wins award
Precious Majors, advising graduate assistant for the Lee Honors College has won the Department Graduate Teaching award for the Educational Leadership, Research and Technology department for 2013-14. Precious (or PJ) will be graduating with a masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs and has been an advising graduate assistant for the Lee Honors College for the past two years. Full list of winners

Maurice Washington named 2014 Newman Civic Fellow

Congratulations Lee Honors College 2014 Presidential Scholars!
Casey N. Mejeur (accountancy), Craig A. Scalpone (aviation sciences), Olivia N. Walser (biological sciences), Jin Y. Woo (chemical and paper engineering), William B. Thayer (chemistry), Bryleigh Loughlin (communication), Paige A. Van De Winkle (English), Derek J. Schrauben (finance and commercial law), Tyler A. Wilson (history), Joshua H. Withee (mathematics), Stephen C. John (mechanical and aerospace engineering), Chelsea A. Helm (music), Catherine M. Abele (occupational therapy), Christopher F. Sudol (political science), Amanda J. Mills (Spanish), Jamie L. Keyser (teaching, learning and educational studies), Christopher G. Miller (world languages and literatures)

Accelerated graduate degree programs
WMU offers a number of accelerated graduate degree programs, whereby undergraduate students meeting certain criteria may take up to 12 graduate credit hours during their senior year. Please see the brochure and accelerated graduate degree program website for more information.

Photo of a female biology student in the lab.Students Advancing Biological Research and Engagement
The Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lee Honors College are seeking to establish the Biology Research and Engagement Fund. The fund would award students who have completed one to two years of research with a Biology mentor, and who would benefit from spending a summer dedicating the majority of their time to research.