Connect Virtually With The Community

The W. A. Franke Honors College offers virtual events to enlighten, engage and inform our students, alumni, and donors. If you have a topic or something you would like to see featured, please email us at


The Franke Honors College Big Ideas, Grand Challenges Series

This series is designed to engage students, faculty, and staff in the Franke Honors College, the Arizona campus, and our community in dialogue about important topics that affect us all. Please visit:


FRANKE HONORS Now: Live Speaker Series 

The Franke Honors College Honors Now: LIVE Speakers Series is a virtual speaker event that has been created to bring together our vibrant community of Franke Honors alumni and donors. These events feature the cutting-edge research of Franke Honors faculty and alumni, in either a large-scale, informative “lecture in your living room” presentation or a smaller, more intimate “conversations from the couch” salon-style gathering. 


The Honors College offers virtual events to enlighten, engage and inform our students, alumni, and donors. If you have a topic or something you would like to see featured, please email us at

Fall 2021 Speakers

  • Thursday, October 7, 5:00-6:00pm: The 2020 Shecession & Charting a Path Forward with Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

  • Tuesday, December 7, 5:00-6:00pm: Cowboys, Queens, and the Gay West with Dr. Kathryn Alexander



Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria Soto

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto is the Dean Designate of the Clinton School of Public Service and currently serves as the Assistant Dean at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She is also a political analyst for NBC News and Telemundo. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine Victoria previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers and received her Ph.D. in political science from Duke University where she was a National Science Foundation fellow. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona and alumna of the Honors College.

Victoria’s social scientific areas of expertise include immigration, Latinos, women, racial and ethnic minority politics, economic equity as well as political psychology. Underlying all her research interests is the applicability of high-quality, rigorous research to on-the-ground policy realities. Victoria is a native of Southern Arizona and is a diehard Arizona Wildcats basketball fan. She is of Italian-Jewish-Mexican heritage and lives in beautiful Austin, Texas with her husband Neftali Garcia and their children. 

Dr. Kathryn Alexander

Headshot of Kate Alexander

Kathryn “Kate” Alexander is a Professor of Practice in the University of Arizona Franke Honors College. she received her Bachelor’s degrees in Violin Performance and History of the Near East from the University of California, San Diego. She also completed an M.A. and Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Riverside. Prior to joining the Franke Honors College Interdisciplinary Faculty, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Macalester College and has also taught at several universities in California. Her teaching and research specialties engage the intersections of music, gender, race, and sexuality in North American Celtic and popular music cultures. Her current work situates queer country music and dance culture as a site for the negotiation of regionally specific nexus of gendered, sexualized, and ethnicized identities. She teaches ethnomusicologically-based courses in the arts and humanities.



Spring 2022 Speakers - Coming Soon!


2020-2021 Speakers and Recordings:

  • Research Resolves Easter Islands Greatest Mysteries with Dr. Terry Hunt (view recorded webinar). 

  • Arizona’s Rainforest: Research at Biosphere 2 with Dr. Joost van Haren featuring Franke Honors student researchers (view recorded webinar).

  • Through The Looking Glass Of Digital Humanities - Engaging The Next Generation with Dr. Bryan Carter.
    (view recorded webinar).  
  • New Research Solves Some Big Questions About Easter Island (Rapa Nui). (view recorded webinar).
  • OSIRIS-REx Sample Return from Asteroid Bennu with Dr. Dante Lauretta. (view recorded webinar).


For more information about these programs contact:

The Franke Honors College Development & Alumni Relations Office

As part of the University of Arizona’s Homecoming 2021 – Together Again, Franke Dean Terry Hunt will hold a special Dean’s Breakfast for Honors alumni and friends to catch up, network and connect. The breakfast will celebrate Dr. Colien Hefferan, '71, the Franke Honors College 2020-2021 Alumna of the Year! Dean Hunt will also share the latest in Franke Honors College news. 


Honors Student Ambassadors
Franke Honors College Student Ambassadors look forward to giving you a tour of the Honors Village, the hub of our Honors Community.

After the breakfast, Franke Honors student ambassadors will offer tours of Honors Village. There is no cost for attendees and advanced registration is required.

Honors Dean’s Breakfast

Saturday, November 6 
9-10am – Breakfast
10-11am Honors Village Tours
1101 E. Mabel Street
Hosted courtesy of The W. A. Franke Honors College

Registration has closed.

Please note: All guests will be required to follow campus safety protocols, as well as adhere to any existing state and local guidelines. In addition, this event may be subject to change around safety protocols at any time. For related campus updates and information, please visit




Stay Connected and Become Part of a Community of Support.

Help us stay in touch and connect you with our Franke Honors Community

As alumni and friends of the College, you know the value of support in student success. You are accomplished professionals and your career and life experiences make you a valuable resource for our next generation of scholars and leaders. You can make an impact in a variety of ways, whether it's through engaging with prospective students, providing internship opportunities, serving as a mentor, participating on scholarship review committees, or volunteering for study abroad and community service programs (just to name a few). If you would like to support the Honors College in putting students first, there are many ways for alumni to get involved and give back to our Franke Honors College community. Share your volunteer interests by completing the Volunteer Interest Survey below!

For more information, or to have your questions answered:

Candice R. Crossey
Assistant Director for Donor and Alumni Relations
W. A. Franke Honors College
The University of Arizona

Volunteer Interest Survey

Complete the Volunteer Interest Survey and tell us how you would like to be involved. When opportunities arise that meet the interests you indicate, we will contact you. 


Ways to Get Involved

Supporting the Franke Honors College not only has a huge impact on our students, but can have a benefit to your own life, too. Whether you graduated last year or within the last decade, check out these great ways you can give back, connect, network and engage!



Engage with prospective students and families to share your experience as an Honors Wildcat Alumni. Whether you attend an on-campus or virtual recruitment event, send handwritten cards to admitted Honors students, or participate in a local college fair in your area, we would love to connect with you! Students enjoy hearing from alumni and how the Franke Honors College played a role in their life experiences and career. With your participation, we can increase the quality of highly competitive students and increase enrollment.

Mentoring Current Students

As Honors Alumni, you are one of the most valuable resources we have. You can have a huge image on our future graduates by volunteering a minimal amount of time to coach, guide and mentor a current student. There are many ways, including: 

  • Connect with students via phone, Zoom, email, or in-person to share your experience and provide tips for success in navigating the college experience
  • Provide thesis support and guidance
  • Provide career advice, review resumes, and listen to elevator pitches
  • Allow a student to shadow you at your workplace
  • Participate on an educational panel, or give an industry-specific presentation

Study Abroad

Remember the excitement of your first study abroad experience? Meeting new people, learning a new language, and experiencing other cultures is life changing. Offering a robust study abroad experience for our students is one of our top priorities and there are many ways our alumni can get involved, including:

  • Share your study abroad experience (whether it was an Honors trip or a UA study abroad program) so you can meet with students in the region or program you studied to offer advice
  • For alumni currently living abroad - support students once they are abroad by meeting them for coffee or helping them with transportation to housing upon arrival

Internships and Job Opportunities

Internships provide students with real-world work experience and the ability to learn skills developed in professional or community settings. Sponsor or share internship opportunities from your organization with our students. Talk with your company’s HR department or hiring managers and encourage them to recruit from your alma mater.

Community Service

Lend a helping hand to those who need it most. Community service is an important component of the holistic education Franke Honors College students receive. It enriches personal growth and social understanding while addressing regional concerns. Volunteer in one of our Service-Learning programs by participating in local Honors Alternative Spring Break trips, attend one of our Feel-Good Fridays, or come speak to a class!


Support for Nationally Competitive Scholarships and General Scholarships

Were you a scholarship recipient? If so, you know how vital they are in supporting student success. We are looking for alumni who can share their experiences in scholarship information sessions, mentor applicants, and serve on campus interview or nomination committees.


Share Your Story - Inspire Future Generations of Franke Honors College Alumni

Tell us your story, in your own words! No matter where you are in life, there are students (as well as other alumni) who can benefit from your experience and advice. Let us know what you’re currently doing or share a quote so we can highlight you in our newsletter or on social media. Get started by filling out our Alumni Story Form.


Bear Down Network

The power of the Wildcat community is at your fingertips. Elevate your career and amplify your UA experience by joining the Bear Down Network, an online community, and resource exclusive to Wildcats. Get started and join our Honors Group by creating your account today!

Support The W. A. Franke Honors College

Philanthropy makes a tremendous difference at the Franke Honors College. Gifts of any amount from alumni, parents, and other donors enable students to enroll in the Franke Honors College and participate in life-changing experiences that help them develop as leaders who will shape our future. Donate now

For more information about giving, contact Susan Kaleita.



Franke HONORS Now Newsletter

Get the latest news on what is currently happening within the W. A. Franke Honors College and how you can stay connected as alumni.