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Washington State University

Courses in the Honors College

Please note: this list may be incomplete and will be updated with new information as it is received. If you have questions about the following courses, please contact

A wide variety of course topics are available to Honors College students. Please check back often, as changes may occur until the semester begins. Need an appointment with an Honors College advisor? Stop by the Honors College main office in Elmina White Honors Hall 130 or phone 509-335-4505. NOTE: Advising will be offered by email or telephone ONLY to students currently studying abroad.

Course descriptions are intended to provide general information about the scope of the class, the name of the faculty member teaching it, credits, and texts. All descriptions are posted as soon as possible the semester preceding so students can consider their options and plan accordingly. Listings from previous semesters are located at the bottom of this page.

Fall 2019

HONORS 270.1
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science
Instructor: Karen Phoenix

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Introduction to Social Theory in History
This class will serve as an introduction to the fields of Social Theory and History. Social Theorists attempt to discover the root causes for why people and societies act in certain ways, and social theory therefore includes broad topics such as the ways that societies structure themselves (including foundational concepts such as truth and justice), how individuals function within societies (gender, race, sexuality), and how different societies function in relation to each other (nationalism, globalization, empire).

While all of these are relevant to how societies function today, they have also been true of people and groups in the past. We will therefore begin the semester with a discussion of the main social theories and historical methodologies. We will then explore a number of case studies as a class, and then students will select one social theory to explore within a historical context through their own research project, in which they will explore the ways that different historians have addressed the topic.

HONORS 270.2
MWF 9:10 – 10:00 a.m.
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science
Instructor: Season Hoard
Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Research Methods in Political Science
This three-unit course is designed to introduce students to research methods and methodological issues in Political Science. With all sides of the political spectrum utilizing scientific arguments and statistics to bolster their points, understanding and evaluating scientific claims is increasingly important. This course is designed to give students the introductory skills to conduct research and evaluate empirical claims made in politics. Students will learn both qualitative and quantitative methods utilized in political science and conduct their own research projects using these methods. We will discuss the sub-fields in political science, and major research topics in the field, including onset of civil wars, democratic transition, public policy, gender and politics, and political behavior. The breadth of political science research will be explored, as well as methods specific to sub-fields within the discipline. We will devote considerable attention to the application of research methods, in particular survey and observation research, and students will have the opportunity to utilize these methods to examine a research question in political science. This class will help students develop their research skills, encourages critical and creative thinking, and provides opportunities to improve both written and oral communication skills. Finally, this class promotes research evaluation, and provides the opportunity for students to better understand political claims.

HONORS 270.3
MWF 1:10 – 2:00 p.m.
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science
Instructor: Lisa Guerrero
Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Contemporary Issues of Social Justice
This class will serve as an introduction to methodological approaches used in various fields of social theory to examine systems of marginalization and issues of social justice. The broad definition of social theory is a set of critical frameworks used to examine and understand social phenomena. In this course we will focus on how methodologies of social theory in the fields of Ethnic Studies, Women’s/Gender/Sexuality Studies, and Sociology are used to not only understand structures of inequality in more complex terms, but also to suggest ways to pursue changes in these structures that would produce more equality and social justice in our social, cultural, and political institutions.

We will begin the semester with a discussion of central terms, concepts, and debates within the above fields as a means for establishing the terrain of social justice scholarship. We will focus largely on theories addressing the construction of social difference as a means of inequality, the development of identity as a social signifier, the impact of intersectionality in understanding social inequality and social justice, and what purposes are served by the maintenance of unequal social systems. From there we will look at several specific examples to consider how the methodologies used to address systems of inequality shape people’s understanding of issues of inequality and social justice in particular ways, and what types of outcomes are possible from these examinations.

HONORS 280.1
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
MWF 9:10 – 10 a.m.
Instructor: William Hamlin

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Origins and Transformations: Classical & Biblical Stories in Renaissance Retellings
This class will explore several major narratives from the Hebrew Bible and the Greco-Roman classical tradition, investigating how they were subsequently transformed in Renaissance literary settings. For instance, a unit called “Coping with the Fall” will open with the Book of Genesis and then move to such literary retellings as Milton’s Paradise Lost and Marvell’s poem “The Garden.” Similarly, a unit entitled “God + Suffering = The Problem of Evil” will start with the Book of Job and then turn to two English tragedies, Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Shakespeare’s King Lear. A final unit, “Sex, Crime, and Punishment,” will juxtapose Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Euripides’ Medea and Hippolytus against the famous French tragedy Phaedra by Jean Racine. Students will be expected to provide multiple discussion questions, take a number of in-class reading quizzes, write a research-based argumentative essay of roughly 10-12 pages, and complete a take-home comprehensive exam.

HONORS 280.2
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 1:25 – 2:40 p.m.
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Fiction: The Short Story
This course is an introduction to the art and craft of short-form fiction writing. We will read, analyze, and discuss award-winning short stories, complete weekly writing exercises, and write two full-length short stories while working to explore and develop short-story craft elements including characterization, point-of-view, dialogue, plot, scene and summary, setting, and the use of metaphorical language and themes. Throughout the semester, each student will have their story workshopped with written peer reviews and instructor feedback provided.

Required Course Text:
Method and Madness: The Making of a Story, Alice LaPlant. ISBN#: 9780393928174 

HONORS 280.3
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.
Instructor: Kim Andersen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Art & Theory of Art
For a good 40,000 years humans have produced images, tales, spectacles, and much more which we now call art. Cave paintings, graffiti, murals, fetishes, drama, sitcoms, literature, performance, pottery, painting, architecture, jewelry, carvings, music, country, western, medieval cathedrals, tattoos, rap, twist, hip, funk, bop, American Idol, The Blue Heart and Bruno Mars—we call it all art, we call them all artists! Does it make sense?

In this course we will seek enlightenment on the nature of art. We will investigate theories of art (a selection from Plato onwards) to try to determine what it is we appreciate about art. We will discuss art theories that offer viewpoints on different aspects of art as we discuss the functions of art in modern time. Simultaneously, we will actively experience art by reviewing exhibits, by evaluating and presenting artworks, in particular painting. We will make use of videos and excursions to local museums and exhibits.

As we develop our contextual understanding of art – as art is created in the flux of individual human creativity, social norms and institutions – we will also develop an appreciation for the function, methods, and value of research and scholarship in the Humanities.

Final grade to be determined by active participation, written assignments, and an in-class presentation.

Required Course Text:
But Is It Art? by Cynthia Freeland, Oxford University Press. ISBN:10-0192853678
Other texts handled in class, available on Blackboard.

HONORS 280.4
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
MWF 10:10 – 11:00 a.m.
Instructor: David Shier

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

The Good Life
Everyone wants the good life, but what does that really mean? What makes life most worth living: Wealth? Happiness? Meaning? Wisdom? Balance? Virtue? Freedom? Power? Service? Love? These are among the proposals we will investigate.

The ideas of philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Nietzsche, Nussbaum, and de Botton will be central to our investigation, but we will also discuss visions of the good life in literature, history, architecture, the arts. The class will feature guest speakers from a range of disciplines and approximately five films that we’ll view and discuss.

You will develop your own answers to the question “what is the good life?” Coursework will include (i) essays on the assigned films, (ii) a “theory to practice” assignment in which you’ll spend some time living in accord with one of the theories we study and write about it, (iii) a paper or presentation on a community service project of your choice, (iv) in-class activities, and (v) an end of semester group project/presentation.

Required Course Text:
Aristotle’s Way: How Ancient Wisdom Can Change Your Life (Edith Hall, 2019)
Approximately 10 short classical and contemporary readings (generally online and free)
Five films (to be announced)
Several short in-class videos and movie scenes

HONORS 280.5
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 4:15 – 5:30 p.m.
Instructor: Larry Hufford

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

As Creator: Making a World
This course starts from the idea that each of us creates a world in which we live. We will explore during the course how our worlds are created. We will emphasize seeing, perspective, and experimentation in exercises that build worlds through writing and visual arts. To develop an understanding of our roles as creators of worlds, we will examine writings by photographer Sally Mann, art critic Maggie Nelson, musician/actress Carrie Brownstein, anthropologist Clifford Geertz, scientist Hope Jahren, and writer Geoff Dyer among others. We will probe how imagination, enchantment, and memory have roles in our creative construction of our self as a foundation for a world, and question how as individuals we build worlds through relationships, such as forming a band, and participation in culture. When making a world, we want to know whether it bears truth and whether others experience the same world, and we will examine the role of science in creating worlds regarded as true. Our worlds are generally centered in places, and we will consider how the experience of place influences the world we create. Finally, we will look at how we present our world, especially through dress, language, and assemblages, such as stories and social media.

HONORS 290.1
Science as a Way of Knowing
TuThu 1:25 – 2:40 p.m.
Instructor: Lydia Gerber

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

The Science of Leading a Richer Life
Cutting edge science claims it knows ways to lead a happier life. What methods are scientists using to establish their claims? What practices, skills and attitudes do they point to as means for achieving this goal? What are ways of testing these claims in our own lives and with the tools we have at hand?

This class will introduce students to the emerging field of Happiness Studies as a gateway to scientific research. Students will critically assess examples of the current state of Happiness Studies. They will explore the relationship between a “rich” and a “happy” life and engage in limited-scale projects to examine whether happiness is indeed a skill that one can seek to enhance in one’s own life.

Required Course Text:
There is no textbook for this course. We will rely on published journal articles made available without charge through the WSU Library system.

HONORS 290.2
Science as a Way of Knowing
TuThu 9:10 – 10:25 a.m.
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

Human “Hungries”, Fungal Pathogens, and Evolution in a Post-Apocalyptic Earth
The two bestselling novels by MR Carey, the first in the “The Hungry Plague Series, “ depict the following: a future dystopian Earth; the result of a worldwide plague derived from a highly infectious fungal pathogen; and the near total demise ofIas we interpret our species today. We will examine how human extinction progresses and evolution/natural selection for a H. sapiens more fit to this “new” Earth operates in the post-apocalyptic environment.

In this course, we will use shared inquiry/the Socratic Method to assess the bridge between MR Carey’s bestselling novels, “The Girl With All The Gifts” and “The Boy on the Bridge” and the evolutionary processes driving the fungal pathogen, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, which at its core, is the fundamental element in the novel and the primary force behind the downfall of our species.

We will spend the first third of the term examining evolutionary patterns and processes in a discussion format reading essays from Stephen J. Gould’s Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History as you read the novels. Subsequently, we will break into shared inquiry for the remainder of the term. For each remaining class meeting, two students will develop a “Basic Question” based on evolution/natural selection from the novel, which you will present to your peers during the class period. The two student facilitators can only ask questions to maintain the discussion, as the remainder of students discuss the facilitators’ questions derived from the basic question.

This course requires discussion and attendance and your grade in the course is derived from your contributions to the discussion. You will be challenged to develop creative and critical thinking, information literacy, and oral communication skills in this course. If you are not comfortable in this type of learning environment, you should not enroll in the course.

Black Box Warning: The novels contain language that might be offensive to some students (R-rated).

Required Course Text:
The Girl With All The Gifts, MR Carey, Publisher: Reprint Edition. 2015.
ISBN-10: 0316334758
ISBN-13: 978-0316334754

The Boy on the Bridge, MR Carey, Publisher: Orbit Reprint Edition. 2018.
ISBN-10: 031600349
ISBN-13: 978-0316300346

Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History, Stephen J. Gould, Publisher W.W. Norton and Company. 1993.**

**This book can also be downloaded free at:

HONORS 290.3
Science as a Way of Knowing
MWF 3:10 – 4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Julie Menard

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

History of Space Exploration
Space exploration started long before the first man-made object reached space in 1949, and is still in its infancy. Throughout this course, we will discuss worldwide space exploration in a historical context, from star gazing to landing on a comet. We will talk about the past, present, and future mission objectives of the world’s major space agencies, as well as the corresponding payloads and outcomes.
Students will be tasked, as a group, to plan out a space exploration mission to the planetary body of their choice, including mission objectives and instrument payload.

Students will be encouraged to develop information literacy, and critical and creative thinking throughout the course readings, discussions and group project, which they will present orally at the end of term.

Required Course Materials:
TopHat attendance

HONORS 290.4
Science as a Way of Knowing
MWF 2:10 – 3:00 p.m.
Instructor: Richard Gomulkiewicz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. Any B, BSCI, P, PSCI, or SCI lab or concurrent enrollment.

Science Thinking
Most people think of science as a discipline of action and apparatus: microscopes, telescopes, computers, test tubes, pipetting, data entry, measuring things, formulating mixtures, performing intricate experiments in the laboratory, making crosses or implementing treatments in a greenhouse, taking observations or collecting data on field survey trips, etc. Most people are also aware that science involves “thinking”, but very few are familiar with how most scientists think aside from perhaps a collection of famous “aha!” moments (Archimedes, Pasteur, the Curies, Watson & Crick, etc.). Another common misconception is that science is driven entirely by data when, in fact, scientific concepts are equally and possibly more crucial.

The main goal of this course is to illuminate the role of conceptual thinking (i.e., theory) and its connections with observation in the scientific process and help students better understand how scientists think about what they do. To this end, the class will unpack several key questions including:

  • How do scientists decide what to study?
  • Why and how are scientific hypotheses formed?
  • How are studies interpreted?
  • How do scientists deal with unavoidable limitations, such as sampling and measurement • errors, haphazard vs random choices, etc.
  • How are scientific ideas communicated, compared, and valued?

The course will highlight the roles of curiosity, precedent, skepticism, creativity, imagination, uncertainty, and logic in the scientific process.

Required Course Materials:
Theory and Reality by Peter Godfrey-Smith. ISBN# 9780226300634
The meaning of it all by Richard P. Feynman. ISBN# 9780465023943

HONORS 298.2 (2 credit)

Tu 4:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Instructor: Cory Custer & Lydia Gerber
Approaches to Global Leadership

Life’s MESI
Life is messy! This class gives you the tools to respond to life more thoughtfully, rather than reacting emotionally, and that’s key to being happier.

This highly interactive and experiential course you will learn MESI (Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence) practices that are designed to increase your self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and relationship management – all of which are not only key competencies in today’s globally competitive marketplace, they have the potential to improve your performance, relationships, health, and happiness.

Through a series of guest presentations, you will also learn why leading local and global companies are investing millions of dollars to provide these practices to their employees. Presenters will include Jon Jones, CEO of Brighton Jones and Honors alumnus (’93), Chuck Arnold, President of the Seattle Seahawks and WSU alumnus (’94), as well as leaders at companies such as Google, LinkedIn, REI, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple.

This course is co-taught by Cory Custer, Director of Compassion at Seattle-based wealth management firm Brighton Jones, and Lydia Gerber, WSU Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence. Requirements for the class will include active participation, journal entries, one approach-comparison paper, and a group project.

Required Course Text:

HONORS 301.1
University Scholars Lecture Series
Class meeting times listed below
Instructor: Lydia Gerber

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

This workshop offers an in-depth engagement with the practice of Mindful Self-Compassion and the current state of research about its impact on different parameters of wellbeing and professional success. Through an introductory session, a weekend workshop led by certified trainers in Mindful Self-Compassion and a concluding meeting that allows students to present their own insights and their personal experience with this practice, students will gain both a direct experience and a critical, research-based understanding of the alternative ways of working with difficult experiences and emotions Mindful Self-Compassion practice has to offer.

To be successful in this class, students will participate in and thoughtfully reflect on all workshop sessions. They will critically review published research on Mindful Self-Compassion. They will develop, implement and assess their own Mindful Self-Compassion action plan. They will explore and assess both the science and their own experience in written and oral contributions.

Meeting Schedule
This class will meet for a 3-hour introductory session during week 1 of the semester. Students will participate in a 10-hour weekend workshop led by certified Mindful Self Compassion instructors at the end of week four of the semester. The class will conclude with a 2-hour session in week 8 of the semester with students sharing what to them have been significant insights as a result of their participation in and work for this class.

Meeting times:
Introductory session – Week 1
Friday, Aug. 23, 5:30-8:15 pm

Weekend Workshop – Week 4
Friday, Sept. 13, 5:30-8:15 pm
Saturday, Sept. 14, 9:10 am-12:30 pm and 1:15pm-4:30 pm

Concluding session – Week 8
Friday, Oct. 11, 5:30-7:15 pm

Required Course Text:
Kristin Neff, Chris Germer: The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook. New York: Guildford Press, 2018. ISBN 928-1-4625-2678-9
Additional readings will be made available to you in our Blackboard web site.

HONORS 370.1
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
TuThu 10:35 – 11:50 a.m.
Instructor: Marsha Quinlan

Human Health and Healing Across Cultures
This case study explores contemporary cross-cultural trends in health and healing. Across societies, what healing features do we share, what features vary and how? What explains these patterns? Lectures and readings will survey medical anthropology subfields including ethnomedicine, epidemiology, nutrition, reproduction, and mental health. Environmental, genetic, physiological, psychological and sociocultural forces are examined in relation to health. Students will conduct their own medical anthropology research, either via interviewing or using a database for cross-cultural research. They will learn the steps involved in framing a research question, deriving hypotheses from theory, design of measures, coding procedures, reliability, analyzing results, writing an article, how to perform and respond to peer review, revision, and, potentially, publication. Students will develop global understandings of human medical systems they experience the professional academic research process.

HONORS 370.2
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
TuThu 12:00-1:15 p.m.
Instructor: Bill Smith

Working with, in, and through the International Community
While class members will determine the specific focus the course will take, it will broadly track the development of a global, multilateral system that takes into account what developing nations “want” alongside the aims of the developed world. Governmental actors, intergovernmental groups, and nongovernmental organizations all factor into the framework as we consider how various entities “act and interact” in the global sphere.

Enrolled students have the option of joining the Spring 2019 Honors College delegation to the National Model United Nations conference in New York City.

HONORS 370.3
Case Study: Global Issues in Social Sciences
TuThu 2:50 – 4: 05 p.m.
Instructor: Kathleen Rodgers

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Why Does Poverty Exist and What Can be Done About It?
In all nations and across time, a proportion of families live in poverty. The severity of this poverty varies depending on the historical, social, economic, and cultural context within which individuals and families live. Psychologists, sociologists, economists, historians, and policy analysts each provide unique perspectives to explain this complex social problem. In this course, we take an in-depth cross-cultural look at conditions and causal factors associated with poverty, efforts to help poor families and individuals, and the resiliency of individuals and families who face economic hardship. Students will examine poverty-related issues (e.g., equity in education, economic inequality, access to clean water, homelessness) in the US and in third-world nations.

HONORS 380.1

Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 2:50 – 4:05 p.m.
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Creative Nonfiction: Personal Narrative Writing
Welcome to the exciting world of creative nonfiction! In this creative writing course we will examine the role of the personal voice in shaping and defining how we see and experience the world. Through readings and analysis, classroom discussion, and a variety of writing exercises and essays (including explorations in memoir, flora/fauna, and place) we will explore the following questions: As global citizens, how can we represent our own experiences and stories through creative writing in a way that is universally understood and felt? How do we (and the authors we read) define/explore/write about the issues that trouble or fascinate us?

What are we (and the authors we read) struggling to make sense of or understand about our own lives and the world around us? No previous creative writing experience is necessary, although strong general writing abilities are a benefit in this course. Throughout the semester, we will work on developing the basic craft elements of creative nonfiction while writing two essays and at the end of the semester each student will have one of their essays “workshopped” with written peer reviews and oral feedback provided.

Required Course Text:
Tell it Slant, Second Edition, Brenda Miller & Suzanne Paola, ISBN#: 9780071781770
Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction, Judith Kitchen, ISBN#: 9780393326000
Now Write! Nonfiction, Sherry Ellis, ISBN #9781585427581

HONORS 380.2
Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 10:35 – 11:50 a.m.
Instructor: Vilma Navarro-Daniels

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

“From the End of the Earth: Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina through Film”
This is a variable content course. This Fall semester, the course will focus on the recent history of Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay through films made in these countries. These nations have been traditionally considered and named the “Southern Cone.” Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay have many things in common, such as the waves of immigrants that came from Europe, the right-wing dictatorships that ruled these countries in the 1970s and 1980s, and the thousands of “disappeared” political prisoners during those years. Nevertheless, toward the end of the 1980s, these countries celebrated the advent of democratic governments, which have not been exempt from social problems related to the implementation of neoliberal economic reforms and globalization.

In this course, students will become active participants in the film viewing experience, rather than mere spectators, by developing the skills to achieve a more discerning “reading” of films produced outside their own cultural context, exploring the familiar in otherness (and vice versa). Students will be able to differentiate and value the cultural diversity represented in these films, and, therefore, re-interpret the place of the self as an identity culturally situated. They will study and analyze representative films from three different countries of South America, taking into account the historical, social and political context in which they were produced, and how this context is represented in these films. They will be also exposed to innovative films, which illustrate current trends in Latin American filmmaking. Students are expected to devote 1-1.3 weekly hours per credit to this course (3-4 hours per week) besides their attendance and active participation in class.

Required Course Materials:
Special Course Fee $20.00, for laboratory use (printer, computers, etc.), film collection and screenings

HONORS 380.3
Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities

(online course through WSU Global Campus)

Instructor: Sergey Lapin

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; Honors 280.

Introduction to Russian culture, history and language
This course surveys Russia’s cultural past and present. This course is an introduction to Russian civilization, presenting an overview of art, architecture, literature, music, philosophy, and film. In this course we will place the cultural phenomena into a larger historical context. Examples of Russian culture and the Russian Religious faith are discussed alongside with daily life and folk beliefs. Also included is a brief introduction to the Russian language: alphabet and elementary reading.

The course format consists of slides, video and audio presentations, assigned reading and online discussions. All materials are in English. No prior knowledge of Russian history, literature, language or culture is required. Students will utilize research skills developed in Honors 280 and further develop their skills in creative and critical thinking, information literacy, and written communication skills.

HONORS 380.4
Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities
TuThu 1:25 – 2:40 p.m.
Instructor: Kim Andersen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

The Vikings – in History and Sagas
In A.D. 793 the Vikings entered the annals of history with the attack on the monastery at Lindisfarne, England. The following 300 years have become known as ‘the Viking Age.’ During these years the peoples of Scandinavia put their cultural imprint on the British Isles and all over Europe including in the Mediterranean and North America – rarely to the delight of locals. They were pirates and conquerors but also trade-partners in a vibrant, early-Medieval world of commerce and cultural expanse. Who were they? Were they all pirating Vikings or were they also farmers and poets? How did they live when they weren’t on the longboats? Were law and order part of their societies? What were their beliefs before they converted to Christianity in the 10th century? Did they indeed ‘discover’ America?

In this course we will study this fascinating chapter of history, with emphasis upon Viking romances. We will read a selection of their literary legacy, the Icelandic sagas and romances. We will make use of film and documentaries to gain insights into this age so distant from our own.

Final grade to be determined by active participation, written assignments, and an in-class presentation

Required Course Text:
Seven Viking Romances (Penguin Classics). ISBN-10: 9780140444742
The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason’s Tale (Penguin Classics). ISBN-10: 9780140447750
Other texts handled in class available on Blackboard.

HONORS 390.1
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
TuThu 12:00 – 1.15 p.m.
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

An Investigation of Earth’s Anthropogenic Impacts via Gaming
The geologic record clearly documents five major extinctions throughout earth’s history. We are now undergoing a “Sixth Extinction” event, caused by anthropogenic impacts. This semester, we will examine climate change and these six extinctions, with particular attention to the Anthropocene extinction event, its causes, rates, implications, and similarities and differences with past extinctions.

We are taking a novel approach to examine climate change, extinction, speciation, invasive species, anthropogenic impacts, among other topics this semester. We are learning via gaming. If you have very strong oppositions to gaming, this might not be a good fit.

I suggest visiting the Eco Trailer:

Eco, a climate change game developed by Seattle Strange Loop Games will serve as the climate change learning facilitator. Eco is an excellent educational game because it integrates learning goals using ecological content and game play, simultaneously. Eco is an ecosystem simulator, which is ideal for us in that the ecosystems are those of the Pacific Northwest. The ecosystems begin in a pristine, uninhabited world. As you, the players initiate the game and inhabit the world you must make decisions about building a life in this world. This life cannot remain a simple survivalist life, but must progress, with the least environmental impact, to a developed world with your cohorts. The ecosystems/biomes are again those of the Pacific Northwest, your impacts generate realistic climate models, your community demographics are mapped, and statistical analyses are completed as you make decisions in your world. Finally, player-driven government and economies are also a part of the network. You interact with only your class cohort, i.e. it is exclusive to you class not the entire web. The developers construct a shared online exclusive WSU world. Therefore, every action you make as a class impacts the environment. You can propose and enact laws to restrict or encourage the WSU world community to perform in a way best suited to the environment. You might find your decisions result in the extinction of one of our Pacific Northwest species. This is a lesson. You cannot bring this species back. Therefore, as a cohort you must interact to determine your actions do not result in the demise of your world; you must make ecologically sound decisions. Collaboration is key to success.

Once a week we will meet in a computer lab, where you “play” Eco while I individually discuss the scientific interpretations of your decisions and progress throughout the week in your WSU world.

Our other class meeting will be used to discuss assigned readings. Discussion is another integral component of this course. Please be very comfortable engaging in discussion if you plan to take this course.

Course readings will reflect course content and will be chosen from the primary literature and non-fiction book sources. For example, we might read a chapter from Elizabeth Kolbert’s Pulitzer Prize winning The Sixth Extinction. 2016. New York. Henry Holt and Co. or Konrad et al. 2018. Net retreat of Antarctic glacier grounding lines. Nature Geoscience. Vol. 11: 258–262.

All readings will be uploaded to Blackboard.

Required Course Materials:
Eco The educational version of Eco costs $10/month/student, total $30. You will purchase Eco for 3-months (12-weeks).
Eco is Windows based. If you are a Mac user, Coug Tech will provide a free copy of Windows parallels for your Mac. However, by Fall 2019, a Mac version might be released.

HONORS 390.2
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
MWF 11:10 – 12:00 p.m.
Instructor: Raymond Quock

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Mental Health — A Global Perspective
Mental health is a state of psychological well-being in which people realize their own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and are able to contribute to their communities. Mental disorders interfere with these functions. The topics in this course will 1) provide a scientific background in mental disorders and the psychopharmacology of drugs used in their treatment; 2) discuss the societal impact of mental illness; and 3) analyze trends in addressing the burden of mental disorders.

HONORS 390,3
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
TuThu 9:10 – 10:25 a.m.
Instructor: Sergey Lapin

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

Interdisciplinary research: past, present, and future
It is evident that our society is embedded in an international context that has undergone significant changes in recent decades and will undergo even more transformations in the future. Understanding the interdisciplinary nature of modern sciences has become increasingly important.

The main goal of this course is to help students see the real-world relevance of the various academic disciplines and their comparative strengths and weaknesses by looking at the history of several scientific inventions. It is well known that many famous scientists of the past were known as homo universalis, being able to work successfully in very diverse fields. We will then turn to modern society and look at several cases where scientists from different disciplines join forces to address complex global issues, such as environmental, ecological, and global health problems. We will also discuss the cultural and social impacts of scientific research and relations between the liberal arts and sciences. This course is designed for both science and non-science majors and will require student collaboration to understand the complex,interdisciplinary nature of global issues.

Required Course Text:
There is no textbook for this course. We will rely on journal articles made available without charge through the WSU Library system.

HONORS 390.4
Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
W 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Instructor: Lydia Gerber

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student. HONORS 290, SCIENCE 299, CHEM 116, MATH 182, PHYSICS 205, or PHYSICS 206.

The Practice, Science and History of Mindfulness
Mindfulness, defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as “paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” is an inherent human capacity, cultivated throughout history. Mindfulness training enhances one’s ability to cope with anxiety and stress, decreases the likelihood of burnout in challenging professions, and has a beneficial effect on overall health. Among mindfulness training programs Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), developed in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, stands out as a program that has been rigorously researched for its safety and effectiveness. This class invites students to explore the practice (following the program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn) and the growing field of published research on MBSR in academic disciplines ranging from Psychology and Education to Neuroscience and Cell Biology.

The instructor has received her training in MBSR through the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has been teaching classes in the Pullman community and at WSU since 2012 and is looking forward to working with you! Please feel free to contact her at if you have questions about the class!

Required Course Text:
There is no textbook for this course. We will rely on journal articles made available without charge through the WSU Library system.

HONORS 398.4
Thesis Proposal Seminar
Tu 10:35 – 11:25 a.m.
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

This is a seminar-style course with the purpose of assisting and supporting each participant in completing his/her Honors thesis proposal. In the course, you will generate an Honors thesis topic, formulate your thesis question, identify a thesis advisor, and prepare you thesis proposal. We will discuss ways to structure your thesis, perform research, and evaluate the information you obtain in relation to your chosen topic. During the course, we will discuss and constructively support and critique projects as they develop in the proposals. Each student will present their proposal to the class, and submit a complete proposal—including title, introduction, research question, methodology, and annotated bibliography—as a final product. S/F grading.

HONORS 499.1 (1 credit)
Introduction to Innovation
M 1:10–3:00 p.m. on the following dates: Aug. 19, Aug. 26, Sept. 9, Sept. 23, Oct. 14, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Dec. 2
Instructor: Cassa Hanon

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student.

Organizations are under constant pressure to innovate. Do you have what it takes to be innovative? Of course, you do. In this course, we’ll look at different kinds of innovation and discover the unique personal characteristics you bring to the process. We will examine design approaches and organizational cultures that foster innovation. You will be able to talk about how your strengths and interests can successfully contribute to an organization’s innovation goals. This course is open to all majors and relevant to any type of organization – large, small, for profit, non-profit, academic and public service.

This course will include a mix of readings, discussion, lectures, videos, and student presentations.

Required Course Text:
Introduction to Myers-Briggs Type Copyright 1998, 2015 by Peter B. Myers and Katherine D. Myers, 7th Edition (approximately $20 from
Introduction to Type and Innovation Copyright 2009 by Damian Killen and Gareth Williams (approximately $20 from

Current and Previous Semesters

Information about courses from previous semesters is also available: Spring 2023, Fall 2022, Summer 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2021, Summer 2021, Spring 2021, Fall and Summer 2020, Spring 2020,Fall 2019, Summer 2019, Spring 2019, Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Summer 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2017, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2016.