Honors News Archive

News in Brief

Gettin' Social with Honors

Jun 9, 2015

Spring Quarter was so incredibly packed with events, we can't mention them all in one sitting. Here are a few highlights showcasing the wonderful personalities in the Honors community.

Punch & Poetry

Honors was delighted to host an informal Spring Faculty Gathering on May 11, welcoming new faculty to the Program and celebrating those who have already made Honors a rare and wonderful experience for generations of students. The agenda was simple: enjoy yourself and connect with your peers.

As Professor Clare Bright put it: "the sense of community fostered by the Honors Program is one of the best reasons to be part of it. I’m not only here for the brownies."

Vicky Lawson, Danielle Minji Jung and Megan Brewer at the spring 2015 faculty reception
Student Poets Megan Brewer and Danielle Minji Jung with Honors Director Vicky Lawson

For many, the highlight of the event was a poetry reading by Honors students Danielle Minji Jung and Megan Brewer. Both poets presented beautiful, vulnerable work to a spellbound audience. Brewer's poem, building on her experience and strength as a slam poet, also drew on work done in Frances McCue's spring Honors course, "The Triggering Town."  Dr Arthur Ginsberg, instructor of the Honors seminar "The Healing Power of Poetry," noted Jung's impact in a poem of his own:

"And it was at that age, poetry arrived in search of me…"*
Kudos to my student Danielle Minji Jung who, by heart, recited profound and
deeply moving words
about her grandmother, that brought tears.

* Pablo Neruda, from "Poetry" (1964)

When the Statistics Don't Tell the Story: Encouragement at the Spring Honors Hearth

Vicky Lawson and Bob Stacey at the April 2015 Honors Hearth
Director Vicky Lawson and College of Arts & Sciences Dean Bob Stacey at the Spring 2015 Honors Hearth

Earlier this quarter faculty mingled with current (and incoming) students, parents, and alumni of the Honors Program at our second Honors Hearth, hosted at Haggett Hall in collaboration with HSAP. Vicky Lawson, Director of the Honors Program and professor of Geography, and Bob Stacey, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of History, opened up about their personal journeys through life; delved into the importance of the liberal arts; and led a brief discussion on some of the hard issues facing us today. A number of guests wished aloud that the conversation could keep going, there was so much to consider. 

Stacey, a longtime advocate for interdisciplinary study as integral to undergraduate education, told the story of his own career and commiserated with students regarding their fears about the kinds of work they will find in the future. "You are the most tested, measured, and metrified generation in the history of the world," Stacey told them. He went on, "[yet] so much of what matters most can’t be subjected to measuring."

Bob Stacey at the April 2015 Honors Hearth

Lawson echoed his encouragement, noting that obtaining your undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and doing so with Honors makes for a geniune leg up in a wide variety of fields. And that's just the credentials. Most importantly, Lawson urged students to notice the deeper value of thier education, not just the degree but the critical thinking skills and memories they will carry throughout life. She proposed they focus more on what is joyful about the experience of being a student at UW and try not to overthink their future paths, which are sure to be full of surprises. When asked what she would say to younger self, Lawson answered, "I would go back and tell myself to speak up, and to be braver. I would have been easier on myself and not tried so hard to be perfect."

Preston Went, incoming freshman, April 2015 Honors Hearth
Ken and Preston Went ('19) at the Honors Hearth

Incoming Honors freshman Preston Went attended with his father, Ken, who remarked, "The environment you have created is precisely the type of collaborative, supportive, global learning environment Preston is seeking. One of his great strengths has always been his ability to weave information across disciplines, and to discover that this is encouraged [within your program] is very exciting for him!"

With all this and more, the evening was a lovely reminder of the importance of mentorship, conversation, and thoughtful reflection not only in our undergraduate experience, but also in our broader lives.

Honors Alumni Meetup: the Golden Gate Connection

Honors alumni in the Bay Area met for the first time this quarter in a small think-tank session at the home of program alum Bruce Fisher ('66). There are several hundred Honors graduates in or near San Francisco, many of whom have expressed a deep interest in connecting with one another. The small, informal committee came from a variety of disciplines and eras and considered opportunities to connect other UW Honors graduates.

Rick and Lynn Freeman, Honors graduates from '67, are coordinating an early autumn family-friendly picnic, and Madeleine McKenna ('11), a member of the Honors Advisory Board, is organizing an Honors tailgate posse for the Huskies v. Cardinals game at Stanford on October 22. That's just the beginning for our Northern California cohort. 

Want to be invited to regional events and get connected to other Honors Huskies in the Bay Area? Join the regional listserv and introduce yourself today!

What’s Next?

SAVE THE DATE for the Honors Program's upcoming all-community event: Global Challenges: Interdisciplinary Answers at the HUB on November 3, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Join us for a conversation between three dynamic UW faculty exploring the intersections of global health and poverty through an interdisciplinary lens where we reimagine our own responsible lives.

More details coming soon. Mark your calendars now for this memorable event you will not want to miss!