Current Honors Courses

Current Honors Courses

Introduction to Well-Being and Positive Psychology

Dr. Marissa Mendoza-Burcham, Assistant Professor of Psychology

PSYCH  243 (GS)

MWF  11:15-12:05 

This course is an introduction into the area of psychology that studies how ordinary people can live to be happier and fulfilled. Positive Psychology has developed within the last 10 years as a new field of study.  Already significant effort has gone into scientifically studying how choices made by people in matters of relationships, leisure, work, health, creativity and love can contribute to flourishing and thriving. We will also look at how character strength, creativity, spirituality and flow influence well-being.

This seminar-style class asks of students the motivation to explore and examine how these elements impact themselves and others in terms of happiness and well-being. Incremental changes in behavior, attitude, and thoughts can lead to deeper and more fulfilling lives!

Philosophy and Literature in Western Culture

Dr. Kristen Olson, Associate Professor of English

CMLIT  6   (GH/IL)

MWF  1:25-2:15

This course explores the fundamental issues of human existence through the traditions of Western philosophy expressed in literature.  We’ll read the works of several key philosophers and examine literature that engages directly with these ideas.

Literary texts will range across time periods and genres, including plays, poems, and fiction. 

We’ll trace the influence of thinkers such as Plato and Descartes, reading works form Classical, Renaissance, and Modern periods.  And more!  We’ll look at broader questions such as: 

What is humanity’s relation to the universe?  Does existentialism only begin in the modern era? 

Has love always meant the same thing?  Classes are seminar-style and emphasize student input.

Honors Freshman Composition  

Dr. Kristen Olson, Associate Professor of English


MW  4:00-5:15

Like ENGL 15, ENGL 30 is a first-year writing course.  It is designed for qualified students selected based on SAT scores and high school performance, and introduces the type of analytical writing expected at the college level in all disciplines.  For students considering a career in research, medicine, law, or any academic discipline, ENGL 30 will be especially valuable.  While writing is the primary focus, readings from important writers comprise part of the course.  Classes are seminar-style and emphasize student input. 

(Students qualified for ENGL 30 will be identified during NSO—see Starfish Advising Notes.)