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Course Directory

University Honors Program Spring 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Advising Information

Liberal Arts Core

CAP 3190-01

Capstone: Idea of the University

COMM 1000-13

Oral Communication

HUM 1022-01

Humanities II

HUM 1023-23

Humanities III

HUM 3123-02

Latin America

PHYSICS 1000-02

Physics in Everyday Life

POL GEN 1020-01

Contemporary Political Problems

PSYCH 1001-02

Introduction to Psychology

RELS 1020-05

Religions of the World

Other Honors Course Offerings

ANTH 3104-01

PSYCH 4608-01

SOC 3411-01

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

UNIV 1092-01

Presidential Scholars Seminar: (1st Year Presidential Scholars ONLY)

UNIV 1092-02

Sophomore Service Learning (2nd Year Presidential Scholars ONLY)

UNIV 2196-01

Seminar: Intro to Queer Theory

UNIV 2196-02

Seminar: Women in the Middle Ages

UNIV 4197-01

Honors Thesis

UNIV 4198-01

Honors Independent Study

Liberal Arts Core Class Descriptions

CAP 3190-01  Capstone: Idea of the University with Dr. Jessica Moon, 5:00pm-7:50pm Th 

Prerequisites: Junior Standing

Fulfills LAC Category VI

Course Description: This course will thoroughly investigate the American university.  Beginning with its historical roots, the course will examine the evolution of higher education in response to society’s cultural, political, and financial drivers.  Considerable time will be spent in the identification and evaluation of major issues, challenges, and opportunities present in higher education today.  This will be done with a heavy emphasis on discussion and activity-based learning!

Professor Biography:  I have served as director of the University Honors Program at UNI since 2004, but I was once in your shoes as a UNI student (BA in Family Services and MAE in Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs).  I went on to earn my PhD in Education (Educational Leadership) from Iowa State University.  My day to day roles include student recruitment and advising, oversight of curricular and extra-curricular offerings, and administration of program scholarships.  I believe in the value of active learning that takes place in the honors classroom and I’m excited to investigate the Idea of the University with all of you!

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COMM 1000-13 Oral Communication with Sade Barfield, 2:00-3:15 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category IB

Course Description:  This course provides an opportunity to explore the Communication discipline.  We will to develop your researching and critical thinking skills.  Further we will delve into the fundamentals of communication theory.  Finally we will work to improve you communication skills in diverse environments.

Professor Biography:  The course is taught by Sade Barfield of the Communication Studies department.  Her current research interests include comic books and pop culture. She is also Co-director of the University of Northern Iowa Speech Team.  

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HUM 1022-01 Humanities II with Dr. Jay Lees, 9:00-9:50 MWF

Fulfills LAC Category IIA - (class in Honors Cottage)

Course DescriptionThis course surveys the development of Western Civilization from the beginning of the Renaissance in 1300 to the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789.  We will survey the history and sample the literature of the Renaissance, the Age of Absolutism, and the Enlightenment.  The honors section will be conducted on the basis of active class participation.  Student presentations on a variety of subjects and discussions of issues and texts will augment formal lectures by the professor.  Also, each student will have at least one individual tutorial with the professor.

Professor Biography: The course is taught by Jay T. Lees of the history department.  His specialty is medieval Germany.  Lees teaches classes on English, German, and medieval history, as well as specialized courses on women in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and Shakespeare as a historian.  He is also director of the University of Northern Iowa Summer Study Abroad Program in Italy, where he teaches a course on Sacred Space.  Lees is the recipient of the Class of 1949 Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2004, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Award for Outstanding Teaching for 1996 and 2004 as well as the Above and Beyond Award.

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HUM 1023-23 Humanities III with Dr. Jolene Zigarovich, 12:30-1:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category IIA

Course Description:   Humanities III will cover The Age of Revolution to the Present. We will discuss literature, philosophy, religion, and the fine arts integrated with the history of Western Civilization since the French Revolution. By comparing various works in different disciplines, we will discover significant trends and developments in cultural expression. While our primary focus will be on Western culture, we will at times put these expressions into a global context. The honors section will require seminar discussions, student presentations, and critically engaged writing assignments.

Professor Biography: Jolene Zigarovich is an associate professor of Global Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Department of Languages & Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa. She has previously taught at Cornell University and Claremont Graduate University. Her recent book publications include Writing Death and Absence in the Victorian Novel:  Engraved Narratives (2012), and she is editor of TransGothic in Literature and Culture (Routledge 2017) and Sex and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature (2013). Her current research interests lie in the intersections of death, the Victorian novel, and the law. Her courses focus on Gothic literature, the work of Charles Dickens, and gender and sexuality. She is a recent recipient of the UNI Apple Polishers Award for teaching and mentoring.

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HUM 3123-02 Latin America with Dr. Fernando Calderon, 9:30-10:45 TTh 

Fulfills LAC Category IIB - (class in Honors Cottage)

Course Description: This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to Latin America’s history, culture, and politics through a chronological and thematic framework. We will start with Pre-Colombian civilizations and end with an overview of current issues. Latin America is a large region made up of numerous countries—each with their own rich and complex history. With that in mind, the course will focus on the main historical events that shaped Latin America’s local political, social, and cultural panorama and global image; not a case-by-case study of each country. Our time will be devoted (but not exclusive) to understanding how nationalism, populism, revolutionary struggles, race and ethnicity, state violence, and human rights shaped Latin American society. Think of this course as a people’s history of Latin America in which everyone regardless of status, class, race, ethnicity, or gender, has played a vital role in history. The questions that guide this course will be: how do social, cultural, and political conflicts shape historical transformation? What are the positive and negative outcomes? To answer these questions, we are going to rely on an array of sources (films, music, primary sources, secondary readings, etc.) to cross-examine the complexities of the human condition and its changes over time in Latin America. My goal in this course is to get you to think critically, engage in the readings, ask questions, and challenge you to interrogate conventional histories. At the conclusion of this course, students should expect to have a more nuanced understanding of the historical and contemporary issues prevalent in Latin America.

Professor Biography: Professor Herrera-Calderón’s research focus has been on the urban guerrilla experience in Mexico, 1964-1982, and his publications include, Challenging Authoritarianism in Mexico: Revolutionary Struggles and the Dirty War, 1964-1982, which he co-edited with Adela Cedillo (2011). His second book project is tentatively entitled “Laboratories of Dissent: Student Power, Dirty War, and the Urban Guerrilla Experience in Mexico, 1970-1982. Dr. Herrera-Calderón specializes in Modern Mexican history, political violence, student radicalism, memory, and human rights. He teaches the Liberal Arts Core class on Latin America, as well as the upper-level History classes on Colonial and Modern Latin America, a seminar on “The Global 60s,” and a Graduate Seminar on Political Violence and Memory in Latin America, among others courses.

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PHYSICS 1000-02 Physics in Everyday Life with Dr. Jeffrey Morgan, 2:00-2:50 MWF

Fulfills LAC Category IVB

Course Description:  Most introductory physics courses deal heavily with Newtonian (or classical) physics – physical principles established by the careful work and thought of Isaac Newton and others hundreds of years ago. Newtonian physics works great on the macro scale – the scale that you and I interact within and are most familiar with. However when you start getting small – in the realm of atoms and subatomic particles – many of the rules of classical physics no longer apply. Instead, a new set of ideas was needed, and just over 100 years ago many physicists worked to develop quantum (or “modern”) physics into a robust theory that could describe the workings of the micro scale. These quantum mechanical ideas still accurately describe the "everyday physics" large scale phenomena we encounter, but also can describe the behavior of the atomic-level world. Ideas from quantum mechanics are being used as the basis for quantum computing and hold promise for fixing many of the security problems in the digital age.

In this course, we will explore several of the foundational ideas and seek to build a rudimentary understanding of quantum mechanics. Most explorations will take place through in-class experimentation and discussion. Additionally, we'll read and discuss Styer's The Strange World of Quantum Mechanics, as well as choose a theorist or topic of interest for further investigation and sharing.

Professor Biography: Jeff Morgan has been teaching courses in physics and science education at UNI since 2006. He engages in physics education research and is interested in how students learn about quantum mechanics, as well as how high school physics teachers in Iowa are trained and, in turn, teach their courses. Philosophically a constructivist, he believes most students don't learn much science by hearing someone talk about it, but rather should and can learn through experimentation and discussion. He has "flipped" several science content courses he teaches, moving lectures to optional outside-of-class activities and making activities and small-group discussion of ideas the main focus of class time.

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POL GEN 1020-01 Contemporary Political Problems with Dr. Ana Kogl, 9:30-10:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category VC

Course Description:  There are many political problems that this course could possibly address, but we will focus on problems related to equality: the idea that, while each individual human is unique, we are also all basically equal in some sense. More specifically, this class will focus on issues related to economic inequality (wealth and poverty) and racial inequality. But since you will also all do group projects related to a problem of your choice, you may also choose to learn about other problems related to equality as well.

This course is primarily discussion-driven. It aims at helping you strengthen your basic political knowledge and also develop certain skills: in written and oral communication, in working with others, and in analyzing politics independently and logically.

Professor Biography:  Alexandra Kogl has a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and MA and PhD degrees in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Her specialty within political science is political theory.  Her research focuses on examining and illuminating the ways in which aspects of everyday life are political; for example, she has written on the politics of place and space, and is currently at work on a project addressing the politics of gender and work.  She has taught at UNI since 2003, and is an associate Professor in the Political Science department.

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PSYCH 1001-02 Introduction to Psychology with Dr. Cathy DeSoto, 9:30-10:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category VB

Course Description:  This course is a study of research related to human behavior and (be aware) also the methods used to study human behavior.  In this class, you will learn some basics of brain function, how learning theorists work to change problem behaviors, a bit about memory, development, nature and nurture effects, and intelligence testing. The course emphasizes normal human behavior, there is some coverage of psychopathology and mysteries of the mind. At the end of this course – you should be able to think more critically about psychology topics when they appear in the media. Many classes will be lecture based, but in-class writing activities and discussions will occur. You will also write a book report on a topic of interest to you, and share some of the acquired knowledge with the class.

Professor Biography:  Catherine DeSoto earned her doctorate at the University of Missouri (Ph.D., 2001) with specialization in Developmental/Neuroscience.  Her principal area of research involves investigating the influence of hormones on both normal behavior and the expression of psychopathology. She is broadly interested in how brain function relates to behavior, and has done research involving various brain imaging techniques, including ERP’s, optical imaging and MRI.  Current research projects involve direct measurement of cortisol and other indications of oxidative stress via salivary-based immunoassay.  Additional areas of interest are sex differences, autism, and understanding how internal biology interacts with environmental experiences and exposures to predict outcomes.  She has published in leading peer reviewed journals ranging from the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, to Clinical Toxicology, to The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.  She has authored approximately 40 academic papers, which have collectively been cited by other researchers over 1000 times.

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RELS 1020-05 Religions of the World with Dr. John Burnight, 1:00-1:50 MWF

Fulfills LAC Category IIIB - (class in Honors Cottage)

Course Description:  This course will provide a broad, chronologically organized survey of the development of the western, monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) from the earliest written sources through the early Islamic conquests of the 7th century C.E., followed by a survey of two major religions originating in India: Hinduism and Buddhism. We will focus on reading (in translation) the primary texts of each tradition, describing their similarities and differences in worldview, beliefs about the nature of the divine, and ideas about the purpose of human existence. This section of the course will emphasize the acquisition and development of oral presentation and writing skills: small groups will collaborate to offer presentations to the class on specific areas within the various religious traditions, and students will select a topic for in-depth individual study and write a research paper.

N.B.: We will be less concerned with the historicity of the ‘supernatural’ events described in some of the traditions than with how the stories affected the beliefs of each religion: we are tracing the development of religious thought, not trying to determine, for example, whether or not Noah did in fact build a really big boat.

Professor Biography:  John Burnight is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in 2011, with an emphasis on Hebrew language and literature. He has been a lecturer at a small private college in the Chicago suburbs and large public universities in Connecticut and North Carolina, teaching introductory and upper-level courses in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, World Religions, and the History of Monotheism. In 2007-08 he was a Fulbright-Hays Visiting Research Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research focuses on “subversive” or “protest” literature within the biblical texts: namely, works such as the Book of Job that speak “truth to power” and critique the dominant Israelite/Judahite theology of the biblical periods.

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Honors Seminar and Elective Descriptions

ANTH 3104/PSYCH 4608/SOC 3411-01 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective with Dr. Cynthia Dunn, 11:00-12:15 TTh

**3 credit hour

Course Description:  Are there differences between women and men that are found in all societies?  To what extent are such differences based in human biology and to what extent are they culturally created?  Are humans always and everywhere divided into only two distinct sexes or genders?  What were gender roles like in the earliest human societies?  Are there societies that had gender equality or even matriarchy in the past?  What aspects of social organization cause gender (in)equality?  How have the social and economic changes caused by colonization, industrialization, and globalization changed gender roles in societies around the world?  Are women better or worse off than they were five hundred years ago?

In order to explore these questions, you will read between 40 and 90 pages per week, write weekly “reading response” papers to explore these questions in the context of the readings, discuss the readings with your classmates, and use the materials from lecture, readings, and discussion to respond to three take-home essay exams.  Students will also participate in at least two Studies in Women, Gender & Sexuality events over the course of the semester.

Professor Biography: I received my undergraduate degree from Oberlin College, a small, liberal arts college in Ohio.  Even then I couldn’t decide whether I was more interested in language or culture, so I double-majored in English and Anthropology.  After graduation, I spent two years teaching English in a small fishing village on the northeast coast of Japan.  I was the only foreigner in a town of 8000 people and it was a wonderful immersion in Japanese language and culture.  After returning to the U.S., I started graduate school in linguistic anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.  I also spent nine months in Tokyo conducting a study which compared the speech styles of female Japanese college students with those of older women in their fifties and sixties.  My most recent research looks at business etiquette training for young Japanese who are entering the workforce.  I have been teaching at UNI since 2000 in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology.  I enjoy hiking in beautiful places, drinking good wine, and reading science fiction.

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UNIV 1092-01  Presidential Scholars Seminar: Improvisational Comedy with Dr. Doug Shaw, 5:00-6:50 W 

**2 credit hour seminar - 1st year Presidential Scholars ONLY 

Course Description:  In this course we explore improvisational comedy through exercises and games.  This discipline will develop your spontaneity, imagination, physicality, and inherent delightful hilariousness.  You will learn to watch and listen completely, and react honestly, playfully, and extemporaneously.  These skills will serve you well in any chosen career.

This course will be taught experientially, You will be performing as much as possible, in small groups and in front of the class.  There will be a bit of lecture, but always in service of the art.  The games are designed to build on each other, and ultimately to help you internalize the rules and feel of various schools of improv.  Good improv acting (and good comedy) comes from thoughtful living day-to-day –there will be homework assignments to help you with this.  Most of them will be enjoyable as well as educational, and the challenge will be to really take the self-examination to heart.  The final exam will be a show to which your friends should be invited.

Professor Biography:  Professor Shaw is a mathematician and published textbook author.  He held the elected position of School Board Director from 2013 through 2017.  He created UNI’s first successful improv troupe, Half-Masted, nearly 15 years ago, and directed it for 12 years.  He’s done workshops in Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri, and performed in three of those states. He has taught courses in the department of mathematics, in the college of business, for the presidential Scholars program, and Cornerstone. He had the monthly role of Lord of the Pants in a variety show in the twin cities for several years.  Professor Shaw is the type of man who could put his personality in a bottle for the night, and accidentally use his aftershave in its place the next day. When he was five years old he entered a yellow cab in New York City and asked to be taken to his destiny, and now he's wishing that he was a better tipper.  Professor Shaw is a Professor and lives the life.

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UNIV 1092-02 Presidential Scholars Seminar: Sophomore Service Learning with Dr. Jessica Moon, 5:00-5:50pm + arr T

**2 credit hour seminar – Sophomore Presidential Scholars ONLY - (class in Honors Cottage)

Course Description: The intent of Sophomore Service Learning is to provide a structured way for Presidential Scholars to grow intellectually while combining their strengths and talents for the benefit of our campus and community. The spring semester will be devoted to the execution of the implementation plan developed during the fall Think Tank. 

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UNIV 2196-01 Honors Seminar: Intro to Queer Theory with Dr. Heather Jeronimo, 2:00-3:15 TTh

**3 credit hour seminar - Sophomore standing- (class in Honors Cottage)

Course Description:  In this interdisciplinary course, students will learn key concepts and themes within Queer Theory, including readings drawn from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies. We will begin the class by studying some of the foremost thinkers and critics in the field in order to understand how Queer Theory emerged and developed. In addition to theory, students will interact with speakers, view movies, and read selected works of literature related to Queer Studies, all within a transnational context. The readings for this class have been selected to be representative of writers of various genders, sexualities, cultures, and social standings, although one class on Queer Theory could never include an exhaustive list of writing from queer thinkers. Students will explore and question a variety of topics in this class, including gender performativity, masculinity in crisis, queerness and disability, marginalized queer populations, power and institutionalized oppression, and challenges and future directions of Queer Theory. This class intends to provide students with just as many questions as answers, leading them to further explore the relevance of Queer Theory within our ever more globalized world.

            In addition to familiarizing students with key concepts and thinkers within the field of Queer Theory, this class aims to create a broad understanding of the diversity of meanings and interpretations of queerness, across cultures and amongst various groups. Students are expected to be active learners, creating and participating in an intellectual community through discussions and presentations that promote students’ ability to critically evaluate and engage with primary theoretical sources while respecting one another's perspectives and creative thinking skills.

Professor Biography:  Dr. Heather Jerónimo is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Northern Iowa. She specializes in 20th and 21st-century Spanish literature and film, with particular focus on topics of gender, sexuality, and non-normative familial relationships. Among other classes, Jerónimo teaches upper-level seminars on topics such as the Hispanic Graphic Novel, the Spanish Civil War, and Violence within the Spanish Family. One of Jerónimo’s most recent publications is the article “Angels or Monsters? Motherhood in the Dystopian World of Paloma Díaz-Mas’s ‘La niña sin alas’” (2015), which explores the line between connection and dependence in a mother/daughter relationship. She has also published an interview and an article about Catalan author Lluís Maria Todó, who writes on diverse issues, such as gay parenting, the effects of globalization in Barcelona, and the process of writing. During the summer, Jerónimo leads a two-week Capstone in Barcelona, Spain.

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UNIV 2196-02 Honors Seminar: Women in the Middle Ages with Dr. Jay Lees, 11:00-12:15 TTh

**3 credit hour seminar - Sophomore standing - (class in Honors Cottage)

Course Description: The women who lived during the Middle Ages might be thought of as having no voice and of living in a “dark age” for women.  However, while the women of this long period (ca. 200 to ca. 1500) lived within the varying restrictions of a patriarchal and often misogynistic world, some of them contributed to a rich treasure of written work, while the lives of others can be reconstructed in some detail from more prosaic documents.  This seminar is an introduction to the Middle Ages from the medieval woman’s point of view.  In it students will read and discuss a wide selection of works written by women who were critical of patriarchal ideas of social structure and creatively fought them.  These works will include plays written by a 10th century nun, the letters of the lovers Heloise and Abelard, and the astonishingly modern 13th century story of a young woman who is raised as a boy and named Silence.

Professor Biography:  The course is taught by Jay T. Lees of the history department.  His specialty is medieval Germany.  Lees teaches classes on English, German, and medieval history, as well as specialized courses on women in the Middle Ages, the Crusades, and Shakespeare as a historian.  He is also director of the University of Northern Iowa Summer Study Abroad Program in Italy, where he teaches a course on Sacred Space.  Lees is the recipient of the Class of 1949 Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2004, and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Award for Outstanding Teaching for 1996 and 2004 as well as the Above and Beyond Award.

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UNIV 4197-01 Honors Thesis with Dr. Jessica Moon, arr

Course Description: The Honors Thesis is the final step towards earning a University Honors designation from the University of Northern Iowa.  The thesis gives Honors students the opportunity to explore a scholarly area of interest with the guidance of a faculty member.  It is intended to serve as the culmination of the Honors experience. 

The thesis provides you with experience in research as well as an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.  While the process may at times be challenging, it will also be rewarding.  You will enhance your knowledge of the chosen topic and further develop your research or creative skills.  The final product should leave you with a sense of pride and accomplishment for what you have attained. 

Students wishing to register for Honors Thesis must meet with Jessica to discuss course requirements and have their registration holds removed.  Call Brenda at 3-3175 to make an appointment.

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UNIV 4198-01 Honors Independent Study with Dr. Jessica Moon, arr

Course Description: The purpose of independent study is to provide students with an opportunity to participate in an educational experience beyond what is typically offered in the classroom.  Students must be prepared to exercise a great deal of independent initiative in pursuing such studies.  Honors students may receive independent study credit for research projects of their own or those shared with faculty members, certain internship opportunities, or some types of work or volunteer experiences. 

Students wishing to register for Honors Independent Study must meet with Jessica to discuss course requirements and have their registration holds removed.  Call Brenda at 3-3175 to make an appointment.

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