Course Descriptions

Spring 2023 Honors Courses

Biology H206: Genetics

Dr. Saul Honigberg and Dr. Scott Hawley, Mon/Wed/Fri 8:00-8:50 am

Pathway Class Code: TBA

A modern approach integrating molecular and organismal studies of the general genetics of lower and higher organisms. Chromosomal structure and function, gene transmission, heredity, plasticity, and population genetics will be discussed. Prerequisites: BIOLOGY 108, BIOLOGY 109, CHEM 212R. The course offers in-class discussion to dig deeper into topics like the societal issues of genetics and offers a limited number of seats, taught by active geneticists, including Dr. Hawley, an investigator at Stowers Institute, and is considered an important class for students interested in research.

Biology H333: Invasive Species

Dr. Jess Magaña, T/Th, 1:00-2:15 pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

Invasive species are of concern to the public, scientists, and governments as invasive species can negatively impact native ecosystems, economies, and human health. Students in this 3-credit-hour, online course will study the biological traits that contribute to successful invasions, the ecological and economic impacts of invasive species, and the legal and cultural responses to invasions. Students will develop critical analysis and communication skills by analyzing scientific literature, discussing implications, and presenting arguments in written and oral platforms.

*This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn honors credit for this class will create an additional project that explores scientific writing as a discipline.

Biology H498WI: Critical Analysis of Biological Issues

Dr. Jess Magaña, online asynchronous

Pathway Class Code: TBA

Why do animals do what they do, and how do we know? This three-credit-hour course explores evolutionary influences on animal behavior and the challenges associated with developing and testing hypotheses. Students will develop critical analysis skills and effective written and oral communication skills by analyzing scientific articles, discussing methodology and implications, writing analytical papers, and communicating through oral presentations.

*This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn honors credit for this class will create an additional project that explores scientific writing as a discipline.

Communication Studies H110: Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening

Dr. Steven Melling, T/Th 11:30am-12:45pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

An introduction to the dimensions of effective platform speaking with special emphasis on developing critical listening and successful public speaking skills. In this honors-only section, students will compose a research-based asynchronous presentation—a video essay.

English H225: Intermediate Academic Prose

Staff, Mon/Wed/Fri 11:00-11:50am

Pathway Class Code: TBA

This course extends the work of English 110 with an additional emphasis on research. This honors section of English 225 uses a combination of book-length and shorter texts to focus on specific historical and/or cultural issues. As they learn to participate in scholarly conversations, students will find and evaluate library and Internet sources. As with English 110, this course emphasizes revision, editing, and proper academic documentation.

GECRT-AH H106: Kansas City as Text

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, T/Th 1:00-2:15pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

In this class, you will learn about the arts and history of Kansas City by going to places such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the 18th and Vine Historic District with Dr. Wood and your peers. Then you will choose a topic, problem, or issue relevant to the arts and history of Kansas City for your individual research project. For example, you might explore how the city can preserve the cultural and historical value of the 18th and Vine District while responsibly revitalizing that area. Or you could consider how First Friday, the monthly public gathering in the Kansas City Crossroads, should be altered to better serve the needs and interests of artists, merchants, and guests. In the process, you will develop the important skills of posing a research question; conducting research using methods appropriate to the humanities, such as observation, archival research, and expert interviews; taking a position on your topic; and sharing your findings in a multimodal presentation and an essay.

GECRT-SS H102: Culture Through the Camera Lens

Professor Erin Blocher, T/Th 2:30-3:45pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

This course provides an introductory survey of documentary film making as a distinct form of social research that has the ability to reflect, critique, reshape, and impact society and culture. In the first half of the course we will consider how documentaries critically examine various aspects of society and culture (violence, race, class, gender and sexuality, environmentalism, etc.). In the second half of the course students will collaborate to produce their own multimedia project on some aspect of human behavior in one particular group/community—their history, culture, and experiences.

GECUE H202: Social Action

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, T/Th 4:00-5:15pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

If you want to be part of the solution to an important social problem, you are invited to join Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood in GECUE H202: Social Action. This class will introduce students to concepts and strategies that will enable them to collaborate with classmates to identify and analyze a social problem, develop a solution to that problem, and implement that solution in the course of the semester. Since Dr. Wood introduced this class, students have taken action on social problems ranging from food insecurity to plastic recycling to the lack of mental health awareness.

Honors 330: Senior Thesis/Project Practicum

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Wed 11:00-11:50am

Pathway Class Code: TBA

This graded, one-credit course will prepare Honors students to undertake a Senior Honors Thesis or Project. In this class, students will explore different options for theses or projects; identify a topic and faculty advisor; plan the production of the thesis or project; produce a component of the thesis or project; and collaborate effectively with other honors students to develop their plans.

Honors 360D: Kansas City History and Urban Engagement

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Wed 12-12:50pm, classroom-based 1 credit

Pathway Class Code: TBA

Almost half of UMKC alumni stay in the metro area after graduation and influence the area as professionals, voters, community leaders, and parents. The courses and activities of this Honors Leader course will prepare Honors students to perform these important roles by informing them about local history and the diverse cultures of the city.

Honors 499: Senior Thesis/Project Writing Group

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Wed 4:00-4:50pm

Pathway Class Code: TBA

This one-hour credit, graded course is open to Honors students who are working on senior theses, projects, or capstone papers. The group meets twice a month to offer peer response to the work of members who set goals and deadlines for producing their theses or projects.

Courses vary by semester. Check the university catalog or Pathway for courses offered, and remember you can always contract or attend a discussion group for honors credit.

Fall 2022 Honors Courses

Biology H498WI: Critical Analysis of Biological Issues

Dr. Jess Magaña, Online asynchronous

Pathway Class Code: 43982

Why do animals do what they do, and how do we know? This three-credit-hour course explores evolutionary influences on animal behavior and the challenges associated with developing and testing hypotheses. Students will develop critical analysis skills and effective written and oral communication skills by analyzing scientific articles, discussing methodology and implications, writing analytical papers, and communicating through oral presentations.

This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn honors credit for this class will create an additional project that explores scientific writing as a discipline.

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GECDV H209: Streets, Sewers, and Social Justice

Dr. Stephen Dilks and Dr. Shannon Jackson, Tu/Th 11:30am-12:45pm, classroom-based.

Pathway Class Code: 46555

This course builds understandings of social justice as a mobile, embodied concept by connecting it with ways of dwelling in social space and thinking about infrastructure. Using case-studies in the U.S., Ireland, India, and South Africa, we ask you to develop complex and comparative conceptions of the built environment, especially in terms of relationships among streets, sewer networks, and electricity grids as spatial resources that support basic rights, but also in terms of the diverse ways people live with or without infrastructure. The class readings and assignments are designed to make visible aspects of the built physical environment that are typically hidden. The working premise of the course is that the diverse struggles for the social justice that is foundational to democracy requires shared space and shared relationships to the technological life support systems of modernity. These systems are made up of infrastructures that bring us light, that allow us to move from place to place, that give us access to public spaces, and that provide us with necessary resources while ridding us of waste.

This is not an honors-only seminar. In order to earn honors credit, students will complete additional work for the course, which could include, but is not limited to, a collaborative learning experience, an additional individual research paper, an applied learning project, or an artistic project.

GECRT-AH H106: Kansas City as Text

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Mon/Wed 4-5:15pm; classroom-based

Pathway Class Code: 43560

In this class, you will learn about the arts and history of Kansas City by going to places such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the 18th and Vine Historic District with Dr. Wood and your peers. Then you will choose a topic, problem, or issue relevant to the arts and history of Kansas City for your individual research project. For example, you might explore how the city can preserve the cultural and historical value of the 18th and Vine District while responsibly revitalizing that area. Or you could consider how First Friday, the monthly public gathering in the Kansas City Crossroads, should be altered to better serve the needs and interests of artists, merchants, and guests. In the process, you will develop the important skills of posing a research question; conducting research using methods appropriate to the humanities, such as observation, archival research, and expert interviews; taking a position on your topic; and sharing your findings in a multimodal presentation and an essay.

GECRT-SC H101

Dr. Jess Magaña, Mon/Wed/Fri 10-10:50, classroom based

Pathway Class Code: 46262

Students will investigate the natural and physical world through testable questions, models, hypotheses or discoveries and evaluate different lines of evidence including observations and measurements. Students will apply natural and physical science techniques and use results and conclusions to explain and appreciate the natural and physical phenomena that impact our lives, our community and the world in which we live.

This Honors-only section will explore the goals of restoration ecology and analyze the methods environmental scientists and land managers use to mitigate ecosystem damage.

GECRT-SS H101: Why Though: Money, Medicine, and Morals

Dr. Clancy Martin, Tu/Th 10-11:15am; classroom-based

Pathway Class Code: 46548

This course will improve the student’s understanding of and ability to critically evaluate complex moral dilemmas in medicine and the health professions, along with the ways those dilemmas are further complicated by economics and social justice. Students will learn critical thinking, arguing, writing and presentation skills through examining moral issues for professionals.

This is not an honors-only seminar. In order to earn honors credit, students will complete an additional group applied-learning project. Students will have the opportunity to meet every other week with an instructor who will support them in their project. The regular schedule of these meetings will be established the first week of class.

English H225

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Mon/Wed 5:30-6:45pm, classroom-based

Pathway Class Code: 45393

This course extends the work of English 110 with an additional emphasis on research. This honors section of English 225 uses a combination of book-length and shorter texts to focus on specific historical and/or cultural issues. As they learn to participate in scholarly conversations, students will find and evaluate library and Internet sources. As with English 110, this course emphasizes revision, editing, and proper academic documentation.

GECRT-SS H102: Culture Through the Camera Lens

Dr. Stephen Christ, Tu/Th 2:30-3:45pm, in-person

Pathway Class Code: 16056

This course provides an introductory survey of documentary film making as a distinct form of social research that has the ability to reflect, critique, reshape, and impact society and culture. In the first half of the course we will consider how documentaries critically examine various aspects of society and culture (violence, race, class, gender and sexuality, environmentalism, etc.). In the second half of the course students will collaborate to produce their own multimedia project on some aspect of human behavior in one particular group/community—their history, culture, and experiences.

Honors 230

Dr. Debra Leiter, Tu/Th 1-2:15pm, classroom-based

Pathway Class Code: 46451

The American political system is unlike any other, but is it truly unique? Sometimes complicated, always interesting, in this course we will investigate the structure of American government, with special attention to the way different people, groups, and institutions influence elections and policy outcomes. By the end of this course, you will have a better sense of why the American political system is the way that it is, how it has evolved, who has influence and why, and what we might expect for the future.

Honors 360C: Leadership and Ethics

Margo GamacheDr. Henrietta Rix Wood, Wed 12-12:50pm, classroom-based 1 credit

Pathway Class Code: 46452

Leadership is a necessary skill that continues to change as our culture and society evolves. To this end, the Honors Program seeks to build future leaders who are capable of making informed, ethical decisions. In this course, Honors students will learn how to assess the needs of a team, to adapt to diverse community and cultural standards, and to contribute when not in the lead. This course is part of a new four-course sequence.

Honors 496 and Honors 496A: Honors Internship

Margo Gamache, section 0001, and Heather Miller, section 0002

Pathway Class Code: 43602 (for section 0001 of 496) ; 44395 (for section 0002 of 496) ; 44132 (for section 0001 of 496A) ; 44396 (for section 0002 of 496A)

This course is an academic internship that requires written assignments in addition to the work performed in a professional workplace. Internships are individually arranged with the sponsoring organization, which may be a business, school, nonprofit agency or government office. Academic credit may range from 1 to 6 credit hours (0 credit hours for Honors 496A). There will be a Learning Agreement established in the first week of the semester that states the contractual responsibilities of the student, the workplace supervisor, and the internship coordinator. This Learning Agreement will outline the job responsibilities, workload expectations, assignments and anticipated learning outcomes of the internship experience.

Courses vary by semester. Check the university catalog or Pathway for courses offered, and remember you can always contract for honors credit.