2008-2009 Williams Fund Recipients

Style through Grammar

Carolyn Bergquist, Department of English

When grammar becomes a means for describing and discussing options for communicating creatively and effectively instead of a set of rules that the writer simply fears to violate, it can become a great tool for one who seeks to write with style. The study of beautiful and exemplary sentences will confront the student with possibilities and the opportunities to explore them in their own writing.

“Research-style” Molecular Genetics Laboratory course as a capstone experience

Eric Selker, Department of Biology

Engaging students in independent or supervised original research projects is among the most effective means to develop skills of critical reasoning and analysis. This innovative course abandons the traditional “cookbook” lab approach and, instead, leads students into the challenges of engaging in actual biological research and in producing journal-style papers summarizing their research projects and discoveries.

“DesignBridge Year” Integrating Service Learning into Architectural Education

Nico Larco & Juli Brode, Department of Architecture

Many of the students arriving in the UO architecture program come with a well-directed social mission. This course emphasizes and integrates service learning elements into the existing architecture curriculum. Design Bridge allows students to engage in the life-changing effects of community involvement and civic responsibility.

Restructure of Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Michael Hames-Garcia, Brian Klopotek, Ernesto Martinez, Daniel Martinez Hosang, & Irmary Reyes-Santos, Department of Ethnic Studies

At the University of Oregon, Ethnic Studies has undergone an important transition from a program of study to an academic department. This process has been cognizant of the pedagogical needs of students, especially through the redesign of individual courses in ways that emphasize their complementary nature. The Williams Council supports this curricular revision with particular excitement about the opportunities for capstone courses that focus on research and writing skills in the field of Ethnic Studies.

Geography of Tourism: Integrating Academic Learning with the Local Community

Xiaobo Su, Department of Geography

By structuring a learning environment in which students apply their academic knowledge to their own local Eugene community, this course will examine tourism from a cross-disciplinary perspective. With the 2008 Olympic Trials a recent memory, and with the certainty of other remarkable events on the horizon, students will be engaged in learning that integrates the theoretical with the applied. Working in teams, students will analyze the challenges and opportunities facing Eugene’s tourism industry.

“Cinema in the Muslim World”
English 381: Film, Media & Culture

Sangita Gopal, Department of English

Reflecting the University of Oregon’s ongoing interest in internationalizing its curriculum through the exploration of regions of the world that have not received adequate focus, this new course will enhance students’ understanding of Muslim societies in North Africa and the Middle East. Within this international context, students will consider how cinema, as a cultural artifact, reveals intimate and historical links between what is local and what is global.

Learning by Doing: The Community Service GIS Lab

Marc Schlossberg, Department of Planning, Public Policy & Management
Steve Mital, Environmental Leadership Program
Bob Parker, Community Service Center

Combining the study of geographic information systems (GIS) with community service, this cross-disciplinary laboratory provides a place where community needs and student interest can meet to yield a variety of community-based mapping and monitoring services, including works for urban parks, national forests, and river restoration projects.