Course Directory

University Honors Program Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Advising Information

Liberal Arts Core

CAP 3190-01

Capstone: Idea of the University

COMM 1000-19

Oral Communication

ENGLISH 1120-03

Introduction to Literature: Science Fiction and Video Games

FAM SERV 1010-06

Human Identity and Relationships

HISUS 1023-03

History of the United States

HUM 1023-02

Humanities III

HUM 3137-02

Native Central and South America

POL AMER 1014-06

Introduction to America Politics

RELS 1020-04

Religions of the World

STAT 1772-03

Introduction to Statistics

WGS 1040-02

Women's and Gender Studies

Other Honors Course Offerings

UNIV 1092-01

Presidential Scholars Seminar: Language, Brain & Society (1st Year Presidential Scholars ONLY)

UNIV 1092-02

Sophomore Think Tank (2nd Year Presidential Scholars ONLY)

UNIV 2196-01

Seminar: Terrorism: History, Religion, Nationalism & Security

UNIV 2196-02

Seminar: Exploring Interpersonal Forgiveness

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, 5:00-7:50 Th eve (class in the Honors Cottage)

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 1000-19 Oral Communication with Dr. Ryan McGeough, 12:30-1:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category IB

Course Description:  This course is a survey course designed to assist the student in discovering how verbal and nonverbal communication messages function in a variety of settings--intrapersonal, interpersonal, group, and public. By studying the theory and process of communication and applying communication theory and principles to diverse real-life situations, students will have opportunities to practice and analyze communication skills in various communication contexts. In order to do this, this course involves both written and oral assignments throughout the semester. The honors section will involve more critical analysis and discussion of course concepts, with an emphasis on both speaking and listening. At least one of the assignments will have a social issues or service-learning component, and topics for speeches will have more specific guidelines than other sections. Students will complete at least three individual speeches and one group project.

Professor Biography:  Dr. Ryan McGeough is a member of the Department of Communication Studies, where he teaches courses such as Political Communication, Rhetoric and Civic Culture and Oral Communication.  His research is focused on public argumentation across various types of media. His classes ask students to take an active role in class conversations and to connect assignments to their interests and passions. In his free time, he enjoys Southern cuisine, farmers’ markets, LSU football and being walked by his dog, Vonnegut.

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ENGLISH 1120-03 Introduction to Literature: Science Fiction and Video Games with Dr. David Grant, 2:00-3:15 MW

Fulfills LAC Category IIIB & IA - Writing Enhanced Section 

Course Description: Both science fiction and video games were once dismissed of as forms of art that did not merit serious consideration. Yet, science-based speculative narratives and game-based narratives abound, in print, film, digital, and tabletop mediums. Through sheer numbers, they influence our lives and concepts of what is possible. This course will consider these narratives, their presentations, and their performances, analyzing them within the frameworks of English studies, game studies, rhetoric of science, and related fields. Students will explore how video games’ interactive multimedia narratives shift and affirm our assumptions about what stories can do and how they affect us and our understandings of the world. Along the way, students will read scholarship about literature and video games; read works of speculative fiction alongside video-game adaptations; and play video games that extend and challenge our notions of story-driven art.

Professor Biography: Dr. David M. Grant teaches and studies rhetoric, focusing on the relationships between people and their environments as an aspect of communication. He is currently writing a book on Native American rhetorical theories before he sits down to write a long-planned fantasy novel. He has lived in great places like Cedar Falls; Madison, Wisconsin; Flagstaff, Arizona; Winona, Minnesota; and Tampa, Florida. He has taught at UNI since 2007 and is a member of the National Council of Teachers of English, College Composition and Communication, and Rhetoric Society of America.

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FAM SERV 1010-06 Human Identity and Relationships with Dr. William Henninger, 10:00-10:50 MWF

Fulfills LAC Category VB

Course Description: I love this course, because we deal with how people define themselves and how that helps them relate to others. Most importantly, we deal with dating, breaking up, marriage, divorce, falling in love, cheating, and anything else involved in finding a mate. What is the difference between this class and an episode of Dr. Phil? We attempt to decipher what social science research suggests is true and what may be lay beliefs. Finally, we apply what we learn about relationships from social science research to pop culture to see how they intersect.

Professor Biography: I have been at UNI as a tenure track faculty for 5 years. I received my PhD from ISU in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in Early Childhood Special Education. My areas of research include social emotional development in children, ways to include children with social emotional disorders in preschool classrooms, emerging adults and college life adjustment. As a result of my background in early childhood and special education, I tend towards classes that are hands on. I believe people learn best when they are experience subjects.

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HISUS 1023-03 History of the United States with Dr. Joanne Goldman, 11:00-12:15 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category VA (class in the Honors Cottage)

Course DescriptionThis course is designed to introduce students to the history and culture of the American people. It is organized about various themes discussed within particular chronological frameworks. We will concentrate on the themes of war and politics, gender and reform, the natural environment and economics in each of four periods of American History:

                                Colonial Period: 1600s-1780s

                                Early National Period: Post-Revolutionary War to Civil War and Reconstruction:  1780s-1880s

                                The US in an International Arena: 1880s-1940s

                                 Post World War II: 1950s-Present

Lectures and discussions will draw connections that will provide a rich context for understanding why we are, where we are, and how we got there. In addition to the required textbook assignments, there will be four supplemental readings that will be discussed in class. Students will be required to research a subject and make a presentation in class in the form of panel discussions and/or debates. Additionally, students will work with primary documents. There will be four exams.

Professor Biography: Joanne Abel Goldman has been a Professor in the History Department since 1990. She earned her Ph.D. in 1988 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her dissertation examines the process of policy formation with regard to the decision to build an integrated sewer system in New York City in the nineteenth century. This project developed Dr. Goldman’s expertise in the history of technology, history of the city, and the Early National Period, 1780s-1860s, subjects of which she teaches advanced history classes. More recent research interests have considered post World War II national science policy, atomic energy education, and the rare earth crisis. Dr. Goldman considers herself an animated teacher who enjoys getting to know students and looks forward to interacting with this particularly motivated group.


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HUM 1023-02 Humanities III with Dr. Emily Machen, 9:30-10:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category IIA

Course Description:  This class will introduce students to the major themes in the history of Western Europe from the French Revolution to the present.  We will study history’s “big” events, including wars and revolutions.  However, rather than exploring World War I or the Cold War from a purely political or military point of view, we will investigate how these events impact human society.  Students will determine how war, revolution, and social upheaval shape people’s lives depending on where they live, their social class, and their race and gender.  Men and women often experiences events differently.  The same is true for minorities. The experiences of a Senegalese soldier or a woman ambulance driver during World War I differ from the experiences of European men on the front lines or politicians on the home front.  Students will build an understanding of how Western society develops by delving into a variety of sources produced during the eras we study.  Reading materials will be supplemented by images and film clips that add an important visual component to the course.  The class will incorporate a combination of lecture and discussion of primary documents.

This class will also include a current events element.  History is not simply about what happened in the past.  It should also help students understand contemporary society and current problems.  As a result, throughout the semester, we will be discussing important stories showing up in the news.  We will situate these stories into their historical context so that students know why Europe is experiencing a growth in far right political parties or what is motivating Ukrainians to protest against their government.  By the end of the course, students will understand how Western societies have developed and how that development shapes our contemporary world.

Professor Biography:  Emily Machen is an associate professor of history.  She is a specialist in modern Europe with an emphasis in French women’s history. She received an undergraduate degree from Southeast Missouri State University, where she studied history and French, and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.  Professor Machen lived in France for two years while completing her dissertation. She teaches a variety of classes, including Modern France, European Society and the Great War, European Women’s History, and Humanities III.  She enjoys all of her classes and tries to engage students by incorporating news and documentary video clips, images, and artifacts related to various historical periods. 

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HUM 3137-02 Native Central and South America with Dr. Anne Woodrick, 2:00-3:15 TTh 

Fulfills LAC Category IIB (class in the Honors Cottage)

Course Description: Native Central and South American [ANTH/HUM 3137] satisfies the LAC non-Western category 2 requirement. In this course we will explore the peopling of the New World and the development of civilization in Mesoamerica with a focus on the Classic Period Maya and the Aztec Empire. The class materials continue to focus in Mesoamerica with an overview of the Colonial Period and from Independence to current events.  The second half of the course explores a closer examination of two South American societies—the Runakuna in the Andean highlands and a tribal society, the Yanomamo, from the Amazon Basin. 

 The format of the class is round table discussion with minimal lecturing. A number of in-class activities encourage students to develop their own interpretations of cultural materials—such as archaeological artifacts, poetry, rituals and myths.  Films complement course materials. Grades are based on class participation, in-class essay exams, in-class group activities and possibly one small group PowerPoint presentation to the class.

Professor Biography: Dr. Anne Woodrick is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Michigan and her doctorate from the University of California, San Diego.  She has been a member of the UNI faculty since 1988. Her research interests include the role of religion in community development and mobilization among Latino immigrants in the US Midwest and the religiosity of rural Mexican women. Dr. Woodrick participated in ethnographic studies in Temax, Yucatán, Mexico, rural Central Mexico and among Latino immigrants in Marshalltown, Sioux City and Hampton, Iowa. 

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POL AMER 1014-06 Introduction to American Politics with Dr. Justin Holmes, 11:00-12:15 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category VB

Course Description:  The American Republic has lasted more than 200 years, despite radical changes in society, technology, and the world context it is situated in. While there is considerable consistency in the ideas behind American government, situational pressures have required constant adaptation. Developments and events of the last few years such as the internet, 9/11 and the ensuing war on terror, and increased polarization of both political elites and voters have presented challenges to American politics. In this class, we will look at both the historical origins and contemporary manifestations of American democracy, political institutions, and the public itself. Specific topics will include institutions of government, political participation, civil rights and civil liberties, the mass media and public opinion, elections and representation, and governance in the internet age. We will be going into particular depth on political campaigning (with a focus on the 2016 election) and congressional gridlock. Classes will be in the lecture discussion format, with considerable discussion. Each student will be responsible for leading class for a portion of one day. There will be two reflection papers, and 3 exams.

Professor Biography:  Justin Holmes is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. He earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He has been at UNI since 2008, after previously teaching at the University of Minnesota and Gustavus Adolphus College. Holmes' research and teaching focuses on Public Opinion, Voting Behavior, Political Communication, and Political Psychology. Recent projects include studies of the psychology of the impact of negative information on presidential approval, a study of how citizens form opinions about intervening in foreign conflicts, an examination of how campaigns and interest group use new media to mobilize supporters, and a study of the role of emotion in citizens' political participation. During election season, Holmes is a frequent interviewee on both local and national media.

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RELS 1020-04 Religions of the World with Dr. Cara Burnidge, 10:00-10:50 MWF

Fulfills LAC Category IIIB

Freshmen ONLY

Course Description:  It is difficult to ignore how much religious conflict is in the world. Daily (even hourly) news updates remind us of the presence of religious intolerance and conflict in the world. To many, this is surprising because “deep down, we’re all really just the same.” Artists, celebrities, teachers, family members, and faith leaders often remind us of this idea all the time. Perhaps, Maya Angelou put it best in her poem “Human Family” when she wrote: "In minor ways we are different/in major we are the same....we are more alike, my friends/ than we are unalike." But what if she—and, therefore, we—are wrong? What if we are more unalike than alike? What if our differences are major and not minor to who we are?  This class will explore that alternative idea. We will consider the significance of difference, disagreement, and debate in our understanding of religious diversity. As we do, we will strive to celebrate the ideas, customs, histories, and habits that make us unalike. We will try to embrace—rather than erase—cultural differences by asking two big questions:

 1) How does “religion” influence the way people think about & experience the world?

2) What do we learn about the world when focus on how people are different rather than how they are alike?

This course will have a hybrid format, balancing in-class conversations with out-of-class assignments. Outside of class, students will independently read and/or listen to assigned material to learn about a new worldview and empathize with unfamiliar people and ideas. In-class, either through Professor Burnidge’s lectures or small group activities, we will review and reflect upon our understanding of religious diversity and difference. Finally, we will apply what we’ve learned to “rival” religions in “real world” case studies in a public presentation.

Professor Biography: Cara Burnidge is an Assistant Professor of Religion in the Department of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of Northern Iowa. Born and raised outside Pittsburg, Kansas, Professor Burnidge grew up in a small town and graduated with a high school of sixty students. From there, she went to a liberal arts university similar to UNI, Washburn University, where she majored in History and discovered what she wanted out of life. She went on to earn her M.A. and PhD in Religion from Florida State University. As a historian of American religion, Professor Burnidge researches and writes about the intersection of two topics many are told never to talk about: religion and politics. In 2016, the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis selected Professor Burnidge as one of ten Young Scholars of American Religion. When she's not teaching or researching, Professor Burnidge advises two student groups seeking to create an inclusive campus community: Northern Iowa Feminists and the Muslim Student Association. With these student leaders and through her classes, Professor Burnidge seeks to help UNI students become more comfortable exploring, discussing, and engaging with the controversial issues and sensitive subjects pertaining to religion and politics.   

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STAT 1772-03 Introduction to Statistics with Dr. Mark Ecker, 9:30-10:45 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category IC

Course Description:  The Honors Introductory Statistics course covers the topics of: descriptive statistics, probability, random variables, sampling distributions, inferential statistics, confidence intervals and hypothesis tests.  Students will be exposed to critical statistical thinking, along with the statistical software package, S-Plus.  Emphasis will be on real world applications of pertinent statistical methods and ideas.  Students will collect data on a topic of interest to them, analyze the data using the tools learned in the classroom and present their results to the class.

Professor Biography:  I am Professor of Statistics in the Department of Mathematics at UNI, where I specialize in the area of spatial prediction and modeling using Bayesian and Geostatistical techniques.  My research involves hands-on data analysis and developing methodology for spatial association often present in environmental and economic data.  In the past, I had worked as part of a multidisciplinary team of chemists, biologists, and environmental scientists at the University of Northern Iowa analyzing water quality data in Iowa's lakes and wetlands.  I currently work with Iowa Workforce Development and the Institute for Decision Making to forecast the potential available workers in laborsheds across Iowa.  My most recent research project involves developing new statistical techniques to measure the negative or positive financial impact on housing prices from living close to a point source, such as a hoglot, nuclear power plant or a highly desirable school. 

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WGS 1040-02 Women's and Gender Studies with Dr. Benjamin Baker, 8:00-9:15 TTh

Fulfills LAC Category VA - (class in the Honors Cottage)

Course Description: This course is designed to introduce students to the academic field of women's and gender studies. Together, we will investigate how gender is talked about, expressed, and experienced personally, professionally, and culturally. Using a variety of readings, media (TV/movie clips), guest speakers, and activities as our guides, we will openly and respectfully address gender-related topics, such as: modern masculinity and femininity, transgender identity, gender bias, gender expectations/stereotypes, gender in the workplace, and many more. Our in-class discussions and your assignments will require you to not only think carefully and critically about gender, but also consider how notions of gender impact your life on a daily basis. 

Professor Biography:  Dr. Benjamin Baker in an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at the Univeristy of Northern Iowa. He received his BA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Journalism and both his MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Communication Studies. Primarily, his research is focused on marginalized identity, sexuality and gender, family communication, and LGBTQ community concerns. Past projects have included qualitative investigations into women's experiences in online games, bisexuality and hurtful messages, gay and lesbian relationship dissolution communication, and the meaning-making process for married gay fathers. Currently, he is working with a colleague on a study examining the lived experiences of LGBTQ United States military members who served before, during, and after Don't Ask Don't Tell. 

Honors Seminar and Elective Descriptions

UNIV 1092-01  Presidential Scholars Seminar: Language, Brain & Society with Dr. Ken Bleile, 3:30-4:20 TTh  (class in the Honors Cottage)

**2 credit hour seminar - First-year Presidential Scholars ONLY 

Course Description: This seminar explores the nature, neurological basis, and social foundations of human language.  Questions discussed in the class include, what is language?  How is human language similar and different from the communications of other species?   How do children acquire language?  What is the neurological basis of language learning?  Why do some people have language difficulties?  Why do societies disfavor certain types of language? 

Professor Biography:  Ken Bleile is a professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.  His expertise is in communication disorders in children.  Recent publications include The Late 8 (3rd Ed.) and Speech Sound Disorders:  For Class and Clinic (4th Ed).  He is the recipient of the Regent’s Scholar Award, the Fine Arts Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Diversity Champion Award.  

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

**2 credit hour seminar – Sophomore Presidential Scholars ONLY (class in the 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: Terrorism: History, Religion, Nationalism & Security with Dr. Kenneth Atkinson, 9:30-10:45 TTh

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

Course Description: Following the devastating September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans have begun to ask questions about Islam and its adherents. Does Islam advocate Holy War against non-Muslims? Does Osama bin Laden’s use of the Qur’an and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reflect the views of mainstream Islam? The media has largely failed to recognize the extent to which groups such as al-Qaeda use history, nationalism, and religion, to justify their actions. In addition, various forms of domestic terrorism, which are often based on violent interpretations of Christianity and politics, create their own historical narratives to justify their actions. This seminar seeks to help students understand the events since 9/11, as well as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the varieties of foreign and domestic terrorism that afflict our society.

Although this seminar will primarily focus on Islamic-based terrorist movements, it will expose students to the wide variety of foreign and domestic terrorist movements that also use history, religion, and nationalism to achieve their goals. The first part of the course will look at the history of terrorism through an exploration of examples from several countries and religions. The second part will focus on the events of September 11, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and other terrorist groups that have affected the U.S. during the past decade. The third part of the class will explore contemporary U.S. reactions to terrorism through changes in federal policy, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the rise of military contractors and the outsourcing of security, and the use of drones and robotics in warfare and security. Each section of the class includes various readings about domestic and foreign terrorist groups and international reactions to them, as well as recent advances in security. Reading for the course include classic studies based on interviews with domestic and international terrorists, works about the current terrorist threats, and government documents about the United States’ global response to terror.

Professor Biography: Kenneth Atkinson is a Professor of History at the University of Northern Iowa. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago (M.Div.) and Temple University (M.A., Ph.D.). His books include I Cried to the Lord, Judaism, Queen Salome: Jerusalem’s Warrior Monarch of the First Century B.C.E., and A History of the Hasmonean State. Atkinson regularly speaks in Europe and the Middle East on a variety of topics including archaeology, religion, ancient history and languages, and Islamic history. He has received awards for scholarship, teaching, and a medal from the U.S. government for his public service. Atkinson has held several other jobs before entering academia, including employment as a biblical archaeologist, a full-time traveler, a factory worker, a kibbutz laborer, and a soldier in Cold War Berlin (U.S. Army). He is one of twelve Americans, and the only professor, to be honored by the German government in Berlin this September for his military service. You can learn more about him and his recent professional activities by visiting:

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UNIV 2196-02 Honors Seminar: Exploring Interpersonal Forgiveness with Dr. Suzanne Freedman, 2:00-3:15 TTh

**3 credit hour seminar - Sophomore standing

Course Description:  Have you ever FORGIVEN someone? Have you been FORGIVEN? Are you STRUGGLING with forgiving someone? What does Forgiveness mean to you? Can people be taught to Forgive? How does Forgiveness differ from Forgetting and Reconciliation?  Is there anything UNFORGIVABLE?  Although traditionally, associated with the fields of philosophy and religion, forgiveness has become a popular topic of psychological inquiry during the past 17 years.  This class will begin with students' own personal definitions of forgiveness and what it is and what is not. We will then explore forgiveness from a psychological, moral, theological, educational, clinical, and cultural focus.

We will discuss misconceptions and misunderstandings associated with forgiveness by critiquing the current literature on the topic. We will focus on the benefits to the individual doing the forgiving as well as the individual being forgiven. We will also discuss self-forgiveness. Contexts surrounding forgiveness will be examined in addition to exploring how forgiveness can be helpful to individuals, families, communities and cultures.  The idea of forgiveness education will be discussed as one way to decrease violence and anger in adolescents.  Although the focus of this class will be on forgiveness from a psychological perspective we will examine the topic from many different lens as stated above. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own forgiveness projects.  Class with include lots of discussion and sharing different perspectives and opinions. 

Professor Biography: Suzanne Freedman is Associate Professor of Human Development. She teaches courses on child and adolescent development as well as a correspondence course on Interpersonal Forgiveness.  She was recipient of the APA Dissertation Award in 1993 for her groundbreaking research on forgiveness and incest survivors.  She has been studying the topic of forgiveness for 17 years and her publications focus on the psychology of forgiveness with both adults and adolescents.  She has presented her research on forgiveness at numerous national and international conferences as well as invited workshops. 

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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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