Welcome to the Utah Valley University Honors Program! By choosing to join the Honors Program, you have demonstrated a genuine investment in the quality and depth of your undergraduate education. The entire Honors Program staff is here to advise you in your search for excellence. Many students, when asking about participating in Honors, wonder if it's harder; I always answer, "It's not always more work, but it is better work." In a series of small classes with other highly motivated students, you will find true peers willing to be guided by faculty invested in their students' intellectual potential. You will discover in yourself the ability to grapple with texts and ideas that have fascinated the world's great thinkers, writers, artists, and scientists, as well as the courage to try out new and challenging ideas, places and experiences. We look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Kate McPherson, Ph.D.
Professor of English
Honors Program Director
The Honors Program at Utah Valley University provides opportunities for highly motivated
students pursuing any associates or baccalaureate degree to realize academic, professional,
and personal potential. Honors offers a powerful first-year experience, sustained
peer-group interactions, and small courses with outstanding faculty employing innovative
classroom approaches. Honors students benefit from experiential learning, undergraduate
research, cultural events, and dynamic social gatherings.
Students from all majors may pursue an Honors degree. Through Honors, each student can chart a customized program of study most suited to their post-baccalaureate plans.
1. Encourage students to realize intellectual potential through challenging academic experiences
2. Prepare students to embark successfully on post-baccalaureate endeavors
3. Foster responsible citizenship through engaging students in enriching cultural activities, outdoor education, as well as a variety of research and service projects
The Honors Program reports directly to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs. The Honors Program Director administers the Honors Program and holds responsibility for assuring that it maintains standards of excellence. The Director guides the Program with the assistance of the Honors Program Coordinators, who administrate facets of the Program and serve as secondary academic advisors for Honors students, and with the input of Honors Steering Committee, a group of faculty from across the university. The Honors Student Advisory Council also has a representative on the Honors Steering Committee and acts as an advocate for students within the Honors Program when issues arise.
Dr. McPherson, who joined the UVU faculty in 2000, is Professor of English and teaches English Renaissance literature, including courses in Shakespeare on campus and regularly on UVU's London Study Abroad program. An award-winning educator, McPherson is co-editor of the Shakespeare Life & Times section of the Internet Shakespeare Editions and is also Resident Scholar for the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, an original practices performance troupe begun by two UVU students,. She and her UVU Shakespeare class have recently completed projects mentoring troubled young men incarcerated at the Slate Canyon Youth Center in the study and performance of a Shakespeare play, as well as an creating encyclopedia entry on the Curtain Theater for the Map of Early Modern London.
She is co-editor, with Dr. Kathryn Moncrief (Washington College, Maryland), of three edited collections, Shakespeare Embodied: Page and Playhouse in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries (forthcoming, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2013); Performing Pedagogy in Early Modern England: Gender, Instruction, and Performance (Ashgate, 2011) and Performing Maternity in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2008). With Dr. James Mardock (University of Nevada-Reno), she also recently co-edited Stages of Engagement: Drama and Religion in Post-Reformation England (Duquesne University Press, 2014). McPherson has also published numerous articles on early modern maternity in scholarly journals. She holds a doctorate in English Renaissance Literature from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
She notes that "After years of working closely with Honors, I'm excited to direct the Honors Program. I graduated from an Honors Program at a large state university and believe deeply in the power of Honors to connect students to their peers and to their own academic and professional strengths. I'm especially thrilled to work with both incoming and advanced students, linking them with UVU's outstanding faculty and the many opportunities they have for engaged learning and enriching undergraduate research opportunities."
Kate is married to UVU alumnus Michael Nagro, who teaches English at Timpanogos High School. They have one daughter, Miranda McPherson, an aspiring actress and writer.
Allen Hill graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Philosophy & English Literature from Utah Valley University in 2004. Allen joined the Honors Program staff in 2008 after several years working as Managing Editor and Symposium Coordinator for Sunstone Education Foundation and its magazine. Allen's main areas of responsibility in Honors includes advising students (last names beginning A–L), academic scheduling, colloquium planning, assessment, and outdoor excursions. Some of Allen's passions include art and photography, graphic design, great works of literature, and the trusted companionship of his special lady, Lindsay, and their little dog, Daisy.
Tiffany Nez graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in English from Utah Valley University in 2007. She joined the Honors Program staff in 2007 after several years working outside higher education in business management positions. Tiffany's main areas of responsibility in Honors include advising students (last names beginning M–Z), Honors Program housing, Honors scholarships, and ticketed events. Tiffany is passionate about literature (enjoying a mix of fiction and nonfiction), travel, (Spain trip soon!), and is a novice connoisseur and sommelier. She is currently researching the education systems on US reservations with the hope that she can assist in saving her cultural heritage. Her husband, Jared is a full-time comedian and her daughter, Faith is a full-time fashion fiend. Sometimes she runs on Geekpower, but always tries to enjoy the ride.
Students in the Honors Program should meet regularly (at least twice a semester) with their Honors Coordinator: Allen Hill advises students with last names beginning A–L and Tiffany Nez advises students with last names beginning M–Z. Please schedule meetings well in advance of Priority Registration. For Spring semester, registration typically begins the last week of October and for Fall semester, the first week of April. Honors advising is Secondary Advising, meaning it supplements the advising students receive from their Primary Advisors in their academic major. All students are encouraged to choose an academic major to explore as soon as they enter the university. Honors can also help connect students with wellness programs and other resources that ensure student success.
The Honors Steering Committee is comprised of UVU faculty members, Honors Coordinators, and a member of the Honors Board of Senators. The Honors Steering Committee works with the Honors Program Director and assists with decisions concerning Honors curriculum, Program governance, policy, development, and evaluation deliberations. Members of the Honors Steering Committee represent the colleges and/or departments served by the Program and also elicit support from the UVU campus community.
The HBOS is an established committee of UVU Honors students who, along with the Steering Committee, help govern the Program. As student representatives, they act as advocates to their fellow Honors students when problems and questions arise concerning the Program itself, or from their interaction with professors, Honors Program Coordinators, and other students. The HBOS works directly with Honors Program Director and student information is kept confidential.
If students have any questions, concerns, or are interested in joining HBOS, we solicit applications each February.