Spotlight on Spring 2024 Honors Course Offerings

As you plan or adjust your schedule, take a look at the interesting courses below (some of them being offered in the Honors College for the first time!). See the Schedule of Classes for more details and the list of honors courses currently planned for the entire year. And don’t forget the HC 409 options for cultural ambassadorship and civic engagement!


Corvallis Campus 

Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Spring 2024.



ANS 121H Introduction to Animal Sciences

Instructor(s): Matt Kennedy & Tim Hazzard

Principles of breeding, physiology, nutrition, and management as they apply to modern livestock and poultry production.


ED 219H Social Justice, Civil Rights, & Multiculturalism in Education

Instructor(s): Kathryn McIntosh

Covers examination of equity and injustice based on social groupings such as race, gender, language, and ability. Discusses equitable approaches and power in systems and institutions of society (e.g., schooling, curriculum, educational policy) and how to actively make change. Reviews contemplation of multiculturalism and personal experiences through a wholeness approach.


ENGR 103H Engineering Computation and Algorithmic Thinking

Instructor(s): Jennifer Parham-Mocello

Explores fundamental computational concepts and practices with algorithmic thinking. Focuses on problem solving skills, algorithm design, debugging, and writing programs using universal design principles. Articulates limitations in these solutions related to social or structural inequities such as: racial, cultural, gender, socioeconomic and accessibility. Explores computation through an application to specific topics.


GEO 221H Environmental Geology

Instructor(s): Kaplan Yalcin

Introductory geology emphasizing geologic hazards (volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, flooding), geologic resources (water, soil, air, mineral, energy), and associated environmental problems and mitigation strategies.


HC 299 Theatre in Ashland

Instructor(s): DeMara Cabrera

Experience theatre in Ashland at the award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival! Students will read one of the three plays that we will watch at OSF and discuss in class prior to the trip. If possible, we will attend a pre-show discussion or a talkback after a show (depending on availability). After our weekend in Ashland, students will write journal responses to the productions and create a presentation for the class that engages the material in a new way (this can include acting out a scene, re-writing a scene, analyzing a character, discussing the historical context, creating a new design concept, etc.).


HC 407 Fish, Indigenous People, and the Planet

Instructor(s): Luhui Whitebear & Scott Heppell

This class will examine how food, history, society, and culture are intertwined. For many, seafood provides calories and nutrients, with seafood comprising 17% of the world’s protein intake. More importantly, though, for many peoples around the world, fish and the act of fishing go well beyond mere sustenance, providing connections to the natural world, a sense of place and community, and an identity. Through multiple experiences, group conversation, and individual discovery we will learn about Indigenous peoples’ identity and attachment to water and fish through an exploration of culture, music, and history, and discuss how history, culture, and identity are altered in the face of modern problems. This class will center both on Pacific Northwest Indigenous peoples and the music of Okaijda Afroso, a Ghanaian musician whose Jaku Mumor focuses on the Go-Dangme fishermen of Ghana. Class includes a live performance by Okaijda Afroso at PRAx on Saturday, May 4, 2024.


HC 407 Sleepless in Slumberland

Instructor(s): Jessee Dietch

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. It can have a significant negative impact on physical and mental health, as well as on quality of life. This immersive course features a Virtual Reality event (Slumberland) at the new Patricia Valian Reser Center for the Creative Arts (PRAx). We will cover the basics of sleep and circadian rhythms, and explore the psychology of insomnia including causes, symptoms, consequences, and psychological treatment options. Assignments will include readings of scientific articles and other materials and a self-guided sleep improvement project. Inclass time will include brief lecture, discussion, and hands-on activities.


HC 407 Animation

Instructor(s): Jon Lewis

Early experiments in cine-animation coincide with the earliest movies; the very idea of motion pictures was itself a mode or version of animation (of still images into movement, of stationery objects into seeming action). This class will provide an in-depth look at animation history from the early experiments by Lotte Reninger and Winsor McCay (Little Nemo in Slumberland) and ventures into silent-era narrative (Otto Messmer and Pat Sullivan’s Felix the Cat) through the several golden ages at Disney (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Silly Symphonies, Snow White, Pinocchio), the jazz-age cartoons made by the Fleischer brothers (Betty Boop, Popeye, Gulliver’s Travels), and the 35mm short subjects made at Warner Bros. (“starring” Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and Daffy Duck). More modern works to include: the hand-painted experiments of Portland, Oregon’s Joanna Priestly and Japan’s Studio Ghibli’s epic watercolors (Princess Mononoke), modern stop-action (Tim Burton and Henry Selick) and puppetry (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), and computer animation (Pixar).


HC 407 Storytelling

Instructor(s): Jeremy Townley

Storytelling plays a central role in our lives. From informal stories such as jokes and anecdotes to more refined narratives such as podcasts, movies, and video games, we are constantly creating and consuming stories of both fact and fiction. But why do we tell stories? What purposes do they serve? What different genres, forms, and media do we use to tell them? What can stories achieve that might not be possible in non-narrative modes such as analysis or lyricism? What are the essential elements and characteristics of stories? We will explore these and other questions through readings and films, short written reflections, small-group and class discussions, informal presentations, a brief personal history of storytelling, and a final narrative project.


HC 407 The History of Reparations

Instructor(s): Katherine Hubler

Many in the U.S. are familiar with recent calls for awarding financial reparations to the descendants of enslaved Africans and Black Americans. Yet, the idea of reparations is not new, nor is the awarding of financial reparations to victims of injustice unprecedented. This class will situate contemporary movements for reparations within a broader context of efforts for historical redress and transitional justice. Students will examine historical case studies of reparations programs, paying particular attention to victims of colonialism, systemic racial discrimination, genocide, and other crimes against humanity in the 19th and 20th centuries.


HST 370H Social change and American Popular Music

Instructor(s): Kelly Bosworth

An examination of the interactions between social history and popular music, including creation, performance, production, distribution, and reception. Social, ethnic, and economics groups have notoriously used popular music to identify themselves and their boundaries. This course examines how the functions of popular music in our culture and economy have changed over time, and the ways in which popular music reflects and sometimes helps precipitate social change.


PHL 474H Philosophy of Biology

Instructor(s): Rebekah Sinclair

An introduction to some of the conceptual challenges engendered by contemporary evolutionary biology, including the nature of fitness, natural selection, adaptations, and species; identifying organisms, traits, and the units of selection; the evidence required to support particular adaptive or historical hypotheses; and others.


SOIL 205H & SOIL 206H Soil Science

Instructor: Megan Mobley

Introduction to the chemical, physical and biological nature of soils. Examines how soils function in terms of plant growth, nutrient supply, the global carbon cycle, ecological habitat, and water purification. Community-based learning projects provide hands-on experience with fundamental soil science principles and the impact of human activities on soil quality and sustainability. 



Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Spring 2024.



CS 362H Software Engineering II

Instructor(s): Eric Ianni

Introduction to the "back end" of the software engineering lifecycle implementation; verification and validation; debugging; maintenance.


FILM 145H Introduction to film studies: 1968-1999

Instructor(s): Jon Lewis

Explores and examines American and European cinema, 1968-1999. Emphasizes on important films and filmmakers of the era as well as key events in American and European cultural history.


FW 345H food from the sea

Instructor(s): Scott Heppell

Where does seafood come from, and how does seafood arrive on a plate? How productive are the world’s oceans, and can the oceans continue to produce enough to feed (and employ) the masses? How do different cultures, ethnicities, and regions of the world rely upon food from the sea for daily meals? Food from the Sea is an exploration of the cultural, societal, economic, practical, and environmental features of the protein that feeds billions.


HC 407 (How) is a better world possible? Politics between utopia & Dystopia

Instructor(s): Philipp Kneiss

We are all aware that we are living in a world of imperfection, and we frequently wonder whether a better world would indeed be possible. In fact, one of the oldest problems for political and social theory is how to create an ideal state. Yet this quest for utopia has always come at the price of dystopia. An ideal state for whom? Every utopia, it seems, is someone else’s dystopia. Even the most well-meaning ideas for creating a better society will have unintended consequences. This colloquium class will address some of these problems. We will survey key utopian ideas, dystopian fears, and discuss how to develop sustainable solutions for concrete political and social problems while anticipating possible unintended consequences.


PHL/REL 444H Biomedical Ethics

Instructor(s): Rebekah Sinclair

Application of ethical principles and decision-making processes to selected problems in medicine, health care, and biotechnology. Special attention given to end-of-life choices, reproductive rights and technologies, organ transplantation, research ethics, genetic engineering, and allocating scarce resources. An interdisciplinary focus that draws on social, legal, economic, and scientific issues in ethical decisions in medicine. 


PSY 202H General psychology

Instructor(s): Juan Hu

Scientific study of behavior and experience. Motivation and emotion; personality; social psychology, human development, psychopathology and psychotherapy. 


OSU-Cascades Campus

Find the day/time and CRN details for these courses in the OSU Schedule for Spring 2024.



HC 407 Buildings of Bend: Walking Tours of Local Architecture

Instructor(s): Braden Engel

The course features on site visits to local architectural gems. We learn most about buildings by experiencing them, and Bend has been accumulating a rich and diverse population of buildings in recent years. At the same time, older buildings relating to Bend's history reflect the origins and character that make this mountain city interesting and appealing. Dwelling traditions of local indigenous peoples will also be included, as we visit, explore, and analyze the built environment of Bend.


HC 407 drugs in societies

Instructor(s): Bruce Seal

During the course we will explore the origins of life-altering and life-saving drugs from early history to those that were developed from laboratories and research teams in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Opium, for example, is derived from the poppy plant that has been used for at least 10,000 years, making it one of the oldest drugs exploited in various societies. Subsequently, during the 1830s the first non-natural drug was developed in a laboratory, chloral hydrate from which chloroform, one of the first anesthetics, was developed for use during surgeries. Other drugs of historical and sociological importance will be discussed up to the present that impact our lives and lifestyles.