Honors College


The Art and Science of Origami 

Section: 1002/74409
Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 2:30-4:20PM
Session Length: First Seven Weeks

Origami is the art of paper folding (from the Japanese ori, meaning “to fold”, and kami, “paper”). The modern rules of origami are simple—one square of paper, no cutting, no gluing. But from this simple formula people have created beautiful and complex works of art, and applied the folding and collapsing techniques to solve problems and develop innovations in the fields of science, architecture, fashion, medicine, and more. In this 7- week course, students will learn to fold a variety of origami models from squares (no experience necessary), and learn all of the practicalities of folding (selecting the right paper, choosing a folding technique, reading diagrams, etc.). Students will also explore (through readings, videos, discussions, and written reflection) the application of the principles of origami to various fields of study, from art and education to science, math, and technology. At the conclusion of this course, students will have the skills to fold a variety of origami models for fun and relaxation, and ideas about the ways in which these newly-acquired origami skills can be applied to other areas of interest, both academic and personal.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a background in the history, practical skills, and application of the techniques of origami and paper folding. As a first-year seminar, the course is also designed to help students identify skills and resources that can help them to become successful students at BGSU.

Students completing the course will:

  • Explore a topic in a scholarly field of study in some depth to understand ways it applies outside of the classroom and in the community.
  • Interact effectively with the professor and fellow students, both in and out of class, through written and oral communication.
  • Demonstrate participation in educational experiences taking place outside of the classroom.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the application of the principles and techniques of origami to other fields of study, particularly in the STEAM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).
  • Demonstrate the ability to fold a variety of origami bases and models and understand the conventions of reading origami diagrams

Rob Snyder

Position: Associate Professor and First Year Experience Coordinator/Librarian in the University Libraries
Email: robjsny@bgsu.edu
Address: 152 Jerome Library

I am an Associate Professor and First Year Experience Coordinator/Librarian in the University Libraries at BGSU. My research interests are related to the role of the academic library in first-year initiatives and instruction. In addition to my work as a faculty member and a librarian, I am also an origami artist. I have designed over 100 original origami models, had pieces accepted in art shows and juried exhibitions, and have had several origami model diagrams of my work published in the proceedings of the Origami USA and British Origami societies. I have also had original model diagrams published in several books edited by renowned origami author/artist Nick Robinson. I have taught my origami designs at a national convention as well as several local and regional workshops. I’ve also conducted several workshops at BGSU related to origami (including stress-relief and mindfulness components) for various student groups and learning communities, and I am the advisor the BGSU Origami Club. For more information on my work, please visit my website.   

Fact or Fake: Getting the Most as a Communication Consumer

Section: 1005/75406
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30-9:20AM
Session Length: First Seven Weeks

How do you perceive communication? Can you analyze real from fake? How do you apply communication knowledge in different career fields? The BGSU 1910 First Year Seminar program offers first time, first year students’ opportunities to explore an academic topic of interest to engage in the academic life and community expectations of the university. Through this seminar, you will learn about multiple forms of communication including oral, written, intrapersonal, interpersonal, public and mass as well as the techniques used to share messages in different fields. You will gain hands on experiences in analyzing communication through a variety of different lenses from narrative to symbolic.

This seminar is designed to engage honors students in grasping the reasons for Communication as an area of study, what big questions or issues it addresses, and why someone might want to study it further. Faculty and students will meet the Friday of Opening Weekend for 3-4 hours of class time, weekly touch-point meetings, as well as targeted “project-based” learning experiences. This seminar is evaluated on the A-F grading system option only.


Paul Alday

Position: Lecturer - Department of Communication
Email: palday@bgsu.edu
Address: 408C Kuhlin Center

Paul Wesley Alday is the Director of Forensics and Debate, a Lecturer in the School of Media and Communication/Department of Communication and a member of the Honors faculty. With 30 years of teaching experience and a MA from Eastern Michigan University, he teaches courses in Honors Public Speaking, Argumentation, Political Communication and Forensics Practicum. Paul’s pedagogical specialization is in Active Learning Environments and Adaptive Learning Styles. He is also a scenic and lighting designer with the Toledo Repertory Theatre and Perrysburg Performing Arts Academy. Under his direction, the Falcon Forensics & Debate Team has won over 30 State, National and Continental titles where the program is currently ranked in the top 10 nationally.

The Refugee Crisis

Section: 1015/74465
Meeting Time:
 Wednesdays, 12:30-1:20pm
Session Length: Regular Session

This course will engage students with one of the key global ethical and political issues of our time — the 65 million people currently forcibly displaced from their homes around the world. What are the roots of the current crisis? How have similar crises been handled in the past? What approaches are various state and non-state actors currently utilizing? These questions and more will guide our investigation into this topic as we also explore what it means to be Americans and global citizens in the 21st century. 

During the course, we will read and discuss select non-fiction and fiction texts on the topic as well as conduct an off-campus event with US Together, a refugee-aid organization with an office in Toledo. For the past two fall semesters, I taught this class, and my students volunteered as ESL tutors for refugee families resettled in Toledo.


Harland Jones

Position: Senior Lecturer - English Department
Email: hwjones@bgsu.edu
Address: 335 East Hall

I am a senior lecturer in English/General Studies Writing with research interests in composition theory, critical thinking pedagogy, and literary studies. In addition, I served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco from 1995-97, teaching at Muhammed V University in Rabat. For the past two years, my wife and I have been volunteering with US Together.

Popular Music and Politics Around the World

Section: 1009/74441
Meeting Time: Mondays, 12:30-1:20PM
Session Length: Regular

Popular music can be a powerful tool for political mobilization and the creation and maintenance of political identities. This course will explore the relationship between popular music and politics from a variety of perspectives in an international context. It will investigate how popular music has been used in struggles by minority groups resisting cultural assimilation, such as the role that Catalan music has played in resisting Spanish hegemony. At the same time, the globalization of popular music creates a melange of musical styles but also threatens traditional genres. The course will consider how political elites try to promote and protect local popular music using policies such as quotas on radio content. In addition, the course will examine how international conflicts play out in popular music, such as in the annual Eurovision contest. 

Course readings and discussions will provide a framework for studying these relationships, but much of the course will consist of students identifying and interpreting examples of the interactions between popular music and politics and presenting their findings to the class. Bowling Green's annual Black Swamp Arts Festival will also be incorporated into the course, and students will have the opportunity to participate behind the scenes in the staging of the music for this event. The course will also include visits to WBGU-FM, the Music Library, and Finder’s Record Store. Students will be required to write an original research paper on a topic of their choice related to the course.


Scott Piroth

Position: Senior Lecturer - Political Science
Email: spiroth@bgsu.edu
Address: 122 Williams Hall

Scott Piroth is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science. He teaches course in Comparative Politics and in Canadian Studies. His primary research focus has been on the politics of nationalism in advanced industrialized societies and has written extensively on the secessionist movement in Quebec. He has published articles and presented papers on the role that French-language popular music has played in sustaining a distinctive Quebecois identity and supporting nationalist political mobilization in Quebec. 

Heavy Medal: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Children's Book Awards

Section: 1003/75404
Meeting Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4:30-5:20PM
Session Length: First Seven Weeks

In this seven-week course, students will learn, briefly, about the history of children's literature, and examine the role awards have played in shaping the contemporary children's literature landscape. Students will explore, through lecture, videos, readings, discussion, and writing, the skills of literary analysis and the lenses through which children's literature should be examined. Close attention will be paid to current trends, such as the We Need Diverse Books and #ownvoices movements.

At the conclusion of the course, students will have read several children's books, and will have developed sharp analysis skills to develop their own beliefs about this genre: where it's been, where it is, and where it will be going. Ideally, students will also feel a personal stake in promoting quality literature to children.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with the context for children's book awards and to evaluate the effectiveness of these awards. Students will learn how to use university databases to sharpen their research skills – skills that can be transferred to other university courses.

Students completing this course will:

  • Gain an historical understanding of children's literature
  • Evaluate picture books and chapter books from a variety of genres
  • Develop analysis skills related to both literary quality and art
  • Identify expertise outside the traditional classroom setting for personal and professional edification
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively, both written and oral expression, with instructor and fellow classmates
  • Develop the habits of becoming and being a lifelong reader

I will offer a number of opportunities for students to be engaged with the community: for Experiential Learning, we will take a trip to the Mazza Museum, and, if possible, host a WebX with a published children’s author. For campus engagement, students will be encouraged to attend one Mock Caldecott or Mock Newbery meeting, which will provide them with the opportunity to practice articulating their learned analysis skills.


Joe Prince

Position: Curriculum and Outreach Coordinator - Jerome Library
Email: jjprinc@bgsu.edu
Address: Jerome Library

I am the Curriculum and Outreach Educator at the Curriculum Resource Center in Jerome Library. Prior to this position, I taught in public education for 17 years: 9 years as middle school English/reading teaching, 8 years as a middle school librarian. I also held a position as adjunct instructor in the MLIS program at the University of Pittsburgh. There, I co-taught Resources for Young Adults and Resources for Multicultural Studies, and taught Resources for Children and Storytelling. I was recently appointed to the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee. I was an elector for the 2019-2020 Choose to Read Ohio Committee, casting ballots for both Picture Books and Middle Grade Novels. I am myself an avid reader, and through outreach initiatives, strive to create a culture of reading at Bowling Green State University.

Writing Race/Imagining America: Exploring New Voices in Black America

Section: 1001/74407
Meeting Time: Fridays, 9:30-10:20AM
Session Length: Regular Session

What kinds of conversations is America having with itself about race in the current historical moment? Who is participating in these conversations and what are they saying? Who remains silent and why? And what can we learn about ourselves, our communities, and our nation through the imaginative literature that documents and comments upon these conversations?

This section of BGSU 1910H will take contemporary literature as a point of departure for engaging with these and other, related questions about race relations in twenty-first century America. We will read a handful of works of contemporary African-American fiction (i.e., novels, poetry, and plays) in an effort to grapple with the questions above and come to a deepened understanding of the role that race plays within our communities, our shared histories, and our national mythologies.


Heath A. Diehl

Position: Senior Lecturer - Department of English and Honors College
Email: williad@bgsu.edu
Address: 024G Founder Hall

Heath A. Diehl is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and the Honors College who regularly teaches the two core curriculum Honors courses (i.e., HNRS 2010: Introduction to Critical Thinking and HNRS 2020: Critical Thinking about Great Ideas), special topic honors seminars (usually on literary/popular culture topics), as well as both lower - and upper-division English courses (such as ENG 2010: Introduction to Literature and ENG 4800: Thesis Workshop). Heath has previously taught two Honors sections of the BGSU 1910H course, one on the topic of “Reading Harry Potter/Living in the New America,” and the other on the same topic as this proposed seminar. His areas of expertise include contemporary literature, world drama (classical to contemporary), and theories about identity politics (including but not limited to critical race theory). He currently is at work on a book about the politics and poetics of reading addiction fiction, tentatively titled Fixing the Addict: Reading Experimental Addiction Fiction, 1985-2015.

Resistance, Breakthrough, and Revolution in the History of Science

Section: 1033/77702
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:00-4:50pm
Session Length: Regular Session

“Everyone knows that the earth is flat!” Why was this view held? Why was there resistance to overturning it? This is a course in critical thinking about science, both as a set of methodolgies and as a worldview, and how these have evolved over time. In the first part of the course, we examine a series of major scientific breakthroughs and paradigm shifts, from Copernicus’ insights through quantum physics. Moreover, we reflect on the resistance to these new (and at times revolutionary) ideas faced by their proponents. In each case, in addition to understanding the breakthrough itself, we seek appreciation of what prior beliefs were commonly held at the time, and the obstacles (economics, social, religious, etc.) to the acceptance of the new idea, theory, or even simply observation. With this foundation, we then turn to more contempory issues, seeking to apply critical thinking to “scientific” matters of the day. Are we immune from the pitfalls of past generations? Do we have any blind spots, even dogmas, and how might we recognize them? What economic, social, or religious forces might block clear thinking about science or “scientific” questions today? 

This course is not intended solely for science majors. To the extent that science underlies our dominant worldview today and is viewed as a major source of truth, we should all be able to think critically and act responsibly in these matters. 

Learning outcomes. The student will:

  • acquire an awareness, a framework overview, of some of the key events in the history of scientific understanding;
  • demonstrate an ability to articulate, in verbal and written form, some of the historical sources of resistance to new scientific ideas; and,
  • be able to apply critical thinking to new ideas and controversies arising from contemporary science.

J. Gordon Wade

Position: Associate Professor - Math and Stats
Email: gwade@bgsu.edu
Address: 450 Math Science Building

I hold the Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, and an undergraduate degree in Physics. In addition to numerous papers in pure and applied mathatics, he has co-authored papers in Engineering and Mathematical Biology. I have taught mathematics at all levels at BGSU, including Honors Calculus. This course reflects my longstanding interest in the history and philosophy of science, an interest on which I have recently begun to act. In the Fall of 2018, I gave a talk Max Planck (pioneer of quantum physics) titled “What If Quanta?” at the American Physical Society regional meeting, and in Spring 2019 I shall be presenting a paper, “Feynman: Turbulence and Triumph”, on a crucial decade in the life of Nobel laureate Richard Feynman (abstract of these are available upon request).

Data Science in a World of Big Data

Section: 1010/74446
Meeting Time: Wednesdays, 11:30-12:20PM
Session Length: Regular Session 

The purpose of this seminar is to introduce how “big data” is transforming how we currently live, and then to provide an introduction to how data scientists work with a variety of different types of data.

There will be discussions of material from the book Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by by Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier. There may be several invited speakers on different applications of “big data”. Also we will introduce some data explorations using the R software in the Data Science classroom in Library 140. The students would be given an opportunity to learn and present some aspect of “big data”.


Jim Albert

Position: Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Email: albert@bgsu.edu
Address: 407 Math Science Building

Jim Albert is a statistician and one of the developers of the new Data Science specialization at BGSU. His research interests include statistics education and the application of statistical thinking in sports. He has taught several honors seminars and one 1910 seminar on statistics in sports.

Zen and the Art of Everyday Life

Section: 1007/74432
Meeting Time: Tuesday/Thursday, 2:30-3:20PM
Session Length: First Seven Week Session 

This seminar will examine a number of contemplative practices through the lens of Zen Buddhism. We’ll briefly cover some history of Zen’s development in China and Japan, and investigate its influence on a variety of art practices such as poetry (haiku), calligraphy, and music. But we’ll also extend those practices to the art of everyday life, to include walking, eating, and cleaning! Shunryu Suzuki, a Japanese Zen monk who came to America in the 1960s, once stated, "Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense." Our challenge is to attempt to live up to his pronouncement and to cultivate a reflective, mindful approach to our lives and work.

We will engage with these questions on an intellectual level, of course, but this seminar has a strong experiential component, so please expect to engage your other senses, too! Each class session will begin with a brief period of sitting meditation (in Japanese, zazen), and every week we’ll collectively take up one of the mindfulness practices from the text indicated below. Through written and verbal engagement with the practical and theoretical components of the seminar, you will be asked to identify their own response to contemplative practice by the end of the semester.


Simon Morgan Russell

Position: Dean, Honors College
Email: smorgan@bgsu.edu

As a Professor of English, I’ve taught a variety of different courses during my tenure at BGSU, including World Literature and the Honors College’s HNRS 2020: Critical Thinking about Great Ideas, courses that consider literature, art, and philosophy in their historical and cultural contexts. I also taught this course in Fall 2017 and Fall 2018. I have a scholarly interest in contemplative pedagogy and its transformative possibilities for undergraduate education, and I incorporate some of its techniques in other courses that I teach. Although this seminar is not a course in religious studies, my own longstanding Zen practice informs its content and pedagogical approach.

Why Does My Team Win?: Advanced Stats in Baseball and Football

Section: 1012/74460
Meeting Time: Mondays, 4:30-5:20 PM
Semester Length: Regular Session

Sports are one place where large, shared experience still happens in American culture. People gather in person to watch games and online to play fantasy sports. According to The Nielsen Company, 8 of the 10 highest rated primetime programs in 2017 were live football or baseball games and 26 of the top 30 were sporting events (NFL, NCAA, MLB, NBA). The quality of commentary around televised in-game broadcasts frequently misrepresents what is happening on the field and uses insignificant data to predict what may happen in the future. Researchers, analysts, and writers outside of the traditional media continue to publish insights that quantify why teams win (or lose) and what specific value individual players provide to their team.

In this 15-week course, students will learn basic methods of data collection, analysis, visualization, and presentation along with understanding team and individual statistics that are relevant to decision makers working in professional and amateur sports (by reading book excerpts, articles, blogs, etc). These methods will be applied during shared experiences watching games, participating in a class fantasy sports league and presenting formal research and writing to the class.

The purpose of this course will be to provide first-year students interested in business, applied statistics, media and communication, or sports management with entry-level analytics, writing, and presentation skills that will transfer to future academic and professional endeavors along with providing those with a general interest in sports an opportunity to enrich their understanding of how their favorite team makes decisions.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate ability to enter, import, and compute data using Microsoft Excel.
  2. Students will determine advanced analytics relevant to assess team and individual player value in baseball and football.
  3. Students will illustrate trends in data by composing visual representations.
  4. Students will predict future team or individual player performance by participating in class fantasy football and baseball leagues.
  5. Students will analyze action(s) team or individual player(s) might take to improve performance by writing data-focused blog post(s), recording podcasts or presenting to the class.
  6. Students will interact with sports discourse community on campus by attending games, watching televised games together, and interacting via writing graded online blog posts.

Bryan Gattozzi

Position: Lecturer - English Department
Email: bryang@bgsu.edu
Address: 332 East Hall

Bryan is a lecturer in the General Studies Writing Program. He has earned academic degrees in writing (MFA—McNeese State 2006) and economics (BA Economics—Kent State 2000). His research interests include economic principles, cognitive bias and their relation to sports and human behavior. He has applied these interests throughout General Studies Writing 1120 special sections framed around sports analytics, including one during Spring 2018 along with teaching a session of HNRS 1910 during the Fall 2018 semester.   

From Surviving to Thriving

Section: 1004/75405
Meeting Time: Thursdays, 2:30-3:20PM
Session Length: Regular Session
Instructor: Katrina Heilmeier

Section: 1014/74463
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 2:30-3:20PM
Session Length: Regular Session
Instructor: Chrissy Shaal

Section: 1013/75408
Meeting Time: Tuesdays, 4:00-4:50PM
Session Length: Regular Session
Instructor: Sean Oros

This class seeks to foster critical thinking and informed decision making which supports meaningful living in a global society. We hope to create a learning-centered process that challenges the student to:

  • clarify attainable goals,
  • create effective strategies to realize personal, academic, and career expectations,
  • foster independence and accountability that results from accessing and utilizing accurate information. 

This course will provide students with the opportunity to build a relationship with the instructor (your Honors advisor) for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning their educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success, and in learning how to access the variety of resources and services available to them on the BGSU campus. Specifically:

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to make independent and effective decisions concerning their degree and career goals.
  • Students will take ownership to develop an educational plan for successfully achieving their goals and select courses each semester to progress toward fulfilling that educational plan.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the value of the general education requirements.
  • Students will utilize the resources (e.g., I-Plan) and services on campus (e.g., advising, tutoring) to assist them in achieving their academic, personal, and career goals.
  • Students will make use of referrals to campus resources as needed.
  • Students will be able to accurately read and effectively utilize DARS Report, a degree audit, in their educational planning.
  • Students will graduate in a timely manner based on their educational plan
Staff Female

Katrina Heilmeier

Email: katrilc@bgsu.edu

Staff Female

Christine Shaal

Email: cshaal@bgsu.edu


Sean Oros

Email: soros@bgsu.edu