Honors program has exciting future ahead with new director

Dr. Bennett speaking with student

Honors program has exciting future ahead with new director

Date: Monday, February 6, 2017 - 3:45pm

Dr. Kelsey Bennett has been appointed Director of Western’s Honors Program for the next three year term. Prior to this appointment, she has served as interim Director for this academic year.

kelsey bennett
Dr. Bennett teaches in the CALL Department as well in the Honor Program, and is currently teaching an Honors course exploring the enduring question of "What is art for?" This course was made possible by a two-year, $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

Bennett’s award will be used to develop and teach a freshmen-level undergraduate seminar course, designed primarily for students in Western’s Honors Program and other qualified students with majors of all disciplines, to explore the purpose and relevance of art.

NEH Enduring Questions grant program supports faculty members in the preparation of a new course on a fundamental concern of human life as addressed by the humanities. This NEH program encourages undergraduates and their professors to engage in a deep and sustained program of reading in order to encounter influential ideas, works and thinkers over the centuries.

“Honors Program goals and outcomes include developing a knowledge of the Good; fostering interdisciplinary community; encouraging intellectual risk-taking; and strengthening social intelligence through communication,” Bennett explained. “The course will be developed with these goals and outcomes in mind, which in turn support Western’s institutional mission of ‘promoting intellectual maturity and personal growth’ as students continue on their way toward becoming constructive citizens in local, national, and global communities.”

NEH awarded 248 grants through its last funding cycle. The award to Western was one of only three grants awarded in the State of Colorado, and the only Enduring Questions Pilot Course Grant awarded in the state.

"As Director of Honors at Western, I'm delighted to continue to work with students, faculty, and staff across campus to foster our dedication to a meaningful liberal arts and sciences education," said Bennett. "I'm here to support and develop our vibrant community of learners with diverse interests and intellectual backgrounds!" 

Bennett holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Denver and a B.A. in Classics from St. John’s College. Her essays, articles, and reviews appear in The New Criterion, Brontë Studies, The Colorado Review, Notes on Contemporary Literature, Gunnison Valley Journal, and elsewhere. Her book of literary criticism, Principle & Propensity: Experience and Religion in the Nineteenth-Century British and American Bildungsroman, was published with the University of South Carolina Press in 2014.

To read more about the Honors program, visit http://www.western.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/honors-program