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Honors 251 - Citizen and Self

About Honors 251:

We often associate the term citizenship with rights and responsibilities such as voting and paying taxes, or, perhaps, a legal status granted to individuals by governmental entities. Furthermore, we often view selfhood as our core being, our essence, who and what we imagine ourselves to be.

Honors 251 works through the complexities and nuances of these terms “citizen” and “self” as pathways for understanding the role of individuals in a complex society and democratic environment.

Honors 251 takes a broad, public humanities approach to questions about citizenship and selfhood, stressing the importance of self-directed, experiential, and integrative learning. In addition to developing skills like research, writing, and deliberation, we will explore ways you can develop and contribute as a citizen professional within a larger framework of social responsibility.

Students will participate in group lecture, discussion and class exercises, applied civic engagement projects, and small group communications that focus on civic learning and democratic engagement.

Course experiences may consist of:

  • Interviewing a citizen professional within your intended career field
  • Completing a StrengthFinder inventory of your personal and professional strengths
  • Reading, watching, or listening to information sources on pressing social issues and discussing in small group settings
  • Executing a service-learning project (such as the Jonesville History Project)
  • Moderating a deliberative dialogue


Deliberative Dialogue:

Honors 251 Citizen and Self students will host a series of deliberative dialogues through April 28th, 2022. Each session will last an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, and will be in-person.

“Deliberation is a process of thoughtfully weighing options.”1 During a deliberative dialogue, small groups are presented with a social problem and three options for addressing the issue. The participants in each group, with the help of a student moderator from the Mahurin Honors College, will deliberate each option and collectively decide on what they feel is the best course of action. The sessions are open to all WKU students, faculty, staff, administrators, as well as friends and family.

Registration is required, and spots are available on a first come first serve basis. To register, please see the document attached below.


Dialogue Schedule and Registration


Volunteer Opportunities:

Annual Run Walk for Children

Join the Family Enrichment Center’s 25th Annual Run Walk for Children for Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is on March 27th at Ephram WHite Park. 

Click here to register or make a donation.

Down Syndrome Support of KY 

World Down Syndrome day is on March 21st, 2021. The ongoing celebration of this day is the theme “rocking your socks.” To help everyone prepare to rock their socks, Down Syndrome Support of KY has joined with PALs to offer special crazy socks. Down Syndrome Support of KY benefits from each pair sold. You can support by donating and/or by wearing silly socks on world Down Syndrome day! 

Click here for the full flyer with details.

Barren River District Health Department 

Volunteers are needed to schedule COVID-19 vaccinations and add individuals to the waiting list. They are seeking individuals to volunteer for 4-hour shifts between either 8am-noon and/or noon-4pm. It will be at the Health Department in downtown Bowling Green. Volunteers will be needed for four weeks starting the week of Monday, February 8th. To sign up for a shift, please email Ellie Harbaugh. 


Contact Information, Ellie Harbaugh:

Email: eharbaugh@uwsk.org.

Annual LifeSkills Run for Autism 

Whether it’s a four mile run, one mile kid’s run, or a one mile fun walk, this virtual event has something for everyone to get involved and support the Suzanne Vitale Clinical Education Complex at WKU! 

Click here for more details.


Contact Information:

Email: runforautism@wku.edu

FaceBook Page: LifeSkills Run/Walk for Autism

Walk in our Shoes

The Bowling Green Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity is hosting a shoe drive for the homeless population in Bowling Green. Shoes for both men and women are needed. Donations are accepted from March 15th-April 30th 2021.

Click here for more information.

Bowling Green Micro Pantry

Micro Pantries are being implemented throughout Bowling Green in effort to reduce food insecurity and provide basic necessities for those in need. These will be available 24/7 for anyone who needs them. Monetary donations can be made directly through venmo or cash app. Nonperishable food, hygiene products, and other donations can be taken directly to box locations. The first box opens Monday, February 8th at 958 Collett Avenue. More information, including details on donation guidelines, can be found on social media. 


For Monetary Donations:

  • Include “BG micro pantry” in description 
  • Venmo: @bgmicropantry
  • Cash app: $bgmicropantry 


Social Media: 

Instagram: bgmicropantry

Courageous Kids

Apply to volunteer as a counselor for weekend retreats or summer sessions where you will lead campers and families through pre-planned activities. Applicants must be 18 or older. 

Click here for the link to apply and for more information.  


Contact Information: 

Email: kreece@courageouskids.org

Phoenix Rising KY

Volunteers will have the opportunity to help serve young adults and children that have been impacted by sex trafficing and commercial sexual exploitation and play a role in assisting their recovery. 

Click here for more information. 


Contact Information:

Email: phoenixrisingky@gmail.com

Habitat for Humanity

Volunteers will help build houses, improve neighborhoods, and help with community projects. 

Click here for more information. 


Contact Information:

Email: habitat@wku.edu

United Way of Southern Kentucky

Volunteer opportunities vary from leading financial literacy classes to reading to children or delivering meals to seniors. 

Click here for more information.  


Contact Information:

Email: enewbould@uwsk.org

Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland 

Feeding America helps to distribute food to those in need to combat hunger. Volunteers can work individually or as a group to distribute food baskets at local distribution centers to those in need. You may also help by creating an awareness campaign or even pledging our birthday.

Click here for more information. 


Contact Information:

Phone: 270-735-1407

Email: alyvers@feedingamericaky.org

New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding 

At New Beginnings, they are dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and enhancing their lives using the power of horses. Having experience with horses and people with disabilities is not required to volunteer here. They will train you through an orientation program. They ask that when you sign up, you are available for at least 1 hour a week to help. Please fill out the volunteer packet below and bring it to the volunteer orientation.

Click here for more information.

New Beginnings Volunteer Packet


Contact Information, Jonlyn Conway:

Phone: 502-718-8174

Email: newbeginningstrc@gmail.com


Social Media

FB: @newbeginningstherapeuticriding

Twitter: @NBTR

Light of Chance 

This non-profit organization’s mission is to serve youth and the community through arts and wellness programs. Volunteers would have the opportunity to help with various tasks including, but not limited to: working with the kids, assist in a class, volunteer in the office, help with social media.

Click here for more information.


Contact Information (Volunteer Coordinator Wendie Whittington):

Phone: 615-802-8448

Email: wendie.whittington@lightofchance.org

Lost River Cave

Lost River cave seeks to educate and enrich lives through connections with nature. There are various opportunities to get involved by volunteering your time. In the past, volunteers have helped with events like Earth Week, 6th Annual Snow Flurry Scurry 5k, and Volunteer Invasive Plant Initiative. More opportunities can be found on their website.


Contact Information (Chad):

Phone: 270-393-0077

Email: chadwick@lostrivercave.org 


Have other Volunteer Opportunities you would like to recommend, or any other general inquiries? Contact the Honors Teaching Fellows at mhchtfs@wku.edu!


Sample Issue Guides:

Women's Rights Sanctity of Life

Looking back, I can see how the thread that began in 251 traces through the rest of my work in college and grad school – a Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies, a certificate in Citizenship and Social Responsibility, and a masters in Religious Studies were each opportunities for me to keep exploring what makes communities grow. I LOVE this class and highly recommend it.

Emily Witthuhn, Class of 2015


This form of course learning was one of the most helpful and useful I’ve had this semester. I think this is an excellent opener for the Honors College and taking it as a sophomore really opened my eyes to what I’m being asked to read and contribute to as an adult and student.


I wish there were more courses like this so students could have the opportunity to think for themselves and learn how to navigate life (rather than memorize what someone else wrote in a book).




HON 251 Questions?

Please contact the Honors Teaching Fellows at mhchtfs@wku.edu for any questions or inquiries!


Honors Teaching Fellows


Laurel PhilpottLaurel Philpott

Major: Biology
Minor: Anthropology


Naiya Sims

Naiya Sims

Major: Biology
Minor: Business



Cassandra WileyCassandra Wiley

Majors: Biology and Spanish


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 Last Modified 4/4/22