Honors Courses Fall 2015
All Honors Courses are IAI certified and will count as Gen. Ed. credits towards an AA or AS degree at Oakton, and will transfer to any college or university.
Honors Core Seminars:
ANT 204 0H1 (CRN 32008) Honors: Introduction To Physical Anthropology 3 credit hours
Mondays & Wednesdays 9:30am – 10:45am, DP room 2735 Instructor: Vicky Giambrone
BIO 104 0H1 (CRN 32009) Honors: Human Genetics (non-laboratory course) 3 credit hours
Mondays & Wednesdays 11:00am – 12:15am, DP room 2735 Instructor: Carol Ward
This learning community is designed to introduce students to basic genetic principles and applications in human populations, in both the present and the past. Particular attention will be given to understanding the biological, social and cultural aspects of human existence and evolution. This course combines the basic principles from biology, including cell biology and the transmission of human traits, with the anthropological approach to studying man’s biological relationship to other primates and its focus on human evolution. Both courses have a basis in teaching about evolutionary theory and principles of inheritance.
Students will read a variety of scientific text that covers the anthropological and biological basics of evolutionary theory, natural selection, inheritance and genetic principles such as mutations and chromosomal abnormalities. In addition, case studies will shed specific light on the inheritance of multifactorial traits such as human behavior, which is the basis for understanding the development of culture in man’s evolution. Students should leave this course with a greater understanding of the role of genetics in human evolution, man’s biological relationship to other primates, and the prevention, diagnosis and management of human diseases. They should also have an understanding of biotechnology and its role in the future of human existence on this planet.
Victoria Giambrone holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Carol Ward holds a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Florida-Gainsville.
Reimagining Human Nature: Ethics and Sustainability
PHL 204 0H1 (CRN 32010) Honors: Environmental Ethics 3 credit hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am -10:45am, DP room 2735 Instructor: Thomas Bowen
HUM 122 0H1 (CRN: 32011) Honors: Contemporary Culture and the Arts 3 credit hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00am – 12:15pm, DP room 2735 Instructor: Marian Staats
Do we really need McDonald’s, iPads, and Hummers? Do we consume too much, or do we have the right stuff? Should we care about the future of planet Earth? In this seminar we will reflect critically on contemporary life and our relation to “nature” with a specific focus on what it could mean to live “sustainably”. By reading philosophy with film, music and literature, we’ll ask how we might re-imagine our relation to the past and future—our conceptions of responsibility and inheritance, and whether our current lifestyles are sustainable at all. Through a variety of field trips and walks in the woods, we will also reflect on the interconnections between humanity and nonhuman nature and how these affect our conceptions of the “good life” for ourselves as individuals, as well as members of a species and participants in global ecosystems. In the spirit of collaboration, students are encouraged to participate in developing assignments and suggesting readings, films, and field trips.
Thomas Bowen holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago and is co-director of the Honors Program at Oakton Community College.
Marian Staats holds a Ph.D. in English from Loyola University in Chicago.
Single-Section Honors Courses
At the Des Plaines Campus:
EGL 101 0H1 (CRN: 31576) Honors: Composition I 3 credit hours
Mondays & Wednesdays 12:30pm – 1:45pm, DP room 2735 Instructor: Madhuri Deshmukh
Whether you are writing about your personal experiences or responding to the writing of others, writing is a form of self-definition. In this course, we will explore the concept of the "self" by reading important reflections on the topic by diverse writers. We will explore the importance of ethics, politics, culture, race, religion and history to the making of diverse concepts of selfhood. As we read and discuss professional writers, you will be working on writing the story of your own "self" in essays about your personal experiences, observations, memories, and responses to the readings.
Madhuri Deshmukh has a Ph.D. in English from Loyola University Chicago
PHL 205 0H1 (CRN 31579) Honors: World Religions 3 credit hours
Tuesday & Thursday 12:30 – 1:45; DP Room 2735 Instructor: Mohamed Mehdi
In this course, we will be exploring both some of the fundamental ethical and spiritual beliefs of a range of religious movements, and some aspects of lived religious experience. We will pay close attention to the internal diversity within any religious group, as well as the dynamic, evolving and contested nature of religious practices and beliefs. We will also be interested in exploring ways in which religions have both been oppressive to members and others, and crucial parts of struggles for liberation.
We will be looking at traditions and approaches from around the world, and will work collectively to decide which religions to focus on (including new religious movements, and regional, indigenous and creole religions), and in which national and historical contexts to focus on them.
The course materials will include popular literature and journalism, primary texts and scriptures, as well as film and music. Students will be asked to play a significant role in selecting and presenting some of these materials.
Mohamed Mehdi holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from McGill University.
At the Skokie Campus
PSY 101 0H1 (CRN 31577) Honors: Introduction to Psychology 3 credit hours
Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30am – 10:45am, RHC Room C252 Instructor: Eva de la Riva
Course introduces study of human behavior. Content includes survey of all elements of this behavioral science. Focus is on learning, motivation, emotion, perception, intelligence, human development, mental processes, and contemporary research. This honors section covers many of the topics of a traditional class but it limits the breath of coverage and emphasizes depth. The course will be supplemented in the latest research in neuroscience. The course emphasizes class discussions rather than lecture. Therefore, active participation is required in this class.
Eva de la Riva holds an MA from University of Texas at El Paso and an M.A. from University of Georgia
HIS 226 0H1 (CRN 32049) Honors: History Of Islamic Middle East In Modern Times
(Co-listed with HIS 226 001) 3 credit hours
Friday, 9:30 am – 12:20 pm, RHC Room C114 Instructor: George Lungu
What are the historical roots of the turmoil in the Middle East?” Is there a “Clash of Civilizations” that underpins the relations between the West and the Muslim world? What place do such Western concepts as secularization, nationalism, and democratization occupy in modern Middle Eastern history?
In addressing these and many other questions, this course will investigate the development of political institutions, as well as social trends and important cultural and religious developments in modern and contemporary Middle Eastern history. The ultimate goal is to illuminate the historical roots of present-day events in order to better understand their impact on Middle Eastern societies and their relations with the rest of the world.
George Lungu holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and is co-director of the Honors Program at Oakton Community College.
Honors: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research
CHM 240 0H1 (CRN 30618) Honors: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research
2 total credit hours Instructor: Gary A Mines
BIO 240 0H1 (CRN 32045) Honors: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research
2 total credit hours Instructor: Paul Gulezian
Mondays 11:00 am – 1:45 pm & Wednesdays 11:00 am – 12:15 pm, SHC-DP Room 342
Developed by members of the science faculty, this Research Lab experience offers a hands-on approach to learning science while doing science. Team-taught by faculty from several disciplines, this is a challenging interdisciplinary course that follows guidelines for inquiry-based learning. Content includes active participation in a research experience that involves performing experiments, collecting data, analyzing results interacting with other students and professors in their research reading and critiquing research articles in the same research area and presenting at the end of the semester. Course can be repeated once for credit.
Faculty on campus and available to students at designated times.