Hall Center For The Humanities

Hall Center Scholars

Each year, the Friends of the Hall Center sponsor a small number of Hall Center Scholars.  The program provides opportunities for KU undergraduates who have strong academic credentials and have demonstrated significant activity within KU, to interact with the well-known authors, scholars, and public intellectuals who speak in our Humanities Lecture Series. The program started in the Fall of 2007.

Joyce Bohling is about to start her fourth and final year at KU. She is majoring in English with an emphasis in creative writing and planning to complete a minor in German. As a sophomore, she was a member of the KU University Scholars Program. 2013-14 will be her third year as an undergraduate consultant at the KU Writing Center, where she will take on more responsibility as Lead Undergraduate Consultant in her final year. Joyce has also been a member of Miller Scholarship Hall for her entire undergraduate career.

Tasha Cerny, daughter of Dan and Mary Cerny, is a senior at the University of Kansas. She is an English Literature and Creative Writing major with a minor in Film and Media studies from Salina, Kansas. Tasha is actively involved in her community both on and off campus. She serves as the Food Board Manager for Douthart Scholarship Hall, and will be working as one of the student coordinators for the Undergraduate Reading Series in the upcoming year. Tasha is a past University Scholar and has recently been awarded an Undergraduate Research Award to continue her Thesis work on poetry and Disney fairy tales. After graduating Tasha hopes to spend a few years abroad before returning graduate school to further study literature and creative writing.

Jenny Curatola is entering her fifth year at the University of Kansas where she will be completing majors in English, Global & International Studies, and a minor in Italian. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance this year. Recently, Jenny wrote and directed a community-devised performance piece challenging negative perceptions of aging as her senior honors thesis. The full-length play One Wild and Precious Life was produced in the Lawrence Arts Center by the Jayhawk Initiative for Student Theatre (KU's New Student Organization of the Year which she co-founded and leads as Artistic Director). Jenny received the School of the Arts Interdisciplinary Research Grant, Undergraduate Research Award, and Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award for this project. Jenny has also participated in two alternative breaks, internships in Kansas City and Massachusetts, and the KU New Cities Project. A National Merit Scholar and member of the KU Honors Program, Jenny excels academically and will spend the upcoming year applying as one of KU's Rhodes and Marshall scholarship nominees to various graduate programs where she hopes to study the Middle East and diplomacy.

Katherine Gwynn, daughter of Matthew and Tamera Gwynn, is about to enter into her third year at the University of Kansas. She is an English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major originally from Olathe. Katherine is currently the Commission on the Status of Women's Reproductive Justice Coordinator, the Playwright Coordinator for the Jayhawk Initiative for Student Theater, and an Opinion Page Columnist for the University Daily Kansan She is also a University Scholar within the Honors Program, and a recipient of a Federal Language Academic Scholarship in Russian. She has just been awarded an Undergraduate Research Award to do research while studying abroad in the U.K., applying a queer theory analysis to the texts of J.M. Barrie's most famous creation, Peter Pan.

Isabella Herrera is a senior from Overland Park, KS majoring in Neurobiology and French with a pre-medical concentration. Isabella is an International Merit Scholar and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, and Mortar Board honor societies. She currently serves as the co-director of Alternative Breaks, a completely student-run volunteer organization in KU that sends more than 500 students every year to trips across the country and the local community to tackle pressing social justice issues. Last year, she served as the Fall and Summer co-coordinator of Alternative Breaks, where she co-lead and organized 13 service-learning trips for a total of 100 students. Isabella is also heavily involved in Douthart Scholarship Hall, serving as its vice-president for two years. This August, she went on a trip to Peru where she worked on a mobile clinic that helped provide healthcare to villages in Lima and participated in community development projects that increased access to clean water.

Heathyr Johnson is in her third year at the University of Kansas and is a Secondary English Education major. This coming year, she will be a co-director for the Center for Community Outreach, an organization where she has served in the past as a volunteer coordinator for a tutoring program called Lifeline. She has been a Resident Assistant for two years and is a member of the Honors Program where she will serve as an Honors Ambassador and a teaching assistant for a Freshmen Honors Seminar in the fall. She is also a Watkins-Berger Scholar. One of her favorite extracurricular activities has been her participation in KU's premier a capella group, Genuine Imitation. To combine her literary and musical interests, with an Undergraduate Research Award, she is working with a colleague to write the music and lyrics for a song-cycle. Aside from activities in Lawrence, because she is part of the Global Scholars program, Heathyr will be traveling to Italy this summer to teach English.

Allen Schaidle is currently finishing his third year at the University of Kansas and is an Education major. Originally from Metamora, IL, he is the son of Carlotta and Charles Schaidle. While at KU, he has been highly active in honor programs, student groups, and national organizations that have an international focus. During his sophomore year, KU chose him as one of their Global Scholars. Schaidle recently received the Dean Family Scholarship from the School of Education. Outside of the classroom, he has presented at guest lectures, research symposiums, and conferences discussing his visions for global education and research on cultural intelligence. In addition, he is the current president of the Kansas Triathlon Club on campus and will be studying international education this summer while studying abroad in Italy. Upon graduation, he is planning to attend graduate school to study International and Comparative Education.

Hannah Sitz is a senior from Andover, Kansas majoring in Psychology and Strategic Communication (in the School of Journalism). As a Coordinator and current Co-Director of the Alternative Breaks service learning group, a newly elected Student Senator, a member of Mortar Board, a Student Ambassador for the University Honors Program, and a past leader in Lambda Sigma, Douthart Scholarship Hall, and the Board of Class Officers, she seeks to find effective techniques for improving organizations. Recently awarded the national Truman Scholarship for public service, she plans to pursue a Master of Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management at the University of Indiana-Bloomington and hopes to become an executive director of a large human services nonprofit.

Ryan Smith will soon start his fourth year at the University of Kansas. He is an English and History major from Overland Park, Kansas. Ryan has worked with the KU Writing Center as a writing consultant since 2011 and serves as the editor of the Center's literary magazine, Hoarding Words. He has just been awarded an Undergraduate Research Award to do research this summer in Britain on the subject of gender production in William Blake's prophetic books. After his graduation from KU Ryan hopes to attend graduate school to study British literature.


Past Hall Center Scholars

2012-2013
Becky Mandelbaum
, English
Carolisa Watson, Global & International Studies/East Asian Languages & Cultures
Sida Niu, Chemical Engineering
Ursula Rothrock, Spanish/Journalism
Bernadette Myers, English/Italian/European Studies
Adam Nicholson, Sociology/Peace & Conflict Studies

2011-2012
Kellen Bolt
, English and American Studies
Luke Brinker, History
Kelly Cosby, Political Science and English
Stephanie Jian, Cognitive Psychology
Greg Loving, Chemical Engineering and Economics
Kelsey Murrell, English

2010-2011
Chelsea Brown, English and Sociology
Loren Cressler, English Literature, Creative Writing, and Classical Languages
Sarah Shier, Political Science and History
Ryan Thornton, English and Classics
Hannah Vick, English and Social Welfare
Emylisa Warrick, English
Megan Watson, English and Chemistry

2009-2010
Julia Barnard, History
Earl Brooks, Music and American Studies
Bethany Christiansen, English and Illustration
Melissa Melling, Art History
David Wilcox, Chemistry and English

2008-2009
Zach Abramovitz, English
Joel Burnett, Philosophy and Spanish
Katherine Oberthaler, Creative Writing and Psychology
Dan Thompson, Economics and Political Science, International Studies (co-major), English (minor)

2007-2008
Brenna Daldorph, Journalism

Featured Resident Fellow



Jorge Pérez

Jorge Pérez, Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, will work on his book project “Confessional Cinema: Religion and Film the Spanish Public Sphere (1957-1975).”


Featured Publication

Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions
by Jacob Dorman


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