Spring 2021

Spring 2021 Honors Seminars

Seminar registration for the spring semester will open on Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at noon. Please contact Katherine Sterk (kasterk@iastate.edu) with inquiries.

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

Reference numbers for registration 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: Storytelling with Digital Maps: An Introduction to Geospatial Humanities - FULL
  • HON 322B: Public Monuments - FULL
  • HON 322C: Using Mathematics in Data Science - FULL
  • HON 322D: Exploration of Abdomenopelvic Pain - FULL
  • HON 322E: From Slavery to the Holocaust: Race, Violence, and the State, 1865-1945
  • HON 322F: The Social Psychology of Activism - FULL
  • HON 322G: Uncovering the Mysteries of Microbes - FULL
  • HON 322H: In the Heart of America: Filipino Literature and the "American Century" - CANCELLED
  • HON 322J: Hammer of the Gods: Religion and Popular Music
  • HON 322K: Global Groceries: Stories Behind Your Favorite Fruits and Vegetables - FULL
  • HON 322L: Everything is Fine: Exploring the Ethics in NBC's The Good Place - FULL
  • HON 322M: Gardens: Class, Race, & Power - FULL
  • HON 322N: Zombie Statistics: The Apocalypse and How to Avoid It
  • HON 322P: It Says What in the Constitution?! - FULL
  • HON 322Q: Andalucia Today - CANCELLED
  • HON 322R: The Art of Scientific Communication
  • HON 322T: Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • HON 322U: Legal Hemp Production: Potential and Constraints for Crop Production - FULL
  • HON 322V: Big Data & Analytics - FULL
  • HON 322W: Money Management - FULL
  • HON 322Y: Exploring Environmental Issues through Documentaries - FULL
  • HON 322Z: Christianity and Science - FULL
  • HON 324A: It's a Musical! Oklahoma to Hamilton to Hadestown - FULL
  • HON 324B: Human Trafficking 101
  • HON 324C: Musical World of Babies - FULL
  • HON 324D: Conflicts in the Middle East
  • HON 324E: Gaze into the Abyss: Monsters in Film - FULL
  • HON 324F: Personal Branding - FULL
  • HON 324G: Moving Past Bodice Ripping to Shredding the Patriarchy: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice - FULL
  • HON 324H: Music, Acoustics, and Architecture - FULL


Second Half Semester HON 322A, Storytelling with Digital Maps: An Introduction to Geospatial Humanities, W 2:15-4:05pm, Library 0032, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 10, Reference # 4651005

About the Course: In this seminar, you will be introduced to digital mapmaking as a method of storytelling. Through exploration of existing digital map projects and interaction with different mapping platforms, you will analyze and experiment with different modes of visualization and interactive narrative. We will discuss the process of finding current and historic data, what it means to define project purpose and audience, and ethical implications for the story maps genre. Assignments will include reflections on the course blog and a final project that tells a story of your choice using a mapping platform explored in the course. This seminar will approach geospatial technology largely from a humanities perspective and assumes no prior knowledge of mapping or GIS.

About the Instructor: Erin Anderson is a Digital Scholarship Librarian in the Digital Scholarship and Initiatives department at ISU Library where she supports and collaborates with faculty, staff, and students on digital projects including geospatial projects. Additionally, she has a background in American Studies with research interests in 20th century food and consumer culture and gender construction in advertising.


Full Semester HON 322B, Public Monuments, W 11:00-11:50am, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, US Diversity, Reference # 4652005

About the Course: Public monuments represent one of the most visible, and tangible, forms of a modern civilization’s understanding of its own past. Those monuments speak to the values of that society, or at least the values of the monument makers. In the United States, public monuments have often been erected at the intersection of power, politics, and race. This reflects the nature of the country’s history, and how narratives about the past can shroud events or experiences that are uncomfortable or challenge the dominant view. This course will consider the problem of monuments in the context of the current national dialog. We will examine the history of monuments, globally, as well as within the US, Iowa, and the ISU campus more specifically. We will explore the process by which monuments are planned, designed, and constructed, when that happens, and who gets to participate in those processes. We will consider current and past efforts to critique and remove or modify monuments, to re-inscribe or expand their messages, and think about the meaning of those efforts.

About the Instructor: Carlton is associate professor of regional planning. His research and teaching focus on the history of urban planning in the United States, regionalism, and land use. Ted is assistant professor of historic preservation. His research and teaching focuses on the intersection of heritage, gentrification, and public policy.


Full Semester HON 322C, Using Mathematics in Data Science, W 1:10-2:00pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 4653005

About the Course: The buzz word in the news, job boards, and science magazines nowadays are Data Science, AI, Machine Learning. What are these, and why are these terms appearing everywhere nowadays? We will discuss these terms in this class and find out why these terms are prevalent nowadays. We will discuss why we learn these topics and how to use them. We will also discuss how a simple idea of functions in Mathematics helps us to learn about Data Science and Machine learning. After this course, students will be able to see what kinds of Mathematics they will have to learn to be successful and competitive in today's job market.

DISCLAIMER - Students must have algebra skills equivalent to College Algebra (MATH 140). Students should be prepared to learn new material including some coding in Python using Jupyter notebook.

About the Instructor: Dr. Man Basnet is an associate teaching professor of Mathematics in the Department of Mathematics at Iowa State University. He teaches Differential and Partial Differential Equations, Calculus, and Data Science courses at ISU. Dr. Basnet graduated from Iowa State with a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and working on his Master's Degree in Computational Data Analytics degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. He works on Applied Mathematics and Data Science projects that use big data.


Full Semester HON 322D, Exploration of Abdomenopelvic Pain, R 2:10-3:00pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 4654005

About the Course: According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, and if it is severe, it might interfere with your daily activities. This seminar will focus on Abdominopelvic pain; a common condition perceived in both women and men and referred as pain located below the bellybutton between the hip bones. The pain frequently extends to the lower back with or without radiation into the thighs. During this course we will discuss the types of pain, how to differentiate between acute and chronic pain, various causes and conditions which lead to the perception of abdominopelvic pain, how to avoid its prevalence, and when you should seek medical attention. Students will be involved in project-based literatures and presentations of common diseases, affecting both males and females. By the end of the semester, students will attain a stronger knowledge of various cases, their management procedures, and preventative tactics for a longer healthier life.

About the Instructor: Hala Bastawros is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Genetic, Developmental and Cell Biology Department. She received her M.D. from Cairo University School of medicine, Cairo, Egypt and obtained the USA Medical Certificate. Dr. Bastawros practiced internal medicine for several years in many teaching facilitates. She taught clinical signs, pathophysiology, and the proper management of various diseases. Dr. Bastawros joined Iowa State University and been recruited to develop new courses for pre-health professional students. She developed and taught Bio 350 Clinical Oriented Human Anatomy, Bio 344 Human reproduction, and Bio 352 Microscopic Histology. Dr. Bastawros advised many medical students during their medical rotations, and continues guiding pre-heath interested students to pursue their future career. Dr. Bastawros is actively participating in the honors program, and honors students can take any of her regular courses for honors credit by completing a contract for more in-depth or independent work on a topic of interest.


Full Semester HON 322E, From Slavery to the Holocaust: Race, Violence, and the State, 1865-1945, R 9:30-10:20am, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, US Diversity, Reference # 4655005

About the Course: Racial violence and genocide have shaped modern global history and the experiences of marginalized communities. Together, we will investigate through a comparative framework the histories of Black, Latinx, Native, and Asian peoples in the United States with Jewish people in Europe, culminating in the Holocaust and World War II. We will analyze and critically evaluate how state power and individual racism manifest themselves in historical moments of racial violence. A final challenging goal of the seminar will be for us to explore the moral, spiritual, and ethical issues that lead to dehumanization, complicity, and resistance.

About the Instructor: Dr. Jeremy Best is a historian of modern Germany. His research is on the intersection of race, religion, and colonialism with a monograph on those topics entitled "Heavenly Fatherland" due out in spring 2021. At Iowa State he has taught courses on German, European, World, and Holocaust history. He has attended seminars at the Holocaust Educational Foundation and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. For more information visit his faculty bio: https://history.iastate.edu/directory/jeremy-best/. Dr. Brian Behnken is a historian who specializes in African American and Mexican American/Latino history. He has published widely in these fields as well as on nationalism and racial violence in the United States. At Iowa State he has taught courses on the Civil Rights Movement, recent American history, and American ethnic history. For more information visit his faculty bio: https://history.iastate.edu/directory/brian-d-behnken/.


First Half Semester HON 322F, The Social Psychology of Activism, W 12:05-1:55pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, US Diversity, Reference # 4661005

About the Course: What engenders some individuals to take direct action in the face of injustice? How do others justify inaction when faced with the same injustice? Why does the call for social change so often fall onto the youth? How has the ability to record everything instantaneously or to share a hashtag with millions of followers changed the methods and the meaning of activism? This class will use social psychological principles to address questions such as these. We will consider the underlying social, motivational, interpersonal, cultural, and generational factors that contribute to social and political engagement. The objectives of this course are to help students further develop critical thinking skills and to develop a deeper understanding of how psychological principles can be applied to broader social movements and systemic change.

About the Instructor: Abby Boytos is a doctoral candidate in the Social Psychology Program at Iowa State University. She earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and also holds a certificate in Quantitative Psychology. Ms. Boytos has also aided in the development and implementation of an Outreach program within her department aimed at informing the general public on current important psychological topics and has served as a cross-program graduate mentor for the undergraduate Summer Program for Interdisciplinary Research and Education (SPIRE). Her own research examines the social aspects of autobiographical memory and how the process of describing life experiences to others might change how we view those experiences, and ultimately, how we come to view ourselves.


Full Semester HON 322G, Uncovering the Mysteries of Microbes, T 4:10-5:00pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 4664005

About the Course: What are microbes? Are they germs that cause disease like the ongoing pandemic? Are they the fuzzy foes that grow on our food? The answer is yes, but they are and do so much more. In this course we will work together to uncover the many interesting interactions microbes have with humans. Our discussions will include the ongoing pandemic, microbes that have been engineered for war, how a fungus may have been responsible for the Salem witch trials, and why a doctor might purposely give you herpes. At the end of the semester we will have a better appreciation for what microbes can do to us, can do for us, and how we have manipulated them.

About the Instructor: Luke Bussiere is a postdoctoral scholar at the College of Veterinary Medicine with expertise in virology. He fell in love with microbiology during his freshman year of college and went on to earn his PhD in microbiology at Iowa State University. His research focuses on the cancer killing mammalian orthoreovirus and most recently on SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Apart from microbiology, Luke found he has a passion for teaching through his experiences instructing and mentoring others during his academic career.


CANCELLED - Full Semester HON 322H, In the Heart of America: Filipino Literature and the "American Century", W 12:05-12:55pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, US Diversity, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 4668005 - CANCELLED

About the Course: In this class, we will explore the post-World War II time period called "the American Century" by closely reading the work of two Filipino American novelists: Carlos Bulosan, who wrote America Is In The Heart (1946), and Elaine Castillo, who wrote America Is Not The Heart (2018). By reading these two authors in conversation with one another, we will cover a wide range of topics, including immigration and labor, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and democracy. In addition to close reading and learning about the historical contexts of these novels, we will also endeavor to craft our own creative responses to the present day as we live and study in the heart of America.

About the Instructor: Caroliena Cabada writes fiction and poetry about intergenerational conflict, environmentalism, and Filipino American families. As an instructor at Iowa State, she has taught English 150 and 250, as well as workshop sessions for English 207: Introduction to Creative Writing. She received the 2018-2019 Pearl Hogrefe Fellowship in Creative Writing, and her writing appears in Verse-Virtual, jmww, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Barren Magazine, and other places.


Full Semester HON 322J, Hammer of the Gods: Religion and Popular Music, R 2:10-3:00pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, US Diversity, Reference # 4678005

About the Course: Religion and Music are two areas that draw out a lot of emotion in human beings. This seminar will explore the ways that religiosity finds expression through popular music. We'll look at well-known and not so well-known examples of devotionalism and spirituality in rock, country, hip-hop, reggae and other kinds of music, both historical and contemporary. Along the way you'll learn a little bit about Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Rastafarian, Pagan and Vodou traditions. Students will be expected to spend time in class discussing these songs and weekly reading assignments, as well as outside class listening to songs and writing a few short reaction papers (1-2 pages) based on songs and class discussion.

About the Instructor: Christopher W. Chase is Associate Teaching Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies. He has published research on the role of Islam in jazz and folk music in Pagan traditions. In addition students regularly examine music in his classes on Religion in America, African-American Religious Experience and Goddess Religions courses. He earned his Ph.D from Michigan State University.


Full Semester HON 322K, Global Groceries: Stories Behind Your Favorite Fruits and Vegetables, T 2:10-3:00pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, International Perspective, Reference # 4679005

About the Course: Have you ever wondered how your favorite fruits, vegetables, and snacks came to line the grocery store shelves? Curious about who saved the avocados (and guacamole!) from the trash, or why all the bananas are the exact same variety? Ever thought about where some of your favorite chocolate, coffee, or wine comes from? Join us in this seminar to discover the fascinating stories behind the world and your favorite foods. Where did they come from? What are their cultural importance and what are global issues for the future?

About the Instructor: Kevin Duerfeldt is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Global Resource Systems (GRS) major and Department of Horticulture. Kevin's academic background and interests, are in public horticulture and how people interact with plants and landscapes both ornamental and edible. He teaches several courses in GRS: Introduction to GRS, a section of Issues in GRS, and co-leads a three course series on Creating School Gardens: Service Learning in Uganda. Kevin has also co-lead or participated in study abroad and service learning courses in the U.S. Virgin Islands, China, Brazil, and Costa Rica.


First Half Semester HON 322L, Everything is Fine: Exploring the Ethics in NBC's The Good Place, F 1:10-3:00pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 4680005

About the Course: Holy motherforking shirtballs—2020 really has been The Bad Place! As we enter 2021, let's examine what it means to be good people according to NBC's critically acclaimed sitcom, The Good Place. We'll cover the basics such as utilitarianism and Immanuel Kant's ideas on moral philosophy, but we'll also dive into discussions about what we owe to each other and how to not be an Arizona trash bag. Everyone hates moral philosophy professors, but luckily this instructor is just a linguist who wants to take this ethical trolley ride right along with you. Together we'll discover ways to be better smartbrained mortals, one Jeremy Bearimy at a time. (Bonus: If you didn't understand any of the references in this class description, you will by the end of the semester.)

About the Instructor: Emily Dux Speltz is a Ph.D. student in the Applied Linguistics and Technology program. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in TESL/Applied Linguistics from ISU. She also enjoys teaching English 150 and 250, working as a communication consultant at the Writing and Media Center, and serving as a senior graduate assistant for the Applied Linguistics program. As an undergraduate, Emily was in the Honors Program and enjoyed co-teaching section H1's seminar titled "Joe Biden: More Than Just a Meme." In her free time, she is an avid watcher of Mike Schur comedies, so this course is her chance to finally put this obsession to good use.


Second Half Semester HON 322M, Gardens: Class, Race, & Power, R 3:40-5:30pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspective, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 4681005

About the Course: This course is about the meanings of gardens. Specifically, it is about how gardens have reflected cultural norms, class, race, and power across cultures and time. Pleasure gardens, to distinguish from utilitarian gardens, impart subtle power over people, eliciting a broad range of emotions – from owe, to reverence, to privilege, to entertainment. Gardens also embody a multitude of meanings, ranging from the myth of the Garden of Eden, to the subjugation of nature, to the benevolence of humankind toward planet Earth. Yet, all gardens are means of social order and political control. Using a sample of representative gardens across cultures and time you will learn to interpret gardens as a mix of idyllic crave, cultural construct, and corporeal pleasure. The sample includes gardens from ancient Babylon, ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Medieval China and Japan, Italian Renaissance, French Baroque, English Enlightenment and Romanticism, and Modern America, among others. You will study how owners of gardens (and parks) in various cultures and epochs asserted their power, class distinction, and privileged races through different landscape and garden design means and tastes.

About the Instructor: Dr. Mira Engler is a professor the Director of Graduate Education at the Department of Landscape Architecture. Engler teaches landscape architecture and urban design theory and history and has published extensively on public art, the aesthetics of landscape, waste landscapes, and postwar urban representation. Currently Engler studies the history of ideas, themes, and debates about color in landscape design from the eighteenth-century onward.


Full Semester HON 322N, Zombie Statistics: The Apocalypse & How to Avoid It, T 11:00-11:50am, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 4687005

About the Course: Zombie statistics are figures that, although they have no or little basis in fact, are repeated frequently by various institutions or interest groups. They simply will not die. Zombie statistics may sometimes even serve as part of the justification for the development of government programs or the passage of policy by Congress. Zombie statistics are usually shocking in nature and have appeared on the websites of even well respected entities, such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Gates Foundation. We will examine a number of particular cases of zombie statistics, attempt to identify common characteristics and examine the ways in which these cases were exposed. We will also discuss methods you can use to avoid perpetuating potential zombie statistics in your own careers. Zombie statistics are not confined to any particular political or advocacy group, and may appear in efforts to promote causes that most people would find to be worthy, such as reducing the level of human trafficking in the world, just as they may appear in attempts to cast a negative light on proposals by de-emphasizing the need for action on some issues, such as climate change.

About the Instructor: Mark Kaiser is Professor and Director of Graduate Education for the Department of Statistics. He joined Iowa State in 1991, has published articles on both the theory and practice of statistics, and has worked with scientists in academia, government, and national research laboratories. His interests include statistical models, the philosophy of statistics, and the communication of science.


First Half Semester HON 322P, It Says What in the Constitution?!, W 3:20-5:10pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, US Diversity, Reference # 5111005

About the Course: Let’s take a deep dive into the U.S. Constitution: what it says, how it works, and the effects its Amendments have had on the rights of individuals during the past 231 years. This seminar will explore the Articles and Amendments that have particularly affected how individual liberties have been held back or aided by various actions and interpretations. We’ll examine U.S. Supreme Court cases, federal laws, and societal impacts. Each week will include required readings and a quiz about those readings. Classes will be mainly discussion and the Socratic Method may be utilized. This seminar will include discussions of slavery, discrimination, inequality, and other topics that may be upsetting.

About the Instructor: Amanda Knief is the director of Iowa State University's Lectures Program. She received her B.S. in Journalism and Communication from Iowa State and her J.D. from Drake University Law School. She worked as legislative counsel for the Iowa Legislature before working in Washington, D.C. as a nonprofit lobbyist, nonprofit legal director, and analyst for the Library of Congress' Congressional Research Service.


CANCELLED - Full Semester HON 322Q, Andalucia Today, W 11:00-11:50am, Pearson 1106, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspective - CANCELLED

About the Course: Andalucia, the southern region of Spain, has come to embody the romanticized images of what we think of Spain; the sun-drenched beaches of the Mediterranean coast, white-washed villages, bullfights and flamenco. While these images reflect what many envision when they think of Spain, Andalucia is a region unique to the rest of Spain, with a rich history and culture all its own. In this seminar we will explore this region, its regional history, culture and the contemporary issues that it faces that distinguish Andalucia from the rest of Spain, exploring the mystique of the romantic notions of Andalucia and discussing the deeper realities that lie behind these images in order to separate reality from romanticism.

About the Instructor: Erik Ladner is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Spanish. Dr. Ladner received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Literature from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006. Dr. Ladner has studied and researched abroad in several locations in Spain. At ISU Dr. Ladner has taught SPAN 324 - Spain Today numerous times. He has also offered an Honors Seminar on Al-Andalus, exploring the medieval history of Andalucia, as well as a short-term study abroad program traveling to Andalucía and Morocco with a group of ISU students in 2018.


Full Semester HON 322R, The Art of Scientific Communication, T 9:30-11:20am, Kildee 0105, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Reference # 5117005

About the Course: Effective communication is one of the most important skills of a successful scientist. The significance of scholarly communication has long been appreciated by the scientific community. However, in recent decades, the importance of public engagement has become increasingly recognized. Educating, informing and raising awareness of science-related topics has become a critical political, ethical and public health issue. During this seminar, we will explore the importance of scientific communication and best practices for effective oral and written scientific communication. We will compare and contrast effective strategies for communicating with scientific peers, and for public engagement. Students will have the opportunity to prepare a scholarly review article and popular press article, as well as a scientific presentation tailored to either a scientific or ‘lay’ audience.

About the Instructor: Jodi McGill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine. Her research interests include cellular immunology and immunity to respiratory infections in animals and humans. Stephanie Hansen is a Professor in the Department of Animal Science. Her research is focused on trace mineral biology and beef feedlot nutrition. Both instructors are passionate about scientific communication and educating undergraduate and graduate students for successful careers in the STEM fields.


First Half Semester HON 322T, Introduction to Asian American Studies, M 2:15-4:05pm, Lagomarcino 2485, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, US Diversity, Reference # 2968005

About the Course: Can you name a famous Asian American who isn't an athlete or Hollywood star? Asian Americans are the least represented ethnoracial group in U.S. history curriculum, and rarely appear in popular media in ways that aren't stereotypical or in supporting roles. Yet Asians have lived and worked in what we now know as the United States since before the founding of the nation. This seminar provides an overview of Asian American studies, including major events in Asian American history and contemporary issues related to representation, identity, education, and politics. This discussion-based seminar includes book clubs and students will focus on a specific topic related to Asian Americans in the past or present for a final presentation.

About the Instructor: Noreen Naseem Rodríguez is an assistant professor of elementary social studies in the School of Education at Iowa State University and serves as co-chair of the Asian American Pacific Islander Faculty-Staff Association and advisor to the Filipino Student Association. Her research interests include Asian American education, educators of color, the teaching of difficult histories, and critical uses of diverse children’s literature. She has developed Asian American studies curriculum in Texas and is an advisor for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.


Full Semester HON 322U, Legal Hemp Production: Potential and Constraints for Crop Production, T 9:30-10:20am, Horticulture 0138, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 13, Reference # 2977005

About the Course: With the recent changes in Iowa laws (and those of surrounding states) regarding the production and use of Cannabis spp., there are opportunities for many to explore a new, legal enterprise. In this 1-credit course, Drs. Chris Currey and Matt O'Neal will explore this topic. Each instructor will provide a lecture and lead discussions on topics within their area of expertise. Students will be given an overview of the biology, ecology and production of Cannabis sp., along with the many legal, industrial and cultural factors that influence cannabis production. Note, this course is not an endorsement of cannabis production, but rather an exploration of a topic that may have substantial impacts to many aspects of the agricultural community. Students that successfully complete the course will be able to (1) Describe the origins, classification, morphology, life cycle, growth and development, physiology, and chemical makeup of Cannabis spp. (2) Describe laws and regulation pertaining Cannabis production, distribution and use. (3) Locate, analyze and use information on the legal production of Cannabis spp. (4) Present a balanced and objective view on the production legal Cannabis spp.

About the Instructor: Dr. Currey and Dr. O'Neal have taught a version of this course in the spring of 2020. Dr. O'Neal is conducting field research regarding the insect pests that attack cannabis. Dr. Currey trains undergraduates and graduates on the topic of greenhouse production of plants, which is a common practice for legal cannabis production in the US.


Full Semester HON 322V, Big Data & Analytics, W 8:50-9:40am, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 3552005

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, PhD, joined Iowa State in 2016 as the founding Director of Student Affairs Assessment and Research in the Division of Student Affairs. For over 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.


First Half Semester HON 322W, Money Management, R 9:30-11:20am, Virtual, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 20, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 3675005

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 help students learn to effectively manage student loans, credit card debt, create balanced budgets, develop good saving habit, 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 - Professor of Teaching Finance department


Second Half Semester HON 322Y, Exploring Environmental Issues through Documentaries, Virtual, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Online – Asynchronous, Reference # 3725005

About the Course: In this online seminar we will explore current issues related to overpopulation, overconsumption, industrial food production, climate change, and species extinction. We will analyze these issues through award-winning documentaries, lectures, readings, discussions, and student presentations. You will gain a better understanding of some global environmental problems, learn how to reduce your ecological footprint, and practice your critical thinking skills via documentary critiques.

About the Instructor: Lidia R. Skrynnikova is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. She has taught all levels of undergraduate courses including Animal Ecology and Wildlife Management, Introduction to Renewable Resources, Foundations in Natural Resource Policy and History, and Controversial Issues in Natural Resource Management. She also developed new courses for WLC and NREM: Environmental Issues in Modern Russia, Influential Environmental Thinkers in Russia and the U.S., and Seminar on Social Justice and Environmental Sustainability.


First Half Semester HON 322Z, Christianity and Science, R 11:00am-12:50pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 8334005

About the Course: Religion and science are two of the greatest cultural and intellectual forces that influence mankind. They are generally interested in different aspects of reality. Science addresses “how” questions while religion answers “why” questions. However, an area of common interest is the origin and history of life. This seminar will explore the interaction and boundaries between science and theology in this area of common interest. Topics and questions addressed included: • Are Christianity and science friends or foes? • The nature and limitations of science. • The history of life on earth: The views from science and the Bible • What about human origins? • Does science and/or evolution rule out God? • Can something about God be known from nature? We will explore these topics through the writings of well-known scientists and theologians with expertise in these areas. Class time will generally be spent discussing weekly reading assignments.

About the Instructor: Ann L. Smiley is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and is also on faculty in Neuroscience. She directs the Neuromotor Control and Learning Research Laboratory studying how the brain controls movement, specifically in Parkinson’s disease and, currently, in Developmental Dyslexia. As a teacher, she has a passion to engage her students to think, integrate, and question. One question worth examining is one’s personal worldview. This course provides input for this process. In her personal examination and questioning, she has found science and the Christian faith to be compatible.


Full Semester HON 324A, It's a Musical! Oklahoma to Hamilton to Hadestown, R 4:10-5:00pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 0865005

About the Course: You may love Wicked and treasure your autographed playbill from Hamilton, but how much do you really know about the genres surrounding Broadway musicals? Can you deconstruct a musical and compare them to one another? From Oklahoma! to Hadestown, this one-credit seminar focuses on the core pieces of the Broadway musical. We will do a deeper dive in Hamilton, as it is An American Musical. “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” In this course, we seek to understand why certain genres have “succeeded in business” while others have failed trying. We will explore the Great White Way and the business trends of theater extending from the Golden Age of Musicals into the present-day. How are shows financed and how do they earn a return to their investors? We might be able to do a Q&A with a two-time Tony winning producer to discuss how shows are produced and find financial success. “I believe” that you are going to enjoy this seminar. “Do not throw away your shot!”

About the Instructor: Dr. Law is the director of the University of Florida Honors Program, which is the best job on any campus. Despite being a lifelong musical theatre buff and a decent baritone, he ended up as an electrical engineer. He performed in high school, and occasionally sings with a local ensemble. At UF, he has led courses on Chernow’s Hamilton, Carole King’s Autobiography, and Musical Genres. He is a proud alum of Iowa State Honors. He is an associate producer of the hit Off-Broadway show Puffs and Co-Producer of Broadway’s Slava’s Snowshow. He has been to 41 different shows in New York in the last five years.


Full Semester HON 324B, Human Trafficking 101, W 9:55-11:45am, Pearson 3125, 2 Credits, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 16, US Diversity, Reference # 0866005

About the Course: This seminar will explore the phenomenon of human trafficking within the United States and beyond. Students will learn about the history of and concepts that define trafficking; the intersectionalities of race, gender, nationality, etc.; legal and political ramifications of trafficking, and how they can make a difference in their community by educating peers about this crime against humanity. Guest speakers include trafficking and abuse survivors as well as representatives from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa, ISU Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery, etc.

About the Instructor: Dr. Alissa Stoehr is an Assistant Teaching Professor in 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.


Full Semester HON 324C, Musical World of Babies, R 4:10-5:00pm, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 0867005

About the Course: Music is innate; everyone is 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, the benefits of a rich musical environment can be observed 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 and experience early childhood music pedagogy. 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: Christina Svec is the Assistant Professor of Music Education at Iowa State University specializing in elementary general music and secondary choral methods. She serves as Director of Choirs for the Ames Children’s Choirs where she conducts four choirs consisting of singers ages 7-18. In addition to serving IMEA as Research Chair, she holds positions on various boards including ECMMA, OAKE, and, most recently, as the Early Childhood Music SRIG Chair-Elect for NAfME. Dr. Svec’s research interests include research methodology, research pedagogy, and singing voice development. She contributed a chapter to The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, Vol 1: Development, and her journal publications can be found in Kodaly Envoy, Update: Applications of Research in Music Education and Psychology of Music.


Full Semester HON 324D, Conflicts in the Middle East, M 1:10-2:00pm, Pearson 3149, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspective, Reference # 0868005

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, Associate Teaching Professor of French and Arabic, has been teaching at ISU since 1999. 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, Gaze into the Abyss: Monsters in Film, F 3:20-4:10pm, Virtual, 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 0869005

About the Course: What monsters lurk in the dark corners of human imagination? What do they reveal about our own inner fears or desires? In this seminar, you will critically analyze monster and horror films, spanning nearly a century of cinema. You will practice skills used to dissect and interrogate movie monsters, understand the movies’ unique historical context, and learn the fundamentals of what makes monsters monstrous. You will sharpen your rhetorical and critical analysis skills in this class as well as come to better understand how fear, uncertainty, and even hope can shape the monsters we see on screen.  

About the Instructor: Michael Wettengel is a Creative Writing and Environmental graduate student at Iowa State University. He received his Master’s in Literature in spring 2019, also at Iowa State. His work and research focus on how elements of modern speculative fiction, particularly horror and fantasy, have roots in the fears, hopes, and monsters from our past.


First Half Semester HON 324F, Personal Branding, M 9:55-11:45am, Jischke 1151/55, 1 Credit, First Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 15, Reference # 0870005

About the Course: Personal Branding can be used for fun and for profit. In this course, you will have the opportunity to explore your reputation, mission, vision and values through your eyes, and through the eyes of those around you. We will examine tools for shaping and sharing your personal brand and work specifically on how you can apply your personal brand when applying for scholarships, awards, internships, fellowships, etc. You can expect to use social media tools for personal branding as well as applying your personal brand as you practice writing about yourself for applications, essays and interviews. This class is workshop style and requires a lot of introspective thinking.

About the Instructor: Erin Wilgenbusch, MA, APR is a nationally-accredited public relations professional who has been teaching public relations at the Greenlee School for 18 years. Among the courses she teaches is Brand Storytelling, which includes a segment on personal branding.


Second Half Semester HON 324G, Moving Past Bodice Ripping to Shredding the Patriarchy: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice, T 5:10-7:00pm, Student Innovation Center 4202, 1 Credit, Second Half Semester, Enrollment Limit: 16, US Diversity, Reference # 0871005

About the Course: The romance genre is a billion dollar industry that outperforms all other book genres. It’s also a genre that centers the experiences, interests, and pleasure of women and people from marginalized spaces. How does a book with a guaranteed happily ever after serve as a tool for justice? This discussion-based seminar will dive into where romance novels hit the mark, where they fail, and how one of the largest segments of publishing industry has the power to change minds, hearts, and structures.

About the Instructor: Dr. Denise Williams-Klotz is the assistant director in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, has worked in higher education doing social justice education for over a decade, and is a romance novelist with her debut novel, "How to Fail at Flirting", published by Berkley Romance on December 1, 2020. She’s been interested in romantic and social justice happily ever after since she wrote her first story in the 2nd grade. Emily Wilcox is the assistant director for First-Year Programs in the University Honors Program and has been enthusiastically reading romance novels for several years. She is looking forward to working with Dr. Williams-Klotz for the second time since they were Undergraduate Assistants for ISU's Honors Program in 2003.


Full Semester HON 324H, Music, Acoustics, and Architecture, R 11:00-11:50am, Virtual (some in-person meetings at ISU Music Building Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall), 1 Credit, Full Semester, Enrollment Limit: 17, International Perspective, Online – Synchronous, Reference # 0872005

About the Course: How does sound and/or music create structure? How and why are sound-absorbing or reflective materials chosen? How do structural and architectural details affect the creation of music, shape, volume (size and loudness), quality, clarity, augmentation, or absorption of reverberant sound and vibrations? How do we measure the flow of energy in sound fields? We will explore the interrelationship of sound and space via field experiences, discussions, readings, recordings, and research presentations by guests and class members. We will ask many questions, and investigate international theory, history, and practice including case studies of concert halls, opera houses, places of worship, health care centers, university environments, and musical instruments.

About the Instructor: Dr. Miriam Zach, Ph.D. is a musicologist, organist, harpsichordist, pianist, author, and professor. She is the inaugural Charles and Mary Sukup Artist in Organ teaching organ, harpsichord, and music history courses at Iowa State. She is also Director of Music-Organist at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Founding Director of international festivals of women composers (iwclib.org), Dean of the Central Iowa American Guild of Organists, and enjoys playing chamber music as a member of the Alachua Consort. From 1996-2016 at the University of Florida she taught interdisciplinary Honors Music and Health, undergraduate and graduate Music History, organ, and harpsichord, and was Professor of the Year 2000-01. She co-edited the book Resonance: Essays on the Intersection of Music and Architecture (2007), recorded the CD Hidden Treasures: 300 Years of Organ Music by Women Composers (1998) in Princeton University Chapel, and can be heard on Pipedreams National Public Radio (2007, 2010, 2013, 2020).