On May 14, The Honors College hosted the annual graduation banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of the 206 graduating seniors. Dean Monroe recognized each student in attendance individually with highlights of their undergraduate careers and their graduate school and career plans.
University Honors and Honors in Major
To graduate with University Honors and Honors in Major, students must write a senior thesis or complete an equivalent project, in addition to completing The Honors College curriculum. Selected Honors students appear below with details about their undergraduate careers, thesis, and future plans.
Gerald Hines College of Architecture
Ronald Jason Ammon was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Caribbean Students Organization and interned with Morris Architects in 2008 and KMD Architects in 2009. He plans to pursue a career in urban planning and design. Ronald’s thesis was directed by Dr. Geoffrey Brune and he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree.
Mireille Andre Zinu Kameni served as a research assistant at the Gerald D. Hines College of Archictcture Community Decision Center and has been accepted into both the Pratt Institute and to the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She plans to pursue a career in the area of Urban Design and Architecture. Mirielle’s thesis was also directed by Dr. Geoffrey Brune and she received her Bachelor of Architecture degree with a Minor in Media Productions.
College of Education
Maria Ann Pulsifer served as Treasurer of the Terry Scholars at UH for two years. She traveled around Europe in summer 2009 with fellow Honors graduate Sara Gabler as a recipient of the Honors College’s FEET Scholarship. Maria plans to pursue a career as a math teacher and has applied for positions with HISD and Yes Prep Schools in Houston. Maria’s thesis was directed by Dr. Sabrina Marsh. She earned a 3.98 GPA and received her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Mathematics.
Godfrey Shayne Johnathan Rodrigues served as President for the Catholic Student Organization and Co-President of Pro-Life, plans to attend graduate school at the University of St. Thomas, and will be working as a grade school teacher for two years. Godfrey’s thesis was directed by Dr. Joel A. Bloom and he received his BS in Kinesiology and Psychology with a Minor in Human Nutrition and Foods.
Cullen College of Engineering
Gregory Robert Bohuslav was named the Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Junior and Senior while at UH, and was a finalist in the UH Libraries Student Art Competition. He worked as a Research Assistant at Eagleman Laboratory for Perception and Action at the Baylor College of Medicine and plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering and medicine. Gregory’s thesis was directed by Dr. Adam Capitano and he received his BS in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Biology.
Max Lingamfelter has been accepted to and received funding for the accelerated masters program in the College of Engineering at UH, which will allow him to complete his masters in the next year. He served as president of Engineering World Health President and has participated in a Methodist Hospital Internship in Biomedical Engineering. He and his wife, Honors College 2009 Alum Oumama Hallal, are going on a hiking tour of the national parks between Big Bend in Texas and Glacier National Park in Montana. Max’s thesis was directed by Dr. Ralph Metcalfe and he received his BS in Biomedical Engineering.
Athar Murtaza Razvi received the Fluor Excellence in Design Award and placed second in the Active Vibration and Control Design Competition and the REU program presentation. She was an active member of Society of Women Engineers, the Cougar Cycling and Triathlon Team, and Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honors society. Athar plans to pursue a career in the oil industry and has applied for positions with Baker Hughes, KBR, and Mustang. Athar’s thesis was directed by Dr. Gangbing Song and she received her BS in Mechanical Engineering.
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Blair Elizabeth Ault served as Head Delegate for the Honors College’s Model Arab League delegation in 2010. She works as the Company Manager of the Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company, a non-profit theater organization based in Houston and is interested in a career in the non-profit sector, but is also interested in a career as a freelance crime fighter. The Justice League will be getting back to her shortly. Blair’s thesis was directed by Dr. Orson Cook and she received her BA in Political Science and History.
Kevin Patrick Darby founded the Honors College Classic Film Club and volunteered extensively with Ecclesia Church, Generation One, and at Sheltering Arm Senior Service Center. He plans to work in the Cognitive Development Lab at UH as a research assistant in the near term and will pursue a career in cognitive developmental psychology. Kevin’s thesis was directed by Dr. Hanako Yoshida. He earned a 3.88 GPA and received his BS in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration.
Caitlin Michelle Deans wrote for the Daily Cougar during her undergraduate career and interned in the editorial department of Bright Sky Press. She plans to pursue a career in literature or journalism and has applied for positions with Pearson, Beacon Press, and the Boston Globe. Caitlin’s thesis was directed by Dr. John Harvey and she received her BA in English Literature.
Janet E. De Luna received the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Classical Studies. She traveled with the Honors College to Italy, Sicily, Turkey, and Israel and plans to pursue a career in teaching classics. Janet’s thesis was directed by Dr. Francesca Behr and she received her BA in Classical Studies and BBA in Accountancy.
Heather Raye Dial served as Secretary of Psi Chi, the international psychology honor society and as an officer in the UH Chapters of both SDS and Student Activists. She worked as a research assistant in the Neural Bases of Bilingualism laboratory and has been offered teaching assistantships from UH’s Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience program and at Rice University. Heather’s thesis was directed by Dr. Merrill Hiscock and she received her BS in Psychology with a minor in Spanish.
Mark F. Ellis received an Honorable Mention in the Howard Moss Poetry Prize competition and interned with Gulf Coast literary journal as an editorial assistant. He wrote, directed, produced, edited, and scored a short film as part of Dan Price's Asthmatic Spaces class. The film was thirty minutes long and took 100+ hours to complete. Mark completed his thesis under Dean Bill Monroe’s direction and received his BA in English Creative Writing.
Sara Beth Gabler served as Treasurer of Sigma Tau Delta (the national English honor society), Historian of the Terry Scholars at UH, and as a member of Honors Ambassadors. She also volunteered with numerous organizations including the Memorial Woods Retirement Center, Eliot Elementary, and the Nehemiah Center. Sara participated in SURF 2008 where she researched women writers in eighteenth century Britain under the guidance of Dr. David Mazella. Sara completed her thesis under Dean Bill Monroe’s direction and received her BA in English Literature with minor in Spanish.
Derek Robert Goodwin received the Outstanding Achievement in History Award and was the UH Nominee for the Rhodes, Truman, and Marshall Scholarships. In addition to serving as President of Honors Ambassadors, Derek interned with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense. He will attend the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M in pursuit of a Master's degree in International Affairs. Derek’s thesis was directed by Dr. Orson Cook. He earned a 3.87 GPA and received his BA in History and Political Science with a minor in Global Business and a certificate in Entrepreneurship.
Angela Eileen Grasso served as corresponding secretary, community service committee chair, fraternity education chair, and VP of ritual for Sigma Alpha Iota, the international Music fraternity. She also interned with UTSA’s Summer Music Institute and the Youth Orchestra of San Antonio Strings Camp. Angela was accepted to multiple graduate programs and will be attending the University of Texas in pursuit of a Masters degree in Music Performance. Angela’s thesis was directed by Dr. Andrew Davis. She earned a 3.91 GPA and received her BM in Music Performance with a minor in Art History
Emily Paige Lacy served as President of both Campus House of Prayer and Every Nation Campus Ministries. She was accepted to numerous fine arts graduate programs and will be attending the University of Southampton in England in pursuit of a Philosophy MA in Aesthetics. Emily’s thesis, entitled "Aesthetic Experience: The Third Thing," was directed by Dr. Cynthia Freeland, the Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. She received a BA in Philosophy and a BFA in Painting.
Christie A. Maurer was named an Outstanding First Year Student in The Honors College. Christie’s thesis, entitled "Some Creature," was directed by Dr. Nicholas Flynn. She earned a 3.74 GPA and received her BA in English-Creative Writing.
Sarah Panjwani served as Vice President of the Houston Undergraduate Research Network on campus and was an active member of National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. She participated in SURF, where she conducted research on speech pathology and presented her findings at the Texas Speech Language Hearing Association annual conference in Dallas. Sarah plans to attend the University of Texas at Austin in pursuit of a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology. Sarah’s thesis was directed by Dr. Martha Dunkelberger. She earned a 3.902 GPA and received her BA in Communication Disorders with a minor in World Cultures and Literature.
Amanda Kathleen Pate served as a founding member and Secretary of the UH Future Comickers Guild and volunteered extensively with End Hunger, Habitat for Humanity, and the Houston Food Bank with the UH Terry Scholars. She plans to pursue a career in freelance writing. Amanda’s thesis was directed by Dr. Aaron Reynolds and she received her BA in English Creative Writing.
Heather Elizabeth Pedoto has been a contributing writer and actor to Honors College Club Theater throughout her time at UH. She plans to apply to graduate school in creative writing and pursue a career in writing and publishing. Heather’s thesis, a portion of which will be published in Glass Mountain, was directed by Dr. John Harvey, and she received her BA in English Creative Writing.
Ronnie John Turner worked as the Editor in Chief of The Daily Cougar for the 2009-2010 school year and interned with the Houston Chronicle and the Salt Lake Tribune. His research of Houston black civil rights leader Quentin Mease was featured on Dan Rather Reports, a nationally televised weekly news journal. Ronnie’s thesis was directed by Dr. Orson Cook and he received his BA in Communications and History
Christine Elizabeth Wisch served as President and Secretary of Honors Ambassadors while traveling extensively during her undergraduate career, including trips to Holland and Germany as a concert violinist. In the fall, she will attend Indiana University in Bloomington to pursue a Masters degree in Musicology. She has been offered a full tuition scholarship as well as a paid graduate assistantship. Christine’s thesis was directed by Dr. Paul Bertagnolli. She earned a 3.96 GPA and received a BM in Music Education and a BA in Spanish
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Rita Evelyn Sirrieh served as an Honors Ambassador and as the President of the Honors Student Governing Board. In addition to her thesis research, she participated in a summer Clinical Research Internship with Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital and will be attending the University of Texas Health Science Center Graduate School to pursue a Ph.D. in Biochemistry with full graduate funding in the fall. Rita’s thesis was directed by Dr. Romi Ghose and she received her BS in Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry.
University Honors and Membership in The Honors College
Students who fulfill the requirements of The Honors College and write a Senior Honors Thesis outside of their major graduate with University Honors and Membership in The Honors College.
Katelyn Halpern was the founder, producer, and playwright for Honors College Club Theater. In addition, she participated in SURF 2009, where she conducted research on Sophocles Electra in preparation for the Center For Creative Work’s Dionysia 2010. She plans to pursue a career arts administration or directing and photography. Katelyn’s thesis was directed by Dr. John Harvey. She earned a 3.96 GPA and received her BA in English Literature with a minor in Dance.