The Perceived Benefits of the Honors Program through the Perspectives of Current Students, Recent Graduates and Over-5-Year Alumni

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Hancock, Cody
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

Dates of Existence
1913 - present

Historical Names

  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Honors Projects and Posters
University Honors Program

The Honors project is potentially the most valuable component of an Honors education. Typically Honors students choose to do their projects in their area of study, but some will pick a topic of interest unrelated to their major.

The Honors Program requires that the project be presented at a poster presentation event. Poster presentations are held each semester. Most students present during their senior year, but may do so earlier if their honors project has been completed.

This site presents project descriptions and selected posters for Honors projects completed since the Fall 2015 semester.


The purpose of the study was to understand how ISU Honors Program members at different points in their education and/or career paths view their Honors experiences. Specifically, the study was intended to see whether, after some time for reflection or distance from the collegiate lifestyle, Honors alumni are able to gain a better understanding of the influences that affected their time and experiences. Surveys of the various respondent groups revealed that alumni of the ISU Honors Program tended to value the academic benefits of Honors a little more, while current students mentioned the tangible values such as priority registration or access to Jischke as being of greatest benefit. More than half of all respondents said the Honors Program was worth the extra effort and would attribute about 40% of their success to the program. Hopefully this research can be used to better communicate and express the benefits of the Honors Program to prospective and current students.

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