University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Spring 2015 Honors Seminars

The listings below are tentative and subject to change. Please contact your honors academic advisor with questions.

Seminars in the first table have international or domestic study tours.

Honors Seminars with International or Domestic Study Tours
 Course Number     Title       Call #       Day/Time     Instructor     BoK      
How Art Makes the World: Visual Art as Inquiry & Research in New York 310286 TBA; with required week-long study tour to New York City

K. Holland
N. Anderson
The prevailing view most people have of visual art is that it is ‘creative self-expression,’ or worse, an isolated act of leisure. Some students at the university level may not be conscious of the expansive implications research in the fine arts has produced, or its links to the production of knowledge in the humanities. The goal of this course is to fundamentally shift people’s perception of the visual arts away from the idea that it is about creative or ‘emotive’ self-expression and instead create an understand of art as an inquiry process – a way of generating knowledge.

Students will not be required to make or have knowledge of contemporary art to be in this course. Rather, we envision this course as a way to create future connoisseurs of art that understand and articulate the way artists employ visual research methods.

By integrating a spring break trip to New York City as a culminating experience linking course material to real world practice, students will learn about why inquiry and research processes are so vital to contemporary art in both the American and global context. This trip to the ‘center of the art world’ also serves to ground the course material and situate art as a vital inquiry and/or research process in global culture and the humanities. As a result, students will: 1) become acquainted with the aspects of creative arts-based research methods, 2) be aware of issues and articulations that truly reveal how ‘art makes the world,’ and 3) perhaps most importantly, students will gain respect, understanding, and become advocates for this vital practice of the humanities.

Application required. Learn more!
FAM3095 Music, Art, and Thought in Medici Florence 301378 TR 3:30-4:50pm; with required week-long study tour to Italy S. Schlagel FA, HP

From c1420 to the end of the sixteenth century, Florence witnessed a remarkable synergy of music, art, and thought. With the 1436 completion of the cathedral dome, an architectural and engineering feat designed by Brunelleschi, and the rise of the Medici dynasty, Florence became the embodiment of humanistic ideals. Inhabited by such artists as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, musicians Guillaume Du Fay and Heinrich Isaac, and writers Angelo Poliziano and Niccolò Machiavelli, Florence was the Renaissance city ―par excellence.‖ Florence also witnessed its share of calamities, particularly as religious fanaticism fomented by Girolomo Savonarola and foreign invasion ravaged the city, before another branch of the Medici family retook the city by force.

In this interdisciplinary course we will study the political, economic, artistic, and cultural forces that gave rise to Florence as a vortex of European Renaissance civilization. The course will culminate with a one-week study tour of Florence, where history will come to life. The streets of modern Florence are relatively unchanged from Renaissance times, and an abundance of art and architecture remains available to modern viewers to witness and experience first-hand.

Application required. Includes required study tour to Italy. Learn more!

FREN3032 Paris Honors Seminar: Paris the City from Gothic to Modern Times
306260 MWF 1:25-2:20pm; with required week-long study tour to Paris, France. K. Lorenz DC, HU
The city of Paris, the "City of Light", is perhaps the most well-known city in the world. Why are people attracted to Paris? Where does the reputation of Paris come from? In this course, students have the opportunity to explore the city of Paris using historical and literary sources and contemporary media. Students will develop insights into physical and cultural development of the city and the nature of travel to a city such as Paris. Students are exposed to the tools necessary to explore the city in person or from afar. Taught in English.

Application required. Includes required spring break study tour to Paris. Learn more!
SAID3010 Humanitarian Design 309518 TR 11:00am-12:20pm
M. Zaretsky SE, HU

In this honors seminar, students from across colleges and disciplines will combine research into humanitarianism, social responsibility and the principles of design thinking into the development of a project that will benefit a non-profit organization doing work in impoverished communities in rural Tanzania.

We will explore how the fields such as engineering, nursing, medicine, education, business, liberal arts, design and more are all critical in the development of effective and inspiring humanitarian design projects. Together, we will explore the social, cultural and technological issues inherent in the field of humanitarian design and work collaboratively to create and implement projects that will have a positive impact on communities in need. The course includes a required trip to Tanzania.

The projects will be designed and implemented in three villages in rural Tanzania through the Cincinnati-based non-profit organization Village Life Outreach (

Application required. Includes required study tour to Tanzania. Learn more!


Honors Seminars
 Course Number     Title       Call #       Day/Time     Instructor     BoK      
CHEM2041L-005 (honors section only) Organic Chemistry Laboratory II - Honors 302593 Thursdays 2:00-4:50pm D. Lieberman N/A
By invitation only. UHP students must be invited by the Chemistry Department.
Chemical Aspects of Forensic Science 302596* TR 11:00am-12:20pm
A. Pinhas NS
Surveys forensic chemistry both for students who are STEM majors and for those who are not STEM majors.  The course will be taught by presenting a crime scene and discussing the types of techniques needed for the investigation.  The course will consist of lectures and in-class demonstrations of the various scientific techniques used to solve a crime.  Some of the topics to be covered include glass identification, blood visualization, blood type identification, latent fingerprint visualization, drug testing, gunshot residue, and DNA isolation and identification.

*In order to maintain a balance of science/engineering majors and non-science majors in this course, students must have permission from University Honors to register. If you are interested in enrolling, email and include your full name and student ID (M number). Students will receive permission and/or be placed on a waiting list in the order requests are received; confirmation will be sent by email, with further instructions for registering for the class.
CHEM4020L-002 (honors section only) Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory - Honors 302605 Mondays 1:25-4:45pm H. Guan N/A
UHP students who meet the pre-requisites for this class do not need special permission to register.
Save our Schools: Educational Controversy and Change
306041 Mondays
S. Stitzlein SE, SS
Nearly everyone cares about the success of our schools. Nearly everyone thinks they know how to make schools better, yet schools continue to struggle year after year.  In this course we'll work together to figure out what the best solutions are and put them into action to Save Our Schools!  Class participants will delve into educational issues central to improving schools, many of which are marred in controversy: from school vouchers to national standards and charter schools to teacher merit pay.  Participants will engage in experiential learning that takes them into local K-12 schools and education-related agencies (CityLink, Strive/Knowledge Works, Teach for America, etc.), brings teacher union and charter schools representatives to the classroom, and culminates in a two-day immersion in the Ohio legislature, where students will share their best ideas for education policy and change with elected officials and lobbyists.  This course allows you to develop genuine leadership skills as you become an agent of change helping to solve a major social problem.
ENED3027 Teamwork and Leadership from Within 309372 Wednesdays

**Plus Weekend Leadership Experience (see below)**
J. Kastner,
G. Sizemore
The objective of the course is to examine the integration of leadership and teamwork to build on management concepts. Leadership in organization can be established in many different ways. A leadership that focuses on needs of individuals within an organization for the benefit of the team has a lasting impact that promotes the organization well beyond other leadership styles. The course examines methods for promoting personal growth of individuals while enhancing teamwork to achieve organizational objectives. By the end of the class the Honors Students will have explored:

1. Styles of Leadership
2. Approaches to Team Building
3. Promoting Growth of Individuals as a Technique for Successful Management
4. Personal Growth
5. Team Building and Leadership
6. Their own behavior in special situations

**This class will have an overnight weekend leadership experience at the Adventure Outpost (park of Hamilton County Parks). This is expected to take place during the first weekend of spring break. If you have any conflicts or issues with those dates, please contact Professor Jeff Kastner (**
ENGL2089 (honors sections only) -039, -043, -058 Intermediate Composition - Honors 303413


MWF 9:05-10:00am

MWF 10:10-11:05am

MWF 2:30-3:25pm
TBA English Composition

This course emphasizes critical reading and writing, advanced research and argument skills, and rhetorical understanding of language as it is used in different discourse communities.

Honors sections will require students to conduct field research in a local community setting. This research will serve to amplify and enrich the related secondary research gathered. In addition, since English 2089 focuses on discourse community conventions and genre characteristics, the students' field research will be one of the primary ways that students come to appreciate and investigate these issues.

Adolescent and Child Abuse in Film, Literature and Reality 303295 Wednesdays 3:35-6:25pm
(changed from MWF)
B. Dziech SE, HU
Designed for male and female students in all majors, this course employs fiction, non-fiction, films, speakers, and experiential learning to examine the crisis of battered youth and attempts at intervention. Included in the course is a required weekend service trip to an Eastern Kentucky non-profit residential facility for abused young people ages twelve to eighteen.
FAM3000 Listen to the Music 301366 MWF 10:10-11:05am M. Morrow,
E. Paffett
If an eighteenth-century countess had slipped into a time machine that dropped her off at the Metropolitan Opera House in 2014, she would probably have been less astonished by the music than by the audience:Why were they sitting there in the dark paying complete and silent attention to the performance? Where were the gambling tables? Why didn’t the boxes have curtains that you could close? Musicians and audiences had very different relationships in the century to which she belonged because music had a different place in culture and society than it does today. Understanding the musical culture of a particular time can make its music easier to understand and enjoy. This course will examine western music from medieval times to the present by considering modes of listening, the relationships between musicians and their audiences, the function of music in society, and the intersection of music and politics.
Art and The Great Depression 309369 TR 3:30-4:50pm
T. Teslow DC, HP
What was it like to live through the worst economic crisis in U.S. history? How did American artists, filmmakers, writers, and photographers grapple with the hopes and fears, tensions and innovations of a modern, capitalist society in crisis? Combining a study of historical texts with analysis of artwork and visual culture in the 1930s and early 1940s, this course will explore the lives and concerns of Americans during the Great Depression. Topics of study include mosaic murals at the Cincinnati Museum Center, Farm Security Administration photographs, the paintings of Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, the Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago, the literary work of James Agree, and movies, including “Grapes of Wrath,” “Meet John Doe,” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
HNRS2020 Exploring Leadership 304788 Mondays 3:35-6:20pm E. Alanson SE, SS
This course is designed to explore the nature of leadership - across the world, our country, and our campus. We will examine and discuss leadership theory, styles, skills and historical and cultural references.  We will appraise common beliefs about leaders and leadership. Because leadership, at its essence, is about working with other to get things accomplished, we must know ourselves and learn to appreciate differences.  Course activities will move students toward the practical process of leadership in their own lives.
HNRS2060 Exploring Global Studies 304796 TR 2:00-3:20pm
K. Grace DC, SS
This honors seminar is specifically designed for first and second year students, but is open to all. Students will learn about the concept of global competence. Global competencies include (a) global knowledge (b) empathy and appreciation (c) the ability to learn cross-culturally and (d) the ability to perform in cross-cultural situations. Some of the global topics that will be explored include foodways, sport, religion and heritage, education, cultural conflict, and the Fair Trade movement. This course provides an excellent foundation for future study abroad opportunities.

Projects will involve interaction with UC’s international community of faculty and students.   The practicalities of studying or living abroad will be part of the seminar, as well as learning international etiquette.  The aim is to develop UC students into “world wise” travelers and global citizens.
HNRS2081 Exploring Biomedical Research
304800 Thursdays 3:00-5:50pm
I. Cartwright
R. Brackenberry
This course is intended to give students some broad insight into the world of biomedicine from the perspective of people who work in and around a large Academic Health Center.  One section of the course will emphasize the research enterprise, with talks from funded biomedical research investigators, and tours of their laboratories to meet graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with career goals as research scientists.  Furthermore, how to apply for and obtain undergraduate research experiences – especially funded summer opportunities at UC and CCHMC - will be emphasized.  To broaden the perspective, however, students will also be exposed to other biomedical professionals who are essential to the research mission, including those who oversee the care and proper treatment of animals, directors of essential core service laboratories, those who work with patients or the community, bioethicists, genetic counselors, public health practitioners, and finance and administrative people.  To supplement the weekly meetings, there will be opportunities to consider and discuss topics of current interest in medicine and medical research, facilitated by the course directors.
IT3070C Social Networks and Disaster Management 307312 TR 9:30-10:50am
H. Said SE, TI
When a disaster strikes (earth quake, hurricane, flood, Tsunami, war, etc), the connections someone has to other people can make one of the most significant differences in how well they do during an event and how well they recover after. This course will survey and examine social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc and explore the use of the existing connections a person has to prepare for emergencies. Students will create a Lifeline mobile application (iPhone, Android, iPad) that utilizes a person's existing connections on social networks to prepare and respond to emergencies. This course is based on a challenge by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response in the US Department of Health and Human Services. There are no prerequisites for this course. Students will work in multidisciplinary teams contributing within their areas of expertise.
MG3000 Climate Change – Think Globally, Act Locally 301035 TR 11:00am-12:20pm
E. Gruenstein SE, NS
This course has three goals: (i) To have students understand the scientific basis of climate change and the technology for dealing with it, (ii) To have them appreciate that mitigation of climate change will be a political and ethical as well as a technological activity, (iii) To have them realize that they can personally make a significant contribution to solving the problem. The first goal will be addressed through classroom discussions of seminal climate change literature facilitated by the course director. The second goal will be addressed by interactive seminars with Cincinnati leaders in politics, community action and philanthropy. The third goal will provide the experiential component of the course. $2000 will be made available to the students for philanthropic distribution to non-profit organizations which promote climate change mitigation in the Cincinnati community. Student teams will select local organizations to champion and each team will promote its organization before a panel of community leaders for a share of the philanthropic funds.
PHYS2015 The Physics of Superheros 305518 MWF 12:20-1:15pm D. Mast NS
Students will investigate the laws of physics through the powers portrayed by superheroes in films, cartoons, and comics. Extensive use will be made of superhero movies in order to learn physical concepts. Students will “create” their own superhero and super villain (with costumes), and develop of conflict “episode.”
PHIL2085 Conversations about Life 309935 Wednesdays 6:00-8:50pm
J. Martin SE
Built into college life are the late night conversations about love, sex, religion, politics - life's most important things. This seminar is designed to encourage this tendency in an informal but structured setting. Serious topics will be selected by the students and then "hashed out" with the professor contributing to give direction and suggestions only as a "referee".  Students will come with topics to discuss, and write a research paper on one of the topics raised in the course of the semester's conversations.