Honors Awards

Honors students are known for winning many campus awards, from Dean's Scholars to the Outstanding Student Awards. In addition, the Honors College offers three awards specific to honors students: The King Award for the best honors capstone, the Outstanding Contract Award, and the Outstanding Citizen Award. In addition, Honors Student Council recognizes faculty with the Award for Faculty Excellence in Honors.

Honors College Outstanding Contract Award

The winner of the Outstanding Contract Award is named each spring. The award is given to the honors student who completed an honors contract that exemplifies the creative pursuit of one's academic goals, professional goals, and life-long learning.  ​

  • 2016: Brynn Miller and Katelynne Seager
  • 2017: Madeline Johann and Lizzy Kunde
  • 2018: Matthew Cibak and Fiona Scruggs
  • 2019: Claire Dundon, Tayler Lewis, and Haley Mullins
  • 2020: Alyssa Foster
  • 2021: Anna Shewchuk
  • 2022 Caitlin Hampton
  • 2023 Meridythe Witt

Honors College Outstanding Citizen Award

The winner of the Outstanding Citizen Award goes to the graduating senior who demonstrated passion and leadership in support of the Honors College.

  • 2021: Maci Keaton and Matthew Shuma
  • 2022: Alayna Johnson and Brianna Litton
  • 2023: Brandi Clemons and Stephanie Sheline

Award for Faculty Excellence in Honors

The winner of the Award for Faculty Excellence in honors is announced at Honors Convocation. This award given to an honors faculty member who set a standard for excellence in teaching or mentorship of honors students. The faculty member may have demonstrated a commitment to assisting students achieve an honors education through honors coursework, honors contracts, or honors capstones. Current members of the Honors Advisory Committee (director, associate director, and honors faculty fellows) are not eligible for this award. Faculty are nominated by students and recommendations are made by Honors Student Council. ​

  • 2018: Dr. Sara O'Brien, Biology
  • 2019: Prof. Deborah McLaughlin, Dance
  • 2020: Dr. Moira Baker, English
  • 2021: Dr. Elizabeth Altieri, Teacher Education & Leadership
  • 2022: Dr. Lauren Flora, Communication Sciences and Disorders

King Award for Scholarly Excellence in Honors


The King Award for Scholarly Excellence in Honors is named for Dr. Joe King, who was director of the Honors Academy from 2003-2015. The inspriration for this award came from Dr. King's passion for the successful mentorship of scholarly honors capstones. This award does not go to the "best" honors student, but rather the student whose capstone and academic career exemplifies the integration of a novel idea into the existing scholarly work of the discipline.




2015 Ashley Light

Majors: Communication Science and Disorders, Psychology

Mentor: Karen Arndt

Capstone: "Telling Stories: Phonological Awareness Intervention, Final Consonant Deletion and Past Tense Marking"

2016 Zachary King

Major: Management

Mentor: Hooshang M. Beheshti

Capstone: "Analysis of the Operational Efficiency of Attendance Tracking at the Tyson Foods Inc. Glen Allen Poultry Processing Facility"

2017 Rachel Jones

Major: Nursing

Mentor: Suellen Miller

Capstone: "Waking Up With A Nightmare: A Literature Review of Emergence Delirium in Military Personnel with Preexisting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder"

2018 Nicole Diambra

Major: Dance and Recreation, Parks, & Tourism

Mentor: Amy VanKirk and Jason Davis

Capstone: “How Dance Travels: A Study of Dance, Culture and Tourism”

2019 McKenzie Schrank

Major: Anthropological Sciences and Biology

Mentor: Jason Davis

Capstone: “Leishmaniasis Through the Lens of the Host”

2020 Rachel Steffen

Major: Music Therapy

Mentor: Lauren DiMaio

Capstone: “Marimba and the Body: An Objectivist Self-Study”

2021 Hannah White

Major: Communication

Mentor: John Brummette and Lisa Baker-Webster

Capstone: “Engaging for Donations: How Nonprofit Organizations Survive in the Political Arena”

2022 Courtney Streeby

Major: Accounting

Mentor: Robert Warren

Capstone: "What’s in Your Wallet? A Survey of Federal Prosecution of Credit Card Schemes in Virginia and How Businesses Respond to the Challenge”

2023 Victoria Pate

Major: Anthropological Sciences

Mentor: Donna Boyd

Capstone: "Evaluation of Blunt Force Trauma Mechanism Interpretations Inferred From Skeletal Fracture Morphology and Patterning”