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First-Year Honors Program in Hawaii


Jan Term 2024

First-year students admitted with honors to Whitworth are invited to apply for an extraordinary honors program in Hawaii for Jan Term 2024. This off-campus program, available only to first-year honors students, provides a unique opportunity to live, learn and explore in one of the most beautiful places in the world with two outstanding Whitworth professors. Through three related courses (a 1-credit class in the fall and 3- and 2- credit courses in Jan Term), students will explore Hawaii's unique cultural context as both a singular place and as part of the United States. These courses will help students progress toward completing the honors program, shared curriculum courses required for graduation and a U.S. cultural studies minor.

Faculty Leaders

Stacy Keogh George, Ph.D.

Stacy Keogh George is an associate professor of sociology. Keogh George will lead students in an introduction to cultural anthropology with a particular focus on cultural preservation of the Hawaiian people. This includes intersectionality of race and class, socioeconomic impact of tourism and an analysis of Western culture on the Hawaii islands.

Jake Rapp, Ph.D.

Jake Rapp is an associate professor of Spanish in the department of world languages & cultures. Rapp's specialization in language, historiography, literature and gender studies will aid students on this program as they explore dimensions of cultural preservation and language immersion.


The course begins on the island of Maui where students will participate in various Hawaiian cultural activities. We will stay at a campground in semi-permanent "tentalows" that are open to sea breezes and volcanic vistas. Students will take a language class, visit Hawaiian heritage sites and attend events like a slack key concert and traditional luau. We will access surrounding beaches, hiking trails and the majestic volcano, Haleakalā, "house of the sun."

Students will then travel to O'ahu where they will stay at Camp Mokule'ia, operated by the Epispocal Church of Hawaii, 45 minutes from Honolulu, where we will learn more about the making of the state of Hawaii. The main buildings of the camp look out upon beautiful Kaiahulu Bay, a secluded inlet for year-round swimming and exploration of the bountiful sea life that gave the area its name, Mokule'ia, "place of abundance." Behind the camp rises Mount Ka'ala, the highest point of the Waianae Mountains, accessible via nearby biking and hiking trails.

Program Cost

Participants are responsible for round-trip airfare and an estimated $3,960 to cover travel expenses on the islands, including housing and meals and other program expenses. Participants are also responsible for the $325 university Jan Term fee. Instruction and credits are included with no additional cost. All accepted participants who have completed a FAFSA will be considered for a $500 need-based off-campus programs travel grant. The $500 trip deposit is due on April 14 and is refundable through May 1. Installments of $740 are due on June 15, July 15, Aug. 15, Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. Participants accepted to the trip after April 15 will have their trip deposit deadline extended (please check your email for more information).

Questions? Contact the Whitworth Admissions Office at or 509.777.4786.