Skip to main content

Honors College Staff

About Our Staff

  • AndrewF

    Dr. Andrew Finstuen

    Dean; Interim Vice Provost

    Andrew Finstuen is the Dean of the Honors College and Interim Vice Provost at Boise State University. Prior to his arrival at Boise State, Finstuen directed the International Honors Program at Pacific Lutheran University, served as a Lilly Fellow in Humanities and History in the Honors College at Valparaiso University, and was the Assistant Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Finstuen teaches courses in modern American history, the history of American Christianity, and the history of genocide and mass killing. His first book, Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety, won the 2010 American Society of Church History’s Brewer Prize. He co-directed the “The Worlds of Billy Graham” project, which produced Billy Graham: American Pilgrim, an edited volume with Oxford University Press (2017). His latest project, funded by the Lilly Endowment and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and in association with Journey Films and Maryland Public Television, was a documentary film entitled An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, which aired in spring 2017.

    Andrew Finstuen is the Dean of the Honors College and Interim Vice Provost at Boise State University. Prior to his arrival at Boise State, Finstuen directed the International Honors Program at Pacific Lutheran University, served as a Lilly Fellow in Humanities and History in the Honors College at Valparaiso University, and was the Assistant Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. Finstuen teaches courses in modern American history, the history of American Christianity, and the history of genocide and mass killing. His first book, Original Sin and Everyday Protestants: The Theology of Reinhold Niebuhr, Billy Graham, and Paul Tillich in an Age of Anxiety, won the 2010 American Society of Church History’s Brewer Prize. He co-directed the “The Worlds of Billy Graham” project, which produced Billy Graham: American Pilgrim, an edited volume with Oxford University Press (2017). His latest project, funded by the Lilly Endowment and Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and in association with Journey Films and Maryland Public Television, was a documentary film entitled An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story, which aired in spring 2017.

  • Shelton

    Dr. Shelton Woods

    Associate Dean

    Shelton Woods joined the Honors College staff as Associate Dean in August 2016. He also serves as Professor of East/Southeast Asian History. Woods was born and raised in the Philippines. He moved to the United States for university training, earning an MA in Modern Chinese History at Cal State Northridge and a PhD in Southeast Asian History at UCLA. Despite a lengthy stint in administration (fifteen years as associate dean or interim dean in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs), Woods maintained an ambitious teaching load and research agenda. Several of his recent articles include, “The Biggest Gamble: The Philippines Challenges China at the International Tribune” American Journal of Chinese Studies (2016), “Cixi: The Empress Dowager” Women in Leadership (2016), and “Gray Love: The Career of John Early in the Cordilleras” Philippine Studies (2013). Woods is completing his fourth book on Vietnam and has also written books on Japan and the Philippines. While research occupies a great deal of his professional time, Woods is particularly passionate about teaching and working with students.

    Shelton Woods joined the Honors College staff as Associate Dean in August 2016. He also serves as Professor of East/Southeast Asian History. Woods was born and raised in the Philippines. He moved to the United States for university training, earning an MA in Modern Chinese History at Cal State Northridge and a PhD in Southeast Asian History at UCLA. Despite a lengthy stint in administration (fifteen years as associate dean or interim dean in the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs), Woods maintained an ambitious teaching load and research agenda. Several of his recent articles include, “The Biggest Gamble: The Philippines Challenges China at the International Tribune” American Journal of Chinese Studies (2016), “Cixi: The Empress Dowager” Women in Leadership (2016), and “Gray Love: The Career of John Early in the Cordilleras” Philippine Studies (2013). Woods is completing his fourth book on Vietnam and has also written books on Japan and the Philippines. While research occupies a great deal of his professional time, Woods is particularly passionate about teaching and working with students.

  • AnnalF

    Annal Frenz

    Associate Director

    Annal Frenz serves as an Associate Director of the Honors College, and she is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. She brings a diverse background to the College from both the academic and non-academic worlds. After completing her B.S. in History at Portland State University, Frenz worked for some years in international business. She returned to academia when she entered graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she also taught writing and worked as an Assistant Director of the Writing Program. Frenz comes to Boise State from Pacific Lutheran University where she was a visiting professor in the Department of Religion, teaching a variety of courses on religions of the ancient Mediterranean including early Christianity, Greek and Roman polytheism, and Zoroastrianism. Prior to PLU, she also taught courses at the University of Chicago in the First Year Humanities Core that ranged from ancient Greek thought to modern cultural studies. She is currently completing her Ph.D. dissertation, Construing Virginity: Greco-Roman Ideologies of a Sexual Boundary.

    Annal Frenz serves as an Associate Director of the Honors College, and she is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. She brings a diverse background to the College from both the academic and non-academic worlds. After completing her B.S. in History at Portland State University, Frenz worked for some years in international business. She returned to academia when she entered graduate school at the University of Chicago, where she also taught writing and worked as an Assistant Director of the Writing Program. Frenz comes to Boise State from Pacific Lutheran University where she was a visiting professor in the Department of Religion, teaching a variety of courses on religions of the ancient Mediterranean including early Christianity, Greek and Roman polytheism, and Zoroastrianism. Prior to PLU, she also taught courses at the University of Chicago in the First Year Humanities Core that ranged from ancient Greek thought to modern cultural studies. She is currently completing her Ph.D. dissertation, Construing Virginity: Greco-Roman Ideologies of a Sexual Boundary.

  • ChrisH

    Dr. Chris Hyer

    Associate Director

    Chris Hyer serves as an Associate Director for the Honors College. Hyer holds a B.S. in Physical Education from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, an M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Recreation Administration, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. Before coming to the Honors College, he was a Resident Director for University Housing at Boise State. In his five years as the Activities Coordinator, Hyer has increased co-curricular programming, which has provided for a more dynamic and holistic Honors educational experience. His work in student leadership development, outdoor education, and off-campus Honors trips receives consistent praise from Honors students. In addition, Hyer is the official advisor to the Honors Student Association. Hyer has presented at various regional conferences on Student Engagement and Involvement, and was the recipient of Boise State’s 2008 Advisor of the Year Award. Hyer works collaboratively across campus and has served on the Campus Recreation Advisory Board, the Leadership Summit Committee, Applied Leadership Program, the Virtual Community Committee, Ambassadors to Health Program, numerous search committees, and the Campus Read Committee. He is also the advisor for the Paintball Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Women’s Soccer Club.

    Chris Hyer serves as an Associate Director for the Honors College. Hyer holds a B.S. in Physical Education from Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, an M.S. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in Recreation Administration, and an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Boise State University. Before coming to the Honors College, he was a Resident Director for University Housing at Boise State. In his five years as the Activities Coordinator, Hyer has increased co-curricular programming, which has provided for a more dynamic and holistic Honors educational experience. His work in student leadership development, outdoor education, and off-campus Honors trips receives consistent praise from Honors students. In addition, Hyer is the official advisor to the Honors Student Association. Hyer has presented at various regional conferences on Student Engagement and Involvement, and was the recipient of Boise State’s 2008 Advisor of the Year Award. Hyer works collaboratively across campus and has served on the Campus Recreation Advisory Board, the Leadership Summit Committee, Applied Leadership Program, the Virtual Community Committee, Ambassadors to Health Program, numerous search committees, and the Campus Read Committee. He is also the advisor for the Paintball Club, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the Women’s Soccer Club.

  • Jones_Emily-200x300

    Emily Jones

    Assistant Director

    Emily Jones serves as Assistant Director and National Scholarship Coordinator. She recruits Boise State students to apply for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, works with applicants on their proposals, and coordinates a growing group of faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters to help candidates strengthen their applications and get the most out of the experience.

    Emily holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hood College, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and is a Truman Scholar. Prior to arriving at the Honors College, she coordinated outreach and events for the Boise State Career Center. Emily has also worked for city governments and nonprofits in California, Missouri, Washington, D.C. and Idaho, where she specialized in organizational management, relationship building, program development and process improvement.

    Emily Jones serves as Assistant Director and National Scholarship Coordinator. She recruits Boise State students to apply for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, works with applicants on their proposals, and coordinates a growing group of faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters to help candidates strengthen their applications and get the most out of the experience.

    Emily holds a B.A. in Political Science from Hood College, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and is a Truman Scholar. Prior to arriving at the Honors College, she coordinated outreach and events for the Boise State Career Center. Emily has also worked for city governments and nonprofits in California, Missouri, Washington, D.C. and Idaho, where she specialized in organizational management, relationship building, program development and process improvement.

  • Beristain_Argia-headshot-200x300

    Argia Beristain

    Development Director

    Argia Beristain has served as Development Director for the Honors College since 2015. She works with alumni and friends of Boise State University to secure philanthropic support for scholarships and programming for the Honors College. Argia is a skilled development professional with over 17 years of frontline experience including a successful track record of closing six-figure gifts.

    Argia holds a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Washington, a Masters in Basque Studies from the Universidad del Pais Vasco. Prior to arriving at the Honors College, Argia served as the Director of the Basque Soccer Friendly 2015 fundraising event, and she teaches courses each semester as an adjunct faculty member in the Basque Studies program.

    Argia Beristain has served as Development Director for the Honors College since 2015. She works with alumni and friends of Boise State University to secure philanthropic support for scholarships and programming for the Honors College. Argia is a skilled development professional with over 17 years of frontline experience including a successful track record of closing six-figure gifts.

    Argia holds a B.A. in Political Science and Gender Studies from the University of Washington, a Masters in Basque Studies from the Universidad del Pais Vasco. Prior to arriving at the Honors College, Argia served as the Director of the Basque Soccer Friendly 2015 fundraising event, and she teaches courses each semester as an adjunct faculty member in the Basque Studies program.

  • KateH

    Kate Huebschmann

    Fellowships Advisor

    Kate Huebschmann serves as the Fellowships Advisor for the Honors College. She helps Boise State Honors students understand and fulfill their Honors requirements, maintains the Honors College website, and assists all Boise State students in applying for nationally competitive fellowships, such as Fulbright, Marshall, and Truman. Kate guides applicants as they write their proposals and works with campus and community supporters that help candidates strengthen their applications and get the most out of the experience.

    Kate is an Honors College alum, having graduated from Boise State University in 2013 with a B.A. in both Visual Art and English with a Technical Communication emphasis. She returns to the Honors College after spending a year in Norway on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she worked as an English Teaching Assistant at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Ås Videregående Skole.

    Kate Huebschmann serves as the Fellowships Advisor for the Honors College. She helps Boise State Honors students understand and fulfill their Honors requirements, maintains the Honors College website, and assists all Boise State students in applying for nationally competitive fellowships, such as Fulbright, Marshall, and Truman. Kate guides applicants as they write their proposals and works with campus and community supporters that help candidates strengthen their applications and get the most out of the experience.

    Kate is an Honors College alum, having graduated from Boise State University in 2013 with a B.A. in both Visual Art and English with a Technical Communication emphasis. She returns to the Honors College after spending a year in Norway on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she worked as an English Teaching Assistant at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Ås Videregående Skole.

  • Venable_Brandi-200x300

    Brandi Venable

    Academic Advisor

    Brandi Venable serves as the Advisor for the Honors College. She helps Boise State students identify and achieve their academic goals, create degree plans, and access academic support services.

    Brandi is originally from Washington State, but earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts (Dramatic Writing Option) from Boise State University. She also holds an M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Childhood Studies through Rutgers University. Brandi has presented her research at national and international conferences, and has previously held university positions as a research director, data collector, colloquium series coordinator, orientation leader, advisor, and instructor. Prior to joining the Honors College, Brandi was a student success coach in the Division of Extended Studies where she worked with Boise State’s fully online students.

    Brandi Venable serves as the Advisor for the Honors College. She helps Boise State students identify and achieve their academic goals, create degree plans, and access academic support services.

    Brandi is originally from Washington State, but earned her B.A. in Theatre Arts (Dramatic Writing Option) from Boise State University. She also holds an M.A. in Popular Culture from Bowling Green State University and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Childhood Studies through Rutgers University. Brandi has presented her research at national and international conferences, and has previously held university positions as a research director, data collector, colloquium series coordinator, orientation leader, advisor, and instructor. Prior to joining the Honors College, Brandi was a student success coach in the Division of Extended Studies where she worked with Boise State’s fully online students.

  • Ali-Johnson-Staff-Photo-200x300

    Ali Johnson

    Business Operations Supervisor

    Ali serves as the Business Operations Supervisor for the Honors College. She coordinates the application process for all incoming students interested in the Honors College by overseeing application intake, review, and the release of decisions. She also manages the day to day office operations and supervises current student employees.

    Ali is originally from the Carson Valley in Nevada, but calls Boise home after completing her B.S. in Psychology at Boise State. Prior to joining the Honors College in 2017, Ali worked in other departments across campus including Student Financials and ASBSU.

    Ali serves as the Business Operations Supervisor for the Honors College. She coordinates the application process for all incoming students interested in the Honors College by overseeing application intake, review, and the release of decisions. She also manages the day to day office operations and supervises current student employees.

    Ali is originally from the Carson Valley in Nevada, but calls Boise home after completing her B.S. in Psychology at Boise State. Prior to joining the Honors College in 2017, Ali worked in other departments across campus including Student Financials and ASBSU.