Notre Dame College Graduates Record Number of Honors Scholars in 2019

Notre Dame College will graduate a record number of Honors Scholars in 2019, including the first student to matriculate through one of its 3+3 law programs.

Seven Honors Scholars will receive the special distinction on their degrees during Notre Dame's 95th Commencement: Norah Barnes, Erin Calhoun, Nicholas Ely, Cassidy Galbreath, Meckena Hultin, Nadia Miller and Liam Tipton-Fletcher.

Undergraduates must earn 21 honors credits over their career at the College to qualify for the distinction on their degree. Notre Dame, a member of the Mideast Honors Association, graduated its first Honors Scholars in 2014. The program was launched in 2009.

Notre Dame has nearly 60 Scholars currently in the program.

A record total of 33 faculty members also went above and beyond their regular duties to honorize courses with the Scholars this year. These classes include required courses for majors and electives as well as general education credits.

The Honors Scholar program at Notre Dame provides a student-centered educational experience for students with a high school GPA of 3.75 or minimum ACT of 27. Current students at the College who make the President’s List with a 4.0 GPA their first year also are invited into the program.

“Our Honors Scholars are already changing the world, and I am confident they will continue to do so as they go forward from Notre Dame College,” said Notre Dame President Thomas G. Kruczek.

About the Scholars in the Class of 2019

Norah Barnes has a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in mathematics and minoring in financial services management. She received the Josie Pophal “Women in Mathematics” Scholarship in 2018 and the 2019 Sister Mary Cleophas Mathematics Award as the top graduating mathematics major. Outside of the classroom, she is a member of women's soccer team where she has been team captain the last two years as well as the volunteer coordinator.  She has received numerous soccer awards including Academic All-District and Academic All-American for the last few seasons. Barnes has served as treasurer of both the Falcon Activity Board and Undergraduate Student Government and as a member of the President’s Team and the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She is pursuing a career in actuarial science and has accepted a full-time position as an actuarial analyst at Westfield Insurance upon graduation.

Erin Calhoun is graduating with a bachelor of science in nursing. She served her clinical experience at Catholic Community Center within the Diocese of Cleveland and contributed to the College’s international immersion in Guatemala. Calhoun was inducted into the Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society and has accepted a nursing position at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Nicholas Ely is graduating with a double major in business administration and marketing, and minors in economics and financial services management. His academic achievements include a 3.92 GPA, Dean’s and President’s Lists honors, and induction into the Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society.  He is also the lead student ambassador of the President’s Team. Ely is the Mountain East Conference National Student Athletic Advisory Council representative and has also served as captain of our baseball team. After graduation, nick plans on attending the University of Montevallo In Birmingham, Ala., to pursue an MBA and continuation of his sport.

Cassidy Galbreath has been participating in our 3+3 law program with Ohio Northern University’s Petit School of Law. She will complete her first year of law school next month, and she is ranked in the top 10 of her class. While at Notre Dame, Galbreath participated in the undergraduate moot court program for two years, worked in the Office of Academic Affairs and earned a 3.93 GPA. She is expected to graduate from law school at the age of 23.

Meckena Hultin exemplifies the term scholar-athlete. She has a GPA of 3.99 and is a double major in criminal justice and psychology. She has been a member of the women's rugby team, including the team that finished as runner-up to the National Champions in 2017. She has been a member of the nationally ranked undergraduate moot court team and is completing a highly sought-after legal internship at the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Office. She has aspirations of attending law school in the future. 

Nadia Miller will graduate with early childhood and mild-moderate intervention specialist degrees. She received the 2017 and 2019 award for excellence in early and middle childhood education. She was the co-founder and vice president of the Teacher Education Student Association and co-president of the Math Educator's Club. Miller is a member of Pi Lambda Theta Honors Society, Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, was a volunteer tutor at Case Elementary School and was a member of the choir. She participated in a research project on the effects of mindfulness on reading comprehension.

Liam Tipton-Fletcher is graduating with a degree in psychology and a GPA of 3.87. He earned the 2019 award for Outstanding Research in Psychology at Notre Dame; has been a member of the men's rugby teams; and served as a student tutor in math, psychology, and chemistry for three and a half years. He plans to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. program after graduation.

About the Honors Program

The College’s Honors program exemplifies the individualized learning and personal attention from faculty that are hallmarks of a Notre Dame education. Students in the program have the distinction of working directly with faculty to self-design advanced curricula with singular, separate “honorized” courses.

The hybrid nature of the Notre Dame program also allows Scholars to learn together as a class in the honors sections of certain courses, like general education requirements in theology and philosophy, as well as work with faculty members one-on-one.

Courses can be honorized in all of Notre Dame’s five academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Business, Nursing, Professional Education and Science and Mathematics.

Members of the Notre Dame Honors Scholars Advisory Board are: Sr. Karita Ivancic, SND, D.Min., associate professor of theology, director emerita of choral studies and 1971 graduate of the College; David Orosz, Ph.D., Marie Goetz Geier Distinguished Professor of STEM and professor of biochemistry; Ken Palko, M.A., associate professor of philosophy, chair of the Division of Arts and Humanities; Vincent J. Palombo, D.B.A., vice president of academic and student affairs; Tracy Sabransky, M.B.A.; and Colleen Sweeney, M.S.N., Ph.D., J.D., R.N., CNE, associate professor of nursing and director of graduate nursing program, at Notre Dame. The group is assisted by Tabitha Meeks, assistant director of the Office of Academic Affairs at the College.

About 3+3 Law Degrees

Notre Dame offers accelerated 3+3 law degree programs with a total of four schools: Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law; Cleveland State University Cleveland-Marshall College of Law; and the Mitchell Hamline School of Law, formed from the combination of Hamline University School of Law and William Mitchell College of Law; in addition to the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law.

In the accelerated dual degree law program at Notre Dame, undergraduates meeting academic requirements are guaranteed admission to law school and can earn degrees in prelaw undergraduate majors at Notre Dame and the J.D. in a total of six rather than the traditional seven or more years.

Notre Dame students must meet minimum academic requirements, which include course credit totals, GPA and LSAT scores, to be considered for acceptance into the program with any one of the four partner schools. Details of the College’s 3+3 law admission programs are available online. Interested students can complete the online inquiry form.

April 2019


About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master's degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or


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