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IHON 111: Origins of the Contemporary World

Name: Jessie Lewis
Hometown: Forest Grove, Ore.
Major: Undeclared, leaning Psychology
Professors: Samuel Torvend, professor of religion; Paloma Martínez-Carbajo, assistant professor of Spanish

Ihon 111

Jessie’s advice to first-year students: “Do the reading. Not being prepared is the one thing that will absolutely hold you back.”

“High school was fact-based. It was all about what you could put in your brain and spit out,” said Jessie Lewis ’13. “It isn’t like that anymore.”

Lewis says this is true for all of her classes, but especially so for IHON 111, the first of seven classes in PLU’s International Honors Program sequence. What makes PLU’s program truly unique, is that global issues are looked at from multiple disciplines.

“You don’t learn about something from one perspective,” said Lewis. This approach is underscored by the fact that the class is team-taught by a professor of European religious history and a professor of Spanish. “You can’t take the most important issues that shape our world and look at them through only one lens,” said Professor Samuel Torvend ’73. “This is why we study the origins of the modern world from legal, philosophical, and religious perspectives.”

Lewis says there is great chemistry between Torvend and Assistant Professor of Spanish Paloma Martínez-Carbajo, and that makes the class a lot of fun. But that give-and-take also encourages others to participate, too.

“When you come to class, you know you’re going to be asked to share your opinion,” said Lewis.

Martínez-Carbajo agrees. “We strive to, literally, maintain an active dialogue with the past, as well as its many contributions to our present time,” she said.

“This was the most difficult class I had all year,” said Lewis. “It was also my favorite.”

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