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: Two 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, including an adjusted KSU GPA of 3.25 or better
    • Have completed at least 90 hours of coursework, including at least 15 hours 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:

    • Complete this application form.
    • Optional: A letter of support from a KSU faculty member. Please note that this letter must come from someone other than the Honors Director, Honors College Dean, and other Honors College administrators. The letter (or email) may be sent to University Honors Program Director Lynn Stallings (lstallings@kennesaw.edu)

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

    Current Winners:

    JaBreia James
    Sarah Kelsey graduated as an Honors Scholar with a degree in International Affairs. In 2016, she entered the Carter Center’s highly competitive internship process and earned a spot in the Conflict Resolution Program. During her internship, Sarah traveled to Beirut, Lebanon to help support a workshop that addressed issues related to the peace process in Syria, which involved participants who traveled from Syria and abroad. She also traveled to Brazil and the British Isles where she studied government structure and completed a service learning project. She served as Assistant Team Captain for the KSU Model United Nations team and competed in several domestic and international conferences in Germany and Norway. Sarah’s future plans include working conflict resolution and conflict management capacity. Her capstone supervisor was Dr. Thomas Doleys, Director of Masters of International Policy Management and Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Political Science and International Affairs.



    Mary "Niki" Reynolds

    A Systems and Industrial Engineering major, Valerie Washington has plans to attend graduate school after graduation. She has been active within the campus community through membership in the Society of Women Engineers and being the founding president of Student Division of the International Council on Systems Engineering. In 2016, Valerie was named Engineering Student of the Year for the state of Georgia by the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers. For her honors thesis, Valerie she is optimizing the bus routes for the Kennesaw State transportation system (BOB). She has published two pieces in collaboration with faculty and has presented at least seven conferences in her academic career. She has been accepted to two PhD programs: GA Tech’s Industrial Engineering program and the University of Michigan’s Industrial and Operations Engineering program.

  • 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

    Elizabeth Giganti


    Elizabeth Giganti (Kennesaw campus) Nursing major.

    Capstone Supervisor: Dr. Mary de Chesney

    Capstone title: "Preparing Grant Content for The Hope Box"








    William Lentjes


    William Lentjes (Marietta campus) Architecture major

    Capstone Supervisor:  Dr. Kathryn Bedette

    Capstone Title: “On Craft"