Page address:

Honors Program students and faculty routinely represent the campus, community, and state in their roles as leaders, researchers, and global citizens. As individuals and as members of the honors community, students and faculty make regular contributions to our society by combining their unique talents, interests, and gifts with the skills, knowledge, expertise, mentorship, and support they receive from Minnesota State Mankato.



During the summer of 2012, Honors student Christina Mangan worked as a Research Fellow in the Wildlife Disease Laboratory at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research in Escondido, CA.  There, she worked on an insect project in which she tested mosquitoes and midges for avian malaria and determined the hosts on which the blood-fed insects were feeding upon. Christina expressed that it was an amazing experience to be a part of conservation research and learn about the great importance it has on saving endangered species.  This experience opened her eyes to a field of research that she finds very fascinating and rewarding as it is applied directly to conservation of endangered species. 


Honors student Kurtis Malecha was offered a Chemistry Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (Chem-SURF) to the University of California, Irvine this past summer in 2012.  This is one of many of the top universities in the nation that offers NSF-Funded projects in the area of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. There, Kurtis performed thermodynamic studies of the bromine-xenon double clathrate hydrate. The project fascinated Kurtis, and also taught him valuable laboratory skills. It also confirmed that UCI will be one of his top choices for graduate school enrollment.


Honors student Debra Strandlie spent her summer with the Air Force Reserve in Texas. She graduated with Honors from Basic Training and was awarded ACE and Top Grad at Tech school.


Over the summer of 2012, Honors Student Jake Ball traveled to Ecuador for 8 weeks as part of a Spanish study abroad program. While there, he took upper-level Spanish credits from advanced conversation to Latin-American literature. He was also offered salsa dancing lessons and cooking class where he made traditional dishes of Ecuador. In addition, Jake was also able to travel around the geographically diverse country, as he went on trips to the Pacific Coast, the Andes Mountains, and the Amazon. Overall, his trip gave him a greater understanding of international students and a better appreciation for the Ecuadorian culture.


2012-2013 Student Council



Dr. Christopher Corley is on sabbatical during fall semester 2012. He is currently living in Dijon, France, with his family, where he is revising a book manuscript on youth and transitions to adulthood in seventeenth and eighteenth-century France. During school vacations and on the weekends, he and his family are exploring France and some other countries in Europe.


Gwen Westerman (English and Humanities) has published a new book on Dakota history with co-author Bruce White. “Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota” is now available from the Minnesota Historical Society Press . The book draws on oral history interviews, archival work and comparisons of Dakota, French and English sources to tell the detailed history of the Dakota people in their traditional homelands. Her artwork is also featured as the cover!


Dr. Anthony Filipovitch has been awarded a contract with MnDOT to develop training materials for "Hear Every Voice" - a community engagement process.  He also received the Mankato Rotary Club 'Service Above Self' Award.



The Honors Program is pleased to welcome Annie Humphers-Ginther and Alyssa Filip as Honors Program student workers for the 2012-2013 academic year. Annie and Alyssa will be co-Editors-in-Chief for the Honors newsletter, The Beacon.