Honors College News and Notes

Legal Webinar Provides Insights for Aspiring Attorneys (November)

On November 30 the WAU Center for Law and Public Policy hosted a webinar titled “Lives in the Law: Stories of faith and practice in government, private practice, and church work.”  Four Adventist attorneys talked about their work and how faith — particularly Adventist faith — plays a role in what they do on a daily basis. The lawyers on the panel represent a variety of practices — from church work, to healthcare, to Federal prosecution, to criminal defense — and each had very interesting perspectives on how being an Adventist affects, and even shapes, their work. You can watch the video of the webinar here:

Visit to Embassy of the State of Libya (October 2022)

Students in front of the Embassy of the State of Libya (2022).

On Friday, October 28, a group of Washington Adventist University students visited the Embassy of the State of Libya in Washington, DC. The student group was part of the WAU Model United Nations program that is housed within the Honors College at WAU. This year’s MUN team will represent the State of Libya at the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in Arlington, Virginia this weekend. At the embassy, students met for over an hour with members of Libya’s diplomatic team, including Sultan A. Salem and Ahmed Alshanta, both of whom are part of the academic and cultural attaché team at the embassy.

‘Constitution Day’ 2022 (September 2022)

The Honors College, the Center for Law and Public Policy, and the International Religious Liberty Institute of Andrews University will present a presentation and lecture on Saturday, September 17, 2022 as part of WAU’s ‘Constitution Day’ programing. The event, titled ‘The New Supreme Court and Religion — Constitutional and Prophetic Perspectives’ will be held at Sligo SDA church at 4:30pm.

4th CAPITALMUN Takes Place on WAU Campus (April 2022)

On April 14 the WAU Honors College hosted the 4th Annual CAPITALMUN conference on the campus of Washington Adventist University. This year’s conference welcomed delegations from 38 countries and included students from Adventist and public high schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The conference began with an Opening Ceremony that featured a Keynote Address by the Honorable Marianne Laruelle, the Political Counselor for the Belgian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Ms. Lareulle stressed the importance of international cooperation around the world when dealing with important international issues. The Opening Ceremony also included an emotional testimony from 19-year old Sultana Amani, a refugee from Afghanistan who, along with her entire family, was on one the last planes out of Afghanistan last August. She encouraged the attendees to remember the plight of those who are living through very difficult times around the world, saying ‘we are all humans — when one person suffers, we all suffer.’

WAU Honors College Announces Historic Law Partnership (February 2022)

Washington Adventist University and the WAU Honors College have signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Baltimore School of Law to develop a dual-enrollment law program. The agreement, initiated by WAU President Weymouth Spence and signed by Spence and University of Baltimore President Kurt L. Schmoke, creates an expedited pathway for eligible WAU students to complete the first year of law school that will also count for the senior year at WAU!

This marks the first time that an Adventist college or university will grant law school credits toward an undergraduate degree and the announcement comes on the heels of a newly re-designed pre-law curriculum that continues to allow students in any major to complete a Pre-Law pre-professional program. For more details you can find the full story here.

WAU Honors College and Columbia Union Academy Students Participating in International Model United Nations Conference (January 2022)

Academy students from Columbia Union academies participated in The Hague International Model United Nations(opens in a new tab) conference (THIMUN) which began on Monday, January 24, 2022. THIMUN is one of the oldest and largest Model United Nations conferences in the world, attracting students from more than 150 international high schools from around the world.

Participation at the THIMUN conference is organized by the WAU Honors College as part of WAU’s Center for Global Programs. This is the second year that students from the Columbia Union have participated in THIMUN. The Columbia Union delegation continues to be the only delegation to THIMUN that involves students from Seventh-day Adventist schools. See the full story here.

WAU participates in National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference, Meets with Belgian Embassy staff (November 2021)

A group of students from the WAU Honors College participated in the National Model United Nations Conference in Washington (NMUN-DC) November 5-7.. The WAU team represented Belgium and discussed and debated issues in 5 different conference committees. This is the first time that a Seventh-day Adventist university has participated in a National MUN conference. WAU was one of more than 40 colleges and universities participating in the conference.

On Friday morning, just before the start of the conference, the WAU team traveled to the Belgian Embassy in Washington to discuss their committee topics with members of the Belgian diplomatic staff. For more than an hour students discussed a wide range of policies with Jan De Pauw, the Deputy Chief of Mission, and Marianne Laruelle, the Chief Political Counselor at the embassy. The photo on the left — which includes WAU students and Mr. De Pauw and Ms. Laruelle — was sent out through the Belgian Embassy’s Instagram page minutes after the photo was taken.

“This is what Nation’s Capital learning is all about,” said Dr. Jonathan Scriven, the Director of WAU’s Model United Nations program. “We see Washington as the ‘Gateway to the World’ and the NMUNDC event provides our students with the opportunity to engage with hundreds of other students from around the country to try to solve real, global problems. And these opportunities are right here in our back yard.”

David Holland (Harvard Divinity School) gives 3rd Annual Adventist Archives Lecture. (October 2021)

On October 22, 2021, Professor David Holland delivered the 3rd Annual Adventist Archives Lectureship lecture. Holland is the John A. Bartlett Professor of New England Church History and Harvard Divinity School and is an expert on Ellen G. White and early Adventist History. Professor Holland, himself a Mormon, brought a unique and interesting perspective to this year’s Adventist Archives Lectureship. His full lecture and the Q&A the followed can be seen below.

Donate to the Honors College

We have a new way where you can help support the WAU Honors College. We are engaging students in a variety of programs and your support can help those programs develop and grow. Support the Center for Law and Public Policy, the Model United Nations Program, our new Innovation Center, or contribute to funds that allow us to give scholarships to students in need. By clicking the button below you can access our PayPal site and contribute to these and other programs.

New Space on Campus for the  Honors College (August 2022)

As part of the growth of the Honors College we are so excited to announce that we will have a new home on campus. Starting this Fall, the Honors College will be located on the 2nd floor of H.M.S. Richards Hall. The new space will house the administrative and teaching staff of the Honors College, the Center for Law and Public Policy, the Center for Global Programs, the Honors College Student Officers, and more. Work is being done to have the space ready for an official welcome in September.

Richards Hall was constructed in the 1930s and is one of the oldest and most iconic buildings on campus. We can’t wait to transform the 2nd floor into a terrific space for Honors College students and the wider WAU community. Stay tuned for details!

Photo: Honors College students stand on the steps in front of H.M.S. Richards Hall. Photo taken during our March 2020 ‘On Campus’ Retreat.

New course for Summer focuses on Innovation (July 2022)

The Honors College is offering a new (and FREE) course for students this summer. ‘Introduction to Innovation’ is a unique class being taught by Commander Andy Howell. Commander Howell spent much of his career working on innovation issues for the United States Coast Guard. Take a look at the official course description:

HNRS 194 – Intro to Innovation will provide students an introduction to the  concepts and skills related to innovation and entrepreneurship. How did Neflix become a household name overnight? What’s the origin story of your phone’s digital camera? Students will learn about what it takes to develop breakthrough ideas, including risk-taking, leadership, and strategic communications. Students will review real-world case studies detailing triumphs and failures of billion-dollar companies and world governments, while also taking part in activities that will introduce a variety of skills highly-prized in today’s job market.

CAPITALMUN 2021 in the books! (April 2021)

On Thursday, April 8, delegates from schools all over the country (plus 2 from overseas) participated in the 3rd CAPITALMUN conference sponsored by the Honors College at Washington Adventist University. Due to COVID restrictions, the event was held virtually for the first (and hopefully last) time. After an inspiring Keynote address by Matteo Mirolo, student delegates engaged in debates ranging from education disparities around the world during pandemics and times of conflict to international cooperation strategies in the peaceful uses of outer space. CAPITALMUN is an MUN conference designed for high school students that is run by students at WAU. For more information, visit  capitalmun.org or contact the Honors College at honors@wau.edu.

CAPITALMUN 2021 set for April 8 (April 2021)

The 3rd CAPITALMUN conference will take place on Thursday, April 8 using a virtual platform for the first (and hopefully last) time. This year we are thrilled to welcome schools from outside the DC area for the first time. In fact, this year marks the first time we will welcome a school from outside of the United States as part of our conference. Please visit capitalmun.org for more information about the conference. We’ll have a full report at the conclusion of the event.

Honors College and The David Jones Research Center hold Lecture by Paul Hills (March 2021)

Paul Hills, a noted expert on British poet and artist David Jones, gave a lecture that was sponsored and organized by the WAU Honors College and The David Jones Research Center (which is housed within the Honors College). A video of the lecture can be seen below.

Honors College Launches ‘Month of March Physical and Mental Health Challenge’ (March 2021)

The pandemic is making it hard for some students to do what is needed to maintain both physical and mental health. The Honors College student officers are addressing this by launching our March Physical and Mental Health Challenge — a series of daily ‘challenges’ designed to help students think about activities that will help their overall health. Based on the idea of ski-slope categories, there are four levels of participation: Green, Blue, Diamond, and Black Diamond. For much more on the Challenge and how it progresses throughout the month, check on the Honors College Instagram page @wauhonorscollege.

Virtual Engagement Opportunities Help Honors College Students Stay Connected (February 2021)

Socializing with friends has been difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Honors College is trying to make it a bit easier by launching a series of virtual engagement opportunities for our students, with each designed to be a quick ‘check-in’ that lasts 15-20 minutes. Here are some of our weekly ‘engagements’:

    • The Immortal Poets Club: turning “dead poets” into immortal ones by giving breath to the works of poets who are no longer with us.
    • Monday Night Dinner – Food for the Soul: weekly conversations about whatever is on your mind.
    • Late Night Snacks: meets each Thursday night at 10pm and is a change to talk with other students about papers, projects, or other course work.
    • Politics Cafe — This Week in Washington: an early Friday morning event where we talk about what happened in DC this week. Bring your own coffee because we meet early…7:45 – 8:00am!
    • Let’s Talk About Time: a get together to talk about time management and how to make the most of the hours in each day.
    • Social Hour: just like the name implies, this is a weekly get together to chat and talk with no real structure or plan. Meets each Friday afternoon and is a great way to end the week.

Honors College MUN Program Helps Academy Students Attend International Conference (January 2021)

In January of this year, 14 Columbia Union Academy students attended The Hague International Model United Nations Conference (THIMUN). Participation in the conference was organized by the WAU Model United Nations program. The conference was virtual this year, but it was still a terrific event and opportunity for all those involved. Read a full write up of the experience on the main WAU website

Conversation with the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office in Geneva (December 2020)

The Honors College was pleased to welcome David Chikvaidze, the Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office in Geneva, to the WAU campus (virtually) to help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations. Dr. Chikvaidze spoke about the role of the UN in today’s world and argued why international organizations are needed now more than ever. Dr. Chikvaidze was also a guess speaker for an international relations course taught by Dr. Jonathan Scriven earlier in the month. The event was held as part of the WAU Center for Global Programs, which is housed within the Honors College. If you missed it, watch the interview below.

Honors College and David Jones Research Center Welcome Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury. (November 2020)

The Honors College was honored to host an event celebrating the 125th birthday of British poet and artist David Jones. The guess speaker was Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. Professor Bradford Haas, the Director of the Honors College at WAU, coordinated the event in his dual role as the Director of the David Jones Research Center, which is housed within the Honors College. If you missed the event, you can watch it below.

Honors College Classes Welcomes Rep. Jamie Raskin to Class

Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin (D) joined Dr. Scriven’s ‘Elections 2020’ class for a 30 minute Q&A with students. ‘Elections 2020’ is a Honors College course that spent the entire semester studying and analyzing local, regional, and national elections during the 2020 election cycle. Congressman Raskin represents Maryland’s 8th Congressional district, the district that includes Washington Adventist University. Raskin is also a resident of Takoma Park, so he’s a neighbor for us. Because it’s 2020, Raskin joined the class via Zoom.

Honors College Hosts ‘Immersion Weekend’ on Campus (October 2020)

During a typical Fall semester, Honors College students spend one weekend in October at a retreat facility off campus. It’s a chance to get to know each other, dig into some of the Honors courses students are taking, spend some time in the outdoors, and make plans for the upcoming year. Fall 2020 was different. This year, due to our virtual learning semester, we flipped the tables on our Honors Retreat weekend and instead invited students to come to campus for a weekend. For some of our Freshman, it was the very first time stepping foot on campus.

The weekend was a lot of fun and a huge success. We followed social distancing and other COVID protocols, of course. But we were still able to hike at Sugarloaf Mountain, enjoy terrific food set up in the parking lot (Thai take-out, anyone?), experienced some ‘in person’ classes, and generally enjoy the company of friends, both old and new.

Dr. Benjamin Baker Discusses the Black Millerites as Part of Adventist Archives Lectureship (October 2020)

The Honors College was pleased to welcome Dr. Benjamin Baker to be the 2nd guest speaker for the Adventist Archives Lectureship, an event held in October in collaboration with the Seventh-day Adventist church Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. Watch the presentation below if you missed it.

WAU Celebrates Constitution Day with Journalist Errin Haines (September 2020)

In honor of Constitution Day held each year on September 17, the Honors College organized an interview with award winning journalist Errin Haines of The 19th, a news organization that focuses on women and gender issues. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The interview was organized through the WAU Center for Law and Public Policy, which is housed in the Honors College. You can watch the full interview below.