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Honors College Graduates Celebrated for Outstanding Achievements

May 15, 2024

More than 400 family, friends, faculty and staff gathered in the Conrad N. Hilton Ballroom of the Hilton University of Houston to celebrate Honors College graduates during the Honors College Medallion Ceremony on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. 

The Honors College Medallion Ceremony is a rite of passage for Honors College students who walked across the stage at their UH commencement ceremony later in the week donning their Honors College medallion. Despite the challenges of starting college in fall of 2020, these students persevered. From their first Human Situation lecture, to being challenged outside their comfort zone in academic and co-curricular experiences, this night brings students full circle. During the presentation of graduates, each student was recognized individually for their accomplishments during their undergraduate career and was presented with an Honors certificate. 

Honors College Dean Heidi Appel encouraged students to reflect on their time in the Honors College and take the lessons learned into the future.You have made lifelong friends and mentors that have challenged and inspired you to reach your full potential. Professors and advisors who have stoked your curiosity and provided knowledge. All of us are now cheering you on as you begin your career or continue your studies in graduate or professional programs. The Honors College has served as a launchpad, a springboard to propel you towards incredible opportunities.”

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost Diane Chase congratulated the graduates on their perseverance and accomplishments, recognizing students who took advantage of the multitude of Honors College offerings, such as Undergraduate Research, community engaged learning, study abroad, and the pursuit of a Senior Honors Thesis.

This year, more than 40 graduates pursued a Senior Honors Thesis in the Honors College. Ben Rayder, executive director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA), presented the Outstanding Honors Thesis Award recipients, telling the audience “Each year we select a number of students whose theses have been judged as exceptional. These were nominated for their academic rigor, creative problem-solving, advanced written analysis, and the contribution to their field.” 

The following 2024 Outstanding Honors Thesis Award Recipients were recognized.

Melanie Adhikary
“Exercising Agency in the Domestic Sphere: Imagining Womanhood and Sacrifice”
Sarah Belew
“University Student Support, Engagement, and Well-being”
Andrew Chase
“Encased Utopias: A Case Study of Three Hungarian Panelház Estates”
Megan Dagnall
“University of Houston: The Expansion and Erasure of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 1961-2024” 
Alivia Mayfield
“Alexander the Great: A Historiography of Power”
Raul Caballero Montes
“Stem Cells in Pancreatic Cancers: Diversity, Treatment, and Interactions with Microenvironment”

James Michael Valentine
“Bolt Looseness Monitoring Using Percussion and Clustering Machine Learning Methods” 

The Jane Lerner Outstanding Graduating Senior Award was presented to Liberal Studies major, Alyssa Green, a tireless leader and advocate in the Honors College and UH community. 

The Honors College congratulates all 452 students who graduated with Honors designations this academic year. 

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