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Honors Development Board

Our Purpose

The Mahurin Honors College (MHC) at WKU is a national leader in honors education and a destination for academically motivated and high-potential learners from all communities. Our mission is to foster excellence in all forms of expression through research, experiential learning, critical thinking and international engagement. The MHC shares WKU’s mission to prepare students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society. The MHC values and prioritizes diversity, equity and inclusion. To this effect, the MHC is committed to creating and sustaining a climate of respect and civility while cultivating interdisciplinary inquiry, intellectual diversity and curiosity.

HDB members vitally contribute to the MHC’s mission of scholar success. HDB members provide advice and guidance to the MHC leadership on a range of issues and represent their deans’ goals for honors in their home academic colleges. HDB members provide input and review MHC curriculum proposals and policies, review scholar and faculty grants, make recommendations on scholar appeals, read and evaluate Colloquia proposals, and serve as a liaison between the MHC and the faculty or scholar member’s home department and college.


Responsibilities of HDB Members

The following lists the collective responsibilities of HDB members—not necessarily the responsibilities of any single member. The nature of each HDB member’s duties will differ depending on individual’s talents, interests, and the needs of the MHC and their home college/department during any given period. In fact, the HDB’s strength is that is that each member brings his or her own unique talents and interests to the collective effort of managing the college’s development.


  • Attend monthly meetings
  • Serve as college/department representative and liaison to home department and college.
  • Work with MHC and your dean regarding issues such as, but not limited to
    • discuss your dean’s goals for their college in relation to the MHC and keep the dean apprised for changes in the MHC
    • based upon the dean’s vision of honors in their college, work with department heads to assure the proper number and mix of honors course offerings
    • sharing information about MHC opportunities to colleagues e.g., Honors Faculty Engagement Grants (HFEGs), Honors Development Grants (HDGs), Honors Travel Abroad Grants (HTAGs), Capstone Experience/Thesis (CE/T) Grants, etc.
    • Review and evaluate the grants and make funding recommendations
    • Assist in facilitating workshops on offering honors opportunities in the HDB member’s home college.
  • Support the MHC when needed through such activities as:
    • meeting with prospective MHC scholars related to their college/departments
    • taking on appropriate projects related to the overall development of the MHC,
    • participating in various MHC sponsored events
    • assisting in evaluating MHC scholar grant proposals, transfer credit proposals, self-designed major/minor proposals and Honors Augmentation Contracts (HAC).
    • providing input and advice on curricular changes
    • evaluating and making recommendation on student appeals
  • Serve as the curricular body for the MHC
  • Provide advice and guidance to MHC leadership on appropriate academic matters



The HDB membership consists of one faculty representative from the following colleges: the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the Gordon Ford College of Business, the Ogden College of Science and Engineering, and Potter College of Arts and Letters. The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science has one professional representative. Faculty members are nominated by their college dean, in coordination with the chair of the HDB and the MHC executive director, and serve for a term of three academic years. Faculty may be nominated for additional terms. Faculty should have previous experience with honors e.g., teaching, serving on a CE/T, etc. Four scholars representing each academic year (first-year, etc.), plus a graduate of the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science, a representative from MHC Scholars of Color and a representative from the MHC Out in Honors Network.will be nominated by the Executive Director of the MHC, in consultation with the HDB chair. The Assistant Director for Academics of the MHC will serve as Chair. The Executive Director is ex officio.


Honors Development Board By-Laws

  1. All members of the HDB vote on non-curricular matters. On curricular matters related to the MHC only faculty members vote.
  2. After a vote on the HDB, any approved proposals are sent on the the University Curriculum Committee for approval.
  3. A quorum is considered 60% of voting membership.
  4. Votes may take place via email if issues arise between meetings that cannot wait for the next regularly scheduled in-person meeting.
  5. The chair may call an emergency in-person meeting during the academic year at his or her discretion if there is an issue that needs to be addressed before the next regularly scheduled meeting and email is insufficient to adequately address the issue.
  6. The chair has the right to make recommendation to the executive director in the summer or at times when the HDB is not in session. Chair must report such actions to the HDB membership at the first meeting.

HDB Questions?


For more information, please email honors@wku.edu.


2023-2024 HDB Members

Lisa Duffin CEBS Rep
Dawn Wright CHHS Rep
Dennis Wilson GFCB Rep
Gordon Baylis OCSE Rep
Guy Jordan PCAL Rep
Jamie Garden Gatton Academy Rep
Starr May Gatton Graduate Rep
Tiara Shellman MHC Scholars of Color Rep
Natalie Heath Out in Honors Network Rep
Aurora Speltz MHC Class of '24 Rep
Yulia Mishcuk MHC Class of '25 Rep
Omar Mansour MHC Class of '26 Rep
Alejandro Ramirez MHC Class of '27 Rep
Craig Cobane Ex Officio
Naomi Rowland Chair

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 Last Modified 1/30/24