The Honors College

at West Chester University

Dr. Kevin Dean, Director
703 S. High Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2996
Fax: 610-436-2620

Honors Student Association Executive Board

President - Christine Klingaman

First Vice President - Brianna Plaxe

Second Vice President - Samantha McGinty

Treasurer - Christopher Whittall

Secretary - Sarah Walker

Immediate Past President - Daniel VanHassent


Honors Student Association Committee Chairs

Melissa Christie - Alumni

Melissa Christie is a third year Communicative Disorders major with Spanish and Linguistics minors. In addition to the Honors Student Association (HSA), she is a Spanish tutor at the Learning Assistance and Resource Center as well as an Active Sister of the Abbé Society. As the Alumni chair, Melissa connects past honors students to those who are currently enrolled in the program. This year she will be working with the Alumni Association in hopes of strengthening the ties between Alumni and current students. She hopes to do this by creating a job shadowing/mentorship program as well as organizing service events in which Alumni can come back to participate!

Amanda Gilbert - Awards and Recognition

Amanda Gilbert is a sophomore Early Grades Prep major.  She has served as the Vice President of Allegheny Hall, Member of the Forensics Speech and Debate team, CRU Member, and WCAEYC member during her freshman year.  For the Awards and Rec committee this year, Amanda would like to collect nominations for the Outstanding Faculty Reception, plan and orchestrate the Outstanding Faculty Reception, celebrate the birthdays of all HSA members, and work in collaboration with various other committees in HSA.


Zachary Wooten - ASA Exec Director

Zach Wooten is a third year student studying Communication Studies & Music Education: Voice. This year he is excited to serve the Honors Student Association as the Director of Aid to South Africa. He has previously served as the Aid to South Africa Public Relations Chairman. Outside of Aid to South Africa, Zach has been involved with the Honors Student Association through Traveling Across Generations, HSA Happenings, & Intramural Sports. Outside of HSA, Zach is a Peer Tutor Coordinator for the Learning Assistance and Resource Center, a member of WCU Opera Theater, and a Visual Assistant for the Red Lion Area Senior High School Marching Band. 


Rebecca Bannan - Buddy Coordinator

Rebecca Bannan is a sophomore Special Education/Early Grades Preparation Major. She is currently the Buddy Coordinator for the Honors Student Association.  Outside of HSA, Rebecca is involved in CEC, Council for Exceptional Children, not only as an active member, but by serving on the Executive board as well.  She also partakes in Intramural Sports whenever she can!  Her ideas for the Buddy program through HSA is to try and make sure that the buddy pairs stay in contact with each other and try to attend the socials.  Also, she wants to create socials that will catch a majority of people’s interests. 

Alex Sheriff - Community Service

Alexandra Sheriff is a sophomore, pre-medical (chemistry-biology) major at West University Honors College. Her hometown is about two hours away in the small town of Boiling Springs, PA. During her freshmen year, Alex was eager to get involved in many school clubs and organizations including the Honors Student Association, Allegheny’s Residential Hall Association, the Pre-medical Club, Circle K, CRU, and intramural soccer. In the upcoming school year, she will be holding the positions of Treasurer in the Pre-medical Club and Community Service Chair in HSA. Service has always been her passion and she has always tried to illustrate that passion in as many ways as possible, including several mission trips to Pittsburgh, Mississippi, and most recently, Haiti. Upon graduation from West Chester, Alex plans to attend medical school and receive her doctorate degree in medicine.

Dana Fillman - Curriculum & Community

Dana Fillman is the Community and Curriculum Committee (CCC) Chair. She is a third year nursing major in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This is her second year chairing the CCC and she is also involved in other HSA committees such as Dance for a Chance and Music and Performing Arts including the Honors Choir. Dana is also involved in the broader campus with her involvement in the Student Nurses Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP). The tasks of the CCC are to analyze the Honors Core and Seminar classes through the distribution of surveys each semester. Another task is to hold Celebration and Reflections for the Junior and Freshmen classes to provide an opportunity for students to voice their opinion. Finally, a task of the CCC is to help with the Five Year Review of the Honors College.


Jackie Iovine - Dance for a Chance

Jackie Iovine is the new director of Dance for a Chance for 2013! She is a Communicative Sciences and Disorders major with a minor in Linguistics and hopes to add a Communication Studies minor, as well. At West Chester, she is actively involved in HSA, Circle K, and NSSHLA. For the Dance for a Chance committee and event, Jackie plans to get more groups and clubs involved. She wants to spread the word about the event to the entire campus and try to push it past just Honors. The theme this year is Superhero and we already have some really great ideas for decorations and activities! Jackie hopes to make this year’s Dance for a Chance event even bigger and better than last year!


Abbie Ganas - Diversity

Abbie is a Junior at West Chester, majoring in Chemistry and Mathematics. Her interests include: reading, crafting, gardening, and educating herself and others about topics such as science and social justice. For the past two years, she has been heavily involved with the LGBTQA and HSA. This upcoming year, she will be a Chemistry tutor with the Learning and Resource Center. At home, Abbie frequently volunteers for the Greater Berks Food Bank.

Amber Coe - Fundraising

Amber Coe is a sophomore Middle Grades Prep Major. Middle Grades Education Major.  She is actively involved in the Adapted Fitness Program for children and young adults with disabilities. She also participates in the newly-constructed acapella group, Duly Noted.

Ansu Bensen - Grad School Fair Coordinator

Ansu Bensen is a second year Pre-Medical/Chemistry-Biology major.  She had been involved in Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ), Allegheny's RHA (Resident's Housing Association), Pre-Med Club (of which she is currently the Events Chair), and Honors Student Association.  She was also a member of the Honors Choir and the acapella group Duly Noted.  As the Grad Fair Chair, she hopes to have better PR, attendance from students, and offer alternate options at all the events next Spring.

Haley Paiva - Historian

Haley Paiva is a Sophomore in the West Chester Honors College, with a major in Secondary Education Mathematics. For HSA, she serves as the Historian and Games and Activities Chair for Aid to South Africa. Outside of HAS; she is involved with the Student Activities Council as the Movies coordinator chair.

Marissa Giovinazzo - Housing

Marissa Giovinazzo is a second-year psychology major hoping to transfer into the nursing program. For the 2013-2014 academic year, she will be the Honors Student Association Housing Committee chair. As the housing chair, Marissa hopes to further sustainability initiatives within Honors housing.


Marissa Caldwell - HSA Happenings Editor

Marissa Caldwell is serving as the HSA Happenings Editor for the 2013-2014 academic year. She is a third-year Secondary English Literature Education major, with minors in French and Linguistics. In addition to her involvement in the Honors Student Association, she is the Secretary for Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honors society. Marissa is an active member in WCU Circle K International, volunteers at Safe Harbor of Chester County, and she is a Girl Scout volunteer for a local Junior troop. She has the pleasure of working as the editorial intern at County Lines Magazine this fall. This year, Marissa hopes to keep HSA members, parents and relatives informed of members' accomplishments and HSA events through the newsletter.


Carl Sandberg - International Outreach

Carl-Fredrick Wegner Korsnes of Oslo, Norway, is a senior Philosophy and Political Science major with a minor in Communication Studies. Carl, who transferred to West Chester from Norway Fall 2012, will use his experiences of being an international student to make the International Outreach Committee an opportunity for a cultural learning process. Through activities, forums, conversations, and socials, Carl plans to increase contact between HSA students and international students at West Chester University. Carl’s roles for HSA as a committee chair this year are coordination and planning of events with the purpose of increasing the global awareness among students, a useful attentiveness for the future leaders in a globalizing world.  Aside from being committee chair in HSA, Carl serves as the President of the West Chester University Philosophy Club. He is also active in the university’s Forensics Speech and Debate team. In May 2013 Carl traveled to Russia with a delegation of Honors College students, representing West Chester University as the university’s “ambassadors.”


Lauren Leonard - Library Resources

Lauren Leonard is a third year Cell and Molecular Biology major with minors in Chemistry and Studio Art. This year she is involved in a few clubs including HSA. She is the President of Students of AMF and the Vice President of the Pre-Med Club. This year her main goals for the Library Committee are to really promote the resources and add more activities to make the committee more fun.


Jon Ruths - Music and Arts

Jonathan Ruths is a third year music education major.  Throughout high school, he was heavily involved in band, varsity soccer, ski club and musical theater, and spent some time as a youth soccer referee and local 4H member.  Since coming to college Jon has tried to maintain connected to a wide range of activities within and outside of the School of Music and the Honors College.  He’s auditioned and gotten into the Vocal Jazz Ensemble his freshman year, and Mastersingers his sophomore year. Jon played on several intramural teams including indoor and outdoor soccer, as well as volleyball.  He is the vice president for the Lutheran Student Association and on the Rammy mascot team.  Jon traveled to South Africa in the spring of 2012 through the Honors program and has been involved in several events through HSA, mostly revolving around the Honors Choir, which is why he has decided to dedicate a larger portion of his time this year to the Music and Performing Arts Committee and serve as this committee’s chair.

Brooke Hillman - Public Relations

Brooke Hillman is a third year Communication Studies major, International Business minor in the honors college.  She is the Public Relations Committee Chair for the Honors Student Association, as well as the Public Relations Chair for Aid to South Africa.  She is also the treasurer for West Chester’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.  Additionally Brooke work on campus as a Student Director at Sykes Student Union and is a Staff Photographer for the Quad student newspaper.  She hopes to create a larger social media presence for HSA and its endeavors this year.  She also hopes to create a better connection between the Public Relations Committee and the other HSA committees so that the PR committee can help promote their goals and events. 


Kristina Lail - Recruitment

Kristina Lail is a third year Middle Grades Education major with concentrations in math and science.  This will be Kristina's second year serving as the Recruitment coordinator. Along with being an active member in HSA, she is also captain of the Golden Ram varsity cheerleading squad.  Kristina has high expectations for the Recruitment committee this year and is excited to make some new changes while continuing to recruit quality and diverse student leaders that will help HSA grow stronger in years to come. 


Nicole Medeiros - Seminar Recruitment

Nicole Medeiros is a fourth year Nutrition and Dietetics major with a minor in Biology. Through this committee chair position, she hopes to bring Honors Seminar awareness to the campus community including minority students as well as create cohesiveness between the Honors College and the Honors Seminar program. Nicole also aspires to create seminar student email newsletter that will be distributed twice a month which will include information on upcoming HSA events and activities. She also aims to improve the seminar hooding ceremony.


Tony LaFratte - SGA Representative

Tony LaFratte is a junior Accounting & Finance major.  His involvement on campus includes:  HSA, SGA, Delta Chi Fraternity, Circle K International, Beta Alpha Psi, Intramurals and frequent participation in Office of Student Leadership events.

“ It is my privilege to serve as the Student Government Association Senator for the Honors College for the 2013-2014 academic year. With this position, I will strive to facilitate communications between the Honors College and the Student Government body in order to ensure both parties are thoroughly acclimated with each others' endeavors while preserving a relationship where mutual needs and expectations are satisfied.”

Ahleah Miles - Social

Ahleah Miles is a second year Psychology major from York, PA. In addition to being the HSA Social Committee Chair, she is also a member of the State Champion WCU Forensics Speech and Debate Team, the psychology club, and B.O.D.Y. Peace. Her plans for the Social Committee include traditional events such as the Bates Motel trip and the Thanksgiving Dinner Social, as well as the incorporation of new socials voted on by the Committee. She also plans to use the full support of her committee to host the HSA Semi-Formal in the spring of 2014.


Katie Rincavage - Sports and Recreation

Katie Rincavage is the Sports and Recreation Chair of HSA for the 2013-2014 academic school year. She is a sophomore biology major in the Honors College and Pre-Med Program. In addition to HSA, she is a member of Circle K, the Pre-Med club and SAC. In Circle K, Katie serves as one of two social committee chairs. Lastly, she works at both the recreation center and the Sykes Student Union movie theatre. In her committee this year, she will be working towards increasing involvement in the HSA community through fun games and activities. These games and activities will encourage physical and active participation along with practice in team building. All members of HSA will have the opportunity to sign up and partake in intramural sports through this committee, as well. Katie cannot wait to work with all of the new and old members of HSA for a successful year in sports and recreation!


Lisa McMahon - Technology

Lisa McMahon is a fourth-year Early Grades Prep Major with Spanish and Communication Studies minors.  She is heavily involved with the Student Government Association where she serves as the Academic Affairs Senator and is a member of the finance committee. Lisa currently serves as the student representative for the Strategic Plan Team for the University on the Academic Planning committee. She is a Level II Tutor at the Learning Academic and Resource Center for MAT 101 and 102. This year, Lisa has high hopes for the technology committee and a lot of upgrades to hopefully make. Working with the web master, they will be re-vamping the Honors Website as well as upgrading technology for the Honors College and the 7th floor of Allegheny. They hope to create a new HSA website and have it be a tool for current students and Alumni. Lisa cannot wait to see what ideas the committee brings and all we will be able to accomplish this year!


Joe Cosentino - Webmaster

Joe Cosentino is a sophomore Computer Science major.  His leadership positions include: Computer Science Club, President, WCU Golden Rams Marching Band, Trumpet FOC, Honors Student Association, Webmaster.  As webmaster, Joe will keep the Honors website looking fresh and up to date.


Emily Polefka - TAG

Emily Polefka is a third year English/Special Ed. Major and is happy to serve HSA as the Travelling Across Generations Committee Chair. In addition to her role in HSA, she is the Secretary of Autism Speaks U West Chester University and is a tutor at the Learning Assistance and Resource Center.