Spring 2015 Honors Seminars

Seminar Registration for Spring Semester begins: November 18th at NOON


If you try to register for seminars before that day and time, you will be unable to add the class. Also, the system will exclude you from the wait list after the class is full. If openings become available after a seminar is full, Honors staff will contact those on the wait list.

Reference numbers will be posted a couple of days prior to registration.

Make sure you plan ahead and take the number of required Honors courses and seminars as prescribed by your college Honors committee. Don't wait until your last year to meet the requirements because you may find that you will have some scheduling conflicts.

Important: Attendance at Honors seminars is expected. Be sure to read the entire seminar description and requirements. Be courteous and notify your instructor in advance if you are unable to attend class.

Check back regularly for updates.

  • HON 322AComedy College
  • HON 322BPhysical Activity and Health Values and Behaviors: An International Perspective
  • HON 322CFinding Your Inner Fish: An Exploration of the Evolutionary Origins of the Human Body
  • HON 322DScience Communication Secrets: Beyond Speaking Clearly (2nd Half, Open Seats)
  • HON 322ETolkien's Mythology
  • HON 322FWhat Are You Talking About? Discovering and Breaking Stereotypes
  • HON 322GGot Privilege? Why Does It Matter?
  • HON 322HHow Universities Work: An Inside Look at American Higher Education
  • HON 322J, BZService-Learning in Punta Gorda, Belize
  • HON 322J, UKHere, There and Everywhere: A Beatles Retrospective with London Experience
  • HON 322KHere, There and Everywhere: A Beatles Retrospective
  • HON 322LSustainable Energy for the Future
  • HON 322MBeyond the Bedroom: Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence (2nd Half, Open Seats)
  • HON 322NMoney Management
  • HON 322PFeminism and Film
  • HON 322QHuman Trafficking in the United States
  • HON 322RYou from All Angles: The Science of Psychological Assessment
  • HON 322TPreparing for Your Honors Project (2nd Half, Open Seats)
  • HON 322U,Conflicts in the Middle East
  • HON 322VThat's Me in The Corner
  • HON 322WLessons from Positive Psychology on Happiness and Success
  • HON 322YThe Hunter Games: Finding Music Where You Least Expect It
  • HON 322ZSocrates Café: It’s All about the Question
  • HON 324AIn Pursuit of Art: Collectors and Collections (2nd Half, Open Seats)
  • HON 324BView for a Few: An Up Close and Personal Look at the Criminal Justice System

HON 322A, Comedy CollegeWednesday, 5:10-7:00 p.m., 2 credits, Enrollment limit: 16, 1155 Jischke, Ref. No. 4651005.

Description: In this seminar, you will learn to be funnier. Humor is not a mystical process of divine intervention granted by the Comedy Gods to just a chosen few. There are tricks, techniques and theories that, when studied, can make a person funnier. When put into practice, these skills can help with self-confidence, public speaking and communication skills. While some reading and watching of stand-up routines is required, the majority of the class focus will be on creating and sharing original humor with your classmates. The seminar culminates in a live comedy showcase where you will share your new-found humor skills with the world.

About the Instructor: Gavin Jerome has been a professional entertainer for well over 20 years. He has worked with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser and Steve Harvey. For the past decade, Gavin has been providing humor workshops for companies and associations nationwide. His extensive standup comedy experience plus many years of leading workshops on humor in the workplace make him most qualified on creating and sharing comedy. Peter Orazem, University Professor of Economics, has been a student of Gavin’s, and is known around campus for his entertainment skills.


HON 322B, Physical Activity and Health Values and Behaviors: An International Perspective1st Half, Monday and Wednesday, 1:10-2:00 p.m., 1 credit, International Perspectives Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 4652005.

Description: In this seminar we’ll examine the role of physical activity in human development and wellness. You will learn about the relationship between physical activity, health, the built environment, climate, and physical education. We will examine the influence of these factors, how they interact, and their effects on individual and societal physical activity and health values and behaviors. We will compare and contrast perspectives and practices reflected in different living environments and societies around the world.

About the Instructor: Jose M. Palao, a visiting scholar in the Department of Kinesiology, is a professor at the University of Murcia (Spain). He received a Ph.D. in Physical Activity and Sport from the University of Granada in 2001. He has teaching and research experience regarding physical activity, physical education, and sport performance. One of his research interests is how to transfer knowledge. Philip E. Martin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, joined the Iowa State faculty in 2008. Dr. Martin received his Ph.D. in Physical Education with a specialization in biomechanics from Penn State in 1983. His research interests, which are often interdisciplinary, focus primarily on the biomechanics and energetics of locomotion tasks. Since joining the ISU faculty, Dr. Martin has taught undergraduate biomechanics, research topics in biomechanics, research methods in physical activity, and responsible conduct of research.


HON 322C, Finding Your Inner Fish: An Exploration of the Evolutionary Origins of the Human BodyWednesday, 2:10-3 p.m., 1 Credit, Enrollment limit: 12, 255 Bessey, Ref. No. 4653005.

Description: The basic human body plan has a diverse history that spans millions of years. In this seminar, we will read and discuss one of the most thought-provoking and accessible pieces of literature on this topic: Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. The primary objective of the seminar is to gain a broader perspective on the origins of human anatomy. We will examine how basic structures such as arms and legs have changed during the evolution of animals with backbones and will debate this fascinating topic by discussing facts and opinions that need not be based in the biological sciences. We will then discuss how this knowledge may inform efforts to improve human health and conserve the astonishing diversity of life on planet Earth.

About the Instructor: G. Antonio Cordero received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Oregon State. He is a sixth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, where he studies the development and evolution of the turtle’s shell. He has a broad background in science education through interning for the Education Department of the Ecological Society of America in Washington, DC and working as a public programs educator for the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD. He has served as a research mentor for several ISU students.


HON 322D, Science Communication Secrets: Beyond Speaking Clearly2nd Half, Monday, 2:10-4:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 4654005.

Description: Climate change, evolution, genetically modified crops… How should scientists communicate to the public about controversial topics? Even if the science is accurate, what buried landmines can scientists unknowingly step on that may cause the communication to blow up in their faces? This seminar will use case studies of actual events and a debate format to explore some of these unwritten rules of science communication and what can happen when scientists cross these hidden lines.

About the Instructor: Jean Goodwin, Professor of English and in the Program in Speech Communication, teaches classes on the practice, theory, and history of political argument. Her research focuses on how scientists can communicate their knowledge in controversial policy settings. Clark Wolf, Director of Bioethics and Professor of Philosophy, has published on political theory, philosophy of law, and ethics, including sustainability and science ethics. Michael Dahlstrom, Associate Professor in the Greenlee School, works with colleagues from social science, humanities and STEM disciplines to explore complex communicative interactions between science and the public. He’s currently researching the effects of narrative structures on science perceptions and the biases inherent in attempting to perceive science topics outside human scale.


HON 322E, Tolkien's MythologyFriday, 3:10-4:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1424 Mol Bio, Ref. No. 4655005.

Description: In this seminar we will explore the mythology imagined by Oxford don and writer J.R.R. Tolkien. Like any mythology, Tolkien’s is a collection of stories which can explain concepts that are hard to understand in a scientific or empirical way. Major themes of the mythology include the nature of good and evil, and the meaning and nature of human mortality. Rather than focus on Tolkien’s famous Lord of the Rings material, we will examine Tolkien’s other writings including The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and background writings made publicly available after Tolkien’s death. You’ll be guided through a complex and entertaining body of literature. Your attendance, reading, and energetic participation are required; final creative projects will be presented to the class.

About the Instructor: Alan Myers is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (BBMB), and has extensive teaching experience in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics courses. The College of LAS has recognized Dr. Myers with its award for outstanding teaching at the introductory level. Dr. Myers is the director of an active biochemistry research program focused on molecular mechanisms in plant metabolism. His interest in teaching a course on Tolkien’s Mythology stems from a long-standing personal interest in the subject, broad study of all of Tolkien’s published work, and the experience and insights gained, especially from former students, in numerous previous offerings of this seminar.


HON 322F, 2, What Are You Talking About? Discovering and Breaking Stereotypes, Monday, 2:10-3:00 p.m., 1 credit, U.S. Diversity Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 3158 Pearson, Ref. No. 4661005.

Description: In this course, we will examine our cultural myths, stereotypes and realities and in turn, compare our views with the way others live in their worlds and how they perceive ours. You will learn to question and compare cultures in a systematic way by examining four perspectives: How we see ourselves, How we see them, How they see themselves, and How they see us.

About the Instructor: Cristina Pardo Ballester, Assistant Professor of Spanish in the World Languages and Cultures Department, received a Ph.D. in Hispanic Linguistics from University of California, Davis. In addition to teaching many courses at the 100-300 levels, she also supervises the Elementary and Intermediate Spanish Program at Iowa State. Cultural understanding and awareness form part of each course she teaches.


HON 322G, Got Privilege? Why Does It Matter?1st Half, Wednesday, 10:00 a.m-11:50 a.m., 1 credit, U.S. Diversity Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1155 Jischke, Ref. No. 4664005.

Description: Although the roots and consequences of social ills such as racism, sexism, and heterosexism are often discussed in courses in different disciplines, cultural privilege, the flipside of these ills, is much less understood. This omission matters, because although a study of social discrimination helps us to understand why some demographic groups (e.g., women, people of color, LGBT) in the US have had less opportunity to access and gain resources (wealth, housing, jobs, education, health care), examining discrimination does not help us to see why, historically and currently, other groups (men, European Americans, heterosexuals) have had significant advantages in obtaining those resources. In this seminar we will explore the general concept of cultural privilege, who has it, and why it matters in understanding and dismantling discrimination, as well as more thoroughly understanding the concept of resource availability in our society.

About the Instructor: Loreto Prieto is a Professor of Psychology and Director of US Latino/a Studies at Iowa State. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he has conducted research on, as well as taught about, diversity-related subjects for more than 20 years. At Iowa State, he offers two courses; USLS 211 (Introduction to US Latino/a Studies) and PSYCH 347 (US Latino/a Psychology) that are open to all students. The US Latino/a Studies program offers several other courses as well as an undergraduate minor.


HON 322H, How Universities Work: An Inside Look at American Higher EducationTuesday, 11:00-11:50 a.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 4668005.

Description: Have you wondered why faculty members do what they do, or how intercollegiate athletics affects your experiences at the university? In this seminar we will look at the diverse and complex “enterprise” that is higher education in the United States. We will find out who is coming to college, how faculty and staff shape a learning environment, and what students really learn while in school. We will use established texts as well as contemporary readings on current issues to explore “how universities work.”

About the Instructor: Wayne Glass is a second-year graduate student in the Student Affairs Masters program at Iowa State. Wayne’s graduate assistantship is with the office of Judicial Affairs, but he also does extensive work with the LGBT Student Services Office, the LGBTA Alliance, and other regional and national professional entities. Robert D. Reason, a Professor of Education in the Student Affairs and Higher Education programs, researches and teaches courses related to student learning and development in college. He is the co-author (with Kris Renn of Michigan State) of the widely adopted textbook, College Students in the United States: Characteristics, Experiences, and Outcomes, published in 2013.


HON 322J, BZ, Service-Learning in Punta Gorda, Belize, Thursday, 4:10- 6:00 p.m., 2 credits, International Perspectives Credit, Enrollment limit: 10-15, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 4678800.

Description: You may have come to the university with some language skills and/or trips to international destinations in high school. In this seminar, you’ll be able to gain or build on such experiences by learning about and traveling to Punta Gorda, Belize, for a service-learning experience. Through this semester-long course, you’ll explore learning about and doing service in Belize. You’ll apply new understanding and reflect on how these experiences affect the five dimensions of culture (products, practices, persons, perspectives, and communities). We will use Linda Chisholm’s Charting a Hero’s Journey (International Partnership for Service-Learning Press, 2000). Other readings will be provided.

About the Instructor: Laurie Smith Law, Administrative Director of the University Honors Program, has been working with high-ability students for several years and has taught Honors seminars on culture through celebrations, urban language, and social discussion. With a background in student affairs, she has worked with several learning community programs. She is familiar with service-learning programs and has previously supervised students on alternative spring break programs.


HON 322K, Here, There and Everywhere: A Beatles Retrospective (1 credit) and 322J UK - Here, There and Everywhere: A Beatles Retrospective with LondonTuesday, 6:10-8:00 p.m., 1st Half, 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 2019 Morrill, Ref. No. 4679005.

Description: The Beatles have influenced generations of musicians and music fans since their first album was released in 1963. This seminar will explore the compiled works of The Beatles’ albums, TV appearances, and movies. You will survey 1960’s culture through the lens of a Beatles album and explore how Beatles music and the band’s personalities helped shape a generation’s understanding of Eastern religion, recreational drug use, and the 60’s counter-culture. This course may be taken for one credit, or as a two-credit course that includes a Spring Break trip to London and Liverpool.

About the Instructor: Jennifer Leptien has a Ph. D in Human Development and Family Studies. She currently serves as a program coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and the Learning Communities program at Iowa State. An avid music fan, she has a particular affinity for the Beatles and is excited to share her passion for “the greatest band of all time” through this Honors seminar.


HON 322L, Sustainable Energy for the FutureMonday, 4:10- 5:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 4680005.

Description: In this seminar, you will learn how to assess energy resources and their sustainability from many perspectives, including technical, societal/political, environmental, and economic. As we face the future, many issues affect how energy resources will be available to support our burgeoning global population and the development of societies worldwide. We will explore the subject through readings, discussions, individual research, and guest speakers. Through these activities we will learn more about the underlying science and challenge preconceived notions to develop broader perspectives on energy and sustainability in our society.

About the Instructor: Howard Shapiro, a Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, is currently a Lecturer teaching thermodynamics and energy-related courses. He began his career at Iowa State in 1975 and served until 2005, including being Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs from 1998-2004. His research areas include energy conversion systems, energy efficiency in buildings and industrial processes, energy policy, and alternative refrigerants. He is co-author of the leading text in engineering thermodynamics; Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., now in its eighth edition). He has won a number of teaching awards, including the Regents’ Award for Faculty Excellence, and has published widely on learning communities and effective teaching.


HON 322M, Beyond the Bedroom: Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence2nd Half, Monday, 3:10- 5:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1155 Jischke, Ref. No. 4681005.

Description: You’ve heard about the “hook-up culture,” but where’s the line between hooking up and sexual assault? Have you wondered why someone stays in an abusive relationship? Do you think crime reports are typically false? In this course, we’ll explore these questions through discussion, examination of current events, and seeing how media influences our perception of these topics. You’ll understand the dynamics and definition of sexual assault and relationship violence; gain knowledge of who offenders are and how they operate; and discuss affirmative consent and equality in relationships. In addition to examining how the media portrays and influences these topics, you’ll learn what campus and community resources are available for victims of crime, and ways to intervene when suspecting or seeing signs of violence.

About the Instructor: Steffani Simbric has more than a decade of experience working with victims of crime, having served for seven years as coordinator of the Story County Sexual Assault Response Team and, before that, at an agency whose primary mission was to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and homelessness. Steffani graduated from Iowa State with a Master’s in Public Administration and holds an undergraduate degree in social work from Northern Iowa. Jerry D. Stewart is director of public safety and chief of police at Iowa State. Before his appointment in 2001, he served as associate director of that agency and with the Cedar Falls Police Department. He has many years’ experience as a team leader for two acclaimed programs on accreditation assessment in law enforcement. Jerry holds a B.S. in secondary education from Dickinson State and an M.S. in criminal justice from the University of Alabama. His articles on exemplary law enforcement initiatives have been published nationally. A 1992 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Jerry remains active in local, state and national professional organizations.


HON 322N, Money Management1st Half, Tuesday, 3:40-5:30 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 24, 3164 Gerdin, Ref. No. 4687005.

Description: This course is designed to help you acquire sound money management skills. It will include a series of seminars featuring experts in the field of finance. You will have an opportunity to directly interact with these finance professionals and to learn from their lectures. Our objective is help you learn to effectively manage student loans and credit card debt, create balanced budgets, develop good saving habits, identify profitable investment options, and follow proper risk management strategies. The last 30 minutes of each session are open for discussion and questions.

About the Instructor: Shoba Premkumar, a Senior Lecturer in the College of Business, will coordinate this seminar. Guest speakers include Tom Coates, CEO, Consumer Credit of Des Moines; Chad Olson, Assistant Director, Office of Student Financial Aid, ISU; Rick Reger, agent for American National Insurance Co.; Jake Zehr, Wealth Management Advisor, TIAA-CREF; and Mitch Peterson, Branch Manager, Stifel Nicholas & Co.


HON 322P, Feminism and FilmTuesday, 5:10- 7:00 p.m., 2 credits, U.S. Diversity Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 5111005.

Description: Feminism is a misunderstood topic in today’s society. By viewing and discussing films with feminist themes, you will learn to investigate what feminism is and how it can have an impact on our everyday life. You will also be able to create your own definition of feminism. The films vary in time periods, emphasis on specific identities (gender, race, etc.), and genre. We will watch a film one week, and discuss the film the following week in small groups. You will also read articles about feminism in order to supplement content in discussion groups.

About the Instructor: Alissa Stoehr is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the School of Education studying Higher Education with an emphasis in Social Justice. Her research interests include human trafficking, child support and welfare policies in the state of Iowa, racism within intercollegiate athletics, work-life balance of female Ph.D. students at Iowa State, and women’s and gender studies programs at community colleges. Alissa has also taught both WS 160: Gender Justice and WS 201: Introduction to Women’s Studies many times throughout her tenure at Iowa State.


HON 322Q, Human Trafficking in the United StatesMonday, 10:00-10:50 a.m., 1 credit, U.S. Diversity Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 5113005.

Description: In this seminar we will explore the phenomenon of human trafficking within the United States. You will learn about the history of, and concepts that define, human trafficking; how race, gender, nationality, etc., affect human trafficking; and how you can make a difference in your community by educating peers about this crime against humanity. Possible guest speakers include representatives from the Network Against Human Trafficking, Youth and Shelter Services, and a survivor of human trafficking.

About the Instructor: Alissa Stoehr, M.S., is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the School of Education studying Higher Education with a concentration in Social Justice. Her research interests include human trafficking, child support and welfare policies in the state of Iowa, racism within intercollegiate athletics, work-life balance of female Ph.D. students at Iowa State, and women’s and gender studies programs at community colleges. She is a member of the Network Against Human Trafficking and the Central Iowa Service Network Against Human Trafficking.


HON 322R, You from All Angles: The Science of Psychological AssessmentWednesday, 11:00 -11:50 a.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 5117005.

Description: Do you naturally try to understand others’ and your own thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors? In this seminar we will delve into the science of this practice, known as psychological assessment. Psychological assessment is psychology’s most reliable and valid source of information about individuals’ inner experiences. You will take many different assessments, followed by critical discussions of what you’ve learned (or not learned) and how the information gained can be integrated with other sources. Lectures from visiting researchers and practitioners will include professional assessors of vocational choice, cognitive ability, and psychopathology. The seminar will give you not only a sense of the science psychological assessment but also a more robust and specific understanding of your values, interests, skills, abilities, leadership, and personality.

About the Instructor: Katie Pesch is a fourth-year graduate student in counseling psychology currently working as a Graduate Assistant in Career Exploration Services at ISU. She has taught University Studies 104: Personal Career Development, as well as Psych 314: Psychology of Motivation. She is also completing her second year of practicum at Central Iowa Psychological Services, specializing in psychological assessment with children and adolescents. Katie also spent two years as a practicum counselor for Student Counseling Service. Jeritt Tucker, a fifth-year doctoral student in counseling psychology, researches the intersection of social processes and mental health, primarily social stigma and belonging. He has taught courses from the psychology of religion to psychometrics. He has served with Katie in conducting assessments with children and adolescents and has also worked in an outpatient hospital and within the University’s health center, biofeedback program, and counseling center.


HON 322T, Preparing for Your Honors Project2nd Half, Tuesday and Thursday 9-9:50 a.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 2968005.

Description: In this half-term seminar, you will learn how to develop an independent research project and become prepared to generate and submit an Honors Project proposal to your college. Through discussions and presentations – some online, some face-to-face – you’ll learn more about the nature, the various stages, and the multiple challenges of research; practice defining an appropriate research question; find out what ethical and technical training your ideas might require; and examine the nuts and bolts of doing an Honors Project proposal.

About the Instructor: Susan Yager and Laurie Smith Law, Honors co-directors, coordinate this seminar. They have taught many popular seminars, including the service-learning in Belize and the Harry Potter seminars. Guests will be drawn from many majors and the six undergraduate colleges. Some in-class events may be recorded for use in online modules and future versions of the seminar.


HON 322U, Conflicts in the Middle EastWednesday, 1:10-2:00 p.m., 1 credit, International Perspectives Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 3158 Pearson, Ref. No. 2977005.

Description: What are the current political conflicts in the Middle East? How should we understand the wars in the Middle East? In this seminar, we will examine the current political conflicts and wars in this region. We will examine in depth the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Lebanese War, the Palestinian question and other regional issues (Iraq, the Kurds, Iran, Syria, etc.). You will better understand the “complicated Middle East” and how these conflicts affect the war on terrorism.

About the Instructor: Jean-Pierre Taoutel has been teaching at ISU since 1999 as a Senior Lecturer of French and an Instructor of Arabic. He was born in Syria and grew up in Lebanon before moving to France. He holds an M.A and a D.E.A in French literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France. He has taught several Honors seminars. Jean-Pierre enjoys traveling and he has been in over 40 countries.


HON 322V, That's Me in The CornerMonday, 1:10-2:00 p.m., 1 credit, International Perspectives Credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 3158 Pearson, Ref. No. 3552005.

Description: How much do you know about the problems that many people in the world face today? Are you aware of the plagues (organ traffic, modern slavery, child soldiers, forced prostitution, etc.) that are destroying the lives of millions of people around you? On the first day of this seminar, you will be given a photo that represents a random person suffering from one of today’s plagues. Who is this person? What is his/her problem? How come he/she has ended up in this situation? You will do research about the issue represented in the photo and present it in class. You will learn more in-depth about issues that, even if they don’t make the headlines, affect millions of people in the world. You could have been that person in the corner!

About the Instructor: Jean-Pierre Taoutel has been teaching at ISU since 1999 as a Senior Lecturer of French and an Instructor of Arabic. He was born in Syria and grew up in Lebanon before moving to France. He holds an M.A and a D.E.A in French literature from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France. He has taught several Honors seminars. Jean-Pierre enjoys traveling and he has been in over 40 countries.


HON 322W, Lessons from Positive Psychology on Happiness and SuccessTuesday, 2:10-3:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, Carver 0294, Ref. No. 3675005.

Description: Happiness and success are desired by nearly everyone. What is the relationship of happiness and success? How do they influence each other? This seminar draws from positive psychology and facilitates the exploration of happiness and success. The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor will serve as our primary reading. Additionally, we will experiment with and implement strategies that can promote happiness in our own lives.

About the Instructor: Sam von Gillern is a doctoral student studying Literacy Education and Teaching English as a Second/Foreign language. He is interested in issues related to educational access and literacy development of English language learners. He has taught Curriculum and Instruction 204, Social Foundations of Education in the United States; Psychology 131, Academic Learning Skills; and Human Sciences 150, Dialogues on Diversity at Iowa State.


HON 322Y, The Hunter Games: Finding Music Where You Least Expect It1st Half, Tuesday, 4:10-6:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 10, 246 Music Hall, Ref. No. 3725005.

Description: Since just about any material object can be used to create music, just about any natural or manufactured object can become an experimental musical instrument. Similarly, since just about any group of graphical figures can be used to express aesthetic concepts and guide actions in a performance, just about any found or uniquely drawn images can be used as musical notation. This seminar will examine the underlying design concepts of both musical instruments and musical notation, considering in turn how any object and image can create musical sounds and motivate musical ideas. You will also design and participate in a game, a kind of scavenger hunt for objects and images that can become musical. You will develop the rules for this game in response to assigned readings in simple acoustics, history and ethnographies of instruments and notations, and of course from your imagination and participation in collaborative brainstorming. You’ll keep a formal journal, build instruments, design notations, and give demonstrations in a festive event to be part of the Lipa Festival of Contemporary Music, March 3. No conventional music experience is required, but you must be available to participate in the March 3 festival.

About the Instructor: Christopher Hopkins, Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Center for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities, is a composer and performer with an avid interest in contemporary experimental music, including virtual reality applications, and the notations and performance of Medieval and Renaissance music. He previously taught Honors seminars and Frontiers of the Discipline courses in visual music and music from virtual reality.


HON 322Z, Socrates Café: It’s All about the QuestionTuesday, 10:00-10:50 a.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 8334005.

Description: The seminar is based on author Christopher Phillips’ book The Socrates Café. The cafés are designed to get people talking about philosophical issues. By means of the Socratic method, you’ll be encouraged to develop your views by posing questions, being open to challenges and considering alternatives. Through weekly readings, we’ll turn current events into questions to discuss in class. We will focus on the exchange of ideas and critical thinking.

About the Instructor: Laurie Smith Law, Administrative Director of the University Honors Program, has worked with high ability students for more than 15 years and has taught several Honors seminars. She has offered seminars on culture through celebrations, urban language and social discussion. With a background in student affairs and learning communities, Ms. Law has also traveled with ISU students on alternative spring break programs in Mexico and Belize. Her partner in this seminar is Anndrea Joiner, a senior in Architecture and participant in a past Socrates Café seminar.


HON 324A, In Pursuit of Art: Collectors and CollectionsThursday, 2:10-4:00 p.m., 2nd Half, 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1151 Jischke, Ref. No. 9808005.

Description: What is worth having, looking at, and enjoying? What is worth keeping? In this second-half seminar, we will look at the University Museums’ fascinating and diverse collections, from public art by world-famous artists, to ancient Roman glass, to drawings used by artists in the process of creation. The campus will be our classroom as we look at and for art, inside, outside, and in places you’d never expect. We’ll also read about museum collections and the collectors whose interests and passions gave us the art we have today. At the end of the seminar, you’ll give a presentation about something important to you – a phone, a toy, a piece of clothing? – and make the case for why it can (or will!) become part of your collection. Whatever your field of study, this seminar will make you a more acute observer and improve your visual literacy.

About the Instructor: Adrienne Gennett, Assistant Curator of Collections and Education with University Museums at Iowa State, received her B.A. in anthropology and art history from George Washington and her M.A. in the history of the decorative arts from Parson’s School of Design/New School. She has taught the History of Modern Design at Drexel University and Arcadia University, both in Philadelphia, and has worked at several museums on the east coast. She specializes in the decorative arts, but loves introducing a variety of art to students on campus and helping students connect learning about art with developing skills and tools needed in all fields of study.


HON 324B, View for a Few: An Up Close and Personal Look at the Criminal Justice System1st Half, Wednesday, 3:10-5:00 p.m., 1 credit, Enrollment limit: 17, 1155 Jischke, Ref. No. 9809005.

Description: Have you wondered what attorneys look for when picking a jury? Have you ever wished to venture inside a jail? Have you wondered what the criminal justice system looks like from the perspective of a victim? This hands-on seminar will examine these subjects, as well as assist you in developing a better grasp of the intricate workings of the court process, allow you to identify the courtroom players, and examine a case from the initiation of a charge through its disposition. It is anticipated that the class will take a 1 -2 field trips over the course of the half-semester, hear first-hand from individuals working in the field (attorneys/officers/advocate), and review films based on fictional and real cases. Reading materials will be provided in class.

About the Instructor: Mary Howell Sirna has worked as the Administrative Advisor to Iowa State’s Police Department since February 2013. She regularly trains and delivers legal updates to the department’s officers and provides outreach to the university and outside agencies regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, report writing, and legal standards for criminal and university proceedings. She was previously Assistant in the Story County Attorney’s Office (SCAO) for 13 years. During her tenure as a prosecutor, she specialized in victim cases including, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse and homicide. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College and University of Iowa College of Law, she previously co-taught an Honors Seminar on “Street Law.”