The following criteria will be considered for registration for all Honors Seminars:
  1. Seniors will be given priority to register for Honors seminars.
  2. We will consider the student’s progress towards the completion of their Honors Baccalaureate (i.e. number of Honors credits taken, second language fulfillment status, and a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and above).
  3. The seminar is advantageous towards the student’s field/s of study and/or future career plans.

Fall 2017 Honors Seminars

 

Honors Read

HONR 494-001 (4 Credits)
Prerequisites: UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Monday/Wednesday, 4:10 - 6:00 pm
Place: Quad F, Room 105
Instructor(s): Professor Kent Davis, Honors College

Course Description:

This seminar will offer students the opportunity to contribute to the selection of texts for "Hike and Read," as well as "Texts and Critics: Imagination and Knowledge", respectively. Seminar participants will each identify and champion a text for possible inclusion in the Honors curriculum for the upcoming academic year. Through vigorous research and debate, students will collaboratively create guidelines for selecting the texts. Seminar goals: the synthesis of new and unexpected texts, real-world exploration of the intersection between pedagogy and pragmatism, and engaging a community of enthusiastic, diverse, upper-division students who are excited about challenging and inspiring their fellow Honors students.

Professor Davis has taught in the Honors College since 2009, and has spent most of his life making stories as a writer, actor, and game designer. His novel for kids, A RIDDLE IN RUBY was released by HarperCollins’ Greenwillow Books in September, 2015. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Theater from UC, San Diego. 


Death Becomes Us: The Mystery of Mortality and the Need for Meaning 

HONR 494-002 (4 credits)
Prerequisites: 
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:    T/R 12:10 – 2:00 pm
Place:     
CHVR 131
Instructor:  Dr. Thomas P. Donovan, Honors College 

Course Description: 

This seminar seeks to critically explore the role of mortality awareness in the creation of cultural meaning systems. We will explore how our beliefs and values provide a crucial antidote in the face of mortality and against feelings of insignificance and meaninglessness, while also contributing to creating "made-up minds" in the face of uncertainty. We will also explore how challenges to our systems of belief often inspire defensive and aggressive responses to this perceived mortal threat and the implications for our present global reality. This course will examine how humans across cultures manage the enormity of our awareness of finitude and the efforts to give meaning to our temporary existence. 

Thomas Patrick Donovan has been teaching graduate and undergraduate students since 2004, and has served as a Faculty Fellow in the Honors College at Montana State University since 2011. He holds a doctorate in Psychology and is particularly interested in the existential questions regarding living a meaningful life that inform the human condition the world over.   

 

Design Thinking for Our Community

HONR 494-004 (4 credits)  
Prerequisites:  
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301 
Time: Monday/Wednesday, 11:00-12:50 pm
Place:  
 Cheever 102
Instructors:  
Professors Amanda Rutherford, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Brad Stanton, Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

Course Description:

In this upper division seminar course, we explore the process of design thinking in our multidisciplinary class through solving real world problems in our community.  In Spring 2017, we will be applying the design thinking process to complex problems facing our MSU community and beyond.  Examples of past projects are widely varied ranging from re-designing Move-In day on campus (see http://www.montana.edu/news/16319/honors-college-students-design-plan-to-improve-move-in-day) to assisting community non-profits like GVLT, CHP and the Community Cafe to solve tough problems facing their organizations.  While the course is open to all honors students, we are especially seeking those students in humanities, basic science, arts and architecture and business majors. The seminar is capped at 16 and no more than 50% of its students will be from any given college. 

Mandy is a full time instructor and a graduate of the MSU Honors program (2001).  Currently, she teaches Multidisciplinary Engineering Design in the College of Engineering and is the faculty point of contact for the newly launched MSU Makerspace.  Prior to MSU, she was a Technical Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

 

Shakespeare in Performance


HONR 494IA-001 (4 credits)
Prerequisites: UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 4:10 – 6:00 pm
Place: Quad F, Room 1
Instructor: Professor Joel Jahnke, former Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Parks

Course Description:

"Discovering Shakespeare". This seminar will focus on the great works of William Shakespeare. Not only will these pieces be dissected from an academic and literary standpoint, but they will be analyzed in the way the Bard intended them to be, through performance. Led by Joel Jahnke, former artistic director of Montana's Shakespeare in the Parks for over thirty years, this seminar will analyze the works of Shakespeare from all facets including dramaturgical analysis, analysis from the actor’s perspective, including verse work and choices of interpretation, and directorial interpretation of the plays. Shakespeare's intent was never to have his plays read, but to rather be shared through performance. This course will therefore culminate in an end of the semester performance. 

Professor Jahnke is a Professor Emeritus in Theatre Arts at MSU and is  a past recipient of the Phi Kappa Phi Fridley Teacher of Distinction Award as well as being honored with the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce Award of Excellence in Teaching numerous times.   He served as the Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks from 1980 until his retirement and has extensive experience in both professional and academic theatre having acted in, directed and/or designed well over 300 productions.

 

Storytelling as a Survival Tool


HONR 494IA-002 (4 credits)
Prerequisites: UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:  Wednesday, 10:00 am – 1:05 pm
Place:  Quad F, Room 105
Instructor: Professor John Heminway

Course Description:

"Story telling makes us human. Great stories ennoble us, bonding us to the past and guiding us into the future. Stories prolong our lives and enhance our friendships. They make us cry and dance, laugh, love and fume. They define us as villains or heroes, failures or wunderkinds, lovers or loners. They pick apart our frailties and celebrate others’ strengths. They help us dream, improve, fail and die either miserably or magnificently. In short, they serve as templates of life. This is a seminar about one genre of storytelling— the feature film. Over the course of 15 weeks, we will study notable examples in order to understand varying techniques of storytelling. Members of the seminar will be tasked with adapting to film, in outline form, one of two contemporary books."

Professor John Heminway is an internationally acclaimed film maker and author.  Dr. Heminway was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from MSU last year. You might remember his latest National Geographic Film, "Warlords of Ivory", which was part of the Honors Presents lecture series in 2016. 

 

The Art and Science of Medicine

HONR 494RH-01 or 494RS-01 (4 credits)
Prerequisites:
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:   Tuesday/Thursday, 3:10 – 5:00 pm
Place: 
Quad F, Room 105
Instructor: 
Professor Don Demetriades, Department of History and Philosophy and University Honors

Course Description:

Designed for students from all academic disciplines, this seminar will focus on just how broadly and profoundly contemporary medicine touches all of our lives.  It will examine the underlying principles of medicine through the lens of literature, science, art and related fields.  The why of suffering and disease, the how of healing, and the role both patient and physician play in individual health will be explored.  Medical professionals will be invited to visit the seminar.

Professor Demetriades is the past coordinator of the humanities curriculum for the Inteflex Program (Integrated Pre-med/Med Program) at the University of Michigan.  He currently serves as an Assistant Teaching Professor for the MSU Honors College (nine years) and the History and Philosophy Dept. (fifteen years). He holds a BA in Philosophy and Classics (Michigan), an MA in Philosophy (Michigan), and was a Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy (Michigan).  He is also a veteran of thirty-six marathons and twenty ultra-marathons. 

 

Spring 2018 Honors Seminars

 

Design Thinking 

HONR 494-001 (4 credits) 
Prerequisites: 
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Monday/Wednesday, 10:00-11:50 am
Place:  
 Cheever 102
Instructors: 
Professors Amanda Rutherford, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Brad Stanton, Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

Course Description:

In this upper division seminar course, seminar students will learn to expand their abilities to solve real-world design problems by applying the methods of Design Thinking.  Students will collaborate in multi-disciplinary groups to design and implement human-centered solutions.  Students will utilize campus innovation resources such as the DSEL space in Cheever Hall and the MSU Makerspace.  While ALL majors are highly encouraged to register for this seminar, we especially seek arts, humanities, business and health sciences majors.  The seminar is capped at 18 and no more than 50% of its students will be from any given college. 

Mandy is a full time instructor and a graduate of the MSU Honors program (2001).  Currently, she teaches Multidisciplinary Engineering Design in the College of Engineering and is the faculty point of contact for the newly launched MSU Makerspace.  Prior to MSU, she was a Technical Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Brad taught high school English for five years before going back to school for engineering where he studied the bidirectional reflectance distribution of various snow surface morphologies as part of a NASA funded research project.  He now teaches for MSU in both the engineering and honors colleges. He is interested in inspiring students to explore interdisciplinary design through collaborative efforts between educators across all colleges and see the MakerCAT space as an excellent focal point for this effort.

 

Critical Perspectives in Leadership

HONR 494-002 (4 credits) 
Prerequisites: 
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 5:10 – 7:00 pm
Place:  
Quad F, 105
Instructor: 
Professor Richard Broome, Jake Jabs College of Business & Entrepreneurship

From local news to world events, leadership issues permeate every aspect of our daily lives. The purpose of this course is to encourage students to develop and exercise critical thinking skills as they discuss and examine the many significant, and diverse issues and realities that impact leadership in the 21st century. Student will explore:

--Historical and contemporary theories of leadership
--Current technological advances and their impacts on leadership
--Recent societal changes that impact leaders
--New definitions of power within a cyber world
--The impact of evolving values and ethics on leadership decision-making
--Gender, race and the cultural intelligence aspects of leadership
--The looming leadership takeover by the Millennial Generation

During this course, students will be encouraged to embrace the belief that their generation does have the potential to transform the world via their understanding of the leadership issues they face.

Professor Broome teaches courses about leadership, management, entrepreneurship and professionalism and has almost 19 years of significant leadership experience with Fortune 500 companies, holding leadership positions at NASDAQ OMX, Computer Sciences Corporation and Booz Allen Hamilton.  He also served in the U.S. Army for 27 years retiring as a full Colonel. He was asked by 2 Presidents to be on their White House staff at the National Security Council where he served on each President’s crisis management team during major international crises. He has a B.S. degree in Psychology from Utah State University, an M.S. degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, and an additional M.S. degree in Information Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a prolific writer with two suspense novels and over 60 published articles and major industry conference presentations to his credit.

 

Studies in World Building

HONR 494-003 (4 credits)
Prerequisites: 
UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Tuesday/Thursday 3:10 – 5:00 pm
Place:  
Quad F, 105
Instructor:  Professor Kent Davis, Honors College

Course Description:

Students will explore the design and analysis of fictional worlds for narrative media, such as novels, films, graphic novels, and plays. Through collaborative examination of these narrative works the class will delve into the incorporation of cross-disciplinary elements—including mythology, history, anthropology, ethics, politics, biology, economics, geography, and technology—in the construction of fictional settings, as well as to scrutinize their impact on our own world.

In the current professional and academic climate, where the abilities to creatively problem-solve and initiate innovative content are increasingly primary indicators of success, much can be learned from an active examination of the constructs of other innovative thinkers. An equally large amount can be learned by honing one's own creative processes.

The final benefit of such a study is that it can open student architects, scientists, teachers, engineers, and yes, even writers, to the possibility that the way the world is, is not necessarily the way that it could be.

Kent Davis has taught in the Honors College since 2009, and has spent most of his life making stories as a writer, actor, and game designer. His novel for kids, A RIDDLE IN RUBY is slated for release by HarperCollins’ Greenwillow Books in September, 2015. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA in Theater from UC, San Diego.

 

America’s Evolving Identity and the Refugee Experience

HONR 494IH-001 or HONR 494RH-001 (4 credits)
Prerequisites:   UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:   Monday/Wednesday  2:10 – 4:0 pm
Place:  Wilson 2105
Instructor:  Professor Jaime Jelenchick

Course Description:

This seminar will focus on America’s evolving identity and the refugee experience.  We will explore how American culture and identity have been shaped and influenced by refugees from a historical perspective, and we will examine the contemporary role of mainstream media in understanding the global refugee crisis through studying personal stories, as well as creating our own.  A key component of the course will be a BreaksAway: Refugee Focus trip with the Office of Student Engagement at MSU during spring break (March 2018), in which students will volunteer with a refugee resettlement agency, Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest.  During the trip, students will help refugees from troubled nations throughout the world establish new lives in Phoenix, Arizona, as well as create short documentary pieces that explore the hopes, dreams, and fears of refugees and their host communities.  Upon the conclusion of the semester, students will share their creative work and experiences with the MSU community.  Note: There is a $350 Trip Fee for this course, which will cover travel, food, lodging, and programming costs associated with the BreaksAway trip.

Professor Jaime Jacobsen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose films explore the intersection of science, art, and culture.  In addition to making movies, Professor Jacobsen has taught as an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Notre Dame University-Louaize in Beirut, Lebanon, from 2013-2016, as well as in the Honors College at MSU.  She is a graduate of MSU’s MFA program in Science & Natural History Filmmaking.

 

Human Nature

HONR 494IH-001 (4 Credits)
Prerequisites: UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time: Wednesday, 3:10 - 6:20 pm
Place: Wilson Hall, Room 2274
Instructor(s): Professor Robert Rydell and Distinguished Guests

Course Description:

What exactly is human nature and why do answers to that question matter so much? This seminar examines the problem of human nature from multiple perspectives in the sciences, the humanities, the social sciences and the arts with a view towards encouraging students to “dive deeper” (the phrase is from Moby Dick) into issues that have been fundamental to thinking of ourselves—and our future—as human beings. To what extent do we have free will? How important is “nurture” to understanding our “nature” and vice versa? How do ideas about human nature inform thinking about government and society? Why do ideas about human nature change? Does human nature itself change?

The seminar will meet once a week for three hours and will be organized around three thematic clusters: 1) Human Nature: Our Bodies, Our Minds, Our Selves; 2) Being Human: Nature and Culture; 3) Human Nature and the Body Politic. Each cluster will be divided into four seminar meetings between students and visiting faculty with the final week of each cluster being devoted to synthesis. For each of the seminar meetings with visiting faculty, students will prepare a 1-2 pp. set of questions along with comments about why their questions are significant. At the end of each cluster, the seminar will meet to summarize and synthesize the arguments that have been presented. For a final project, students will work in groups of five and will prepare a creative project for presentation that elucidates the themes of the course.

Professor Rydell is an historian who specializes in the study of American thought and culture. He is especially interested in understanding the intersections between science, the arts, and the humanities and the questions these areas of inquiry raise about the human prospect. Foundational to understanding the human prospect is trying to understand human nature--that is, our complex biological and cultural identities and our capacities to change ourselves and our world for the better or otherwise.

 

Information Ethics and Privacy in the Age of Big Data

HONR 494CS-001 (4 credits)
Prerequisites:   UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:   Tuesday/Thursday 10:00 – 11:50 am
Place:   Library Innovative Learning Studio (ILS)
Instructors:  Sara Mannheimer and Scott Young, Assistant Professors, Library

Course Description:

This discussion-based course explores the ethics and privacy of information in our contemporary society. We will critique information production and consumption behavior across contexts, ranging from information shared on social media to government surveillance on the web. Students will learn ethical theory and practice from an interdisciplinary perspective by examining the ethical guidelines of various fields through case study analysis. Students will also learn new practical skills related to privacy on the web, including the tools and practices of encrypted communication. At the end of the semester, students will have a firm understanding of information ethics and web privacy. Students can apply these new concepts and skills to enhance civic engagement and protect privacy for themselves and others.

Sara Mannheimer is an Assistant Professor and Data Services Librarian at Montana State University Library. Her work focuses on data sharing, digital preservation, and the social, ethical, and technical issues surrounding data-driven research. 

Scott W. H. Young is an Assistant Professor and Digital Initiatives Librarian at Montana State University Library. His work focuses on user experience and design, community building with social media, and web privacy.

 

Radical Creativity
 
HONR 494RA/RN-001 (4 credits)
Prerequisites:   UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:   Wednesdays / 1:10 – 4:40 pm
Place:  TBA 
Instructors:  Associate Professor Sara Mast/Art, Assistant Professor Nicolas Yunes/Physics, Adjunct Instructor Jessica Jellison/Architecture

Course Description:

This unique, interdisciplinary honors seminar, co-taught by professors in Physics, Art and Architecture, is designed for students from multiple disciplines representing the sciences and the arts. While preference will be given to Honors Students, non-honors students will be considered for admission to the course pending approval by the instructors.  The goal of the course is to enable students to explore and enhance their creativity through the communication of complex physics and astronomy concepts through art. Readings, videos, podcasts and discussions will spark the development of creative problem-solving and exploration within small, interdisciplinary groups. Instructors as well as visiting artists will bring each discipline to life through a range of experiential exercises that include video, music technology, spoken word, drawing and movement. In the second half of the semester, each group will collaborate in the creation of an immersive ArtScience installation that will address a self-generated problem. Each installation will then be exhibited in a public venue on campus or in the Bozeman community. A conceptual and methodological example of this is the Black (W)hole installation (www.blackwhole.montana.edu) that the faculty proposing this course created asa part of the larger Celebrating Einstein event of 2013. Black (W)hole succeeded in demonstrating how Einstein’s black holes curve the spacetime continuum through an immersive experience of data visualization and sonification of gravitational waves. Students that successfully complete the course will acquire a range of collaborative skills and the ability to self-ignite their creativity and focus it to communicate complex ideas in innovative ways.

All applicants must complete an application. The application will consist of a 1 page (single-spaced, font size 12) document that indicates the student's major/s, academic interests, and the reason why they wish to take this course. The short essay must be submitted to Dawn Major by November 17, 2017.

Professor Sara Mastis a visual artist and her paintings are included in both public and private collections in the United States and abroad. Her work is included in several publications that include Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax, by Joanne Mattera (WatsonGuptill, NY, 2001); Art & Science Now, by Stephen Wilson (Thames & Hudson, NY, 2010) and Encaustic Art in the 21st Century, by Ashley Rooney (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2016). The recent collaborative project with The Einstein Collective, Black (W)hole, was featured in the MIT Press journal Leonardo in February, 2016.

Assistant Professor Nicolas Yunes specializes in Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, black holes and neutron stars. With over 130 publications and the recipient of numerous awards, his studies have laid the foundations that allow for tests of Einstein’s theory with gravitational wave and electromagnetic observations of compact objects. Yunes is also very involved in science communication through the creation of innovative events that transcend the boundaries between art and science, such as the Celebrating Einstein Science Festival and Rhythms of the Universe.

Adjunct Instructor Jessica Jellison is a licensed architect registered in Montana and Idaho, operating her private practice out of Bozeman.  Jellison has instructed part-time at MSU School of Architecture teaching Architectural Design and Architectural Graphics since 2009, and she was a Research Associate for the Creative Research Lab formerly within the College of Arts and Architecture coordinating applied research and creative projects that were interdisciplinary and collaborative.  Jessica is one of eight individuals of The Einstein Collective working collaboratively on artscience immersive installations, allowing her to combine her love for art and science and her architectural expertise designing space.

 

Occupation and Ownership of Desire:  Mapping the West
 
HONR 494RA-002 (4 credits)
Prerequisites:   UH/HONR 201 & UH/HONR 202, or UH/HONR 301
Time:   Monday/Wednesday  3:10 – 5:00 pm
Place:  Cheever Hall, Room 102 (DSEL Lab)
Instructor:  Bradford Watson, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Course Description:

The National Park Service founding mission (1918) describes its role “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."   Yellowstone National Park attracts more visitors (approximately 4.25 million in 2016) than the population of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming combined for this “enjoyment” of nature.  The 310 miles of paved roads, over 1,500 buildings and 750 employees allow visitors to consume wilderness with ease.   

The Western landscape is not only drawing people to national parks but has created an ideal of inhabiting and controlling the West for those who seek the romance of the frontier, but perhaps not its realities.  Be it for a holiday away from city life, or for the permanent retreat from society, people have flocked to this region to experience the “Last Best Place”.  Presently towns like Bozeman, MT outpace the national growth (averaging 36% growth per decade since 1870) and campaigns like “Come Home to Montana” encourage people to telecommute to the city from nature.  The current Montana “Get Lost” campaign provokes an escape from urbanized life to the wilderness.  The enticement of tourists (in Montana presently 10 times the population annually) and new residents is not a recent occurrence.  After its reorganization in 1933 the NPS began a strong advertising campaign which generated a series of posters through the WPA that framed the West as something to be consumed.  The NPS mission clearly predicted the difficulty facing the West - how to enjoy this place in a way that allows it to persist. 

This seminar will utilize the methodology of mapping and interdisciplinary teams to examine the present day occupation of the Mountain West region through the lens of territory and question our occupation of this place.  It will examine our role within the ecology and the implications of our growing visitation and population.  It will explore the interconnected relationships, not always visible, that have informed the place and set our current trajectory to find new opportunities.  If we accept the premise that we might be “loving these places to death”, how do we proceed as we are inextricably tied to the West?  This seminar will ask if our occupation and enjoyment of these places can shift from the mentality of “leave no trace” to one of mutualistic benefit?

Bradford Watson is a licensed architect who spent 12 years in professional practice with an emphasis on cultural and performing arts design and planning prior to joining MSU.  His current research examines the occupation of the Mountain West and the consumptive nature of that occupation, both through resource and experiential extraction.  He has undertaken extensive research on the displaced terrain of Butte, Montana resulting from its history of extraction -- resulting in a new landscape that can be reconsidered as a topography of possible occupation and intervention through new reclamation strategies.  He has been awarded a small project grant through the Butte Natural Resource Damage Council to reclaim the former Bonanza Mine Dump as a community asset and economic generator through BMX.  His research has been presented and published internationally.