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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.

Summer 2019


HONORS 280.2
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
(online course through WSU Global Campus)*

May 6 – June 14
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Creative Writing: 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 a full-length short story 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. 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

*Please note that this is not the section of HONORS 280 on the Pullman campus (280.1) which is open only to incoming students in the Summer Advantage program.

Science as a Way of Knowing
(online course through WSU Global Campus)
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 370 / POL S 435
The SLN for this course can be found on the Political Science page for courses in summer 2019
Politics of Developing Nations
M-F 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
June 24 – July 26
Instructor: Richard Elgar

This summer section of POLS 435 will be accepted in place of HONORS 370 to fulfill the global social science requirement
Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; Honors 280.

What have been the effects of colonialism, civil war, authoritarianism, and global institutions in the developing world? Are these the reasons why billions of people live on less than $10 a day – and almost half the world on less than $2.50 a day?

This class will explore the meaning of political and economic development, and democracy around the world, especially in the context of globalization.

Case Study: Global Issues in the Arts and Humanities

(online course through WSU Global Campus)

May 6 – June 14
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 390.1

Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
MTWThF 9:00 – 10:15 a.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.

Case Study: Global Issues in the Sciences
(online course through WSU Global Campus)
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 Text:
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.

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.