Doing an Honors Project

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Doing an Honors Project is an excellent way to learn more about a field and offers the student an opportunity to focus on a particular subject of special interest.  The intent of the Honors curriculum is to provide an atmosphere for learning where in-depth exploration of a topic is central while working closely one-on-one with a Faculty Advisor.  Doing Honors work also serves as a way to recognize outstanding achievement via the presentation of the student's work during Honors Colloquium Week.

Left:  Stacy Johnson is a bit nervous before giving her Honors Colloquium, 1 May 2003.  
She overcame her fears
in front of a packed house and gave an excellent presentation entitled,
"The Invisible Empire Unveiled: A Geography of the Ku Klux Klan."

Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or above and a major field GPA of 3.3 or above; OR
Cumulative GPA below 3.3 but a major field GPA of 3.5 or above plus strong recommendation from Instructor.
must successfully apply to the Honors Program and find a faculty member willing to work with them.

Learn more about the WSC Honors Program.

Course Sequence:
GEO 395  Independent Study

GEO 499  Honors Colloquium (prerequisite: GEO 395)

Honors projects advised by Dr. Bertolas:
2014 "Soiled Doves and Iron Horses: Prostitution Along the Transcontinental Railroad" by Michaela Dahmer
2014 "Hog Wild: Environmental Damage Caused by Feral Pigs in Texas" by Trenton Kirchmann
2014 "The Gulf and Interstate Railroad: A Populist Dream of Uniting the Great Plains" by Lisa Sjuts
2013 "U.S. National Parks: An Historical Comparison of Development and Function" by Austin Mohr
2013 "Urbanization and Disease in Nineteenth Century London" by Patricia Thares
2013 "Homes on the Prairie: Early Architecture of Nebraska Prior to Statehood" by Ron Westlake
2013 "Sons and Daughters of Nebraska: Lesser Known Persons in State History" by Ali Abler
2012 "Tough to be Tough When Bullied: The History of Bullying" by Morgan Cook
2012 "Brian Epstein: The Beginning and the End of the Beatles" by Shawna Fredrickson
2012 "Catherine of Aragon: Her Role in Shaping England's Tudor Dynasty" by Toni Max
2012 "The Growing City: Westward Expansion of Omaha, Nebraska" by Zachary Kalina
2011 "Protests in the Arab World: An Examination of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya" by Gabe Gauthier
2011 "A Culture of Political Madness: Dueling in Early National America" by Thomas Warzywak
2011 "Treatment of Vietnam Veterans and a Number of Reasons Why the American Public Behaved That Way" bJason Youngmeyer
2010 "An Analysis of Bridge Infrastructure in the Central United States" by Becky Hafer

"Jedediah Smith: The Original Pathfinder" by Joshua Gustafson

2010 "Sustainability Throughout the Midwest: A Review of the Disconnects, Issues and Promises for a Greener Future" by Marisa Hingst
2010 "Influential Cities of an Influential Time: The Cultural Importance of Corinth, Ephesus and Philippi in Ancient History" by Joshua Hohnholt
2010 "The Origins of Democratic Government: Comparing Ancient Athenian Democracy to the United States of America" by Joshua Riesberg
2010 "Lenin and Stalin: The Growth and Spread of Twentieth Century Communism" by Brianna Twohig
2009 "You Can Get There From Here: Paths and Trails in Wayne, America" by Jacob Mathieson
2009 "Factors Influencing the Migration of College Entrants and Their Post-Collegiate Settlement Patterns" by Aric Butterfield
2009 "Newly Independent Countries: An Examination of the Viability of Selected States from 1992-Present" by Heather Hegi
2008 "Parking for All?  The Geography of Parking at Wayne State College” by Corey Uldrich
2008 "AIDS and Southern Africa: The Socioeconomic Impact” by Leah Wiedenfeld
2008 "Land Use Modeling and the Great Plains” by Mark Hamilton
2007 "A Company of Heroes: Easy Company Behind Enemy Lines” by Joseph Battiato
2007 The Decline of Rural Northeast Nebraska: An Historical and Geographic Overview of Dixon County and Allen, Nebraska” by Gary Brownell

“The Day After: Regional Effects of a Tectonic Eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera” by Christine Horner

2007 “A Comparative Geographic Study of Attitudes and Actions toward Recycling at Selected Midwestern Colleges and Universities” by Ashley Villarreal
2007 Subterranean Beauties: Jewel Cave and Wind Cave” by Cara Watchorn
2006 "The Ogallala Aquifer: Critical Resource for Nebraska"  by Brian Bruckner
2006 “Glacier National Park: What if There Were No Glaciers?”  By Chris Lord
2006 “From Copenhagen to Elk Horn, Iowa: How Tourism Funds a Small Community”  by Seth Poldberg
2006 “The Whitetail Deer Impact on North Dakota’s Economy”  by Steve Walsh
"Changing Times, Changing Locations: The Diffusion of NASCAR in America." by Matt Pernicek
"Harmful Effects of Food Aid From the West: A Case Study of Somalia." by Josie Wolff
"200 Years of Map Making in the United States: From Lewis and Clark to Present Day." by Norman Small
"Fighting Back: An Analysis of Environmental Organization in Rural Nebraska." by Troxl Miner
"Historical Geography of the Sandhills." by Jill Zimmerman
"Rural Northeast Nebraska Communities: Still Viable in the New Millennium?" by Mary Bartak
2004 "50/50 by 2050: Analyzing Trends Toward Pursuing Renewable Energy in Nebraska" by Roy M. Zach
2004 "Geography of Nebraska’s Groundwater: Where Is It and What Is the Future of This Resource?" by Ross Sukup
"The Invisible Empire Unveiled: A Geography of the Ku Klux Klan" by Stacy Johnson
1998 "The Geography of Serial Killers" by Keith Williamson

WSC Geography program area faculty would be happy to answer your questions.  E-mail them!
Dr. Randy Bertolas, Geography
Dr. Lesli Rawlings, Geography