The Illinois State University Honors Program has a new face, and just in time for a new place.

Rocio Rivadeneyra

Honors Interim Director Rocío Rivadeneyra received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in psychology.

Rocío Rivadeneyra was named interim director beginning June 1, 2016, and the Honors Program moved to the Professional Development Building on July 22, 2016.

Rivadeneyra comes to Honors from the Department of Psychology, where she is an associate professor. She is also affiliated with the University’s Latino/a Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies programs.

“I am so excited to be a part of the Honors Program at such a vibrant part of its history. The staff and students in the program are some of the most dedicated, hard-working and passionate people I’ve known and have helped to create the program we have today,” Rivadeneyra said.

The Honors Program was housed in the Educational Administration Building at the corner of North Street and Fell Avenue for 37 years. Honors Mindset Seminar, students’ first Honors Learning Experience, will now be held in classrooms in the Professional Development Building. The larger space is coming at a good time given the 52 percent increase in the Honors freshman class from 2015.

Staff exit office

Honors staff “exit” the former Honors office. From left, Gina Turton, Jackie Durnil, Stuart Palmer.

“We have rolled out inspired initiatives that have enticed not only current students, but a record number of new students to our program,” Rivadeneyra said. “We have badging and digital portfolios, Honors experiences that include travel and explorations, and our mindset seminar. I inherited a strong and exciting program and I can’t wait to see where we take it next.”

The Honors Program will host an Open House on Friday, September 30, to share their new space with the campus community.