Honors By Contract Examples

Examples of past applications

Below are examples of well-created past applications for Ad Hoc Honors and Honors 499 applications. Notice how these examples show complete and thoughtful effort in addressing each prompt. These examples are not meant to be used as a template for your own application.

Ad Hoc Examples

How do Fish Hear?

Student Name: Samantha-Lynn Martinez

Associated Course: FISH 311

Read the Application

Quarter/Year: Autumn 2022

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

The standard coursework for this class involves regularly occurring and pre-determined assignments/assessments that range from tri-weekly to weekly in frequency. The regularly scheduled assignments include readings (which are to be completed before each lecture three times a week), summary sheets almost every week that consist of an abbreviated graphic/textual summary of course content covered, some weekly canvas quizzes reviewing content learned within the week, and labs. During scheduled lecture time, students work through collaborative group-work problems based on the day’s given subject or topic, allowing for discussion-based learning to clear up any uncertainties on the content in real time. As for assessments and projects, there are two primary assessment opportunities consisting of a short-answer midterm in week 5, and a short-answer final at the conclusion of the quarter.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

My Ad Hoc project has three components: video, accompanying reading, and collaborative assignment, all highlighting the subject of how fish hear via various “deep dives” and case study presentations. Below are the details about each component and their roles in the project as a whole.

VIDEO: After a brief overview of the basics of fish hearing anatomy, I will present species that have unique anatomical features related to their hearing, and provide some commentary on these anomalies I’ve run into during my research for this project. The video will be around 12-15 minutes long. Since research is a necessity for the scripting and production of the video and animation/diagram elements, I’ve already garnered a library of 10+ scientific articles and 20+ general resources on my own and from the introductory fish hearing content presented in this course. I anticipate gathering many more as scripting continues and corrections are made.

READING: This project will include my own version of an abridged/summarized study I found on the Melamphaidae family of fishes. This family of deep-water fishes has a vastly different lifestyles to the pelagic/shallow-dwelling species covered in my general overview of hearing anatomy basics, so that niche difference makes them a great option for the accompanying text (will also eventually tie into the collaborative assignment).

COLLABORATIVE ASSIGNMENT: In the description of the video or Canvas module, there will be a google document AND PDF format of the additional collaborative assignment designed around the images and figures from this study of the Melamphaidae. The assignment is meant to take up 35 minutes of collaborative groupwork time during lecture. The assignment will encourage students to draw conclusions and make predictions on Melamphaidae life history based off of the figures from the study provided in the additional reading, overall, around 5 short answer or sketching questions.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

While it’s simple to say that I am as much of a fish nerd as I am an adventure-seeking student, my motivations to do this ad hoc project project surround my love for combining the fish-nerd side of me with the wannabe science communicator in me, AND my special untouched interest of how the senses familiar to humans translate across other organisms. I heard about Luke Tornabene and FISH 311 through my instructor Melissa Frey from the HONORS 397 Burke course about 21st Century Natural History Museums last winter quarter AND from my Marine Biology advisor. Since learning about the course, I knew it was the perfect place and “safe-space” for me to do something that would not only help me with course material, but also allow my creative side to thrive through a sci-comm Ad Hoc project about a subject i adore. I grew up watching Nat Geo and Emily Graslie form the Brain Scoop (by the Field Museum in Chicago) and I dreamt to one day become that presenter and nature-lover package. Luke shares the same wonder and curiosity about the subject of fish biology with me, and I hope to sharpen my communication skills and discover how to develop learning materials for folks around my age (undergraduate level and above). I’ve only had experience teaching material about fish biology to kids much younger than me, so this project gives me the room to explore and practice teaching older and advanced individuals in the subject. While the content level may be slightly more advanced, I hope to keep the comedic, entertaining, and fun side of me alive and well in the development of this project.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

This additional work aligns with the course’s educational goal of providing students a chance to to develop predictions using biological and morphological clues within the grand realm of fish biology, specifically targeting the course learning objective stating: “Explain the relative evolutionary trade-offs of different morphologies and life history strategies fishes display, and how this relates to the environments they inhabit”. Professor Tornabene’s area of expertise focuses on the biodiversity of fishes, taking a special approach by examining the evolutionary relationships that exist in bony fish. With this additional deep dive into the lesser-known sense of hearing for organisms in aquatic environments, this project will allow for yet another layer of dimension for students studying concepts from fish biology.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

Tornabene and I have developed a timeline spanning all the way back to BEFORE the Ad Hoc application deadline and Autumn quarter in general to the final submission of the project. Our plan consists of my preliminary and ongoing research, scheduled email check-ins, draft delivery to Tornabene, and in-person meetings where feedback on my project (primarily the video component) may be exchanged and discussed. Here is summary the extensive timeline we have developed:

9/21 – Initial Meeting with Samantha and Luke – Overview of project proposal
9/22-25 – Luke Provides course content on subject whilst Samantha conducts preliminary research outside of course content
9/27-30 – Luke confirms final calendar and provides any additional comments on project deliverable format

10/6 First draft of project due (general script for video, outline of learning materials)
10/7 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss first draft (Feedback Session, aka FS)

10/7 Samantha submits the Ad Hoc Application to Honors
— We are here!—-

IF APPROVED, CONTINUE! Go through revision process 10/12-10/17 if needed)

10/12-10/20 – Production Period 1

10/20 Second draft of project due (Actual video and complete learning material aids)
10/21 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss second draft (FS 2)

10/21-11/3 Production Period 2

11/3 Third draft of project due
11/4 Luke and Samantha meet to discuss third draft (FS 3)

11/4-12/13 Production Period 3 and Post Production
(Another check-in if needed – to be scheduled during the first week of DEC)

12/14 Samantha emails Luke Final Draft
12/15-17 Luke Completes final Ad Hoc evaluation


Further Exploring Themes of Jewish Literature

Student Name: Anna Feit

Associated Course: NEAR E 310

Read the Application

Quarter/Year

Spring 2023

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

NEAR E 310 meets two hours every Tuesday and Thursday for lectures and discussions of readings. There are weekly readings and weekly discussion posts due on Canvas. Participation in class discussions is also graded. There are three quizzes throughout the quarter, a final essay, and a final class presentation.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

I propose a 10-15 page (double-spaced) prose piece inspired by themes in the Jewish literature we learn about in class accompanied by a 5-10 (double-spaced) page paper discussing and analyzing how the prose piece relates to course content and Jewish literature as a body of work. The paper will use at least three academic sources found outside of class. The prose piece may also be inspired by an in-person Jewish artistic event such as a play or a musical that the professor and I will identify as an appropriate supplementary activity. The goal of this project is to develop my knowledge of Jewish literature and language and work with stylistic and thematic choices that Jewish authors use. Its main focuses will be prayer, languages, translation, and biblical themes.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

I enjoy writing prose and want to become an author, and as a Jewish person, a lot of my work includes writing about my Jewish experience. Thus, when I write, I am joining in a millennia-long tradition of Jewish authors, and through this project, I want to be more intentional with how I do that. This is the second Jewish studies class I have taken at the University of Washington, and I chose literature because literature is my personal favorite way of grappling with what it means to be Jewish, both through writing and reading it. I have taken a few creative writing classes at UW as well, but this will allow me to specialize and enhance the skills I learned by combining both my interest in Jewish studies and creative writing. In my career, I want to use archival studies, digital humanties, and library science to research Jewish culture and history of migration. Jewish literature is one of the genres of media that can contribute to that research, and I want to become more familiar with it as I work on this project.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

I am excited to work with this specific professor, as she has translated Hebrew poems into English and has knowledge of Yiddish as well. I want to learn both of those languages and I am also interested in literary translation for part of my future career, and I think that working with this professor and taking this class is a good way to delve deeper into those interests. Because we will be working with texts from many different languages throughout the class, I want to incorporate some of the tensions and complexity of translation and multilingualism into my prose piece and analysis.
Some of the learning objectives of this course are to learn an overview of Jewish literary history and be able to understand how modern texts interact with historical traditions and texts. By writing my own Jewish literary piece and interacting with a modern live Jewish literary work I gain the opportunity to grapple with Jewish literature in hands-on and personal ways, which will improve my understanding and achievement of course objectives.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

By April 18, identify the third interactive event piece and create an agreement with the instructor on the project structure. By May 1, have an outline and identify any unanswered questions. By May 8, have a first draft of prose done. By May 22, have a second draft of prose done and a first draft of accompanying essay. By June 8, turn in final drafts. We can meet or email about feedback/questions after every deadline, depending on instructor preference. Schedule is open to discussion and tweaks.


3D Printed Mechanical Heart Valve

Student Name: Tom Mikolyuk

Associated UW Course: M E 356

Read the Application

Quarter/Year

Spring 2022

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

M E 356: Machine Design Analysis is a core Mechanical Engineering undergraduate course which covers the basics of machine design and failure analysis using fundamental engineering concepts and practical specifications. Topics include design codes and specifications, mechanics of materials, failure from static or fatigue loading, characteristics of key mechanical elements in machines (e.g., shafts, gears, bearings, etc.), and finite element analysis (FEA). The course meets three days a week for 1-hour lectures and on Friday afternoons for either 1-hour recitations and FEA demonstrations, 3-hour machine dissections and other laboratory activities, or 2-hour non-cumulative exams. Homework on lecture content is assigned and collected weekly.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

Mechanical heart valves are built to replicate the unidirectional blood flow patterns in and out of the heart, and have historically been composed of a high-strength metal leaflet valve with a flexible suture ring. Past designs have been prone to failure and more costly to manufacture, so in recent decades, the focus has shifted to flexible, mass-produced bioprosthetic valves and bespoke 3D-printed biomimetic valves. The goal of this project is to create my own to-scale 3D-printed mechanical heart valve through an exploratory and iterative process, including a market research process acquainting myself with the history of mechanical heart valves, biweekly meetings with Prof. Sniadecki, and at least three rounds of prototyping where improvements are made on computer-aided design models and manufacturing process parameters each time. Resources to be used include, but are not limited to, the class notes and textbook, TA presentations on FEA, patent filings, scientific journals in biomechanics and biomedical engineering, UW College of Engineering remote desktop systems, and on-campus makerspaces.

The final deliverable will consist of not only a physical prototype judged on its cost and quality (to an extent appropriate for an undergrad having his first go at this), but also a comprehensive entry in my portfolio website, tommikolyuk.com (which serves as both my design/engineering portfolio and my Honors portfolio). This portfolio entry will include CAD renderings, generated technical drawings, a manufacturing process plan (with a format similar to ones developed in M E 355), screenshots of FEA results, a short (1-2 min) demonstration video, and concise yet informational descriptions of my choices in research, design, materials, and manufacturing processes tying all of the other content together.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

My professional interests range widely and include mechanical engineering, materials science, manufacturing, industrial design, business management, and psychology of design. I seek a career at the nexus of all of these fields in an industry that creates products which people directly interact with on a daily basis and helps bring forth a more equitable and healthy society. In the past, my desired industry has been consumer technology, but I’ve found a growing interest in medical devices and want to explore and cultivate that interest further. In addition, I worked in Prof. Sniadecki’s research lab in summer/autumn 2021, an experience that helped catalyze my aforementioned growing interest and led to a good professional rapport – I’m really excited to finally be taking a class that he’s teaching and I want to put more effort than my average to make the most of this.

Through this project, I want to get further experience using computer aided design programs, doing finite element analysis on models, and optimizing manufacturing process parameters for 3D-printed parts. I also want to get a better understanding of parts of M E 356 content – fatigue failure from variable loading and the mechanical response/manufacturing of axles and nonpermanent joints – especially in the context of a more democratized manufacturing technique like 3D printing (this was chosen over other methods due to cost) and outside of the contexts of heavy machinery and automotive applications. Finally, the purpose of the portfolio entry component of the deliverable is to practice effective technical communication, something that I think I’ll be doing a lot of in my post-UW life. My strain gauge ad hoc project for Su21 E E 215 worked well to engage me with the ABCs of circuitry, so I’m excited to get more hands-on experience here as well.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

Mechanical heart valves experience variable loading from blood flow and are therefore subject to failure. This means that mechanics of materials, fatigue mechanics, and mechanics at joints/axles are variables in the functioning of mechanical heart valves, the effects of which can be elucidated using approaches taught in the course. Prof. Sniadecki’s areas of expertise include both the cellular and tissue mechanics of the cardiovascular system and microfluidic diagnostic devices used in consumer and research spaces, both of which are (at least tangentially) relevant to the design manufacturing of a mechanical heart valve.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

To facilitate an iterative research and design process, Prof. Sniadecki and I have agreed to meet biweekly on Monday afternoons for 30 minutes on weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 (finals week) of spring quarter. The first meeting occurred on the first day of classes and constituted a project brainstorming session, attempting to align my interests and desires for this project with the course content and existing medical device innovations before I submitted this application on Monday of week 2. Beyond that, I’ve found that I work best in sprints, so I’ve broken up the project timeline into five two-week sections within which Prof. Sniadecki and I can discuss three to four prototyping rounds. These sprints also serve as a way to pace my learning and experimentation over the entire quarter.
Week 3: discuss market research & design proposal
Week 5: discuss first round of prototyping and CAD modeling
Week 7: discuss second round of prototyping and CAD + FEA + mechanical analysis
Week 9: discuss third round of prototyping and CAD + FEA + mechanical analysis + project communication
Week 11 (Finals): review – if Prof. Sniadecki likes the final deliverables here, the project is done. Otherwise, make revisions ASAP.


Stitch, Thread, Hook: A Digital Visual Novel Game About Vietnamese Refugees (proposal only)

Student Name: Celestine Le

Associated UW Course: LSJ 329

Read the Application

Quarter/Year

Spring 2023

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

Each week we complete assigned readings, podcasts, and/or videos that explore the meaning of borders, state, and citizenship under a migrational lens. We will use this perspective to understand inequality within the lived experiences of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. During lectures, we will engage in critical discussions about existing migrational theories and compare the experiences of different migratory groups across the world.

After the first few weeks, we will transition into conducting scholarly analyses of three major works: the Netflix series Living Undocumented, Precarious Protections by Chiara Galli, and Unauthorized Love by Jane Lilly Lopez. By engaging with these larger works, the class centers lived experience in our conversation of migration, allowing us to see a holistic and nuanced picture of migration across families and intersecting demographics.

At the end of each week, we will submit a 2-page discussion of the readings that synthesizes theories, concepts, and experiences of migration. We’ll also keep a weekly journal reflecting on our learning. Entries will take the form of illustrations, bullet points, poems, essays, or anything that demonstrates our engagement with the material. For our midterm, we will deliver a recorded presentation and write a 5-page discussion of a chosen reading from a pre-approved list. For our final, we will make an illustration and write a paper that demonstrates our overall learning about what it means to be an immigrant.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

I will be designing a digital visual novel game focused on themes of migration, war, and resilience. The game will be designed through a visual novel engine called Ren’Py, and it will follow a multigenerational, matrilineal narrative of three Vietnamese women in distinct settings: 1940s Vietnam under French occupation, late 1970s Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War, and 2020s U.S. (present). Players will have the opportunity to explore each of their stories, which come together in a cohesive, overarching narrative of the Vietnamese diasporic movement.

The game will be largely dialogue-based, allowing players to click through dialogue paths as they uncover the stories of these three generations of women. Their stories will be contextualized by their gendered experiences in each distinct setting, touching on how language, assimilation, work/education, and safety shape their relationships with each other and their culture.
I will incorporate information from at least five sources, primarily memoirs and articles, that capture first-hand accounts of the Vietnam War/diaspora. I will especially utilize primary sources (such as family members who lived through the Vietnam War or fled from it). These sources will be credited within the project and on a separate bibliography.

There are many outcomes of this project (as I discuss in other sections) but one of the primary goals of this project is to create an engaging, thoughtful, and informative visual narrative. By the end, the player should have an understanding of how colonization and war shaped the migration of Vietnamese people, and they will see how these experiences paved the way for resilience in the Vietnamese diasporic community.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

I am the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants, both of which came to America because of the Vietnam War. This has given me a lifelong passion for immigrant studies, which I aim to center throughout my research career. It has also been a source of strength, as my history has reaffirmed the person I am and how I navigate the world. Pursuing this project allows me to use unique digital tools to engage with my history and communicate that history with others.

The medium I chose plays an important role in this. I value storytelling as an immersive means of sharing knowledge. While there are many ways to tell stories, a visual novel game is a unique storytelling format that combines a dialogue-driven narrative with interactive mechanics. It offers unlimited possibilities for storytelling and reimagines traditional mediums of communication by bringing player engagement to the forefront. In this sense, I can be very creative with the content and structure of the project so that it is both informative and impactful. By the end, I hope that I can grow to be more thoughtful about how I communicate research and form a deeper connection with the generations of migrants that came before me.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

The formal objectives of this course are centered around understanding inequality, the limitations of citizenship, and lived migratory experiences under a comparative migrational lens. My project pushes me to inquire about these very objectives within the context of Vietnamese migration: Why do these characters flee? What do they lose when they become migrants or refugees? How does this shape their interactions with each other? My script will answer these questions and supplement what I learn in the course about the physical, emotional, and structural obstacles migrants face.

Moreover, this course largely emphasizes learning from lived experiences. My project is an opportunity for me to further add on to that: it inherently centers a narrative of lived experiences in the Vietnamese diaspora. It also requires me to prioritize primary sources and firsthand accounts so that I paint an accurate picture of Vietnamese migration. In this way, my project enriches my understanding of the value of lived experience and situates me within the history of migration.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

Every two or three weeks, I will meet my professor during their office hours to ask questions and give brief updates about my project. I will also occasionally use email to ask more immediate questions if needed. Halfway through the quarter, I will deliver a report of my overall progress to verify that I am on track, obtain feedback, and allow room for course correction. By that point, I will have written the script and sketched a prototype of the project, including any game mechanics and differing dialogue paths/endings. For the last few weeks, I will implement my script and prototype design into the visual novel engine. The bulk of this work is mainly coding the script and debugging animations. By week 10, I will deliver my final project to my professor via email as a zip file, which can be downloaded as a game application on Mac/PC.


Application Summary for Coral Reefs: Threats, Management, and Cultural Importance in the Francophonie (proposal only)

Student Name: Dylan Strauss

Associated UW Course: FRENCH 301

Read the Application

Quarter/Year

Spring 2023

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

French 302 (Cultures Of The Francophone World) is designed to enhance French speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The main elements of the course are in-class lessons, a group presentation, an individual research project, conversations with French speakers, short story readings, essays, and quizzes.

In-class lessons. We will cover two main chapters of the “Defi francophone 2” textbook: one focused on work, and the other on the French language. We will learn grammar and develop our vocabulary by watching videos, reading articles, completing activities, and discussing in small groups.

Group presentation. Working in a group of three, we get to choose any topic related to the Francophonie, research it, and create a 12-15 minute presentation to stimulate a class discussion. *Disclaimer: my group will not choose a topic related to my ad hoc project. We plan to pick a francophone scientist and discuss their work.

Individual creative research project. Working individually, we get to choose both a topic and a deliverable that is somehow connected to the Francophonie. We can choose to create posters, poems, essays, stories, reflections, songs… *Disclaimer: I have not yet chosen my presentation topic, but it will not be related to my ad hoc project!

Boomalang conversations. Throughout the quarter, we will schedule three thirty-minute conversations with French speakers on the platform Boomalang. We will discuss questions related to the unit themes with our speakers to become more comfortable expressing ourselves and applying the vocabulary we learn to real conversations. After each conversation, we will write a reflection describing our conversation and considering how it went.

Short stories. We will be assigned five short stories by authors from around the Francophonie. In addition to reading the stories, we have homework questions asking us to research relevant people/topics, describe sections of the story, or explain our opinions. In class, we discuss our answers and also delve into the context behind the stories.

At home essays. We will write two 700-800 word essays in response to questions related to the short stories we read or the unit themes. The essays are opportunities to apply the vocabulary we’ve learned in class while exploring the unit themes in different contexts or from different angles.

In-class quizzes. We will take two in-class quizzes testing us on the grammar and vocabulary we learn from our short stories and our in-class activities.

Course grading: 20% unit quizzes, 20% essays, 10% presentation, 10% final creative project, 15% homework, 15% Boomalang conversations, 10% in-class participation.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

For my ad hoc project, I aim to create a website (completely in French) that describes the biology of coral reefs, unpacks the threats they face, analyzes francophone management strategies, and considers the cultural importance of reefs in francophone nations. I will conduct research both in French and English with the goal of developing a French vocabulary that allows me to discuss the science I’m interested in.

In terms of deliverables, I aim to have at least 5 site pages. Each one would have at least 2 paragraphs synthesizing information from 3+ sources, at least 1 of which would be in French. I plan to draw from a variety of French and English sources, including government sites, scholarly articles, documentaries, and other credible sources. So far, I’ve decided on the theme of four of my pages: biology/overview, threats, management, and cultural importance. However, I wanted to leave the remaining 1+ pages open because there are many additional avenues I may explore. For example, I could contextualize francophone reef management strategies by first exploring the relationship different cultures have with the environment. Since I’m currently dissecting corals in the Padilla-Gamiño lab this quarter, it might also be cool to add a page about the research I’m involved in. Building on that theme, I could also spotlight different coral research projects around the world. I like the format of a website because it lets me add in new topics without disrupting the rigid organization of an essay or video.

Additional details about content I plan to include:
Overview: what corals are, coral diversity, ecological significance, why we care!
Threats: warming, acidification, pollution, fishing
Management: comparing French reef management strategies with other nations’/indigenous approaches, assessing their effectiveness, considering ethical issues that arise
Cultural significance: considering the importance of reefs to local communities on francophone islands

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

I’m excited about my ad hoc project because it represents an opportunity to gain field-specific French language skills while making a connection to my current research. I recently applied for a volunteer position in the Padilla-Gamiño lab, where I will be dissecting coral polyps to look for ingested microplastics. I want to continue learning about corals outside of the lab to gain a deeper understanding of the species I’m working with and why they matter; I feel like this will make my time in the lab feel even more meaningful. At the same time, I’m eager to finally be able to express what I study in French! I realize that my current science-related vocabulary is very much lacking-I would struggle to say “I look at corals under a microscope,” let alone “I dissect coral polyps to determine the rate at which different species ingest microplastics.” I ultimately aim to become fluent enough that I would be able to work/conduct research in a francophone country at some point in my career. I believe my ad hoc project will be a strong step in the right direction.

While my main goal is to develop biology-specific language skills, I’m also curious to explore themes that I don’t normally get to spend as much time with. For example, in researching management of coral reefs, there is a strong connection to policy and equity, neither of which get much attention in many STEM classes. I’m excited for a project where I’m not confined to just the “science” dimension (science doesn’t exist in a vacuum!).

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

As a language class, one of the key goals of French 302 is to become more fluent (specifically, to reach a B1/B2 level on the CEFR scale). Part of the way we achieve this is by studying different cultures, current events, and stories from around the Francophonie. The first day of class, we also came up with goals we wanted to achieve. In addition to improving reading and comprehension skills, two main themes were developing a vocabulary specific to our interests and becoming more confident in our ability to express ourselves.

With a strong connection to my research interests and to culture in the francophone world, I believe that my ad hoc project aligns with these course goals. In the process of researching coral reefs, I will become stronger at understanding scientific articles in French. As I write my site pages, I will get better at expressing myself and applying vocabulary specific to my field. In particular, I will become more comfortable describing content from English articles in French, which is something I struggle with. In studying reef management strategies and the importance of corals to different communities, I will also get to learn about different francophone cultures. Throughout the process, Prof. Meyer can help me understand challenging sources, better articulate my thoughts, and develop a more balanced project. I know from my experience in her class in autumn that her kindness, patience, and attentive feedback will help me learn from my mistakes and become a stronger writer.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

I plan to divide my project up by topic because it will help me to treat this as 5+ sub-projects, rather than 1 enormous project. This will hopefully help prevent it from feeling overwhelming, meaning I can just enjoy the process!

Week 1:
Draft application

Week 2:
Mon (due): project application
Research/notes for overview/biology page

Week 3:
Mon (due): drafted overview/biology page
Mon or Wed (meeting): feedback, questions, etc.
Research/notes for threats page

Week 4:
Mon (due): drafted threats page
Mon (due): revised overview/biology page
Mon or Wed (meeting): feedback, questions, etc.

Week 5:
Mon (due): revised threats page
Research/notes for management page
1+ paragraph reflection on research process so far for honors portfolio

Week 6:
Mon (due): drafted management page
Mon or Wed (meeting): feedback, questions, etc.
Research/notes for cultural significance section

Week 7:
Research/notes for cultural significance section

Week 8:
Mon (due): drafted cultural significance section
Mon or Wed (meeting): feedback, questions, etc.
Research for topic 5 page
Begin designing website

Week 9:
Mon (due): revised cultural significance section
Research for topic 5 page
Continued website development

Week 10:
Mon (due): drafted topic 5 page
Mon or Wed (meeting): feedback, questions, etc.
Continued website development

Week 11:
Tues, Wed, or Thurs (final meeting): final feedback, last questions, etc.
Fri, June 9 (due): final project completed!
1+ paragraph reflection on project as whole for honors portfolio


Ocelot Management and Rehabilitation Poster (proposal only)

Student Name: Olivia Cavaluzzi

Associated UW Course: ESRM 458

Read the Application

Quarter/Year

Winter 2023

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, projects, and activities.

This class is about the human management of endangered, threatened, and sensitive species across terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This class discusses various aspects of species conservation, including institutional, social, political, and biological dimensions. The endangered species act is a focus of the class.
For this class, I will work on individual and group projects for a client, complete oral and written presentations, submit written reports in response to lecture questions, and participate in class discussions. There will be four lecture question sets throughout the quarter that will include citations from the primary literature and course material. The class will culminate in a large group project where we work with an organization to produce a project for them, along with a cover letter, an oral presentation, smaller supplementary projects, and possibly a written report.

Outline your proposed ad hoc Honors Project, be sure to include the main topic, focus, and goal of the project. Please also include details about the deliverable of your project (i.e., if a video, how long will it be? If reviewing resources, how many minimum? how will you find them? etc.)

My proposed ad hoc project will be an informational poster on ocelots for the wildlife rehabilitation nonprofit, Hoja Nueva. Hoja Nueva rehabilitates a variety of animals, but ocelots are a main focus. The organization recently gained notoriety for its documentary “Wildcat” and is in need of more informative graphics for its center. I have been a volunteer/intern for Hoja Nueva for four years and am excited that this project will serve a purpose outside of my own education.
The project will be a poster that I can digitize and send to the organization in Peru so they can print it to hang on the wall. The project will consist of a variety of drawings and carefully chosen information on wildlife rehabilitation, including information that Hoja Nueva is in the process of publishing. I plan for my poster to include at least five small drawings highlighting specific aspects of ocelot behavior and biology. I will base the drawings off of photos taken of the ocelots at the center.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?

After completing this project, I will have a poster that will serve an educational purpose for Hoja Nueva. This is meaningful to me because it won’t only serve a purpose for my degree, but Hoja Nueva will use it for education. I have chosen a poster because it can be digitized and replicated, as getting the original to Peru would not be feasible. I am a firm believer that art and science are very powerful when combined, and should not be kept separated in their different disciplines. Combining factual information with scientifically accurate drawings allows me to combine both of these disciplines in a way I rarely get to do in classes.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course and/or your professors area of expertise?

The course is focused on working with a client to produce a project that is useful to them with a focus on endangered, threatened, or sensitive species. Ocelots are an endangered small cat that ranges through South, Central, and North America, making it a unique species of conservation interest because its range crosses many political borders. My project will enable me to work with another organization outside of the organization my group picks for the class, produce a project Hoja Nueva will use, and explores management elements for an endangered species.

Outline your project schedule. In your schedule be sure to include your plan for in-person meetings, when each component of your project is due (drafts, revisions, preliminary research), when you are hoping to receive feedback, and other relevant steps.

Week 1-2- Submit the application
Week 3- Begin discussing information to include on the poster with Hoja Nueva
Week 4- Meet with Dr. Marzluff to confirm that the information I’m including meets project requirements
-Finalize the layout for the poster, begin sketching the graphics
Weeks 5-9- Draw and ink final poster
– Meet with Dr. Marzluff to receive feedback before finishing the poster
Week 10- Digitize poster and digitally edit it for reproduction
Finals Week- Submit final project


Post-Colonialism Effects on South Asian Countries (proposal only)

Student Name: Hanna Dasgupta

Associated UW Course: ENGL 316

Read the Application

Quarter/Year: Autumn 2017

What is the standard coursework for this class? Include details about assignments, resources, activities and interaction with the instructor.

The class focuses on literature written by Black Britons-immigrants or the children of immigrants from the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa living in the U.K. As part of the plan for the course, we will read novels, short stories, critical essays and screen films in order to better understand notions of home, racial identity and imperialism’s legacy. Through these processes of thought, we hope to unravel the complicated historical and social ramifications of colonialism and imperialism and begin to understand how historical relationships of power, race, and privilege have shaped our contemporary world.

The standard coursework for this class consists of thoroughly reading and analyzing four separate texts related to post-colonialism by way of reflective essays, class discussions and debates, and other projects such as researching current events related to the postcolonial topic. The format of the class is typically a roundtable discussion with the professor guiding the conversation and providing thought-provoking questions and topics for the students to engage with. As such, the structure of the course is heavily geared toward student interaction and participation.

There are four major assignments as part of this course: First Look Epistemology paper, Current Events Analysis, Midterm Project, and Final Project. The First Look Epistemology paper is a Working Paper where students can reflect on how they know what they know about the world, and try to understand their vantage point and position in the world. The Current Events Analysis entails researching news related to postcolonial events and considering the language and the biases that may be present in the structure of these pieces in the media. The Midterm project will be an expansion on the First Look Epistemology paper and the Final project includes a broader question about post-colonial texts and a letter for the future outlining important takeaways from this course.

Besides the papers, the coursework consists of reading four texts including Small Island by Andrea Levy, Lara by B. Evaristo, The Intended by David Dabydeen, and Escape to an Autumn Pavement by Andrew Salkey in addition to other assorted short readings.

Outline your proposed ad hoc project. What is the primary focus of your project? What additional work will you complete and how does it differ from the standard coursework? Include details about assignments, resources, activities and progress toward overall objectives.

For this ad hoc Honors project I will be writing a research paper that will tie in themes and theories from various resources related to post-colonialism effects in South Asian countries like India and Bangladesh. Since our course mainly focuses on postcolonial effects of Black Britons, I would like to expand my learning to better understand the history of countries that am particularly interested in because they are relevant to my life. I am very curious about how the psychological effects of post-colonialism have carried on through my grandparents and my parents how they embody themselves in my own personality.

I will consult with Dr. Anu to locate a few sources that might help contribute to my study of post-colonialism in South Asian countries. Throughout the quarter I will be producing drafts of my paper in steps and meeting with Dr. Anu to develop the paper and explore other facets within the topic that could enrich my project.

In terms of the resources for my paper, I would like to read texts, short stories, and even watch films or documentaries related to the topic so that I can gain a more holistic understanding of the cultural and societal effects of post-colonialism.

Discuss your motivations for pursuing this ad hoc project. What do you hope to gain from completion of this project?
By completing this project I would like to gain a better understanding of my history and the sequence of events that have led me to the life I currently live. I have struggled with understanding my place in the American society that I have been raised in and figuring out how my culture can interact with others’ cultures in ways that will allow me to integrate into another culture while retaining my own roots. I think that completing this project will help me answer some of the questions of the way my immigrant parents and their friends approach their daily lives in America – questions that I haven’t fully processed into words yet but am discovering more and more as I learn about postcolonial psychology.

By completing this project I hope to have a better understanding of the history of colonization in South Asian countries through the lens of storytelling and first person perspectives rather than the dry history accounts that I have typically studied. This will be a way for me to reconcile the stories I have heard from my own relatives with the stories of others who experienced the post-colonization effects and see if there are any overlapping experiences between the countries we are studying in class and the ones I am choosing to focus on. It will allow me compare and contrast post-colonization throughout various countries and see what makes the experiences different.

How does this additional work connect with the educational goals of the course?
The course goals are defined as: to begin to understand how literary cultures function in relation to lived social realities; to begin to unravel the complicated historical and social ramifications of colonialism and imperialism; to begin to understand how historical relationships of power, race, and privilege have shaped our contemporary world; to build and nurture a collegial community of critical thinkers, readers and scholars.

I believe that through this project I will be attempting to understand my own and my family’s “lived social realities” by exploring the literary cultures of those affected by colonialism from my root country. With this project I aim to understand our contemporary world and how it is influenced by the cross-interactions of people from different countries who have their own extremely complex histories. It will allow me to understand what “culture” means and how it is distinguished from “race” and why this is relevant to my daily life.

Outline your plan of interaction with your instructor, including in-person meetings, forms of feedback, and additional communication.
I will be working with Dr. Anu as I complete stages of my research paper to get her feedback on how to further develop my study. Forms of communication will include meeting in person during office hours or emailing feedback. Her feedback can take the place of suggesting edits for the structure of my paper, providing additional resources to expand my thinking, or any other methods by which she can help me improve my research.


H499 Independent Study Example

A Human Migration Study in Germany

Student Name: Melissa Gile

Read the Application

Term: Autumn 2016
Credits: 5 Credits – Interdisciplinary Honors – Social Science
Grading System: Decimal grade

Course Overview:
The course topic will be human migration studies in Germany, particularly asylum seekers and refugees. I have previously taken an honors course on human migration through the UW Summer 2012 Honors in Rome program, and therefore have a basic knowledge of migration policy in the European Union and Italy in specific. However, as this is a very fluid topic that changes with political and social developments, I am interested in learning more about human migration in the European Union.

I am interested in studying human migration in the EU again because my previous experience studying human migration enhanced my cultural and personal awareness. I learned to notice pockets of communities with foreign cultures, and I began to understand the concept of cultural immersion, especially in the face of oftentimes-traumatic incidences. I had the opportunity to interface with people who I would normally pass over due to sheer unawareness, and quite frankly, it opened my eyes to the lives and difficulties of others. I found this to be very personally enriching, and since my experience in Rome, I have been making it a point to continue working with immigrants and refugees, as well as raise awareness in my own community about the struggles that some people go through as a result of political or social pressure. I see human migration as a direct consequence of current events, and it shapes the development of the global society that we have today. I see human migration as the “behind the scenes” part of current world politics. Beyond personal fulfillment, it is an important aspect of understanding the dynamics of international relationships and events.

Learning Objectives:
Through this project I hope to achieve a better understanding of human migration in Germany and the EU. Some general questions to be answered are as follows: what are the immigration policies in the EU and Germany? What are the similarities and differences between Germany and Italy, in the way that both countries handle refugees and asylum seekers? How do geographical, economical, social, political and other factors affect the way that Germany handles people with migration backgrounds? What are the overarching policies governing human migration in the EU and more particularly Germany? Why were these policies enacted, and how do they affect the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in Germany?

I aim to answer these questions using literature searches, case studies, volunteering opportunities, interviews and other available sources. I will also be going into more specific situations such as woman and underage children asylum seekers, as well as human trafficking issues that people with migration backgrounds deal with. Overall, this project will be a comprehensive study of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany.

In order to complete this project, I will use Professor Sabine Lang as my adviser, but also have Professor Kathie Friedman in the International Studies Department, who also deals with human migration. She also taught my class in Rome and may provide me with literature suggestions. I am already in contact with Agisra (http://www.agisra.org/index.php?de_home) in Cologne, Germany, a refugee support group that focuses woman refugees and asylum seekers, and was given information about active refugee organizations in Münster (e.g. GGUA, which I have just recently contacted and am still awaiting a response).

Assignments:
W 1: 9/24-10/1
Literature Search: Immigration policy in the EU — current debates and challenges
W 2: 10/2-10/8
Essay 1: 6 Pages: Immigration policy in the EU — current debates and challenges
W 3: 10/9-10/15
Literature Search: Asylum policy in Germany — historical development and current debates
W 4: 10/16-10/22
Essay 2: 6 Pages: Asylum policy in Germany — historical development and current debates
W 5: 10/23-10/29
Asylum policy in crisis: Case Study- Women asylum seekers (including literature search)
W 6: 10/30-11/5
Asylum policy in crisis: Woman asylum seekers — interviews with NGOs
W 7: 11/6-11/12
Essay 3: 15 pages, case study
W 8: 11/13-11/19
Literature Search: Underage children asylum seekers
W 9: 11/20-11/26
Literature Search: Trafficked women and asylum in Germany
W 10: 11/27-12/3
Final Journal Entry/Summary: Conclusion and outlook
W 11: 12/4-12/9
Final Essay: consists of previous three essays plus additional materials/interviews: 30 pages total.
Due December 9, 11am via e-mail.

Additional requirements:
– weekly journal entry 500 words minimum
– 40 hours of volunteer work total throughout the quarter
Weekly Schedule:

A weekly schedule throughout the quarter has been outlined in the section above. I just sent an email to GGUA (Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft zur Unterstützung Asylsuchender e.V.) (http://www.ggua.de/) asking for volunteering opportunities throughout the quarter, and may also see various churches in the area for volunteering opportunities as well, since both may provide largely different opportunities to work with refugees.

As described above, weekly goals/assignments will include:
– Weekly journal
– 3 hours of volunteering a week (this number is tentative depending on opportunities provided in the area, but the end goal is to have 40 hours of volunteering total by the end of the quarter)
– Weekly assignments as outlined above

Due to the distance (Germany-USA), the main method of contact will be via email, and the student is expected to demonstrate a level of proactivity when pursuing research, case studies, completion of assignments, etc. A more complete list of readings, reading assignments and activities will be developed and recorded throughout the quarter in the weekly journal. The journal will be an effective method of not only tracking progress, but also organizing course goals, progress and developments.

Grading:

Outline how the course will be graded, rubrics for assignments or final projects, etc.

Grading:
W 2 essay 10 %
W 4 essay: 10%
W 7 essay: 30%
W 11 Essay 40%
Weekly journal 10%

Journals will be graded in weeks 5 and 10.