Tag Archives: Buck Weirus

Former Student Spotlight – Keri Stephens

One of the most powerful forces on any campus is a group of focused, motivated students. This is, in part, because the university as a marketplace of ideas is intended to be a place where students have the opportunity to put learning into practice. Student passion for progress has contributed to all sorts of change throughout the history of higher education.

One person who was effected significant change for Honors at Texas A&M is Dr. Keri Stephens ’90 (née Keilberg), who graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry and received the Rudder Award. Dr. Stephens now serves as an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Texas, where she earned her M.A. And Ph.D. in organizational communication. Prior to entering academia, Dr. Stephens did technical sales, marketing, and corporate training for Hewlett Packard, Zymark Corporation, and EGI.

Dr. Stephens visited with University Honors Program staff on a recent campus visit and shared some of her experiences and contributions that have shaped the Honors experience at Texas A&M for over 25 years.

In 1989-90, as president of Honors Student Council, Stephens was part of the committee that established special housing for Honors students. Stephens recalled that she was concerned that an Honors residential community not become “isolated nerds.” This might have been a particular concern to Stephens, who was a role-model for involvement on campus, winning a Buck Weirus Spirit award her sophomore year.

Visiting with Honors staff, Stephens was glad to hear that the Honors Housing Community has built a strong reputation for being highly involved in campus traditions such as Silver Taps, Muster, and Midnight Yell, and regularly attends football games together.

Honors students at Midnight Yell in 2015
Honors students at Midnight Yell in 2015

Another way in which Stephens has bequeathed a legacy to Honors students is in providing graduation recognition. She recalls that up until her senior year there was strong opposition to any kind of special recognition at graduation. Stephens attended a national conference as president of the Mortar Board Society in December of 1989 at which she observed that Texas A&M was the only school represented that did not have some kind of regalia for exceptional graduates. Returning to campus, Stephens led the leadership of Mortar Board Society in drafting a proposal and creating a prototype stole to present to Dr. William Mobley, then president of the university. Stephens felt she could get an audience with President Mobley since she had made a positive impression on him while traveling together to recruit students to the university.

Gold Latin Honors stoles featuring patches for the Foundation Honors, University Honors, and University Undergraduate Research Fellows distinctions
Latin Honors stoles featuring patches for the Foundation Honors, University Honors, and University Undergraduate Research Fellows distinctions

Stephens recalls that President Mobley didn’t let her get far into her proposal before interrupting to confirm that Texas A&M was the only school represented at the national meeting that did not present special regalia to Honors graduates. When Stephens confirmed this, he asked if she could make the stoles available for May graduations. A process that the Mortar Board officers imagined might take years was accomplished in just a few months. Now, close to 10,000 students each year receive that gold satin stole at graduation, recognizing their accomplishment as cum laude, manga cum laude, summa cum laude graduates.

In gratitude for her significant contributions to the culture of Honors at Texas A&M, Dr. Jonathan Kotinek, Associate Director for the University Honors Program presented Dr. Stephens with a gold stole and patches signifying Foundation Honors, University Honors, and University Undergraduate Research Scholars as well as a certificate of appreciation.

Honors staff Adelia Humme '15 (left) and Jonathan Kotinek '99 present a stole and certificate of appreciation to Keri Stephens '90
Honors staff Adelia Humme ’15 (left) and Jonathan Kotinek ’99 (right) present a stole and certificate of appreciation to Keri Stephens ’90 (center)

Dr. Stephens closed her visit by sharing that her undergraduate research experience was so formative (especially in helping her decide against a career in biochemistry research), that she now makes a point to guide students in research and has mentored 22 undergraduate projects.

We love to share news and success stories from our Honors Former Students! If you have something to share with our current, former, and prospective students and their families, please contact honors@tamu.edu.

2016 Awards Season

At the close of the 2015-2016 academic year, LAUNCH offers congratulations to the many students in our programs who have been recognized for outstanding achievements in academics, leadership, and other areas!

ASPIRE (Aggie Scholars Promoting Incentive, Resources, and Encouragement)
Presented by LAUNCH: Learning Communities
Hannah Gerken, Mentor of the Year
Abraham Hinojosa, Mentee of the Year
King Thrills, Small Community of the Year

 Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Outstanding Student Award
Presented by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Andy Baxter, College of Science

Buck Weirus Spirit Award
Presented by Department of Student Activities
Isabelle “Izzy” Antes
Lily Campbell
Reid Hopkins
W. Hayden Lander
Nicholas Page
Sarah Spohn

Class Stars Award
Presented by Department of Student Activities
Andy Baxter, Class of 2016 – Academics
Luke Oaks, Class of 2019 – Leadership

Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior
Ali Jalal, College of Science

Women’s Progress Award
Presented by Department of Multicultural Services
Emily Parrish

Thank you to the Departments of Student Activities and Multicultural Services, the Association of Former Students, the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies, and our learning communities for supporting students across the university and for encouraging service, academic excellence, and high achievement!

HUR Staff Spotlight: Adelia Humme

Adelia Humme ’15 is the newest addition to Honors and Undergraduate Research, joining the office as the interim coordinator for University Scholars and National Fellowships. Humme was herself a University Scholar, as well as a student worker in the HUR office, during her undergraduate career at Texas A&M University.

Humme graduated summa cum laude with a major in English and a minor in business administration in May 2015. She spent two years on the team of The Eckleburg Project, Texas A&M’s undergraduate literary magazine, serving as Prose Editor in her final semester. Humme’s interest in editing was spurred by her undergraduate internship with Texas A&M University Press, and she will begin graduate study in the Publishing & Creative Writing program at Emerson College, in Boston, in the fall of 2016.

A woman with long blond hair in a bright pink blazer stands with her arms folded in front of a tree.
Adelia Humme ’15, interim coordinator for University Scholars and National Fellowships

While a student at A&M, Humme was involved in many Honors activities. Her favorite extracurricular activity was mentoring freshmen in her role as a Sophomore Advisor for the Honors Housing Community. She also had the opportunity to attend the Champe Fitzhugh International Honors Leadership Seminar in Italy twice, once as a freshman participant and once as a student leader. Humme chose to complete her capstone project in the Undergraduate Teacher Scholars program, researching Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series for her course, “Heroes, Heroines, and Their Animal Companions.” During a summer internship at Cushing Memorial Library & Archives in 2013, Humme was able to work with McCaffrey’s personal collection of science-fiction and fantasy novels. She hopes to pursue a career within those genres.

Humme credits her participation in several student organizations for developing her love of Texas A&M’s history and culture and her passion for guiding students through their academic and personal challenges. She has volunteered at New Student Conferences and led campus tours through the Aggie Orientation Leader Program, met with prospective students through National Aggie Scholar Ambassadors, and arranged catering and other services for performers in Rudder Auditorium as a manager in MSC OPAS. In 2013, Humme was awarded the Buck Weirus Spirit Award for her extracurricular involvement, and she received recognition as one of the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in 2015.

Humme loves a good cup of coffee, misses having cats in her home, enjoys reading without interruptions, and sings frequently. Although raised in Sugar Land, she can proudly claim herself as a native Houstonian. She is also a third-generation Aggie, following her mother, Ava King Humme ’80, and her grandfather, H. Verne King ’44.

 

2015 Award Season

The end of the spring semester and the approach of graduation comes with a number of award announcements. This is an exciting and busy time of year as we recognize and bid farewell to our 2015 Honors and Undergraduate Research graduates.

In addition to the successes in nationally-competitive awards such as the Goldwater and Fulbright competitions, our students have been recognized for their outstanding achievement in and out of the classroom with campus awards.

In addition to sweeping the Brown-Rudder and Gates-Muller awards announced at commencement, our students have been recognized in the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior, Gathright, Buck Weirus competitions. We applaud our students who have been recognized! (University Honors Students: don’t forget to update your ePortfolios!)

Click here for a historical listing of HUR Student Recognition.

Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Juniors
Eleni Mijalis, College of Science
Julia Deleeuw, Mays Business School

Gathright Scholars Award
Randy Ardywibowo
Michael Bass
Michelle Dembosky
Hannah Frailey
Megan Girvan
Aaron Griffin
Emily Henkel
Eleni Mijalis
Hope Miller
Austin Wang

Buck Weirus Spirit Award
Jonathan Brewer
Mark Dore
Annalisa Erder
Megan Hoenig
Nandini Patel
Aaron Wolbrueck

Academy for Future International Leaders
Clayton Cromer
Lucchese Gordon
Margaret McIntyre

Thanks to the Association of Former Students, Undergraduate Studies, Study Abroad, and all of the amazing faculty and staff that make these awards possible!

2014 Award Season!

The end of the spring semester and the approach of graduation comes with a number of award announcements. This is an exciting (if busy!) time of year as we prepare to recognize our 2014 Honors and Undergraduate Research graduates.

In addition to the recent spate of success in nationally-competitive awards such as the Goldwater, Udall, and Fulbright competitions, our students have been recognized  for their outstanding achievement in and out of the classroom with campus awards.

While the Brown-Rudder and Gates-Muller awards will not be announced until commencement, awards have been made in the Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior, Gathright, Buck Weirus, and Diversity Service competitions. We applaud our students who have been recognized! Don’t forget to update your ePortfolios!

Click here for a historical listing of HUR Student Recognition.

Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Juniors
Alexander Garcia
Kasey Kram
Hannah Frailey
Amelie Berger * TAMU PKP Outstanding Junior

Gathright Scholars Award
Kasey W. Kram
Jemmifer M. Klein
Amelie C. Berger
Michael S. Pohlen
Michael P. Austin
Vincent P. Sacco
Emily A Kossa
Hanna P. Frailey
Barbara J. Banner
Joshua A. Orndorff
Daniel R. Miller
Joshua J. Chacko

Buck Weirus Spirit Award
Sarah Armstrong
Sherwin Chiu
Meghan De Amaral
Abby Kemp
Madeline Kinnaird
Alice Schneider
Ryan Trantham

Diversity Service Award
Sherwin Chiu

Thanks to the Association of Former Students, the Department of Multicultural Services, Undergraduate Studies and all of the amazing faculty and staff that make these awards possible!