Fall 2018 Courses

Journeys of Discovery

Designed to enhance your first-year experience at NMSU, “Journeys of Discovery” are a great way to start your university career. Taught by regular faculty members and limited to 15 students, “Journeys of Discovery” allow first-year honors students to interact in a smaller setting and connect with a faculty member. “Journeys of Discovery” meet weekly for one hour and are open to honors-eligible freshmen. To learn more about these unique and intriguing courses click here.

Area I:  Communications:

HONORS 265G (CRN 52149)



TR ●  11:45-1:00 PM

The fabric of everyday life is woven together by interaction through speaking and listening.  Since oral communication is our primary means of communication, this course will explore how oral communication functions, how it may be managed, and how you can improve your skills.  Specifically, we will cover such topics as verbal communication, intercultural communication, and public speaking.  Since this is a general education course, you will be developing your critical thinking skills through a number of oral assignments emphasizing clear organization and clear advocacy.

Dr. Hubbell is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in the areas of organizational and health communication and publishes studies examining organizational trust and health disparities among minority populations.


Several required English classes will have honors sections, denoted with an H 


 Area II:  Mathematics/Algebra: 


Area III:  Laboratory Science:

HONORS 219G (CRN 52144)



TR • 1:10-2:25                Laboratory (CRN 52144)           T • 2:35-5:05 pm

The primary objectives of this course are to gain a general understanding of geology and the geological processes that have been occurring throughout Earth’s history.  The course will begin with a basic introduction to Earth and plate tectonic processes.  As part of this course, we will also learn about some of the common minerals and rocks that are the building blocks to geology and the rock cycle.  We will investigate the processes associated with each rock type (e.g., volcanoes, faults, depositional processes, etc.) and as well as potential geologic hazards (e.g., volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, flooding, etc.).  Upon completion of this course, you will be able to recognize and identify common minerals and rocks and understand the basic processes and conditions responsible for their formation and occurrence.  At the largest scale, this course will provide you with a basic but comprehensive understanding on how the internal and external parts of the Earth have functioned throughout geologic time.    

Hampton’s research and teaching centers on the interplay between erosion and sedimentation with particular emphasis on field-based studies that examine the stratigraphic history and tectonic evolution of sedimentary basins.  Students in his research group apply the skill sets of sedimentology, stratigraphy, structure, petrology, geochronology, geochemistry, and geologic mapping to better understand the exhumation history of mountain belts as preserved in sedimentary basins.  Dr. Hampton and his students have conducted research throughout parts of Argentina, Bolivia, Russian Far East, UAE, Oman, southern Alaska, and New Mexico.

Area IV:  Social/Behavioral Sciences:

HON 235G (CRN 54692)


W. Eastwood

MW •  9:05 – 10:20 AM

Physical and cultural exploration of humankind as seen through human paleontology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Requires excellence in reading, report writing and active class discussion.

HONORS 248G (CRN 54701)



TR   ·  1:10-2:25 PM

Wars, elections, marches, lawmaking, terrorism and genocide — why do they happen and why does it matter to our lives?  As global politics have shifted in recent years, we need to return to the fundamental questions of politics: Why and how are societies organized for political action? What values do they express, and how do they attempt to achieve their goals? This seminar will seek to clarify the meaning of such terms as freedom, justice, democracy, terrorism, fascism, liberalism, conservatism, anarchy and civil disobedience.

Dr. Christa Slaton is a professor in the Department of Government.

Area V:  Humanities and Fine Arts:

HONORS 216G (CRN 48050)


Fitzsimmons ● WEB

Art often reflects the society that produced it.  Traditionally, art has fulfilled a variety of purposes, addressing such themes as religion (spirituality), politics (propaganda), race and gender, patronage and censorship.  Through slide lectures, videos, field trips, project assignments and a research paper, students will explore the different roles art has played, past and present, to come to an understanding of modern life and aesthetics.

Professor Fitzsimmons teaches art history in the Department of Art.  Her interests are the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the major cultural and social changes reflected in the art of these periods.

HONORS 227G (CRN 53835) 



MW     ●   9:05 – 10:20 AM

This course introduces students to Plato.  No philosopher has had a greater influence on Western philosophy or on Western civilization. We will read a number of Plato’s dialogues in order to explore his conception of philosophy and several of his contributions to Western philosophy and civilization. We will consider the following and other questions:  Who was the historical Socrates?  How (if at all) does Plato’s conception of philosophy evolve in early, middle, and late dialogues?  What are the Forms? What influence has Plato had on Western civilization?  How is Plato’s work relevant to our lives today?

Dr. Keleher’s main research interests include ethics and moral philosophy with a special interest in international ethics and economic development.  She also teaches courses in ancient philosophy, medieval philosophy, and philosophy and feminism.

HONORS 229G (CRN 57113)


G. Rochelle

MW  1:30-2:45 PM

Honors 229G surveys the twenty-seven books of the New Testament from a literary and historical approach, centered on the so-called “Third Quest” for the historical Jesus.  Higher criticism of the texts, their sources, authorship, dating and interdependency has led to conflicts over the roots of Christianity.  In addition, we will examine several non-canonical gospels and letters that have roles in the modern controversies regarding interpretation of the New Testament.  We will read the New Testament along with an introductory volume and some supplementary materials.

Gabriel Jay Rochelle is a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.  He holds master’s degrees in theology and biblical studies and a PhD in theology and literature.  He has taught as a tenured professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and now at St. Sophia Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Bound Brook NJ.  Other past teaching venues include Yale Divinity School and Muhlenberg College.  He continues to serve as pastor of St Anthony of the Desert Orthodox Mission, Las Cruces.


HONORS 270G (CRN 56526)

Theatre: Beginnings to Broadway


MW●  9:05 – 10:20 AM

Theatrical art is collaborative, and this course will look at the work of those who participate in the creation and performance of drama–notably the actor, director, and designers in addition to the playwright.  While theatre continues to speak meaningfully to present concerns and to the audience of today, we will pay attention also to its identity as an ancient art, one that has an ancestry of well over twenty-five hundred years in the Western tradition.  We will look closely at a selection of important eras in theatre’s history, looking at representative plays from ancient Greece, the English Renaissance, and the era of Neoclassicism in France in addition to the modern and contemporary theatre in Europe and America.

Professor Claudia Waldrip is a college associate professor in the Theatre Arts Department.


Viewing a Wider World:

HONORS 306V (CRN 56532)



W  •  2:30-5:00 PM

Honors 306V is designed to encourage an understanding of science and scientific inquiry by exploring the ethical and social issues that scientists encounter during the process of scientific investigation. The course encompasses topics from many scientific disciplines, including neuroscience, agriculture, medicine, physics, and nanoscience. Students are exposed to the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary scientific investigation and to the ethical dilemmas that can arise when scientific advances have ambiguous implications for improving the quality of life.  Emphasis is placed on critical debate and written assignments. Participation in this course will encourage the student to develop her/his own ethical views regarding science and technology, and will foster awareness of multiple perspectives on ethical issues in the sciences and on the role of scientific integrity in research.

Dr. Elba Serrano is a neuroscientist and biophysicist. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on the development of mechanosensory neural systems,  traumatic brain injury, and neuroinformatics. Students with interests in the physical and mathematical sciences, neurobiology, data science, neuroethics, science policy, research education, and the intersection between art and science are encouraged to contact Dr. Serrano about working with her research team. Dr. Serrano is a member of the NIH Neuroethics Division and has received the NMSU Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching.

HONORS 328V  (CRN 56528)


J. Shearer

TR       ●  11:45 – 1:00 PM

An Introduction to Rock and Its History. This course examines the history of popular music conventions, influences, and breakthroughs throughout the 20th Century and into the current era. Topics include the originations of major music styles and their evolution as cultivated by key artists, scientific advancements, and sociopolitical change, contextualized within the contemporaneous history. Of particular concern are the influences of artists such as Robert Johnson, Big Joe Turner, Chuck Berry, and Elvis Presley, through The Beatles and the Rolling Stone, along with acts that performed at Woodstock and other multiday festivals, and moving forward to more modern expressions including punk, new wave, hip-hop and other modern styles. The course will also consider the effect of evolving playback electronics, recording devices, and musical instruments, and the interplay between music and economic depression, war, civil rights, sexual revolution, and other sociopolitical events.

Dr. Shearer teaches both jazz and classical music history and oversees the graduate program for the NMSU Music Department. He has recorded with the El Paso Brass, Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Creole Jazz Band, and The Great American Tuba Show. He has written two textbooks, Jazz Basics and Music 101, for Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co. His latest recording, Music for Tuba and String Quartet, appears on the Summit Records label and is available on iTunes, eMusic, and Amazon, among other outlets, along with his previous Summit classical release, Haunted America Suite, and a 2008 jazz release, The Memphis Hang. Dr. Shearer is the 2011 Papen Family Arts Award winner from the Dona Aña Arts Council, and he holds the duel titles of Regents Professor and Distinguished Achievement Professor at NMSU.


HONORS 347V (CRN 43774)
 F. Gilpin
 W  • 4:00-6:30 P.M.

This course introduces participants to a variety of dance forms from a cross-cultural perspective focusing on the role of dance in different societies. The course is taught using a modified lecture
format, the class will include directed readings and classroom discussions, student research projects and group presentations. Guest lecturers, videos and an experiential movement component supplement classes. This is not an activity class per se, but there will be a small amount of exploration in dance movement from various dance styles.

Mr. Gilpin also known as Paco Antonio teaches flamenco, classical spanish and world dance. Paco was dance faculty at UNM from 1986-1998 during which time he was a soloist with Ritmo Flamenco, Dance España, and a frequent performer in Festival Flamenco Internacional. As a free lance artist Mr. Antonio has lived and studied in Spain on several occasions and has performed, taught and choreographed internationally with well known studios, colleges and opera companies. Paco is currently College Associate Professor of Dance at NMSU and along with his wife and dance partner Lucilene de Geus co-directs Sol y Arena the dance programs performance ensemble specializing in Flamenco and Classical Spanish Dance. .


HONORS 348V (CRN 56528)




Myths are sacred narratives that answer fundamental questions about the cosmos, the origins of human society, and the position and purpose of human beings in the world. Rituals are rites of passage that reenact sacred narratives and connect a culture’s social practices to its cosmological beliefs. In this course, we will explore and compare the myths of several cultural traditions and explore how each, through ritual, has given meaning to key moments in the journey of the individual through life. Using literary texts, visual representations and archaeological evidence, we will look at and compare how ancient Greek, Roman and Mesopotamian, Norse, Native American, and both Old and contemporary European cultures conceptualize and celebrate, through myth and ritual, key episodes in the life cycle, such as birth, puberty or coming of age, the quest, marriage, and death.

Dr. Churchill is a college professor in the English Department. She teaches Latin and specializes in ancient Greek and Roman literature and culture, especially the literature of Augustan Rome.


HONORS 362V (CRN 56531)


D. Pepion

MW ● 10:30-11:45 AM

Explores of philosophical traditions of Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere. The course examines various forms of spiritual expression encompassing art, dance, music, political/social activism, and the relationship to land. The course reviews present-day spiritual issues and on-going practices in Native America.

Dr. Pepion is a professor in the Anthropology Department.



HONORS 370V (CRN 56529)

WHAT ART DOES: Understanding Contemporary Art Since 1970 (A&S)


TR ● 2:35 – 3:50  PM

Examining the role of art since 1970 in its many forms and functions within contemporary culture and society. Looking at the way art can inform and influence the world around us.

Craig  Cully is an Associate Professor of painting and drawing in the Department of Art at NMSU. His work has been featured in gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the
United States and in Mexico. His paintings are is part of permanent collections throughout the United States.


HONORS 374V (CRN 56533)



TTH    •  2:35 – 3:50 PM

The history of the European metropolis is the history of European politics, society, economy, and especially culture and technology.  In this course we will explore the history of modern European urban experience through a rich variety of materials and approaches, from geography to history to literature and journalism. We’ll discuss ancient Rome; industrial Manchester and imperial London; Paris, “the capital of the nineteenth century”; the cabarets and technological innovation of 1920s’ Berlin; the Nazi creation of a ghetto city, Litzmannstadt/Łódż; Soviet Cold War nuclear cities and the ways that contemporary European cities are dealing with North African and Middle Eastern migration.

Dr. Orzoff teaches the intellectual and cultural history of Central and Eastern Europe. She has published books and articles on nationalism, political culture, and the mass media in Europe between the two world wars.





M •  2:30- 5:00 PM

This course is an introduction to Buddhism and its contribution to the formation of (East) Asian cultures. It provides students with Buddhist and (East) Asian “case studies” – i.e., examples of the ways in which Buddhism has influenced, and has been influenced by, the region’s various cultural and social milieus over time. The course is designed to offer opportunities to critically reflect on East Asian Buddhism as a transformative philosophical, cultural, historical, and individual system.

Ms. Masson is a college associate professor in the Department of History and Director of the Confucius Institute at NMSU.  She has an M.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from Stanford University, is fluent in Chinese, and has traveled widely in China.


Free Electives:

HONORS 400 (CRN varies)


The honors thesis allows you to work closely with a faculty member on a 3-credit independent study project, which may involve scholarly or scientific research or completion of a creative project. It enables you to synthesize knowledge you have gained in a particular field and provides you with an impressive resume item that can be presented to prospective employers or graduate school deans.  You frequently share with faculty in the publication or presentation of research results.  You also can use the research material and the written thesis as a basis for master’s level work.  If you wish to complete an honors thesis, you will need to submit a proposal to a faculty member.  For more information, contact the Honors College Dean.

Juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 are eligible.  The deadlines for proposals are November 30 for the spring semester and April 30 for the fall semester.

The honors thesis is the final stage of the University Honors College.  However, qualified students may participate whether or not they are enrolled in the University Honors sequence.


HONORS 410 (CRN 43765)


Honors internships are available in each academic department, in some laboratory settings, and with various off-campus organizations.  Internships may be taken during the summer or the academic year.  The research conducted during an internship can be seen as preparation for the honors thesis.  Honors 410 enables honors students to develop independent research projects with professionals in their specialized fields of study.  In an internship setting, the student and supervisor determine the extent of the research project and the scope of the student’s involvement. Internships are designed for upper-division students with experience in the research area.  Qualified students may participate whether or not they are enrolled in the University Honors sequence.  Students who wish to take an internship must submit a proposal to the Honors College director during the semester prior to the internship.  Please contact the Honors office for additional information.

Juniors and seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.5 are eligible.  The requirements vary with internship.  Graded S/U. 

NOTE:  Honors 410 does not count toward the Honors Certificate or University  Honors  program unless approved by the Dean of the Honors College.


HONORS 420 (CRN 43766)


Students enrolling in Honors 420 may receive credit for independent research and creative projects.  To enroll in Honors 420, students must meet honors eligibility requirements, have the consent of a faculty member who agrees to oversee the project and must prepare a contract for approval by the Honors  College Dean.


HONORS 421 (CRN 54702)



M  ● 4:00 – 5:15 PM

Prepare for a national debate competition in a fun and friendly environment.  Studies show experienced debaters know how to advocate for themselves and others, have excellent memories, and can analyze both sides of an argument. The class focuses on the construction of competition debate arguments by student teams. Invited faculty and community speakers provide a resource for students in areas such as law, medicine, engineering, science and government.  This class is ideal for students who seek to develop confidence in their public speaking skills.  Participants are expected to compete in a formal debate as part of the course capstone experience.

Dr. Elba Serrano is a neuroscientist and biophysicist. Her interdisciplinary research program focuses on the development of mechanosensory neural systems,  traumatic brain injury, and neuroinformatics. Students with interests in the physical and mathematical sciences, neurobiology, data science, neuroethics, science policy, research education, and the intersection between art and science are encouraged to contact Dr. Serrano about working with her research team. Dr. Serrano is a member of the NIH Neuroethics Division and has received the NMSU Roush Award for Excellence in Teaching.


HONORS 422 (CRN 47110)


Individual research projects supervised by faculty advisors.

Consent of instructor required.