Honors Program Launches with a Course on Racism in Popular Culture

Student: Paisley Anderson
Student: Patrick Castro

The College of Liberal Arts is excited to announce the launch of the Woodbury Honors Program. The Honors Program (HONR) is an interdisciplinary, active learning-based, academic enrichment program available to high achieving students. It aims to enhance their educational experience through curricular, co-curricular, and community service experiences in a way that coordinates with their major course of study. Participation in the program results in special designation on their academic transcript and conferred degree.

The first pilot class, taught by Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) librarian Ayanna Gaines, focused on racism in popular culture. In putting together her class, Professor Gaines spent many months working through the questions, “Does popular culture show what racism already exists in our society?” or “Does popular culture contribute to racism?” At our February CoLA-Verse event, she discussed the history of modern music and its roots in spirituals, work calls, and chants that slaves brought with them from Africa. Event participants talked about Donald Glover’s song and video, This is America, and students, Paisley Anderson, Patrick Castro, and Mariely Tavarez presented their own investigations into this topic.

Honors Program courses are one unit, seven-week classes and are open to all Woodbury students, with space reserved for students currently in the Honors Program. CoLA will run two HONR courses per semester, created by faculty representing all the schools/divisions in the university. In the fall, students have an opportunity to enroll in Professor Wendy Bendoni’s course, “Accelerate the Present: Forecasting Trends, Seeing the Future,” and Professor Berenika Boberska’s course, “Dangerous Landscapes: The Landscape Imaginary in the Age of Technology.”

Last Updated on March 26, 2021. 

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