Honors courses pose challenges and opportunities



The Astronomy Department will have an Honors Program class led by Gregory Grist for the upcoming spring 2012 semester. Astronomy is a general education course fulfilling the requirements for any two-year college student. This gives a great opportunity to the students who have a project in mind.

Grist, who likes to be called Professor G. R. Grist, stated that the course does not require any prerequisites. He has had experience with service in science and a background in Astronomy. The exciting thing for this semester and for spring 2012 is that the Honors section is now available. The aim of this program is for students to research a project which gives them the opportunity to be selected to present for a prestigious organization. Students who are selected to present their Honors research will have a more enriched curriculum.

Furthermore, for the spring semester in 2012, Astronomy will have a new course: the Astronomy Lab that helps complete a science requirement. In addition to the new honors classes in Astronomy, students will also have the choice of enrolling in honors Anthropology courses.

Professor Lori Slicton, who leads the Anthropology section of the Honor Transfer Program, will also be teaching two Honors classes. The anthropology pamphlet describes the courses: “The first is a comparative analysis of human cultures with an emphasis on core concepts such as kinship, religion, politics, technology, and appreciation of our societal variability.                 

The second is a Biological consideration of the origin, development, and potential survival of humans and other primates, including concepts of evolution.”

“This is an Anthropology course, highlighting ANTH 110 which is a transferrable UC; CSU class and ANTH 125”, Slicton said.

“We are having a Genographic Program evolving from these courses and about 22 students are participating and have paid $ 40.00 dollars to do so, but normally costs much more than that. National Geographic gave us a discount price and we covered part of the cost to make it accessible.”

She says students will have gotten their cheeks swabbed and the DNA specimens are being sent to the National Geographic Laboratories to help to figure out students’ origins. “If we are lucky and our grandma told us the truth, we usually do know about 2 to 4 generations, and with this test they will be able to know the truth going back to 2000 generations, a deep generic of about 60,000 years,” adds Slicton.

Many people feel illiterate in science and we are living in a time where science is a must.. The project does not look for medical history. For the first time, we are looking for people’s origins and how we adapted to new environments.

We evolve because humans invent as needs arise. We need better tools, clothing, technology, and language, and through it, we also evolve. “The Darwin Theory is still correct, but culture enters in,” Slicton said. “Evolution by natural selection said that those with the characteristics that best suit with the environment will survive and will reproduce more often.”

Know that there is a learning community waiting for you, hoping that you will join them so that they can help you to be successful.