Honors Independent Studies 2009-2013

Conservation and Preservation

Emma Griffith is currently in Costa Rica on a study abroad program and pursuing a comparative study of U.S conservation and preservation attitudes and approaches with those of the "Green Republic" Costa Rica. Emma researched U.S. conservation and preservation history before she left and is now visiting Costa Rican national parks and preserves, interviewing people who live and work in and around them.

This Western Life

Many people have heard of the NPR program "This American Life."  Using this provocative and engaging radio program as a model. Amanda Sanchez, Zachary Schaller, Elizabeth Tango, Rebecca Young and Atieno Tarasar are telling their own stories - each creating and sharing a bit of their Western lives.  Working with media and communications faculty and students, their stories will move from the page to Western's radio programming as "This Western Life." Tune in to KWSB!

The Philosophy of MMA

Yes, you read that title correctly! In light of one of the fasted growing athletic phenomena in the country, Gavin Thomps undertook a cultural studies analysis of Mixed Martial Arts.  Gavin explored the philosophical underpinnings of a number of the martial arts practices used widely in MMA.

The Role of Physical Therapy in Rural Health

Kaytlin Hughes was inspired by the content of her Rural Health course and developed this independent study to explore the impact and role of physical therapy in rural health.  Being located in some of the best skiing and mountain biking country in the world, our local physio-therapists are kept very busy.  But practicing in a rural community has its challenges as much as its rewards and Kaytlin incorporated personal interviews and shadowed a number of PTs in their daily work to develop a deeper understanding of the fields of physio-therapy and rural health.

Urban and Rural New Zealand:

Before Dani Farkas left to study abroad in New Zealand, she discovered the works of New Zealand author Chad Taylor. Taylor's works depicted a dark, urban and gritty side of New Zealand which contradicted the natural rural beauty of New Zealand. Dani was intrigued with the seeming contradictory portrayals of New Zealand life.  While studying in New Zealand, Dani examined the urban representations and realities of Chad Taylor's novels while exploring the natural representation of New Zealand through its many national parks and recreation areas.  The end result was a mixture of academic and personal reflection on the nature of New Zealand society and landscape entitled, "Beyond the Tourist's Eyes."

Landscape and the West:

Nikki Dr Rosia studied abroad at the University of Galway in Ireland.  During her first semester, Nikki explored the nature of the Irish landscape and the symbolism of the West. Unlike the US historical view of the West as a place to remake oneself, a place of the future, the Irish West is the home of the past and of the Gaelic tradition. Nikki's examination of the Irish people's relationship with the land showed it to be a turbulent one which while it might not be as mystical as popular culture presents it, it is one that is deeply rooted and which continues to impact Irish society today. 

Irish Women:

While she continued her studies in Ireland,  Nikki researched the changes in the status and roles of Irish women which have been brought about by religious, political, and economic shifts in Irish society.

Roman History:

Jeffery Hunt,an Anthropology/History Double Major , explored the nature of Ancient Rome.  This Independent Study was part of a three semester project through which Jeff explored the social and cultural impact of warfare on the society of Ancient Rome. For the first semester, Jeff worked with Dr. Jim Stewart of the History program.  During the second semester worked with Art Historian Dr. Heather Orr and for the final semester, Jeff was guided by Dr. John Hausdoerffer of Philosophy and Dr. Alina Luna of the English Program.