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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 honors@wsu.edu.

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.

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 2021


HONORS 211.1
Introduction to Community Engagement

Meetings: Tu 2:33PM-4:05PM
Instructor: Ben Calabretta & Jessica Perone

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

This course is required for HONORS students in the Mindfulness Emotional Social Intelligence (MESI) Certificate program. Students will be introduced to community engagement and the importance of it in their own work and life. Over 10 weeks, the class will meet once per week for 8 weeks and 2 weeks will be dedicated to participating in community engagement projects.  In response to COVID-19, the CCE, WSU students, and community partners will work together to ensure community engagement projects are in alignment with state guidelines and all necessary precautions are in place for the safety of everyone.

Communities are diverse and interconnected. This course surveys critical concepts of community engagement, including but not limited to, equity, citizenship, human rights, advocacy and activism, civic leadership, social justice, civil discourse, social capital, education, environment, health care, immigration, socioeconomic status, discrimination. Students will use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and actively engage in principles and practices of community engagement through a local lens. This course also serves as an introduction to the MESI Certificate within the Honors College. This course gives the student the opportunity to grow academically, professionally, personally and civically through participation in a transformational service-learning experience.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.


HONORS 270.1*
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science
Meetings: Tu,Th 2:55PM-4:10PM
Instructor: Lydia Gerber

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

A Mindful Exploration of Powerful Women in Chinese History
To this day, few women have played a significant role in Chinese public life. Yet stories abound in Chinese history and literature of women who caused the ruin of individual men, families and entire states through their powers of seduction. Evil empress dowagers, goddesses and women immortals, female fox-spirits, beautiful concubines, women moralists and talented poets and artists – Chinese culture offers a wealth of intriguing female subjects. Moreover, Chinese traditions, such as Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism had often surprising views of women and their roles and options in life.

In this class, we will use mindfulness to engage with Chinese history and culture with a focus on women’s lives. How do the experiences of women from another age and culture resonate with us, and what can they teach us about leading our own lives?
Mindfulness practices will also support us as we move from careful analysis of source material to the creation of our own research projects on women in Chinese history and culture. Previous exposure to, or knowledge of Chinese culture is appreciated, but not required to be successful in this class.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.


HONORS 270.3
Principles and Research Methods in Social Science
Meetings: M 5:30PM-8PM
Instructor: Matt Carroll

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Tracing your Family History
Who do you think you are? Understanding history, culture and the consequences of human migration through the study of one’s own family story

With the exception of indigenous people, all of us who currently live in North America are here as the result of fairly recent migration from some other continent or at least some other location on this one . Regardless of whether our ancestors were here for 100 generations, were transported in chains or the hold of a famine ship, or arrived under more fortunate circumstances, each of us is the embodiment of many generations of history and, more often than not, a process of our ancestors migrating and becoming acculturated to life in a new land . This class is aimed to increase your awareness and understanding of all of these processes through the study of your own family history.

In the first portion of the class, you will be asked to interview older members of your own family using basic techniques of the gathering and synthesis of oral history. Then our attention will turn to the techniques of conducting and documenting the results of genealogical research with a particular focus on the (mostly on-line) gathering of vital records (birth, marriage and death) and associated information and the depiction of this information via the construction of an electronic family tree.. Although not a requirement of the class, you will also be free to introduce DNA evidence into the mix and we will spend at least one class session on the rudiments of how to obtain and interpret that form of evidence. Once you have been able to trace at least one of your family lines back multiple generations, you will select one individual or small group of your ancestors from a particular time and place and conduct broader historical research into the specific location and historical and cultural circumstances in which she/he/ they lived.

The final paper for the class will be a summary of your research results and a reflection of what you learned about your own family, the historical and cultural context in which selected family members lived and the roles and social strata your family members occupied in the time and place in which you have chosen to focus. You will also be asked to reflect in the paper on the strengths and weaknesses of the multiple research tools and approaches you used throughout the semester to build your understanding of your family history.


HONORS 280.1
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu,Th 1:30PM-2:45PM
Instructor: DJ Lee
Most of the classes in-person, face-to-face, on specific days/times, on campus. Some classes may be held by Zoom, and some classes may be held in nearby natural areas.

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Practices of the Wild
What is Wildness? Is Wilderness simply a human invention, or is there something special, even spiritual, about lands we call “wild”? How did wild lands come to be preserved, and are they worth protecting into the future? Can damaged or polluted lands ever truly be rewilded? What role do wild lands play in some of the most pressing problems of our times, such as climate change and racism? In this class, you’ll increase your understanding of the history and cultural issues surrounding wildness and wilderness through readings, reflective writing, oral storytelling, and research. Class sessions will be dynamic and lean toward the experimental, incorporating art practices and (hopefully) trips to different sites for field experiences.

Required Course Materials:
All course readings, audio, and visual material will be provided through links by the instructor.


HONORS 280.2*
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Creative Writing: The Short Story
This is a creative writing course that introduces students to the art and craft of short-form fiction writing. We will read, analyze, and discuss award-winning short stories, complete writing exercises, and write two 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 one of their short stories workshopped with written peer reviews and instructor feedback provided. No previous creative writing experience is necessary, although strong general writing abilities are required to do well in this course.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

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


HONORS 280.3
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu,Th 10:35AM-11:50AM
Instructor: Kim Andersen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Classical Short Stories
In this course we will read and discuss a selection of short stories of a multitude of themes and styles by noted literary greats of different cultures, stories all written between the years 1705 to 1923 as included in our textbook reader. Among these great authors we find Daniel Defoe, Kate Chopin, Anton Chekhov, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Guy de Maupassant, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Ambrose Pierce, James Joyce, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and O. Henry. Apart from extolling the human wisdom embedded in this multifaceted literature, we will examine how these great authors command language in contrasting styles as we contemplate the value of fiction. Simultaneously we will seek input from literary scholarship. Final grade to be determined by active participation, written assignments, and in-class presentations.

Required Course Text:
100 Great Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – February 18, 2015, by James Daley (Editor)


HONORS 280.4*
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: M,W,F 9:10AM-10:00AM
Instructor: David Shier

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

The Good Life in Philosophy and Film
What makes life most worth living? Pleasure? Purpose? Friendship? Freedom? Wisdom? Love? This class is a philosophical investigation into the concept of the good life as discussed by selected classical and contemporary writers and as portrayed in selected films. We will emphasize ancient Greeks and Romans such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics, but also consider several more recent thinkers including Jean Paul Sartre, David Foster Wallace, Rebecca Solnit, Emily Esfahani-Smith and Todd May.

The main project in this course is you. For much of the course, you’ll work on refining your own view of “the good life” through both our class discussions and the short essays you’ll write on the readings and films. In the latter part of the semester, you will conduct a “theory to practice” project by adopting for a week or more some life-improvement practices of your choice and doing a presentation discussing the impact of these changes.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Materials:
1 book (inexpensive and available from most booksellers), about 12 classical and contemporary readings (free online), 4-5 feature films (easy to rent via streaming) and several short videos (free online).


HONORS 280.5
Contextual Understanding in the Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu,Th 12:05PM-1:20PM
Instructor: Kristin Becker
Face to Face (P): Live instruction, 100% in person

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Inside-Out: The Art Museum as Interdisciplinary Classroom
What might we learn about ourselves and others through the lens of contemporary art? How do the visual arts enrich our lives and contribute to our understanding of the world? Why do artists do what they do? And how do curators make sense of it? Most importantly, how do we as viewers make sense of it? How do the resources we see and study inside museums impact our daily lives and the many disciplines we study?

In this course—with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU as a classroom—you will utilize current exhibitions, permanent collections, visiting artists, and other related resources to gain an appreciation of the world of contemporary art, as well as some art history. Coursework includes: Learning about materials and processes used by artists, archivists, and curators to tell and preserve stories; Researching and writing a deep analysis of an artwork; Planning and executing a customized tour in the museum galleries; Writing or making a creative artwork of your own; and Curating your own mini-exhibition as it relates to an area of personal interest.

This course provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with original works of art and living artists on a weekly basis. That said, one of your most important resources in this class is your fellow students: Listening to the reactions and voices of others helps us see the multitude of ways in which art informs and impacts our lives.

In Fall 2021, the galleries at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art will showcase Mirror, Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar and an exhibition of our Black Lives Matter Artist Grant Winners, which were awarded in 2020 as part of our partnership with the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation. These exhibitions and the perspectives they offer on the African American experience will be a core theme explored in the course.

Required Course Text:
“Ways of Seeing” by John Berger as well as articles and excerpts provided in class. Limited number of art supplies for drawing and/or printmaking activity, not to exceed $30


HONORS 290.1
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings: Tu, Th  1:30PM-2:45PM
Instructor: Mano Manoranjan

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

In this course, we’ll develop ideas to describe certain real-life phenomena quantitatively. We’ll show how simple mathematical models can be constructed to study these phenomena. Such models can help us in making predictions and management decisions. In particular, because of the current pandemic, we’ll focus more on Covid-19. You’ll have the opportunity to explore the impacts of the pandemic at the local, national and global levels.


HONORS 290.2
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings: Tu, Th  9:10am-10:25am
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

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

The Hungry Plague
Two bestselling novels by MR Carey, the first in the “The Hungry Plague Series, “ depict the following: a future dystopian Earth caused by a worldwide plague due to a highly infectious fungal pathogen, resulting in the total demise of Homo sapiens as we define our species. We will examine how near human extinction occurs and evolution/natural selection operates in this 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 an in-class 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/Socratic Method for the remainder of the term. Two students will develop a “Basic Question” based on an evolution/natural selection/biological topic derived from the novel, which you will present to your peers by facilitating a discussion. The two student facilitators can only ask questions to maintain the discussion, as the remainder of the cohort discuss the facilitators’ questions originating from the basic question.

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

Black Box Warning: The novel contains 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.

Free pdf download:
https://www.docdroid.net/wx3my2U/eight-little-piggies-stephen-jay-gould-pdf


HONORS 290.3
Science as a Way of Knowing
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

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

How much wolf is in our dogs?
This Fall we will examine the origins of the domestic dog. In recent years, researchers have taken a keen interest in our dog companions for a variety of reasons. I am a “dog person”, but as an evolutionary biologist, the wealth of research on domestic dog evolution and artificial selection for the over 200 recognized dog breeds fascinate me. Therefore, we will examine the domestic dog precursors, the multiple origins of domestic dogs, and the ancient and recent breeds. However, we will also delve into the co-evolution of Homo sapiens and Canis domesticus, beginning with the ancient relationship between early humans and wolves. Our studies will include selection for canine morphological and behavioral traits and how artificial selection in breeding results in deleterious mutations over time. Other topics, including feral dog populations, canine use in modern medicine, among others will be discussed. According to one researcher…. without the human-dog relationship, our society would never have advanced to its current levels.”


HONORS 290.4
Science as a Way of Knowing
Meetings: W 2:10PM-4:40PM
Instructor: David Makin

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

Technology, Crime, and Public Safety

The exponential development of technology undeniably shapes society. Problematic to this innovation is a reluctance or inability to consider the direct and indirect impact of technology on society. Through the backdrop of the cult television and cultural phenomenon program “The Black Mirror”, this course examines the development, integration and evolution of technology within society and the challenges and opportunities relevant to crime, the criminal justice system, and public safety more broadly. As technology is interdisciplinary, this course takes a broad approach to the study of technology by examining the social, cultural, legal, organizational, and individual influence of current technology and what future technology integration may bring.

Specific course outcomes include:
• Illustrating policy implications of current and emerging technology.
• Explaining the fundamental principles that have shaped the development and integration of technology within the criminal justice system.
• Describing the development, use, and advancement of technology within public safety.
• Naming the catalyst events for technology integration in police organizations.
• Applying critical thinking and analytical reasoning to contemporary criminal justice problems.
• Showing the external influences for technology integration and explaining the potential consequences for such expansion.


HONORS 298.3*
Approaches to Global Leadership
Meetings: M 10:10AM-12:00PM
Instructor: Cassa Hanon

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student.

Introduction to Innovation
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. We will also meet leaders in a variety of industries around the globe who will offer their perspectives. This course is open to all majors and relevant to any type of organization – large, small, for profit, nonprofit, academic, and public service.

This course will include a mix of readings, discussion, lectures, videos, and student presentations. Eight class sessions will be held in person, the remainder will be hosted via Zoom. Sessions are interactive and attendance is a significant portion of the grade.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Text:
The instructor will make books available for students to borrow.
Introduction to Myers-Briggs Type Copyright 1998, 2015 by Peter B. Myers and Katherine D. Myers, 7th Edition (approximately $20 from www.cpp.com)
Introduction to Type and Innovation Copyright 2009 by Damian Killen and Gareth Williams (approximately $20 from www.cpp.com)


HONORS 370.1
Meetings:
Tu, Th 10:35AM-11:50AM
Instructor: Mary Bloodsworth-Lugo

The Global Food System
Raj Patel notes, “Global hunger and obesity are symptoms of the same problem.” The “stuffed and starved,” he maintains, “are also linked through the chains of production that bring food from fields to our plate.” Barry Estabrook points out, “the life expectancy of a migrant worker in the United States is only forty-nine years, about the same as that of a person living in equatorial Africa.” And regarding access to clean water, Anna Clark conveys, “Monthly water rates [in Flint] were among the most expensive in the country, and yet 42 percent of residents lived below the federal poverty level.” Using a case study framework, we will examine the modern global food system (including access to the world’s water supply) to understand the various issues and inequalities embedded within it.

Required Course Text:

Patel, Raj. 2012. Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Revised and Expanded Edition. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House. (ISBN# 978-1-61219-127-0) paperback

Estabrook, Barry. 2018. Tomatoland: From Harvest of Shame to Harvest of Hope. Third Edition. New and Revised. Kansas City, MO: Andrews McMeel Publishing. (ISBN# 978-1449489533) paperback

Clark, Anna. 2018. The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books. (ISBN# 978-1250181619) paperback


HONORS 370.2
Meetings:
Tu, Th 12:05PM-1:20PM
Instructor: Bill Smith

If a multilateral organization can be considered enigmatic, then that description fits the United Nations. In large part, this is because “The UN” is a misconception, implying as it does a monolithic organization that can be considered as a single whole. In reality, the myriad and changing perspectives of the UN Member States – which align or diverge with one another issue by issue – render the UN a very complex entity.


HONORS 370.3*
Meetings:
Tu, Th 2:55PM-4:10PM
Instructor: Kathleen Rodgers

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 in the US and worldwide. Students will examine poverty-related issues such as equity in education, economic inequality, housing, health disparity, mass incarceration and immigration.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.


HONORS 380.1*
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu, Th 10:30AM-11:50AM
Instructor: Vilma Navarro-Daniels

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

Women’s Agency: From Subalternity to Empowerment
HONORS 380-01 is taught in the discipline of Film Studies, an interdisciplinary field that integrates knowledge of cinematography, visual arts, history, literature, music, theater, politics, economics, gender, and race to promote a greater understanding of film as a cultural product. In this course students broaden and deepen their knowledge of film by exploring cinematic traditions outside of the United States. Through the study of ten films from a variety of cinematic traditions (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, The Democratic Republic of Congo, France, Iran, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Senegal, and South Korea), students will develop a “cinematic vocabulary” to discuss film and gain a sense of film as a text with visual, auditory, and semantic elements key to comprehend its deeper meaning. By applying these analytical and interpretative strategies to the movies studied in this course, students will understand film as a medium which embodies the culture in which it was produced. Through the eyes of a group of female characters of diverse age, race, nationality, language, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, social class, culture, and ideology, students are invited to look at other societies in a totally new way, letting the film protagonists “take” them to their homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods, towns, and cities, places where students will “meet” the characters’ families and friends, but also the potential enemies and dangers that surround them. Through these fictitious personas, students are introduced to realities that, perhaps, they do not even suspect may exist. Students learn about the interaction between the social and the individual, the public and the domestic realm, the historical and the transcendental, the political constraints and the intimacy. In brief, students are invited to witness the lives of others, their struggles and fears, but also their dreams and hopes. This course includes comedy as well as historical, political, religious, animation, and coming of age films, among other genres.

Required Course Text:
A set of scholarly articles that will be available in the course folder on Google Drive.
Films: Students will need to rent the films (all are available on streaming format)


HONORS 380.2*
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: M,W,F 12:10PM-1:00PM
Instructor: Robin Bond

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

Introduction to the Literature and Language of Ancient Greece
This course is an introduction to the literature and language of ancient Greece that focuses on the epic poems of Homer – the Iliad and Odyssey – in an exploration of what it means to be human. Greek poets depicted the human condition as an existence apart from, and contrary to, the leisure enjoyed by the gods. Human life, in the Greek mind, was at its core suffering, toil, and death. In Homer’s poems this vision of humanity appears in the struggles of the individual hero. The study of ancient Greece allows us the opportunity to appreciate a culture very distant in time from our own and to understand the cultural legacy of the past to the modern world, but it also challenges us to explore and evaluate our own perspectives on being human.

Ancient Greek literature is not easy and will require slow and careful reading. Much of the class will be devoted to close readings and discussion of the poems as a window into broader Greek culture. In order to deepen our connection with the works, we will devote regular class time to the introductory study of ancient Greek language. No previous familiarity with Greek literature or language learning is required or expected, but you must have a willingness to grapple with difficult texts and ideas and be open to learning an unfamiliar alphabet, vocabulary, and grammatical constructions. Additionally, as this section is part of the MESI (Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence) program, we will incorporate regular short mindfulness practices into our class sessions.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

Required Course Text:
The Iliad, translated by Caroline Alexander. Harper-Collins Publishers, 2015.
The Odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson. W.W. Norton & Company, 2018.


HONORS 380.4
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu, Th 1:30PM-2:45PM
Instructor: Kim Andersen

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

Beholding Beauty
For a good 40,000 years humans have produced images, tales, spectacles, and much more which we traditionally call art and much of which traditionally has been associated with beauty. In this course we will seek enlightenment on the nature of beauty and to which extent it might differ from art. We will investigate significant perspectives on matters of art and beauty to try to determine what it is we appreciate as we discuss our textbook: Beauty – A Very Short Introduction by Roger Scruton. We will discuss particular viewpoints as we assess the possibility for an all-encompassing perspective. As we develop our contextual understanding of ‘beauty’ 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:
Beauty A Very Short Introduction by Roger Scruton, Oxford University Press, ISBN:978-0-19-922975-8


HONORS 390.1
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu,Th 1:30PM-2:45PM
Instructor: Lisa Gloss

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

Proteins: Opportunities and Challenges for Nature’s Nanotechnology
Proteins are biological macromolecules with an amazing array of functions and beautiful, intricate structures. Indeed, as catalysts for all essential life chemistry, transducers of signals in cells, and the building blocks of cellular architecture, proteins represent the finest nanotechnology that Nature has evolved. This course will begin with a discussion of the history of protein science (Nature’s Robots, Tanford & Reynolds required text). The goal is to provide an introduction to protein structure and function for a general science audience, but also to highlight the history of scientific method in action – the successful, intentional approaches, as well as the serendipitous observations and lucky accidents that were necessary to decipher key aspects of protein structure, function and design. In the second half of the course, we will discuss current research advances that: 1) explore the opportunities for protein nanotechnology in medicine and biotechnology, and 2) the challenges of impairing protein function (e.g. blocking viral infection) or repairing protein malfunction (e.g. amyloidogenic diseases). The course format will be a blend of discussion (in class and discussion boards) and creative imagining of potential protein nanotechnology inventions.

Required Course Materials:
For general reading: “Nature’s Robots: A History of Proteins” by Charles Tanford and Jacqueline Reynolds Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780198606949 Available to read online via WSU Libraries.

Additional readings from primary scientific literature will be assigned, and available through WSU subscriptions.


HONORS 390.2
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: M,W,F 11:10AM-12:00PM
Instructor: Raymond Quock

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

According to national surveys, the use of illicit drugs in the United States has been continually on the rise since 2002.  The increase is driven mainly by marijuana use and abuse of prescription pain killers.  The 2015 World Drug Report also notes an explosion in the use of new psychoactive substances (NPS) which pose a significant health threat to drug users and, at the same time, increase the demand for treatment programs for drug abuse.  The topics in this course will 1) provide a scientific background in the psychopharmacology of drugs of abuse; 2) analyze trends in global illicit drug use; and 3) discuss the societal impact of drug abuse.


HONORS 390.3
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: Tu,Th 9:10AM-10:25AM
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
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.


HONORS 390.4
Case Study: Global Issues in Arts and Humanities
Meetings: W 5:00PM-7:00PM
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 eight-week 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 lgerber@wsu.edu if you have questions about the class!

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.

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


HONORS 398.1
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Meetings: W 1:10PM-2:00PM
Instructor: Kim Andersen

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

This is a seminar with the purpose of assisting and supporting each participant in completing his/her Honors thesis proposal. By the end of the course you will be ready to submit your Honors thesis proposal for approval and to initiate your thesis research. In the course, you will learn how to generate an Honors thesis topic, how to formulate a thesis question, how to identify a thesis advisor, and how to prepare the thesis proposal. In addition, we will discuss ways to structure your thesis, how to perform a literature search, and how to 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 submit a complete proposal including title, introduction, research question, methodology, preliminary annotated bibliography, as a final product. S/F grading.

Required Course Materials:
Writing A Successful Research Paper: A Simple Approach by Stanley Chodorow. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co., ISBN: 978-1-60384-440-6


HONORS 398.2
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Meetings: W 11:10AM-12:00PM
Instructor: Joanna Schultz

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

This seminar-style course is designed to assist and support you in the development and completion of your Honors College thesis proposal. The course prepares you to successfully complete your final thesis research and presentation requirements of the Honors College. We will perform a step-wise process in the completion of your proposal, from generating preliminary ideas, finding suitable thesis advisors, submitting a thesis draft, which I thoroughly edit from Introduction through Conclusions to assist in your successful completion and submission of a quality proposal. During the course, each thesis proposal will be constructively criticized during collaborative peer review sessions. You will give a 10-minute formal presentation on your proposal in class. Your peers will provide feedback on your proposed research following the presentation. At the end of class, your final thesis proposal will include a Title, Introduction, Research Question/Hypothesis (or Creative Project), Materials and Methods (Methodology), Expected Results derived from your preliminary literature review, Conclusions, and Bibliography/References. You are graded as S/F in this course.


HONORS 398.3
Honors Thesis Proposal Seminar
Instructor: Annie Lampman

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student; sophomore standing.

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.


HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 205.8*  +
Meetings: T, TH, 1:30-2:45pm
Instructor: Mary Kay Patton

Prerequisite: Must be a current Honors student

Life Skills and Communication: Creating a rich, full and meaningful life
Why study communication and life skills? We all have hopes and dreams, goals and aspirations, values and visions. HD205 is designed to support you in moving in your desired direction and creating a life that is rich, full and meaningful. When employers are asked what they are looking for in new university graduates, an overwhelming majority vocalize the importance of skills that cut across disciplines, such as flexibility in response to change, conflict management, self-awareness, self-management, and effective communication. In this course, we will work together to gain the skills necessary to successfully navigate a college career, build long lasting relationships, and create clarity about what is important for you.

Course Overview: HD205 is an interpersonal communication course that uses engagement and reflection to enhance your ability to communicate effectively with others. Through activities designed to enhance self-awareness and self-management, we will explore who you are and how you want to be both personally and professionally. This highly interactive course utilizes a workshop format where students practice communication in an active learning model. We’ll meet twice a week with the collective group in an interactive synchronous Zoom setting. You will also be meeting with a smaller cohort of your peers in a weekly lab session. The labs will be offered at a time that works with your schedule and will be set up during the first week of class.

*This course qualifies as credit for the MESI Certificate.
This course satisfies the Honors 270 requirement.

+ Please complete our online form to request enrollment into restricted courses, H_D 201, HONORS 300-level courses for which you have exception credit for the prerequisite course.

Required Course Text:
The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris


ENGL 298
Writing and Research Honors

Multiple Sections, see courses at schedules.wsu.edu


ENGL 298.4
Writing and Research Honors
Meetings: Tu,Th 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Instructor: Debbie Lee

Your Idea, Your Voice, Your Style: Writing for College and Life
As writers, we have many voices. Our voices and styles change as we do, evolving or devolving across situations and lifetimes. In this course, you’ll choose a topic that you’re personally and intellectually passionate about and use that topic to engage different audiences for different purposes. You’ll try on different voices and practice a variety of styles from journaling, social media writing, personal essays, podcasts, and artistic forms to narration, reflection, analysis, comparison, argumentation, and research writing. The course will cover those styles you’re likely to encounter in your college career while highlighting the value of writing and creating beyond your university experience. You’ll leave the course knowing which voices and styles work best for you and why, keeping in mind what writer Elena Poniatowska said: “One does not develop a style. One develops oneself.” Class readings will be grouped thematically and provide examples and prompts. The class is divided into three segments: 1) a personal writing project; 2) a research paper; and 3) a creative project.

Required Course Text:
All materials and readings will be supplied by the instructor as handouts.


ENGL 298.8
Writing and Research Honors
Meetings: M,W,F 12:10PM-1:00PM
Instructor: Lauren Westerfield

Information and Identity
In the introduction to her best-selling 2019 essay collection, Trick Mirror, writer Jia Tolentino states, “A well-practiced, conclusive narrative is usually a dubious one.” Uncertainty and curiosity are essential to effective research, and personal engagement is often what makes that research come to life—transforms it from a list of facts and data into a compelling story of discovery.

But how personal is too personal? And when does subjectivity threaten to obscure the power of argumentation and research? Today’s internet-driven, digitally performative social landscape frequently converts identity into a commodity—which, in turn, prompts many of us to fictionalize that identity, to self-optimize for an audience. At best, the integration of personal narrative, identity, and research makes for passionate and inquisitive analysis, innovative experimentation, and empathic audience engagement. But there is a fine line between the richness individual perspectives lend to exploratory writing and the risk of self-involved, solipsistic tunnel vision and performativity.

Throughout this course, we will explore the intersection of identity, information, contemporary culture and the internet. By reading Tolentino and other writers of creative, narrative, and reportage-based nonfiction, we will learn to separate opinion from critical analysis and negotiate the role of the personal within the realm of research and rhetorical intent.

“It didn’t’ matter that I didn’t always know what I was walking toward,” Tolentino explains. “It was worthwhile, I told myself, just trying to see clearly.” Coupled with textbook author Sonya Huber’s dictum that “…curiosity is a skill or a muscle, rather than an elusive substance that either exists or does not exist in one’s mind,” we will engage in contemplation as a tool for “cultivating an inner technology of knowing” and, to paraphrase Huber, examine the “contents of your thoughts” as a means by which to connect with the world.

Required Course Text:
The “Backwards” Research Guid for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration. Sonya Huber. ISBN#978184553442-4
Additional text assignments TBA


ENGL 298.9
Writing and Research Honors
Meetings: M,W,F 1:10PM-2:00PM
Instructor: Lauren Westerfield

Information and Identity
In the introduction to her best-selling 2019 essay collection, Trick Mirror, writer Jia Tolentino states, “A well-practiced, conclusive narrative is usually a dubious one.” Uncertainty and curiosity are essential to effective research, and personal engagement is often what makes that research come to life—transforms it from a list of facts and data into a compelling story of discovery.

But how personal is too personal? And when does subjectivity threaten to obscure the power of argumentation and research? Today’s internet-driven, digitally performative social landscape frequently converts identity into a commodity—which, in turn, prompts many of us to fictionalize that identity, to self-optimize for an audience. At best, the integration of personal narrative, identity, and research makes for passionate and inquisitive analysis, innovative experimentation, and empathic audience engagement. But there is a fine line between the richness individual perspectives lend to exploratory writing and the risk of self-involved, solipsistic tunnel vision and performativity.

Throughout this course, we will explore the intersection of identity, information, contemporary culture and the internet. By reading Tolentino and other writers of creative, narrative, and reportage-based nonfiction, we will learn to separate opinion from critical analysis and negotiate the role of the personal within the realm of research and rhetorical intent.

“It didn’t’ matter that I didn’t always know what I was walking toward,” Tolentino explains. “It was worthwhile, I told myself, just trying to see clearly.” Coupled with textbook author Sonya Huber’s dictum that “…curiosity is a skill or a muscle, rather than an elusive substance that either exists or does not exist in one’s mind,” we will engage in contemplation as a tool for “cultivating an inner technology of knowing” and, to paraphrase Huber, examine the “contents of your thoughts” as a means by which to connect with the world.

Required Course Text:
The “Backwards” Research Guid for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration. Sonya Huber. ISBN#978184553442-4
Additional text assignments TBA


ENGL 298.11
Writing and Research Honors
Meetings: T,Th 9:10AM-10:25AM
Instructor: Peter Chilson

Facts do Matter: A Course on Research and Writing
Course Philosophy

John Adams, a leader of the American Revolution who became the second president of the United States, once said: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” Adams spoke those words while serving as defense counsel for British soldiers accused of murder in the “Boston Massacre,” an incident that occurred in 1770, when the soldiers fired on an angry mob of American colonists. Three colonists died on the scene. Two died of their wounds later. Adams’s quote has a complex history which I encourage you to check for yourselves. The words remain important to the purpose of this class.

The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language—arguably the most authoritative source on the meanings of words in English—defines a fact as “A thing that is known or proved to be true.” This definition is something to remember as you are now enrolled in a course about writing and research, focused on how to produce good, clear persuasive writing supported by evidence. What you learn here connects not only to your academic careers, but also to your lives beyond the university. Reliable, accurate, true information is the foundation of any institution, large or small, in science, government, business, and the arts. Citizens must be able to read critically and tell the difference between fact and fiction in order to make sound decisions in personal and professional life.
This debate over fact—what is true and what is not—is consuming our national conversation regarding COVID-19, issues of race, immigration, climate change, the cost of a university education, the Constitutional right to bear arms, and so many other issues. For this course, you will choose one issue—perhaps one of those listed above or another that interests you more—for each of the three major writing assignments for this course (See page 2 below). For example, for the first paper you may wish to write about climate change and for the second paper about the Second Amendment, and so on. On the other hand, you may wish to follow just one subject through all three major papers. That is your choice.

To prepare for writing the papers, we will read texts critically, asking questions and investigating claims for their accuracy. We will investigate how writers prove their claims on factual grounds as well as where and how they fail to prove their claims. You cannot write well if you don’t read a great deal, and widely. We will read a broad range of writers and scholars and examine a variety of writing and research techniques. These include different narrative methods, ways of developing voice and point of view, and ethical concerns about writing. We will also look at audience and how to write for different readers.

We will discuss how to find and use primary and secondary sources and how to cite them. The best, most persuasive arguments are defined by primary sources first, and then secondary sources. To reinforce this, our reading will be accompanied by in-class discussion, in-class editing and writing exercises, three major writing assignments (5 to 8 pages), and three short (2-pages) research exercises. The third major paper is a 10-15-page final project due at the end of the semester. This work will evolve through research and rough drafts. In-class exercises and discussions will support the three major writing assignments.

You should finish the semester with a sharp sense of how to make a clear, well organized argument and support it with facts. You should also have a sharp ability to read critically. These abilities go hand in hand with developing a powerful understanding for how language works, as well as the research skills for finding and verifying factual information. Your research journey begins with good, clear critical thinking skills that help you see where a piece of writing succeeds and fails. This means we want you to develop your skeptical side and to ask hard questions of any argument presented to you. You should leave here a clear, crisp writer of well-organized prose.

Peter Chilson’s email: pchilson@wsu.edu. The professor welcomes questions

Required Course Text:
–On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
–Course Reader, TBA. In Fall 2020 we read BORN A CRIME, the memoire by Trevor Noah.
–Optional Text: The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White. This is available at The Bookie, but cheaper used copies (literally for only a couple of bucks) are available virtually everywhere. Try Brused Books in Pullman or buying a copy online. Or—please use any other grammar guide that you prefer.
*The Instructor will hand out supplemental readings.


Current and Previous Semesters

Information about courses from previous semesters is also available: 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.