Honors News Archive

News in Brief

Under the Umbrella

Dec 4, 2014

It is with real pleasure that we share our news from the fall quarter of 2014. What a whirlwind it has been. Before the quarter started, UW Honors staff led students from around the country on educational adventures in Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks, while our Partners in the Parks scholarship recipient, Ben Lennon explored gifts offered by the wilderness of Glacier National Park. Our summer study-abroad programs were a wonderful mix of students and professors from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

With the addition of Allison Stephens as Counseling Services Coordinator and Carey Christie as Alumni Relations and Communications Specialist we have increased our capacity to serve the community, including fresh ways to connect with the fabulous graduates of our program. Lucky thing, too, since this year we have seen a record number of first-year applicants into the Honors Program, up 16% from last year. Honors Office will close each Friday throughout the winter quarter to read the applications of aspiring Honors students. It's great that so many incoming Freshmen can imagine the benefits of interdisciplinary learning, some of which are illustrated in this issue’s alumni interview with Justin Brown '14.

Victoria Lawson's appointment as the new Director of Honors has brought exciting opportunities to raise the bar and engage our students and faculty in ever more diverse modes of inquiry and experience-based learning. Vicky is also a UW professor of geography and co-founder of the Relational Poverty Network (RPN): a broad experiment bringing sciences and humanities together to build alternative understandings of impoverishment and forge social alliances to address poverty and inequality. The RPN conference, held on campus in October, was a successful merging of many disciplines focused on solving big world problems and several Honors students helped to present that experience. RPN co-founder and UW geography professor Sarah Elwood and Vicky later co-facilitated an engaging Honors Community Workshop where faculty met with students, staff, and alumni to explore what makes our curriculum special, with an emphasis on our experiential learning models.

Honors Writer-in-Residence Frances McCue published a wonderful volume of biographical sketches featuring the photography of Mary Randlett in conjunction with a show on display at Odegaard through January 20. Frances plans to join Honors Excellence in Teaching award recipient Jon Herron in an original event next quarter.

Associate Director, Julie Villegas returned from her Fulbright International Administrators Fellowship in Japan and continues expanding opportunities to study abroad with Honors. Members of the Honors community have also made group forays to arts events on and off campus, contributed to conversations about civil rights and social justice, and participated in the opening of Ann Hamilton’s current exhibit at The Henry.

We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events next quarter. Thank you for making us proud to be…

The University of Washington Honors Program.

Upcoming Events

Frances McCue and Mary Randlett Portraits exhibition

Help Honors continue to develop innovative programs, student opportunities, and community resources. Make a tax-deductible gift to the Friends of Honors Fund:

Contribute to Honors

Where can I mail a check to support UW Honors?

The University of Washington Foundation
Box 359505, Seattle, WA 98195-9505

Make your check payable to the University of Washington Foundation and indicate that your gift is meant to support Friends of Honors.

Honors statistics graphic
Julie Villegas photo

Faculty Wins Fulbright Grant: Sweeps through Higher Educational Models in Japan

The Honors Program is proud to share that long-time Associate Director and International Programs Lead, Julie Villegas, won a prestigious Fulbright International Administrators Fellowship and attended corresponding two-week program in June. The Fulbright Fellowship brought select U.S. international education professionals and senior higher education officials to various institutions throughout Japan to foster a deeper understanding of Japanese higher education systems while developing important relationships between international colleagues. Read more »

Justin Brown, Honors Alumni '14

Alumni Spotlight: Special Relativity with Justin Brown, '14

Justin Brown earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering with Interdisciplinary Honors last spring. Since then, he’s been working as a mechanical engineer for Janicki Industries, specifically on a project for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “tackling some of the global sanitation problems that plague much of the developing world.” We interviewed the recent graduate after he spok at our recent community workshop. Read more »

Ben Lennon's Partners in the Parks Experience

In a normal setting, any talk that begins with “Now, let’s talk about how to be happy while you might in fact be miserable” is not the precursor to a fun outing. The phrase generally conjures a negative image of the activity to come and may contribute to you actually being more miserable in the coming moments then you might otherwise be.

This, however, was not a normal setting. Read more »

Ben Lennon - Partners in the Parks 2014
Honors group at All The Way

Gettin' Social with Honors - by Hunter Sapienza, '17

In addition to an incredibly diverse range of academic opportunities, the interdisciplinary Honors Program hosts many awesome social events where current students can mingle with peers, staff and faculty, as well as influential and inspiring individuals from across the University and the Seattle area. I've been fortunate enough to participate in several of these opportunities, ranging from a research program in Olympic National Park to an evening play at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Read more »