Course Descriptions

Fall 2023 Honors Courses

Biology H498WI: Critical Analysis of Biological Issues

Dr. Jess Magaña, Online Asynchronous

Pathway Class Code: tbd

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 10:00-11:15 am

Pathway Class Code: tbd

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

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

Pathway Class Code: tbd

This course extends the work of English 110 with an additional emphasis on research. This Honors-only 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.

French H340WI, 340WI, & 480: French Texts in Translation

Dr. Gayle Levy, T/Th 11:30 am-12:45 pm

Pathway Class Code: tbd

French novels from every century have inspired directors to craft films based on them. Some of these films are precise cinematic versions of the novel in question, others completely reinterpret the story. In this course, French Novels and Their Films, we will use analytic tools provided by both the fields of literary criticism and film studies to “read” both kinds of texts. This is a Writing Intensive class and thus will fulfill that general education requirement. You do not have to be a language major to take this class and no previous knowledge of French is necessary. All discussion will be in English, all novels will be read in translation, and all the films will have subtitles.

*This is not an Honors-only seminar. Students wishing to earn Honors credit for this class will create an additional creative project related to the class. A short film, anyone?!

GECRT-SC H101: How Do I Live in a Changing World: Restoration Ecology

Dr. Jess Magaña, Mon/Wed/Fri 10:00-10:50 am

Pathway Class Code: tbd

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 in particular will explore the goals of restoration ecology and analyze the methods environmental scientists and land managers use to mitigate ecosystem damage.

GECRT-AH H106: Kansas City as Text

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

Pathway Class Code: tbd

In this class, students will learn about the arts and history of Kansas City by going to places such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the 18thand Vine Historic District with the class. Then students will choose a topic, problem, or issue relevant to the arts and history of Kansas City for an individual research project. For example, students might explore how the city can preserve the cultural and historical value of the 18th and Vine District while responsibly revitalizing that area. Or they might consider how First Friday, the monthly public gatherings in the Kansas City Crossroads, should be altered to better serve the needs and interests of artists, merchants, and guests. In the process, members of the class 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 the topic; and sharing one’s findings in a multimodal presentation and an essay.

GECRT-SS H101

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

Pathway Class Code: tbd

What is human behavior? How do humans influence and are influenced by the world around them? How can we study the “why” behind human behavior in a meaningful way given just how complex humans and societies are? In this course, students apply perspectives and critical thinking processes from the social sciences to identify and explore relevant questions. In particular, students collect and evaluate evidence and draw conclusions about the human experience in individual, social, and cultural contexts.

GECDV H202: Investigating Identity, Power, and Change

Staff, Mon/Wed/Fri 1:00-1:50 pm

Pathway Class Code: tbd

Students in this Honors Essentials class will explore the complex, interconnected dynamics of and between race, (social) class, gender, and human sexuality. The course explores how these concepts are understood holistically and how they are constructed and positioned within society. This class emphasizes investigations, via critical thinking, about how these different systems of inequality interact with and through each other, while also being sensitive to different theoretical and methodological frameworks from several disciplines employed to analyze those systems.

Honors 360A (Social Justice and Cultural Awareness)

Staff, Wed 2-2:50 pm

Pathway Class Code: tbd

As an urban institution, UMKC aims to be at the forefront of social justice reform and cultural awareness. In the activities linked to this Honors Leader course, students will have opportunities to learn about the diversity of cultures in KC as well as the social problems affecting different communities. Through events and experiences, students will learn how to challenge their preconceptions and become better and more inclusive citizens of our community and the world.

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: 12696

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

Dr. Jess Magaña, T/Th 1:00-2:15 pm

Pathway Class Code: 14824

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 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: 13571

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.

GECRT-SC H101: How Do I Live in a Changing World: Restoration Ecology

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

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.

Communication Studies H110: Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening

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

Pathway Class Code: 14183

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

Bruce Barrett, Mon/Wed/Fri 11:00-11:50 am

Pathway Class Code: 21766

This course extends the work of English 110 with an additional emphasis on research. This Honors-only 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 1:00-2:15 pm

Pathway Class Code: 21516

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 2:30-3:45 pm

Pathway Class Code: 21518

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 4:00-5:15 pm

Pathway Class Code: 21523

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 11:00-11:50 am

Pathway Class Code: 13278

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 12-12:50 pm

Pathway Class Code: 21538

Almost half of UMKC alumni stay in the metro area after graduation and influence the area as professionals, voters, community leaders, and parents. The activities of this Honors Leader Program 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, every other Tues 9:00-9:50 am, online

Pathway Class Code: 13277

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.

Honors 496 and Honors 496A: Honors Internship

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

Pathway Class Code: 13276 (for section 0001 of 496) ; 13627 (for section 0002 of 496) ; 13469 (for section 0001 of 496A) ; 15030 (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.