Fall 2022 Honors College Forums to Explore Topics Ranging from Public Health to Climate Solutions

Fall 2022 Honors College Forums to Explore Topics Ranging from Public Health to Climate Solutions

Peter Aaron

Gearhart Hall

Next fall, honors students will have an opportunity to follow the midterm elections in real time, step behind the scenes in public health and safety and investigate new approaches to climate change. The 75-minute, one-credit-hour Honors College Forums bring star faculty and top administrators together with honors students on a weekly basis to discuss timely topics.

“Our Fall 2022 forum lineup will have students handicapping elections, weighing individual convenience against public safety and exploring low-impact solutions to climate change,” said John Treat, director of interdisciplinary and curricular learning. “These classes are one of the few places you will find a finance major sitting beside a biomedical engineering major, each bringing what they have learned in their discipline to the table.”

Only the Midterm Elections Forum requires an application, but seats are limited in all forums. Interested honors students are encouraged to register as soon as possible to guarantee getting a seat. 

The Fall 2022 Honors College Forums are:

Midterm Elections: Noah Pittman, associate dean of the Honors College, will lead this course, which will focus on the November 2022 midterms. The first few weeks of the course will focus on the constitutional foundations of the legislative branch, and how the branch’s role in the federal government has evolved over time. Students will also learn about academic research on campaigns and elections in the United States, with a particular focus on how midterm elections often differ from elections that feature a presidential campaign. The class will then focus on what to expect with the 2022 midterm elections, along with how the results will impact the second half of Pres. Biden’s term in office. Each student will be assigned a toss-up congressional election throughout the semester, providing predictions on what to expect in November along with analysis on who won that specific election and why. 

Public Health and Safety as It Relates to You: Huda Sharaf, chief medical officer of the Pat Walker Health Center, will lead this forum, which will center on educating college students on health-related issues that can impact them individually as well as our campus at large. It will broaden knowledge of infectious diseases both nationally and globally and how these infections could potentially affect student lives. Students also will learn how to be good healthcare consumers and more proficient in navigating the healthcare system. The format will encourage active dialogue between the instructor and class, and these discussions may give insight into a medical career. The course is not limited to those pursuing medical career paths, as these topics span multiple disciplines. 

Nature-Based Climate Solutions: This course, led by Benjamin Runkle, associate professor of biological engineering, will outline a nature-based climate solutions strategy for Arkansas, assessing scientific potential and political-economic opportunities. Students in the course will assess opportunities in Arkansas’ varied landscapes, including row crops, forestry, pasture and urban areas. In each case there will be scientific uncertainties, political and economic realities, and social expectations with which to contend. 

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