Director, MU Honors College

Dr. Charlton Wolfgang


Dr. Charlton Wolfgang, the Director of MU’s Honors College as of May 12, 2023, advises and works with students in the Honors College as well as advocates for the program. Dr. Wolfgang is an Associate Professor of Gifted and STEM Education at Millersville University, where he has taught since 2015. He also serves as the coordinator of the graduate programs in Gifted Education at MU. He earned a BS in Biology from Messiah College in 1993, a teaching certificate in Secondary Education from Lebanon Valley College in 1997, a Master of Science Education from Lebanon Valley College in 2002, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Development and Learning Technologies from Drexel University in 2013. He also earned his Principal’s Certificate and Assistant Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility at Drexel University.

Dr. Wolfgang’s research interests, publications, and conference presentations have been related to gifted and STEM education, with a particular focus on twice-exceptional learners, the integration of technology, and the impact of the pandemic on gifted education. Dr. Wolfgang looks forward to continuing to broaden connections between students in the Honors College both on campus and in the greater community, including internationally.

Contact Information:
Dr. Charlton Wolfgang, Ph.D.,
University Honors College
Early, Middle and Exceptional Education Department
Millersville University
Millersville, PA 17551

Office: 200 Franklin House or Stayer Hall 223
Tel: (717) 871-7552



Past Directors

Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum

She is an Associate Professor and assistant chair of Psychology at Millersville University, where she has taught since 1994, and was the Director of MU’s Honors College from 2017 to 2023. She is an MU alumna (1986) and a graduate of MU’s original Honors Program. Dr. Thyrum received her M.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Rutgers University. Prior to returning to MU as a faculty member, Dr. Thyrum completed a clinical psychology internship through Brown University’s Medical School as well as a PostDoctoral Fellowship/Research Associate position in the Division of Medical Psychology at Duke University Medical Center. She currently is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. During her 24 years at MU, Dr. Thyrum has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, including Psychology of Drug Addiction, Health Psychology, Directed Projects and a graduate course in Biopsychology.

Dr. Dennis Downey

He taught at Millersville University since graduating from Marquette University in 1981. He is now a retired Professor of History and was the Director for the University Honors College from 2006 to 2017. In addition to his teachings, he is the author or editor of five books of history including No Crooked Death (1991), A Season of Renewal (2002), and We Sing to Thee (2004). He has published more than three dozen scholarly articles and essays. He have has also received several awards for his writing, including the Philip S. Klein Prize and an Outstanding Book Citation from the Gustavus Myers Center for Human Rights. In 2005-6, he served as President of the Pennsylvania Historical Association. Dr. Downey retired from the University in the Fall of 2017.

Dr. Steven M. Miller
A member of the faculty since 1985, Dr. Miller served the English department. Dr. Miller taught  several literature courses including Western Intellectual Tradition (WIT), Early English Literature, Folklore, and Poetry. Dr. Miller served as Director of the Honors College from Fall 1999 through Spring 2006 and was instrumental in the process of getting the Honors Program changed to the Honors College.

In the summer of 2003, Dr. Miller began the reading project for incoming Honors freshmen. Each freshman received a book during Orientation that was written by an author who was scheduled to visit the campus during the academic year. During the first week of classes, the students met for a one-time discussion group with a faculty member or administrator who volunteered to read the book and lead the discussion. Upper level Honors students were also involved in the project and many have returned each year since to help with the reading project.

Dr. John B. Osborne
A member of the faculty since 1970, he served the history department for over 33 years. In addition to English history, which was his main focus, he taught several other courses at the undergraduate level, including Western Intellectual Tradition (WIT) for honors. Dr. Osborne established the Honors Program serving as Director for 19 years. Dr. Osborne retired from Millersville University in June 2003.