Honors College Annual Student Awards

Award criteria, application and selection process

  • The award for Outstanding Honors Senior recognizes the student from each campus who exemplifies the highest ideals of the University Honors Program. 

    Number of awards: 2 awards, one designated for a senior whose major is based on the Kennesaw campus; one for a student whose major is based on the Marietta campus

    Award Criteria: Candidates must:

    • Be in good standing with the Honors Program – i.e., have a GPA of 3.5 or better if in a non-STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics) major or 3.25 or better if in a STEAM major
    • Have completed at least 90 hours of coursework; of these, at least 15 hours must be in Honors coursework, with an A or B in each honors course
    • Be on track to graduate as an Honors Scholar

    In addition to the essential criteria above, preference will be given to candidates who have completed the majority of their Honors requirements, have a fully approved capstone proposal, and have substantive scholarly, creative, or service-related achievements shared with publics beyond the classroom.  Examples may include, but are not limited to:

    • Presentation(s) at state, regional, or national conference(s)
    • Publications in scholarly journals  
    • Merit-based scholarships, prizes or awards for excellence in the student’s field of study
    • Work in a campus position that supports research or teaching, such as lab assistant, supplemental instruction leader, tutor, research assistant, peer mentor, or teaching assistant  
    • Noteworthy accomplishments in an internship, co-op or other field experience related to the student’s field of study
    • A substantive honors service-learning project reflecting community engagement
      active participation in special honors groups such as the Great Books or President’s Emerging Global Scholars cohorts
    • Leadership in the Honors Club or as an Honors representative in student government
    • Other major positions of campus leadership or engagement

    Nomination and Application Process:
    Prospective candidates for the award will be identified in early spring of each year through:

    • Nominations by Honors faculty and capstone mentors, and/or
    • Invitation to all seniors with a 3.7-4.0 GPA who meet the essential criteria above for good standing with the Honors Program

    The Honors College will contact candidates via email and invite them to submit an application. A completed application requires:

    • Completed application form
    • One or more letter(s) of support from a KSU faculty member.  Please note that this letter must come from someone other than the Honors Director, Honors College Dean, Associate Dean and other Honors College administrators. 

    Selection process: 
    A committee comprised of the honors director for each campus and honors faculty will determine the award winners.

    Current Winners:

    JaBreia James
    JaBreia James (Kennesaw campus), a Spring 2016 Exercise Science Honors Scholar graduate, was a research assistant for KSU professor Katie Ingram. She lead a student team that took body composition measurements from human subjects for studies that examined abdominal fat, insulin resistance and physical activity in pregnant women. JaBreia presented her findings at several venues, including the regional meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, and won first place for her presentation at the Louis Stokes Alliance Minority Participation Research Symposium. She served as a teaching assistant in the General Chemistry course at KSU, and as president of the KSU Golden Key Honors Society, and was an officer in the KSU Chapter of the American Medical Students Association. Off campus, JaBreia taught a weekly science-based laboratory class to at-risk students at the Cobb County alternative school. JaBreia was selected to attend a 7-week summer program at the Medical College of Georgia for minority students interested in medicine. Her career goal is to become an OB/GYN physician, focusing on alleviating health disparities in the Southeast.

    Mary "Niki" Reynolds

    Mary "Niki" Reynolds (Marietta campus) is a Spring 2016 Honors Scholar graduate with a degree in New Media Arts. An aspiring animator, Niki is a talented artist who worked with Biology Professor Jennifer Louten for two and a half years to illustrate detailed cellular and anotomical structures for Dr. Louten's textbook, Essential Human Virology. For her honors thesis, Niki drew upon this work by conducting a study to determine if students learn better from animations or diagrams when presented with new scientific information. She is a recipient of the Digital Writing and Media Arts department Kenneth and Elaine Rainey Scholarship, and maintained the Zell Miller Scholarship throughout her college career. She held several leadership positions in her sorority and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

  • Number of awards: 2 awards, one designated for a student whose major is based on the Kennesaw campus; one for a student whose major is based on the Marietta campus

    Award criteria: 

    For research theses:

    • Importance of topic or question
    • Appropriateness of methodological choices
    • Quality of analysis and interpretation of results
    • Overall quality of writing and presentation

    For applied projects:

    • Importance of topic
    • Originality
    • Quality of execution
    • Contribution to the student’s field
    • Overall quality of writing and presentation

    Selection process: Candidates for the award will be nominated by faculty who serve as readers on the Honors Council and the Honors directors on both campuses, with the final decision made by the Honors director for each campus.

    Current Winners

    Brooke Doss


    Brooke Doss (Kennesaw campus) Communication major.

    Faculty mentor:  Dr. Stephen McKelvey

    Capstone title:  “The Ukraine Crisis: A Comparison of Three European Countries’ Responses to an International Crisis” (Original analysis plus a newscast) 



    Liz Melendez


    Liz Melendez (Marietta campus) English and Professional Communication major

    Faculty mentor:  Dr. Kim Haimes-Korn

    “Math as Text, Rhetoric as Reason: Can the Humanities Save Math Education?”(Rhetorical Analysis)

  • Number of awards: 1 

    Award criteria: 
    The award is presented annually to the Dual Enrollment Honors Program student with:

    • The highest cumulative KSU GPA at the end of each fall term, in the largest number of KSU credits and honors courses
    • In case of a tie, leadership and participation in KSU campus activities, such as the Honors Club, will be considered, with the final decision made by the Director of the Dual Enrollment Honors Program.
      Current Winner

    Current Winner

    Samantha MorganSamantha Morgan has been named the Outstanding Dual Enrollment Honors Student for 2015-16. The award is presented to the student with the highest GPA and greatest number of KSU credits and honors courses. Samantha began dual enrollment as a junior at age 15, after being homeschooled through the directed studies program at Compass Prep Academy. She is on track to complete 56 college credits with a 4.0 GPA by the time of high school graduation. At KSU, she is a supplemental instruction leader for Chemistry 1211 and worked in a biochemistry lab last summer. She also serves as an officer in the KSU Honors Club. Samantha has been accepted to Georgia Tech, where she plans to study Chemical Engineering with a biotechnology concentration in order to pursue a career in medical research in drug and vaccine synthesis for infectious diseases. She is currently a semi-finalist for Georgia Tech's Presidential Scholarship. Outside of school, she recently earned a black belt in ATA tae-kwon-do.