Summer 2014 Honors Colloquia


Movies in Time

Sarah Akers, 1870:250-401, 5W2, MTuW 8:00AM-9:40AM, HC 083

This course will examine several motion pictures, ranging from the silent film era to the present day, all of which are based on actual historical events or subjects. We will compare the content of the films with the established facts, and discuss how a work of art (such as a film) can either enhance or diminish our knowledge of history.

Practical communication for all majors

Stacia Marie Smilek, 1870:250-403, 5W1, TuTh 7:30AM-10:00AM

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

Social Movements: Civil Rights, Anti-War, Equal Rights for Women

Dr. Stanley Akers, 1870:360-402, 5W2, MTuW 8:00AM-9:40AM HC 082

In this colloquium we will examine the theory of social movements in modern US society and focus on the Civil Rights, Women’s, and Anti-War Movements. Our objective is to examine the role of movements in formation of public policy and the interaction between movements and their impact not only on the society of the time, but their role in creating conditions which require further action in the 21st century.

Travel as Education

Ann Hassenpflug, 1870:360-404, 5W1, TuTh 11:00AM-1:30PM

This colloquium will examine three recent travel narratives recounting the authors’ journeys to a variety of foreign locations. These individuals chose to travel as a means of learning about the world and about themselves. Unlike foreign correspondents, diplomats, or international corporate executives, these authors were not engaged in professions that required travel. These writers chose their own destinations and diverged from their career paths to fulfill their desire to enrich their lives through travel. All of them were willing to take risks and make difficult choices to undertake their journeys. These books describe their travels as well as their reflections on how their travel experience affected them personally.

The colloquium will include discussion of the three books (Miles from Nowhere, The Hemingway Book Club, and Beyond the Earth and Sky) and the locations that they describe. Also included will be the historical precedents for engaging in travel as a means to enhance an individual’s education. Additionally travel narratives as a writing genre will be considered.

Natural Sciences

Water in our environment

Michael Dunbar, 1870:470-401, INT, MTuWThF 9:00AM-11:05AM HC 092, or 
1870:470-402, 5W2, TuTh 9:00-11:30AM HC 092

A natural resource such as water is not an individual physical entity, but rather an active system laden with meaning. Water resources are under constant stresses by environmental, political and social processes.

Conservation policies and economic production are just a couple examples of processes that have an effect on water resources. Society typically expresses a level of place attachment to water resources that extends beyond their value as a commodity.

We will be exploring different issues that impact our most valuable natural resource. We will delve into why people care about water issues even though there may be no impending threat to their supply. Our discussions and debates will examine topics such as whether water is a basic right, challenges to its distribution, the environmental costs associated with meeting demand, and the outlook for the future.

Science, Medicine, and Industry

Kevin Kaut, [33946]1870:470 Summer I Tu TH 4:00-6:30pm

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.

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