Honors News Archive

News in Brief

What's next? Stay engaged in Global Challenges through UW Honors

Nov 20, 2017
Students talking before GCIA 2017
Honors students show up for Global Challenges each year because it is their event.* 

Students in last year's incoming Honors class asked us to build a program investigating the rise of nationalism around the world, political polarization, and fear of "fake news" spread mainly through social media. Those concerns prompted us to invite speakers Kate Starbird (Human-Centered Design and Engineering), Randy Engstrom (Seattle Office of Arts & Culture), and Resat Kasaba (Jackson School of International Studies) into a series of conversations about civic discord, culminating in our large Global Challenges event.

The big event is hardly your last chance to engage in thinking together about complex problems. Honors students come from every discipline on campus and think critically together about issues extending far beyond the boundaries of their individual majors. The Program's adaptive interdisciplinary curriculum engages multiple perspectives while fulfilling undergraduate General Education requirements. Experiential learning, research, and reflective writing requirements present valuable opportunities to get off campus and beyond your comfort zone. 

If you're a student, here are just a few ways to work global challenges into your undergraduate planning:


Ask your Honors advisor about Ad Hoc options to expand your options even further, as Lauren Mittleman did last year using HON 499 to help her create The Vulerability Collective


Study abroad with Honors! This summer, explore different cultures through interdisciplinary partnerships in Amsterdam, Rome, Tokyo, Ecuador, or Peru! We've also got a series of excellent Field Studies courses (aka domestic programs similar to study abroad) lined up for spring and summer quarters. 


We also encourage you to check out Honors courses associated with global challenges topics, past and present. Here are just a few:

Winter 2018

Sea-Level Rise: state of science and societal implications (Michelle Koutnik, College of the Environment)

The Record of Us All (Joe Janes, Informatics)

Grand Challenges for Entrepeneurs (Emily Pahnke, Business)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Clarence Spigner, Health Services)

Climate Change: an interdisciplinary Perspective: Science, Art, and Activism (Robert Pavia, College of the Environment)

Citizenship Acts to Challenge Poverty (Vicky Lawson, Geography/Honors) CLASS ALREADY AT CAPACITY

Spring 2018

Public Health in Action (Kaspryzk and Montano, Global Health)

Understanding and Combating Human Trafficking (Foote, Communications)

Community Music (Berrios-Miranda, Music)

Writing People, Writing Culture: Ethnography as a Way of Knowing (Oppenheim, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies)

Healing the wounds of war: VA's vision for healing and reintegration through culture transformation in health care (Kozak, Nursing).

Stay tuned for messages from Honors about more opportunities and check on RSOs, ask friends, and use your own brain to get out there and do what matters most!

*photo by Kirsten Atik