Staff

The staff at the Honors Program is always happy to help you whenever you have a concern, question, or problem. Feel free to stop in and chat or call ahead.

Here's a look at who's who:

Laurie Smith Law

Laurie S. Law
Administrative Director

(515) 294-4292

 lfiegel@iastate.edu

About Laurie

Laurie Smith Law serves as the Administrative Director for the University Honors Program, working in conjunction with the Honors staff and Honors Student Board to provide members of the Honors Program with an enriched academic experience. Reporting units include the First-Year and University Honors Programs, Undergraduate Research, and Nationally Competitive Awards.


Laurie has a master degree in U.S. history, but started her career in student affairs as a hall director in an Honors learning community, before moving into academic affairs as the assistant director of university Honors College. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), and currently serves as co-chair of the organization’s Professional Development Committee. Laurie is the co-founder of the NCHC International Summer Institute for New Honors Director/Deans. The institute is designed to support new directors navigate administration responsibilities on their campus.

Dr. Svitlana Zbarska
Campus-Wide Undergraduate Research Program Coordinator

(515) 294-2064 

szbar@iastate.edu

About Svitlana

Dr. Svitlana Zbarska manages programs that promote undergraduate research opportunities across campus. In this role, Dr. Zbarska coordinates campus-wide undergraduate research (UR) programs and initiatives such as Research Seminars for Undergraduate Students, the First-Year Honors Mentor Program, ISU Annual Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Expression, Research in the Capitol and the Summer REU Symposium. Dr. Zbarska teaches U ST 275x pre-research course “Integrative Undergraduate Research: Methods, Applications, and Communication Strategies”. She also runs multiple workshops and professional development seminars about involvement in UR and getting the most out of your UR experiences. Dr. Zbarska is an adviser for the i-Research club.

Dr. Zbarska received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience with Excellence in Research from Iowa State University in 2007. After that she was a leading scientist on several research projects at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Genetics and Cell Biology at ISU. Dr. Zbarska is originally from the Ukraine where she received her BS in Physics and MS in Biophysics with Honors from the Shevchenko National University, Kiev, Ukraine. Dr. Zbarska is passionate about encouraging and advocating for undergraduate students’ research experiences.

Newgaard

Gene Newgaard
Coordinator of Nationally Competitive Awards

(515) 294-0172

newgaard@iastate.edu

About Gene

Gene Newgaard works to help identify and advise undergraduate candidates for nationally competitive scholarship, fellowship, and grant opportunities. In addition to this, he supports the upper-division Honors program and is available to answer student questions.

Gene served as a lecturer in the ISU Department of English from 2004-2011 and 2017-2020. He also taught at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls and Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo. Prior to that, he spent 16 years working as a radio announcer and news director and freelancing in print journalism. An Iowa native, Gene earned his BA in Journalism/Mass Communications from ISU in 1988 and his MA in Literature with a second specialization in Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication in 2004.

In his spare time, Gene is an avid reader of mostly current events and biographies and enjoys music and watching Netflix. His heart belongs to ISU, and he is thrilled to be helping students reach their full potential!

 

Emily Wilcox

Emily Wilcox
Assistant Director for First-Year Honors Program

515-294-5827

eawilcox@iastate.edu

About Emily

The Assistant Director for First-Year Honors Program oversees the Honors 121 and Honors 302 experiences. Emily supervises the Undergraduate Assistants and FHP leaders, and works with FHP students from summer orientation all throughout their first year. Emily also works with Honors Ambassadors, prospective students, honors salons, and the honors social media accounts. Emily has degrees from Iowa State in English (2004) and Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (2006), and currently lives across the street from her own Honors 121 co-leader. In her spare time, Emily likes listening to podcasts, baking, and canning, and wants to talk to you about Game of Thrones.

Katherine Sterk

Leisha Estep
Program Specialist
Upper-Division Honors Program

(515) 294-4372

lestep@iastate.edu

About Leisha Information about Leisha coming soon!

Emily Wilcox

Suzanne Wirth
Secretary

(515) 294-0855

suzwirth@iastate.edu

About Suzanne

Suzanne has worked at the university for 19 years and has been with the Honors Program for 17 years. She works with both the First-Year and Upper Division programs. She says that she would be glad to assist you with any questions you might have regarding the University Honors Program.

Molly Helmers

Molly Helmers
Program & Administrative Assistant

(515) 294-0573

mollysh@iastate.edu

About Molly Molly joined the Honors Program staff in October 2019. She handles a variety of administrative and communications tasks, including managing student grants and assisting with alumni and donor relations. Some of you may recognize Molly from her time with the Iowa State University Lectures Program, where she worked as an event coordinator for 13 years. Prior to that she was a program assistant with the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities.

Molly has a BA from Central College, where she majored in history and French. She then earned an MA in history/public history from Arizona State University. She also completed ASU’s Scholarly Publishing Program and subsequently worked in university press publishing for a number of years. Molly and her spouse, Matt, have lived in Ames since 2003 and have 3 children.

 


 

Patty Mayberry: Custodial Services

 

Undergraduate Assistants:

Aline Milach Teixeira

Aline Milach Teixeira
UA

alinem@iastate.edu

Hey there! My name is Aline Milach Teixeira, and I am a sophomore studying Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biochemistry. Aside from being an Undergraduate Assistant for the Honors Program, I have also been exposed to other amazing opportunities at Iowa State, including working at three different laboratories with research relating to biogeochemistry, geology, and environmental science. When I'm not working, I also like to be involved in different clubs and organizations, including the Sustainability Committee of Student Government, Tau Beta Pi, the Carver Academy, and STA. In my spare time, I love to read, play soccer, practice piano, take care of plants, and to meet new people! I'm also happy to talk about the Honors Program, my involvement, and Brazil (where I'm from). 

 

Jordan Rindels

Jordan Rindels
UA

jrindels@iastate.edu

Howdy! My name is Jordan Rindels, and I am a sophomore studying Animal Science Pre-Vet with a minor in General Business. I am super excited to be an Undergraduate Assistant this year because the Honors Program has given me so many great opportunities at ISU. Outside of spending most of my day in Jischke, I also work at the College of Veterinary Medicine doing research on immune-compromised piglets in the SCID lab. Besides these two jobs I also have a small business called Sewin’ N’ Glowin’ where I make and sell masks nationwide. In my free time I enjoy taking naps, going to the gym, watching Love Island on Hulu, and most importantly, hanging out with my wonderful friends.

I am so thankful for the opportunities that the Honors Program has given me so far, and I look forward to meeting new people in my time as an Undergraduate Assistant. I love talking to people, so let me know if you have any questions about honors, animal science, or literally anything!

 

Nick Serck

Nick Serck
UA

npserck@iastate.edu

Hello Everyone! My Name is Nicholas (Nick) Serck and I am a sophomore studying chemistry and food science. I am very excited to be working for the honors program for the calendar year of 2021! The honors program has provided me so many amazing opportunities to learn about Iowa State and the many programs offered here, and I am ecstatic to now be a part of the team! 

Beyond Honors, I am an involved member of the Chemistry Learning Community (CLC) and serve as one of the 4 chemistry department Peer Mentors. Through the First Year Mentor Program I was able to join the organic synthesis lab of Dr. Junqi Li where I have been a member for the past 3 semesters. As if that wasn’t enough chemistry for one person, I am also the treasurer for the chemistry club, The Society of Chemistry Undergraduate Majors (SCUM), here on campus. Beyond academics, I enjoy being outside, cooking and baking, playing boardgames, and riding ATV’s! 

If you have any questions about me, my honors experience, or your chem homework, don’t hesitate to reach out!!

Undergraduate Support Staff:

  • Amy Schraeder & Drew Daly
    University Honors Program Student Assistants
  • Courtney Schill
    Undergraduate Research TA and Student Assistant