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.


    • Emma Parks

      Emma Parks Biology Major Kennesaw Campus


      Emma graduated this spring with a 4.0 GPA in her major in Biology and minor in Spanish. Her future plans include medical school and work with Doctors Without Borders (Medicos Sin Fronteras). Emma was a member of the President’s Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) program at KSU. She has served as a learning assistant in general chemistry as well as a tutor. She was a member of the 2016 Summer Research Experience for Undergraduate program at UGA in microbiology and has made a number of research presentations.

      Her capstone research established dose-dependent reprograming of mouse embryonic fibroblasts to protein-induced pluripotent stem cells by her research team’s novel cell-penetrating peptide delivery system. Her capstone supervisor is Dr. Jonathan McMurry. He said that “Emma has been an absolute joy to have in my research group.  I am proud to have played a role in her education and training. She is a talented young scientist, gifted student, hard worker, and even better peer mentor. She could have an outstanding career as a research scientist if she chose, but I instead look forward to following her future as a skilled, caring physician who takes exceptional care of her patients."

      • Dhruvee

        Dhruvee Patel Architecture Major Marietta Campus

        An Architecture Major, Dhruvee was extremely active both on campus and in her worldwide community during her time at KSU.  With a 3.75 cumulative GPA, she has been in the honors program since 2013.  During this time, she has presented at 8 conferences and symposiums including two highly competitive NCUR conferences.  She has studied abroad in Paris and Bauhaus Germany, but her global/cultural focus did not stop there.  She volunteered to work with the company responsible for the design and construction of the Indian Temple in Smyrna.  She is a member of the new Chi Alpha Chapter of Tau Sigma Delta (Honors Society in Architecture and Allied Arts).

        Her capstone research is a re-design of an area of Chandigarh that reflects more optimal functionality for the citizens.

      • 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.

        • Kathryn Bruno

          Kathryn BrunoCapstone: "The Link between Animal Abuse and Interpersonal Violence" Nursing Major Capstone Supervisor: Dr. Mary de Chesnay Kennesaw Campus

          • Claire Pursley

            Claire PursleyCapstone: “The Definition and Life of an Artist” Art Major Capstone Supervisor:Prof. Joseph Remillard Kennesaw Campus

            • Zoe Cesar

              Zoe CesarCapstone: “loT Voice & Gesture & Application Control System: Proof-of-Concept Implementation” Computer Science Major Capstone Supervisor:Dr. Selena He Marietta Campus