Fall 2022 Alumni Newsletter

Fall 2022


Greetings Honors Alumni,

We hope this newsletter finds you well. This quarter, we'd like to extend an invitation to reconnect with us and share how you're doing. Even if it's just a quick 'Hello!' email, we'd love to hear about your current adventures.

Additionally, there has been chatter about alumni wanting to connect with each other and current Honors students. Given that we typically only host one alumni event associated with Whatcom READS, we'd love to hear more of your thoughts.

If you are so inclined, please fill out the below survey to indicate what type of alumni participation YOU would like to see in the future. Better yet, if you would like to help organize alumni events, our contacts at the Alumni Foundation are here to help!

[Survey no longer available]

2022-23 Honors Cohort

WWU's Honors College received a record number of admissions applications (count: 1,089) for Fall 2022 and yielded 244 students, which is the largest first-year cohort in program history. Some first-year cohort stats for those interested:

  • 42% non-resident students (20 states represented)
  • 8% first-generation students
  • 26% identify as students of color

The Honors Peer Mentor program has continued to support this growth by connecting with incoming Honors students from underserved backgrounds and facilitating partnerships with cross-campus allies. We're excited to see where this year takes us!

Meet the 2022-23 Mentor Lead, Jay Robles

Black and white portrait of Jay wearing a fringe jacket

Jay (he/they) is a Sociology and comparative cultural studies student who takes an interdisciplinary approach to their studies, research, and advocacy. As a disabled trans multiracial Indigenous student, intersectionality, multiplicity, and community are core to his practice and being. After graduating this upcoming spring, Jay will continue on to law school to study race and social justice law and earn a graduate degree in Indigenous studies.

After spending 2021-22 as an Honors peer mentor, he is back to lead the program this year! Jay spends most of their time connecting with students, staff, and faculty across campus to work on complex student issues. Through all of his work on-campus, he hopes to bring more energy, attention, resources, and community to underserved students, especially those with intersecting identities. In their free time, Jay likes going on walks, binge-watching K-dramas, and playing Fortnite.

2022 Honors Abroad - Ecuador

Students sit in on couches around a table, chatting with Dr. Carbajal
Students get ready to board the bus to a trailhead in the small town of Cotacachi north of Quito.

The Honors Ecuador program is distinctive in its interdisciplinary structure: the Faculty-led Global Learning Program is led by two faculty members who teach two very different topics. Senior Instructor Amy Carbajal from Modern & Classical Languages teaches the language, humanities, and cultural immersion half of the course, while Honors College Director and Geology Professor Scott Linneman teaches the geology half.

Linneman and Carbajal were joined by Biology Professor Deb Donovan (along with her husband, Political Science Professor Todd Donovan, who tagged along on his own dime), who would dig into the marine science component of the trip once they got to the Galápagos. Learn more about their 19 life-changing days in Ecuador with WWU’s Honors College.

Traveling by river is often the easiest way to get from place to place on the Amazon.

Fall Senior Capstone Presentations

Mark your calendar for Fall Quarter Senior Capstone presentations! Scheduled from Friday, December 2 to Wednesday, December 7, you won't want to miss these incredible presentations. To arrange attendance at any presentation, please email Honors@wwu.edu to request the Zoom link. All times listed are in Pacific Time.

Here's a sneak peek of some of our upcoming presentations:

A poster advertising an honors capstone project by Leah Berkowitz titled: Why art and design matters: an exploration of the long history of art and design within China, and how a nation's history can show the world the importance of art education. Presentation is Thursday at 2PM, in Old Main 330C and on Zoom. Advised by Paula Airth. For disability accommodations, please email honors@wwu.edu.
A green background with an image of yellow steps with a person running up them. Images of money, a school, and a scale in the background. Text stating “The Myth of Meritocracy” “An analysis of demographic and attitudinal factors explaining the belief that success is determined fully by ability, as well as the harm associated with this belief” “Presented by Kaley Burg Advised by Dr. Cameron Whitley” “December 2nd at 3:00 PM OM330C or Zoom” “For disability accommodations please email honors@wwu.edu”
 The Cross and the Coat Hanger: The Catholic Church, the Pro-Choice Movement, and the Women Caught Between. Presented by Claire Elizabeth Brady. Senior capstone project advised by Dr. Peter Pihos. December 7, 2022 at 3:00 PM. OM 330C and on Zoom. For disability accommodations, please e-mail honors@wwu.edu.
A poster with a portrayal of Mars' surface. The text reads "your invitation to touch down on Mars. Notes from Mars: A Field Guide to Jezero Crater. Project Creator: Lee Adair. Project advisor: Dr. Melissa Rice. Landing: December 6th, 2022, at 2:00 pm in OM330C, or online using Zoom. For disability Accommodations please email honors@wwu.edu."