Honors Newsletter Wins Third Place in National Contest

Honors Newsletter Wins 3rd PlaceThe University's honors newsletter, Areté, was chosen as this year's third place winner of the National Collegiate Honors Council Newsletter Contest. The ceremony, which took place on October 22, was held in Phoenix, Arizona.

Accepting the award on behalf of Areté were Dr. Kevin Dooley, Dean of the Honors School, Reenie Menditto, Director of Student Standards, and honors students Terence Bodak, Emily Steeber, and Jenna Intersimone.

Intersimone, Areté’s Editor-in-Chief of two years, was ecstatic about winning the award which was in the category of best student-run publications for Fall 2010-Spring 2011.

"We are all very excited and proud to be here,” she said. “It is a collaborative effort to publish Areté, so to receive this award is very special for all of us."

Intersimone said the publication stands out from other honors newsletters for several reasons.

"Our newsletter has a very clear student voice that touches on a lot of aspects that are not covered in other publications,” she said. “Areté has personal essays, studying abroad experiences, and alumni spotlights that fill each newsletter with insightful student observations. It is fun to be a part of because the students really get involved with the process from beginning to end."

The conference, which started in 1954, is coordinated by Richard Badenhausen, a Professor and Director of the honors program at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Areté stood out to the judges because the form and content of its newsletter had a solid purpose and the writing was executed very well,” said Badenhausen , elaborating why a committee of four judges chose Areté. “The publication had a consistent voice in the majority of its articles."

Accepting awards along with the University for student-published newsletters were the honors programs at Central Michigan and Cleveland State Universities.

"In total, there were 31 submissions for the contest,” Badenhausen said. “Honors programs throughout the country participated, so it is an accomplishment to be chosen."

Menditto said that since 2005, the first year of its publication, Areté has grown from four pages to 12.

"Students have a flexibility in what they can write about, so that contributes to the wide array of articles presented in the newsletter," Menditto said.  

She also explained how the newsletter got its start. "Dr. Brian Garvey, Dean of the Honors

School in 2005, felt that it would be a good idea for students to channel their ideas and creativity into a newsletter for their peers and faculty to read," she said.

As a result, Areté was born and young writers were given an outlet to explore their talents. A short hiatus ensued in 2009, but with the help of recently retired former Dean of the Honors School Dr. William Mitchell, Areté resurfaced.

"The quality of the articles by the students is what gives Areté its success" Menditto said.

In addition to the ceremony, honors students from around the country also attended a planetary conference.

"The recent immigration issues in Arizona have caused a great deal of unsettlement around the country," Badenhausen said. "In light of this, students were able to participate in discussions involving this concern and incorporate their knowledge of the situation into sessions that were offered throughout the weekend."

The sessions brought awareness and ideas of how students can further diversity in their honors programs.

In ancient Greece, Areté was considered the most valued of human attributes. It literally means "to shine."

Copies of Areté can be found at

PHOTO COURTESY of Jenna Intersimone