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Martinson Honors Program

The Academy Scholars program was recently renamed the Martinson Honors Program following a generous donation from Mr. John Martinson (Class of ’70). Watch this video to learn why Mr. Martinson donated to the program, the Dean’s vision for developing the program with the use of this gift and the benefits that the Scholars enjoy as part of the program.

The Martinson Honors Program supports and promotes academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, and engaged learning at the U.S. Air Force Academy. As a holistic program that integrates an innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum with unique co-curricular enrichment experiences, the Martinson Honors Program provides a community of diverse, thoughtful, and inquisitive warrior scholars the opportunity to develop original perspectives on the history of ideas and produce creative approaches to problem-solving.

Martinson Honors Program graduates are prepared for challenging, twenty-first century command positions and possess the intellectual curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning that will foster their growth as future officers, thinkers, and leaders.

The Scholars in the Martinson Honors Program (MHP) enter a small and diverse community of students and faculty engaged in an integrated program of broad learning across and beyond the Academy curriculum, applying their advanced understanding of science and technology as well as a deep comprehension of social, political, cultural, and economic factors to some of the greatest issues facing the contemporary and future United States military. Scholars confront difficult problems by closely analyzing primary sources and engaging in project-based learning while participating in high-level discussions with intellectual and industry leaders.

The curriculum consists primarily of smaller-sized, discussion-based core course sections that deepen and broaden Scholars’ intellectual development as a complement to existing academic, leadership, military training, and athletics programs. In addition, these specialized core Scholars sections allow faculty to explore innovative pedagogies that may inform curricular transformation at both the departmental and institutional levels. Participating cadets must complete at least nine Scholars-designated offerings of core courses and the Scholars capstone course. The MHP invites interested and eligible cadets to apply for entry to the program based on their performance in their first semester. Each year’s cohort is kept small to promote cohesion and intellectual engagement and maximize program resources.

In the News Martinson Honors Program News

May 31, 2024

Martinson Honor Program introduces new award

The U.S. Air Force Academy Martinson Honors Program debuted a new cadet award during its awards ceremony in Fairchild Hall May 28, 2024…

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May 20, 2024

Four inspiring words guide cadet’s path to success

During Cadet 1st Class Brett Castro’s semester as group commander at the U.S. Air Force Academy, his command team created the model of “four G’s”: gratitude, growth, greatness and grace. He believes that a deliberate focus on these four motivational words daily uplifts and inspires himself and his cadets…

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May 17, 2024

People-centered cadet discovers new mindset at Academy

When Cadet 1st Class Abigail Worley graduates May 30, she will leave the U.S. Air Force Academy with more than a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. She will take a new set of leadership skills and teamwork mentality into her U.S. Air Force medical officer career…

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March 20, 2024

Cadet seeks to inspire high school students

Three years ago, Cadet 2nd Class Kelsey Monaghan-Bergson chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy after she decided to pursue a military career and her Behavioral Sciences and Leadership major. Now a junior, Monaghan-Bergson seeks to inspire other female students who might consider a service academy education…

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March 19, 2024

Cadets use critical-thinking to solve ‘wicked problems’

In a new U.S. Air Force Academy problem-solving class, the answers provided by five-member cadet teams may not initially be correct. But the freedom to fail often leads to solutions for the Academy’s most “wicked problems,” course mentors said…

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Martinson Honors Program Office
2354 Fairchild Drive, Suite 3A15
McDermott Library
USAFA, CO 80840

Director: Dr. Diana H. Polley
Humanities: Dr. Douglas Leonard
Social Sciences: Prof. Douglas McKechnie
Basic Sciences: Dr. David Westmoreland
Engineering: Dr. Samuel Stanton