The UHP Takes On Nats Park!

Yup, that’s right! We’re heading over to Nationals Park on April 7th at 7PM to see our dear World Series Champions face off against the Miami Marlins. Tickets are only $7 (and include a $10 food voucher!), and we’ve only got 30 of them, so sign up quick!

Sign up below by February 28th at 5pm to put yourself in for a spot, and then you’ll need to pay in cash by March 13 at 5pm to confirm your reservation.

Food for Thought w/ Prof. Engstrom!

That’s right folks– our first Food for Thought of the semester is right around the corner! Join us on February 21st from 12-1 PM for free lunch and an interesting talk about Geography, satellite imagery, and population estimates! Read the note from Professor Engstrom for more details, and sign up on the form below that!

People and Pixels: Mapping Population Characteristics using Satellite Imagery

This presentation will cover using satellite imagery to map variations in population
characteristics including poverty, income, and population density at multiple spatial scales
within a range of countries. My recent research has focused on extracting contextual features
from satellite imagery and determining their ability to improve estimates of population
characteristics in low and middle income countries at wide range of spatial scales. Contextual
features can be defined as the statistical quantification of edge patterns, pixel groups, gaps,
texture, and the raw spectral signatures calculated over groups of pixels or neighborhoods.
These features were originally designed for facial recognition software and have been adapted
to use with satellite imagery. Results have found that these features are highly correlated with
poverty, income, and population in Sri Lanka, Belize, and Ghana at scales from cities to entire

Published at 19, ft. Chris Zuniga

Join me for a Book Talk I am hosting on January 28th, 2020 in the basement of Gelman at 6:00 PM. There, I will talk about my journey in getting published and what it really is to sit down and write and know that your work will become part of the public discourse. The event doubles as a University Academic Workshop. While I will be speaking on the industry and how to navigate it, I will delve into the structure, teachings, purpose, and content of my book. How I Became a Traitor will publish in April 2020.

There will be time for Q&A. Ask questions about anything. I’ll answer.

If you’re looking to learn more about the book and my journey, follow me on Instagram (@AtChrisZuniga) and read the section below.

Enjoy your day. Thank you.


Story of My Book

My name is Chris Zuniga, and I am the author of How I Became a Traitor. I wrote this book because I have had enough of the social isolation I and others experience for the “discrepancy” between our genetics and our ideas. The biggest obstacle in rebuilding our political and social arena in modern-America is the very social isolation I speak of. I believe the cause of it to be the same people who claim to understand the struggles of others and champion their causes as allies. Sympathy is not empathy. At the sight of my people’s brown skin, we are greatly “valued” by social advocates because we “matter and deserve a seat at the table”. But when we disagree, we are “traitors” and simply “not woke enough.”

Conservatism is not Republicanism, but the recent conflation of the two things has damaged our country. By conflating personal and social values to objective policy prescriptions that do not necessarily correspond with them, we force ourselves into a corner with our faces toward the wall. There’s no way we can begin to sympathize with something we corner ourselves into never understanding. At its core, my book is about the obvious truth no longer commonly practiced: politics is beyond appearance.

My hope is that, in reading this book, you will understand that conservative principles reach far below the surface of everyday liberal-conservative politics. I hope to instill in you the same passion and excitement that I have for understanding society’s facade of understanding the marginalized for its own social and political gain. Ultimately, I want you to see this book as a tool to help you gain special insight into the experiences of everyday people like me, who are assumed by outsiders to have specific ideas, characteristics, and experiences simply because of the way we look. More importantly, this book will help you grow closer to who you are as an individual and more confident in your control of the life you choose to lead.

How I Became a Traitor is a non-fiction book that speaks to everyone interested in the intersection between politics, values, and identity.



The Book – How I Became a Traitor

The book is written in 3 Parts….

Part 1: The Betrayal — Through stories like that of Antonia Okafor, Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo, and my own in the context of my family’s journey across the Southern Border, readers will understand identity politics beyond its definition, as well as how its adoption tears our social fabric.

Part 2: The Battle — Through stories of institutional and social suppression and outright racism, readers will learn how identity politics labels everyday minorities as either “tokens” or “traitors.”

Part 3: Our Truce — An exclusive conversation with writer and political commentator Steven V. Roberts will contrast today’s political arena with the recent past, demonstrating how a two-minute change in mindset is enough to restore political unity, promote social progress for all, and treat the country of its politics-by-appearance.



What I Need & What You’ll Get

This book will be published with New Degree Press. I set up the pre-order tiers to help cover the costs for publishing my book. Money raised will go towards the following:

  • The Editor I will work with to revise and publish my manuscript in April 2020
  • The Cover Design of my Book — the mockups you see currently are a placeholder!
  • The Layout Design for the interior of my book (Physical Copy, Ebook Formats)
  • The Copyediting for My Book — to help polish the grammar and spelling prior to publication
  • The Launch & Promotion Efforts for my book — when I ultimately publish this Spring

When I pre-sell 100 copies of my book, I will publish. When I pre-sell 150 copies of my book, I will also publish an audiobook. When I pre-sell 200 copies of my book, I will publish a hardcover edition. When I pre-sell 250, I will publish a translated version in Spanish.

I am also offering some exclusive rewards for people who pre-order my book now. When I publish, you will receive the following :

  • A personally signed copy of my book
  • A personal thank you note for pre-ordering my book
  • Your Name will appear in a Special, Acknowledgements Section of my book (“with Special Thanks to”)
  • Early access to the Introduction of my Book.
  • The opportunity to help give me feedback and be involved in selecting my cover
  • I will do a book topic/workshop seminar where I will share experience the experiences of writing my book
  • An Invitation to my Launch Party



About the Author

Chris Zuniga is an Honors student at The George Washington University, studying Political Communication and Sociology.

Born into an undocumented and poor family in inner city Passaic, Chris experienced crime, poverty, a struggling school system, and hopelessness. Yet, his ideology isn’t what you expect it to be. Having always been put on the spot for his in-the-minority beliefs, Chris learned to manipulate negative attention to his benefit at a young age. He owes this skill to those who try to isolate and discredit him, as he says they “cluelessly promote my success by giving me a platform. They make things like this book a reality”.

In 2017, Chris’s outspokenness earned him national press and an invitation to the Rose Garden for a formal address by the President of the United States. Chris wants a career supporting Black and Latino youth in navigating “toxic, but particularly toxic ‘liberal’ spaces” through imparting what he has learned in his journey from the fourth Most Miserable City in the United States (Business Insider) and into the pinnacle area of elitism, Foggy Bottom/Georgetown in Washington DC.

Chris speaks publicly at a variety of events and aspires to gain a platform where he can make social commentary that he believes will change mindsets, outlooks, and lives. In his free time, he dedicates himself to just that, having previously spoken at Universities, State Board meetings, Boards of Education, Tedx Conferences, and soon, his readers and podcast listeners.

For more information, you can connect with Chris via email at, on Instagram @AtChrisZuniga, and on LinkedIn.



Risks & Challenges

The biggest challenge with publishing a book is delivering the finished book to the backer, specifically my mailing of the book to you. I have eliminated this risk by building into the campaign the mailing and shipping costs of your signed copies to you within each pre-order tier.

The risk of delivering the pre-sale copies of my book is contingent on the publisher we use. I will be working closely with New Degree Press to make sure we get the earliest possible ship date of the signed book copy to you. We will keep all pre-sale backers up-to-date as my book hits each key milestone and publishes. You will know when the copies of my book you pre-ordered are expected to ship.



Other Ways You Can Help

Some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help:

  • Please Share my Pre-sale Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with your friends, family and network. Please use #IAmATraitor and tag me as well as my publisher, New Degree Press, so we can help amplify your efforts.
  • You can easily share my Pre-Sale Campaign Page via Indiegogo at the top of the page
  • Please share my book with five friends, family members, or co-workers who you think would enjoy it. Please do this as a text message or direct message on social media.

Thank you so much for all your love and support!

Thanks again,
Chris Zuniga

Welcome to the New Blog!

Welcome, dear UHPers, to the NEW UHP BLOG! This space has a lot of fun new features, like a simplified menu, pages for Community Life and Openings and Opportunities, and a Featured Image of the Week (just a little bit to the right!).

Community Life

On this page, you’ll find the latest posts on upcoming events, peer advisor articles, and other community life news!

Openings and Opportunities

Here, you’ll see a complete summary of the job, internship, and research assistantship opportunities that people want to put before you UHPers, as well as other opportunities like the SURE and Strasser awards.


To your right, you’ll see a calendar of our upcoming events, as well as a list of those upcoming events below that calendar.

Submit a Post

Did you know that any UHP student can submit a post to our blog? Now of course just because you submit something doesn’t mean it’ll be approved, but if you have an event or an opportunity you want your fellow UHPers to know about, don’t hesitate to submit a post up there!


Sign up to Live in Upperclass Honors Housing

Living in Honors housing as a sophomore, junior, or senior is a great way to further develop your friendships and participation in the broader UHP community. 

For the 2020-2021 academic year, we are pleased to offer an entire floor in District House. Please note that different residence halls have different prices; you can find a list for housing rates here. Only sign up for housing with the UHP if you actually intend to live there.

The honors floor of District has Studio Doubles and Two-Bedroom Quads. Studio doubles are efficiency-style with a kitchen and bathroom. Two-bedroom quads are two doubles with a shared kitchen, common space, and bathroom. See the floor plans here. 

Please note, the Upperclass Honors housing community is an established Academic Residential Community (ARC). You do not need to apply for Affinity Housing to live in this community.

Applying for the Honors housing community requires 3 steps:

  1. Fill out the upperclass Honors Housing application by Friday, February 28. Through this Google Doc, you can request desired roommates, either for doubles or quads. All roommates must be members of the Honors Program, and each roommate must fill this form out separately – no one can be signed up by proxy. UHPers can also sign up for housing individually and then be placed in a studio or quad with other students that applied individually.
  2. Confirm roommate assignment via email. Applicants will be contacted by an Honors Program Manager by email to confirm roommate assignment. Once assignments are confirmed, the UHP will send all honors roommate information to the Housing Office.
  3. Receive email from GW Housing. GW Housing will reach out to you with instructions on how to complete the official housing application and self-check in process.

Please reach out to if you have any questions about the process. Thank you! 

The Great Alone, The Review

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020 The Review had its first monthly meeting where we discussed Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone. Here is what we had to say. (Warning, spoilers!)


First, our general consensus is that the novel reads like a bestseller. The story checks off many boxes of fiction like romance, adventure, coming of age, trauma, and family crises. At the end of nearly every chapter there was a cliffhanger or new plot line opened, making putting down the book a challenge. Although there were important themes that were thought-provoking, the novel didn’t change most of us. If anything, the constant movement of the plot became tiring and fantastic, which made it challenging to read.

The three main themes in the book that we discussed were trauma and violence, the forms of love present in relationships, and the themes of feminism. First, we discussed the challenge of placing blame on Leni’s father or seeing him as a victim of PTSD. Hannah wrote Leni’s father’s character in a way that made reader’s conflicted and almost felt relief when he died, yet felt sorrow for his pain and how he had to deal with PTSD. It made sense given the time period that his suffering after being a POW in Vietnam would be glossed over and not well-played out, since many veterans suffering from PTSD at this time had similar experiences. What was interesting is that Matthew received therapy after his traumatic experience with his mother’s death, so it was not as if treatment was unavailable for people living in Alaska at the time. Leni’s father refused to accept treatment ever, making him not just a victim of his experience. Another great question brought up by my own mother who read the book after I did is whether Leni’s mother should feel blame for putting Leni at risk by following her father to Alaska.

For themes of love in the book, Hannah plays out neighborly love, love as a “sickness” with Leni’s parents, family love, and love as a form of survival. We did notice that there is never true platonic friendly love. Leni misses that even when she moves back to Seattle, where Hannah only develops out the love she experiences with her family. Large Marge and the other female neighbors help Leni and her mother survive in the wilderness and Leni’s father, again following the theme of love as a form of survival. Even Leni and Matthew’s love becomes a form of survival.

Finally, we discussed the themes of feminism and strong female characters in the novel. A clear example of this was the strong female neighbors and their protection of Leni and her mother. What we struggled with is that Leni did not seem to grow much as a character on her own. When she was in Alaska, she may have been lonely but she was not growing on her own and in her own will. When she left Alaska, she was a young mother and had to grow as such. The only true decision she made on her own was returning to Alaska, where she immediately returned to being in a relationship and growing with Matthew. It was frustrating that Leni could not grow as her own person, but perhaps that was the tragedy of her character.

Interested in joining The Review? You can sign up for emails regarding our meetings here. Next month in celebration of Black History Month we will be reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Win $500 with the SURE Award

Did you know that Honors students have the opportunity to win up to $500 for their research? Apply here for the UHP/Sigelman Undergraduate Research Enhancement (SURE) Award for your chance.

“Undergraduate Research Enhancement” may not sound the most exciting (well, to most people at least, but you are UHPers), but the funds can contribute to incredible research. Previous SURE Award winners used their winnings to conduct 3D scanning of bones at the Smithsonian, study lasers and present their findings at a national conference, and research the influence of sports rhetoric on political campaigns,

The application, due Friday February 7th, includes:

  1. Student Application Form
  2. Faculty Statement of Support
  3. Unofficial GW Transcript

Please note that the UHP SURE award is different from the university-wide one. There is a SURE Research award that is available to all students, but this one is a specific fund that is set aside for UHP students. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunity!

Good Luck!

If you have any questions, reach out to Brianna at

Hey, You Should Really Be in Honors!

First-year students in their second semester at GW are invited to apply to join the Honors Program! The deadline is Friday, February 21, 2020.   Students accepted will enter the program their sophomore year and jump-start with a specially designed course in Fall 2020. If you’d like to be part of the University Honors Program, please apply! If you’re already in the UHP — we know you’ve got friends that would be perfect for the UHP, so encourage them to apply!

Some quick FAQs, as well as details about the application process, are below. You can find the application here. 

When/where/how to apply? Applications are available online.  Complete it and return it to the UHP Office at 714 21st Street NW by 5pm on February 21, 2020.

What are the requirements to apply? The specific application materials are described in the application.  Second-semester freshmen with strong GPAs should apply — the UHP requires its students to maintain GPAs high enough so that it’s mathematically possible to graduate with a 3.0.  Please note that student schedules must allow for the student to take HONR 2016 Enlightenment East & West in fall 2019.

When are decisions announced? We’ll notify applicants during the spring semester, before registration in March.

Apply to be a Peer Advisor

Honors Peer Advisors are an integral part of UHP advising. They provide mentorship to incoming first-year students and advise on the UHP student experience, honors classes, housing, and all other facets of life at GW. If you have a knack for mentorship and lending a helping hand, this could be the position for you.

Are you interested in applying to be an Honors Peer Advisor? Applications are now open:

  • Apply here if you’re applying as a new Honors Peer Advisor
  • Apply here if you’re applying as a returning Honors Peer Advisors
    • Please note that the Peer Advisor Leader (PAL) application is only available to returning Peer Advisors. It is included in the returning Honors Peer Advisor application form.

The application deadline is Friday, February 7th, 11:59PM. Please contact with questions regarding the application.

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