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Honors Program welcomes 30 students from Class of 2016 and new director

Posted: Sep 11, 2012

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“I believe that a small number of individuals can have a dramatic impact on our world,” says Dr. Charles Carrigan ’96, geology professor and the new director of Olivet’s Honors Program. “Our program is in its seventh year, and we’re already hearing about our graduates’ successes.”

Serving on the Honors Council for the past four years, Dr. Carrigan experienced one of his career highlights during that time. He supervised geology major Katie Eccles ’11 in her two-year scholarship project, “Trace Element Analysis of Rutile and Zr-in-Rutile Thermometry for Southern Appalachian Pelitic Schists.”  Today, Katie is a geochemistry Ph.D. student at Boston University (Mass.).

This year’s cohort of 30 freshmen entering the program has an average ACT score of 31.8. Ten of them have a score of 33 or higher. Sixteen are from Illinois, four from Indiana, three from Michigan, two from Kansas, two from Ohio, and one each from Wisconsin, Minnesota and California. Their majors connect them with two schools and ten departments at Olivet.

Their commitment to this program includes completing four honors courses during their freshman and sophomore years, and the scholarship project during their junior and senior years.

Being 1,700 miles and the farthest from home is an additional challenge Ryan Shelton (Clovis, Calif.) accepted when he entered the program. He is an engineering major. Other members of the cohort and their majors are:
Abigail Allen (Martinsville, Ind.), nursing
Sarah Anderson (Frankfort, Ill.), English, intercultural studies
Madeline Bloom (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Spanish, music
Collin Brown (LaFontaine, Ind.), biology
Barbara Budach (Woodridge, Ill.), nursing
Madison Caise (Bourbonnais, Ill), photography, Spanish
Renee Enz (Wilmington, Ill.), biology, chemistry, accounting, business
Austin Fischer (Olathe, Kan.), management
Scott Fischer (Olathe, Kan.), mechanical engineering
Keila Galloway (Avon, Ill.), mathematics education
Caleb Gulledge (Spring Arbor, Mich.), biology
Cody Harper (Bourbonnais), biochemistry, Spanish
Lauren Kasler (Cambridge, Ohio), English
Matthew Larson (Hamilton, Ohio), chemistry
David Leman (Normal, Ill.), actuarial science
Hayley Marcordes (Normal, Ill.), English secondary education
Daniel Mitchell (Fort Wayne, Ind.), pastoral ministry
Lindsay Morr (Bloomington, Ill.), exercise science
Garrett Muhlstadt (Kankakee, Ill.), chemistry
Julie Pilaczynski (Parma, Mich.), international business
Micah Plank (Sullivan, Ill.), actuarial science
Zachary Rivett (Howell, Mich.), computer science, math
Megan Rogahn (Muskego, Wis.), biology
Leah Roth (Morton, Ill.), biology
Jacob Ruetz (Carmel, Ind.), business management
Christian Schrader (Monmouth, Ill.), English
Audrey Smith (DeKalb, Ill.)
Alexandra Van Dehey (Bourbonnais), English
Justine Von Arb (Lisle, Ill.), English

Recently, the program received its first financial gift, which has been matched by Dr. John C. Bowling, University president.

“We want to take all of our Honors Program students from start to success,” Dr. Carrigan says. “We’re here to guide them on that path. My hope and prayer for each of them is to realize his or her potential.”