Honors Innovations ~

Barrett College Fellows

Barrett Honors College students are getting unique research opportunities through a partnership between the honors college and the Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Barrett Fellows @ CLAS Centers Program allows second and third-year Barrett students to work with Research Centers in The College based on the students’ interests.

Pratik Nyaupane

(From 2019-2020) A senior at Barrett, the Honors College, Pratik pursued a B.S. in Informatics with a minor in Political Science. His interests consist of data and technology regarding social issues and policy as well as sport and society. He developed research experience as a student in the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, where his team prototyped an application to encourage younger people to stay civically engaged.

He chose to begin his work as an honors fellow with Professor Pauline Cheong and the ICGlobal Initiative and Internet of Things project at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication because, "I am passionate about research and intrigued by the complex relationships between humans and the world around them, as the world is progressing towards connectivity at a global scale."

 Read more about his work HERE and HERE

Communication Honors Students

Sarah Mogytych

(From 2020-2021) My honors thesis is titled "Sports Film and the Female Athlete: An examination of the gendered framing of female protagonists." It examines four female protagonist sport films and analyzes key gendered themes I identified that expose how the genre marginalizes female athleticism. I loved every moment of my project because it combined my interests in sports culture, film, and gendered communication. For the greater part of the fall semester I mostly just watched a bunch of sports movies for my research which was honestly a great way to pass the time given COVID restrictions. Read her story here

Victoria Vankdekop

(From 2019 - 2020) I worked on an honors contract in COM 407, Advanced Critical Methods in Communication, with the mentorship of Professor Sarah Tracy, to conduct qualitative research on why student comedians choose to bring up or avoid topics on social issues, including racism and sexism, during their performances. Through my research, I concluded that some choose these topics to persuade the audience to see and adopt their viewpoints. In contrast, other college comedians deliberately choose to avoid these big topics because they preferred to foster an environment of lighthearted humor or they don’t feel qualified to speak on such issues. This research enrichment opportunity has been one of the most rewarding parts of my time at ASU, and because of that, it's one of my top choices for my Barrett Thesis topic that I will be deciding on soon! All in all, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to conduct this research and enhance it through a Barrett honors contract.

Read Victoria's story here.

Molly Bishop 

(From 2019-2020) My thesis creative project is one iteration of that exploration, consisting of a show based on interviews I conducted with fellow Barrett students who also live with diagnosed mental health conditions. My show, called Crazy/Smart, works to use those stories to reclaim the idea of success from the ideology of stigma and ableism in higher education, and challenge institutions to reconsider what it means to be an honors student.

The fact that ASU and the Hugh Downs School have The Empty Space to host this kind of work is a wonderful gift. Being able to dual-major was something that drew me to ASU in the first place, and connecting my experience in theatre and technical skills gained from that degree with performance studies has really opened up my intellectual and professional world. Read Molly's story here.

Interdisciplinary Honors Projects

Colin Redman 

(From 2019-2020) Colin Redman worked with Forensics Director Adam Symonds at the Hugh Downs School, Redman is by building a program that offers debate students efficient means to store and access their research in a database.

Read Colin's story HERE

Fargo Tbakhi 

(From 2019-2020) Although a theatre major in the Herberger School for Design and the Arts, senior Fargo Tbakhi found a home at the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication. Tbakhi, a national merit scholar and student at Barrett, the Honors College, recently completed his honors thesis, working with Hugh Downs School Artistic Director Jennifer Linde, who says his contributions to the critical, aesthetic, and intellectual climate at ASU are “extraordinary.”

Read Fargo's story HERE and HERE


ASU alumna Grace Rolland

Rolland graduated in 2011 with her bachelor’s degree in theater with a focus in directing from the School of Music, Dance and Theatre and a minor in philosophy from the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies. Rolland received her bachelor's degree in theater and a minor in philosophy from ASU. 

While at ASU she explored many topics of interest to her and found influence from her professors, including Hugh Downs School Of Human Communication Jennifer Linde, who was also Rolland's thesis adviser for her senior honors thesis for Barrett, The Honors College.   Read Grace's story here.