Students enrich their college experience in the CGS Honors program

The Honors program at UWM at Washington County and UWM at Waukesha is a challenge extended to our best students. It is an opportunity to enrich your college experience through research, creative thought, and independent learning. The enriched course content also provides a closer association with professors and other honor students.

Last year, we had two students with truly unique projects who ended up with fascinating results.

UWM at Waukesha student, Johnny Guggenmos, did an honors project for Biomedical Ethics (with Professor Timothy Dunn) that resulted in a class lecture on the ethics of selling and donating organs. He ended up not being able to give it in person (because of COVID-19), so he created audio-links to walk the reader through the presentation and the findings, instead.  The takeaways for this project were bipartite. It taught him a little about how professorship works, which is pragmatically useful. This project also exposed him to an ethical issue that he was unaware of: why is it that we don’t allow the sale of kidneys when hundreds-of-thousands-of-people die from the health realities of kidney failure?

At UWM at Washington County, Brandie Baier had the opportunity to work on two different projects. For ANT 100, Brandie did a project on Covid-19 with Professor Chris Hayes. For this project she looked at Covid through an anthropological perspective with a bio-cultural approach. The presentation was in PowerPoint format covering zoonosis, studies on Covid-19 and blood type, cross-cultural responses to the virus, and Covid-19’s impact on race and ethnicity. This project really helped her stay current on everything that is happening in the world amidst the current pandemic and opened her eyes to important topics, such as how severely Covid-19 is impacting minority groups. Many of the issues that have caused minority groups to be more at risk for Covid-19 are not associated with biological factors but are more so a symptom of deeper issues stemming from long-term disinvestment, systematic and institutional racism.

For Professor Widmayer, she meshed two courses together (ENG 277 and GSW 101) by writing an essay,  “Jane Austen and the Dueling Philosophies,” which dissects the characters in Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility. These characters are better understood by first getting to know the philosophies of her time, Neoclassicism and Romanticism. There was also a large gender-role component in the essay and she discussed impacts that each of these philosophies had on gender-roles during the time. The further point of this essay was to better understand what Austen’s representation of characters and gender roles in the novel can help us infer about who she was as a person and how she felt about the dueling philosophies of her time. A big take away for Brandie from this project was just more confidence in  researching skills and the ability to connect information from reputable resources together.

These projects are just a few examples of the wonderful academic opportunities Honors students have. Read more about the Honors program here!