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What if every student could enroll in a MESI class…



What if every student could enroll in a MESI class…

Cooper Greenfield
Cooper Greenfield (’20 Human Resource Management)


“If every student on campus enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Emotional and Social Intelligence (MESI) class to increase their self-awareness, empathy and leadership effectiveness we’d see a much brighter Pullman campus. The Cougs-help-Cougs mentality that we already see in our community is a great show of empathy and compassion already existing in Coug culture. Though, it has its limits. I think if everyone takes a MESI course, they can see that this Cougs-help-Cougs mentality can extend across the world and take on a deeper level of people-help-people. We are all seeking a meaningful life, free of suffering, where we can love/be loved, and be happy. These classes show us how much impact we have on each other as people and how much power we have to uplift those around us.”

To learn more about the MESI Certificate in Honors visit






Honors College names first Elma Ryan Bornander Chair

Honors College names first Elma Ryan Bornander Chair

Will HamlinWashington State University English Professor William M. Hamlin has been selected as the first faculty member to serve the Honors College as the Elma Ryan Bornander Honors Chair.

“Will is a scholar, author, researcher, and award-winning teacher and mentor who has served the university, his department, and the Honors College and its students for years in innovative and impactful ways,” said M. Grant Norton, Honors dean. “We are very pleased that our relationship with him will progress even further and more deeply over the next two years through this endowed chair position.”

Hamlin said he appreciates the Honors award deeply, and was delighted to be selected for the appointment. “I love teaching Honors classes. The students work hard and the administration is supportive and caring. I am dedicated to serving Honors and its students in significant ways in my new role.”

Teaching for Honors

Hamlin has been associated with Honors since 2014, and taught a seminar the past three years on “Twice-Told Tales: Biblical and Classical Narratives in Renaissance Retellings.” In his new appointment, he will teach one course per semester for two years, and work with Honors College students. He has already prepared his spring 2020 course aimed at junior-level students titled, “Global Shakespeare.” Hamlin said he plans to help students explore how the Bard’s works are understood and performed in different parts of world.

“It’s fascinating,” he said, “to investigate the ways in which different cultures make sense of Shakespeare. There are strong traditions of Shakespearean production in India, Japan, and Russia, for example. I’d like Honors students to consider how ‘Othello’ is played in South Africa or how Israelis tend to view the character Shylock.”

Research using computational linguistics

This new Honors chair will provide funding for Hamlin to employ Honors College student Emma Taylor to help with his research. One project will involve using computational linguistics to study ideological shifts in English-language use over large periods of time. This sort of study is now being made possible by the extensive digitization of early printed books.

Hamlin said he is interested in examining the balances between religious and secular language in the early modern era. A question to pursue could be, for example, “in what contexts does a word like ‘soul’—which has strong religious connotations—appear between the years 1500-1700 in English texts? How does it change over time? When and why does its meaning evolve? What are its collocates—the words used in close proximity? What do they tell us?” Hamlin said that corpus linguistics enables the detailed scrutiny of huge collections of texts—tens of thousands of books—as they shift over time in their ideological assumptions and implications.

Scholarly background

Hamlin was raised in nearby Moscow, Idaho. He earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. Before joining the WSU Dept. of English in 2001, he was an English professor at Idaho State Univ. in Pocatello, Idaho.

He specializes in English Renaissance literature and has taught many courses on Shakespeare, early modern drama and poetry, 16th century humanism, Greco-Roman myth and literature, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and other related works and topics. He has published three books and more than 60 essays and reviews, with two additional books forthcoming next year on Shakespeare and the French essayist Michel de Montaigne. Hamlin’s honors at WSU include the Sahlin Faculty Excellence Award in 2018 in the category of research, scholarship, and the arts as well as the College of Arts and Sciences’ 2014 Distinguished Scholar Award. He has received grants to support his research from, among others, the J.S. Guggenheim Foundation, the British Academy, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

He makes his home in Pullman with his wife Theresa Jordan, an award-winning history professor.

WSU’s first Marshall Scholar bound for U.K. graduate studies

WSU’s first Marshall Scholar bound for U.K. graduate studies

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University chemical engineering senior Kristian Gubsch, a member of the Honors College, is headed in fall to the United Kingdom’s University of Sheffield as WSU’s first recipient of a Marshall Scholarship for graduate study.

He is one of 46 American students to receive the award nationally for 2020, and is the only recipient from Washington and the Pacific Northwest.

“We are extremely proud to have Kristian as our first Marshall Scholar,” said WSU President Kirk Schulz, who submitted an institutional endorsement letter. “He is a remarkable student, scientist, entrepreneur, and leader whose impactful research, national awards, and international collaborations lead to an obvious conclusion: He will play a significant role in developing clean-energy technology and will impact critical climate-change conversations. We are excited for this Cougar’s future and the impact he will have on the future of the world.”

“I have had an amazing set of experiences as an undergraduate, in classes and otherwise, but I wasn’t sure if I’d next go to graduate school or get a job in the CO2-utilization industry,” said Gubsch, a member of the WSU Honors College. “Receiving the Marshall made up my mind and sets the path for my immediate future. I’m really excited to head to England to study with another set of world-class scientists like those at WSU.”

The Marshall is Gubsch’s third distinguished scholarship received while an undergraduate. Those awards encompass a small set of prestigious and nationally competitive scholarships available to U.S. students. He is WSU’s first student to receive an Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2018, and for 2019-20 he was awarded the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program award. He has also received numerous campus leadership awards and co-facilitates an Honors 198 course for first-year students.

Importance of the Marshall

The Marshall award was founded in 1953 by the British Parliament and named to honor former U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall and commemorate “the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan” following World War II. Each year, there may be up to 50 students awarded a Marshall. Applicants from eight regions of America are evaluated on academic merit and leadership and ambassadorial potential to improve U.K.-U.S. understanding. Scholars must have earned baccalaureate degrees in STEM, humanities, social sciences, and creative arts fields, and are funded by the Marshall to do graduate study with research at any of more than 150 British universities. Notable Marshall alumni include Pulitzer Prize winners, Academy Award nominees, Supreme Court justices, a NASA astronaut, and a Nobel Laureate.

Why the University of Sheffield

Gubsch carefully selected the University Sheffield, in Yorkshire, as his university of choice for the Marshall.  There he will seek a master’s degree in energy and environmental engineering working with faculty mentor Peter Styring. Styring is a world leader in techniques to utilize carbon dioxide and chair of the CO2 ChemNetwork, the largest global network of researchers, industry professionals, and policymakers involved in the utilization of carbon dioxide for the manufacture of chemicals, minerals, and fuels. The U.K. Centre for Carbon Dioxide Utilization is also located at Sheffield.

In his second year as a Marshall at Sheffield, Gubsch will pursue an international business degree focused on management. He believes it will further prepare him for his career by developing the skills necessary to begin global commercialization and implementation of technology to capture carbon dioxide from its sources. These gasses would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change; Gubsch envisions ways and means to convert it into valuable chemicals.

It was through use of his strategic leadership and networking skills that Gubsch found his way to the University of Sheffield with further plans for a doctoral degree back in the U.S.  He had visited California’s Silicon Valley as part of the Harold Frank Engineering Entrepreneurship Institute program in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture. He shared his interest in carbon capture technology and was advised to contact faculty at Stony Brook University in New York. Conversations there led him to the Global CO2 Initiative at the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute, which led him to scientist Styring in the U.K.

As the University of Sheffield is a research partner with the University of Michigan’s Global CO2 Initiative—the only research initiative in the U.S. with a focus on CO2 utilization—Gubsch intends that his Marshall experience will help him return to the U.S. for his Ph.D. studies there in 2023.

Gubsch’s distinguished scholarship path

Gubsch set his sights on an education and career focused in improving global climate issues while still at Fife High School; his family in Edgewood, Wash., includes Derek and Deborah Reece, and brother Evan. He plans to enter the carbon-dioxide utilization industry and become a leader in the field “by applying (his) several years of experience developing the technology to the practical integration of the technology into our industrial framework.”

At WSU, the Honors College senior is co-facilitating a first-year course for Honors students and has pursued since his freshman year several undergraduate research opportunities with mentoring faculty members. His work has involved investigations of air quality as well as carbon capture and conversions from carbon dioxide to calcium formate. As part of his NOAA award, he spent a summer in South Carolina at the National Institute of Standards and Technology examining ocean acidification and its impact on coral.

Gubsch applied for the Marshall at the encouragement of Honors Dean M. Grant Norton, Honors Associate Dean Robin Bond, and Distinguished Scholarships Program Director April Seehafer. He said he was reluctant at first, since the Marshall is open to a large, diverse set of students from all fields and would be very competitive.

“I thought, ‘What chance do I have to compete against students from Ivy League schools?’ But one thing I’ve learned from applying for other awards I’ve won and opportunities I’ve reached out for is that I have to be open to all kinds of opportunities because I can’t be sure of what I’ll get. I have learned to be open to being vulnerable.

“I went to the regional interview in San Francisco pretty composed, having done practice interviews at WSU. I reminded myself to be as articulate as possible. I thought I did pretty well, but when I got word that I’d actually won the Marshall I was excited, but for many reasons, it’s all still sinking in. Mostly now, I’m just concerned with this semester’s schoolwork, group projects, and final exams. As chair of the student group of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, I’m also helping organize a regional spring conference here. I’ll think more about the Marshall and the many opportunities it opens up over winter break.”

A COP25 NGO Observer this month

December is an especially busy month for Gubsch. He’s one of a handful of students selected nationally to travel to Madrid, Spain, as a “student-professional correspondent” representing the American Chemical Society at the United Nations Climate Action Summit as an “NGO observer.” The students are charged with helping promote climate science literacy among college and university students, will share information from the conference via blogs and social media, will write a chapter on a topic for an upcoming book, and will present at an ACS conference this spring.

The global climate-change summit Gubsch will attend, COP25 (Conference of Parties), is predicted to be the largest UN-sponsored gathering of climate change experts and policymakers held throughout the world in 2019.  The COP is famous for negotiating the Paris Agreement in 2014, a plan to decrease global warming and deal with various impacts of greenhouse-gas emissions; the agreement is endorsed by nearly 200 nations worldwide.

Gubsch’s COP25-related blog entries are linked to from WSU’s Distinguished Scholarships website at

Media contacts:

We All Belong: Tools to Create a Beloved Community

When peer exclusion persists, it not only diminishes self-esteem, but can also be academically and emotionally debilitating. We all play a pivotal role in creating the safe and welcoming environment that all students deserve. Through Mindfulness practices and group exercises, this retreat hopes to will provide students with tools to create loving and welcoming environments.

Facilitators: Dr. Lydia Gerber, Dr. Cecilia Richards, Trymaine Gaither, and Mary Kay Patton.

Register here!

Honors College Fall Commencement Banquet

Welcome Keynote Speaker, Brian MacMillan

Brian MacMillan

Brian MacMillan is an Associated Press award winning meteorologist and news reporter for KPTV-FOX 12 in Portland, Oregon. Before joining the team in 2009, Brian also spent time with CNN, Root Sports, Destination Marketing, and KOHD-TV (Bend, OR).

Brian is a die hard Washington State Cougar. He graduated in 2003 from the WSU Honors College and Edward R. Murrow College of Communication. He’s the president of the local WSU alumni chapter and organizes Coug events around Oregon. Brian also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from Mississippi State University. He is currently back at school working on a master’s degree because he can’t get enough homework in his life.

As a longtime comedian and improviser, Brian loves making people laugh. He toured Europe with his comedy and regularly performs at clubs and theaters in Portland. He also emcees charity and corporate events around town. He was recently in an episode of the IFC show Documentary Now!, where he really stretched his acting chops by playing a news reporter.

Brian is married with two young children who still laugh at his “dad jokes.” He met his wife Ashley at WSU while performing with the theater department.

Brian holds volunteer leadership positions with the American Meteorology Society, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the WSU Alumni Association. He loves playing soccer, cooking, and firmly believes that pineapple belongs on pizza.

4th Annual Mindfulness Symposium: Staying Present in Challenging Times

A sunlit, dusty road in the woods.4th Annual Mindfulness Symposium

Staying Present in Challenging Times

Saturday, September 28, 2019 10:00 a.m. – Noon Elmina White Honors Hall Lounge

Cost for the event is $5.00 per person.


“Mindful Movement” with Qigong Teacher Liz Lee, “Finding Meaning In Adversity” with Trymaine Gaither (Honors College) and “Everyday Self-compassion” with Jeremy Rutherford (Cougar Health Services).

During our time together you will be introduced to practices including guided reflections, meditation and qigong.

Optional* Morning Yoga Session

8:45 – 9:45 a.m.Elmina White Honors Hall

Yoga mats provided. Bring additional props as appropriate.

Optional* Brown-bag Lunch and Silent Retreat

12:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Elmina White Honors Hall

Both optional sessions have limited capacity. After registering for the Mindfulness Symposium, you will have an option to register for one or both of the free optional events.

Click here to register for this event

PARKING & ACCOMMODATIONS: Guests who have a difficulty walking will find easier access if they enter Elmina White Honors Hall through the back entrance. Handicap parking is available in the back of the building and on Colorado Street. Many of the surface lots around campus will be open for anyone to park on the morning of the symposium although they may require a 10 minute walk. You may also park in the Terrell Library Parking garage for $3.00. Here is a link to the WSU “evening and weekend” parking map:


Annual Industry Networking Event

LEAP!  is an opportunity for all students in the WSU Honors College to engage with industry professionals, practice interview and communication skills, and learn best practices for success in exciting careers upon graduation.

If you are a student in the WSU Honors College or an industry professional who would like to participate in this important event on October 17, then please make sure to register today!

Food and Beverage will be provided.
A variety of industries will be represented.

Click below to register for this event

For students…

For industry leaders…

Three WSU STEM undergraduates receive national Goldwater awards

Three WSU STEM undergraduates receive national Goldwater awards

Kristian Gubsch and Von Walden.
Kristian Gubsch and Von Walden make technical adjustments to a drone.

Two engineering and one science student at Washington State University have received prestigious, nationally competitive awards from the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

The students are seniors Courtney Klappenbach, a genetics and cellular biology and microbiology double major, and Kristian Gubsch, a chemical engineering major; and, junior Daniel Goto, the only student at WSU with a double major in electrical engineering and materials science engineering. » More …

Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award takes WSU sophomore to Wales

Ava Beck

Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award takes WSU sophomore to Wales

Ava Beck
Ava Beck will study at Aberystwyth University in Wales for three weeks this summer, thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award.

Washington State University linguistics major and Spokane native Ava Beck will study at Aberystwyth University in Wales for three weeks this summer, thanks to a Fulbright Summer Institute to the U.K. award.

Beck is one of around 60 U.S. students selected to undertake short academic and cultural programs at any of nine hosting institutions throughout the United Kingdom. At Aberystwyth, on that country’s western coast, Beck will join fellow Americans exploring contemporary issues in identity and nationhood “through the lens of Wales.” She will attend classes in the university’s Dept. of International Politics, explore the city, visit the National Library of Wales, and learn a bit of the Welsh language. » More …