Course Descriptions

Fall 2018 Honors Courses

Anch H199: Reacting to the Past: Climate Change in Copenhagen 2009 and Greenwich Village, 1913

Section 1: Drs. Henrietta Rix Wood and Jess Magaña, MW 4-5:15pm

Section 2: Drs. Henrietta Rix Wood and Jess Magana, TTh 11:30-12:45pm

Drs. Wood and Magaña will teach this interdisciplinary anchor course. It is part of the Reacting to the Past Program, which invites students to explore important issues and ideas by recreating the historical contexts that generated those issues and ideas. This semester, we will recreate the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December 2009 and the meeting of feminists, labor activists, and bohemians in New York City in 1913. Approaching these events as “games,” students will assume roles based on real or historically accurate figures. To perform their roles, students will read and discuss relevant texts, write analytical papers, and present persuasive speeches. The instructors of this course will act as “gamemasters” who provide information and guidance, but do not dictate the outcomes of games. This will be a challenging course, and it may also be the most fun that you have had in a classroom. For more information, contact Dr. Wood at woodhr@umkc.edu.

Discourse H100

Thomas Ferrel, TuTh 1-2:15

Anchor H199: Social Justice

Dr. Stephen Christ and Rhiannon Dickerson, TuTh 10-11:15

Social Justice Studies constitute an interdisciplinary inquiry into the social, cultural, and institutional responses to inequality and oppression. We will examine the institutional structures, cultural practices, and social behaviors that inform the concept of equality by drawing on an array of academic disciplines to facilitate the understanding of historical and contemporary representations of social justice. We will begin with a foundational exploration into social justice concepts, issues, and policy remedies in order to assess inequality and injustice and to address historical and contemporary issues. The scope of this course is as broad as the idea(s) of social justice itself and as complex as notions of equality. For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Christ at christsr@umkc.edu

Anchor H299: Self, Society, and the Sacred

Drs. Stephen Christ and Bryan LeBeau, TuTh 11:30-12:45pm

Religion is one of the most powerful cultural sources of social cohesion, order, meaning, disruption, protest, and change in human societies, both historically and today in the modern world.  Drawing on multiple academic disciplines, this course provides students with an interdisciplinary perspective and analytical tools and theories for describing, understanding, and explaining the nature and influence of religion and its role in the shaping the culture and identity of individuals, groups, and societies. This course will engage the following kinds of questions: What is religion? Why is religion so prevalent in human societies? What causal role does religion play in human personal and social life? This course is focused on one topic: religion.  But our examinations of religion will accomplish more, providing an opportunity to explore many dimensions of human social life as a subject of study.  For more information, contact Dr. Stephen Christ at christsr@umkc.edu.

This is not an honors-only seminar. In order to earn honors credit, students will need to complete additional work for the course at the honors level. This work could include, but is not limited to, a collaborative learning experience, an additional individual research paper, an applied learning project, or an artistic project. Students will meet with Dr. Christ at the start of the semester to develop a plan.

Discourse H200

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, TuTh 2:30-3:45

Culture and Diversity in Kansas City:

What do Kansas City institutions and icons tell us about the culture and diversity of our community? How do local monuments, museums, historical sites, places of worship, and other sites represent the attitudes, ideas, and ideals of citizens of the past and present? These are among the questions that we will pursue in this course, which will be closely connected to Anchor H299: Self, Society, and the Sacred. To learn more about the culture and diversity of Kansas City, we will visit sites such as the historic 18th and Vine District; the John Wornall House and Loose Park; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; the Shawnee Indian Mission; and the Toy and Miniature Museum. Assignments will include speeches and research essays on cultural sites of interest to individual students. For more information, contact Dr. Wood at woodhr@umkc.edu.

Biology H498WI

Dr. Jess Magaña, TuTh 10-11:15

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. In order to earn honors credit, students need to complete additional work for the course at the honors level. Students who wish to earn honors credit for this class will write a research proposal addressing a need for specific knowledge related to behavior.

Honors 330

Dr. Jess Magaña, TBD

Senior Honors Thesis/Project Practicum: This graded, one-hour 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. The week before classes begin, students will choose, in consultation with Dr. Magaña, the day and time of the class.

Psych H210

Dr. Melisa Rempfer, TuTh 1-2:15

The purpose of this classroom-based, lecture course is to introduce you to the fundamental principles, theories, and methods of psychological science. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe fundamental terms, concepts, and theories that comprise the general field of psychology;
  • Compare the major psychology sub-disciplines;
  • Apply psychological principles;
  • Explain how matters of diversity are vital to a thorough understanding of psychological science.
  • The honors section will involve more writing and research than the large lecture class.

This is not an honors-only seminar. In order to earn honors credit, students need to complete additional work for the course at the honors level. This work could include, but is not limited to, a collaborative learning experience, an additional individual research paper, or an applied learning project.  Students will meet with Dr. Rempfer at the start of the semester to develop a plan.

Discourse H300: Civic and Community Engagement

Rhiannon Dickerson TBA, TuTh 1-2:15

Honors 496 and Honors 496A

Dean Jim McKusick

Honors Internship:

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.

 

Spring 2018 Honors Courses

Biology H206: Genetics

Drs. Saul Honigberg and Scott Hawley, MWF 8-8:50am, Class Number: 14033

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 and CHEM 212R.

Biology H385: Special Topics (Invasive Species)

Dr. Jessica Magaña, TuTh 11:30-12:45pm, Class Number: 17239

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.

Honors component for Bio 385: This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn honors credit for this class will give a 10-minute presentation from the point of view of a shareholder dealing with an invasive species. After presentations we will have an in-class debate about potential solutions in which presenters will answer questions “in-character.” All students will write a brief summary and evaluation as a Policy Advice Paper.

Biology H498WI

Prof. Jess Magaña, TuTh 10-11:15am

Why do animals do what they do, and how do we know? This writing intensive, honors-only 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 reading scientific articles, discussing methodology and implications, writing analytical papers, and communicating through oral presentations.

Anchor H298: The Idea of Culture

Drs. Stephen Christ and Larson Powell, TTh 1:00-2:15pm, Class Number: 15571

What is culture, and how do we define it? Most people think they know what their own culture is, but end up defining it through opposition to other cultures. Is culture a normative or descriptive concept? Is it opposed to or connected with nature and science? What does it mean to “be cultured?” The course will follow the evolution of ideas of culture from Classical Antiquity to the present, discussing different notions of culture across the world, whether anthropological, political or otherwise.

Anchor H397: Urban Public Education

Drs. Henrietta Rix Wood and Austin Williams, MWF 1-1:50pm, Class Number: 15565

Is public urban education a “wicked problem,” an unparalleled opportunity, or a complex challenge that can be met during the twenty-first century in the United States? This interdisciplinary class will interrogate that question by surveying the history of public urban education, by considering contemporary educational issues, and by sending students into public urban schools to make their own observations and recommendations. We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays, with no class on Fridays so that students can work at least twelve hours during the semester at designated Kansas City schools. This class will be closely connected to the associated Discourse H300 class.

Discourse H200

Lindsey Weishar, TuTh 8:30-9:45am, Class Number: 18253

Charles Sweetman, TuTh 2:30-3:45pm, Class Number: 17260

Discourse H300

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, MWF 11-11:50am, Class Number: 16483

Honors 330: Senior Honors Thesis/Project Practicum

Dr. Jessica Magaña, W 3-3:50pm, Class Number: 15640

This graded one-hour 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 496: Honors Internship

Dr. James McKusick, ARR, Class Number: 15638

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 0 to 6 credit hours. 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. Students who wish to enroll in this course should see the Honors Internship Course Documents for further information about the course expectations and requirements.

Honors 496A: Honors Internship

Dr. James McKusick, ARR, Class Number: 16595

Academic credit for this course is zero hours. 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 0 to 6 credit hours. 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. Students who wish to enroll in this course should see the Honors Internship Course Documents for further information about the course expectations and requirements.

Honors 499: Senior Thesis/Project Writing Group

Dr. Henrietta Rix Wood, M 4-4:50pm, Class Number: 15639

This one-hour credit, graded course is open to honors students and high-achieving 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.

Sociology H203: Social Problems

Dr. Stephen Christ, TuTh 10:00-11:15pm

In this course we will explore modern social problems, and deconstruct the process of claimsmaking that pushes them to the forefront. We will confront “social problems” of everyday life: those issues, situations, behaviors and ideas, which are perceived and labeled as problematic and for which a solution is seen as possible and necessary.

Honors component for SOCIOL 203:  This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn Honors credit for this class will meet with Dr. Christ to develop a plan of additional work to satisfy the honors credit requirement. In previous semesters, this has included photojournalism, developing a comic series, and an original research project. Each honors credit arrangement is a collaboration between Dr. Christ and the student.

Sociology H320: Social Deviance

Dr. Stephen Christ, TuTh 2:30-3:45pm

This course is a sociological examination of deviant behavior in American society; its nature, theoretical perspectives, and societal reactions.  A special emphasis of the course will focus on the development of deviant identities, specific behaviors including substance abuse, sexual deviance, crime and delinquency, mental illness, and social protest.

Honors component for SOCIOL 320:  This is not an honors-only seminar. Students who wish to earn Honors credit for this class will meet with Dr. Christ to develop a plan of additional work to satisfy the honors credit requirement. In previous semesters, this has included photojournalism, developing a comic series, and an original research project. Each honors credit arrangement is a collaboration between Dr. Christ and the student.

 

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