Indiana State University Newsroom

ISU senior named National Honor Student of the Year

November 4, 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Indiana State University senior Analyssa Noe has come a long way in four years - from graduating in a class of 16 from a small Kansas high school to attending the Democratic National Convention and most recently being recognized as the National Honor Student of the Year.

Noe, a senior legal studies and women's studies major, was selected the 2008 National Honor Student of the Year from among 25 nominees by the National Collegiate Honors Council at its annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

She was nominated for the honor by Greg Bierly, director of the University Honors Program, who saw her as the perfect candidate.

"Analyssa has leveraged both her academic discipline and standing as a scholar for the improvement of the institution and her peers while demonstrating true leadership in the process. Her integration of academics, leadership and service has made her one of the most remarkable students that I've encountered," Bierly said.

Noe filled out a portion of the application and was content to be nominated. After not hearing any more, she figured she had gone as far as she could in the process. That is, until it was time for the big announcement.

"I had no idea until they started reading the profile of the winner. The more they read the more I realized it was me. I started fidgeting and the people I was seated next to began to ask if it was me," Noe said. "It was such an honor to nominated, and then to win was just incredible."

Bierly, who knew that Noe had been tapped to receive the honor three weeks prior to the announcement, kept everything under wraps.

"It was very hard to keep it from her," he said. "I was very proud of her."

The national honor, according to Noe, tops her list of accomplishments at Indiana State.

"I'm from a really small town -- Wetmore, Kan.," Noe explained. "When I started looking for a college, I wanted a school that offered students experiential learning opportunities. Indiana State is small enough for me to get engaged and involved, but it's also large enough to give me the space I need to breathe, grow and expand my horizons."

She found Indiana State, qualified for the President's Scholarship, enrolled in the University Honors Program and then plunged head-first into campus life.

"I was nervous and a little scared at first, but after a year everything fell into place," she said. "Opportunities began to present themselves. Now it's become a home away from home."

Noe has made many friends through participating in the Honors Program and service learning activities. She has been active in Rotaract, the student offshoot of Rotary, traveled to Chicago to participate in the Hull House service learning project and traveled to Biloxi, Miss. last spring for Alternative Spring Break.

"I went to Biloxi by myself and met 30 new people," she said. "It was a life-changing experience."

She's also done a far share of traveling, something she wasn't expecting when she came to Indiana State.

In addition to travel related to service learning, Noe has presented at state, regional and national conferences, traveled to Washington, DC to hear arguments before the Supreme Court and attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver as part of the Washington Center's Inside Washington 08 Program.

"The opportunities to travel have been great learning opportunities. I love the classroom. I love books and I love to read, but the living and learning component that Indiana State provides is hard to replace."

The Democratic National Convention allowed her to learn while witnessing history. Working with Rock the Vote and running the press boxes at the convention proved to be an incredible two week adventure.

"It was so exciting to be there," she said. "We spent a lot of time talking about politics and engagement. It encouraged me to consider political dreams."

She will travel more this year, attending the Mid-East Honors Association Conference in Kalamazoo, Mich., where she will be the featured plenary speaker. Noe was instrumental in planning last year's conference which was hosted by Indiana State in Indianapolis.

Noe mentors first-year students as a learning community peer assistant while keeping up a busy schedule. She's also found time to be an active participant in Human Rights Day, Take Back the Night and American Democracy Project and can be seen in one of Indiana State's newest TV commercials.

Nearing the end of her undergraduate career, Noe still has plenty of things she's like to accomplish.

"I've made a bucket list of things I still want to do at ISU," she said. "That included running through the fountain, which I've already taken care of."

She's looking at enrolling in graduate school before going onto law school and wants to devote time to her interest in community revitalization and development.

"I'm very passionate about that," Noe said. "Anytime you come to a place you should strive to make it better. Everyone has talents to reinvest in the community."

Noe is making the Terre Haute area a better place by working in Indiana State's Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, connecting students to long-term volunteer opportunities through the AmeriCorp program.

"I really enjoy connecting students with an agency who has a need," she added.

Miles away from her hometown, Noe maintains coming to Indiana was the best decision she ever made.

"I've seen myself grow so much here. I may not be in Kansas anymore, but I love it."


Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or

Story Highlights

Analyssa Noe, a senior legal studies and women's studies major, was selected the 2008 National Honor Student of the Year from among 25 nominees by the National Collegiate Honors Council at its annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.

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