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Fall honors classes at Western include History of the U.S. West, Latin American Studies, and Shakespeare

August 14, 2015

Honors students expl
Honors students explore South Pass City as part of a field excursion. Honors classes offer many experiential learning opportunities.

ROCK SPRINGS – Several fall classes offered by the Western Wyoming Community College Honors Program still have seats available, and students and community members are encouraged to participate in these mind-expanding topical courses.  Classes include: “History of the U.S. West,” “Introduction to Latin America Studies,” “North American Indians,” and “Introduction to Shakespeare.”

Honors courses at Western provide students with special opportunities for learning in small-group settings, and they include field trips and other learning opportunities beyond the classroom.

“The classes are conversation-based,” said Honors Program Director and Associate Professor of English Rick Kempa. “Students learn as much from each other as they do from the instructor. Best of all, they often feature field trips or other special learning opportunities, mostly at the College’s expense.

“I want to especially invite members of our community to take one of these courses,” he added. “The life experiences they bring to class discussions make for a wonderful contribution to the overall learning environment. Any community member with a special interest in any of these subjects is welcome and encouraged to enroll.”

All Honors courses may be taken for credit as a graded class or on a pass-fail basis. It is also possible to audit a course, which means the student attends class and participates in discussions but does not receive a grade or have required homework.   

“Auditing is an especially attractive option for some,” Kempa said. “You can participate fully in class activities and be spared the pain of papers and tests.”

Even for Western students who may not have considering pursuing Honors studies previously, the deeper study and expanded opportunities found in Honors classes can be rewarding, Kempa said.

“These honor classes are a special opportunity for anyone with a special interest in the subject matter to enrich themselves and participate in conversation and other activities, including field trips, with other interested people,” he said. 

Class Information:

“Honors: History of the U.S. West” (HIST 1290 HP) will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 – 11:15 a.m. beginning Thursday, Aug. 27. Course instructor Dr. Jessica Clark said that students are invited to “join an adventure of the Wild West” by studying the “history of cowboys and Indians, outlaws, the Gold Rush, successive frontiers, women’s rights, myths, and more.” The class will give participants “a chance to discuss, debate, and create history,” she added. It will meet in Room 1306.

“Honors: North American Indians” (ANTH 2210 HP) will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. beginning Thursday, Aug. 27. “This course covers all aspects of Native culture, including food, dance, religion and politics,” said course instructor Dr. Dana Pertermann. “It also delves a bit into the future of groups around the U.S., and in Wyoming in particular.” The class will include a field trip to local petroglyphs. It meets in Room 1221.

“Honors: Latin American Studies” (POLS 2250 HP) will meet Mondays and Fridays from 10 – 11:15 a.m. beginning Friday, Aug. 28 and is taught by WWCC Assistant Professor of Political Science Bruce Anderson. The class will examine broadly the major political, social, economic, and cultural themes in Latin America today, with particular attention given to the region’s Spanish-speaking countries. “We will look to demonstrate how fascinatingly diverse and engaging the region is, both within individual countries as well as among the various countries,” Anderson said.  The class will meet in Room 1405.

“Honors: Introduction to Shakespeare” (ENGL 2230) will meet Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Aug. 26. Course instructor Christine Garbett described the class as focusing on the continuing vitality of the beloved Bard. “So much of our current pop culture and sayings stem from the themes and language of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets,” Garbett said. “We'll be looking at adaptations of the plays as movies and also on the stage to really see how these themes play out in more contemporary settings.” The class will meet in Room A201.

All classes will be held on the Rock Springs campus.

No special permissions are needed to take Honors courses, though students who take the class for credit will need to apply for admission as a non-degree-seeking or degree-seeking student. Students are encouraged to register for their classes of choice in advance.

For more information about applying for Admission, contact the Office of Admissions at (307) 382-1648 or go to

For more information on how to register for classes or how to audit classes, contact Mustang Central at (307) 382-1677 or go to

For more information on any of the above classes, contact Prof. Kempa at or contact the individual course instructor. For a campus directory, go to


For more information, contact Audrey Harton at (307) 382-1661 or
(307) 382-1600 or toll free (800) 226-1181