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Spring 2019 Honors Courses


Honors Experience Seminars

HONR 1320: Why Poetry Matters: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Modern World Poetry (BHU)
Section 001, CRN 13535, 3 credits
Dr. David Richter (TR 12:00-1:15 in HH 122) 

Students will learn that poetry matters because it shows us how language shapes and defines human experience within our own and other cultures. Whether or not you already appreciate poetry, this course will teach you how to read and appreciate the work of writers from places, cultures, and traditions around the world. We will discuss many “big questions” about the human condition: How do language and identity shape one another? What does it mean to be an insider or outsider in a particular community? How does poetry express a sense of the past, an appreciation for nature, an engagement with politics, or feelings of love or loss? You will consider these issues in the 19th-and 20th-century poetry that we study, but you will also make connections between the poetry and your own personal experiences. Each class session will feature lively discussions of course readings as we learn how to analyze and talk about poetry. You will not only become a skilled reader of poetry, but you will also develop invaluable writing and speaking skills that will help you in any field of study or future vocation. The class is designed to let students put the lessons they learn from the poetry into practice in a variety of unique and non-traditional learning activities, including composing their own creative writing, participating in a community service-learning project, and leaving the classroom to engage meaningfully with nature.

HONR 1330: Creativity and Compassion: Social Engagement in the Arts (BCA)
Section 001, CRN 11357, 3 credits
Prof. Dennise Gackstetter (MW 1:30-2:45 in LLC A 110)

In this class, we will explore how inspired and motivated individuals can do incredible and creative things to help transform the lives of others. Students will learn about people who have changed the world through a variety of socially engaged art forms and events. As we study their motivations and inspirations, we will discover how these artists harnessed their strengths for the common good. Students will also develop their own abilities to envision and propose creative ways of shaping the world. During each class, we will learn a mindful meditation or creative thinking technique that each of us will then practice throughout the week. These techniques will strengthen your ability to encounter and address challenges in life. Each student will have the opportunity to research and present findings on an artist or group of artists. These presentations will be unique to each student, depending on how the artist and research inspires that student. Students will also work collaboratively with small groups of peers to envision and propose a resolution that creatively addresses an issue of social importance to the group. This resolution may take any form, including an artwork, performance, or event. There are few limits or restrictions on what this proposal could be; your collective inspiration will lead the way! 

HONR 1350: Media Messages in Health and Nutrition (BLS)
Section 001, CRN 12401, 3 credits
Prof. Rebecca Charlton (TR 9:00 -10:15 in MAIN 117)

Media messages about nutrition surround us. Social media posts promise miracle foods, websites promise miracle diets, and science seems to back every claim—or does it? How do you find the right messages among all of the wrong ones? What makes some posts so popular and others so forgettable? In this class, we will work together to dissect ideas relevant to nutrition messaging, scientific thinking, and popular nutrition culture. In this student-led, flipped classroom, you will get to scour campus and the Internet for nutrition “selling points” and then use deduction and scientific reasoning to determine the truth behind those messages. Guest lecturers from various scientific disciplines will help us to understand the range of science behind food messages. Students will then act as scientists themselves, researching, developing, and testing their own science-based nutrition messages. As you collect and evaluate data, you will not only learn the skills required of all undergraduate science scholars, but also prepare yourselves well for the undergraduate research that all honors students perform in their future majors.

Honors Think Tanks

HONR 3010(DSC/QI) and 3020(DHA/CI): Science Communication in an Alt World
Section 001, CRN 12678/12677, 3 credits
Dr. Jen Peeples and Dr. Katie Potter  (TR 1:30-2:45 in LLC A 110)

In 1986, philosopher Harry G. Frankfurt had little idea that his essay’s opening remark—“One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit”—would be so prescient to 2018. Examples of the growing confusion of fact, opinion, and complete fabrication are rampant in public discourse. At the same time, the scientific journals where most research is published are becoming less accessible to the general public due to the high cost of subscriptions and their often jargon-heavy language. Through readings, interviews, experiments, and data analysis, we will examine historical and present-day examples of evidence being accepted or disputed in the face of corporate, political, or theological opposition. This course will give students the tools to think skeptically, to recognize fraudulent or fallacious information, and to generate, understand, and communicate factual information. As a final project, you’ll use these tools to reach diverse audiences in your community, teach scientific literacy, and (hopefully) effect positive change.

HONR 3020(DHA) and 3030(DSS): The Politics and Aesthetics of Space (CI)
Section 001, CRN 15386/15387, 3 credits

Dr. Marissa Vigneault and Dr. Jessica Lucero (TR 3:00-4:15 n LLC A 110)

Questions about space—geographical, political, cultural, and/or social—are central to our contemporary world. How we occupy and think about space shapes how we engage with local, regional, national, and global communities. Space can foster or hamper individual potential across a variety of identities (e.g., gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, ability, and class), and it can also advance or hinder social, economic, and environmental justice causes. In this course, we will explore how contemporary social concerns (from 1960 on) have both catalyzed collective, community-based action and inspired aesthetic visualization and intervention by artists. Students will study how space has been used to marginalize groups of people, and, conversely, how marginalized communities can take back space through collective efforts and political processes. You will learn to assess how artists build communities, create voices, and claim space through visual culture. Together, we will create a responsive learning environment that values diversity and difference and connects students’ own lived experiences to a larger understanding of structural and socio-political conditions that oppress and liberate communities. Students will engage in community-based, interactive projects, such as Inside Out and PhotoVoice, as well as ‘zine making and a capstone “pop-up exhibit,” in order to develop an understanding of the critical connections between the visual arts and community organizing. The aim of the class is to help you understand the role of art and visual culture in community growth and development so that you can engage with, develop, and organize your own community spaces now and in the future.

Honors Labs

BIOL 1625 (H): Biology I Laboratory
Section 001, CRN 12937, 1 credit
Professor Lauren Lucas (T 9:00-11:45 in LSB 108)

The BIOL 1615 and 1625 honors lab sections create an intellectual environment by pairing a peer group of academically engaged and curious students with the lab coordinator. Students will conduct most or all of the same projects as standard laboratory sections, but students will occasionally use advanced equipment and perform authentic pilot studies that may be suitable for publication.

Honors Writing Courses

ENGL 2010 (H): Intermediate Writing (CL2)
Section 015, CRN 11062, 3 credits
STAFF TBA (TR 9:00-10:15 in FL 307)

Section 021, CRN 12119, 3 credits
STAFF TBA  (MWF 10:30-11:20 in FL 115)

This course teaches students to develop their own writing styles and voices, to integrate those voices with what others (often authorities) have to say about subjects, and to become stronger readers, writers, and thinkers. The class focuses on library and Internet research, appropriate documentation of such research, and persuasive writing. Students will evaluate sources, collaborate with classmates, and participate in peer-review of each other’s writing. Writing assignments emerge from a syllabus of topical and provocative readings, and students participate actively in class discussions, think carefully about the reading and writing assignments, and write several papers related to their own research interests.

*Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 1010 or AP English Composition score of 3 or ACT score of 29.

Honors Math Courses

MATH 2210 (H): Multivariable Calculus (QI)
Section 005, CRN 10161, 4 credits
Staff TBA (MTWF 10:30-11:20 in ENLAB 248)

Description TBA

Honors Engineering Courses

ENGR 3080 (H): Technical Communication for Engineers (CI)
Section 003, CRN 12657, 3 credits
Prof. Melissa Scheaffer (TR 9:00-10:15 in ENGR 401)

Through an in-depth analysis of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, students will develop individual and collaborative writing, presentation, and research skills to be effective writers of technical information. Students will research the technical, communication, and ethical issues that led to the failure, examine actual Challenger-related technical documents and findings, and write technical documents. Guest speakers include a former astronaut who flew in missions before and after Challenger, as well as an engineer on the Challenger disaster recovery team.

Honors Connections

Fall 2019 Connections sections will be posted when they available. Please contact with questions.