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AHSW Honors Program


The School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness’ Honors Program offers academically qualified students a more advanced and challenging educational experience related to their course of study. The program provides opportunities for involvement in independent scholarly work, one-on-one interaction with faculty, and an in-depth study of one area of applied health sciences and wellness.

Throughout the Honors Program, students work under the guidance of a Faculty Honors Advisor and the Honors Program Coordinator to plan and complete scholarly projects. Students complete an honors course sequence (NUTR or AHSW 4902H, 4945H, 4946H, and 4947H) during which a project is designed, executed, reported in writing, and presented to the students’ honors advisory committee and others (NOTE: The NUTR or AHSW prefix may be used by all majors). Projects may be research, development of educational materials, in-depth papers, or other original works approved by the Honors advisor and committee. Those students who successfully complete their honors projects receive special designation on their diplomas.

Advantages of the Program:

Students have several advantages as a result of being eligible for and participating in the Honors Program. Each student will:

  • Gain experience in critically exploring an area of academic interest under the direct guidance of an experienced scholar.
  • Be better prepared for further graduate or professional study in specific academic fields and post graduate work in general.
  • Ability to take graduate level classes with permission.
  • Graduate with special distinction.

Eligibility for Admission to Honors Program:

The following outlines the eligibility requirements for the program:

  • Students must have a declared major in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness. They must also have a cumulative overall grade point average (GPA) that is no lower than a 3.3 in order to begin the Departmental Honors process.
  • Students must complete 60 semester equivalent credit hours prior to the beginning of the fall semester for which they apply.
  • Students must have at least one academic year of study remaining at the time of application to the program.
  • Students are required to identify and receive approval from an Honors Advisor prior to entrance into the program and indicate this choice on the Honors Program Application Form (PDF).
  • Students must be willing to devote the time and energy needed for a more demanding and challenging curriculum.

Overview of Program

Honors Contract and Curriculum:

After acceptance into the program, a student completes an Honors Contract (PDF) with his/her advisor that stipulates participation in and commitment to the program. The Honors Contract focuses on a schedule of planned coursework and defines the expected outcomes of the proposed the honors project. Courses outlined in the student Honors Contract must:

  • Meet the minimum credit hours required for a Bachelor of Science degree by Ohio University.
  • Meet university requirements under the catalog of admission applicable to the student.
  • Include the honors course sequence:
    • NUTR 4902H (Seminar) o NUTR 4945H (Readings)
    • NUTR 4946H (Practicum)
    • NUTR 4947H (Thesis) o A maximum of 15 credit hours is allowed in this sequence. (NOTE: The NUTR or AHSW prefix may be used by all majors)
  • Include one research methods course at the 3000, 4000, or graduate level (if not required already for their major). Examples include:
    • EXPH 4940 (Research Dynamics: Planning, Participation and Actualization of the Research Process)
    • AT 3300 (Evidence-Based Practice)
    • EDRE 5010 (Introduction to Research Methods)

The honors projects are carried out over a minimum of two semesters; credit is awarded when the student enrolls in the school’s honor series (NUTR of AHSW 4902H, 4945H, 4946H, 4947H). (NOTE: The NUTR or AHSW prefix may be used by all majors). The honors project can take several forms, including:

  • Research project: frequently a part of a faculty member’s larger research project, leading to a manuscript that is ready to be submitted for publication.
  • Educational materials/curriculum: including designing, implementing and evaluating materials.
  • Other original works: must be approved by Honors advisor and Honors Coordinator.

It is a requirement of the program that the Honors project will be presented in poster form at an exposition, conference, or meeting. Students usually meet this requirement by presenting their project at the Ohio University Student Research and Creative Activity Expo but are also encouraged to present their work at other forums. Students will also be expected to complete any additional outcomes outlined in the Honors Contract (PDF).

Recommended Honors Project Proposal and Completion Time Line

Fall Semester of Junior Year:

  • Prior to Applying to the Program: Eligible students (based on GPA and credit hours completed) will be notified by the Honors Coordinator of their eligibility. Since students must identify a faculty member as an Honors advisor prior to applying to the program, students need to talk to faculty in their area about research or project ideas and to identify their project interests prior to applying.
  • Applying to the Program:
    • Complete the application (PDF)
    • Submit ALL application materials (outlined in section VI) by 5:00 pm on the first Friday of December to Dr. Cheryl Howe, Honors Program Coordinator, Grover E154. Be sure to submit all materials as described in section VI electronically in a PDF file. The application will not be considered if items are missing, including signatures. The letter of support from your proposed honors advisor should be included in this single PDF file.
    • Students will be notified of acceptance status before the beginning of the following spring semester.

Spring Semester or Summer Semester of Junior Year:

  • Coursework:
    • The student will enroll in NUTR or AHSW 4945H, honors readings, under their advisor’s name.
    • Ideally, a research methods course could be completed during this time frame.
  • Project:
    • With guidance of his/her advisor, the student should begin to define and refine the honors project.
    • When appropriate, the Human and Animal Subjects Guidelines must be followed and so submission during this period is recommended.
  • Required Paperwork: The honors student will complete the Honors Contract (PDF) in consultation with their advisor. 

Senior year, Fall Semester:

  • Coursework:
    • The student will enroll in NUTR or AHSW 4902H, honors seminar (schoolwide course, typically only taught in the Fall Semester).
    • The student may also choose to enroll in NUTR or AHSW 4946H during this semester (Honors Work).
    • An approved research methods course should be taken, if not already completed.
  • Project:
    • With guidance of his/her advisor, the student should continue to define and refine the honors project and begin to collect data or implement the project if enrolled in NUTR or AHSW 4946H (Honors Work)
    • The student is recommended to submit a Provost Undergraduate Research Fund (PURF) proposal this semester to support the proposed project.

Senior Year, Spring Semester:

  • Coursework:
    • The student will enroll in NUTR or AHSW 4947H (and NUTR or AHSW 4946H if not completed in the Fall semester).
    • If the student plans to graduate at the end of the spring semester, then any remaining coursework must also be completed by the end of this semester.
  • Research:
    • Students will carry out activities and complete the honors project, conferring with the project advisor.
    • Late in the Spring Semester, students will present their work at the Ohio University Student Research and Creativity Expo typically held in early-May. It is required that all students, whether on campus or not, return to present their projects during this event. The poster is not intended to be your final honors project but rather a vehicle to share your work with others.
  • Required Paperwork:
    • The Honors Project Approval Form (PDF) is to be forwarded electronically (PDF format) to the Honors Program Coordinator prior to the first day of exams. Note the student is required to initiate this Form in consultation from their advisor. Students who satisfactorily complete an honors project will graduate “with distinction” printed on their diplomas.
    • A copy of your poster and all expected outcomes outlined in the Honors Contract (PDF) should be turned in electronically to your Honors Advisor before the first day of exams.
    • A copy of your poster and/or an abstract of your final project are to be turned in electronically to the Honors Program Coordinator before the first day of exams.

Honors Program Personnel:

The Honors Program Coordinator:

The Honors Program Coordinator, appointed by the Director of the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, will oversee the process for all students in the school. It is the duty of the Coordinator to:

  • Advise via letter, students who are eligible for the Honors Program.
  • Inform faculty of students in the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness whose grade point averages make them eligible for the Departmental Honors Program.
  • Advise students of the program’s requirements, including any additional coursework necessary to prepare the student for thesis work. Collect the appropriate forms along with the student’s outline describing the project. If needed, provide the student with a copy of Guidelines for Preparation of the Thesis, or other pertinent information regarding the project’s written format.
  • Provide the dean and school director the names of students participating in the program, their thesis or project titles, and names of their faculty advisors.
  • Inform faculty advisors of their responsibilities with respect to advising Honors students.
  • Ensure that the school has a thesis course sequence, NUTR or AHSW 4902H, 4945H, 4946H, and 4947H, in its school curriculum. (NOTE: The NUTR or AHSW prefix will be used by all majors within the school).

Honors Advisory Committee Members:

The graduate coordinator from each area will serve on the advisory committee. Should the graduate coordinator for a particular division serve as Honors Coordinator, then another faculty member from that area will represent that area. This committee will advise the Honors Program Coordinator, make recommendations for admissions into the program, and offer assistance and expertise in the development and execution of the Honors program. Committee representation will include at least one faculty member from the following areas:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Nutrition
  • Athletic Training

Honors Advisors:

All faculty with approval to participate in graduate education are eligible to be selected by students as their honors advisors for the program. Responsibilities for honors advisors include:

  • Review of honors application and proposal for consistency with established coursework guidelines, goals, and rigor of planned program.
  • Work collaboratively with student in developing and critiquing project proposal.
  • Advise student of any additional coursework necessary in preparing the student for thesis.
  • Oversee collection and analysis of data; read and critique drafts/projects.
  • Help student identify a forum in which to share the results of the research or project, such as professional meetings, public exhibits or performances. As funds are available, support may be provided for such presentations.
  • Attend student presentations of project.

Applying to the Honors Program:

The application for the Honors Program includes:

  • Application form (PDF);
  • Most current DARS;
  • A recommendation letter from the professor who will serve as the applicant’s honors project advisor; and
  • A one-page letter of intent describing why you wish to participate in the program and/or why you think you should be considered for acceptance to the program.

The faculty member’s letter of recommendation should be included with the application packet, rather than sent separately, and sealed with signature on the seal. All materials must be received by 5 pm on the first Friday of December. Submit materials to the Honors Program Coordinator, Dr. Cheryl Howe, at E154 Grover Center. Contact the Honors Program Coordinator if you have any questions or concerns at (740)593-2888 or

VII. Admissions Process:

The applications are forwarded to the appropriate program area of study. The area of study then forwards recommendations to the Honors Program Committee for acceptance or denial. The Honors Advisory Committee reviews the applications and Program Area of Study comments and approves students for admission to the program. The Honors Program Coordinator completes a final review of the application, checking the program plan for meeting graduation requirements, area of study recommendations, and advisor support. A letter is then sent to the student with the acceptance decision and any conditions or changes needed in the program plan. Typically, students will begin the program fall semester of their junior year, although this is not required if other program requirements (GPA, credit hour completion) are met.

Please Note:

In order to graduate with Honors, a student must have a minimum of an overall GPA of 3.3 and complete the Honors Program Approval Form (PDF) and submit all outcome materials listed in the Honors Program Contract to the Honor Program Coordinator prior to the first day of final exams the semester of graduation.

List of Potential Honors Advisors

The school faculty represents diverse backgrounds and has varying research interests. This diversity provides numerous research opportunities and potential for collaboration. School areas include athletic training, exercise physiology, and nutrition. An alphabetical listing of potential honors advisors includes the following:

Barr, Marcus, (740) 593-0637;, Exercise Physiology

Brannan, Robert, (740) 593-2879;, Nutrition

Brooks, Anna, (740) 593-1334,, Exercise Physiology

Clevidence, Michael, (740) 597-3356,, Exercise Physiology

Gilders, Roger, (740) 593-0101,, Exercise Physiology

Hillman, Angie, 740-593-0153,, Exercise Physiology

Hovland, Jana,, Applied Nutrition

Howe, Cheryl, (740) 593-2888,, Exercise Physiology

Perry, Sharon, (740) 593-9494,, Exercise Physiology

Russell, Jeff, (740) 593-4648,, Athletic Training

Simon, Janet, (740) 597-1876,, Athletic Training

Starkey, Chad, Ph.D. (740) 593-1217,, Athletic Training

Zachrich, Christine,, Clinical Nutrition