Fall 2019 Honors Seminars

Honors Seminars
Course Number (honors sections only) Title Class# Day/Time Instructor BoK
COMM3032 Bigger than the iPhone? What's Next in Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (titled "Communication and Augmented Reality" in Catalyst) 18199 Tues/Thurs 2:00-3:20pm Liao, T. TI, SS
Apple CEO Tim Cook recently stated that Augmented Reality could be an innovation that has a greater impact on the media environment than the smart phone. Given these types of proclamations, this course will offer students an in-depth look at the emerging 􀂡eld of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. Speci􀂡cally this course will examine the new design and technological possibilities of VR/AR, the media imaginations of VR/AR, and emerging research surrounding VR/AR. This course draws from theories and perspectives in communication, sociology, psychology, media analysis, and computer science to understand the AR phenomena, and to help students imagine/design technologies that will be important in the new media environment. Students will tilize science fiction as a prompt to start thinking about augmented futures, learn how AR is utilized and studied in real-life, and work in teams to conduct a research study around VR/AR technologies.
ENGL2001 (honors section only) Crime, Kids and Abuse (also titled "Topics in Literature" in Catalyst) 17533 Thursdays 3:30-6:20pm Dziech, B.

In this course we'll examine varied types of child and adolescent abuse, their dehabilitating effects on some of the young who turn to drugs,crime and prostitution.We'll use films, documentaries, and speakers to examine the fight against abuse from the U.S to Nepal to the "Secrets of the Austrian Cellar." And we'll finish with an overnight service, experiential visit to a facility for troubled youth in Eastern KY, one of the most impoverished places in the country.

Drug abuse, prostitution and violence. Even serial killing, as in the cases of Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy. These are effects of neglect and sexual, physical and psychological/emotional abuse of children and teens. But why do some respond in criminal ways while others do not? What do demographics tell us about the urgency of the problem, and what are the challenges we face in dealing with abusers and their victims? We’ll use documentaries, life stories, psychological and legal studies, as well as a variety of speakers to explore one of the most troubling concerns facing society.

Our time together will culminate with an overnight service trip to a facility for at-risk teens in an area of Eastern Kentucky confronting an opioid crisis. This is a course for all students in all majors because the costs of abuse are enormous. 

ENGL2005 (honors section only) Writing, Running, and Documenting Cincinnati (also titled "Topics in Rhetoric" in Catalyst)     Micciche, L. HU
Canceled due to low enrollment. 
ENGL2089 (honors sections only) Intermediate Composition See Catalyst See Catalyst See Catalyst See Catalyst

This course invites students to reflect on their experience of how they learn to communicate effectively with others, whether in written form, orally, visually, or otherwise. In other words, how do we acquire literacy within any of the numerous systems of communication that exist around us?

Examining discourse communities--groups of people who share particular communication practices--allows us to consider a range of complex societal issues.  For example, what do the ways that a group uses language tell us about the group's priorities, values, and beliefs? How does a group's discourse allow the members to define and maintain their identity? To what degree are the conflicts that members experience among themselves and with others related to the discourses that these groups employ? And how do literacy and illiteracy within certain discourses relate to power, privilege and social difference? In considering these questions, students will research discourse communities at a variety of levels--locally, nationally, and, perhaps, even globally. We will pay special attention to the specific forms--the genres--through which communities express their literacy, describing the features of those genres and articulating what purposes they serve.

Honors sections will incorporate challenging readings regarding communication, discourse community, and genre, and will move at a more rapid pace than the typical 2089 offering. These sections will typically also offer opportunities for students to publish their writing or otherwise present their ideas publicly.

Environmental Futures: Apocalypse versus Sustainability 
Lawson, L.
Twomey, J.
In this seminar we will study apocalyptic and dystopian literature and film alongside introductory-level scientfic writing, in order to: 1) reflect upon current dangerous environmental trajectories; and, 2) propose environmental solutions aimed at creating more sustainable futures at local and global scales. After gaining a basic overview of the history of apocalyptic thought, and its relevance for environmental studies, students will explore recent literary and cultural texts presenting both pessimistic and more hopeful environmental scenarios. They will also develop a useful understanding of the current environmental realities evoked by these works, while collectively imagining a better future. Students will meet with environmental policy makers to discuss how local actions can translate to more sustainable environmental futures. 
HIST3097 Freedom Riders: Beyond Mississippi, Memphis, and Montgomery (also titled "History Honors Seminar II" in Catalyst) 20627 MWF 12:20-1:15pm McGee, H HP, SE, DEI

Racism neither existed in a past tense nor has its historical virulence been confined to the Southern United States. This course encourages community (and national historical) engagement by challenging the chronological and geographical narrative of institutional racism in the United States. Lynchings, bombings, and police brutality were neither con􀂡ned to the South, nor bound by a ten-year “heyday.” By highlighting the ways in which the (lore of the) black freedom struggle is mirrored and intricately connected to the experiences of black Americans living in vastly different locales, this course seeks to expand student research, writing, and thinking skills with regards to a more holistic context of the national struggle for equal access, inclusion, and opportunity in America.

A commitment to develop global citizen scholars must first begin at home. James Baldwin once wrote, “The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” Baldwin’s  assessment of the complexities of history speaks directly to the importance of the creation a course like Freedom Riders—it disrupts outdated narratives about the actual history and consequences of racial inequality in America, and allows us to push beyond the boundaries of symbolism to a place where we can honestly wrestle with the laws and promises of our nation.

Leveraging Emerging Technology and Data to Promote Healthy Aging 21450
Wednesdays 2:30-5:20pm Lee, S.
Kumar, M.
Wangia-Anderson, V.
Sampsel, D.
No matter what field of study a student pursues, the influence of the older adult is present and intergenerational work abounds. In this seminar, students will have an opportunity to explore new horizons that will push the boundaries of familiar aging in place concepts. Aging and its challenges will be explored and reimagined. Futuristic thinking in the world of aging integrated with leveraging technology and new innovation will be cultivated. A problem-based, service learning approach will provide students an experiential learning platform on which to design new solutions for older adults’ limiting factors that impede their quest to remain healthy and functional. The use of technology to advance interactions with older adults will be the focus of the final project.
Sticky Innovation: Exploring the Problem of the Bees  20245

9:30-10:50am in the 1819 Innovation Hub

Gaskins, W.
Sheth, N.

While humans are reliant on bees for pollinating essential food crops the worldwide emergence of colony collapse disorder threatens the vitality of the honeybee population. In this course students will learn multiple approaches to inquiry to consider this “wicked problem” of contemporary times. This course incorporates documentary film, fiction, arts based inquiry, scientific research, and multiple modes of reflection to design creative solutions to complex problems. The course will seek to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, foster discussion and investigate the links that connect artistic and scientific disciplines. Integrating engineering and art, students will gain experience in a variety of modes of inquiry that will develop creative research approaches, problem solving skills and innovative habits of the mind.

See the course website to learn more about this opportunity! 

In summer 2019, 4 students who had taken this class participated in an international BioDesign Competition at the MOMA in New York City as an extension of their work and learning. Please contact the faculty to learn more about this! 

PD2030 - 001 (honors section only) Inquiry to Innovation: Zero Hunger/Zero Waste 14730 Tues/Thurs 12:30-1:50pm in the Turner Center on Vine Street Russell, Frank SE, TI
This course will provide students with an opportunity to address the issue of Hunger and Food Insecurity in our region.

Inquiry to Innovation: Zero Hunger/Zero Waste is a trans-disciplinary UC Forward honors seminar that is offered in partnership with the Kroger Corporation Zero Hunger/Zero Waste Foundation. In this course students will work in interdisciplinary teams to address this challenging problem of how we can enhance food access for all populations of our region and ameliorate the impact of hunger on families and children. Students will work alongside Kroger collaborators to understand this issue and the populations it effects. Multiple points of view are sought on this issue from the student perspective with the intention of developing proposals to address hunger in practical terms throughout the Greater Cincinnati Area.
PD2030 - 002 (honors section only)  Inquiry to Innovation: What is the Future of Work? 14776 Tues/Thurs 2:00-3:20pm in the Turner Center on Vine Street Bradley, Aaron SE, TI
If you want an experience shaping the workplace of the future, this honors seminar is for you! Students from all disciplines needed! 

Inquiry to Innovation: The Future of Work is an industry-sponsored, trans-disciplinary UC Forward honors seminar offered in collaboration with Cincinnati-based architecture and design research firm BHDP (www.bhdp.com). This highly experiential course challenges students to investigate and predict how and where the next generation workforce will “work” by examining the influence of societal trends and their impacts on human behavior. By exploring the influences of an ever-changing economy, technology advancements, and a culture of rapid innovation, students will look beyond workplace or office design to larger questions of culture, mindset, productivity, and what unities us as people who work. Students will work closely with faculty and BHDP’s leadership to leverage ethnographic research, trend forecasting, and rapid ideation techniques to study and report findings as the project evolves in real-time.  Much of the class will be structured as workshops and collaborative working sessions with BHDP’s team, both on campus and at BHDP’s downtown Cincinnati headquarters.
Apocalypse versus Sustainability