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

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

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.

Laura Good

Laura Good
Assistant Director for Nationally Competitive Awards

(515) 294-0172

About Laura

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!

Emily Wilcox

Emily Wilcox
Assistant Director for First-Year Honors Program


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.

Katie Flannery
Program Assistant for Upper Division Honors

(515) 294-4372


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.

Katherine Sterk

Kat Sterk
Graduate Assistant

(515) 294-3265

About Kat

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 an adviser for the Honors Student Board and co-teaches HON 302 (leadership seminar). Additionally, Katherine works to recruit high-ability students via Experience Iowa State events.

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 emphasizes 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 Wirth

Suzanne Wirth

(515) 294-0855

About Suzanne

Suzanne has worked at the university for 18 years and has been with the Honors Program for 15 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.


Patty Mayberry: Custodial Services


Undergraduate Assistants:

Briana Wilder

Jaclyn Simons

Hello! My name is Jaclyn Simons, and I’m a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Leadership Studies. Through the Honors Program, I’ve had so many opportunities that have shaped my college experience. Aside from being one of the three Undergraduate Assistants, I’ve co-led a class of new Honors students in the First-Year Honors Program, and found my love for research through the First-Year Honors Mentor Program. Outside of the Honors Program, I’ve kept myself busy working with the Office of New Student Programs as a 2018 Cyclone Aide, and I now work as a Cyclone Aide Adviser for 2019. You can also find me running the field with the Women’s Soccer Club, running just for fun, throwing pottery, hiking, or working on some new piece of art. I’d be happy to chat with anyone interested in the Honors Program or Iowa State in general!


Jack Wannarka

Emma Flemming

Hey there! My name is Emma Flemming and I am from Des Moines, Iowa. I am a sophomore in environmental science and international studies. The Honors Program has given me so many wonderful opportunities throughout my time at Iowa State, and I am having so much fun being an Undergraduate Assistant for the program. Outside of working and spending lots of time at Jischke, I intern for a company called Earth Empower and am Vice President of ISU's Environmental Education Club! In my time outside of homework and work, I love to read, make new recipes, and spend lots of time outside! I would be happy to chat about the Honors Program and life in Ames, so feel free to reach out!


Vincent Valeriano

John Mobley IV

Hello! My name is John Mobley IV, and I'm a sophomore double-majoring in Physics and Mathematics with a minor in Nuclear Engineering. Beyond working as Undergraduate Assistant for the University Honors Program, I have had the exceptional opportunity to live in and represent the wonderful individuals of the Martin Starbuck Honors House, to work alongside Iowa State University's distinguished researchers through the First-Year Honors Mentor Program, to support the Honors community with academic and social experiences through the Honors Student Board, and to co-lead a class of incoming Honors students as an First-Year Honors Program Leader. When I'm not in the Jischke Honors Building or studying, you can typically find me watching comedies, reading articles about science, or listening to an array of music. Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions you might have about the University Honors Program, the position of Undergraduate Assistant, or college life in general—I'm more than happy to talk!  

Undergraduate Support Staff:

  • Elaina Conrad, Jack Wannarka, Conner Simmons & Aaron Leppert
    University Honors Program Student Assistants
  • Lucas Goodman
    Undergraduate Research TA and Student Assistant