Administration and Staff
Dr. Daniel Gahan
Director, Honors Program
Olmsted Hall 310
Dr. Daniel Gahan, Professor of History, serves as the Honors Program Director. “In the Honors Program, students can acquire an education that is above and beyond the already high standard that UE offers,” explains Dr. Gahan. “In Honors courses, students engage in subject matter and learning methods that are particularly interesting and innovative. Honors students have opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, to interact and exchange ideas with peers who share a love for learning and desire to excel.| Students develop an extensive knowledge of a wide variety of fields and acquire the habit of critical thinking and skill in writing on a very high level. They graduate as the best of the best that UE produces.”
Dr. Gahan continues, “Honors students are the best examples on campus of what it means to be truly great students in academic terms. In addition, they demonstrate a concern with the wider world, particularly by exhibiting a real sense of social responsibility, both in their time on campus and as they depart into what are likely to be highly successful careers.”
“As Honors Program Director, I enjoy the opportunity to continually improve the academic side of the program to ensure that it is absolutely outstanding. My ambition is to make this one of the best and most distinctive honors programs in the country.”
Dr. Gahan joined the faculty of UE in 1986. He holds a B.A. in History and a Higher Diploma in Education from the National University of Ireland. He received his M.A from Loyola University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, both in History. Dr. Gahan teaches courses in European history and American immigration and agrarian history (1700-1900). Most of his research to date has focused on Ireland in the period of the French Revolution, but he is currently researching Irish emigration to the USA in 1815-1920, with a special focus on Irish immigrants in rural Indiana. Dr. Gahan has published two books: Rebellion: Ireland in 1798 (Dublin: O’Brien Press, 1997) and The Peoples Rising: Wexford 1798 (Dublin: Gill and Macmillan, 1995), as well as over 30 scholarly articles/reviews. He has received several awards, including the Berger Award for Scholarship, University of Evansville; Dean’s Teaching Award, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Evansville; Methodist Institutions, Outstanding Teacher Award; and Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Evansville.
Dr. Mary Therese Padberg
Koch Center 317
Dr. Mary Therese Padberg is the Professor-in-Residence at Powell Hall, the Honors residence hall. In this role, Dr. Padberg helps to foster a sense of community among Honors students, particularly through events such as the weekly Honors Teas. The Teas are a forum for Honors students to gather socially and also have the opportunity to meet with different faculty and staff members at UE.| By meeting with faculty and staff, students learn more about getting involved with campus activities, hear about current faculty research, and get to know professors outside of the classroom.
About her role, Dr. Padberg comments, “Being the Professor-in-Residence at Powell has been a great experience. As this is my first year at UE, I am especially enjoying meeting and getting to know the Honors students – learning about their interests, career path ideas, and passion for their field of study. I have had wonderful conversations with the students and learned how involved they are in the classroom, the community and campus life.”
Dr. Padberg holds a B.S. from Loyola Marymount University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, both in Applied Mathematics. She is a math biologist by training and is particularly interested in exploring opportunities in mathematics education research.
Mrs. Cherie Leonhardt
Asst Dir Honors Program & Coordinator of Veterans Affairs
Olmsted Hall 238
Cherie Leonhardt is the Assistant Director of the Honors Program. About her role, Cherie explains, “As an administrator of the Honors Program, my purpose is to ensure that students feel supported and inspired throughout their experience. My goal is to help them gain as much as possible from their involvement in the program.”|
On working with Honors students, Cherie notes, “I am proud to work with Honors students because they are highly motivated and passionate people. Besides excelling in the classroom, they are involved in all aspects of our campus and take advantage of every opportunity presented to them. The Honors projects they complete are especially interesting to me. Examples of Honors projects range from researching cures for cancer to designing storage devices for wind power generation, and everything in between. The incredible work that they do prepares them for great success after college. I always come away from conversations with Honors students feeling excited about their futures. “
Cherie holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Evansville.
Mrs. Jayme Williams
Administrative Assistant/Honors Programs
Jayme Williams serves as the Administrative Assistant for the Honors Program. About her role, Jayme comments, “I enjoy working with Honors students because they are motivated and full of great ideas and plans for the future. My goal is to help the program and its students excel in whatever way I can.” Jayme holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Southern Indiana.