Summer 2015 Honors Colloquia


Practical communication for all majors

Stacia Marie Smilek, [33725] 1870:250-403, INT, MWTh 9:30AM-1:00PM HC 092

This course will teach students that regardless of their major or intended career that Communication has an important place. The course will teach students how to properly communicate in several different contexts, all of which will directly relate to their everyday lives and potential careers. Students will complete a variety of projects where they will put into practice the specific skills that are being taught in the classroom.

Social Science

TV, Radio, Internet...oh my!

Carrie A. Tomko, [33731] 1870:360-401, INT, TuTh 10:00am-3:30PM HC 083

Communication is key in this fast-paced society with TV, radio, and the internet bringing instantaneous news, information, and entertainment. The mass media brings global topics from across the world close to home. What are the current events covered in the news? What content is shared? Beyond content, what underlying messages are generated in mass media messages?
This colloquium will engage students by examining current event coverage in conjunction with communication theories in order to critically analyze what we are seeing and hearing in the media. This course will focus particularly on issues of diversity, gender, and other controversy, and how these dynamics play out in the media. An emphasis will be placed on classroom discussion, welcoming personal opinions on TV, radio, and internet coverage of current events. Watch it! Discuss it! Be a student of the world around us!

Motivation and Emotion: A Journey through Failure and Gain Success in Academics, Career, and Personal Life.

Renee Mudrey-Camino, [33746] 1870:360-406 5W2, TuTh 5:45PM-8:15PM HC 82

Seminar Description
The course is a broad overview of the growing field of motivation and emotion. Although
much of the course will focus on the study of affective science from a social-personality
perspective, motivation and emotion are interdisciplinary fields so the course will cover neurobiological, developmental, and cognitive research in these areas. We will take a broad look at the ways in which emotions have been studied within psychology, and will particularly focus on major questions in the area, such as: What is an emotion? What are the necessary parts of emotion? What is the difference between emotions and other affective states, such as mood? What is the role of cognition in emotion? What is the role of emotion in motivation and career success/failure?
The course will examine evolutionary views of emotions, and the role of culture in shaping
emotional experiences and behaviors will also be examined. Throughout the course, students will
be encouraged to think about emotions from a functionalist perspective, asking either how a
given emotion works proximally in social life such as dating, or what its more distal, evolved function might be.
Other specific topics that we will cover include the self, judgment and decision making, emotion
expression, emotion regulation, discrete vs. dimensional views of affect, emotions and
personality, and appraisal theories of emotion.

Natural Sciences

Global Environmental Issues
Dunbar, Michael, [32461]1870:470-402 5W1, TuTh 9:00AM-11:30AM Kolbe Hall 205

The Earth is now home to over 7 billion human beings. During the semester we'll be exploring how our presence on the planet has impacted the natural resources, its environment, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions and debates will examine topics such as how our actions and technology have impacted the Earth's climate, biodiversity, natural resources, and technology, to name a few.

Science, Medicine, and Industry

Kevin Kaut, [33202] 1870:470-405, INT,  TuWTh 1:00-4:30pm HC 082

Human health and wellness—and naturally the treatment of disease—rely on scientific advances. Scientific research is the foundation for our understanding of the seemingly countless known (and yet to be known) issues that challenge our health and functioning across the lifespan. In this natural science colloquium, we will explore some of the remarkable advances in the modern scientific era, and consider the important (and sometimes difficult) synergies among those representing the best interests of research, medicine, industry, and even politics. By considering noteworthy examples throughout history (e.g., HIV-AIDS; ‘sleeping sickness’; pre-symptomatic genetic testing; prefrontal lobotomies; psychoactive drugs) we will better appreciate the complex issues that enhance—and impede—progress in understanding and treating the human condition. Through brief lectures, discussion, film, and invited speakers, this natural science colloquium is intended to sample from a variety of scientific ‘challenges’, with the overarching goal of better understanding the multidimensional nature of physical and mental health. Although scientific research will typically be the focus of our discussions, we will often attempt to examine the complex political, financial, and social-emotional factors that fuel the greatest of scientific accomplishments (e.g., Nobel laureates) and less well understood ‘failures’ in science and medicine.