Arete contribution submitted by Erika Brown
Dr. Elizabeth Gish and Dr. Paul Markham teach Honors 251: Citizen and Self. The course aims to educate students of the individual’s role in the many interconnected communities of the world. The class addresses questions of the state, of the community, and the directions that one could take to better the community. Since involvement in the community serves as a main objective of the class, students partake in one collective, large project in order to improve the state of Bowling Green.
The course is broken down in two different sections. On Monday mornings, every student in the course attends a lecture lead by Dr. Gish and Dr. Markham. During the lecture, students discuss the ideas and themes of articles read in class about the contemporary issues of various communities in the world. The lecture is then divided into six seminars of approximately 20 students on the other days throughout the week. In the seminars, students work in small research teams in order to construct a portion of the State of the City Report, the collective project mentioned earlier. The State of the City Report addresses many different aspects of life in Bowling Green, ranging from environment to disability issues. In order to create the State of the City Report, students must reach out into the community to conduct research and they must propose creative solutions of the problems of their certain topic.
Honors 251 requires students to personally engage themselves in their research, and many students find the course not only intellectually satisfying, but also emotionally satisfying. “This class challenges me to take into account that I am not separate from the community,” says Sean Jacobson, a first year film major from Louisville, “Since there is a continual relationship between community and individual, I feel that this class is helping me examine my values and my role in the world on a deeper level.”