A private comprehensive liberal arts college in Salt Lake City, UT, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in liberal arts and professional programs. Website
Honors Program Faculty

Honors program faculty are drawn from across Westminster's many departments, programs, and colleges. Honors faculty participate in the program because they enjoy teaching challenging students, they find interdisciplinary approaches to their subjects satisfying, and they value the excitement that team-teaching provides.

The Honors program employs faculty known for their teaching excellence and who especially enjoy passing on their passion for learning to Honors students.


Richard's 2004 book, T. S. Eliot and the Art of Collaboration (Cambridge UP) was called by one critic "...perhaps the most interesting critical study of Eliot in a decade."  A former board member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Badenhausen has directed Westminster College's Honors program since 2001. He received the college's Gore Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.

Kara Barnette (Philosophy)

Kara specializes in American Philosophy as well as philosophical issues related to race and gender. Her current work focuses on cross generational atonement for historical atrocities.

Karlyn bond (Music)

Karlyn has taught in Honors since 1997. She holds a D.M.A in piano performance from the University of Southern California. Her other areas of interest are literature, religion, philosophy, and history.

Bill bynum (math)

Past recipient of the college's Excellence in Teaching award, Bill has taught in the Westminster math department since 1989 and thrives in an interactive classroom. He currently serves on the faculty team for QUARC (Quantitative Analysis and Research Co-op).

Peggy Cain (Education)

Peggy uses complex thinking and social justice lenses to explore social movements and social change. She has an M.A. in Latin American Studies/Economic Development and a Ph.D. in Adult Education. She has extensive experience in Latin America and directs the Master of Arts in Community Leadership and Master of Education programs.

michael chipman (Music)

Michael is the head of the vocal performance program, has run the opera studio, and now directs the Acappella group, Sugartown. He has soloed twice at Carnegie Hall and has sung with orchestras and opera companies in the U.S. and abroad. He was the co-author of The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing published by Oxford University Press in 2007.

Russell Costa (Honors / Neuroscience)

Russ is a cognitive scientist who uses a broad range of experimental and theoretical approaches to study attention and perception. In his classes, he explores the role of science in society, particularly issues concerning methodology, ethics, history, and philosophy of the social, behavorial, and brain sciences.

Sean desilets (english / film studies)

Sean runs the Film Studies program, and also teaches in English and Gender Studies. His current book project is Blind Paul: Hermeneutic Humility and the Political Theology of Cinema.

lesa ellis (neuroscience)

Lesa is a graduate of Westminster College and, after earning her Ph.D. at the University of Oregon, returned to Westminster as faculty. The winner of the college's 2015 Gore Excellence in Teaching Award, she currently chairs the Neuroscience program and studies genetic and cognitive contribution to anxiety. 

Peter goldman (english)

A specialist in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature, Peter also has interests in Film Studies, Literary Theory, and Generative Anthropology; he has publications in all of these areas. He is currently working on a book on Shakespeare and the problem of iconoclasm, and a journal article on Gnosticism in John Milton's Paradise Lost.

Dave goldsmith (geology)

Dave Goldsmith is a paleontologist and chair of the geology program. In addition to his research on fossil clams and snails he has also published several works on the nineteenth century origins of evolutionary theory.

leonardo e. figueroa-helland (politics, justice, and global studies)

Leonardo is Chair and professor of Political Science, Justice Studies and Global Studies. His teaching and scholarship focus on Global Politics, Political Ecology, Political Economy, Indigenous Politics, and Critical Interdisciplinary perspectives on global issues.

Han kim (public health)

An epidemiologist, Han research focuses on global health, particularly in the social determinants of health as it pertains to social justice issues. He is also the director of the BS in public health program.

Betsy Kleba (biology)

After earning a Ph.D. in infectious diseases and immunity from U.C. Berkeley, Betsy continued her research with human pathogens at the National Institutes of Health. At Westminster she uses microbiology to engage students in the process of science. Betsy work with Dr. Robyn Hyde as a pre-medical advisor.

matt kruback (art)

Matt Kruback's interests include landscape theory, the history of landscape art in Northern Europe and the United States, and the politics of landscape and culture. See his work here.

CHris lecluyse (english)

Chris LeCluyse directs the Writing Center and regularly teaches academic writing, writing pedagogy, and the history and structure of English. He is also a professional singer specializing in Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music and is the co-founder of Utopia Early Music.

Hikmet Loe (Art)

An expert on Utah earthworks "Spiral Jetty" and "Sun Tunnels," Hikmet's book, The Spiral Jetty Encyclo: Exploring Robery Smithson's Earthwork through Time and Place will be published by the University of Utah Press in 2016. She has taught art history at Westminster College and teaches in the Venture Program. She is actively engaged in regional and national art programs related to Land Art.

Gary Marquardt (history)

Gary's research interests focus on the histories of Africa, modern world, world environment, imperialism, and health & disease.

Nick More (Philosophy)

An expert on the work of Nietzsche, Nick received Westminster College's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007 and was named Utah Professor of the Year in 2008, for which he was honored in Washington, DC.  His book on Nietzsche's so-called autobiography was recently published by Cambridge University Press.

 Jeff Nichols (History)

Jeff specializes in Utah, western, and environmental history. He is the author of Prostitution, Polygamy and Power and co-author of Playing with Shadows: Voices of Dissent in the Mormon West. He co-directs the Institute for Mountain Research with Prof. Brent Olson.

kristjane nordmeyer (Sociology)

Kristjane Nordmeyer is an associate professor of sociology and current Chair of gender studies. Kristjane's teaching interests include gender, sexuality, food, cats, and study-abroad in Scandinavia.

Brent olson (Environmental Studies)

Brent is an interdisciplinary scholar who uses approaches from environmental history and geography to consider the political economy of natural resources in the American West. He is also co-director of the Institute for Mountain Research at Westminster.

Giancarlo panagia (Justice studies)

 Giancarlo studies the intersectionalities of gender with "other" isms and also utilizes a critical analysis approach to crime and deviance. He contributes his expertise to the learning of issues of environment, justice, and nature in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program.

Michael popich (philosophy)

Founding directot of the Honors program, Michael is an expert on the Holocaust, Genocide in Africa, and Violence in the Middle East. His current reaaching and research focus on social justice and poverty. He coaches Westminster's nationally known ethics bowl team and serves on the national  executive committee for promoting ethics bowl.

Sean Raleigh (Math)

Sean Raleigh received his Ph.D. in mathematics from U.C. San Diego, specializing in geometric topology and knot theory. Lately, Sean has been active in data science, advocating for Bayesian methods in data analysis, chairing the new data science program, and co-directing QUARC, the Quantitative Analysis and Research Cooperative.

Christy seifert (Communications)

Christy Seifert has a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in rhetoric and professional writing, and is associate professor of communication. She is the Director of the Master of Strategic Communication program and is the author of The Predicteds (a novel published in 3 languages); Virginity in Young Adult Literature after Twilight; and Whoppers: History's Most Outrageous Liars.

julie stewart (sociology)

Julie is an award-winning teacher and scholar of globalization and displacement. She seeks to better understand how people re-build community, engage in politics and strive for upward mobility following displacement. She has published more than a dozen scholarly works on Guatemalan refugees, Mexican immigrants and U.S. migration policy.

Heidi van Ert (Education)

Heidi has a background in the arts, arts education, and gifted education. She is passionate about creativity and working collaboratively with other people on "nearly impossible" projects.

Michael Vought (Theater)

Michael has Chaired the theatre program at Westminster for two decades. During that time he has directed over 50 productions. He recently founded the Great Salt Lake Fringe festival and serves as its executive director.

John watkins (Economics)

John's teaching and research interests focus on the history of economic thought, political economy, and economic crises. He is a winner of the college's Gore Excellence in Teaching Award.