Initiative for Maximizing Student Development

Relevant Course Offerings

PROJECT LAB: PERS 2002 – An exciting opportunity to conduct active neuroscience research while receiving course credit.
Permission of instructor required. Contact the instructor, Dr. Dan Cox:
“In Spring 2017, I will offer PERS 2002: Introduction to Discovery-Driven Biomedical Research (aka Global Perspectives on Problems in Human Health).  This particular PERS 2002 is very different from other perspectives courses in terms of focus and target audience.  Below is a brief description of the course focus and learning objectives (I am still finalizing the overall syllabus).  What makes this course quite different is that it is a laboratory research focused course where the topic will be centered around research that takes place in my laboratory with an emphasis on behavioral neuroscience as related to understanding neural circuits that mediate pain perception (nociception) using the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system.
Here is the general description:
This course is designed to engage students in the excitement of original scientific discovery through an inquiry-based laboratory practicum focusing on a relevant topic in the biomedical sciences.  While research topics and methods employed will vary depending upon the Instructor’s research interests, the course will introduce students to planning and executing novel research studies as well as the analyses associated with documenting scientific discoveries and deriving supported conclusions based upon these data.  Discovery-driven laboratory exercises will address central hypothesis-driven questions using complementary scientific methods/approaches in order to achieve multi-level insight into the process of interest.

Course Objectives and Learning Goals:
 Students who successfully complete this course will have a deeper understanding of the nature of original scientific research, including project planning, formulating hypotheses, designing effective experiments, maintaining a detailed laboratory notebook, data interpretation, and conventions of scientific communication of conclusions resulting from these studies.  Students will likewise acquire new technical research skills and develop the ability to work in collaborative research environments.  Finally, the course content and skills will be related to the how the scientific perspectives obtained through the course relate to global problems of public health relevance.
Practicum Format: This laboratory practicum will meet 1 hr 40 min/week during the semester with a maximum enrollment of 16 students partitioned into working groups of 2-4 students depending on experimental design. During each class, there will be a brief introductory discussion of theory and relevant literature from the research area under investigation.  All experimental techniques/protocols will first be described in detail (laboratory manual and in-class discussion) and demonstrated during the pre-laboratory discussion.  The majority of class time will be used for conducting experiments and/or analyzing experimental data.
This course is part of an NIH funded grant focused on enhancing UG research experience in STEM disciplines (so perhaps most relevant to students who are majoring on a STEM area – particularly Neuroscience, Biology, Chemistry, although other majors may be appropriate).  The course requires permission of instructor due to the specialized nature of the subject matter.  The target audience is freshmen and sophomores, however I may allow juniors or seniors to register on a case by case basis.

I hope this helps to shed some light on what the course will be like.  This is very different from your traditional UG science lab in that all the research that will be conducted by students is completely original rather than standard “canned” lab exercises where the outcome is generally known in advance.  You do not need previous research experience, but since the course is designed to target students early in their degrees (ideally sophomores, but freshmen may be applicable as well), that is why I have a permission of instructor requirement.  Despite being a 2000 level, the course isn’t explicitly gen-ed, and would involve an introduction to discovery-driven original biomedical research.  A background in intro biology or neuroscience is strongly suggested to succeed in this course, so please describe your background in these areas.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please contact me with details as requested on year in school, prior/current STEM coursework.  Once I hear back and review this information, I can decide on providing permission of instructor release which would allow you to register for the course.

Thank you for your interest!

Dr. Cox”

New Course: Multicultural Competence and Peer Education – Space Available
We hope that your end of semester is going well!  As you look forward to next semester, we wanted to make you aware of an exciting course opportunity.  The staff of the Multicultural Center, in collaboration with the department of African American Studies, will be offering a Multicultural Competence and Peer Education course.
The course will focus on the application of multicultural competence and social justice knowledge to peer education, programming and discussion!  Students will have the opportunity to explore their own identities and the connections between personal and social identities, discuss the impact of social structures and institutions on their identities, and gain the ability to create programming and discussion on these and many more topics.  Most weeks will pair discussing course materials and exploring new ideas with opportunities to apply that learning to activities, trainings and/or programs.  Application and activities are strongly focused on so you leave the class with greater knowledge and practical skills!
·         View films, videos, media content, and other popular culture content;
·         Use exercises, simulations, and role-plays;
·         Practice facilitation; and
·         Reflect on readings, interactions, and assignments during discussions and weekly journals.
If you have ever been to a Multicultural Center program and wanted to put on programs like ours or gain the ability to discuss important contemporary topics related to diversity, social justice and multicultural competence, this is the class for you! 
Completion of the course also serves as a point of entry into the Multicultural Center’s MAP (Multicultural competence And Peer education) Ambassador program.  MAP ambassadors serve as an extension of the programming arm of the Multicultural Center through the creation and execution of peer education programs.
In you are interested in registering for the class, please use the below information:
Title: Topics in African-American Studies (Multicultural Competence in the comment section)
Course Section: AAS 4970
CRN: 22312
Time: MW 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
Location: Sparks 304
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awhite84 • December 7, 2016

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