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An Honors wing of Ackerman Hall will open in Fall 2012 and will house thirty Honors students.


Students in Dr. Kimberly Jensen’s Honors seminar on Oregon Women’s Suffrage History created the Documents Project section of the Century of Action webpage. They also presented the results of their archival research and transcription at a special event at the Oregon State Capitol featuring Secretary of State Kate Brown and other dignitaries. (View the commemorative video of this class’s work at www.wou.edu/woutv (search for “Century of Action”)) This professional activity continued the following year, too, with additional presentations at the Willamette Heritage Center and the state legislature, testifying in support of a resolution regarding the Oregon Women Suffrage Centennial.


Students in Dr. Erin Baumgartner’s Honors biology class researched and proposed numerous sustainability measures that could be implemented on WOU’s campus. These were subsequently presented to the Provost Office for deliberation and implementation where possible.


Students in Dr. Molly Mayhead’s Communication and Civic Action class completed numerous projects bridging theory and practice. Project highlights included fundraisers to send students to Outdoor School, informational sessions about disposable water bottles and fair-trade products, and radio public service announcements about pet adoption.


Students in the Prison Writing seminar taught by Drs. Steve Gibbons and David Murphy not only read original works by Oregon inmates but also travelled to the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, where they discussed these works and other subjects with the inmates themselves.


Annually, students in the Honors theater class travel to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to attend three plays.


Faculty Awards

Pastega Award for Faculty Excellence (in Teaching and Scholarship) recipients participating in Honors:

  • Katherine Schmidt, Department of English, Excellence in Teaching
  • Kimberly Jensen, Department of History, Excellence in Scholarship
  • Mark Girod, Division of Teacher Education, Excellence in Scholarship
  • Kit Andrews, Department of English, Excellence in Teaching
  • Diane Baxter, Music Department, Excellence in Teaching and also in Scholarship
  • Cornelia Paraskevas, Department of English, Excellence in Teaching
  • Gavin Keulks, Department of English, Excellence in Scholarship


Alumni Awards, Publications, and Distinctions


  • Sophia Wellons’s (’13) article “The Devil in the Boardroom: Corporate Psychopaths and Their Impact on Business” has been referenced in a Psychology Today blog post. Previously, she was asked to speak about this oft-referenced work on international radio, too.
  • Ariel Setniker’s article “The Complement of Fermat Curves in the Plane” appeared in the journal Involve: A Journal of Mathematics. Her article derived from research she completed at the University of Wisconsin in 2012.
  • Paige O’Rourke (’12) is pursuing a masters in publishing degree at Portland State University and working with the university’s Ooligan Press.
  • Wendy Bryant (’12) has been awarded a Fulbright to teach English in Cantabria, Spain, through June 2013. She’ll also be helping to lead “Global Classrooms,” an educational model similar to Model United Nations.
  • Justin Karr (’11) revised a portion of his thesis on omega-3 fatty acids and cognition into a review article accepted by the journal Nutritional Neuroscience. He also received grant funding while at WOU to conduct a follow-up study to his thesis with a manuscript currently in preparation. Justin is currently in graduate school at the University of Victoria in British Columbia studying Clinical Neuropsychology.
  • Tasha Burlison-Trump (’10) published a revised version of her thesis on breast cancer advocacy internships in the Journal of Cancer Education.
  • Allison Glasscock (’10) completed her master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Toronto and in fall 2012 will enter the doctoral joint-program in classics and philosophy at Yale.
  • Ashley Keller (’09) is serving a two year appointment in Sierra Leone, Africa, with the Peace Corps. She will be teaching English to middle and high school students.
  • Lauren Zegers (’09) went to Washington D.C. as an advocate in the Emerging Leaders Program of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. She is currently pursuing a degree in nursing at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Rebecca Chadd (’09) received a Fulbright to teach in Madrid, Spain, and also represented the Fulbright program for the Global Model U.N. conference in New York
  • Dustin Byers (’09) received a Fulbright to study in Austria
  • Samantha Hafner (’08) completed her master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of Exeter in England
  • Mariko Walsh (’07) recently published an article titled “Inspiring Global Citizens in Rural Oregon” in volume IV, issue 2 (2011) of Global Literature and Content Area Literacy.




Honors Program

(503) 838-8519 | or e-mail: honors@wou.edu