Honors Courses

Spring 2022

HONR 1320: History of Writing (BHU)
Dr. Joyce Kinkead 
CRN: 13382 
TR 12:00-13:15  
F2F – RWST 306 

Humans began writing over 5,000 years ago. Although they had been communicating for thousands of years prior to that, they had no writing system. Today, writing is so pervasive that it is often taken for granted, but writing is a “large, important, and multi-dimensional story” as Writing Studies researcher and scholar Charles Bazerman writes. This course is dedicated to making more transparent the history and development of writing across time and place as well as investigating your own experiences as a writer. The subject of writing is encyclopedic: writing and work; letter writing; social media; graffiti; computers; school writing. We will begin with the origins of writing in ancient civilization and the writing systems that developed and move to the material culture of writing: implements, paper, printing presses, QWERTY keyboards. Throughout the term, opportunities to explore the history of writing will be offered through individual book talks and hands-on activities such as making paper, cutting a quill pen, and practicing letterlocking developed by Elizabethan spies. All materials, including the book, A Writing Studies Primer, written by Dr. Kinkead. 

 

HONR 1330: Queer Manga (BCA)
Raymond Veon  
CRN: 11098 
MW 13:30-14:45 
F2F – ENGR 205 

In Queer Manga: LGBTQ Stories, Histories and Cultures through Visual Expression, students produce a series of short Manga visual narratives (about 3 pages in length) inspired by LGTBQ stories from history and across cultures. The course culminates in a longer (6 page) Manga narrative that each student conceives based on their own ideas and vision, with guidance from the instructor. Since Manga is an immensely popular art form that brings people together and often addresses contemporary issues, this course empowers students to create Manga that can be shared in multiple formats (e.g. online, zine format). In this interdisciplinary class students will: 1) Develop and apply a range of Manga drawing skills to basic and increasingly difficult challenges, 2) Apply understanding of LGBTQ histories and culture through Manga narratives, written reflection, and other activities; our exploration of LGBTQ history will range from the ancient world to the present, exploring how art and visual culture convey aspects of LGBTQ experiences across time and place, 3) Expand abilities to create expressive, effectively designed, and conceptually integrated visual narratives as the result of artistic research, imagination, and personal ideas, 4) Improve visual critical faculties and the ability to express insights in discussions, critiques and written reflections, 5) Critically review and discuss major LGBTQ art exhibits and LGBTQ studies.  

 

HONR 1350: Science, Technology and Modern Society (BLS)
Dr. Rose Judd-Murray 
CRN: 11854 
TR 10:30-11:45  
F2F – LIB 421  

The course Science, Technology and Modern Society challenges students from all academic majors to develop an understanding of the dynamic interaction between science, technology, and society; and the responsibility of humans in directing the utilization of technology as a creative enterprise. Students will critically investigate contemporary technological innovations, issues, and impacts on society from a global perspective. 

HONR 3020 and HONR 3030: The Politics and Aesthetics of Space  
Dr. Marissa Vigneault: HONR 3020 (CI) (DHA) CRN: 13383 
Dr. Jessica Lucero: HONR 3030 (DSS) (CI) CRN: 13384 
TR 9:00-10:15 
F2F – MAIN 229  

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. 

BIOL 1625 H: Biology II Laboratory  
Lauren Lucas  
CRN: 12239 
T 10:30-13:15 
F2F  LSB 108 

The Honors lab section pairs a peer group of academically engaged and curious Honors students with an outstanding Biology lab instructor. Students will perform all the same experiments as standard laboratory sections but will also enjoy an experience enriched by activities designed specifically for the Honors lab.

ENGL 2010 H: Intermediate Writing (CL2)  
Dr. Jeremy Ricketts  
CRN: 10848 
MWF 8:30-9:20 
F2F – LIB 405  

Mary Ellen Greenwood  
CRN: 14808 
TR 13:30-14:45 
Blended F2F  BNR 113   

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. 

MATH 2210 H: Multivariable Calculus (QI)
Dr. Brent Thomas
CRN: 10141 
MTWR 9:30-10:20  
F2F – HH 130 

This course gives students the opportunity to work together to build an understanding of calculus. Students will work in teams to present the textbook material over two class periods.  On the first day, teams will introduce new concepts, deciding which examples and exercises might best prepare the rest of the class to complete the required homework. On the second day, the team answers questions from their classmates and works through any problems with the homework. After each team has taken a two-day presentation turn, we will create new team assignments, giving everyone a chance to work with everyone else. This format allows students to think independently and critically about mathematical concepts, using their own interests to create real-world applications for calculus. Honors calculus students don’t just do textbook assignments; they bring them to life. 

PE 1057 H: Yoga                               
Cammy Adair 
CRN: 14861 
TR 7:30 – 8:20 a.m. 
F2F – HPER 102 

This course will focus on the science and practice of yoga. Methods to improve the student’s flexibility, strength, balance, and posture will be taught. Students will dive deep into why yoga works to help them physically, mentally, and emotionally. Anatomy and physiology related to yoga will be emphasized.

Yoga strengthens mind and body awareness, induces relaxation, and often provides pain relief. Students will learn tools and techniques (i.e. breathing methods) to alleviate stress and tension. Journaling will be used as a method to enhance overall awareness.

ENGR 3080 H: Communication for Engineering (CI)
Melissa Schaeffer  
CRN: 11813 
TR 9:00-10:15 
F2F  BNR 278  

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.

HONR 3900: Honors Capstone Preparation- Proposal 
Dr. Kristine Miller  
CRN: 26845 (Logan), 26846 (Brigham City), 26847 (Moab), and 26848 (Uintah Basin)
2 Meetings: TBD  
Online   

Honors Capstone Preparation and Proposal (1 credit). Recommend taking 3-4 semesters before you graduate and is an online informational course preparing you for your capstone, that meets twice during the semester. Email amanda.adison@usu.edu with your A# and name, for authorization.

HONR 4900 (CI): Honors Thesis/Capstone (1-3 credits)
Register the semester you plan to finish your capstone (ENGR majors take Senior Design). Email amanda.adison@usu.edu with your A#, name, and faculty mentor for authorization.

FALL 2021

PE 1063 H: Conditioning                             

This course introduces the student to five aspects of physical fitness: Cardiorespiratory Fitness, Muscular Strength and Endurance, Flexibility, Balance, and Body Composition. The course will take an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on a variety of cardiorespiratory/aerobic and resistance/anaerobic training methodologies, as well as proven flexibility, balance and weight management techniques and programming. As part of this Honors course, students will have the opportunity to enhance their learning experience by studying various physical activity stimuli and their bodies’ adaptation, assessing and charting progress, and have opportunities for reflection on physical and mental feedback mechanisms and the various activities’ impact on their overall physical and psychological health.

HONR 1320 (BHU): Revolution! Reacting to the Atlantic 

Experience the “Age of Revolutions” firsthand, and bring history to life! Do you love the American Revolution? Are you interested in the overthrow of the French monarchy? Do you like to immerse yourself in learning? Through two role-playing simulations, HONR 1320 will allow students to live through the social, ideological, and political background of the American, French, and Haitian revolutions. You will play a particular revolutionary character as you conduct research, deliver oral arguments, write articles, and investigate the motivations of revolutionaries from the past. Between 1763 and 1815, a hopeful, exciting, and captivating revolutionary spirit swept through the Atlantic world as ideas about rights, representation, and the human condition became popular global topics. These ideals inspired people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Abbé de Sièyes, LaFayette, Olympe de Gouges, and Toussaint L’Ouverture to revolt against their oppressors. American colonists, led by the charismatic George Washington, threw off British rule. The French monarchy crumbled. Black slaves emancipated themselves in the world’s wealthiest colony, Saint Domingue in Haiti. By 1815, the “Old Regime” of Europe, which had long dominated the political, economic, and social topography of the Western world, was a thing of the past, replaced by experiments with representative government. Join us for what is sure to be a revolutionary experience!

HONR 1330 (BCA): Dogs in Art 

This course examines representations of dogs in art, literature, and film from the period of Classical Antiquity to the present day, asking why these representations are created, how they function, and why they change over time. Our primary focus will be on visual imagery, and students will learn to think critically while exploring a diverse range of art-historical methods. Students will also compare visual representations of dogs in art and film with written descriptions in fiction and scientific literature to gain a richer understanding of how the dog has been “constructed,” both literally and figuratively, throughout human history.

HONR 1340 (BSS): Populism, Movements, and Parties. 

Recently populist social movements, political candidates, and parties have risen to prominence across the globe. In this course, we will explore a range of questions: What has precipitated the rise of populism? Is there historic precedent for this development? Why do some populists lead social movements while others turn to political parties? Why do some movements use populist rhetoric while others do not? We will analyze these questions by examining geographical contexts as different as Latin America, Europe, and North America. Topics covered range from the Swedish Pirate Party and environmental activism, like the recent climate strikes, to xenophobic movements, like the widespread violence against refugees in Germany in 2015. Students will have the opportunity to engage these questions from a variety of perspectives including writing an op-ed and conducting a research project on local mobilization in Utah, like climate justice activism or the Women's March.     

HONR 1360 (BPS): Planet Earth 2.0          

We are assembling a crew to embark on a voyage to a far distant planet in another galaxy. Do you have what it takes? This virtual course will train you to understand how we might replicate Earth’s unique features to make a second habitable home for humans. Join us to learn and practice the skills necessary to form a comprehensive understanding of how our planet works—from its stony interior core to the heights of the top of the atmosphere, from its dark ocean depths and frozen polar ice sheets to fiery hot volcanoes. Students will explore Earth in a team-building voyage around the planet, learning about the history of scientific discoveries; finding clues, codes, and keys to open locks; and thus unlocking mysteries as a team. You will explore Earth’s size, shape, and motion; its energy and matter; and its atmosphere and water. We will examine the planet’s solid interior and its unique life forms and biomes, as well as human resources and habitation. This course is offered as an immersive alternate-reality game where students will work in teams to solve puzzles, games, and mysteries about our current scientific understanding of Earth.

HONR 3020 / HONR 3030: How to Lie with Statistics: Gender Narratives in the Media

Do women really earn only 78 cents for every dollar that men earn? Do men vote Republican because their masculinity feels threatened? Are children really better off growing up with a mom and a dad? Gender is one of the fundamental divisions in our society, and this issue leads to some of our most passionate debates. This course will help you to understand how gender is constructed in our society by 1) exploring key sources and methods of analysis of statistical data, and 2) analyzing how the media use data and other inputs to construct stories about gender. In this class, you will engage with both news media and pop-cultural texts that frame our impressions of gender and academic studies that explore issues of gender, sexuality, and sexism. You will learn how to analyze publicly available data and have the opportunity to use (or mis-use) that data to develop your own media product.


Honors 1320 (BHU): A History of Writing

Humans began writing over 5,000 years ago. Although they had been communicating for thousands of years prior to that, they had no writing system. Today, writing is so pervasive that it is often taken for granted, but writing is a “large, important, and multi-dimensional story” as Writing Studies researcher and scholar Charles Bazerman writes. This course is dedicated to making more transparent the history and development of writing across time and place as well as investigating your own experiences as a writer. The subject of writing is encyclopedic: writing and work; letter writing; social media; graffiti; computers; school writing. We will begin with the origins of writing in ancient civilization and the writing systems that developed and move to the material culture of writing: implements, paper, printing presses, QWERTY keyboards. Throughout the term, opportunities to explore the history of writing will be offered through individual book talks and hands-on activities such as making paper, cutting a quill pen, and practicing letterlocking developed by Elizabethan spies. All materials, including the book, A Writing Studies Primer, written by Dr. Kinkead.

 

Honors 1330 (BCA): Queer Manga: LGBTQ Stories, Histories, and Cultures through Visual Expression 

In Queer Manga: LGBTQ Stories, Histories and Cultures through Visual Expression, students produce a series of short Manga visual narratives (about 3 pages in length) inspired by LGTBQ stories from history and across cultures. The course culminates in a longer (6 page) Manga narrative that each student conceives based on their own ideas and vision, with guidance from the instructor. Since Manga is an immensely popular art form that brings people together and often addresses contemporary issues, this course empowers students to create Manga that can be shared in multiple formats (e.g. online, zine format). In this interdisciplinary class students will: 1) Develop and apply a range of Manga drawing skills to basic and increasingly difficult challenges, 2) Apply understanding of LGBTQ histories and culture through Manga narratives, written reflection, and other activities; our exploration of LGBTQ history will range from the ancient world to the present, exploring how art and visual culture convey aspects of LGBTQ experiences across time and place, 3) Expand abilities to create expressive, effectively designed, and conceptually integrated visual narratives as the result of artistic research, imagination, and personal ideas, 4) Improve visual critical faculties and the ability to express insights in discussions, critiques and written reflections, 5) Critically review and discuss major LGBTQ art exhibits and LGBTQ studies. 

 

Honors 1350 (BLS): Media Messages in Health and Nutrition

Science is used and abused in the media to promote nearly all the products that we consume. Social media posts promise miracle foods, websites promise miracle diets, and science backs every claim—or does it? How do you find the right messages among all the wrong ones? What makes some posts so popular and others so forgettable? 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. Then students will act as scientists themselves, researching, developing, and testing their own science-based nutrition messages. You will learn how to be a wiser consumer of science-based messaging as well as prepare yourself for undergraduate research assignments.

 

HONR 3020/3030: Health, Society, and Culture: Past and Present (CI, SL, DHA or DSS)

This course will introduce you to the historical and sociological study of health through intensive reading, writing, discussion, and research. We will focus in particular on the socio-historical factors that shape health patterns and create disparities in illness and health care. Our hybrid lecture-seminar style approach will engage you in active conversation with peers and professors on topics including epidemiology and public health, race and class, disability, pain, mental health, and health care systems (including the current health-care crisis in the United States). Because this field is broad and expanding, our syllabus is designed to be more suggestive than comprehensive, teaching you to think critically and independently across disciplines about current public health issues, even as it meets USU General Education Breadth and Honors learning outcomes.

 

MATH 2210 (H): Multivariable Calculus (QI)

This course gives students the opportunity to work together to build an understanding of calculus. Students will work in teams to present the textbook material over two class periods.  On the first day, teams will introduce new concepts, deciding which examples and exercises might best prepare the rest of the class to complete the required homework. On the second day, the team answers questions from their classmates and works through any problems with the homework. After each team has taken a two-day presentation turn, we will create new team assignments, giving everyone a chance to work with everyone else. This format allows students to think independently and critically about mathematical concepts, using their own interests to create real-world applications for calculus. Honors calculus students don’t just do textbook assignments; they bring them to life.

 

ENGR 3080 (H): Technical Communication for Engineers (CI)

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 Integrated Research Experience for Undergraduates: Invasive Plants PSC (H) 4900

Honors partners with Dr. Steve Young and the Invasive Plant Science Lab to offer a year-long Integrated Research Experience for Undergraduates (HIREU). This experience will allow Honors students to earn eight points toward graduation with University Honors, as well as course credit.

The experience includes four parts:

 

PSC 4900 (H): Introduction to Invasive Plants Research, 1 credit/1 Honors point, Fall 2020

PSC 4900 (H): Invasive Plants Research Seminar, 1 credit/1 Honors point, Spring 2021

Honors Research Contract: 3 Honors points, Spring 2021

PSC 4900: Invasive Plants Research Study Abroad, 4 credits/3 Honors points, Summer 2021

 

HONR 1320 (BHU): Revolution! Reacting to the Atlantic Revolutions - Fall 2020

Experience the “Age of Revolutions” firsthand, and bring history to life! Do you love the American Revolution? Are you interested in the overthrow of the French monarchy? Do you like to immerse yourself in learning? Through two role-playing simulations, HONR 1320 will allow students to live through the social, ideological, and political background of the American, French, and Haitian revolutions. You will play a particular revolutionary character as you conduct research, deliver oral arguments, write articles, and investigate the motivations of revolutionaries from the past. Between 1763 and 1815, a hopeful, exciting, and captivating revolutionary spirit swept through the Atlantic world as ideas about rights, representation, and the human condition became popular global topics. These ideals inspired people like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Abbé de Sièyes, LaFayette, Olympe de Gouges, and Toussaint L’Ouverture to revolt against their oppressors. American colonists, led by the charismatic George Washington, threw off British rule. The French monarchy crumbled. Black slaves emancipated themselves in the world’s wealthiest colony, Saint Domingue in Haiti. By 1815, the “Old Regime” of Europe, which had long dominated the political, economic, and social topography of the Western world, was a thing of the past, replaced by experiments with representative government. Join us for what is sure to be a revolutionary experience!

 

HONR 1340 (BSS): Populism, Movements, and Parties - Fall 2020

Recently populist social movements, political candidates, and parties have risen to prominence across the globe. In this course, we will explore a range of questions: What has precipitated the rise of populism? Is there historic precedent for this development? Why do some populists lead social movements while others turn to political parties? Why do some movements use populist rhetoric while others do not? We will analyze these questions by examining geographical contexts as different as Latin America, Europe, and North America. Topics covered range from the Swedish Pirate Party and environmental activism, like the recent climate strikes, to xenophobic movements, like the widespread violence against refugees in Germany in 2015. Students will have the opportunity to engage these questions from a variety of perspectives including writing an op-ed and conducting a research project on local mobilization in Utah, like climate justice activism or the Women's March

 

PE 1700 (H): Introduction to World Dance

This class offers a fun and interesting way to reach your daily fitness goals! Together, Honors students will learn basic dance concepts, explore period and social dance through time, and experience global and cultural traditions through the art of dance. There are no pre-requisites: you are human—you move your body—you can dance! Over the course of the semester, you will develop lifestyle habits of stretching and toning and learn dances ranging from European ballroom (minuet, waltz, contradance, quadrille) to Latin social dance (tango, samba conga), from Polynesian Hula and Haka to U. S. Western line dance and musical theatre jazz, from Asian Soran Bushi and Korean pop to Middle Eastern serpentine and circle dances. Just come prepared to dance on any given day, whether you find yourself learning Disco, dancing through the decades, or even playing with current trends (whip and nae-nae or Fortnite dance). Students will research one style of dance, present the style to the class, and help us perform that style. As we practice and play with global dance styles, our goal is to participate in the shared human history of dance.

 

ENGR 3080 (H): Technical Communication for Engineers (CI)

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.

 

MATH 2210 (H): Multivariable Calculus (QI)

This course gives students the opportunity to work together to build an understanding of calculus.  Students will work in teams to present the textbook material over two class periods.  On the first day, teams will introduce new concepts, deciding which examples and exercises might best prepare the rest of the class to complete the required homework.  On the second day, the team answers questions from their classmates and works through any problems with the homework.  After each team has taken a two-day presentation turn, we will create new team assignments, giving everyone a chance to work with everyone else.  This format allows students to think independently and critically about mathematical concepts, using their own interests to create real-world applications for calculus.  Honors calculus students don’t just do textbook assignments; they bring them to life.

 

 

BIOL 4750: Teaching Elementary Science I (H)

Science camp is a great way for college students to demonstrate leadership, gain teaching experience, and earn volunteer hours. Be a part of a small cohort of students who will create and run a summer science camp for 4th-6th graders at USU-Brigham City. Enroll in this 7-week course to develop themes and lesson plans and prepare and organize the camp. Then, submit an Honors in Practice contract for your participation in the three-week camp during June and earn 3 Honors points!

 

HONR 3020 and HONR 3030: Health, Society, and Culture: Past and Present (CI, SL, DHA or DSS)

This course will introduce you to the historical and sociological study of health through intensive reading, writing, discussion, research, and civic engagement. We will focus in particular on the socio-historical factors that shape health patterns and create disparities in illness and health care. Our seminar-style approach will engage you in active conversation with peers and professors on topics including epidemiology and public health, race and class, disability, pain, mental health, and health care systems (including the current health-care crisis in the United States). Because this field is broad and expanding, our syllabus is designed to be more suggestive than comprehensive, teaching you to think critically and independently across disciplines about current public health issues, even as it meets USU General Education Breadth and Honors learning outcomes.

 

HONR 1320: The Age of Revolution in the Atlantic World (BHU)

What does democracy mean to you? What rights do you have? In this course, we will explore the international origins and contested meanings of the democracy in which we live. Working together, we will try to answer these big questions: Who invented democracy? Why? Is democracy inherently inclusive or exclusive? How did people in the past create and claim citizenship and rights? What is the nature of individual and group identity and democracy? Our course will focus on how Europeans, Americans (North and South), and Africans created notions of citizenship and rights, beginning in 1776 and ending in 1898, covering the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, Latin American Wars for Independence, the industrial revolution, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and anti-imperialism.

 

We will explore these questions with an interdisciplinary approach by reading some of the great works of politics and literature (such as the Declaration of Independence, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and Frederick Douglass’s autobiography) from the time period, what we call the humanistic method. By reading these classic sources (we will not use a textbook), and by working through problems together in class discussions, the course will develop your critical thinking faculties, as well as your written and oral communication abilities and research skills. Thus, the course hopes to prepare you for both academic success and your role as citizens in our republic and the world.

 

HONR 1320: Why Poetry Matters: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Modern World Poetry (BHU)

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)

In this class, we will explore how inspired and motivated individuals can do incredible and creative things to help transform the lives of others. You 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. You will also develop your 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 shaped by your own interests, depending on how the artist and research inspires you. You 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)

Science is used and abused in the media to promote foods and nutrition. 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 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. Students will act as scientists themselves, researching, developing, and testing their own science-based nutrition messages. The course culminates in a class symposium where students present their posters to interested faculty and thought leaders. As you collect and evaluate data, you will not only learn the skills required of all undergraduate science scholars, but also prepare yourselves for the undergraduate research that all Honors students will perform as they move into their majors.

 

Honors 1300 Media and Democracy

Access to political news and other information—commonly provided by mass media—has long been considered vital for a self-governing populace. This course will grapple with how our conceptions of mass communication and mass media have evolved over time to include new technologies (from newspapers to social media) and new approaches (from the muckraking of the early 1900s to the participatory journalism of today). We will focus on the American historical, political, and economic experience, acknowledging that it has been shaped and continues to be shaped by events and factors outside our country. This idea of outside forces making a difference, from the European political and economic influence of the colonial period through the globalization of today, will be an important part of our class conversations. Our approach will be collaborative, emphasizing discussion and small-group assignments involving research, writing, and class presentation components. Assignment topics will include the recurring idea of partisanship; the ties among government, economic institutions, and big media; and the use of new media by professional journalists or citizens acting as political or economic watchdogs.

 

HONR 1330 (BCA): Musical Rhythm in Our Minds and in Our Bodies

This class will give you opportunities to explore music you love on a deeper level, to learn about music you have never thought about before, and maybe even fundamentally change how you understand learning and knowledge. We’ll explore what musical rhythm is, how our minds represent it, and how it affects our bodies, using examples from all kinds of music from 14th-century courtly love songs to electronic dance music and rap. Most of the course will be spent pursuing big questions that could be answered many different ways. For example, is it counterproductive to write down music from an oral tradition? Is it ok to use Western terminology to understand African music? What is “flow” in rap, and what makes it good or bad? Students will form research teams to investigate these questions, and there will be no single right answer. The last few weeks of the class will be dedicated to your own big questions, which you will answer in both presentations and performances. Throughout the class, our focus will be not on what other people have said, but on what you do and say based on what you learn: after all, you’re here not just to learn facts but to do, to listen, to move, and to contribute your own voice to the important human questions at the heart of this course.

 

HONR 1340 (BSS): Food Matters

This course will give you a broad overview of the economic, social, political, and environmental issues that shape how our food systems work. We will take a closer look at the complex challenges of feeding the world’s population by using popular “foodie” media and science-based research. We will learn about the environmental impact of food production, the challenges of feeding the world, the ethics of food production, and the representation of these issues in popular movies, documentaries, commercials. You will have the chance to engage in individual and collaborative research on many big questions: Where and how do individuals fit into the global food web? Is there enough food to feed the global population? What impacts is climate change having on food production? Does organic food production provide greater health benefits compared to conventionally grown or genetically modified foods? Is obesity a consequence of lack of education and/or poverty? In addition, you will have the chance to get your hands dirty (literally!) in the USU Permaculture Garden, where we will harvest, plant, and explore the community impacts of a university-based garden (e.g. Soup CSA—Community-Supported Agriculture).

 

 

Honors 1350 Why Bad Things Happen to Good Animals

This course will use science-based case histories to explore how human beings relate to non-human vertebrates -- as food, research subjects, companions, sources of recreation, pests, and essential components of biodiversity. Ethical considerations obviously will run rampant through these explorations, but a big part of the course will focus on how science can provide guidance in developing our laws, regulations, and policies regarding vertebrates and vertebrate use. Students will learn to think critically about these human/non-human relationships and to communicate clearly their ideas about this complicated scientific and social subject.

 

Honors 1360 Complexity and the Arts

This course explores the interplay between physical and biological systems and the realm of the arts. As with any human endeavor, art emerges from a social milieu that includes the creator’s and the observer’s education, belief system, cultural immersion, political perspective, and so on. What a work of art “means” to the artist and what it “means” to the observer clearly depend to a considerable extent on social factors. But aesthetic response is also very much a biophysical phenomenon—shaped by how sense organs detect energy and by how information is processed in the central nervous system and the brain. The biophysical mechanisms associated with aesthetic response result from eons of evolution occurring on an ordinary planet orbiting an ordinary star in an otherwise vast, cold, dark universe. This course will show students that a full appreciation of the role of art and music in human culture requires at least some recognition of the irreducible influence of the physical universe on the realm of aesthetics. In Complexity and the Arts we will explore the physics and physiology of sound and light. We will consider the relationship between observation and reality. And we will look at how the tools of complexity science can be applied to making new art(s) and, perhaps, to how they can help us understand why we “dig rock and roll music.”

 

HONR 3010(DSC/QI) and 3020(DHA/CI): Science Communication in an Alt World

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 and HONR 3030: Before Bears Ears: Public Lands, Utah, and You (DHA or DSS)

We all live in the west—a region uniquely shaped by public lands. In Utah, over 70% of the state is public land, and over the past five years, there has been increasing debate over how best to define, manage, and use our public lands. You may find these debates complicated and combative, involving varied perspectives, experiences, and motives that can be tough to negotiate. This course offers students an opportunity to understand better and to engage more fully in the public land debates through a case study of Dinosaur National Monument. Dinosaur National Monument has a rich history, acting not only as a repository of a vast dinosaur fossil record, but also as home to diverse Native American cultures, subject of various explorations and adventurous river rafting expeditions, source of lucrative oil, gas, and mineral developments, and site for visual art, literature, and storytelling. Less well known is the role Dinosaur National Monument played in shaping the modern environmental movement during the 1950s. This interdisciplinary Think Tank course brings together varied approaches—anthropology, archeology, history, literature, environmental studies, political science, and cultural studies—to explore the ways that the monument has been used, developed, and protected throughout its history. As part of the course, we will take a four-day field trip to Dinosaur National Monument, where we will engage in fieldwork and service activities to apply directly to this national monument the ideas and skills we learn in class. Through a hands-on, multi-disciplinary approach, students will leave the course with a solid grasp of the important issues facing public lands in the west and confidence in their ability to contribute to these debates as we move into the future.

 

HONR 3020 and HONR 3030: The Politics and Aesthetics of Space (DHA or DSS)

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 3010 DSC Think Tank - Honors 3020 DHA Think Tank - Honors 3030 DSS Think Tank

This is a Depth-Science course in a three-part Honors “Think Tank” offering with the two other courses exploring the theme of agriculture, food, WATER and land through the humanities and social sciences.

By reading the scientific and engineering literature, reviewing case studies as well as carrying out water and energy balance calculations and evaluating development alternatives for feasibility and cost/benefits, students will enhance their understanding of the role that agriculture, food, WATER and land have played in American life, develop an understanding of the impact of individual food and diet decisions on our water/energy/environmental footprint, and the role these decision WILL PLAY in determining our culture’s future SUSTAINABILITY. Students will be involved as teams in the evaluation of the current state of a food system’s sustainability and will recommend ways to move toward long-term sustainability through a required term project.

 

Economics 2010

This course is designed to foster a broad-based understanding of the microeconomic principles that undergird purposeful human action. As an honors section, the course is structured to encourage discussion, discovery, critical thinking, and effective communication. Each student should come to appreciate the unique insight that comes from exploring the world of human interaction through an economist’s lens. Our path of discovery will challenge us to examine how value creation processes are frustrated by both intentional design and the unintended consequence of misinformed policy interventions. Finally, we explore the important role of innovation as a sustaining catalyst to the value creation processes embedded in organizational and market structures.