Read more to see what's new  with KSU Honors College programs, students and faculty!

News & Updates from the Honors College
Dr. Liza Davis, founding director of the KSU Honors Program, to retire

Dr. Liza Davis will retire in December after 20 years as the director of the University Honors Program, and 28 years as a professor of English at Kennesaw State University. Dr. Davis was tapped as the first director of the Honors Program in 1995, and welcomed the first cohort of 25 students into the program in Spring 1996. She will be honored at a retirement reception December 5th. For many years, she personally advised every student in the Honors Program and reviewed every honors capstone. She also taught honors seminars and honors English courses. Over the years, she oversaw the growth of the program to include hundreds of students, 100 honors course offerings per year, dedicated honors housing, and the Great Books and PEGS honors cohorts. More than 350 of these students have graduated as Honors Scholars, KSU's highest academic recognition. 

Dr. Davis' student-centered approach is a trait recognized by both students and colleagues. "We owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. Davis for developing, growing and leading the honors program for the past 20 years," noted Honors College Dean Rita Bailey. "The Honors College will work to carry on her legacy." A national search for Dr. Davis' replacement is underway.
Congratulations, December Honors Scholar Graduates!

Pending final evaluation of grades and capstone projects, the following seniors are candidates to graduate as Honors Scholars at KSU's December Commencement ceremony. The students have completed Honors Program curricular requirements, including multiple honors courses, applied learning honors experiences, and a senior capstone project in their majors, while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.  Honors Scholars wear a red and gold braided cord and epaulet and are designated in the Commencement program. Honors Scholars will showcase their capstone projects in a poster session and will be recognized at a reception in their honor on December 2nd.  Read more about triple-major Cole Daniel below.
Nadia Akbar, Biology
Olamide Awodu, Biology
Christian Bourguillion, Civil Engineering
Kelsei Brown, Biology
Vincent Brown, Integrative Studies
Emily Carlsen, Electrical Engineering
Alyssa Cohen, Computer Science
Cole Daniel, Economics, Finance and      Biology
Lindsey Filipowicz, New Media Arts
Kirill Kantor, Civil Engineering
Connor Lewis, Psychology
Andrew Montalbano, Mechanical Engineering
Matthew Nelson, Communication
Brittany Nichols, Biology
Carley Pizza, Early Childhood Education
Kaylee Rodenstine, Integrative Studies
Miles Sakmar, Computer Science
Samantha Wright, English

Launch that pumpkin!
Honors mechanical engineering students load weights onto their trebuchet as they prepare to compete in the 6th annual Pumpkin Launch, held on the Marietta campus October 27th.  The competition pitted 20 teams of first-year engineering students against each other, with top contraptions flinging their pumpkins the length of a football field.  
Honors student spotlight
Rare condition can't stop Honors Scholar Cole Daniel, who graduates with three simultaneous degrees

Cole Daniel
Cole Daniel knew that something was wrong in his senior year of high school, when he experienced hearing loss and vertigo so severe that he nearly fell down a flight of stairs. "That was the last straw," he says. He was eventually diagnosed with Meniere's disease, a disorder of the inner ear that can result in vertigo, hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and ear pressure. In Cole and many sufferers, the vertigo can trigger severe nausea and imbalance. Drugs for motion sickness or nausea can help manage symptoms. 

But after enrolling in Georgia College and State University as a freshman, Cole experienced a major incident of vertigo and nausea so intense that he had to be hospitalized. After this medical emergency, he transferred to KSU to be closer to home, and joined the Honors Program.  

In December,Cole becomes one of just a few students in KSU history ever to graduate with three simultaneous degrees:  a B.B.A. in Economics, a B.B.A. in Finance and a B.S. in Biology. That's 207 credit hours completed -- with a 3.6 GPA. According to Dr. Liza Davis, while there have been double majors who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements to graduate as Honors Scholars, Cole is the first student in Honors Program history to graduate as an Honors Scholar with three simultaneous degrees. Along the way, he also earned a Certificate in Leadership Studies from University College and a Japan-Asia Studies Certificate from Soka University in Japan. He is currently completing his honors thesis, which compares the economic recessions and recoveries of the U.S. and Japan since the early 1990s. He specifically chose his three degrees to prepare for a career in investment banking, with a focus on healthcare and biotechnology. He's gained practical experience by serving as the Chief Economist and Chief Global Officer of the Coles College Student Managed Investment Fund.

Despite a combination of medications, Cole still copes with hearing loss and vertigo, and has learned to avoid situations that will trigger his vertigo. To complete three degrees, he enrolled in as many as 19 credit hours a semester, and took at least two summer courses each summer since entering KSU.

"I certainly have enjoyed college, which is a testament to the quality of KSU's faculty and opportunities," Cole said.  "I would encourage other students to follow a path which will make them indispensable to employers. For example, through courses in Biology I understand better than the average analyst the process of drug manufacturing, including costs and success rates. This knowledge will help me to better understand and value such companies." The Honors College congratulates Cole and all of the December honors scholars.

Honors student wins bronze medal for U.S. in World Karate Championships 
Emma Gough took home a bronze medal for the U.S. in the World Karate Championships, held in Krakow, Poland in October. She won the medal in the kata event.  She has competed for the U.S. team since the age of 16.  

Photo by David Caselli
Sarah Kelsey completing prestigious Carter Center internship

Honors senior Sarah Kelsey is wrapping up the semester as an intern in the Carter Center, where she has provided research and support to a team focused on resolving the civil war in Syria. The International Affairs major and President's Emerging Global Scholar was selected for the highly competitive internship from applicants from across the U.S. 

Her resume includes studying abroad at the University of Jordan, where she took courses on American Foreign Policy in the Middle East and the History of the Arab World, while practicing speaking Arabic. Kelsey has also served as Secretary General of KSU's annual Model U.N. Conference, which draws high school students from across Georgia. She hopes to pursue a career in conflict resolution in the Middle East, working as a diplomat or with a nongovernmental organization.   
Do you have an accomplishment we can share?  Email your news and photo to

Upcoming 20th anniversary events 

The University Honors Program celebrates a major milestone this year -- the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Honors Program -- and you are invited to the party! Events for students, honors faculty and the campus community are planned throughout the year on both the Kennesaw and Marietta campuses. Students who attend an event will receive a commemorative Honors t-shirt.
U pcoming events open to all Honors and DEHP students include:

Gobble Jog on the Marietta Square to benefit MUST Ministries, Thanksgiving Day. Join the KSU Honors College team at by searching our team name under the "Join a team" tab. Contact for $10 off code! Timed 10K (7:30 a.m.) and 5K (9 a.m.) are Peachtree Road Race qualifiers. Untimed 1K starts at 8:45 a.m.

Honors Team Gingerbread House Competition, 

Dec. 1st in the honors lounges on both campuses. This is a zany contest to build the best house with surprise challenges and rewards thrown your way! A panel of judges will select winners in a variety of categories. Prizes for top teams! Register a team of 3 or 4 or ask to be placed on a team by Nov. 28th by emailing Faith Gonzales at


"Cram & Snack" during finals week in the Honors lounges.


Honors 20th Anniversary Lecture featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning author and National Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway, January 24th, Student Center University Rooms, Kennesaw campus, 12:30 p.m.. Hear the acclaimed author read from her works addressing historical depictions of race, as well as her own journey growing up as a biracial person in the South.  Reception and book signing to follow.

See calendar of events below for more event details.  Look for more information about Honors events in email and social media! Follow us @HonorsKSU on Facebook and Twitter!
Dates and Deadlines

Nov. 24 Gobble Jog, Marietta Square.  See above to join the Honors Team!
Dec. 1 Team Gingerbread House Competition. Marietta:  12:00-1:30 p.m., D Bldg Honors Lounge; Kennesaw:  3:30-5:00 p.m., Willingham Hall Honors Lounge
Dec. 2
Poster session & reception for Kennesaw campus Honors Scholar     graduates, Student Center Univ. Rooms A&B, 11:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 5 Last day of classes
Dec. 5  Retirement Reception for Dr. Liza Davis, Leadership Room, 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 6 Poster session & reception for Marietta campus Honors Scholars graduates, Library Rotunda, 2:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 6 - 12 Final Exams - enjoy Cram & Snack in the Honors Lounges, both campuses
Dec. 19 - Jan. 1 KSU offices are closed
Jan. 9 First day of classes
Jan. 9-17 Drop/Add
Jan. 24 Honors  20th Anniversary  Lecture featuring Natasha Trethewey, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m., Kennesaw Student Center University Rooms A-E.

Need a reminder?  Never miss an Honors event or deadline by signing up for Remind text messages!

Honors students can now sign up to receive text alerts about important KSU Honors news and deadlines. 

Kennesaw Honors students: text  @uhkennesaw to 81010

Marietta Honors students:  text  @uhmarietta to 81010

Dual Enrollment Honors students:  text  @2016dehp to 81010
KSU Honors College |