Spring 2019 Honors Seminars

Seminar Registration for Spring Semester is currently OPEN.

The descriptions below indicate whether a seminar counts toward the International Perspective (IP) or US Diversity requirements.

Reference numbers can be found below. Should you try to enroll in a course that is full, you will be placed on a waitlist. If openings become available after a seminar is full, Honors staff will contact those on the waitlist.

Make sure you plan ahead and take at least two Honors courses and two Honors seminars or the number required 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 322A: New Frights: Horror in Today’s World: Cancelled 
  • HON 322B: Alternative Photography: Full
  • HON 322C: Food Animal Production Medicine
  • HON 322D: Everyday Leadership
  • HON 322E: The Happiness Class: Full
  • HON 322F: Breaking the One Rule of Fight Club: Discussing When and Why Peer Aggression Occurs
  • HON 322G: Listening with your Eyes: Creating Music Visualizations: Full
  • HON 322H: Archives Investigations: Cancelled
  • HON 322J: Comedy College: Full
  • HON 322K: Persuasion and Misinformation: The Science of Fake News
  • HON 322L: Performing Arts Explorations – Live!: Cancelled
  • HON 322M: Here, There and Everywhere: A retrospective of the Beatles (r)evolution
  • HON 322N: The Psychology of Video Games
  • HON 322P: A Guide to the Only Good Architecture in Iowa
  • HON 322Q: Studies in Improving Water Quality
  • HON 322R: Big Data and Analytics
  • HON 322T:  Money Management
  • HON 322U: Psychology in the Movies: Full
  • HON 322V: Biochemistry of Drug Addiction: Full
  • HON 322W: Age of CRISPR
  • HON 322Y: What the Tech: A Critical Look at Modern Technology: Cancelled
  • HON 322Z: Human Trafficking in the United States and Beyond
  • HON 324A: Butt Dials & Booty Calls: Human Relations in the Digital Era: Full
  • HON 324B: Mythbusters: Hysteria and other Human Sexuality Myths: Cancelled
  • HON 324C: The Musical World of Babies
  • HON 324D: Conflicts in the Middle East: Full
  • HON 324E: That’s Me in The Corner
  • HON 324F: The Amazing Python Programming Language: For fun, for Science or Whatever: Full
  • HON 324G: X-ray Vision with Sound Waves - It is Possible?: Cancelled
  • HON 324H: Does It Need to Look Good? Aesthetics and Sustainable Architecture: Cancelled

1st Half Semester HON 322A, New Frights: Horror in Today’s World, W 2:10-4:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, New REF# 4651010 Cancelled

About the Course: Throughout history, horrifying stories have been used to warn people about the dangers of current events--from wild animals to disease. In today's world, we now have social horror warning us about the effects of Othering and systemic social issues--from Get Out to District 9, these texts tackle complex social problems through the gaze of horrors and monster. In this class, we will be viewing films and reading texts that use these ideas as well as writing creative pieces that incorporate "the new horrors."

About the Instructor: Chloe N. Clark teaches in the English Department at ISU. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in Apex, Booth, Little Fiction, Uncanny, and more. She writes about horror for Nerds of a Feather and her book, The Science of Unvanishing Objects, was released last year.


Full Semester HON 322B, Alternative Photography, M 12:10-1:00pm, Design 0003, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4652005 Full

About the Course: Students will learn about Alternative photography. Examples might include cyanotype, pinhole cameras, stereoscopic photography, and van dyke. History of the processes will be covered as well as modern day artists and uses. Students will be expected to try and learn the processes in class. They will learn how to and be expected to engage in a successful class critique. As a team, students will have a final exhibition, the subject and location will be curated by the students.

About the Instructor: Clark Colby is a professional tinkerer, with a love for learning new things and exploring the world. Currently teaches digital photography in the Art and Visual Cultures department on campus. Works extensively with the ISU Extension and Outreach program to develop learning opportunities and curriculum for 4-H Youth across the state of Iowa in the Arts, Communication and Design. Teaches ceramics at the Des Moines Art Center and works as an architectural photographer around Iowa. Spends many days renovating his 1904 house in Ames, has rearranged the garden constantly and removed all the grass he legally can and replaced it with native pollinators and productive vegetable gardens. Raises backyard chickens and harvests around 300 pounds of delicious produce from his yard annually. Just converted a cargo van into a solar electric camper van and took its first journey over 10,000 miles to the Arctic Ocean and back this summer.


Full Semester HON 322C, Food Animal Production Medicine, R 4:10-5:00pm, College of Veterinary Medicine Room 1485, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4653005

About the Course: Food Animal Production Medicine will explore variability of opportunities available to food animal veterinarians. Focus will be on how food animal veterinarians are an integral part of maintaining the health and wellbeing of production animals to provide a safe and wholesome food products. Topics will include animal health, production management, welfare and antimicrobial usage. The seminar will be discussion oriented on topics relevant to current production practices. Potential for visits to local farms to obtain more understanding of the different facets of food animal production medicine.

About the Instructor: Grant Dewell is the Beef Extension Veterinarian and also teaches feedlot production medicine in the professional veterinary curriculum. He has conducted research on infectious diseases, welfare and antimicrobial resistance. Additional colleagues with expertise in swine and poultry production medicine will be utilized in the course.


1st Half Semester HON 322D, Everyday Leadership, M 4:10-6:00pm, 3219 Sukup Hall, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4654005 

About the Course: What is leadership? How do you identify your leadership potential? How do we lead everyday? This seminar will emphasize the servant leadership model and the principles of strengths based leadership. The seminar will start by exploring servant leadership and the formal versus informal leadership roles and opportunities. Then the role of how our individual strengths impact our leadership style and how we can use those strengths to make a positive difference in our personal and professional responsibilities. We will discuss formal and informal leadership examples from history and current affairs. By the end of the semester, you will be in a stronger position to recognize and then act on leadership opportunities to put into practice everyday leadership.

About the Instructors: Steven A. Freeman, University Professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering is a past president of the ISU faculty senate and has worked in the President’s Office for the last five years as the Faculty Advisor to the President. Dr. Freeman’s teaching and research is in the areas of occupational safety, scholarship of teaching and learning, and professional development. Michael D.K. Owen, University Professor Emeritus of Agronomy is a past president of the ISU faculty senate. Dr. Owen is an internationally recognized expert in herbicide-resistant weeds. His scientific publications and extension programs have changed crop production practices around the world.


1st Half Semester HON 322E, The Happiness Class, F 9:00-10:50am, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, IP, REF# 4655005 Full

About the Course: What makes a happy life? Answering this question will be the focus of this seminar. We’ll review the current literature of measuring life-satisfaction and happiness as well as explore ways to increase happiness at micro and macro levels. Happiness across cultures will be examined, including a specific look at Scandinavian nations, which consistently rank at the top of world happiness scores. This course will specifically focus on human science related domains for measuring and understanding happiness (i.e., child development and parenting, social capital, positive psychology, education, and public policy); however, broader explanations will also be explored (i.e., community development and planning, government, and sustainability).

About the Instructor: Amanda Hardy Hillman is a faculty member in the Human Development and Families Studies department. She has previous taught seminars for the Honors Program as well as advised honors students on their projects. In 2018, Dr. Hardy Hillman developed a study abroad program to Denmark exploring happiness and the cultural concept of hygge. The development and preparation for that program led her to delve deeper into the issue of happiness and life-satisfaction. Dr. Hardy Hillman is also a licensed mental health counselor and has a small private practice in addition to her work at the University. As such, she is often working with clients who are seeking to find their own happiness. Her research emphasis has been on childbirth, child development, parenting, and the intersection of these three. Additionally, Dr. Hardy Hillman professes to be a qualitative research nerd and enjoys teaching the graduate research methods course on this subject for the HDFS department. Dr. Hardy Hillman also teaches undergraduate courses for the department on a variety of topics including child development, family process, and social welfare. She also works with the Gerontology Graduate Program.


1st Half Semester HON 322F, Breaking the One Rule of Fight Club: Discussing When and Why Peer Aggression Occurs, M W 11:00-11:50am, Lagomarcino Hall 1520, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4661005

About the Course: Why do some kids behave aggressively? Is it due to the family environment or are some kids just born bad? These are just some of the questions that we will address in this seminar. This seminar will examine the main concepts, causes, and correlates of peer aggression. We will read and discuss various theoretical explanations for aggression drawing on both social psychological and developmental frameworks as well as current research on individual and contextual risk factors in peer aggression. We will also discuss various methods of assessing aggression including strengths and weaknesses. By the end of the seminar, you will have a better understanding of when and why peer aggression occurs including forms and functions of aggression, gender differences, cognitive- emotional influences, and risk factors.

About the Instructor: Nicole Hayes is a Doctoral Candidate in Social Psychology program at Iowa State University. Ms. Hayes earned her Master Degree in Psychology, with a research focused, from the University of Massachusetts. Ms. Hayes currently teaches an on-line section of Developmental Psychology, has worked in the Academic Success Center, and has co-led Dialogues on Diversity. As a doctoral candidate, Ms. Hayes is involved in various research projects. Her research focuses on understanding social-cognitive, affective, personality, and familial risk factors associated with conflict and aggression in both peer and romantic relationships. She has a passion for teaching and believes that making connections between the classroom and the real-world helps students understand that what they are learning is useful beyond school.


Full Semester HON 322G, Listening with your Eyes: Creating Music Visualizations, T 3:10-4:00pm, Music 056, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 12, REF# 4664005 Full

About the Course: If you love the sensory and thought-provoking effects of music, and would like to learn to interpret these in a fun and unusual way, this seminar is for you. Analytic thinking about music normally involves extensive verbal description, with extensive use of traditional music notations. However, there is another way that is more artistically direct as well as more broadly engaging to the public: Visual Music. In this seminar you will interpret music by translating what you hear into the shapes, colors, textures, and motions of animated computer graphics. You need not be already acquainted with techniques of computer animation or a practicing musician to succeed in creating elementary musical visualizations—all the programming modules will be provided to you to use in hands-on labs with expert assistance.

About the Instructor: Dr. Hopkins researches creative applications of computer technologies especially as these extend Classical Music models into new experimental domains, for example electroacoustic and visual music. This research includes creating graphical notations for composition of electroacoustic music, interactive multimedia systems to visualize analyses of musical harmony. In past Honors Seminars, Dr. Hopkins has engaged students with musical virtual reality and creating music from found objects as both instruments and musical scores.


1st Half Semester HON 322H, Archives Investigations, T 10:00-11:50am, Parks Library 405, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4668005 Cancelled

About the Course: The course will turn you into detectives as you learn how to research in the archives and share the stories that unfold from your work. You will work hands-on in a learning lab setting with rare books, manuscripts, photographs, maps, and artifacts that represent a cross-section of our collections. The course will culminate in an outreach event for the ISU community, featuring your findings in the form of mini-exhibitions. At the end of the course, you will have an introductory understanding of unfamiliar handwriting, will be able to contextualize historical documents, analyze photographs, properly handle fragile and rare materials, and communicate your understanding of this research to your peers. All sessions will draw upon the collections of primary resources in the ISU Special Collections and University Archives.

About the Instructor: Petrina Jackson is the Head of Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University. She previously worked at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia as Head of Instruction and Outreach and began her archives career at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library, where she served as Senior Assistant Archivist. Before she changed her career to archives, she taught English at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois for 7 years. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Iowa State University and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.


Full Semester HON 322J, Comedy College, T 6:10-8:00pm, Jischke 1151, 2 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 20, REF# 4678005 Full

About the Course: 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 Instructors: 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 has served as the Teaching Assistant for all ISU Comedy College classes. He performed at the first American Economics Association stand-up comedy session in San Francisco.


2nd Half Semester HON 322K, Persuasion and Misinformation: The Science of Fake News, T R 10:00-10:50am, Hamilton 0161, 1 Credit, 2nd Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4679005

About the Course: Why is fake news so prevalent in today’s society? Why do so many people believe things which are not true? How do we distinguish real from fake news? What can we do to combat misinformation? This seminar will examine the answers to all of these questions. It will apply psychological research on persuasion, media effects, and communication to help you understand the effects of fake news and other misinformation. We will have the chance to examine examples of popular fake news stories, reflect on our own news consumption, dive into case studies of both accidental and intentional misinformation, and even generate our own fake news in order to better understand where misinformation comes from.

About the Instructor: Kelly Kane is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology. Her research focuses on the antecedents and consequences of attitude change, including topics such as narrative transportation, media effects, belief perseverance, dual-process persuasion, and political attitudes. She is currently working on her dissertation, a series of studies examining the factors that increase the persuasive power of fake news stories.



1st Half Semester HON 322L, Performing Arts Explorations – Live!, T 4:10-6:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 20, REF# 4680005 Cancelled

About the Course: Would you like to attend events at Iowa State Center, but can't find the time? Wondered how the arts intersect with your academic field? Through performance attendance, discussion, tours and readings, you’ll have an opportunity to experience international music, a musical and a modern dance production. You’ll understand the importance of these art forms and explore the connections between the arts and your chosen curriculum. And we bet that having had a taste of events at Stephens, you’ll be on the lookout for more!

This course may have a fee associated with performance attendance.


Tuesday, January 15, meet at Stephen Auditorium: 4:10-6:00 pm, Introductions, and tour of Stephens Auditorium (backstage/tech).  Guest speaker Tammy Koolbech, Executive Director, Iowa State Center.

Tuesday, January 22, meet in Jischke 1151: 4:10-6:00 pm, Performance Talk (Kinky Boots)

Guest Speaker:  TBA

Tuesday, January 29, meet in Jischke 1151: 4:10-6:00 pm, Performance Talk (Cirque Mechanics) Guest Speaker:  TBA

Thursday, January 31, at Stephens Auditorium: 7-9:30 pm, Pre-show discussion & Kinky Boots

POST #1:  Thoughts/reactions to guest speakers and show posted to Canvas by Tuesday, January 5, 2019.

Monday, February 4, at Stephens Auditorium: 7-9:30 pm, Pre-show discussion & Cirque Mechanics. 

POST #2:  Thoughts/reactions to guest speakers and show posted to Canvas by Tuesday, February 12, 2019.

Tuesday, February 5, meet in Jischke 1151: 4:10 – 6:00 pm, Discussion of performances and reflections, why in Ames? 

Tuesday, February 12, meet in Jischke 1151: 4:10-6:00 pm, Performance Talk (King Singers)

Guest Speaker:  TBA

Thursday, February 14, at Stephens Auditorium: 7-9:30 pm, Pre-show discussion & The King’s Singers

POST #3:  Thoughts/reactions to guest speakers and show posted to Canvas by Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 1151, Jischke 1155: 4:10 – 6:00 pm, Discussion of selected performances and art forms, First presentations on links between seminar/performance arts and students’ fields of study.

Tuesday, February 26, meet in Jischke 1155: 4:10 – 6:00 pm, Final presentations and wrap-up. 

About the Instructors: Laurie Law, director of Honors, and Sara Compton, Iowa State Center Outreach Manager, will facilitate this seminar, including in-class discussions. Laurie has led Honors seminars on a wide variety of topics. Guest speakers will appear in the classroom or via Skype, and additional ISC staff will offer a backstage tour.


1st Half Semester HON 322M, Here, There and Everywhere: A Retrospective of the Beatles (r)evolution, T 6:10-8:00pm, Morrill Hall 2030, 1 Credit additional 1 Credit for Study Abroad Trip, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 20, IP, REF# 4681005

About the Course: The Beatles have influenced generations of musicians and music fans since their first album release in 1963. This seminar will explore the compiled works of The Beatles albums, TV appearances, and movies. Students will survey 1960's culture through the lens of a Beatles album and explore how The Beatles music and band personalities helped shape a generation's understanding of Eastern religion, recreational drug use, and the 60's counter-culture. Students who register for the study abroad experience will travel to London and Liverpool, England from March 14-March 24, 2019. Your Ticket to Ride begins in London as we explore British culture and trace the Beatles rise to fame via the long and winding road stretching from Penny Lane to Abbey Road. We will take a Magical Mystery Tour through Liverpool, visiting the childhood homes and stomping grounds of the Fab Four. Our journey concludes in London with an analysis of the Beatles Revolution of the British Music Experience.

About the Instructors: Jason Chrystal has a Ph.D. in History. He serves as the undergraduate academic adviser for the Department of Political Science at Iowa State University. Dr. Chrystal has taught courses on American history, intellectual history, and the history of technology and science. Jennifer Leptien has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies. She is the Director of Learning Communities at Iowa State University. An avid music fan, Dr. Leptien 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.


Full Semester HON 322N, The Psychology of Video Games, M 2:10-3:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 4687005 

About the Course: Video games have quickly emerged as one of the most dominating and ubiquitous forms of entertainment in the last half-century. From Pong, to Fornite, or even Farmville, interactive entertainment has permeated almost every facet of our lives. But what makes video games unique as a mode of art? Why do we like them so much? Do violent games have negative effects? What does the advent of VR mean for gaming? In this class, we will explore all of these questions and more as we dive into the latest research and theories behind video games and why we play them.

About the Instructors: Andreas Miles-Novelo is a second-year graduate student in Social Psychology and Human-Computer Interaction. His research focuses on virtual reality, gaming, and if skills can be transferred from virtual environments to real-world scenarios. Johnie Allen is a doctoral candidate in Social Psychology and is in his fifth year at ISU. His research also looks at gaming but is more specific to gaming addiction, morality, and avatar identification. Both students are mentoring under Dr. Craig Anderson, a world-renowned psychologist whose research on gaming and aggressive behaviors has greatly impacted the field.


2nd Half Semester HON 322P, A Guide to the Only Good Architecture in Iowa, W 6:10-8:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 2nd Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 5111005

About the Course: The seminar is concerned with ‘seeing’, with Iowa, with architecture, with ‘photographing a point of view.’  Specifically and unapologetically, it is concerned with the architecture of Iowa. After describing in detail the natural and man-made forces that gave rise to building in Iowa, the seminar proceeds to describe specific building types, certain movements in architecture germane to Iowa, the subtleties of architecture theory and how theories value buildings, the workings of representation and imaging in the making of monuments, and a few of the more significant works of architecture, mural-making, landscape, and bridge-building that surround us in Ames and in nearby Boone and Des Moines. Students will learn about the environments in which they live, about architecture, and about space. They will learn how to see with fresh eyes. There will be several fieldtrips to architecture in Ames, in Marshalltown, and at Drake University in Des Moines. Guest speakers associated with these trips are inevitable.

About the Instructor: Dan Naegele is an architect and an associate professor of architecture at Iowa State where he has taught for over seventeen years.   For more than forty years, he has traveled extensively in America and throughout the world.   He has taught in England, Italy, and China, and holds degrees in architecture from the University of Cincinnati, the Architectural Association in London, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania where he wrote his dissertation on ‘architecture and photography’ under the supervision of the renowned architectural historian Joseph Rykwert.  His writings on architecture, photography, and art have been have been published around the world and translated into eight languages.  His recent books include The Letters of Colin Rowe and Naegele’s Guide to the Only Good Architecture in Iowa.  Seeing architecture is his hobby.   


Full Semester HON 322Q, Studies in Improving Water Quality, M 3:10-4:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 5113005

About the Course: Water is an indispensable commodity for the survival of living organisms. Although 71% of the earth’s surface is covered with water, not all the available water can be directly used. The advent of industrialization in developing countries and improved farming techniques worldwide has adversely affected the quality of water. At first, we will address the various causes of water pollution. Later part of our semester, we will focus on certain upcoming scientific approaches and strategies explored by researchers to improve the quality of water. The class will be interactive and discussions among students and instructor will be encouraged. Upon completion of the course, students will have broad knowledge of water contamination followed by some detailed techniques used to purify water. A short group presentation will be delivered by the students on any water purification techniques discussed in class. The instructor will provide guidance in making this presentation.

About the Instructor: Sonal Padalkar is an Assistant Professor in the Department Mechanical Engineering. Her research interests are in materials design, fabrication and characterization for energy related applications, sensing and water quality assessment. She teaches topics related to thermodynamics and manufacturing, since 2014.


Full Semester HON 322R, Big Data and Analytics, R 9:00-9:50am, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 5117005 

About the Course: Everything you do produces data. A lot of data. Collectively, we create nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day (one quintillion bytes = one billion gigabytes). Where does all that information go? How is it used? How can it be used? How should it be used? In this seminar, we’ll read about and discuss the concepts of big data and analytics as they relate to students, commerce, healthcare, communications, and society. We’ll examine the promise and perils of big data and analytics, along with their current application. Further, we’ll spend some time considering the ethics of data collection, manipulation, and use. Ultimately, we’ll ponder four key questions: What does the advent and growth of big data mean for us? What issues will arise as more data are collected and pressed into service? How can we use data that influences the world positively? How should – not can – data be used, and to what ends?

About the Instructor: Matthew D. Pistilli joined Iowa State in 2016 as the founding Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Research in the Division of Student Affairs. For nearly 20 years, Matt has focused on creating and assessing conditions and environments that positively affect college student success. A recognized expert in learning analytics, Dr. Pistilli has published and presented internationally on the implementation of analytics in higher education and the ethics of data use. He grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish and psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University, a master's degree in college student affairs and counseling from Purdue University, and a doctorate in higher education administration, also from Purdue.


1st Half Semester HON 322T, Money Management, R 3:40-5:30pm, 3164 Gerdin, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 24, REF# 2968005 

About the Course: This course is designed to help students acquire sound money management skills. It will include a series of seminars featuring experts in the field of finance. Students will have an opportunity to directly interact with the finance professionals and also learn from their lectures. The objective of this course is to help students learn to effectively manage student loans, credit card debt, create balanced budgets, develop good saving habits, identify profitable investment options, and follow proper risk management strategies. The last 20 minutes of each session would be open to discussions and questions.

About the Instructor: Shoba Premkumar is a lecturer at the College of Business, Finance department. Guest speakers will include: Chad Olson – Assistant Director Office of Financial Aid ISU, Tom Coates – CEO Consumer Credit of Des Moines, Rick Reger – Agent American National Insurance Co., Mitch Peterson – Branch Manager Stifel Nicholas & Co., Jake Zehr – Wealth Management Advisor TIAA-CREF


1st Half Semester HON 322U, Psychology in the Movies, W 10:00-11:50, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 2977005 Full

About the Course: In this seminar, we will view films whose characters and plot lines illustrate various psychiatric disorders, such as depression or substance abuse. We will discuss, both on the Canvas online system as well as in person, the (in)accuracies these movies present with regard to various disorders and also learn about the scientific facts associated with the disorders covered.

About the Instructor: Dr. Loreto Prieto is a Professor of Psychology at Iowa State. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, he has conducted research in the area of education and training in psychology for almost 25 years. He has always fancied himself an “arm chair” film critic; in another life he went to film school and directed Oscar-winning movies. He (sometimes) enjoys seeing how psychology is represented in contemporary movies.


Full Semester HON 322V, Biochemistry of Drug Addiction, T 10:00-10:50, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 3552005 Full

About the Course: The opioid crisis in the Unites States has reached record levels of overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 with devastating consequences for communities. In this seminar will explore and discuss the science behind drug addiction. The goal is to better understand the chemistry of drug synthesis, the biochemical effects of these molecules and the neural circuits of addiction. We will also discuss the current research strategies against drug addiction.

About the Instructor: Julien Roche earned his Ph.D. in 2012 from the University of Montpellier in France and joined the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology as an assistant Professor in 2016. His current research projects are focused on the biochemical and biophysical characterization of neural pathways involved in mental disorders and drug addiction.


1st Half Semester HON 322W, Age of CRISPR, R 10:00-11:50am, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 3675005

About the Course: In the past 5 years, CRISPR technology has revolutionized genome editing for research labs. Beyond the experts, CRISPR technology is available for classroom training and DIY science enthusiasts. Several references to CRISPR in the mainstream media and pop culture show the impact of this new technology. The goal of this seminar is to understand the science behind this technology and its various applications, examine media and pop culture coverage, and discuss the ethics of its use. We will learn to critically evaluate both the scientific literature and mainstream media coverage of CRISPR. By the end of this seminar, we will be able to discuss the potential of this technology, differentiate science from science-fiction, and distinguish reliable media coverage.

About the Instructor: Dipali Sashital is an assistant professor in the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology. She obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and performed postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley and The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla. Her research focuses on natural CRISPR systems and their use in biotechnology. Karthik Murugan is a graduate research assistant in Dr. Sashital’s lab. He got his Engineering degree (B.E) in Biotechnology and is currently working towards his PhD in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Karthik is interested in understanding and improving the specificity of Cas9 and Cas12a that are currently used for various biotechnological applications.


Full Semester HON 322Y, What the Tech: A Critical Look at Modern Technology, W 3:10-5:00pm, Jischke 1151, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 3725005 Cancelled

About the Course: Is social media the root of all evil in our society? Is it the savior of democracy and free speech? Can people really be addicted to their phones? What’s going to happen to all the cab drivers when self-driving cars arrive? Modern technologies play a prominent role in our society, and in this seminar you will sharpen your ability to engage with questions like these. We will present a variety of perspectives that you can use to analyze and evaluate the technologies in your life. We will also critically examine the arguments that people often make about technologies so that you can recognize if someone has a good point or if they’re full of hot air. Students will be expected to read a popular science book of their choice that deals with technology in society. 

About the Instructor: Anna Slavina earned her PhD in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University with a focus on the cognitive psychology of technology. She is currently a postdoctoral research associate working on improving undergraduate research at Iowa State and teaches psychology at DMACC. Jacob Pleasants earned his PhD in Science education from Iowa State University. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher working on improving engineering education in K-12 schools.


Full Semester HON 322Z, Human Trafficking in the United States and Beyond, W 4:10-6:00pm, Pearson 2131, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, US Diversity, REF# 8334005

About the Course: This seminar will explore the phenomenon of human, sex, and labor trafficking within the United States and beyond. You will learn about the history of and concepts that define trafficking; the intersectionality of race, gender, nationality, etc.; legal and political ramifications of trafficking, and how you can make a difference in your community by educating peers about this crime against humanity. Guest speakers include representatives from the Central Iowa Service Network Against Human Trafficking, Teens Against Human Trafficking, Youth and Shelter Services, ISU Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, etc.

About the Instructor: Dr. Alissa Stoehr is a Lecturer in the Sociology Department and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Her research interests include human trafficking, women’s and gender studies programs at community colleges, child support and welfare policies in the state of Iowa, racism within intercollegiate athletics, and work-life balance issues affecting female PhD students at Iowa State.



1st Half Semester HON 324A, Butt Dials & Booty Calls: Human Relations in the Digital Era, T R 2:10-3:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 0183005 Full

About the Course: Through music, film, television, and short fiction/essays, we will investigate the ever-evolving relationship between technology and intimacy (sex, sexuality, romance, and relationships).

About the Instructor: (Shelby) Rae Stringfield obtained her BA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee. She is currently pursuing her MFA at Iowa State University. Her areas of interest include contemporary literature, television, and film.



2nd Half Semester HON 324B, Mythbusters: Hysteria and Other Human Sexuality Myths, T R 11:00-11:50am, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 2nd Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 0184005 Cancelled

About the Course: In this seminar, we will explore various myths that are commonly believed in the United States. We will explore how these myths have developed over time and the current state of miss held beliefs surrounding human sexuality. These myths will be busted through analysis of pop culture including magazines, movies, music, and other popular media in combination with current ground-breaking research in the field. We will learn how to critically analyze commonly held beliefs about human sexuality as well as determine the real influence these beliefs have on people.

About the Instructor: Greta Stuhlsatz is a graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies and has over a decade of experience studying human sexuality. She received her master and bachelor degrees from Central Washington University where her thesis focused on relationship development from hooking-up behaviors. Greta currently teaches an online section of Human Sexuality and her research focuses on hooking up, relationships, and LGBT well-being, and how religion is impacted by or impacts sexuality. She is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and enjoys discussing the current state of sexuality and sexual behavior because of the broad reaching affects it has on many different groups of people.



Full Semester HON 324C, The Musical World of Babies, M 1:10-2:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 0185005 

About the Course: Music is innate; we were all born with musical capabilities. Development of musicality is dependent upon early learning experiences. Studies have suggested that music learning may even begin earlier than birth. After birth, we can observe the benefits of a rich musical environment through the musical play of babies and the musical play between caregivers and babies. The purpose of this class is to explore the research regarding prenatal and early childhood music learning. Specific topics will include music aptitude, early childhood music policy, prenatal-postnatal music learning, and early childhood music pedagogy. Scarves and egg shakers included!

About The Instructor: Dr. Christina Svec is the Assistant Professor of Music Education at Iowa State University specializing in elementary general music and secondary choral methods. Prior to receiving a PhD in Music Education from the University of North Texas, she taught elementary music and directed church choirs in Texas. She has also taught early childhood music in both Texas and Michigan. Dr. Svec’s research interests include research methodology, research pedagogy, and singing voice development. She has presented at conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. Her publications can be found in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and Psychology of Music.



Full Semester HON 324D, Conflicts in the Middle East, W 2:10-3:00pm, Pearson 3158, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, IP, REF# 0186005

About the Course: What are the current political conflicts in the Middle East? How to understand the wars in the Middle East? The seminar will examine the current political conflicts and wars in the Middle East. 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). Students will understand the “complicated Middle East” and how these conflicts are impacting 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 45 countries.



Full Semester HON 324E, That’s Me in The Corner, M 2:10-3:00pm, Pearson 3158, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, IP, REF# 0187005

About the Course: How much do you know about the problems that many people in the world are facing today? Are you enough aware of all the plagues (organ traffic, modern slavery, children soldiers, forced prostitution, etc.) that are destroying the lives of millions of people around you? On the first day of the 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 be asked to do a 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. In fact, with some bad luck, 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 45 countries.



Full Semester HON 324F, The Amazing Python Programming Language: For Fun, for Science or Whatever, W 1:10-2:00pm, Gilman 1051, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 0188005 Full

About the Course: You want to program but do not have time (or motivation) for a full course? You want to apply programming skills to your major? You want to learn the most popular and fastest growing computer language? This seminar is then for you. You will learn the beautiful python programming language in a relaxed and fun environment where we will develop code in every single seminar. All majors are welcome, as python is used nowadays in almost all disciplines that require some quantitative analysis: This includes economics, hard sciences, math or humanities and linguistics. I will start from the very beginning and no previous experience with any other language is required.

About The Instructor: Alex Travesset, Full professor in the department of Physics and Astronomy has been programming in python for the last ten years. He leads a research group in computational nanoscience and has developed several software packages widely used by the physics/chemistry/materials science community.



1st Half Semester HON 324G, X-ray Vision with Sound Waves - It is Possible? , T R 1:10-2:00pm, Howe 1220, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, REF# 0189005 Cancelled

About the Course: We will discuss two very different types of energy propagation through matter. Jenny will describe how sound energy moves in waves by vibrating molecules of the medium being investigated. Scott will explain the ways x-ray photons interact with atoms and how it is the photons that do NOT interact that allow x-ray vision. When you have a basic understanding of each phenomena, we will compare & contrast each and discuss how imaging is accomplished. We will discuss capabilities and limitations in several different fields, including medicine and manufacturing. A tour of several hi-tech facilities at ISU will be arranged. As time permits, we will view diverse sample images such as: car & airplane parts, pig bones, wasps, owl pellets and others.

About The Instructors: Scott has a BS and MS in Nuclear Engineering from ISU. He has worked with different types of ionizing radiation throughout his career, but most relevant is the 15 years he conducted applied research in x-ray non-destructive evaluation. Scott will share his understanding of how only a small fraction of x-ray photons pass right through most materials, but still interact with imaging detectors to give physicians and engineers x-ray vision. Jenny has a BS in Engineering Science/Acoustics, a minor in mathematics from ISU and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University. Jenny’s work experience was as an engineer and then a test engineer in gear manufacturing and half-shaft products for Delphi Automotive and then a noise, vibration, harshness (NVH) test engineer at Eaton Automotive.



1st Half Semester HON 324H, Does It Need to Look Good? Aesthetics and Sustainable Architecture, R 5:10-7:00pm, Jischke 1151, 1 Credit, 1st Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, IP, REF# 0190005 Cancelled

About the Course: I am passionate about creating sustainable buildings. I care about the actual performance of buildings, the social science of motivating lifestyle change, and the educational role of design, A current direction in my work that adds a discussion to sustainable design, however, is one that is largely absent within the engineering-dominated field in architecture: the potential for an ecological aesthetics of architecture. This class will explore how sustainable and green architects think about aesthetics in architecture. It will examine how architecture might ask us to criticize contemporary conditions and how aesthetic activities can spill over to a criticism of such environmental conditions. While sustainable development in its full spectrum of definition provokes designs that aim to protect future generations. This project will examine contemporary architects’ potential political and ecological responses to current environmental and reevaluates the role of aesthetics in enhancing lives and living conditions in the now and the future.

About The Instructor: Andrea Wheeler is an Assistant Professor of Architecture in the College of Design where she teaches classes in Green and Sustainable Design and is a studio instructor.