Fall 2018 Featured Courses

Biomedical Entrepreneurship

BME 6086-020 / BADM 5894-011 / MGMT 5895-012
Biomedical Entrepreneurship Course

Graduate courses act as Honors courses, with Honors credit awarded for a grade of B- or higher. 

This Biomedical Entrepreneurship course is designed to train future life science entrepreneurs, and focuses on entrepreneurship in the medical device and biopharmaceutical space.  It is based on the premise that entrepreneurship is a critical mechanism to bring new technologies to market that will benefit society.  Moreover, entrepreneurship is particularly critical in the medical device industry, where product life cycles are typically very short and a firm’s innovativeness dictates competitive advantage. Biopharmaceutical startups face particular challenges given long development cycles.

Teams will be coached by industry experts who address fundamental topics in biomedical entrepreneurship.  Students will gain experience that will help them be entrepreneurs in startups or with established firms.  Projects will be presented to external experts and teams will be considered for subsequent awards/funding.

This course is designed for graduate students or very advanced undergraduates.  It represents a multi-disciplinary effort between the Schools of Engineering, Business, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Liberal Arts and Sciences and will be co-taught by expert faculty from these schools.  Interdisciplinary teams will tackle real clinical needs to offer technical solutions and business models that might enable future commercialization.

The course is cross-listed in the Schools of Engineering (BME 6086-020) and Business (BADM 5894-011 and MGMT 5895-012).  The course will be held Wednesdays, 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CCEI) space in downtown Hartford (100 Constitution Plaza) – a central location for students in Storrs, Hartford, and Farmington.

Apply for a permission number on the CCEI website.

BADM 5894: InsurTech Venturing

Graduate courses act as Honors courses, with Honors credit awarded for a grade of B- or higher. 

This brand new course is designed to grow the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in the InsurTech space. Students will be provided with training specific to the needs of a rapidly changing insurance industry, as well as opportunities to assist both startups and established companies test and implement new technologies that will fuel growth through innovation. This course is open to all graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in all schools/colleges.

Course Overview:

  • Increase the understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation within the InsurTech space.
  • Compare and contrast insurance and InsurTech models.
  • Evaluate how InsurTech companies are being supported and financed to develop and test their business models.
  • Understanding of next generation cybersecurity exposures with InsurTech, including legal, regulatory, compliance and other insurance related issues.
  • Assess case studies and hear from industry experts on the support and disruption of the industry.

The InsurTech Initiative is provided through a grant from CTNext and coordinated by the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UConn and the University of Hartford.

Apply for a permission number on the CCEI website.

SOCI 6805: Readings in Human Rights

SOCI 6805: Advanced Topics in Political Sociology
Readings in Human Rights

Instructor: Bandana Purkayastha

Graduate courses act as Honors courses, with Honors credit awarded for a grade of B- or higher. 

This course will offer a critical sociological perspective on human rights, with a specific emphasis on power, inequalities and people’s struggles to claim and access political, civil, economic, social and cultural human rights. We will pay attention to multiple actors–states, corporations, INGOs, NGOs, and activists–that are involved in shaping the terrain of human rights. Moving away from the dominant emphasis on scholarly work produced in the Global North, we will pay significant attention to the scholarship from the Global South. While I will add one or two other topics as/if these emerge as significant issues over the next few months, the current readings emphasize the following overlapping themes: violence (including routinized violence against minority groups, women and sexual minorities), local and global racisms, displacements and new tools of governance (focusing on migration and migrants, including those in camps and detention centers), control over and access to land and water resources (situating these discussions within larger questions related to environment, climate change and rights to science), cultural rights in an era of populism (including a focus on religions), and, questions of economic rights (including what is included and excluded under Sustainable Development Goals, and questions of human dignity in an era of precarity).

Students will develop a country-focused portfolio on a selected topic or develop a publishable quality paper on human rights.

Contact Dr. Purkayastha for a permission number to enroll.

ECON 2445: Economic Foundations of Gender Inequality

(Also offered for HRTS majors or minors as HRTS 3445.) 

Instructor: Nishith Prakash

The course is set up around a series of major policy questions central to the gender equality agenda and girls and woman’s human rights, and linked to the post 2015 international development debates. For example, gender gaps in education, employment, political representation, and domestic violence are pressing global human rights concerns and matters of national social development. We will also explore to what extent behavioral and psychological factors explain these differences.

HRTS 3298-002: (Variable Topics) Social Documentary in Theory & Practice

Instructor: Catherine Masud

This is a special opportunity to learn from an internationally award-winning filmmaker. The small Honors course is intended for those of you who are interested in creating documentary films as part of your scholarly and/or creative work. 

This course will be of special interest to students with a dual interest in human rights and film studies who would also like to have practical training in documentary film production. The course aims to open students’ eyes to the tremendous power and possibility of the documentary form as a vehicle of social discourse and change.

The first half of this course will examine the documentary from a historical, ethical, and aesthetic perspective to provide a theoretical grounding for students, with a particular focus on documentaries that address social and political themes. Some of the topics to be addressed include the evolution of the documentary genre, the modes and models of documentary, the rhetorical, narrative, and poetic documentary ‘voice’, and the question of ‘social impact’. Major milestones of the non-fiction genre will be studied along with lesser known short form documentaries that illustrate specific aspects of technique, style, and content. The second half of the course will provide students with a practical framework for discovering their own documentary voice. Students will be guided through the process of pre-production, shooting and editing as they create their own short form documentaries on a social issue of their choice.

ENVE 3995-001: Brownfield Redevelopment (Conversion Opportunity)

Instructor: Maria Chrysochoou

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

How do you get from an abandoned, potentially polluted property to a micro-brewery or modern apartment complex? 

Connecticut has a rich industrial history, which has resulted in thousands of abandoned sites throughout the state. The investigation, remediation and redevelopment of these sites requires skilled personnel in environmental law, financial and real estate analysis, land use and urban planning, public policy, environmental science and engineering and landscape architecture.

The course will bring students in contact with active professionals and CT municipalities, who will provide practical knowledge of the process, with real world examples.

  • Learn the issues from professionals
  • Work with CT communities on real projects
  • No prerequisites
  • All majors welcome

There will be an optional follow-up practicum to ENVE 3995 in the Spring.

Check out cbi.uconn.edu for more information about the Connecticut Brownfield Initiative. It was also featured in this UConn Today article.

ENGL 3218W-001: Ethnic Literatures of the United States

Instructor: Veronica Makowsky

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011 or 3800; open to juniors or higher, or others with permission of the instructor.

What is an American? How does ethnicity affect one’s sense of identity? How do class, race, sexuality, gender, generation, and location(s) interact with ethnicity to form or challenge identity or to suggest identities contingent upon context? In addition to these broad questions about ethnicity and identity, this course also considers how movement over time and space (within the US, to the US, from the US, and globally) may lead to unstable or fluid senses of identity. We will read a play, short stories, novels, and autobiographies. The texts encompass Native American works (Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories (excerpts) and Louise Erdrich’s The Round House); African American works (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and August Wilson’s Fences); and works concerning immigrant experiences: a collection of short stories by Anzia Yezierska, Tina De Rosa’s Paper Fish, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, some short stories by Junot Diaz, and Noviolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names. Grades will be based on: 1) active participation in daily discussion which usually includes in-class writing assignments based on the day’s assigned reading; 2) 2 short (2-3 pp.) response papers and their revision; 3) an 8-10-page research paper and its revision.

CA 4, W.

ENGL 2401-001: Poetry

Instructor: Sean Forbes

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011.

This course is an introduction to poetry in English, designed to familiarize you with a range of poetic forms and modes from the 16th through the 21st centuries. We’ll read, discuss, and write about many different kinds of poems as ways of enjoying their wealth of rhythms, figures, and rhetorical effects. We’ll pay attention to the way poems sound, you’ll hear poems aloud in class, and at visiting writer events. You’ll also memorize and recite poems yourself, since memorization allows you inside a poem in a rather magical way. By the end of the course, you’ll have a good understanding of how content and sound work together in poetry, and you’ll know a selection of important poems and poetic forms.

CA 1.

ENGL 1103W-002: Renaissance and Modern Western Literature

Instructor: Clare King’oo

Prerequisite: ENGL 1010, 1011, or 2011.

In this Honors course, we will encounter several works from the British and North American traditions judged to be literary masterpieces. Our aim will be to explore the art of imaginative story-telling over time, with particular reference to the Renaissance (ca. 1485-1660) and the modern period (ca. 1850 to today). We will consider questions of narration, representation, genre, authority, intertextuality, and canonicity. Our discoveries will be the focus of our own rigorous writing practices, as we work on improving our argumentative and stylistic skills through a range of reports, essays (with revisions), and timed exams. Lively participation in class discussion will be expected and warmly encouraged. Please note that ENGL 1103W is designed primarily with non-English-majors in mind.

CA 1, W.

GEOG 3350: Global Change, Local Action: A Geography of Environmentalism (conversion opportunity)

Instructor: Mark Boyer

While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Boyer welcomes Honors students of all levels and majors and encourages Honors conversions. If you do not have junior standing, contact Dr. Boyer for a permission number.

This course in human geography focuses on two primary sets of linkages:

  1. Global-local linkages in an age of accelerating globalization
  2. Human-environment interactions

Additionally, the course will explore the interaction between those two sets of linkages, their geographical context, policy implications and their ever-evolving status in today’s contemporary world. Fundamental to the course are considerations of scale as we move from the global to the regional to the local and seek to understand how each spatial realm impacts the others. Moreover, emphasizing systemic thinking throughout the course, the latter part of the course employs a future modeling simulation that will allow students to build scenarios about world and regional futures.

This is also a course that requires active participation by students in all aspects of the course. You will need to participate in class discussions, read assigned materials, work in groups to solve problems and use computers in a variety of ways in the course. Thus, students should be prepared for an active learning environment that is flexible and adaptable to a variety of approaches and learning styles. Students are encouraged to ask questions, to raise interesting topics and to explore the world of global environmental politics in new and creative ways. Only by doing this will the next generation of citizens and policy-makers be able to meet the environmental challenges facing the world system now and in the future.

Course Methods:

  • The first half of the course will utilize case method teaching. Case method is a discussion-centric teaching model.
  • The second will make use of the International Futures Simulation (IFS) – see http://pardee.du.edu/ for more information.