Students share personal highlights and heartaches in portfolio presentations - with cookies!

Jan 28th, 2016

At the end of Autumn quarter, 14 UW seniors presented their online interdisciplinary portfolios to rooms full of rapt staff, students, faculty, alumni, and family members at our first celebratory edition of Honors 496 presentations. Presentations to end the capstone course have always marked the completion of a reflective journey for students but have previously been held in a classroom setting. "I'm glad to see so many freshmen and other students here," said Dr. Julie Villegas, who runs the seminar. "We've rarely had family and alumni attending these presentations and now that's changing. Let's enjoy this for the very special moment it is."

The Autumn cohort breathed a collective sigh of relief as the last audience question was answered and the remaining cookies were cleared away.

"It feels so good to have this out of the way," said senior public health major Marlena Norwood, though she claims she will continue to use her online portfolio to track her reflections on academic subjects as well as personal experiences. "I link to it on my resume," she told us, "and I used it to write a paper while studying abroad in London."

The Norwoods

Norwood's family attended the presentations and said they were not surprised by any of the content. "We've all been following her portfolio since freshman year," Norwood's mother said. "It's bookmarked as one of my favorite web pages." Marlena disclosed that her uncle (seen in photo) used to harass her at family gatherings when she would fall behind on portfolio updates.

Presenters were divided into small groups and spoke to distinct audiences throughout the Honors suite. Each portfolio was unique and full of personal statements, examples of hard discoveries, turning points in academic careers, and memories of favorite courses.

"Honors courses for me were always like a breath of fresh air since I was so loaded down with science and math courses," said computer science major Autumn Johnson. She went on to explain how Honors 392, "The Good Life" allowed her to fall in love with the writings of philosophers whose work she would never have experienced by immersing herself only in hard science tracks. 

Guests of the event noted how Interdiscipliary Honors students are uniquely preparing to transition into work, travel, or pursuit of graduate degrees. "There is so much confidence, so much excitement," said Honors Advisory Board member Bud Saxberg. "And they know how to speak of themselves." 

Come bask in the glory and eat the cookies at Honors' Winter quarter Portfolio Celebrations: Suite 211 Mary Gates Hall. 

  • Weds, Mar 2, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
  • Thurs, Mar 3, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

RSVP HERE. All are welcome!

Second Year application for Interdisciplinary Honors now open

Jan 25th, 2016

If you're a first-year freshman at UW Seattle who's looking for a way to broaden your coursework and join a community of students engaged in experiential learning and critical reflection, consider applying for Second Year Admission to Interdisciplinary Honors! We require a brief application submitted via Catalyst WebQ and a resume/CV uploaded via Catalyst Dropbox, both of which are due by 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22.

Smarten up about science with Jon Herron!

Dec 3rd, 2015

Neandertal slide

Student filmmaker Andrew Croneberger teamed up with UW professors Jon Herron and Frances McCue to create this series of micro lectures on popular topics in biology. Find out (among other things) what makes some chilis spicier than others, how modern humans and neanderthals are actually related, and what mice are now able to teach us about Ebola, thanks to compelling new studies.

UW Honors Program's first Global Challenges Event Encourages Student Conversation on Health and Poverty

Nov 10th, 2015
Global Challenges Audience 2015
Global Challenges—Interdisciplinary Answers audience size was nearly double the original estimates.

- by Nicole Einbinder

The HUB South Ballroom was packed on November 3 as over 400 students and other UW community members came together to engage in a discussion on the intersections between health and poverty.

The Global Challenges event, hosted by UW Honors Program, was a year in the making — after last year's HONORS 100 students (mostly incoming freshmen) voiced a desire to engage with the big questions they care about.

In light of Seattle's state of emergency on homelessness and the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, conversations about poverty are especially crucial, according to Honors Program Director, Relational Poverty Network co-founder, and event moderator, Vicky Lawson.

"I don’t think we can have enough of these kinds of conversations," said speaker LaShawnDa Pittman, assistant professor of American Ethnic Studies, in her opening remarks.