Honors Program Contacts

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Megan Hughes, PhD

Honors Program Director

[email protected] 303-615-1158
Philip Bernhardt, PhD

Philip Bernhardt, PhD

Honors Program Associate Director

Associate Professor of Secondary Education

[email protected] 303-615-0191
Rebecca Forgash, PhD

Rebecca Forgash, PhD

Honors Program Associate Director

Associate Professor of Anthropology

[email protected] 303-615-0425

Rey Hernández-Julián, PhD

Honors Program Associate Director

Professor | Department of Economics

[email protected] 303-615-0649

Student Staff Directory


Demitris Padgett (he/him)

Student Office Assistant

I am a senior here at MSU Denver who will be graduating in the fall of 2024 with my BA in Entrepreneurship accompanied with a minor in Communication studies. I have been an Honors student since spring of 2020 as well as a student employe for the program since the fall of 2021. I'm what some would call a "book worm" ever since joining the Honors Program. Outside of studying textbooks, I enjoy reading topics on economics, finance, psychology, case studies, fiction novels, and memoirs. I am huge on music (mostly hip-hop) and also have interest in stand-up comedy, basketball, writing, and really can nerd out on anything art related or anything within a creative space.


Cassie Gibbs (she/her/hers)

Student Office Assistant/TA/Peer Mentor

I am a Senior at MSU Denver working towards a BS in Psychological Science with a Concentration in Clinical and Counseling and a Minor in Criminal Justice. I am very active in research on campus, I have previously been the President of the Psychology Research Club and a Research Assistant in the Psychology Department. My thesis project was: Witness Preparation for the Female Rape Victim. My project involved interviewing people in the field of criminal justice and looking at how the people within the field feel we could improve witness preparation practices for this particular population. Outside of school I am also a bartender of 12 years and run a small business. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you. Please reach out with any questions.


Marissa Erickson (she/her)

Student Office Assistant/Design/Website Assistant

Hi! I am Senior at MSU Denver majoring in Anthropology and IDP Diversity and Community Resilience, with a minor in Studio Art. I was honored to served on the Student Honors Council last year as El Comodín and have been in the Honors Program community since 2019. I also work as a research assistant in the Ethnography Lab on campus and serve as an officer for the MSU Denver Dirt Burners Club. When I'm not studying, I enjoy playing music, tending to my garden, and exploring Denver with my family and friends. Looking forward to seeing everyone at this year's events and around the Honors House! Please come say hi!


Omar Séne (he/him/his)

Student Office Assistant

I am majoring in International Business. I love traveling more than anything else as well as spending time with my three little brothers. I also enjoy fishing, camping, and laying by the pool.


Kalise McCurry

Student Office Assistant

Hi, I'm Kalise! I'm majoring in Video Production with an Interactive Media minor. I enjoy going to concerts and visiting new places. Please feel free to reach out to me if you ever need anything :)


Kevin Ruiz (he/him/his)

Student Office Assistant

I am an Economics and Math major looking to pursue a PhD in economics. If you have any questions regarding the Honors Program, I am always happy to answer them. I will be studying abroad this upcoming fall, but I am still reachable by email. In my free time I like to play guitar, videogames, and go on long walks with my dog.

Connect with the Honors Program!