Students in the Honors Program are required to take at least four honors seminars to complete the program. All seminars fulfill general education courses within specific categories. To complete the general education program, courses in all categories must be met.
SPRING 2016 Honors Courses
HONR 224: Arts:
Design methodologies: brainstorming, concept mapping, and prototyping
This course will be set up as a series of workshops and seminars designed to introduce students to the processes used in design thinking, concept mapping, and rapid prototyping. Students will be taught models for design research, critical analysis of form and content, and ways to facilitate group collaboration.
HONR 225: Humanities
Free Will and Personal Identity
Students will examine and consider a range of different perspectives and views on the nature of free will and its relation to moral responsibility, and on the nature of persons and how we persist through time despite significant changes to our bodies and our psychology. We will consider questions such as these: What is free will? Do we have it? Is it compatible with the universe’s being deterministic? What is a person? (A purely material being? A partly immaterial being?) How does a person change over time and yet remain the very same person? What does this tell us about rational concern for one’s own future?
Students will be expected to…
HONR 226: Social Science
Academics & Lifelong Learning: Tools & Strategies for Connected Learning
The web, access to mobile devices, and “everything technology” have changed the face of how we communicate, navigate, and learn. This course addresses questions including: How does what I do and say on the web affect my digital identity, and how can I shape that identity? How can my technology prowess help me learn and be productive? What is critical vs. optional, to keep technology in balance, while using tools and building my skills? What do I need to do, to keep pace with changes in technology access and opportunities?
The course embeds digital badging, to recognize personal achievements in course objectives; requires a capstone published ePortfolio and presentation; and integrates a service learning component.
HONR 227: Natural Science
Bioethics and the New Embryology
Technological advancements such as in vitro fertilization, genetic engineering, and stem cell research have opened the door to many healthy debates about technological capabilities and the development of the embryo. To make informed judgments and participate effectively in debating these issues people should understand the science behind the ethical debates. The course is designed to teach you the biology you need for an informed discussion of the bioethics of the process of development.
HONR 228: American History
The American Revolution
T/R 11:00 - 12:20
This seminar will analyze the causes and consequences of the American Revolution through a close examination of the events leading up to the Revolution, as well as the political, economic, and social developments that occurred during the war and the first twenty years following its end. We will pay particular attention to different notions of “liberty,” “equality,” and “independence” and of how best to secure those ideals for future generations. We will accomplish these goals through individual analysis and seminar-style discussions of contemporary documents and historical articles on selected topics, as well as, possibly, role-playing game simulations. Potential game simulation topics include the trial following the Boston Massacre, the British occupation of New York City, or the Constitutional Convention.
HONR 229: Western Civilization
From Brigadoon to Brave: The Representation of Scottish Race, Class, and Gender in Cinema
Far from offering realistic portrayals of Scottish identity, most films depicting Scotland dwell on clichés and stereotypes. This interdisciplinary course will explore how cinematic representations of race, class and gender shape an image of Scotland. By drawing on students' previous educational and life experiences, Scottish and American culture will be compared and contrasted. In a world increasingly shaped by moving pictures, this course is designed to develop a visual literacy and critical self-awareness about who we are, what we are about, where we are situated, and where we are coming from which can be applied not just to academia, but to life itself.
HONR 230: World Cultures
Conflict, Democracy, & Nation Building in the 20th Century
How do you create a nation out of complexity and contention? How can different social, religious, and racial groups cohere as a single nation? How can democratic governments be installed among peoples who have for generations lived under non-democratic governments? How can the rights of vulnerable minorities be protected from the potential tyranny of a democratically-elected majority? This course seeks to engage students in answering these questions by placing them directly in the shoes of people who grappled with these issues in different places and different time periods. Rather than rely solely on lectures and seminars, students will assume the roles of historical characters and political factions, and engage in debate, discussion, and alliance building centered upon the above questions. This course will transport students to two different world regions which struggled (and still struggle) with these issues throughout the 20th century: Mexico (1912) and India (1945). Each episode will unfold over six week units. Students will inform themselves by careful analysis of actual historical documents such as speeches, charters, photographs, maps, newspapers, and manifestos. These elaborate games are highly interdisciplinary (History, Political Science, Communications, Theater, Sociology, Religious Studies, Philosophy).