2013-14 Williams Fund Recipients

Catalyzing Knowledge Building Related to the Impact of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples

Mark Carey, Robert D. Clark Honors College (History)
Kathy Lynn, Environmental Studies

Two simultaneous interactive courses on indigenous peoples and climate change will be taught that culminate in a single student conference with invited keynote speakers presenting to the broader campus and Eugene communities. The two courses – one in the Clark Honors College, the other in the Environmental Studies Program – will have consistent interactions and shared assignments from different disciplinary approaches. Overall, the goal is not only to engage a critical environmental and cultural issue, but also to give students unique professional experiences as both researchers and presenters, and allow students to educate the general public about the ways in which climate change disproportionately affects indigenous peoples.

Learning from Master Clinicians: Using Multimedia Case Examples to Enhance Undergraduate Education

Heather Moore and Jessica L. Fanning, Special Education and Clinical Services, Communication Disorders and Sciences Program

Ten high quality clinical case examples will be produced that will be used instructionally across Communication Disorders and Sciences (CDS) courses and assignments.  Each case example will be a video series that highlights one client/subject with a speech, language or hearing disorder. These carefully crafted, digital representations of specific disorders/domains will be used to expand and augment the effectiveness of the interdepartmental collaborative approach to undergraduate instruction.

Improving Student Learning through Increased Number of Inquiry-Based Labs in the Honors Biology Sequence

Carl Stiefbold, Biology

A “portable classroom” of 16 laptop computers dedicated to the new Honors Biology Lab course will support an increase in inquiry-based lab activities in the Honors Biology sequence.  Inquiry-based lab exercises improve student learning compared to more classical lab exercises. These new activities will help students learn how to choose a testable hypothesis, that research doesn’t always work and goes slowly, that research is collaborative, and that science is more ambiguous than it appears in lectures. Students will gain experience defending ideas, giving oral presentations and writing scientifically.

A New Morse Undergraduate Fellows Program

Daniel Tichenor, Political Science & Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics

The core objective of this project is to establish a new Morse Undergraduate Fellows Program that provides significant intellectual, service, and research opportunities for talented UO students from varied disciplines who are passionate about American politics and public affairs.  Specifically, Morse Undergraduate Fellows would benefit from the following teaching and learning innovations:  development of a new seminar “Democratic Dilemmas: Challenges and Choices in American Politics”; creation of regular “Food for Thought” meetings featuring presentations and discussions with resident scholars, speakers, government officials and political practitioners; “field trip” to Salem to observe the Oregon House, Senate, Supreme Court and executive branch at work; supervised internships, service learning options, support for honors thesis; and special leadership training exercises and workshops.

Beyond the Textbook: An Arabic E-book Supplement for the University of Oregon

Rana Mikati and Hanan Ahmad, Religious Studies

This project will enable the instructors to integrate and homogenize cultural material taught in all sections of Arabic. The current instructors have different areas of expertise and hail from different parts of the Arab world. By integrating all cultural materials, they will provide the students with the opportunity to benefit from this expertise as a whole and not be limited to one instructor or resources given by one instructor.  Additional advantages of the e-book supplement include: significantly reducing the environmental impact and paper cost for the department, approaching the major cultural topics systematically in the target language, giving students opportunities for further study and interaction through use of hyperlinks, easy to update, opportunity to cater to the different learning styles of students by enabling presentation of the same material in different formats, and giving the student a sense of independence and control during the learning process thereby improving the learning experience especially in the Intermediate and Advanced levels.