Honors Colloquia

The Honors Colloquia, open only to students in Williams Honors College, are interdisciplinary seminars designed to increase understanding of the primary concerns, the intellectual traditions, and the epistemologies of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. These seminars offer you a special chance to broaden your perspectives by interacting with honors students from widely diverse fields of study. They invite you to sharpen your critical reading, speaking and writing skills so that you may thrive in your professional, civic, and personal lives. Note that all Honors students are required to take the set of three Honors Colloquia as part of the Honors Distribution. The colloquia are offered each fall and spring semester, and frequently during summer sessions. It is your responsibility to schedule the colloquia in a timely manner.

  • Students entering the Williams Honors College Fall 2018 or later are required to take 3 credit hours in each of the three groups, for a total of 9 credit hours overall.
  • Students must receive a grade of B or higher in their colloquium courses to graduate as a Williams Honors Scholar.

2022 Spring

The Culture of Fear

TuTh 9:15am – 10:30am, HCPX 92
(13974) 1870:340 – 001, 3 credit hours

Heather Pollock

Gloria Steinem says, Empathy is the most radical of human emotions. Where has it gone in this ironic age of global disconnect and isolation? How do we foster compassion if we cannot connect? We investigate its opposite, fear, and render it inert. From universal fears to personal ones, we will explore the nature of fear, seek its purpose, how to navigate it, understand it, and move forward into connection.


Minorities, Borders, and Partitions

TuTh 12:15pm – 1:30pm, HCPX 82
(14053) 1870:340 – 002, 3 credit hours

Janet Klein

This course will explore the modern construction of minorities in the context of the development of nation-states and citizenship and the consequences of the minoritization of non-dominant groups (and the majoritization of dominant groups as well). These consequences--which the class will examine--include the making of borders between states and what happens to those deemed minorities within and partitions of political entities, which have left populations on both sides of these partitions and borders vulnerable to mass violence and/or expulsion. Students will trace these processes through primary sources, secondary (theoretical) literature and case studies from around the globe, literature, and film. Some cases that the course will focus on include the Kurds, the Greek-Turkish population exchange, India/Pakistan, and Ireland, to name a few.


STEM in the News

MoWeFr 11:50am – 12:40pm, HCPX 92
(14441) 1870:340 – 003, 3 credit hours

Carrie Tomko

Students in this colloquium have an opportunity to reflect on innovations, such as: The latest in available smart phones... The ongoing discussion of global warming... The usage of self-driving cars... The challenges of feeding a growing population through technological advances in agriculture...!! As new research and technology emerge, resulting innovations enter our ever-changing world. How are these innovations communicated to the general public?? The mass media is the place where the general population learns of innovations. Students in this colloquium will engage in the analysis of the media's reporting and then the population's reaction to S.T.E.M.'s impact on society, discerning how emerging research and technology are embraced or refused by society via communication and the media's role in construction of a new reality. Class discussion is dynamic in my classes!! Interaction in class is highly encouraged through both individual and small group projects. Small group projects are a major part of assessment in order to develop communication skills. Through the group process, students are able to interact in small group communication. Also, during the small group presentation, students gain public speaking communication skills, as well as use communication skills to facilitate a question and answer session. Development of these communication skills is key to success in academia, as well as in career settings. Academia gives us the opportunity to both develop and practice these important communication skills. On an individual level, students read a book, related to media, of their choice, and then they present the findings, as well as inquire to the other students through facilitation of a question and answer session.


Winning Combinations In Health Behavior: Exploring Health Priorities

Tu 5:15p – 6:30pm, HCPX 83, WWW
(14523) 1870:340 – 005, 3 credit hours

John Roncone

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior exploring health priority areas, such as, physical activity, stress management, and other dimensions of health-related physical fitness. The priority areas explored will be beneficial to students reflecting on their own health behavior(s), quality of life/healthy life years/lifestyle management. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of key health components related to mind/body health, research as well as health behavior models/theories.


History of Sexuality in Latin America

MoWe 3:30pm – 4:45pm
(14954) 1870:340 – 007, 3 credit hours

Martha Santos

What have sex, gender, and sexuality meant across time and space in the Americas? How have people thought about sex, sexuality and gender in Latin America throughout five hundred years of history? What makes the way that gender and sexual norms work particular to specific places, times, and groups of people—and what makes them broader than that? Can we identify peculiarly “Latin American” approaches to sex and gender? How have gender and sexuality in this hemisphere changed over time, broadly speaking? We will explore these interesting questions through analysis of primary sources, scholarly work on these topics, and visual sources, including some feature film.


The Willpower Superpower: The Epic of LeBron James

MoWe 3:05pm – 4:20pm, WWW
(14443) 1870:340 – 504, 3 credit hours

tba

This course conceptually focuses on the intersection of psychology and storytelling, more specifically how the dimensions of willpower create self-understanding when life is viewed narratively. In this sense, we think of willpower as an agentic force for not only accomplishing external goals, but also how we, as individuals, can transform our inner selves and society as a collective. While The Willpower Superpower: The Epic of LeBron James is naturally about a basketball icon, it is more about how his journey, discovery and application of willpower—for better and worse—informs the development of our own. It is a unique, and surprisingly local, paradigm to analyze these concepts. In fact, the willpower and personal story we all have, when understood and applied, is a force as prodigious as LeBron James' basketball ability.


Winning Combinations of Health Behavior: Combating Obesity

WWW
(14914) 1870:340 – 506, 3 credit hours

John Roncone

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior in an exploration to combat obesity. Areas that will be carefully examined include: Current obesity trends, assessment of body weight and body composition, etiology of obesity, health and economic consequences of obesity, dietary interventions for obesity prevention and new insights and looking into future insights. We will engage in meaningful online discussions as well as assignments, learning from other's experiences and guidance from the professor, whom has an extensive knowledge in health education and promotion. Our main book will be, Nutrition and Obesity: Assessment, Management, and Prevention, by Alexandra G. Kazaks, and Judith S. Stern. Other secondary resources will be provided to the students from the professor. Assignment readings, HW/Labs, behavior change models/theories, online discussions, and other assignments will be assessments utilized in the course. Brightspace will be utilized to deliver this online asynchronous course for content, grades, communication/announcements, communication/class roster and emails, assessments/assignments, and communications/discussions and course materials/calendar. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of health behavior and exploring areas in combating the obesity epidemic in the US.


Hunting Witches in Early Modern Europe

MoWe 2:00pm – 3:15pm, HCPX 92
(14417) 1870:350 – 001, 3 credit hours

Michael Graham

This workshop-style colloquium will focus on one of the stranger aspects of early modern European history: the fact that the same era that included the scientific revolution and the early enlightenment also witnessed the execution of tens of thousands of people (mostly women) for the imaginary crime of witchcraft. We will start with a general survey of the witch hunt. Following that, teams of students will delve into sets of trial dossiers in an effort to figure out what was really going on in those particular cases. Finally, students will be able to get creative, either by writing and performing one-act plays on their particular cases, or else “forging” a pamphlet about their case, in the style of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century tabloid-style accounts of witchcraft. This course should be of particular interest to students interested in history, literature, religion, anthropology, communications, psychology or sociology.


Classical Athens: The Individual and the Community

TuTh 9:15am – 10:30am, HCPX 83
(14479) 1870:350 – 002, 3 credit hours

Elisha Dumser

How does one balance personal choice and freedom against the needs of the greater community? This question, which remains pertinent today, was first explored in ancient Greece. This class seeks to learn more about ourselves by examining the roots of this thorny issue as it emerged in 5th century BCE Classical Athens. Theater, philosophy, history, politics, religious practices, and the visual arts are avenues we'll explore as we discover how the competing needs of the individual and the community were debated in the birthplace of democracy.


Religion East and West: The Big Questions (and Answers in Words and Art)

TuTh 12:15pm – 1:30pm, HCPX 92
(14419) 1870:350 – 004, 3 credit hours

Paula Levin

What is the meaning of life? How should I live? What happens after we die? What is God? We humans, conscious of our mortality and our limitations, have wrestled with these questions since the dawn of time. In this course we will examine the teachings of major world religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam - in their attempts to guide us to answers. In addition to consulting various texts and primary sources, we will consider religious expression in art, literature, music, drama, and film. And we will discuss how religious beliefs (or the absence of them!) affect how we may experience the world.


Are We Our Brains?

MoWeFr 9:40am – 10:30am, HCPX 92
(14781) 1870:350 – 005, 3 credit hours

Nathanial Blower

In this class we will discuss a number of topics related to the question: Are we our brains? The central focus of the course will be a dispute between Peter Hacker and Daniel Dennett. Hacker argues against the habit in neuroscience of treating brains as though they were people: assuming that brains think, feel, perceive, intend and do all manner of things that ordinarily we say people do, not their brains. Daniel Dennett defends the neuroscientists, claiming that Hacker pays too much attention to what we ordinarily say. As we discuss this dispute, we will touch on a number of traditionally philosophical questions about free-will, the afterlife, morality, subjectivity and more. On the more scientific side, we will discuss topics in neuroscience, computer science, mathematics, linguistics and more.


Humanitarian Social Media — Yes or No?

MoWeFr 10:45am – 11:30am, HCPX 92
(14825) 1870:350 – 006, 3 credit hours

Carrie Tomko

Social media brings instantaneous news, information, and entertainment. Is it accurate in detail? Is it even true? Is it responsible "journalism"? Does it benefit humanity? Does it require accountability? This colloquium looks at the good, bad, and even the "ugly" of social media, studying the impact on culture.


Enchanted Tales: Analyzing the Stories That Make Us

MoWeFr 9:40am – 10:30am, WWW
(14418) 1870:350 – 503, 3 credit hours

Juliana Amir

Stories of the dark woods, the forbidden fruit, filial love, and creative intelligence grace the pages of many beloved storybooks. This colloquium explores the construction, shaping, and use of folklore, fairytales, and myths as the pillars of our own culture. How does the language of fairytales and myths intersect with the language of our dreams, both literal and figurative? Is there a certain age where folklore loses its meaning to us? How much do these enchanted stories shape our identity? We will investigate the archetypes these stories create, how they relate in terms of our own personalities, and how they are utilized to sold modern messages. The course allows students to analyze these stories for their cultural resonance, and gives them the option of creating stories of their own.


US-China relations: Past, Present, and Future

TuTh 5:15pm – 6:30pm, WWW
(14973) 1870:350 – 507, 3 credit hours

Michael Sheng

This course will examine the history of Sino-American relations in the 20th Century, particularly during the Cold War period after WWII. There were two “hot wars” the US fought in the Cold War era, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, both were involving China. The only times that Washington was actively preparing for the use of tactical nuclear war heads were during the Taiwan Strait Crises in 1955 and 1958. Yet, the 1958 crisis led directly to the Sino-Soviet conflict, leading to the Sino-Soviet Border War in 1969 and Nixon’s China visit in 1971. These complicated historical events should serve us well to understand current US-China relations and consequences. Was Beijing to attack Taiwan, a traditional UA ally? How to handle US-China trade dispute? After all, these are two largest economies in the world today. Washington’s China policy has been known as “bi-partisan,” but policy proposals and options remain wide-ranged with large amount of uncertainty. This class will help students to be better informed to participate in such important policy debate.


Polymers and the Environment

TuTh 10:45am – 12:00pm, HCPX 92
(15042) 1870:370 – 001, 3 credit hours

Ruel McKenzie

Polymers (natural and synthetic) play an important role in society and has been integrated into nearly all aspects of human life. Recent focus on the issue of plastic waste mitigation has brought the notion and necessity of sustainability of the polymers industry to the forefront of national discussions. The objective of this course is to discuss in a holistic manner: the extent to which polymers have enabled societal transformations, attempt to raise a collective awareness detailing the resultant ecological ramifications of polymer production, highlight some of the advances in mitigating the ecological impacts and to explore paths for a more sustainable coexistence with these materials.


Sustainable Plastics

TuTh 9:15am – 10:30am, HCPX 82
(15043) 1870:370 – 002, 3 credit hours

James Eagan

This course introduces students to sustainable plastic technologies, challenges, and the principals of the circular economy. Students will be able to understand the how different kinds of plastics are recovered, sorted, and recycled (or not). Topics covered include polymer recycling, composting, bio-based plastics, and life cycle analysis.


Going Nuclear: Is Nuclear Energy The Solution?

TuTh 2:00pm – 3:15pm, HCPX 92
(15044) 1870:370 – 003, 3 credit hours

Andrew Knoll

This course will cover the history of nuclear energy and the problems it has had in the past. We will then discuss the future of nuclear energy and emerging technologies. Can nuclear energy rise above it’s troubled past?


Water Law, Science & Policy: Environmental Decision-making to Attain A Fishable and Swimmable Summit Lake

MoWe 6:45pm – 8:00pm, HCPX 92
(15045) 1870:370 – 004, 3 credit hours

Emily Collins

This colloquium explores the legal, science and policy factors involved in environment decision-making and how those decision-making frameworks are utilized to restore a body of water. Students will conduct in-depth analyses (including scientific, legal, and policy-related factors) that will allow them to identify the barriers to meeting a fishable/swimmable standard in a complex water system, apply an appropriate decisionmaking framework to address those barriers, assess the strength and weaknesses of different approaches, and use written communication to evaluate and address contentious environmental issues, both locally and nationally. The colloquium will use nearby Summit Lake as its case study.


Global Environmental Issues

TuTh 3:30pm – 4:45pm, HCPX 92
(15046) 1870:370 – 005, 3 credit hours

TuTh 5:15pm – 6:30pm, HCPX 92
(15046) 1870:370 – 006, 3 credit hours

Michael Dunbar

During the semester we'll be exploring how our presence on the planet has impacted the natural resources, its environment, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions, debates and proposals will examine how to confront some of these issues and how we can act on a local level.


The EX[L] Center helps students emerge as civically-engaged, adaptable leaders, ready to join in the enterprise of building strong and sustainable communities by promoting hands-on, community-based, problem-centered learning. The Williams Honors College will allow students to substitute one EX[L] [Un]Class for the corresponding Honors Colloquium course (noted below). Note that only one Honors Colloquium group may be satisfied in this way. For more information on current [Un]Classes, please visit www.uakron.edu/exl/unclasses/.


Anchoring Ourselves in Akron

will satisfy Social Science Colloquium requirement

TuTh 3:30pm – 4:45pm
7600:450 – 001, 3 credit hours

Amber Ferris

Are you interested in improving your research skills while gaining practical, hands-on experience to list on your resume? We are looking for students from all majors to work on a cross-campus research project examining how organizations build trust in communities. Students will work as a team to design a survey and interview protocol, talk with stakeholders in Akron, and explore data analysis and visualization techniques. This [Un]class will hone skills in collaboration, communication, and community-based research and is particularly relevant for students looking at careers in communication, business, nonprofit/government, education, marketing, and community outreach/engagement.


Design Your Life

will satisfy Social Science Colloquium requirement

TuTh 10:45am – 12:00pm, Olin 127
3300:489/589 – 001, 3 credit hours

Heather Braun

This hands-on course helps students solve actionable problems using the framework of design thinking. Students will collaborate with local APS students, community stakeholders, and local professionals, developing empathy, creative confidence, and teambuilding skills, and designing multiple pathways for college success.


Menus and Manuscripts at Hower House

will satisfy Social Science Colloquium requirement

TuTh 2:00pm – 3:15pm
3300: 489/589 – 001, 3 credit hours

Hillary Nunn

In this hands-on course, we’ll explore the central role that food, cooking, and entertaining played at the Hower House in the early twentieth century. We’ll use tools like blogs, websites, digital archives, and Instagram feeds to bring archival research to new audiences, and we’ll prepare a cookbook for print publication to showcase the Hower family’s recipes. In the process, we’ll learn not just about the era’s food and parties but about the wide array of people involved in their production. No special experience with digital tools required.


Discover the UA Museum of Zoology

will satisfy Natural Science Colloquium requirement

We 12:55pm – 3:25pm, ASEC D415
5500:480 – 001 or 3100:495 – 610, 3 credit hours

Lara Roketenetz/Gary Holliday

Students will engage in a combination of detective work, biology, archives, art, and education/outreach to prepare a collection of taxidermied birds donated to UA by the Rhodes family in the early 1900s for public access and exhibition. Students will have the opportunity to learn from leading experts regarding the historical significance of biological collections, proper preservation protocols, digitizing and archival practices, and the urgency of science education and communication for a public audience. Campus and community partners include experts from local museums, nature centers, and UA's Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.


2021 Fall

The History of Anti-Semitism

MoWeFr 2:00pm – 2:50pm; HON 92
(74772) 1870:350–001

Levin, Michael J

Why do people hate Jews? Is anti-Semitism different from other forms of prejudice? And what does it mean to be Jewish in the first place? In this colloquium we will explore the historical roots of these questions, using various primary sources as a springboard for discussion. We will start in Biblical times, and cover such topics as the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, and events in modern America. There will be guest lectures from other professors in the History Department, who will bring their own expertise and experiences to the class. The emphasis of the course will be on discussion, with a final project to be determined.


Are We Our Brains?

MoWeFr 11:50am – 12:40pm; tbd
(74318) 1870:350–002

Blower, Nathanial S

In this class we will discuss a number of topics related to the question: Are we our brains? The central focus of the course will be a dispute between Peter Hacker and Daniel Dennett. Hacker argues against the habit in neuroscience of treating brains as though they were people: assuming that brains think, feel, perceive, intend and do all manner of things that ordinarily we say people do, not their brains. Daniel Dennett defends the neuroscientists, claiming that Hacker pays too much attention to what we ordinarily say. As we discuss this dispute, we will touch on a number of traditionally philosophical questions about free-will, the afterlife, morality, subjectivity and more. On the more scientific side, we will discuss topics in neuroscience, computer science, mathematics, linguistics and more.


Enchanted Tales: The Stories that Make Us

TuTh 2:00pm – 3:15pm; www
(74319) 1870:350–003

Amir, Juliana

Stories of the dark woods, the forbidden fruit, filial love, and creative intelligence grace the pages of many beloved storybooks. This colloquium explores the construction, shaping, and use of folklore, fairytales, and myths as the pillars of our own culture. How does the language of fairytales and myths intersect with the language of our dreams, both literal and figurative? Is there a certain age where folklore loses its meaning to us? How much do these enchanted stories shape our identity? We will investigate the archetypes these stories create, how they relate in terms of our own personalities, and how they are utilized to sold modern messages. The course allows students to analyze these stories for their cultural resonance, and gives them the option of creating stories of their own.


Madness and Civilization: The Way We Remember Stories

TuTh 12:15pm – 1:30pm; www
(76406) 1870:350–004

Amir, Juliana


The Hero

TuTh 10:45am – 12:00pm; tbd
(76406) 1870:350–005

Pollock, Heather N

The human condition is marked with uncertainty and discovery. No character helps us confront this journey better than the hero. From classical myth and world origins, through the timely lens of comic books and film, and finally the age of modern heroism, we will explore the universal nature of the hero, with an eye toward its significance in society and in our individual lives. As Joseph Campbell states: We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and…we will come to the center of our own existence.


Religions East and West: The Big Questions (and Answers in Words and Art)

TuTh 12:15pm – 1:30pm; HON 92
(76407) 1870:350–006

Levin, Paula

We will examine the teachings of Eastern and Western Religions - Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam - in their attempts to guide us to answers to The Big Questions: What is the meaning of life, how should I live, what happens after life, what is God. We will experience the great world of artistic expression of religious ideas through literature, virtual tours, visual media, and music. Guest lecturers will enhance our understanding of religion as it is practiced today. The emphasis of the course is on class discussion of what we experience and react to.


Humanitarian Social Media — Yes or No?

MoFr 11:50am – 12:40pm; HON 92, www (asynchronous)
(76408) 1870:350–007

Tomko, Carrie

Social media brings instantaneous news, information, and entertainment. Is it accurate in detail? Is it even true? Is it responsible "journalism"? Does it benefit humanity? Does it require accountability? This colloquium looks at the good, bad, and even the "ugly" of social media, studying the impact on culture.


Digital Storytelling

www
(76409) 1870:350–008

Turner, Dudley

The use of digital storytelling is growing. To be prepared for any profession, students need to be aware of the concepts of storytelling and how it can be used for more than simply entertainment – such as in marketing, PR, training, sales. This course helps students learn how to tell a story in various media and the differences in how to tell a story depending on the media. Various media we may explore include blogging, photography, video, podcasts, animation, AR (Augmented Reality), and infographics.


Winning Combinations in Health Behavior: Exploring Healthy Priorities

www
(74323) 1870:340–001

Roncone II, John

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior exploring health priority areas, such as, physical activity, stress management, and other dimensions of health-related physical fitness. The priority areas explored will be beneficial to students reflecting on their own health behavior(s), quality of life/healthy life years/lifestyle management. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of key health components related to mind/body health, research as well as health behavior models/theories.


Winning Combinations in Health Behavior: Combating Obesity

www
(74327) 1870:340–002

Roncone II, John

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior in an exploration to combat obesity. Areas that will be carefully examined include: Current obesity trends, assessment of body weight and body composition, etiology of obesity, health and economic consequences of obesity, dietary interventions for obesity prevention and new insights and looking into future insights. We will engage in meaningful online discussions as well as assignments, learning from other's experiences and guidance from the professor, whom has an extensive knowledge in health education and promotion. Our main book will be, Nutrition and Obesity: Assessment, Management, and Prevention, by Alexandra G. Kazaks, and Judith S. Stern. Other secondary resources will be provided to the students from the professor. Assignment readings, HW/Labs, behavior change models/theories, online discussions, and other assignments will be assessments utilized in the course. Brightspace will be utilized to deliver this online asynchronous course for content, grades, communication/announcements, communication/class roster and emails, assessments/assignments, and communications/discussions and course materials/calendar. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of health behavior and exploring areas in combating the obesity epidemic in the US.


Story Tonic: The Science and Healing behind Narrative

TuTh 3:30pm – 4:45pm; www
(74336) 1870:340–003

Amir, Juliana

Can a story save a life? What is the power behind stories? Is that power finite, or infinite? Dr. Thomas Mutter, the beloved, innovative surgeon of the nineteenth century, urged his colleagues and students to see the humanity of their patients, their story, and not simply their symptoms. In the twenty-first century, hospitalist, Dr. Zachary Jacobs writes: "stories are the currency of medicine." And across time and culture has come the simple request: "tell me a story." From folklore, to the medical humanities, to scientific and theoretical studies, this course will unearth the ways in which stories heal.


Radio, TV, Internet... Oh My!

MoFr 9:40am – 10:30am; HON 92, www
(74352) 1870:340–004

Tomko, Carrie

Communication is key in this fast-paced society with TV, radio, and the internet bringing instantaneous news, information, and entertainment. The mass media brings global topics from across the world close to home. This colloquium will engage students by examining current event coverage in conjunction with communication theories in order to critically analyze what we seeing and hearing in the media. Watch it! Discuss it! Be a student of the world around us! Class discussion is dynamic in my classes!! Interaction in class is highly encouraged through both individual and small group projects. Small group projects are a major part of assessment in order to develop communication skills. Through the group process, students are able to interact in small group communication. Also, during the small group presentation, students gain public speaking communication skills, as well as use communication skills to facilitate a question and answer session. Development of these communication skills is key to success in academia, as well as in career settings. Academia gives us the opportunity to both develop and practice these important communication skills. On an individual level, students read a book, related to media, of their choice, and then they present the findings, as well as inquire to the other students through facilitation of a question and answer session.


STEM in the News

MoFr 10:45am – 11:35am; HON 92, www
(74773) 1870:340–005

Tomko, Carrie

Students in this colloquium have an opportunity to reflect on innovations, such as: The latest in available smart phones... The ongoing discussion of global warming... The usage of self-driving cars... The challenges of feeding a growing population through technological advances in agriculture...!! As new research and technology emerge, resulting innovations enter our ever-changing world. How are these innovations communicated to the general public?? The mass media is the place where the general population learns of innovations. Students in this colloquium will engage in the analysis of the media's reporting and then the population's reaction to S.T.E.M.'s impact on society, discerning how emerging research and technology are embraced or refused by society via communication and the media's role in construction of a new reality. Class discussion is dynamic in my classes!! Interaction in class is highly encouraged through both individual and small group projects. Small group projects are a major part of assessment in order to develop communication skills. Through the group process, students are able to interact in small group communication. Also, during the small group presentation, students gain public speaking communication skills, as well as use communication skills to facilitate a question and answer session. Development of these communication skills is key to success in academia, as well as in career settings. Academia gives us the opportunity to both develop and practice these important communication skills. On an individual level, students read a book, related to media, of their choice, and then they present the findings, as well as inquire to the other students through facilitation of a question and answer session.


Global Classroom

Tu 9:00am – 12:30pm;  (only on Aug 31, Sept 28, Oct 19, Nov 16), www (asynchronous) otherwise
(74920) 1870:340–006

Opoku-Agyeman, Chris


Exploring Higher Education through Popular Culture

www
(74919) 1870:340–007

Faidley, Evan

This Honors course will examine the specificities of portrayal of higher education through popular culture over the course of the 15-week semester. Popular is an ambiguous term; in this course, popular can be understood as the mass, mainstream culture, as well as a culture that is accessible and appreciated by each and every individual, without the necessity of any intellectual background. This is the reason why it has always been looked down upon, but also highly among the public and academic eye. However, since the industrialization and the literacy of American society, popular culture has become the culture of reference in the country. It is starting to gain recognition from the critics, with, for example, the numerous awards given blockbusters such as Animal House (1978), Accepted (2006), Pitch Perfect (2012), and Dear White People (2014). Questions are asked, such as: What do these representations of campus life and culture mean to the study of higher education? How accurate are fictional portrayals of colleges, universities, faculty, and students? In an effort to recognize a collective consciousness, students will analyze elements of college student development as demonstrated in “college films,” social media, and music.


Scientific Inventing

TuTh 9:15am – 10:30am; HON 92
(75317) 1870:370–001

Eagan, James


Water Law, Science & Policy: Environmental Decision-making to Attain a Fishable & Swimmable Summit Lake

MoWe 4:10pm – 5:25pm; HON 92
(75086) 1870:370–002

Collins, Emily


Polymer Science of Cooking

Th 3:45 – 6:30pm; tbd
(75319) 1870:370–003

King, Hunter


Light and Matter

MoWeFr 10:45am – 11:35am; tbd
(75320) 1870:370–004

Liu, Chunming


Global Environmental Issues — with an Anthropogenic Discussion Focus

TuTh 10:45am – 12:00pm; www
(75321) 1870:370–005

TuTh 12:15pm – 1:05pm; www
(70034) 1870:470–001 (Satisfies the Colloquium requirements only for students that entered UA prior to Fall 2018)

Dunbar, Michael D

As the human population grows towards 8 billion, what kind of lasting impact do we have? During the semester we'll be exploring how our unsustainable lifestyles have impacted the earth’s natural resources, species, environments, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions, proposals and debates will examine how to confront some of these issues and how we can act on a local and personal level.


2021 Summer

What’s the Story with Creativity?

05/17/2021 – 06/06/2021 (INT)

Flynn, David

(31930) 1870:350–001
3 credit hours
MoTuWeThFr 8:00am – 10:30am; HON 92

This course will focus on the process of creative thinking, the process of an idea, the ability to hear, appreciate, understand and then tell a story. My goal is to show students beauty in areas that they may not be familiar with, have them create projects in those areas and journal the 5 week experience. I will have guests from various “creative” fields in to tell them their story, how they make creative connections, and how they express themselves and make their way professionally and personally.


Iconic and Psychotic: Or Just Written That Way

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Amir,Juliana R

(31800) 1870:350–002
3 credit hours
MoTuWeThFr 9:45am – 11:15am; www (live)


Histories of the Future

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Huss, John

(32037) 1870:350–003
3 credit hours
TuTh 12:00pm – 1:30pm; www (live)
www (asynchronous)

In this humanities colloquium, we will discuss fiction, films, forecasts and philosophies of the future with an eye toward using moral imagination to speculate about where the present may lead.


Winning Combinations in Health Behavior: Combating Obesity

05/17/2021 – 06/06/2021 (INT)

Roncone, John

(31801) 1870:340–001
3 credit hours
www (asynchronous)

This social science discipline colloquium examines health behavior in an exploration to combat obesity. Areas that will be carefully examined include: Current obesity trends, assessment of body weight and body composition, etiology of obesity, health and economic consequences of obesity, dietary interventions for obesity prevention and new insights and looking into future insights. We will engage in meaningful online discussions as well as assignments, learning from other's experiences and guidance from the professor, whom has an extensive knowledge in health education and promotion. Our main book will be, Nutrition and Obesity: Assessment, Management, and Prevention, by Alexandra G. Kazaks, and Judith S. Stern. Other secondary resources will be provided to the students from the professor. Assignment readings, HW/Labs, behavior change models/theories, online discussions, and other assignments will be assessments utilized in the course. Brightspace will be utilized to deliver this online asynchronous course for content, grades, communication/announcements, communication/class roster and emails, assessments/assignments, and communications/discussions and course materials/calendar. Students will leave the course with a sound knowledge of health behavior and exploring areas in combating the obesity epidemic in the US.


STEM In the News

05/17/2021 – 06/06/2021 (INT)

Tomko, Carrie

(31801) 1870:340–002
3 credit hours
TuTh 10:45am – 2:15pm; tbd
www (asynchronous)

Students in this colloquium have an opportunity to reflect on innovations, such as: The latest in available smart phones... The ongoing discussion of global warming... The usage of self-driving cars... The challenges of feeding a growing population through technological advances in agriculture...!! As new research and technology emerge, resulting innovations enter our ever-changing world. How are these innovations communicated to the general public?? The mass media is the place where the general population learns of innovations. Students in this colloquium will engage in the analysis of the media's reporting and then the population's reaction to S.T.E.M.'s impact on society, discerning how emerging research and technology are embraced or refused by society via communication and the media's role in construction of a new reality. Class discussion is dynamic in my classes!! Interaction in class is highly encouraged through both individual and small group projects. Small group projects are a major part of assessment in order to develop communication skills. Through the group process, students are able to interact in small group communication. Also, during the small group presentation, students gain public speaking communication skills, as well as use communication skills to facilitate a question and answer session. Development of these communication skills is key to success in academia, as well as in career settings. Academia gives us the opportunity to both develop and practice these important communication skills. On an individual level, students read a book, related to media, of their choice, and then they present the findings, as well as inquire to the other students through facilitation of a question and answer session.


Exploring Higher Education through Popular Culture

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Faidley, Evan

(32014) 1870:340–003
3 credit hours
www (asynchronous)

This Honors course will examine the specificities of portrayal of higher education through popular culture over the course of the semester. Popular is an ambiguous term; in this course, popular can be understood as the mass, mainstream culture, as well as a culture that is accessible and appreciated by each and every individual, without the necessity of any intellectual background. This is the reason why it has always been looked down upon, but also highly among the public and academic eye. However, since the industrialization and the literacy of American society, popular culture has become the culture of reference in the country. It is starting to gain recognition from the critics, with, for example, the numerous awards given blockbusters such as Animal House (1978), Accepted (2006), Pitch Perfect (2012), and Dear White People (2014). Questions are asked, such as: What do these representations of campus life and culture mean to the study of higher education? How accurate are fictional portrayals of colleges, universities, faculty, and students? In an effort to recognize a collective consciousness, students will analyze elements of college student development as demonstrated in “college films,” social media, and music.


The Culture of Fear

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Pollock, Heather

(32331) 1870:340–004
3 credit hours
MTuTh 12:00pm – 2:30pm; www

(32349) 1870:340–004a
3 credit hours
MTuTh 12:00pm – 2:30pm; tbd

Gloria Steinem says, Empathy is the most radical of human emotions. Where has it gone in this ironic age of global disconnect and isolation? How do we foster compassion if we cannot connect? We investigate its opposite, fear, and render it inert. From universal fears to personal ones, we will explore the nature of fear, seek its purpose, how to navigate it, understand it, and move forward into connection.


The Changing Landscape of Immigration Law

06/07/2021 – 08/01/2021 (8W2)

Brown, Robyn

(32333) 1870:340–005
3 credit hours
MoTuTh 6:25pm – 8:00pm; www (live)


Scientific Inventing

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Eagan, James

(31803) 1870:370–001
3 credit hours
MoTuWeThFr 2:15pm – 3:45pm; HON 92

The course will discuss three aspects of inventing in natural sciences. First, how research translates into inventions and the requirements for innovation. Second, how to protect your invention and the patent process. And lastly we will cover examples of world-changing scientific inventions such as the Haber-Bosh Process, olefin polymerization, and the semi-conductor.


Water In Our World

05/17/2021 – 06/06/2021 (INT)

Sasowsky, Ira

(---) 1870:370–002
3 credit hours
MoTuWeThFr 8:00am – 10:30am; www (live)

This natural sciences colloquium provides a thought-provoking experience on the role of water in our everyday lives, and the issues that we are facing as a society that depends upon this ever more tenuous resource. Using the overarching topic of water, we will explore as a group, learning from each other's experiences, and the background of the professor (an expert in groundwater), as well as from assigned readings and discussions. We will leave with an increased understanding of the issues, and as empowered citizens participating in a global water community. We will have assigned readings from the book, with about half of each session dedicated to student-led critical discussion. One quarter of the class time will encompass brief illustrated content lectures, and the remainder will be in-class exercises and online (verbal) discussions. The term will conclude with presentations by the students on a water topic of their choosing.


Global Environmental Issues

06/07/2021 – 07/11/2021 (5W1)

Dunbar, Michael D

(31802) 1870:370–003
3 credit hours
TuTh 9:00am – 12:45pm; www (live)

As the human population grows towards 8 billion, what kind of lasting impact do we have? During the semester we'll be exploring how our unsustainable lifestyles have impacted the earth’s natural resources, species, environments, and offer a prognosis for the future. Our discussions, proposals and debates will examine how to confront some of these issues and how we can act on a local and personal level.


Propose a Colloquium

For faculty

If you are a faculty member here at UA and would like to teach an Honors Colloquium, we would love to hear your idea. A colloquium should typically be on a specific unique topic of particular interest to the faculty member teaching the course, and should not duplicate courses otherwise offered in the general curriculum. Keep in mind that there will most likely be students from a broad range of disciplines in any given colloquium group.

Use this form to submit a colloquium proposal for the Williams Honors College to consider whether and when it might fit into an upcoming schedule.

For students

Are you a Williams Honors College student with an idea for an exciting and unique Honors Colloquium? Email us your idea for consideration. Additionally, we are always happy to add more Honors Colloquia in a given semester for a given subject area once the others have filled, so please keep us in the loop about what type of colloquia you need and your preferred date and time if everything is full, and we will look to provide additional offerings before the semester begins.