Honors Seminars

Spring 2023

An Honors Seminar is a 300-400 level course reserved exclusively for honors students. Honors Seminars will rotate every semester and are limited to 15-20 students per class. No prerequisites are needed. Enroll in an Honors Seminar for spring 2023! Registration is available in MyNIU.

The causes of the Revolution and its impact on the political, economic, cultural, intellectual, and social aspects of American life.

Taught by Aaron Fogleman, Ph.D., Department of History

Interest in personal background has become a priority in our current era. This is the newest form of “exploration,” in which genetic ancestry is plumbed to provide direction for the present. The popularity of genetic testing via kits such as 23andme continues to increase as individuals seek answers to their origins. As genetics tests also reveal DNA variation that may indicate health status, many hope to identify disease risks both for themselves and future offspring. The study of evolution is an essential complement of this exploration as it reveals the steady unfolding of the genetic signature of humankind as a whole.

Taught by Clare Kron, Ph.D., Department of Biological Sciences 

Survey of emerging technologies and tools that are transforming our society and schools, as well as the implications these changes have for learning. Emphasis on the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.

Taught by Hayley Mayall, Ph.D., Department of Educational Technology

This seminar will cover recent social science research concerning why and how people believe in God. The theologians and philosophers have had their say, but, more recently, God has become a subject of interest to social scientists. The course will consider a number of important questions including how people learn to interact with God, the individual consequences of belief in and interactions with God, and reasons why some come to abandon belief in God and the consequences of this choice. 

Taught by Shane Sharp, Ph.D., Department of Sociology 

There is a glaring conflation in the current political discourse regarding the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of abortion. One side is arguing policy. The other is attempting to interpret the text of the constitution. The two issues are radically different. The issue is infused with emotion that may blind many to the two separate issues. I hope to put aside the emotion and engender a real and nuanced understanding of both issues.

Taught by Lawrence A. Stein, J.D., College of Law 

This seminar is an interdisciplinary, discussion-based course that explores income and wealth inequality, its intersections with race, ethnicity, and gender, and its impact on the American Dream. We begin with important historical context—the Gilded Age, classic theories of capitalism and the working class, the Great Depression, and the New Deal. We then move to the rise of inequality in the 21stcentury, focusing on income inequality, capital, “the 1%,”and politics, followed by a look at the extent and experience of poverty. Our discussion continues with the intersections between economic inequality, race, and ethnicity, with a close-up on systemic racism, mass incarcerations, and white privilege. Our discussion of inequality, gender, and sexuality examines the persistence of the gender pay gap and the impact of employment and housing discrimination on the LGBTQI+ community.

Taught by Ellen Stuart, Ph.D., Department of Accountancy

In this seminar students will examine ways intentionally designed sport experiences can address issues such as poverty, race, gender, ability, and reconciliation in post-conflict environments. Research and policy support for this notion will be reviewed as well as real-life case examples from the US and around the world.

Taught by Paul M. Wright, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education

Contact Us

University Honors Program 
Peters Campus Life Building 110
DeKalb, IL 60115

815-753-0694
honors@niu.edu

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