Fall 2022 Honors College Forums to explore topics ranging from public health to climate solutions




Peter Aaron

Gearhart Hall

Next fall, graduate students will have the opportunity to follow the midterm elections in real time, go behind the scenes of public health and safety, and study new approaches to climate change. . The 75-minute, credit-hour Honors College Forums bring together star professors and high-level administrators with scholars each week to discuss current topics.

“Our fall 2022 forum lineup will see 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 courses are one of the few places where you’ll find a finance major sitting alongside a biomedical engineering major, each bringing what they’ve learned in their discipline to the table.”

Only the Midterm Elections Forum requires an application, but places are limited in all forums. Interested students are encouraged to register as soon as possible to secure a place.

The Fall 2022 Specialized 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 legislative power and the evolution of the role of power within the federal government 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, as well as how the results will impact the second half of Pres. Biden’s tenure. Each student will be assigned a Congressional election throughout the semester, providing predictions on what to expect in November as well as 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 focus on educating students about health-related issues that may affect them individually and our campus at large. It will expand knowledge about infectious diseases nationally and globally and how these infections could potentially affect the lives of students. Students will also learn how to be good health care consumers and better navigate the health care system. The format will encourage active dialogue between the instructor and the class, and these discussions can provide insight into a medical career. The course is not limited to those pursuing a medical career, 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 evaluate opportunities in Arkansas’ varied landscapes, including row crops, forestry, pastures, and urban areas. In each case, there will be scientific uncertainties, political and economic realities, and social expectations that must be addressed.

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