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Sarah Farha, with four medallions, for College Scholar, Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, and Summa cum Laude graduate

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Sarah Farha Named College Scholar by College of Arts & Sciences

Oct 13, 2010

Sarah Farha, a History Teacher Certification major from Quincy, was named by WIU's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) as the Fall 2010 CAS College Scholar, an award given each semester to the most outstanding graduating senior in the College. Ms. Farha, the History Departmental Scholar for Fall 2010 and a member of the Centennial Honors College, has maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA during four years at WIU, and has been named to the Dean's List every semester since coming to Western as a freshman in Fall 2006. She graduated December 18, 2010 as an Honors Scholar and with the University's highest honors, summa cum laude. Ms. Farha was one of only two WIU students in the Fall 2010 graduating class to earn four medallions, and the only one to win medallions for College Scholar, Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, and Summa cum Laude graduation.

In Spring 2010 Ms. Farha completed her honors thesis on religious martyrs during the reign of King Henry VIII of England, under the mentorship of Associate Professor Jennifer McNabb. A two-time winner of the CAS Norman and Carmelita Teeter Undergraduate Research Award in the Humanities, the highest award that the College of Arts and Sciences gives to an undergraduate researcher, Ms. Farha was able to conduct research for her honors thesis at Chicago's internationally known Newberry Library, home to the sixteenth-century British manuscripts she needed to consult, due to multiple CAS and Department of History Undergraduate Research Grants she won. She also presented a research paper based on her thesis research at the 2010 Regional Conference of Phi Alpha Theta (the national History honorary society), at which her paper won the Second Place Prize in the Undergraduate Division (competing against students from nine colleges and universities). She has also twice given poster presentations at WIU's annual Undergraduate Research Day.

Ms. Farha held the History Department's most prestigious upper-division scholarship, the two-year Victor and Mary Hicken History Scholarship, in 2008-09 and 2009-10, and is currently an Emily Leonard History Scholar during her final semester at Western. She was initiated in the national honors society for historians, Phi Alpha Theta, in her sophomore year and has been on the Dean's List every semester during her four years at Western.

In addition to her superb academic record, Ms. Farha has served her university in a variety of ways. She has twice served as an FYE peer mentor for History classes and was the featured student speaker at the 2009-10 College of Arts and Science Scholarship Fund-Raising Dinner. Moreover, she served as the student representative for all secondary education programs and a voting member on the University Teacher Education Committee (UTEC), for three semesters, from Spring 2009 through Spring 2010. She was the student representative on UTEC, WIU's official policy-making body for all teacher education programs at Western, for all teacher education students in the secondary education programs in the university, including Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English, Spanish, History, Agriculture, Music, Art, and Physical Education.

Ms. Farha recently completed her semester of student-teaching in History at Liberty Junior High School in Liberty, Illinois, where she now teaches History and Social Studies.

Ms. Farha joins the ranks of other outstanding History majors who have held the honor of being appointed the College Scholar for the College of Arts and Sciences or for the Centennial Honors College during the past five years: Adam Bednar (Fall 2009 Honors College Scholar), Mallorie Clark (Spring 2009 Honors College Scholar), Alex Heuer (Fall 2008 Honors College Scholar), Ashley Eberle (Fall 2007 Honors College Scholar), Will Sweger (Spring 2007 Honors College Scholar), and Steve Catania (Spring 2006 CAS College Scholar).

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