Featured Courses

ENGL 1007: Honors First-Year Writing

Beginning in Fall 2020, ENGL 1007 will be the course number for all first-year writing courses at UConn Storrs.

This paragraph should only appear for Orientation

Honors ENGL 1007 recognizes that Honors students are often expected to write more and differently than other UConn students. There are additional opportunities for connection to your own major(s) and greater emphasis on the roles of inquiry and discovery in the humanities. Finally, the Honors sections will culminate with a public celebration of student work.

For Fall 2020, there will be two themed sections of Honors ENGL 1007. They share a single studio section (instructor: Beth Reinwald).

ENGL 1007-015: Music and Identity

Instructor: Darby Lacey

Music is all around us and shapes our connections to places, films, experiences, and even ourselves. For example, music might help us connect to our cultures or explore our emotions or make friends by bonding over shared musical favorites. In this course, we will carefully consider our own various interactions with music and the impact those encounters have on how we perceive ourselves: how certain music makes us feel, how we interact with or use music, even how music might help us to construct our own personal identities.

As we consider our own reactions to music, we will also think about the convergences and divergences in rhetorical choices that are made both when artists compose music, and when we compose our own writing across different mediums. Just as composers, musicians, and djs make countless choices to make a song perfect for the moment, so too do writers when they create their own compositions. As we write together this semester, we will explore the key inquiry, “How does music specifically and writing in general compose our individual and collective identities?”

Our course will also embrace multimodality in music and our own writing. Music brings together sound, lyrics, and even images and video for maximum impact. We will similarly investigate the possibilities of different mediums and modes for our own composing as we explore our course inquiry. The contributions you make in this course will take the form of a personal reflective essay, an annotated playlist, an annotated bibliography, a critical introduction, and a visual album cover. We will explore a variety of composing technologies together, and no previous experience of writing across technology is required.

ENGL 1007-016: Documentary Film and the Composition of “Truth”

Instructor: Mollie Kervick

In a media landscape in which the line between fact and fiction is increasingly blurry, how does documentary media construct our perception of truth? This course asks you to consider the rhetorical moves that a variety of documentary texts make in order to craft an idea of “truth.” As we consume different kinds of documentary daily, it is vital to consider whether documentary media has more to do with “truth” or the ways we construct and consume stories about the “truth.” Furthermore, to what degree has the indecipherability of differences between fiction and non-fiction stories in our current media landscape exacerbated ideological divisions that cause us to interpret the same realities in dramatically different ways? In this class, we will use the art form of documentary film and other documentary media (podcasts/social media/news articles) to explore questions about the representation of truth and reality in art, media, and narrative form more generally. Studying a mix of classic and recent documentary texts, often in comparison with theoretical meditations on truth, we’ll celebrate the complexities of documentary media and delve deeply into the philosophical and aesthetic questions it inspires.

The course assignments include:
1) A Documentary Review (YouTube video)
2) Mini Discovery Documentary
3) Documentary Treatment
4) Collaborative Documentary Composition

Healthcare Innovation graduate courses

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher

Honors students are invited to take one or more courses in Healthcare Innovation on a space-available basis. Courses must be taken in sequence:

  • NURS 5111: Healthcare Innovation Theory and Application (Spring)
  • NURS 5112: Healthcare Opportunities for System Level Solutions (Fall)
  • NURS 5113: Developing & Leading a Sustainable Culture of Healthcare Innovation (Spring)
  • NURS 5114: Healthcare Innovation Development (Fall)

Contact Dr. Tiffany Kelley to discuss your interest in and fitness for these courses. The sequence is not recommended for first-year students.

EDLR 3263: Student Leadership

Instructor: Leigh Fine

“Leadership” can be described as inherent traits, a set of behaviors, the leveraging of relationships, collaboration, or a socially-navigated performance – leaders may be someone with social influence, unique knowledge, a convincing enactment of “leadership”, or all of the above. UConn Honors believes leadership is a process that improves conditions in communities of practice. We believe leadership can be practiced by multiple subjects in many contexts, and that the need for leadership in all fields of study is as important now as it has ever been. Keeping such emerging social and leadership realities in mind, this course endeavors toward an integration of experiential, theoretical, and applied learning on the subject of leadership to the end of addressing a leadership challenge that exceeds the boundaries of traditional disciplines in the hopes of effecting change for the collective social good.

As a learning community, we will:

  • Analyze leadership as a phenomenon that we can experience, practice, and study
  • Evaluate current community and global problems through a leadership lens
  • Create proposed solutions to current problems while applying leadership theories
  • Embark on a shared leadership experience within our local communities

UNIV 3784-Z81: Interdisciplinary Honors Seminar

[UConn Stamford]

Instructor: Richard Watnick

Instructor consent required. To request a permission number, email Professor Watnick and include the name of a faculty member in your field who would recommend your participation.

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 will be finalized after considering the interests of the students who enroll; past topics include Ideas and Actions and Globalization, Culture, & Current Challenges. Professor Watnick organizes the course and attends all meetings. Each session leader assigns reading material ahead of time and then presents before opening up discussion.

Sample topics from Spring 2019 (Where are we? How did we get here? Where should we go from here?):

  • Jerome Sehulster (Psychology): Self‐fulfillment and maturity
  • Joel Blatt (History): Uncovering Rosselli’s ideas and actions and its relevance now
  • Chris Bruhl (President and CEO of the Business Council of Fairfield County): Implications of Stamford’s location on policies and strategies
  • Mark Boyer (Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Geography): Adapting to climate change: Managing threats in uncertain times
  • Susan Nesari (Honors student): Respecting refugees: Evaluation of integration practices by Connecticut service providers
  • Fred Roden (English): Harari’s 21 lessons for the 21st century
  • Yonatan Morse (Political Science): Authoritarianism
  • Charles Yarish (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology): Harvesting and maintaining the Sound
  • Ricardo Salazar (History): The crisis of Argentine gradualism

50% of your grade is based on the open discussion in class and on HuskyCT as well as the additional discussion of the topic on your final exam. The other 50% of your grade consists of a term paper or project on a topic in your major under the supervision of a faculty member in your major. You and your faculty supervisor will decide upon the topic and nature of your project so that you can progress in your area of interest. Your faculty supervisor will determine this portion of your grade. Professor Watnick will help you connect with a faculty member if needed.


ANSC 5618: Probiotics and Prebiotics

Graduate courses act as Honors credit, as long as you earn a grade of B- or higher.

Instructor: Mary Anne Amalaradjou

Recommended preparation: MCB 2610 (can be taken concurrently) or equivalent background in microbiology.

Interested to learn more about probiotics/prebiotics and how they are good for your health?

This course will provide an overview on probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome, their biology health benefits and applications in human and animal health Commercially available probiotic and prebiotic supplements and functional foods will also be discussed.

Note: ANSC 5618 is cross-listed with ANSC 3318. Enroll in the graduate course in order to earn Honors credit.

MCB 3421: Introduction to Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Johann Peter Gogarten

Recommended preparation: At least one 2000 level course in MCB.  

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Gogarten welcomes Honors students of all majors. For an Honors conversion, students compile and analyze a sequence dataset of their choice in parallel to the lectures and computer lab exercises. This will include databank searches, multiple sequence alignment, and phylogenetic reconstruction.

Evolution of biomolecules and application to molecular data analysis and the design of new molecules. Topics include selfish genes, molecular innovations, data bank searches, alignment of sequence and 3-D protein structures. Course includes lectures, discussions and computer lab exercises.

MATH 3094: Mathematics & Politics: Voting, Fair Division, and Conflict

Instructor: Myron Minn-Thu-Aye

Prerequisites: MATH 2710 and instructor consent.

This course applies mathematics to shed light on problems in the realm of politics, both domestic and international. We begin with a study of voting
systems, including both electoral and legislative processes. By formalizing notions of fairness, we will work towards theorems that will inform just how fair we expect elections to be. Our discussion of fair division will revolve around the problem of distributing seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the fifty states. We will explore various apportionment paradoxes (e.g. how could an increase in the total number of seats lead to a reduction in the number of seats assigned to a particular state?) through history anddetermine whether these are avoidable in the future. The development of methods to measure the political power of voting blocs and coalitions will inform our analysis of the apportionment problem and lead us to investigate political conflict via game theory.

ANTH 3098-002: Anthropology of Jews and Jewishness (Conversion Option)

Instructor: Sarah Willen

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Willen welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. 

What does it mean to be Jewish …
… in Cuba? … in Ethiopia? … in Turkey?
… if you’re an atheist? … LGBTQ? … a convert?

These are some of the questions we will explore in this course, which will tap into the rich anthropological scholarship on Jewish life and Jewish communities around the world.

No prior knowledge of Judaism is required. Prior coursework in anthropology or sociology is helpful but not required. Question? sarah.willen@uconn.edu

Pending approval, this course may count toward the major or minor in Judaic Studies and/or as an ethnographic course toward the major in Anthropology.

ANTH 3098-50: Anthropology and the Writer’s Craft (Conversion Option)

Instructor: Sarah Willen

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Willen welcomes Honors students of all majors and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students. 

In this seminar, we will dive deeply into classic and cutting-­‐edge anthropological writing – and try our own hand at various genres of writing, in workshop format. Together we will engage critically with the texts we read and reflect on the following questions:
• How, why, and for whom do anthropologists and other social scientists write?
• What genres and writing styles are available to anthropologists, and how do they differ?
• What distinguishes strong – and weak – writing?
• How can deep engagement as readers, and a serious commitment to the revision process, help us become better writers?

The seminar is geared primarily toward advanced undergraduates who want to explore the range of contemporary forms of writing – and become better and more effective writers themselves. Prior coursework in Anthropology is helpful but not necessary. Writing activities will include ethnographic sketches, book reviews, peer review of colleagues’ writing, and blog posts / op-­‐eds for public audiences.

Questions? sarah.willen@uconn.edu.

HIST 3559: History of Childhood in the United States, 1620-Present

Recommended preparation: HIST 1501 or 1502 or 2100.

This course will examine the history of childhood in the United States from the colonial era to the present. It will consider both the actual experience of children and the changing ways in which adults have understood this phase of life. Readings will include eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and fiction, in addition to scholarly studies. Students will be expected to produce a research paper on a subject of their choosing, focusing on childhood before 1970.