To earn this 15-credit certificate, students will participate in classes examining how to engage successfully in today’s world from multiple disciplinary angles including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. They will participate in workshops, retreats, and local and global Compassion in Action service learning activities. Leaders in business and industry, as well as community leaders and researchers in the field, will engage with our MESI cohort to discuss the value of emotional and social intelligence, the ability to be fully present, and the importance of community engagement in their own work and life. Students may pursue an original research project related to the MESI certificate for their Honors thesis.
WSU Honors College Student
Student-athelete, WSU Cross Country and Track
By applying concepts I learned in Honors 280 – The Good Life, I can definitively say I’ve become a happier person. Being happy for myself has enabled me to be the person I want to be for others. I’ve become a better teammate, a better tutor, a better friend, and a better leader.
- Honors Classes in Social Sciences, Humanities, Natural Sciences with a MESI focus (9-10 credits)
Currently taught, or in development: HONORS 280 The Good Life (Shier); HONORS 290 The Science of Leading a Richer Life (Gerber); HONORS 390 the Practice, Science and History of Mindfulness (Gerber); this list will be expanded.
- Community Engagement “Compassion in Action” (3 credits)
Examples: Service trips to foreign countries, local community service opportunities with the Center for Civic Engagement.
- Workshops / Retreats (2-3 credits)
Experts in MESI Research and Practice (including Honors alumni and friends), along with WSU faculty, challenge students to deepen their understanding of the evolving research on MESI, and inspire students by sharing their own experiences of practicing Compassion in Action in professional settings and in their personal lives.
- Student Capstone Project / Honors Thesis (optional)
Incorporate a MESI focus or component in the Honors thesis or capstone course in the major.
- Continued Self-Reflection
This can take the form of journaling and reflection papers and will be a shared characteristic for all components of the MESI certificate.
Sample of Course Descriptions
Life’s MESI: Compassionate Leadership
Life is messy! So, our goal for this course is to leave students with practical tools to respond to their life and leadership challenges more wisely and compassionately. In the course of the semester, students will engage with different practices meant to help prepare them for Compassionate Leadership. Students will collaborate on a small-scale project helping to make our WSU Pullman campus a more compassionate campus. 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 in the Honors College, and Director, Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence.
Creative Writing: Memoir and Creative Nonfiction
Taught by Annie Lampman
In this creative writing course we will examine the role of memoir and personal narrative in shaping and defining how we see and experience the world. Through readings and analysis, classroom discussion, and a variety of in-class writing exercises and essay/memoir writing work, 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?
Introduction to the Literature and Language of Ancient Greece
Taught by Robin Bond
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.