Journeys of Discovery (Freshmen courses)

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.

Start your journey into the college experience with one of these innovative one-credit seminars for entering honors freshmen and explore, with one of our top teachers, one of the many fascinating subjects taught at the university.

All “Journeys of Discovery” courses are listed under HON 115.


HONORS 115.M01 (CRN 55117)

E. Serrano

W  ●  3:30 – 4:30 P

Learn the art and science of debate 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 course builds debate skills through discussion of case studies used in national ethics debate bowls. Invited faculty and community speakers provide tips on how to become an expert debater.  This class is ideal for freshman students who have no debate 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.


HON 115.m02 (CRN  56524 )



W  • 10:30 – 11:20AM

We will explore the origin, history, ethno botany, iconography, economics, nutrition, cultivation, and uses of the Chile pepper.  Chile peppers are multifaceted and are New Mexico’s iconic crop.  Their story is intriguing, and the range of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, heat levels, nutritional properties, and uses are as diverse as the places they are grown and the people that grow them. They also provide essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.  Chile pepper extracts are used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetic products, paints, and “pepper” sprays.  In addition to their use as a food, condiment, and medicine, chile peppers are used for their ornamental beauty. 

Dr. Paul Bosland is a Regents Professor, a Distinguished Professor of Plant and Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Chile Pepper Institute.


HON 115.m03 (CRN 56525)



W  • 10:30 – 11:20 A.M.

A three part course that looks at the role chocolate played in the history of Meso-America, the science of chocolate, and the commercial and artisan manufacture of chocolate. The history of chocolate goes back 4000 years and is intertwined with the cultures and religions of the Aztecs and Mayans and their conflicts with the Spaniards. The science of chocolate is excruciatingly precise; processed at a temperature that is a degree too high or too low or a slight misformulation results in an unacceptable candy. Today’s manufacturing of chocolate combines art, science, and technology to produce morsels that are delicious, beautiful, and crafted to satisfy every chocolate-lover’s palate. The course may include labs, tastings, and field trips.

Professor Stuart Munson-McGee, PhD, joined the Food Science and Technology faculty in the Family and Consumer Science Department at NMSU in 2011.  He was a member of the Chemical Engineering faculty at NMSU from January 1991 until taking his current position.  In 2004 he was awarded the NMSU Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence.