Spring Program Requirements

Unlike many honors programs, Millikin University doesn't reward hard-work and academic success simply with more work. Instead Millikin Honors Students are afforded freedom and flexibility as they complete their University Studies requirements. Millikin Honors courses are engaging and enriched, student-driven courses made possible by the passion and intellectual curiosity of both the honors faculty and students. Honors students also engage significantly with both the honors community and the campus and larger community through service and outreach activities. Below are Honors pathways for both incoming freshman and transfer students. For questions, contact the Honors Director, Dr. Michael Hartsock.

Click on the link below for Spring 2021 Honors course descriptions.


Honors Students follow the Honors curriculum presented here rather than the University Studies Program Requirements presented elsewhere in the bulletin. Honors Students are still responsible for all other applicable requirements as defined by their academic programs of study (e.g., college and major specific requirements). Non-honors students must complete 37 -- 41 credit hours for University Studies, and the 29 credit hours described below replace those 37 -- 41 hours. The Millikin Honors Program is "instead of" not in addition to." Honors students take ownership of their general education experience and select from a variety of topic-oriented courses.

Honors Students must complete the following courses (29 credits)

  • HN183. Honors University Seminar (3 credits)
  • ​HN150. Honors Writing Studio I (3 credits)
  • ​HN151. Honors Writing Studio II (3 credits)
  • Three of the following (9 credits total):
    • HN202. Creative Arts Honors Seminar (3 credits)
    • HN203. Humanities Honors Seminar (3 credits)
    • HN204. Natural Science Honors Seminar (3 credits)
    • HN206. Social Science Honors Seminar (3 credits)
    • HN207. Mathematics Honors Seminar (3 credits)
  • HN300. Honors Interdisciplinary Colloquium (3 credits)
    Students may meet this requirement by taking an additional HN350 course.
  • HN350. Honors Global Interdisciplinary Colloquium (3 credits)
    Students studying abroad for Millikin credit may articulate an IN350 eligible course with either HN300 or HN350 (but not both) to fulfill this requirement.
  • IN490. Honors Independent Study (4 credits) May be articulated with a course or set of courses in another academic department (e.g., research hours in the natural sciences or an internship) via an Honors Program Capstone Contract.
  • HN400. Honors Symposium (1 credit)
  • HN300. Honors Interdisciplinary Colloquium (3 credits)

Honors Capstone Project

The Honors Capstone Project provides Honors Students with an opportunity to pursue artistic achievement, traditional or interdisciplinary research, or service-learning and community-based projects. The Honors Capstone could be an enrichment or extension of an academic project, creative activity, or practical experience in which the student is already engaged through her major area of study. It could also be a fully distinct project of the student’s choosing. To qualify as an Honors Capstone Project, a project must be judged to be of Honors-level work by the Honors Director and the Student’s Honors Project Advisor.

Transfer students who participated in the honors program at their most recent former institution of higher education are invited to petition the Honors Director for admission into Millikin University’s Honors Program. Students transferring from two-year institutions with which Millikin has a formal Honors Program articulation agreement are automatically invited to join the Honors Program. Honors coursework will be transferred as determined by the Honors Director and the University Registrar. Students who have earned an Associates of Arts or an Associate of Sciences and successfully completed their 2 year institution’s honors program will be regarded as having met all 100 and 200 level honors program requirements.

Why should a student transfer into the Millikin Honors Program?

As a transfer student, joining the Honors Program gives you the opportunity to continue your honors experience at Millikin. Our Honors Community is strong, supportive and vibrant. Transferring into the Honors Program, allows you to plug yourself directly into a community of intellectually curious and academically engaged students, students like you. The Honors Program also affords you an opportunity to complete remaining general education courses and meet a variety of other graduation requirements in an Honors environment. Transfer Honors students share all of the benefits enjoyed by all Millikin Honors Students.

Exclusive and engaging Honors Courses that:

  • Are flexible and student driven
  • Cover a wide variety of topics taught by Honors Faculty
  • Feature innovative and experimental pedagogy
  • Fulfill all University Studies requirements
  • Opportunities for individualized & self-motivated scholarship or creative projects.
  • Interaction with campus leaders among students, faculty, and administrators
  • Service and outreach activities which enrich and serve the Honors, Millikin, and larger community.
  • Access to a dedicated Honors Student Lounge.
  • Freshman and Sophomore residential Honors Communities
  • Early Registration for courses.
  • Ability to register for up to 21 credits per term at normal, full-time tuition rate.

Honors Program Requirements

  • HN300. Honors Interdisciplinary Colloquium (3 credits)
    Students may meet this requirement by taking an additional HN350 course.
  • HN350. Honors Global Interdisciplinary Colloquium (3 credits)
    Students studying abroad for Millikin credit may articulate an IN350 eligible course with either HN300 or HN350 (but not both) to fulfill this requirement.
  • IN490. Honors Independent Study (4 credits)  May be articulated with a course or set of courses in another academic department (e.g., research hours in the natural sciences or an internship) via an Honors Program Capstone Contract.
  • HN400. Honors Symposium (1 credit)

Honors Capstone Project: The Honors Capstone project provides Honors Students with an opportunity to pursue artistic  achievement, traditional or interdisciplinary research, or service-learning and community-based projects. The Honors Capstone could be an enrichment or extension of an academic project, creative activity, or practical experience in which the student is already engaged through her major area of study. It could also be a fully distinct project of the student’s choosing. To qualify as an Honors Capstone Project, a project must be judged to be of Honors-level work by the Honors Director and the Student’s Honors Project Advisor.

* Honors students who did not complete the honors program at their previous institution may need to complete additional Millikin Honors Program courses. See the Millikin University Bulletin and contact the Honors Director, Dr. Michael Hartsock for further information.

Spring 2021 Honors Course Descriptions

These are broken up into three groups: Honors Writing Studio II, 200 level seminars, and 300 level colloquia. All first year honors students need to take an Honors Writing Studio II & a 200-level seminar in the spring. All honors students are welcome to take any of the 200 or 300 level courses, whether you “need” them or not!

Honors Writing Studio II (HN151-01)

Dr. Anne Matthews

CRN: 30053

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 AM - 10:50 AM

Coursework: Online

Honors Writing Studio II (HN151-02)

Dr. Anne Matthews

CRN: 30054

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1 PM - 1:50 PM

Coursework: Online    

Honors Writing Studio II (HN151-04)

Dr. Michael O’Conner

CRN: 30180

Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Coursework: Online

Honors Writing Studio II (HN151-03)                                       

Dr. Michael O’Conner

CRN: 30179

Tuesday, Thursday: 11 AM - 12:15 PM

Coursework: Online

Honors Writing Studio II (HN151-05)

Dr. Tony Magagna

CRN: 30181

Tuesday, Thursday: 2 PM - 3:15 PM

Coursework: Online




200 Level Honors Seminars:

Comic books from Page to Screen (HN 202-01)

Professor Eric Hector

CRN: 31115

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:  11 A.M. -- 11: 50 A.M.

Coursework:  In Person (Lecture)

Comic books from Page to Screen is an in-depth exploration of the comic book medium and the current domination of comic books as a primary source material for popular film and television.  Students will explore different comics and their migration from printed illustrations and text to motion pictures.  From the earliest comic films to "Avengers End Game" the highest grossing movie of all time, students will discuss the history of a myriad of comic book properties and their transitions from page to screen.  From obvious comic book adaptations like Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" to more obscure offerings like "A History of Violence," students will examine and explore the reasons for the current success of comic book movies and television.


American Film (HN203-01)

Dr. Michael O'Conner

CRN:  30010

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 2 P.M. -- 2:50 P.M

Coursework:  Online

This three-credit film studies honors seminar is essentially an introduction to viewing film as an aesthetic art form, with some emphasis on cinema terminology and technique, the history of film, and the relationship between film and literature. A significant theme running throughout the course will be "the American Dream, the American Nightmare," or an examination of how cultural and national identity, including our hopes and fears, are reflected in the films we make and watch in the United States. These films often include examinations of issues of race, class, or gender.   Influential and award-winning films used in the past have included Birth of a Nation, The Gold Rush, Citizen Kane, Stagecoach, It's a Wonderful Life, The Godfather, The Maltese Falcon, Do the Right Thing, American Beauty, War of the Worlds, Singin’ In the Rain, Juno, and others. Fulfills a humanities honors seminar requirement for Honors Students.  If student does not continue on in the Honors Program, can fulfill the College of Arts & Sciences literature course requirement, and/or can count as an IN250 requirement.


Reacting to the Past (HN203-02)

Dr. Brian Mullgardt

CRN: 30096

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1 P.M. -- 1:50 p.m.

Coursework:  Hybrid

This seminar is a Reacting to the Past (TM) course in which students play sophisticated role-playing games to learn about key moments in U.S. history.  As per the Reacting website, students are "assigned character roles with specific goals and must communicate, collaborate, and compete effectively to advance their objectives.   Reacting promotes engagement with big ideas, and improves intellectural and academic skills."  It's also fun, and has been modified to be played during a pandemic.


Frederick Douglass (HN203-03)

Dr. Roger Monroe

CRN:  30172

Tuesday, Thursday: 4 PM - 5:15 PM

Coursework: In Person (Lecture)


Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery and led a dramatic crusade against what Southern whites called “the peculiar institution.” He also lobbied for social and political rights for black Americans after the Civil War. The course traces the course of Douglass’s life and work, his trials and tribulations, as he navigates both the antebellum and postbellum United States. Students will examine period documents, specifically Douglass’s literary and editorial written works, such as “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” as well as his book, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. We will also examine the cultural and political context in which Douglass lived and labored, the abuse he suffered as a slave and his remarkable path to freedom, his subsequent conflicts with white abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison, and his troubled reflections on the failures of the Reconstruction period. The course will focus on class discussions of Douglass’s speeches and writings, supplemented by brief lectures, films, and an occasional podcast or other online production. Evaluation will be through exams, quizzes, a research paper, and brief research presentation.



Free Will & Moral Responsibility

Dr. Michael Hartsock

CRN:  30173

Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Coursework: In Person (Lecture)


It seems obvious that, at least for many things I do, I choose to act in certain ways, and I could choose to act differently.  Philosophers call this capacity free will.  It seems obvious to us that we have free will, but upon closer examination the idea of free will goes from obvious to deeply perplexing.  For one, every event in the known universe has a cause, and the more we learn about the brain, the more this rule seems to apply to us, as well.  In light of this, some argue that free will is an illusion:  Our brains are machines and all of our actions are the result of a long chain of causes, like dominoes falling into one another.  Others argue that God’s omniscience determines all future events, leaving no room for free will.  But we cannot abandon free will lightly.  Free will seems a necessary condition for many of the things we value, like morality and love.  Imagine life without free will:


    • You aren't responsible or praiseworthy for being a hard-working, intelligent honors student.  You're merely lucky for having such a fine brain.

    • The people in jail aren't there because they are responsible or blameworthy.  They are unlucky for having such bad brains.

    • I can't help but love my children and my wife.  What is so special about a relationship that I didn't choose and couldn't feel differently about?

In this course we will investigate the meaning of free will, and the arguments for and against its existence.  Furthermore, we will examine the significance of Free Will for other, related issues like morality, love, and science.  You should choose this seminar, if you can!


International Nobel Prize Literature (HN203-05)

Dr. Anne Matthews

CRN:  30185

Tuesday, Thursday: 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Coursework: Online

According to one philosopher, literature is a thought experiment in ethics. Another philosopher wrote that people are beings for whom being is a problem. Indeed, these approaches to literature and being are just other ways of articulating Millikin’s three core questions: who am I? how can I know? what should I do? All of the authors we will read—Heinrich Boll, Albert Camus, Wole Soyinka, Toni Morrison and Doris Lessing—concern themselves one way or another with personal identity, community, values, conflict and self-knowledge, among other issues. Most importantly, their work calls on us to reflect on ourselves and our relationship to others and the world.


Biology of Spiders (HN204-01)

Dr. Marianne Robertson

CRN:  30014

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 AM - 9:50 AM

Coursework: In Person


The goal of this course is to develop an appreciation of biology in general, using spiders as a learning tool.  We will examine structure and function as a background to understanding the ecology and behavior of these animals.  Lectures require class participation by all students!! Laboratory work will emphasize spider natural history and identification. This course counts as your Natural Science with lab requirement, so there is a significant laboratory component representing performance learning in action!  The lab focuses on identification of common spiders to the family level.  My class motto is: Bring Your Enthusiasm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Entrepreneurship Infused Digital Fabrication (HN204-02)

Dr. Kyle Knust

CRN:  30169

Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Coursework: In Person (Lecture)


An entrepreneurship infused honors seminar to introduce digital fabrication technologies and their diverse applications. Through a combined lecture and laboratory approach, the operating principles for digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing, laser cutting, and computer numerical control (CNC) milling will be studied. Students will use computer-aided design (CAD) software to generate models. Hands-on experience operating fused deposition modeling (FDM) and stereolithography (SLA) 3D printers will be provided during laboratory work to demonstrate the application and limitations of these technologies. Student teams will employ an entrepreneurial mindset to complete a series of projects utilizing digital fabrication to convert ideas into physical solutions addressing real-world problems. The course will culminate with a team-developed project to prepare a prototype that creates financial or social value.

This course will only be offered in-person as there will be a significant amount of in-person “lab” time required.


Analysis of Economic and Financial Data (HN206-01)

Dr. Michael Osei

CRN: 31132

Tuesday, Thursday:  9:30 A.M. -- 10:45 A.M.

Coursework:  In Person (Optional Zoom)

The ability to work with data is of fundamental importance in all areas of life and a key skill sought after by employers. Many civil servants, central bankers, and practitioners in the private sector use economic and financial data on a daily basis to shed light on many economic and financial issues that often depend on what is happening with stock prices, interest rates, house prices, and exchange rates.

The purpose of this course is to present the basics of data analysis in a simple, non-mathematical way, emphasizing graphical and verbal intuition. Students will learn how to use Stata and Microsoft Excel to analyze economic and financial data, apply different techniques in the context of real-world empirical problems, and learn practical data analysis skills that are necessary in virtually any career path that you may choose to follow. Problem sets will be accompanied by different data sets in order to encourage students to work as much as possible with real-world data and to develop practical hands-on computer experience.

This course is aimed at teaching methods of data analysis to students, whose primary interest or area of study is not in econometrics, statistics, or mathematics, as well as those who are facing economic financial data analysis for the first time. This course can serve either as a stand-alone course in applied data analysis or as an accessible alternative to standard statistical or econometric courses.   No prior experience with data or statistics is required.


300 Level Honors Colloquia

Global Science Policy (HN350-01)

Dr. Laura Zimmerman

CRN:  30051

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 AM - 9:50 AM

Coursework: Online (Synchronous)


This course will discuss how science policy is created, analyzed, and put into action as well as its impact and importance across the globe. The role of players such as scientists, politicians, the government, industry, media and the public will be discussed.


Philosophy on Personal Identity (HN350-02)

Dr. Robert Money

CRN:  30084

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 9 AM - 9:50 AM

Coursework: Hybrid


In this course, we will utilize a range of historical and contemporary philosophical texts to facilitate engagement in critical thinking about a puzzling aspect of persons. What makes a person at two different times the same person? What is it, if anything, that makes “you” (i.e., the person who is reading this course description now) the same person as the person who began reading this description only a few moments before? What is it, if anything, that makes you now the same person as the person who enrolled at Millikin University many months ago? Depending on what is involved in the continued existence of a person over time, there are implications regarding the survival conditions for persons. For example, is it possible for “you” to survive the destruction of your physical body, including your brain? What might this even mean? There may also be implications regarding the importance of survival. Is survival of crucial importance? Or, as Derek Parfit puts it, might there be ways of dying that are about as good as ordinary survival? We will explore these and related issues over the course of the semester. 

As for delivery methods, I am leaning to repeating what I did this semester: hybrid approach. Depending on enrollments, dividing class into half. Teaching one half in person M, the other half on W, zoom remotely on Friday. I am up in the air about whether to repeat content M&W and continue requiring a forum post each week completed out of class to make up for the "missing work." It means less content, but the forum posts are really working. I plan to ask students, so I would like to make a final decision on that. For now, list it as hybrid with in-person M and W and remote zoom on Friday. The Friday will be synchronous, with meeting taking place as normally scheduled class time.


Philosophy East-West (HN350-03)

Dr. Eric Roark

CRN:  30200

Tuesday, Thursday: 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Coursework: In Person (Lecture)


 This course will survey the most influential traditions within both Eastern and Western Philosophy.  Within these traditions the goal will be focused on exploring as many aspects of philosophy including: ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of religion.  

Voices of Chernobyl (HN350-04)

Dr. Eric Roark (Primary); Dr. Denise Myers; Dr. Janet Kirby; Dr. Ngozi Onuora; and Dr. Mark Tonelli

CRN:  31101

Monday, Wednesday: 5 PM - 6:15 PM

Coursework: Online

Description Pending. But here is some information about the book that anchors the course: Alexievich, Svetlana. Kieth Gessen (Trans). Voices from Chernobyl.


Book description from Amazon: On April 26, 1986, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history occurred in Chernobyl and contaminated as much as three quarters of Europe. Voices from Chernobyl is the first book to present personal accounts of the tragedy. Journalist Svetlana Alexievich interviewed hundreds of people affected by the meltdown---from innocent citizens to firefighters to those called in to clean up the disaster---and their stories reveal the fear, anger, and uncertainty with which they still live. Comprised of interviews in monologue form, Voices from Chernobyl is a crucially important work, unforgettable in its emotional power and honesty.


Below is an exert from The New York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/08/books/voices-from-chernobyl-anexcerpt.html)


Svetlana Alexievich won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday. The following excerpt of her work is taken from “Voices From Chernobyl.” The book, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, is a compilation of interviews with survivors of the nuclear reactor accident.


I want to bear witness . . .


It happened ten years ago, and it happens to me again every day.

We lived in the town of Pripyat. In that town. 

I’m not a writer. I won’t be able to describe it. My mind is not enough to understand it. And neither is my university degree. There you are: a normal person. A little person. You’re just like everyone else — you go to work, you return from work. You get an average salary. Once a year you go on vacation. You’re a normal person! And then one day you’re turned into a Chernobyl person, an animal that everyone’s interested in, and that no one knows anything about. You want to be like everyone else, and now you can’t. People look at you differently. They ask you: Was it scary? How did the station burn? What did you see? And, you know, can you have children? Did your wife leave you? At first we were all turned into animals. The very word “Chernobyl” is like a signal. Everyone turns their head to look. He’s from there!

That’s how it was in the beginning. We didn’t just lose a town, we lost our whole lives. We left on the third day. The reactor was on fire. I remember one of my friends saying, “It smells of reactor.” It was an indescribable smell. But the papers were already writing about that. They turned Chernobyl into a house of horrors, although actually they just turned it into a cartoon. I’m only going to tell about what’s really mine. My own truth.








Below is a sample of honors courses that were previously offered at Millikin:

Previous Honors Courses

Global Haiku Traditions
Dr. Randy Brooks
This course examines the origins and spread of Japanese poetics from Japan around the world, with a special focus on the adaptation of haiku into other cultures and languages. This course explores the role of haiku as a social literary art—both the art of reading and art of writing haiku emphasize the importance of shared collaborative aesthetic experiences (shared acts of the imagination). There is a very active global haiku community of writers, editors, scholars and associations celebrating participation in this literary art. We will study the history of haiku and related poetics in Japan, and then examine the contemporary internalization of haiku in various cultures. Students complete both an analytical study of a contemporary haiku poet or issue in the haiku community as well as various creative projects connecting haiku to other arts. There are numerous web resources available for this course located at: http://performance.millikin.edu/haiku

Stress and Disease
Dr. Travis Wilcoxen
Understanding the health and physiology of humans can be greatly improved by studying nonhuman animals. Humans have retained many ancestral physiological traits, such as stress responses, that are beneficial to many other animals, but are somewhat useless, or even harmful, to us. Further, as human populations continue to grow and encroach on populations of wild animals, diseases that are often found in other animals occasionally jump into human populations. In this course, students will gain an understanding of the interrelatedness of stress and disease of humans and other animals through the reading of primary sources and nonfiction works with scientific topics. This course also includes hands-on laboratory activities.

It Came From Memphis
Dr. Dave Burdick
It Came from Memphis is an examination of the origins of Rock and Roll artistry and how this artistry was developed and commercialized through recording technology. Artistry can best be understood through a larger examination of social/historical context and the very nature of artistic creation. So, even though this is not really a history course, there is a strong component of historical study with the intent being to place artistry and recording technology – coupled with the music entrepreneurs whose vision provided the means for artists to attain commercial success in time, and thus understand sequences of events and influences that have led us to where we are today regarding Rock and Roll music. It Came from Memphis includes a field trip to Memphis over the first weekend of Fall break so that we may “walk in the footsteps of history”.

International Trade and Economic Development
Dr. Najiba Benabess
This course is composed of two parts. In the first part, we examine why nations trade, what they trade, and whether trade is beneficial for a country. We cover the comparative advantage theory, which explains international trade with the differences in labor productivity and resource endowments. International labor capital movements and foreign outsourcing will be also discussed. The second part focuses on the relationship between international trade and economic development. We discuss how international trade affects economic growth, income inequality, and poverty reduction in the trading countries. We will also study the trade policies such as tariff and nontariff instruments and their impact on welfare under different market structures. In particular, we evaluate the effectiveness of trade policies in developing countries in promoting economic development. The evolution of regional free trade agreements and the new world trading system under the WTO will be reviewed and discussed.

Horror in Film and Fiction: Daring the Nightmare
Prof. Judi Crowe
This course explores the genre of horror in fiction and film, its historical, social, political, and cultural underpinnings, and what is at stake in the genre as a whole in terms of issues of religion, psychology, science, ethics, gender, race, and culture. We will examine and discuss a variety of scholarly, historical, literary, and pop culture sources as well as view films representative of various subgenres (monster, psychological, etc.) of horror. Core texts by Stephen King and our reading packet offer diverse grounding of a topic that continues to disturb, sometimes disgust, yet ever intrigues us. Indeed, as King points out, we do so like to dare the nightmare……..

Sex, Lies, and the Brothers Grimm: The Real Fairy Tales
Dr. Anne Matthews
We know fairy tales mostly through Disney versions—Beauty and the Beast, in particular, has enjoyed multiple iterations and interpretations. But if we go back to the original stories (or as close as we can get in origination and translation), we quickly find that the once familiar tales are actually quite strange: more raw, more complex, more challenging and disturbing. Still, the old tales have much to tell us about love, sex, marriage, family, childhood, society, violence, abandonment, and perhaps most important of all, transformations from one way of being into another. In short, the storytellers had the same questions we have: who are we? What is my relationship to others? Why should I care about my community? Where am I going? These are only some opening questions—no doubt we will think of others as we read and talk and write about these weird works of the human imagination.

Psych for a Popular Audience
Dr. Melissa Scircle
Psychology for a Popular Audience will investigate the science of psychology through reading books written about psychology for a mass audience, watching TED talks, listening to podcasts, reading news articles, and - yes - reading the original research articles. We will explore what makes science writing different from scientific writing, how scientists can effectively communicate their research findings to non-scientists and discover how psychological research goes beyond the laboratory to make a broader impact on the world. Plan to read, watch, listen, discuss, write…and maybe even give your own TED talk.

Monsters, Exiles & Others
Dr. Anne Matthews
Of all the definitions of “monster”—abnormal, grotesque, repulsive, among others—I like the Latin one best. From the word “monere”—to monitor, to warn—and from the word “monstrum”—a divine omen, a portent, a sign—the monster emerges as an observer, as well as a messenger. What does the monster see? What news has she come to give us? What warning must we heed? In our reading, which will include Beowulf, Frankenstein, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Island of Dr Moreau, and one or two other narratives, we will attend to the monsters’ tales, taking in their knowledge and discerning what they are asking us to do.

Creating the Documentary: Telling the Story of a Lifetime
Dr. Ngozi Onuora
This 3 credit hour course allows student scholars to research and create an 8 to 10 minute documentary about a national, historical, or social issue for which they are passionate and want to bring to the consciousness of the campus and the greater (local) community. Working in teams of 35 people (depending on class size), students will take on key roles as part of a film crew while engaging in critical thinking, reading, writing, research, and creative problem-solving to plan the content of the documentary and the execution of filming/editing/producing the final movie to tell a story they have always wanted to tell. To prepare for the process of creating a quality documentary, scholars will watch and critique several documentaries throughout the first half of the semester; learn about copyright laws and fair use policies; address ethical issues in documentary storytelling; learn ways documentaries can address historical, social, cultural, and political issues; practice effective use of video recording devices; and, experiment with editing footage using video editing software such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc. (depending on available software), among other preparatory learning activities. The culminating event will be Millikin University’s fifth Blue Docs Rock documentary film festival. Film crews will advertise and generate a publicity campaign to garner support for the premiere of their documentaries. Finally, students may be encouraged to submit their documentaries to appropriate film festivals or online venues to experience entering a film contest.