Portz Scholars

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) began the Portz Scholars Program in 1990 to acknowledge the contributions of John and Edythe Portz to Honors education. Each year, NCHC institutional members are invited to nominate one paper per institution written by an undergraduate honors student for the Portz Scholars competition. The four NCHC Portz Scholars are featured at a plenary session at the National Collegiate Honors Conference in the fall, and each Scholar receives a $500.00 stipend.

Since its inception in 1990, the Kent State University Honors College has produced more Portz Scholars through its undergraduate thesis program than any other institution in the nation.

Portz Scholars from Kent State University


Serene (Hawes) Montgomery, Kent State University (2023)

Thesis Title: “Atmospheres of Light”
  • Faculty Advisor: Ronn Daniel
  • Honors Director: Dr. Alison Smith

Sarah Hagglund, Kent State University (2021)

Thesis Title: “The Myth of Bologna? Women's Cultural Production During the Seventeenth Century”
  • Faculty Co-Advisor: Dr. Gustav Medicus
  • Faculty Co-Advisor: Dr. Matthew Crawford
  • Honors Director: Dr. Alison Smith

Megan Swoger, Kent State University (2018)

Thesis Title: “Analysis of the Prevailing Practice of FGM in Ghana: Are domestic laws and international treaties effective in the eradication of FGM within the state?”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Julie Mazzei
  • Honors Director: Dr. Alison Smith

Dorvan Byler, Kent State University at Stark (2015)

Thesis Title: "Flee from the Worship of Idols:”Becoming Christian in Roman Corinth”

  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lindsay Starkey
  • Honors Director: Dr. Leslie Heaphy

Allison Moats, Kent State University (2014)

Thesis Title: “Abnormalities in the Growth and Development of the Proximal Femur: Comparing Ancient to Modern Populations”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Linda Spurlock
  • Honors Director: Dr. Donald Palmer

Molly MacLagan, Kent State University (2010)

Thesis Title: “Early English Theatre: A Practical Guide”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Don John Dugas and Dr. Chuck Richie
  • Honors Director: Dr. Donald Williams

David Hill, Kent State University (2008)

Thesis Title: “Evolution of Quorum Sensing Genes in the Genus Burkholderia”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Helen Piontkivska
  • Honors Director: Dr. Donald Williams

Douglas Antibus, Kent State University (2007)

Thesis Title: “Microbial and Photochemical Transformations of Dissolved Organic Carbon in a Great Lakes Coastal Wetland (Old Woman Creek, Ohio)”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Heath
  • Honors Director: Dr. Larry Andrews

Laura Herron, Kent State University (2005)

Thesis Title: “Redemptive Memory: The Christianization of the Holocaust in America”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. R. Steigmann-Gall
  • Honors Director: Dr. Larry Andrews

Eric Osborne, Kent State University (2001)

Thesis Title: “Understanding Caesar's Gallic Ethnography: A Contextual Approach to Protohistory”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Brian Harvey
  • Honors Director: Dr. Larry Andrews

Jessica Anderson, Kent State University (1994)

Thesis Title: “Lobocarcinus lumacopius, A New Species of Cancrid Crab from Fayum, Egypt”
  • Faculty Advisor: Dr. Rodney Feldman
  • Honors Director: Dr. Larry Andrews