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Fall 2021 Course Details

Coming to Honors this Fall!

Unexpected Connections courses provide unique opportunities to learn and master interdisciplinary learning! As an Honors student, you will take three of these classes, learning to solve problems through the synthesis of diverse disciplines. Through discussions with your peers and teachers, you will begin to understand how mastering other subjects can help you solidify your understanding of your own.

Each class is team-taught by two faculty from very different fields (think Russian literature and the geography of the Western United States, or quantum mechanics and World War II era history). Another perk of taking these classes is that each class fulfills two GE requirements simultaneously. With Fall 2021 registration carts opening today, take a moment to peruse the available topics this semester in these amazing classes. We’re bringing back some favorites from previous semesters and are excited to welcome some new Honors faculty and themes to Honors!

Curious about what to expect? Here is what past students have said about the Unexpected Connections courses:

  • “Upon enrolling and taking this class, I was given the opportunity to see the world through many different pairs of eyes. These “eyes” not only showed perspective, but also gave me the opportunity to understand more deeply.” (Sierra-Rose Milam)
  • “One thing I loved...was the small class sizes—it gave me an opportunity to really get to know my professors and classmates on a more personal level. I also really liked that the things we learned are applicable to real life.” (Alixa Brobbey)
  • “As we learn about how the two subjects are interwoven, I get to learn how to look at things differently that can be both interesting and challenging.” (Morgan Chase)

Ready to dive in? Here’s a preview of the Fall 2021 offerings. Look for more complete course descriptions under the “Courses” tile on the Honors website here.

HONRS 220 Biology-Letters
X-Mutants IRL: Evolution from Darwin to Dothraki
Nicole Bay/Julianne Grose
What does the story of Little Red Riding Hood have to do with tortoises on the Galápagos Islands? They both evolved! Learn how the evolution of the human species is mimicked in how languages change over time.
We recently caught up with professors Julianne Grose and Nicole Bay, who explained the adventures planned for their Honors 220 class in the fall. To watch their video introduction, click here.

HONRS 221 Biology-Arts
Discovering Yourself in Your Place
George Handley/Clint Whipple
Where do you belong in the world, and what do you owe the Earth for the sense of belonging it provides? Learn to develop a sense of place through exploring local flora, understanding biodiversity, and reaffirming an affection for the nature around you.

HONRS 226 Social Science-Letters
The Art of Transformative Storytelling
Jamin Rowan/Mat Duerden
Stories aren’t just for desperate parents at bedtime or campers hoping to spook their friends around a fire--they’re for everyone. Use stories to tell meaningful experiences that will “help [you] make sense of the world and [your] place in it” (author Emily Esfahani Smith).

HONRS 290R Various Topics
Algorithms and the Creativity of Constraints and Connections (Languages of Learning-Letters)
Natalie Blades/Mark Olivier
What if rules are the key to creativity and freedom? Learn to see how artists use algorithms and presets to create masterpieces through data analysis and probability.

Flourishing through Emotional, Mental, and Social Well-Being (Biology-Social Science)
Brian Hill/Carl Hanson
How can we encourage each other to truly flourish? Learn to apply design thinking and positive psychology principles to foster emotional, mental, and social well-being among individuals, families, and communities.

Remember, you must complete the prerequisites and be a committed Honors student to enroll in these courses. If you have any questions about registration, prerequisites, or Honors requirements, email an Honors advisor, call, or stop by the Honors Program office (102 MSRB).