Fall 2022 Core Courses

SOCI 2275: Social Well-Being

[UConn Storrs]

Well-being is an essential feature of life. It has various dimensions including happiness, life satisfaction, and purpose. It is also a socially-embedded process. This class examines individual and group constructs closely related to well-being. They include self-control, gratitude, altruism, social relationships, social media, money, and more. It explores how these constructs relate to well-being. At the end of the semester, students will have a rich understanding of what increases well-being in our society. They will also have practical strategies for increasing their own sense of well-being.

POLS 3608: The Art, Science, and Business of Political Campaigns

[UConn Storrs]

Successful political campaigns rely on the creative ability, scientific knowledge, and business acumen of experts as well as the dedication of volunteers. This course features groundbreaking academic studies and briefings by renowned political consultants. Each student will become an expert on a single congressional election. Weekly meetings will focus on candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, campaign fundraising, targeting, advertising, voter mobilization, or some other aspect of campaigns. The seminar will culminate with discussions of what separates winners from losers, the impact of campaigning on governance, and election reform. Students will display their expertise through presentations, simulations, and written assignments.

Trouble registering? This class has a catalog-level pre-requisite of POLS 1602. Professor Herrnson has indicated that a high school American government course or similar experience would be sufficient, even if you did not earn AP credit. If you are an Honors student and want to register for this course, please email honors@uconn.edu and include (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) the course number and section; (4) the class number in Student Admin; (5) confirmation that there are seats available in the course; and (6) a brief description of your knowledge of American government.

WGSS 2105W: Gender and Science

[UConn Storrs]

Requires ENGL 1007, 1010, 1011, or 2011.

This class will critically examine how social constructions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and disability shape science, medicine, and technology. We will consider the complex relationships between constructions of nature, science, objectivity, and the body to highlight how culture influences the theory and practice of different sciences, medical research, and technologies.

Some of the questions we will explore include:
How does science and technology influence everyday life? How are gender, race, sexuality and nation woven through the historical development of Western sciences? How has feminist science studies intervened or critiqued the construction of science, medicine and technology? Is there such a thing as a neutral or gender-free science? Is there such a thing as a feminist science?

We will focus particularly on the culture of science and power of scientific discourse. We will look specifically at how science is used to make claims about social differences, as well as examine the some social implications of medical technologies for women, e.g. how current medical technologies create novel, and even moral, demands and dilemmas for women. No scientific background or experience is required; only a willingness to critically examine both science and ourselves.

Note WGSS 2105W is coded at the catalog level as open to sophomores or higher. If you are an Honors student who will have fewer than 24 credits when this course is offered, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section; (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course.

PSYC 2502: Science of Learning and Art of Communication

[UConn Storrs]

One of the least-known areas of psychology is the science of learning. After decades of research, a great deal is known about the principles that govern the best (and worst) methods for effective study and instruction. Key principles have to do with communication — creating engaging presentations designed to maximize memory. The principles we will learn about will have immediate application for students; many of the most common study strategies are the least effective, while the most effective strategies are non-intuitive. These principles generalize beyond the college classroom, with implications for education and science communication at all levels, with implications for education, health, policy, journalism, and public understanding of complex challenges facing society.

Permission number A permission number is required. Please email honors@uconn.edu and include (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section; (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the class.

POLS 3247: Gender and War

[UConn Storrs]

War is studied in this course as a range of gender-implicating experiences with armed political violence in the international system. People experience war directly or indirectly through media representations, military practices, militarized elements of civilian society, living in war zones and refugee camps, or contact with local militias, child soldiers, and militarized police. To illustrate these and other points we pull out gender elements of ongoing American wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as war-like actions in Nigeria (Boko Haram), the Mexican drug war, and possibilities of cyberwarfare using a variety of resources including fiction, memoir, and academic studies. Activities include class presentations, group discussions, and sessions with UConn people who have gender-related war experiences or relevant research to share.

Note POLS 3247 is coded at the catalog level as “open to juniors or higher” but other Honors students may contact Prof. Sylvester for a permission number. In your email, confirm that you are a member of the Honors Program, provide your PeopleSoft number, and very briefly explain your interest in taking the course.

POLS 2062: Privacy in the Information Age

[UConn Storrs]

Privacy is one of the most important concepts of our time, yet it is also one of the most puzzling. As technology makes information more accessible; academics, activists, policymakers, and citizens struggle to define (and redefine) the meaning of privacy. By providing a thematic overview of the topic of privacy from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, this course prepares Honors students for critical engagement with the many and diverse public policy, legal, and ethical debates that surround privacy.

The course focus will provide students with the opportunity to participate in weekly seminar discussions regarding the impact of technology on the ways in which privacy is conceptualized, valued, enacted, and protected.

Topics of analysis include, but are not limited to:

  • The history of privacy
  • Cultural variations of privacy
  • Philosophical definitions of privacy and debates about the moral/ethical status of privacy
  • Legal/constitutional interpretations of the right to privacy
  • The impact of technology on the meaning of privacy

MCB 2612: Honors Core: Microbe Hunters – Crowdsourcing Antibiotic Discovery

[UConn Storrs]

The purpose of this course is to provide underclassmen and non-science majors with an opportunity to undertake real-world scientific research in a fun, supportive, and immersive environment. As part of the Small World Initiative, you will join with college students around the globe to crowdsource antibiotic drug discovery. Your guided independent research projects will involve taking soil samples, isolating bacteria within them, and testing them for antibiotic activity, and there is the opportunity for further pursuit of any promising findings. We have access to the database generated by students at other Small World sites, allowing us to explore issues of biodiversity, effective use of large data sets in the sciences, and the effectiveness of crowdsourcing for scientific research. At the end of the semester, your results will join that database.

As part of the Honors Core, UConn’s Small World course adds an interdisciplinary emphasis on the social aspects of disease: its definition, what it means to be “diseased,” how those definitions have changed over time, and the pivotal role of antibiotics in the evolution of those definitions. We will use both fiction and non-fiction in this exploration, and we will end up in the modern era to consider antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and the ethical, philosophical, and policy issues we may face if antibiotics cease to be effective in treating many common diseases.

MCB 1405: Honors Core: The Genetics Revolution in Contemporary Culture

[UConn Storrs]

This course introduces students to genetics and genetic technologies. Various forms of popular culture—news clips, movies, books, and art—are used to provide a framework for the syllabus and to introduce students to different genetics and technology topics. A textbook introduces the scientific material, which is discussed in the context of the interpretation of science in modern society. Students study the scientific principles of genetics and genetic technology as well as the impact these topics have had on our culture, attitudes towards science, domestic and foreign policy, medical practice, and law.

Note This class is defined in the catalog as open to freshmen and sophomores in the Honors Program. If you are an Honors student who will have 54 or more credits when this course is offered, you may register by emailing honors@uconn.edu and including (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section (MCB 1405-001D or MCB 1405-002D); (5) the class number from Student Admin; and (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the course.

HIST/LLAS 1570: Migrant Workers in Connecticut (Service learning)

[UConn Storrs]

This 4-credit interdisciplinary Honors course examines the life and work experiences of migrant workers. Weekly sessions will combine short lectures and discussions of assigned readings; the course will offer guest lectures by university faculty and by practitioners in the field, and will visit 2 farms. The emphasis is on migrant workers—mostly Spanish-speaking from the Caribbean and Latin America—in the United States, with a significant focus on migrant workers in Connecticut. This seminar is introductory. We assume that most, if not all, of you are generally unfamiliar with much of the basic literature pertaining to migrant life and labor. The course is thus intended to provide a very broad and eclectic perspective on the world of migrant labor and experiences.

This seminar combines classroom and service learning as fundamental and equally valued elements of each student’s experience. Service learning involves the student in on-site study and work with a variety of organizations in Connecticut that assist the state’s migrant community. Students’ SL placement will depend on transportation: They may choose any placement if they have their own car; if not, they may choose a CO volunteer experience or a placement along the Hartford busline 913. Either way, students will travel on a weekly basis to organizations and to farms throughout the area; consequently, you will need to arrange your schedule to accommodate approximately 3 hours of work per week, plus travel time. The organizations may include: Hispanic Health Council (migrant health research); Hartford Public Library (ESOL and citizenship instruction); CT Students for a Dream (undocumented student advocacy); Collegiate Health Service Corps; CO tutoring programs for migrant children; Windham Hospital; and Immigration Advocacy and Support Center (legal advocacy).

Permission number A permission number is required. Please email honors@uconn.edu and include (1) your name; (2) your 7-digit Student Admin number; (3) your registration “pick time”; (4) the course number and section (5) the class number from Student Admin, HIST 1570-001 is class #11264, LLAS 1570-001 is class #10920; (6) confirmation that there are seats available in the class you selected; (7) why you are interested in taking the class and (8) your commitment to approximately 3 hours of service work, plus travel time, per week.

ERTH 1055: Geoscience and the American Landscape

[UConn Storrs]

Not open to students who have passed GSCI 1010, 1050, 1051, or 1070. Formerly offered as GSCI 1055. Equivalent to ERTH 1051 for the purposes of prerequisites.

This is the Honors version of introductory geoscience. The goal is for students to learn how Earth works, what its history has been, and how this knowledge can be put to good use — for example to reframe the climate crisis, ecological collapse, human inequality, and our planetary future.

The main pedagogy involves active learning through pre-class podcasts, readings, campus field trips, student leadership, and a final engagement project presented in a student symposium.

In this course, students will:

  • Understand how the Earth works as a holistic system.
  • Realize that social systems and ecosystems are subsystems of Earth.
  • Reflect on geoscience as STEM career with excellent job prospects involving environmental risk and water, material, and energy resources.
  • Learn that a major in geosciences provides a solid platform for graduate education in non-STEM fields.

General Education information ERTH 1055 alone is a CA 3 non-laboratory course. If you add the ERTH 1052 geology laboratory (either in the same semester or a future one), you may request the conversion of ERTH 1055 to fulfill your CA 3-Laboratory requirement.