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 S. Law
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
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.
Assistant Director for Nationally Competitive Awards
Laura Good works to help identify and advise undergraduate candidates for nationally competitive scholarship, fellowship, and grant opportunities. In addition to this, she supports the upper-division Honors program and is available to answer student questions.
A former Fulbright scholar, Laura joined Iowa State University in Fall 2017 after over ten years overseas. Most recently, she worked to establish and develop a governmental scholarship program in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to support high-ability students targeting post-secondary opportunities in the U.S. and U.K. Prior to that, she worked in international admissions recruiting students worldwide for Saint Louis University’s branch campus in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Kansas, Laura earned her BA in Spanish Language & Literature from Kansas State University and continued to earn an MS in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. When she’s not chasing her three young girls, Laura enjoys cooking, biking, yoga and shamelessly binging on Netflix. She is passionate about helping talented students find educational opportunities and is thrilled to be a Cyclone!
Assistant Director for First-Year Honors Program
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.
Assistant Director for Upper Division Honors Program
Katie Flannery works to advise and support upper-division Honors students both in one-on-one meetings and through her work with the Peer Advisers. She is available for questions on Program of Study, Honors Projects, and overall continuation in the Honors Program. Katie is an Alum of Iowa State and a former Honors Leader and First-Year Honors Program Undergraduate Assistant. After graduating, she went on to complete a Master of Arts in Leadership in Student Affairs at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. In her free time Katie enjoys exploring new places with her husband who she met in the First-Year Honors Program at Iowa State and her labradoodle pup Lola. Katie is a food enthusiast, loves camping and hiking, and (not so secretly) wants to be Leslie Knope from the show Parks and Recreation.
Kat Sterk graduated with her B.S. in Child, Adult, and Family Services and Psychology from Iowa State University. She serves as the Graduate Assistant for the University Honors Program. In this position, she serves as the adviser for the Honors Student Board. Additionally, Katherine works to recruit Honors students via Experience Iowa State events and admissions presentations.
Kat developed a passion for service in higher education during her undergraduate experience, and emphasizes the importance of reciprocal relationships within her duties. Because Katherine participated in the University Honors Program as an undergraduate, her approach to student learning is one that accentuates personal and professional growth. In her free time, Katherine enjoys writing poems, thrift shopping, singing, and watching Grey’s Anatomy! She also loves tailgating with her family during football season!
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.
Program & Administrative Assistant
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
Hey y'all!!! My name is Drew Daly, and I'm a sophomore in Industrial Design. The Honors Program has allowed me to meet so many new people and make some great memories with more to come. Aside from having way too much fun being one of the Undergraduate Assistants, I am also one of the Honors Student Board Philanthropy Committee Co-Chairs, where I get to work with some amazing people, and I am an Honors Peer Adviser, where I get to meet so many people. Outside of Honors, I am involved with SHOP (the food pantry here on campus) where I get to run their social media, create marketing materials,and help students get the food they need. When I have free time, I love to dance, read, draw, take photos, anything art really, and go on adventures. I really just want to experience everything life has to offer. I am more than happy to talk about the Honors Program or literally anything, I love to talk to people!
Hi! My name is Ben Litterer and I'm from Manchester, Iowa. I study Data Science and French, and I'm super pumped to be working in the Honors Program this semester. In addition to my work with Honors, I also study proteins in the Jernigan lab on campus. In my free time, I enjoy staying active, creating music, and catching up with friends.
Some of my previous engagements include tutoring Calculus students through the Academic Success Center and co-leading an Honors course for freshman. I'm passionate about student success, which is why I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue this path as an Undergraduate Assistant.
Hey there! My name is Paiton McDonald, and I'm a sophomore studying Agricultural Biochemistry and International Agriculture with a minor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Outside of working as one of the Undergraduate Assistants, the Honors Program has given me endless incredible opportunities. I was able to join a fantastic research lab with the First-Year Honors Mentor Program and co-lead a class of incoming Honors freshman. Outside of Honors, I am the Alumni co-chair and treasurer in-training for the Stupka Undergraduate Research Symposium planning committee, represent BBMB in the CALS council, member of Dairy Science Club and CALS LEAD IT. I also enjoy playing volleyball, analyzing defensive football plays, reading, and having movie nights with my friends. I'm happy to talk about the Honors Program, Iowa State, or even my love for dairy and research!
Undergraduate Support Staff:
- Amy Schraeder, Conner Simmons & Aaron Leppert
University Honors Program Student Assistants
- Courtney Schill
Undergraduate Research TA and Student Assistant