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Washington State University

Certificate of Global Competencies

We live in a 24/7 world where commerce and politics bridge time zones and different cultures, where pandemics have no national borders, and information races around the world in an instant. Earning a Certificate of Global Competencies from the Honors College at WSU helps to affirm your cross-cultural knowledge.

The Honors College Certificate of Global Competencies is an elective certificate for Honors students to enhance the student’s preparation for the global environment of commerce, creativity, and scholarship. The Certificate provides both practical and theoretical understanding of the international world and shows employers and graduate programs that you have worked diligently during your undergraduate education to become an informed citizen, critically aware of international perspectives, as well as being capable of engaging the international world in your chosen field.

The certificate consists of 15 graded course credits in addition to the Honors Thesis. Your Honors Thesis must substantially incorporate an international perspective. The 15 graded credits may be composed in several ways (meet with an Honors advisor to plan your coursework). The Certificate entails requirements in the following areas:

  • Foreign language competence: 3-6 graded credits at the 204 level or higher.
  • Education abroad coursework: 6-9 graded credits of coursework from one term abroad or longer in an approved program. (A limit of 6 credits may count for Honors requirements; a 3rd course completed abroad may count as the Honors 430 requirement).
  • Honors 430 coursework and presentation (3-6 credits, graded). May be completed through coursework abroad OR at WSU. (A 3-credit WSU course approved by the Honors College may count as the Honors 430 requirement.) Honors 430 includes an oral presentation scheduled at the Honors College during the first semester following the completion of Honors 430. The presentation should be a PowerPoint presentation, approximately 20 minutes in length, which addresses a particular international topic related to the Honors 430 coursework. In addition, the presentation should offer a synthesis/personal reflection of your educational experience of earning the certificate, i.e., a response to the question, “How did your experiences abroad and your coursework for the certificate enhance your Honors education at WSU?” The Honors 430 presentation is separate from the Honors Thesis presentation.
  • Honors Thesis (Honors 450, 3 credits, S/F). Your Honors Thesis must incorporate an international perspective significantly developed in the thesis. See an Honors advisor for approval of the international component.

Meet with an Honors advisor during your freshman or sophomore year to get a head start completing the requirements for the Certificate of Global Competencies. Juniors and seniors may still qualify for the Certificate and should also see an Honors advisor to outline their options for completing the Certificate.

2017 Recipients

Lindsay CannonLindsay Cannon

Neuroscience and French
FGM/C in Senegal: Intervention Approaches and Recent Findings

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 200 million women and girls around the world have undergone Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Though the practice can be found on six continents, customs surrounding it vary both between and within communities. Obtaining a better understanding of the unique beliefs underpinning this practice in different communities is essential to being able to effectively address it. This presentation will focus on the West African nation of Senegal, and will cover previous approaches to FGM/C intervention as well as the latest research findings about cultural influences on the practice, who continues the practice, and why.

Hanna HillHanna Hill

Jamaican Health System: A Service Learning Practicum

The country of Jamaica possesses a unique healthcare system that heavily incorporates both religion and traditional medicine. Under the governance of the Ministry of Health, Jamaica has managed to strengthen its health sector through the increased focus on public health initiatives and the incorporation of successful immunization strategies. Despite these advances, Jamaica still faces many challenges in terms of delivering equal health services for the entirety of the population. Additionally, the country is facing a rise in non-communicable disease and there is increased stigmatism surrounding mental illness.

Joanne KunzeJoanne Kunze

Black and White Morality: The Ecuadorian Gray Areas

The dichotomy between good and evil has been debated throughout history as we search for the truly “moral life.” Most cultures throughout the world maintain basic normative principles: for example, most would confidently agree that murder is immoral. However, other issues concerning gender roles, health care, and the construction of criminality are often catered to the culture in question. Ecuador, a small South American country nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Amazon Rainforest, has a unique perspective based in its complex history of Catholic dominance, the prevalence of el machismo, and a greatly divided socioeconomic landscape. While studying in Quito, the country’s capital, I was exposed to cultural concepts and oral legends that starkly contrasted my own cultural assumptions of normative principles.

Keesha MatzKeesha Matz

Environmental Ethics in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has an astounding amount of biodiversity, the country comprises 0.03% of earth’s surface area but contains nearly 6% of the world’s biodiversity. As a result, the country has become a hotbed for ecotourism. 25% of the country has been set aside as national parks and reserves in an effort to preserve thousands of different plant and animal species. During my summer in Puntarenas, Costa Rica I took an environmental ethics course which included field trips to a variety of these protected natural area such as rainforests, mangroves, cloud forests, and volcanoes. Through this course, I learned how the huge diversity of animals and plants has helped to boost the economy of Costa Rica through ecotourism. However, the increase in tourists is also having a harmful effect on the natural environment of the national parks. Biological research centers and the government are currently monitoring changes to the important ecosystem that supports the vast biodiversity and investigating the ethical implications of ecotourism in their country.


  • Emilia Stephan (’18)
  • Jackson Peven (’18)
  • Hannah Oliason (’18)
  • Megan Styborski (’18)
  • Lindsay Cannon (’17)
  • Keesha Matz (’17)
  • Joanne Kunze (’17)
  • Hannah Hill (’17)
  • Jordan Sperl (’16)
  • Philip Behrend (’15)
  • Meghan Nyquist (’15)
  • Athena Lemon (’15)
  • Kristen Wedam (’15)
  • Calen Olesen (’15)
  • Travis King (’15)
  • Amber Gale (’15)
  • Carmen Kroschel (’14)
  • Devon Seymour (’14)
  • Tiffany Wilks (’14)
  • Erin Nicolai (’13)
  • Mikko McFeely (’13)
  • Kaylee Ray (’12)
  • Erin Peterson (’12)
  • Michael Gaffke (’12)
  • Kristin Jones (’12)
  • Jessica Lynch (’12)
  • Julie Wedam (’12)
  • Eva Denka (’12)
  • Leah Rosenkranz (’11)
  • Tim Krautkraemer (’10)
  • Sara Hein (’10)
  • Jakob Brandvold (’10)
  • Stephanie Schendel (’10)
  • Katherine Rempe (’10)
  • Walter Schlect (’10)
  • Stephanie Pitts (’09)
  • Kathleen Warren (’09)
  • Jennifer Ellis (’08)
  • Jordan Bush (’07)
  • Rachel Neff (’07)
  • Emily Marsh (’07)
  • Janeen Heath (’07)
  • Angie Bertramson (’07)

Jeanine Heath

Janeen Heath (’07) was among the first four graduates receiving Honors’ initial Certificates of Global Competencies in spring 2007.