While Grand Challenge Learning offers its own 100 and 200-level courses in Health & Wellness, Inequality & Cultural Understanding, and Sustainability, Energy & the Environment, there are existing courses in other departments across campus that also speak to these pathways. Following an open call, the courses below were selected to be “Campus Courses,” or affiliated courses with GCL. For a downloadable list of current campus course times and schedules, click here.
Health & Wellness
CMN 260: Intro to Health Communication
Health communication affects all of us in our daily lives, whether it is through interpersonal conversations about health issues, exposure to health images or information in the media, or through our involvement in the healthcare system. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to contemporary theory and research in the field of health communication, as well as to provide a context for understanding the basis of the U.S. healthcare system. For example, course topics include describing and evaluating patient-provider communication, communication with family members about health topics, health campaign messages, use of technology for health communication, and health insurance in the United States.
IHLT 232: Health Disparities in the U.S.
Provides an overview of health disparities in the United States, including existence and magnitude of health disparities, theories that explain health disparities, strategies to address their complexity, and solution required to eliminate them. Disparities are examined related to groups of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic status, gender, age, and ability level.
KIN 340: Social & Psychological Aspects of Physical Activity
This course is designed to acquaint students with how psychological and social processes and constraints influence human action in physical activity environments. The course utilizes both lecture and laboratory/discussion formats, with ample opportunity for interaction and discussion between professor and students as well as among the students. Course objectives include: (a) obtain an in-depth understanding of social and psychological aspects of physical activity by considering the complex relationships between social processes and involvement (or lack thereof) in physical activity; (b) acquire an understanding of a variety of systematic methods for collecting and analyzing various forms of data that are encountered in dealing with social and psychological aspects of physical activity; and (c) provide the opportunity to clearly express ideas, both written and oral, by working under the assumption that critical, analytical, and original thought can be obtained through effective writing and as writing becomes more effective, such forms of thinking will also be enhanced.” Students should feel free (and are strongly encouraged) to ask questions, take alternate viewpoints, present supportive arguments for statements, and generally make themselves a positive presence in the class. This cannot be emphasized enough. Keeping your insights and ideas to yourself will deprive us all of potentially illuminating, interesting, and useful information.
RST 230: Diversity in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism is designed to increase awareness and knowledge of the needs of various marginalized populations in the U.S., including members of ethnic and racial minorities, people of lower socio-economic status, women and people with various gender identities, older adults, lesbian, gay, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) populations, and people with disabilities when it comes to recreation, sport, and tourism services. It introduces students to concepts and factors that influence the delivery of recreation, sport, and tourism services to diverse populations. In addition, concepts and theories related to race relations, discrimination, and prejudice acquisition are discussed.
SHS 222: Language and Culture of Deaf Communities is designed to broaden students’ understanding of the beliefs, values, and traditions of Deaf people who are part of Deaf culture. The term Deaf refers to someone who uses American Sign Language and subscribes to and supports beliefs and values of the Deaf community. The term deaf describes the hearing status of an individual and does not suggest affiliation with users of American Sign Language or the values and beliefs of that community. The course examines relationships among people who comprise the Deaf community as they exist within larger hearing communities. Students will also explore common ways in which Deaf people and hearing people relate to and interact with each other. The course is relevant to the Health and Wellness pathway in Grand Challenge Learning because it explores the interaction between audiological/hearing status and cultural identity.
Inequality & Cultural Understanding
ACE 255: Economics of Rural Poverty and Development
Students in this course will learn techniques for measuring poverty. Characteristics of rural poverty will be examined and students will learn how to evaluate poverty paradigms. In the course, causes of poverty will be examined and the students will consider policy options for assisting the rural poor.
GEOG/GLBL 221: Geographies of Global Conflict
This course provides frameworks for understanding how global inequalities come into being and are reproduced across time and space. Specifically, it provides historical backgrounds and theoretical tools for understanding how socioeconomic well-being, political stability, and exposure to ecological crises become distributed unevenly across the planet. The course is designed to provoke students to think of innovative solutions to the grand challenges that characterize today’s globalized world.
MUSE 250/ANTH 250: The World Through Museums examines how this now worldwide phenomenon reflects, reproduces, occasionally confronts, and mediates the cultural, economic, social, and political roots of inequality. It also evaluates the roles of museums in promoting cultural understanding as social institutions and communicators of heritage. During the first half of the course we will develop a museum literacy framework grounded in anthropological, globalization, media, and critical theories, and examine the complex transnational policy and multi-cultural contexts in which today’s museums operate. In the second half of the course we will virtually visit and read about museums around the world (in class and as individual projects), exploring and analyzing how a broad range of museum configurations have resulted from past and present societal decisions. MUSE 250 also counts as an elective for the undergraduate Anthropology major and for the certificate in Museum Studies.
Sustainability, Energy, & the Environment
ACE 210: Environmental Economics
In this course, we will apply the tools of economics to the analysis of environmental problems and public policy formation. We will study human behavior to understand why environmental problems occur, and how that understanding can guide our choice among the policy tools available to address the problems. With economic theory and tools of policy analysis in hand, we will learn about environmental policies as they currently exist in the U.S. and elsewhere, and develop the ability to critique those policies in a rigorous and constructive manner. We will also discuss how private-sector agents can play a role in solving environmental problems. Through this course, you will build your capacity for critical thinking and problem-solving.
ACE 251: The World Food Economy
This course examines rapid changes in the global demand, supply, and distribution of food. The course uses basic economic concepts to understand systems of food demand and supply and how changes in those systems affect people, markets and the environment. The class focuses on population growth, income growth, technological change and natural resources as central factors affecting the global food economy. We will look at how countries use food policies to ensure food security and the role of international markets in balancing supply and demand.
CMN 220: Communicating Public Policy
This course examines policy making and policy-oriented communication through the lens of “sustainability.” In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development argued that “humanity has the ability to make development sustainable to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (“Our Common Future,” 1987). This idea rests on the commitment that living things are interconnected through social, economic, environmental, and developmental systems, there exist appropriate limits on human impacts to exist into the future, and that sustainable development is not only possible, but it has the ability to expand opportunities for life today. The idea of sustainability is at stake in some of our most important public policy debates, from climate change to clean energy, and from the politics of food to social justice. Sustainability is also connected to issues around race, class, and power. In this class, we will discover how sustainability manifests in a variety of public controversies and policies.
GEOG 204: Cities of the World
This class will broaden your knowledge and understanding of global urbanization, urban form, and the lives of city dwellers around the world. You will explore significant urban patterns and processes, built and natural environments, and social, economic, and cultural landscapes through cross-regional comparisons from both developed and developing countries. By studying the spatial form of urban areas in different world regions, you will learn how inequality can be built into the very shape of the city, as well as the ways in which people can overcome it.
GEOG/ESE 210: Social and Environmental Issues
Introduction to the complex relationship between people and the natural environment from a social science perspective. Explores different approaches to environmental issues, and examines the role of population change, political economy, technologies, environmental policymaking, and social institutions in causing and resolving contemporary social and environmental global issues.
PS 224: Politics of National Parks
This course uses US national parks to examine the issues around the environment and sustainability. The national parks try to preserve large, intact ecosystems while also serving millions of visitors each year, so the politics of sustainable tourism is central to park management. The course takes a multidisciplinary perspective to understanding the political conflicts among tourists, businesses, environmentalists, park employees, and others. You’ll learn about the impact of tourists on the environment, the politics of science in the parks, how management interventions affect ecosystems in good and bad ways, and how climate change shapes the parks. We’ll also discuss some policy challenges the parks face. Note: The online version of this course focuses solely on the politics of the Greater Yellowstone Area (Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks), and takes you on a “virtual field trip” to the region. The summer field course travels either to the Greater Yellowstone Area *or* to Colorado and Utah, and requires a separate application and program fee.