Honors introductory Seminar

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Fall 2012
Dillard College of Business Administration
Classroom Number
Days & Times

Date                Speaker/Topic


Miller = “Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution”


8/27-8/31         Introduction to each other, the Introductory Seminar, and the Honors Program

Honors Program and Intro Seminar Issues, Time Management

MBTI inventory

Miller Chapter 1


9/3                   Labor Day-No class (a good day to read your textbooks)


9/5-9/7                         Choosing topics for papers and presentations

                        Writing hints and Plagiarism

                        What is a reflection?

                        Miller Chapter 2


9/10-9/14         Ed Schultz-Religion in School, & Texas Politics: A Comparison and Critical Analysis of the 2012

Democrat and Republican Platforms                

                        Miller Chapter 3


9/17-9/21         Mike Collins-Darwinism, both Scientific and Social, in America after 1859 with possible discussion of

The Scopes Trial in 1925

                        Miller Chapter 4


9/24                 Class discussion     9/28          : Reflections #1 due


9/26-9/28         MBTI verification and validation

Understanding MBTI

MBTI exercises

Miller Chapter 5


10/1-10/5         Jeff Blacklock-School Prayer-An Evolution of the Separation of Church and State in the United States    

                        Miller Chapter 6


10/8                 Class discussion     10/12: Reflections #2 due


10/10-10/12     Library Week-Meet in the Atrium by the Honors Program Lounge

                        Miller Chapter 7


10/15               Term paper prospectus due


10/15-10/19     Linda Veazey-Court Battles over the Teaching of Creation science vs. Evolution in Schools 

                        Miller Chapter 8


10/22-10/26     Kirsten Lodge-The Western Perception of Animals from Antiquity to the Present

                        Miller Chapter 9


10/29               Class discussion     11/2: Reflections #3 due


10/31-11/2       Oral Presentation issues: Do’s and Don’ts; Library time



11/5-11/9         Candice Fulton- From  Magic to Chemistry,  Experimental Trials and Tribulations of Famous Religious

Scientists, and Science - a Study Tool, not an Explanation nor a Replacement for Faith (1 topic per



11/12-11/16     Jeff Stambaugh-The birth, Growth, Maturity, and Decline (Death?) of Research in Motion               


11/16 Oral presentation abstract due


11/19              Class discussion     11/26: Reflections #4 due


11/21-11/23     Thanksgiving-No Class


11/26-11/30     Student Presentations week 1              


12/3                 Term paper due


12/3-12/7         Student Presentations week 2

Dr. Michael A. Vandehey (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives

The course:  Here is the official course description:


This team-taught, interdisciplinary class is designed to guide Honors students in their transition to the University, to sharpen their academic skills, and to introduce them to University faculty members representing various fields of study. In this course, Honors students learn how to use various research methods to acquire and process knowledge in different fields, how to relate ideas learned in one discipline to those learned in others, and how to participate meaningfully in a learning community.


Learning Goals: Students in this class will develop the ability to:


  • Understand the disagreement between evolution and western religious beliefs
  • Be exposed to a variety of disciplines across campus
  • Successfully transition into life in the University and the Honors Program
  • Understand the results of a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory so as to develop personal communication skills, study habits, and career goals
  • Express ideas precisely and persuasively orally and in writing
  • Become familiar with the University library


Your text will look at religious critiques of evolution and use science to challenge them, and then turn around and dissect how science explains the physical world and not the domain of God. Regardless of your position, the ability to understand, question, hear another side, and think for yourself are essential to a well-educated Honors student.


You will hear presentations from faculty members representing seven different academic departments.  Each faculty member will discuss some aspect of their discipline and how it has evolved (changed) over time. Some of the topics will directly relate to the science of evolution while others will look at change within an academic field-what we thought/did then and what we think/do now. The goal is to expose Honors students to the wide breadth of disciplines on campus, how different disciplines define and approach problems, and how the disciplines have changed over time.


In addition to being exposed to a variety of faculty and disciplines, we’ll spend some time scattered throughout the semester focusing on your transition to the University and into the Honors Program. This will involve your completion of a personality inventory (MBTI) as well as working knowledge of the library.  

Course Expectations

Class Participation: Academic communities thrive on the sharing of well-thought out ideas. Students should read ahead of time, review notes from previous speakers, and come prepared to listen to and share ideas. Although class attendance is not an official part of the grade, excessive absences is an indicator of one’s commitment to this learning community and may impact continuation in the Honors Program. See the 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 70-71). As of the 5th absence, a meeting with Dr. Vandehey will be required and additional work may be assigned (e.g., an additional term paper on attendance and its impact on GPA-very boring!!).


Reflections are take-home and involve writing responses to a collection of prompts over the guest speakers and the text. This may be your first experience forming a written reaction based upon your thoughts while also using the information provided by the text and speaker to support your points. Answers should be original, logical, and demonstrate your time and attention to the material.


Term Paper: You will write one term paper on some aspect of the text and/or presenters. Papers of exceptional quality may be eligible for submission to a competition sponsored by the Great Plains Honors Council. Papers will be a minimum of 7 pages typed text not including the title page and reference page. Writing style will be chosen by the instructor (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.). The paper topic will be approved after the prospectus is turned in and reviewed.


Oral Presentation: Student presentations will be given during the last two weeks of class and, if necessary, during the scheduled final exam period. Presentations should be about 12 minutes long and include a Powerpoint presentation. A good oral presentation may result in an invitation to present at the Great Plains Honors Conference in the spring.

Grading Standards

Grades:  Your grade will be based on several items:


            Four in-class Reflections*                   40%     9/28, 10/12, 11/2, and 11/26

            Term Paper Prospectus                        10%     10/15

            Term Paper                                          20%     12/3

            Oral Presentation Outline                   10%     11/16

            Oral Presentation                                20%     11/26-12/10


* As people are learning how to think and write, only 1 rewrite will be allowed on the first two reflections. No rewrites will be allowed on the 3rd or 4th reflections.

Final Exam

12/12/2012 8:00 am

Submission Format Policy


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Class Participation: Academic communities thrive on the sharing of well-thought out ideas. Students should read ahead of time, review notes from previous speakers, and come prepared to listen to and share ideas. Although class attendance is not an official part of the grade, excessive absences is an indicator of one’s commitment to this learning community and may impact continuation in the Honors Program. See the 2012-2014 Student Handbook and Activities Calendar on Class Attendance Policy (pg. 70-71). As of the 5th absence, a meeting with Dr. Vandehey will be required and additional work may be assigned (e.g., an additional term paper on attendance and its impact on GPA-very boring!!).

Other Policies

Electronic Contact: I require 5 working days to be able to read and respond to all email. Please note that my spam filter does keep some emails from getting to me (most recently my wife). In addition, I do not check email after 5 pm nor on weekends/holidays. My cell phone is to be used only by students who have been given it by me (e.g., honor society officers, graduate students). Please do not text me on my cell unless I have personally given you my cell number.


Cell Phones and Pagers: Please turn all cell phones and pagers off (no sound) during class. DO NOT text message during class. DO NOT answer your cell phone in class. Exceptions include emergency calls (e.g., birth of child, family member in hospital). Students who are unable to comply will not be allowed to attend class.


Cheating Policy: Any evidence of cheating on reflections, the paper, or the presentation may result in a zero for that assignment, dismissal from this class with a grade of “F,” and/or dismissal from the Honors Program. We will discuss plagiarism in this class-please pay special attention.


Travel Plans: Please do not make travel plans during finals week. The final will be given when the university has scheduled it as per the schedule of classes.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at