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Fredonia Foundations Honors-Only Sections

The following courses are restricted to students admitted to the Fredonia Honors Program.  

BIOL 109 Biology, Health, and Medicine (Section HR)

  • Fredonia Foundations: Natural Sciences & Scientific Reasoning; Critical Reasoning & Analysis
  • Dr. Ted Lee
  • Face-to-Face: TR 11:00am-12:20pm (CRN: 35892); 20 seats
  • [location TBD]

Course description: 

The course will discuss aspects of biology and health providing information on the science of these topics.  Students will learn about infectious and inherited diseases.  The course will cover how scientists have studied diseases and developed treatments for them and what work is currently being done to develop new treatments to disease.  The course will have discussions on areas of bioethics and personal health and wellness.  


Class materials: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan


Assignments: term paper, other TBD


EDU 226 Earth as a System (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: ’17: Natural Sciences; Global Perspectives & Diversity; ’23: Natural Science & Scientific Reasoning; Global Perspectives
  • Dr. Michael Jabot
  • Face-to-Face:  T, 8:00-10:20am (CRN: 33903); 25  seats
  • Thompson E114

Course description: In today's world, with increasing global population, shifting climate and a growing demand for raw materials and energy, a basic understanding of the earth as a system is more important than ever. Earth as a System (ESS) aims to illustrate the interconnectedness and complexities of the planet's principal subsystems of hydrologic, atmospheric, biologic and geologic processes and their impact on shaping the planet and the lives of humans.


Class materials: This course is an OER course (no purchase required).


Assignments: Data Jam; Country Profile; NASA data contributions

ENGL 131 Word and Image (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: Arts, Creativity & Innovation
  • Dr. Ici Vanwesenbeeck
  • Face-to-Face: TR 12:30-1:50pm (CRN: 35477); 25 seats
  • Fenton 179


Course description: In this course, we will explore the interrelation between word and image in ekphrastic poetry, calligraphy, cartoons, and graphic novels. Our broad thematic approach will be romance.


Class materials: Most text material will be available via Reed Library E-Book Portal and ArtStore. Students will read two full-length graphic novels, excerpts from literary and scholarly texts. 


Assignments: in-class writing assignments, poster, discussion leading, 2000-word research essay. 


ENGL 274 Social Justice and the Written Word (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Social Justice; Creativity & Innovation
  • Dr. Saundra Liggins
  • Online: asynchronous (CRN: 35773); 10 seats


Course description:  Through the examination of speeches, fiction and non-fiction of the Civil Rights Movement,  students will explore how literary texts can reflect and be an instrument of social justice. Additionally, participants in this class will write about social justice issues relevant to their own interests and experiences.


Class materials: Readings will include Melba Beals’ autobiography Warriors Don’t Cry Additional readings will be available on FREDLearn.


Assignments: Short essays, online discussion, and multimedia presentations. 


MUS 115 Music Appreciation (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: Arts; Critical Thinking and Analysis
  • Dr. Tiffany Nicely
  • Face-to-Face: MWF 11:00 - 11:50 a.m.  (CRN: 35313); 50 seats
  • McEwen G24

Course description: In an effort to understand the big question - “why does music exist?” - we explore historical musical trends in terms of who made music, what they made, why they made it, how, and who it was made for. Further, we question the existence of a defined canon of music and musicians, casting our net of musical exploration wider than the typical cast of composers, styles, and genres.


Class materials: The Enjoyment of Music 14th Edition by Forney / Dell’Antonio / Machlis, WW Norton, ISBN 9780393543025


STAT 260 Introduction to Data Science (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning; Information Literacy
  • Dr. Megan Johnson
  • Face-to-Face: TR 2:00-3:20pm (CRN: 35846); 10 seats
  • Houghton 260

Course description: An introduction to the art and science of transforming data into information. Working with data using R and RStudio; data collection, wrangling, modeling, and visualization; data “storytelling.” Background assumed: N.Y.S. Algebra II or equivalent.


Class materials: 

  • Modern Data Science with R, 2nd edition, by Benjamin S. Baumer, Daniel T. Kaplan, and Nicholas J. Horton, CRC Press, 2021; ISBN-13: 978-0-3671-9149-8. The textbook is available online at
  • We will be using R and RStudio. R is a general purpose language that supports modern statistical computing and graphical methods. RStudio provides an integrated development environment for R, facilitating its use by providing help and documentation, a workspace browser, and a data viewer, and by helping the user write good R code. Both R and RStudio are free and open-source.

Assignments: TBD, but there will be a major project due at the end of the semester.


THEA 133 Introduction to Acting (Section HR) 

  • Fredonia Foundations: Oral Communication, Information Literacy
  • Mr. Paul Mockovak
  • Face-to-Face: MW 11:00am - 12:20pm (CRN: 35918); Seats: 18
  • RAC G-29

Course description: Basic craft skills of acting with emphasis on improvisation, character study, analysis, and scene work.


Class materials: No textbook required.

Assignments: 5 Creative/Performance projects with associated Research & Analysis, Self-assessments, Heightened Text Memorization

WGST 210 LGBTQ Literature in American Culture (Section HR)

  • Fredonia Foundations: Humanities, Global Perspectives & Diversity
  • Ms. Hannah Gordon
  • Online: asynchronous (CRN: 35917); Seats: 25

Course description: This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the American LGBTQ Rights Movement, combining historical, literary, and cultural analysis and methodologies. We will examine major events, developments, themes, and concepts within the American LGBTQ Rights Movement and American LGBTQ literary history from the early-twentieth century to the present. Particular attention will be paid to how literary and cultural representations of the LGBTQ community shaped the fight for LGBTQ rights and liberation. Sexual orientation and gender identity will also be examined in relation to other marginalized identity positions and systems of privilege and oppression. This class counts for Fredonia Foundations credit for Humanities/Global Perspectives and Diversity.

Class materials: 

David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music by Bullock, Darryl W. (Abrams Press, 2017)


Weekly reflections, three analysis papers, final digital poster project and accompanying final research paper 

Upper-Level Honors Seminars

Scroll down for upper-level Honors seminars.

Upper-Level Honors Seminars, Internships, and Learning Contracts

The following courses are restricted to students admitted to the Fredonia Honors Program. There may be additional restrictions placed on each course.

HONR 302:  Putting It Together: Stephen Sondheim & the Broadway Musical (Section 01) 

  • Upper Level: Humanities 
  • Dr. Natalie Gerber
  • Face-to-Face: MWF 10:00-10:50 (CRN: 35800); 25 seats
  • Fenton 108

Course description: The history of the Broadway book musical is largely the history of Oscar Hammerstein and his protégé, Stephen Sondheim. In this course, we will look briefly at the origins of the Broadway musical, looking at the transition from vaudeville, revues and song showcases to the so-called integrated musical as best realized by Hammerstein (ShowboatOklahoma), bringing our focus to the career of Sondheim, whose justly celebrated shows explored—and exploded--all of these possibilities, from the book to the concept musical. Students will work in small teams to present a different Sondheim musical (we’ll aim to discuss 8-10 of his shows), examining carefully not only the process of creation but also the distinctive achievements, challenges, and opportunities the musical presented as well as the commonalities it may hold with his other works (or with other works of musical theater). At the end of the semester, each student or student team will present what they have learned from Sondheim and demonstrate the lessons via an original creative or critical work accompanied by a critical reflection; the extrapolations need not be in musical theater but may certainly take the form of work toward an original show or of any component of a show (e.g., score, lyrics, etc.).  This final work will be collaboratively assessed according to a rubric the class itself will develop. The course will culminate in a showcase presenting work to the public. The shape of this showcase will be developed by the students.


Class materials: Sondheim, Finishing the Hat and Look I Made a Hat (Knopf, 2011); Lapine, Putting It Together: How Stephen Sondheim and I Created Sunday in the Park with George (FSG, 2021); plus, libretti for musicals as needed; ability to stream/view videos and recordings of musicals outside of class;  @SondheimLetters on Instagram; (lyrics); various online videos; Recommended: Spotify Premium (for listening to works)


Assignments: TBD, likely weekly reflections/discussion posts (30%); collaboration (15%); presentation of Sondheim show (25%); final project synthesizing learning (20%: 15%, creative or critical project; 5%, reflection); public showcase (10%)

HONR 303: Election of 2024 (Section 01)

  • Upper Level: Social Sciences 
  • Dr. Jonathan Chausovsky
  • Face-to-Face: TR 3:30-4:50  (CRN: 35801); 25 seats
  • Thompson E120

Course description: The 2024 election cycle promises to be a bruising battle. American Politics is at a crossroad as the two major parties exist with completely different perceptions of reality. The same two major party presidential candidates from 2020 are near-certain nominees in 2024. One of them instigated an insurrection on January 6, 2021 in an effort to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election. He is facing 91 criminal counts in four separate criminal trials; nonetheless, he has the vocal support of most members of his party. There will be cash contributions in amounts ranging from small to huge, and campaign consultants devising strategies to target voters in traditional and new media. Likely, there will be hacking, misdirection, foreign attempts to influence the outcome, illegal contributions, and minimal enforcement by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).  As this is written, there are two significant wars ongoing: one in Ukraine, and the other in Gaza and Israel. So we seem to be assured to have drama of Wagnerian proportions. You may ask yourself, how did we get here? You may ask yourself, where do these conflicts lead to? And you may ask yourself, who is right, and who is wrong?


It is not the same as it ever was, but it is a system that has evolved over time. The Constitution mandates districts where the winner-takes-all. States run the elections, and at times Congress has established rules for campaign finance, including the creation of the FEC. The Supreme Court has interpreted the above, and significantly impacted these rules. Politicians seek to take advantage of the political landscape. The rules and practices thus are not due to a single design, but due to the actions of people in various positions of authority. We will trace these patterns, tools and practices. We will explore the world of political consulting, since politicians cannot navigate the current environment without them. We will also examine the use and misuse of public opinion data, and the basic methods that underlie scientific survey methods. This analysis will enable you to synthesize developing events with existing theories, rather than merely letting the days go by.


Class materials: We will be using Perusall, an online annotation platform, for (nearly) all of our assignments. It allows students to highlight sections of the text, make comments, and respond to other’s comments or questions. In other words, reading will be social! Course materials will be uploaded there, and any textbook must be purchased through that site, so that we can engage with each other. Students will be required to read a major national newspaper regularly, and to monitor a variety of other news sources such as political blogs, academic blogs, news magazines, and campaign news releases. We will also schedule debate watch parties (if there are any), and an election returns watch party.


Assignments: Students will be evaluated on the quality of their online comments on the Perusall, on three papers, and make an electronic poster for a project called “Better Know a District.” For this, each student will select a different House or Senate district, and gather information about that district. This will include a brief profile of the demographics, the candidates, the issues raised, polling history, and sources of money raised. You will learn how to find this data, and apply it to your district. The posters will be combined into a slide show, to be displayed on campus.

HONR 306 Individual Resiliency and Change Leadership (Section 01)

  • Upper Level: Interdisciplinary
  • Ms. Lisa Powell Fortna
  • Face-to-Face: TR 2:00-3:20 (CRN: 35911); Seats: 15
  • Location: TBA

Course description: 

Change is inevitable in our personal lives and in all industries and occupations.  Sometimes we choose to make or create change and other times it is forced on us.  This course will use a combination of theory and framework review, personal reflection, case study analysis and change management applications to enhance change understanding and readiness, build individual resiliency strategies and develop capabilities needed for personal effectiveness and to lead in today’s world. 

 The course will be divided into three components:

1.    Explore your individual change readiness and change tendencies through personal assessments, reflections, and discussion.

2.    Establish an in-depth understanding of change theory and key industry frameworks.

3.  Apply your knowledge to case study analysis and experiential learning opportunities through the application of change management tools including developing vision for change, completing a stakeholder analysis, assessing capabilities, and establishing success measures in an industry or setting of your choice.

Class materials: 

Required textbook and additional multi-media resources provided



Students will be evaluated based on personal reflection, class engagement and application of change management theory.  Key assignments will include:

1.    Change reflection journal

2.    Comparative theory written assignment

3.    Case study analysis

4.    Industry application project with group presentation

HONR 490: Honors Internship (Section 01)

  • Applied-Learning Experience (may substitute for an Honors course)
  • Dr. Natalie Gerber
  • Modality variable; (CRN: 15143); 5 seats

Course description: Upper-level experiential learning opportunity through on-campus or off-campus placements. Nature of work will vary from placement to placement. This course is generally reserved for Honors Program members and students are responsible for finding and negotiating their own placement. Course requires students to consult with the Honors Program Director and the Career Development Office to complete a Learning Contract in accordance with college guidelines before the start of the internship.

Class materials: n/a

Assignments: TBD via a CDO learning contract and an Honors learning contract

Students may opt to pursue an applied-learning project (minimum 2 credits) in place of any one course that is part of the program requirements. This applied-learning project could be a directed study, field experience or learning assistantship, internship, service-learning project, and/or volunteer project.  Students must consult with the program director prior to the experience to complete a learning contract and to arrange to receive credit.  See this presentation for further information.

Honors Program

  • 2148-2151 Fenton Hall State University of New York at Fredonia Fredonia, NY 14063

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