UNIV 3784-Z81: Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar

[UConn Stamford]

Instructor: Richard Watnick

Honors students are able to enroll without a permission number. Non-Honors students will need to request a permission number by emailing Professor Watnick

This seminar has multiple faculty session leaders from different departments. There will be a guest session leader for approximately 10 of the weekly meetings, and the other meetings are for open discussion. The topic of the course for Fall 2021 was Ideas and Actions and for fall 2020 it was Resilience. Resilience (fall 2020 topic) may be repeated in fall 2022. Students can repeat this course with change of topic. See sample session guests and topics below. Professor Watnick organizes the course and attends all meetings. Each session leader, still to be identified for fall 2022, assigns reading material ahead of time and then presents before opening up discussion.

Fall 2020 Sample sessions (Topic: Resilience): 

  • Jerome Sehulster, Professor of Psychology, The concept of Resilience in the field of psychology
  • Susan Herbst, President Emeritus and Professor of Political Science, American Political Institutions:  How Resilient Are They in 2020?
  • Shanelle Jones, Honors Student, University Scholar, Day of Pride Scholar, POLS & Human Rights, Untold Stories of the African Diaspora: The Lived Experiences of Black Caribbean Immigrants in the U.S
  • Mark Boyer, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Geography, Adapting to Climate Change 
  • Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, Resilience in litigation and negotiation
  • Jeff Schlosser, National Supply Chain Lead Partner, Strategy and Transactions, Ernst & Young LLP and Kelly Stals, Senior Manager, Operating Model Effectiveness, in Ernst & Young’s International Tax and Transaction Services Group “Supply Chain Resilience – Responses to Disrupted Supply Chains in the COVID-19 Era”
  • Joel Blatt, Professor of History, Fred Roden, Professor of English and special guest Roland Tec, On the work of Nechama Tec, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, The Resilience of Polish partisans during the Holocaust
  • Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar, Professor of History, Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity 
  • Vicki Knoblauch, Professor of Economics, Analyzing responses to the pandemic through game theory
  • Gregory Pierrot, Associate Professor of English, The Haitian Revolution: a global, artistic, and cultural legacy 
  • Fred Roden, Professor of English, Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning

Fall 2021 Sample Sessions (Topic: Ideas and Actions): 

  • Jerome Sehulster, Professor of Psychology, Autobiographical memory 
  • Spencer Ross, Assistant Professor of Marketing UMass-Lowell, Sustainable Marketing 
  • Mark Strauss, UConn Digital Data Initiative, TIP Digital and from Wave Aerospace
  • Joel Blatt, Associate Professor of History, Thoughts and Actions of Carlo and Nello Rosselli and the Relevance to Us 
  • Mark Boyer, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor, Executive Director, International Studies Association, The Climate Adaptation Imperative
  • Charles Robins, Managing Director of Fairmont Partners, Start-ups/emerging technology, Building a unicorn: How to reverse the rainbow 
  • Mark Rolfe, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Transportation
  • Fred Roden, Professor of English, Letters of Transit: Reflections on Exile, Identity, Language, and Loss 
  • Annamaria Csizmadia, Associate Professor of Human Development & Family Sciences, Racial Microaggressions 

50% of your grade is based on the open discussion in class and on HuskyCT. The other 50% of your grade consists of a term paper or project on a topic in your major or a topic covered in class.