Fall 2023 Newsletter

Fall 2023

12/6/2023

As the leaves fall and the air turns crisp, it's time to reconnect and share some highlights from our incredible Honors community. In this fall newsletter, we're excited to share about recent study abroad trips and invite you to join the upcoming Senior Capstone Presentations. So, grab a cup of something warm and catch up on the Honors College at Western.

Honors Abroad

Croatia - September 2023

 A group photo of Honors students in Split, Croatia next to a large red sculpture of the town's name.

Thirteen Honors students went to Croatia as part of their coursework for Honors 105 and Honors 337. Croatia is a southeastern European small country now a part of the European Union but achieved its independence through the 1990s war. Students did readings over the summer to understand the history, culture, and learn about Croatia in the Balkans. Then in September, to avoid heat and the intensity of the high tourist season, the group met in the capital city of Zagreb, traveling then to the coastal cities of Zadar, Split, and Dubrovnik – with faculty lead Dr. Arna Elezovic and Honors Director Scott Linneman, and our Croatian guide, Goran Jokić. This was a group in motion by coach, ferry, and arrangements made by the travel support company Academic Experiences Abroad.

Zagreb is a city that has both central European and medieval influences. Our time there included guided walking tours, traditional lunches, and visits to museums especially the quirky and wonderful Museum of Broken Relationships. The group also went to a town called Varaždin and the Medieval Trakošćan Castle in north Croatia, visiting inventor Nikola Tesla’s residence.

Group photo in front of a waterfall in Plitvice Lakes National Park

After leaving the capital city, and en route to the coast, we visited Croatia’s most famous national park, called Plitvice which has 16 waterfalls and crystalline water, spending most of the day walking along the paths. In Zadar, the first of the Dalmatian coastal cities, we visited the modern art installation called Zadar Sea Organ (music created by waves). A highlight was a day trip near Zadar to the semi-barren island of Pag, which included a tour of a family-owned cheese-making factor and lace-making tradition.

Then we traveled down the coast, spending several days in Split, the largest coastal city with ancient Roman beginnings. We visited another family estate, made bread, and experienced olive oil tasting. Two excursions introduced everyone to island life: a stone masonry school on the island of Brač and then the next day to the island of Hvar. Even sitting in the warm Adriatic water on a hot day cannot be beat – even for the dogs.

We saw ancient salt works along the way to Dubrovnik, the famous walled city favored by movies and TVs shows, which also has Europe’s oldest pharmacy, and many of us ate too much gelato. We took a cable car up to the hill and excursions to the nearby Elafiti islands, where we all went swimming one last magical time. From Dubrovnik, we flew back to Zagreb, and then home.

Greece - October 2023

A group photo of Honors students at the Temple of Aphaia on the island Aegina.

The Honors College debuted a new iteration of our study abroad to Greece this fall, led by Drs. Scott Linneman and Tristan Goldman, supported by our communications lead, Hannah Saleeb. The Greece program had to undergo a complete redesign for this academic year due to changes in Federal guidelines, which had us initially thinking we might not be able to offer the opportunity at all. But, fortunately for us, we had Dr. Linneman for this final year, and he was able to dream up what turned out to be a great program for twenty-four of our students. This year the Honors College offered our incoming first-year students an entire suite of courses for the quarter, which included their mandatory, introductory Honors courses, an Honors Colloquium in Geology, as well as an Honors Colloquium in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, but in a package that made traveling to Greece for two weeks during the term possible. It is certainly a program that we are excited to run again this coming fall, and we are already in the process of exploring ways to make the experience even better.

But this year's students certainly had a wonderful experience in their own right. With the logistical support of the Athens Centre in Athens, Greece, our program explored the most famous sites within Athens, but we also made our way out to central Greece and spent the night in Delphi, visiting the famous sanctuary of Apollo. In addition, we completed a four-day, three-night circuit of southern Greece, which included the sites of Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplion, Sparta, Pylos, and ancient Olympia. 

Throughout our time at both the sites and the various museums, both a local docent and Dr. Goldman ensured that the students received detailed accounts of the historical and cultural significance of what we were taking in, while Dr. Linneman offered lessons elucidating the unique local geology of the Greek peninsula. Upon our return, Drs. Linneman and Goldman have had the opportunity to continue to work with the students in and of the classroom from our home in Old Main. The manner in which this particular iteration of the program offers up the chance to synthesize as much time in the classroom with as much time abroad as it does is something that the Honors College looks forward to building on in the future.

Dr. Linneman pointing out geological features from the top of Acrocorinth

Looking at geological features from the top of Acrocorinth

Honors students Taylor, Zoe, Grace, and Anna smiling at the site of Delphi

Honors students Taylor, Zoe, Grace, and Anna smiling at the site of Delphi

Fall Senior Capstone Presentations

Mark your calendar for Fall Quarter Senior Capstone presentations! Scheduled from Thursday, December 7 to Wednesday, December 13, we have 22 incredible presentations. Fall presentations will be in person in Old Main 330 classrooms with a Zoom option. To arrange your virtual attendance at any presentation, please email Honors@wwu.edu to request the Zoom link. All times listed are in Pacific Time.

Value Beyond Borders: Examining the Effects of Global Owners on FDI and Sanctions Intensity.
Text reads “Joy at the End of the World, a picture book by Faith Giboney, December 7th 12:00 pm Old Main 330C, advised by Sylvia Tag, for disability accommodations please email honors@wwu.edu”. In the center of the poster are four identical, glaring unicorns in the pop art style. Clockwise from the upper left hand corner: a purple unicorn against a pink background, a pink unicorn against a blue background, an orange unicorn against a red background, and a red unicorn against a yellow background.
White background with four multicolored, handwoven ribbons. One of the ribbons has the title woven into it: "Verb Strings and Other Weavings."  Text reads "An exploration of grammatical strucutres, visual arts, and language teaching. Presented by Mae Bash. Advised by Paul Mart. Monday, December 11 at 1:00PM in Old Main 330C. For disability accommodations please email honors@wwu.edu."
A green poster that is darker on the border and lighter towards the center. An image of a pixelated campfire is in the center with an orange circle around it. Images of pixelated trees, shrubs and a tent surround the campfire. Text reads "By the Campfire. how representation in video games can be improved. Presented by Hunter Smith. Advised by Dr. Melissa Osborne. December 12th, 1:00pm. OM 330A and Zoom. For disability accommodations please email honors@wwu.edu”