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Home > Academics > General Education > 2010AwardWinners
General Education

President’s General Education Initiative

2010 Recipients of Teacher Scholar Grants for Innovative Course Development


AMERICAN STUDIES 110 (redesign of existing course for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Culture and Values

Proposers: Bette Weidman (English), Johnny Lew (English), Diane Menna (English), Neil Meyer (English), Helena Ribeiro (English)

Abstract: The proposal is for full- and part-time faculty to collaborate on a redesign of American Studies 110, “Introduction to American Society and Culture” as a General Education Perspectives Course. This course is of special importance to the Queens College population, which is made up of many first and second generation immigrants who want to connect U.S. and American history and culture to their own lives.

Funding was awarded to support faculty in the design of the new course syllabus, and to attend the New York American Studies Summer Institute “Revisiting the Lower East Side.”

The course has been submitted and approved by the General Education Advisory Committee and taught, as planned, during the Fall 2010 semester. 

EDUCATION 105: Education in Global Times - Radical to Conservative Agenda
(new course design for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Culture and Values

Proposer: Joel Spring (Elementary Education)

Abstract: The proposed new course links students’ educational experiences with global debates about schooling. These debates include the role of human capital economics in global schooling, education for social justice and social reconstruction as an alternative to human capital goals, the impact of global education industries including testing, publishing and software, the global marketing of higher education and the impact of a global educational structure on local cultures, and the education of transnationals in a world of global migration.

Funding was awarded to Professor Spring to attend and present a lecture at a global education conference in Turkey.

The course has been submitted and approved by the General Education Advisory Committee and taught, as planned, during the Fall 2010 semester.

ENGLISH 325: Topics in Gender and Sexualities (redesign of existing course for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Reading Literature

Proposer: Hugh English (English)

Abstract: The course links discipline-specific knowledge to larger issues about identity politics through the reading of representative literatures.  Issues of homosexual, gay, lesbian and queer identities will be explored. This course teaches the practices and methods of literary analysis.

Funding was awarded to acquire relevant course materials (books and dvds). 

The course has not yet been submitted to the General Education Advisory Committee for approval.


MEDIA STUDIES 101 (redesign of existing course for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Analyzing Social Structures

Proposer: Mara Einstein (Media Studies)

Abstract: In line with the Queens College plan to create a model for General Education, this proposal seeks to redesign “Contemporary Media”, one of the existing introductory Media Studies courses. Media are integral not only to the lives of our students, but also to societies around the world where changing communications technologies have economic, political and cultural implications.

Funding was awarded to redesign the course (e.g., compile syllabi and textbooks from introductory classes in media studies, meet with textbook publishers to review available classroom materials, review national models for the introductory media course, and explore the uses of new technologies for the media classroom,

 A graduate student researcher was hired to cull together this information. In addition, an adjunct faculty who has also taught the course extensively was supported to help analyze the materials and develop the course with Professor Einstein.

The proposal was presented to the General Education Advisory Committee during Spring 2011, and is currently awaiting approval.

PHYSICS 005: Physics and the Future (redesign of existing course for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Natural Sciences

Proposers: Azriel Genack (Physics), Igor Kuskovsky (Physics)

Abstract: This course will acquaint students with fundamental ideas and ways of thinking that will enable them to understand and make informed judgments regarding key technical issues upon which the well-being of our society depends. Students will achieve an understanding of the scientific and technical basis of global problems and consider alternative paths towards sustainability.

Funding was awarded for an undergraduate student to work with the faculty to create a portfolio of film clips and pictures that illustrate projections that have been made about the future.

 Funding was also used to support the initial development of a course website to contain important current and historic reports of key agencies, statistical data, news articles, etc.

The course was approved by the General Education Advisory Committee during Spring 2010. It was taught during Fall 2010 and will be taught again in Fall 2011.

URBAN DIVERSITY 103 (redesign of existing course for Perspectives approval)

Area of Knowledge: Analyzing Social Structures

Proposer: Dana-Ain Davis (Urban Studies), Mellissa Checker (Urban Studies), Jeff Maskovsky (Urban Studies), Martin Eisenberg (Urban Studies)

Abstract: This course is an introduction to the study of urban diversity in the U.S.  The course will introduce students to different methods of examining social phenomena, and to an Urban Studies multidisciplinary approach to the study of diversity and inequality.

Funding was provided to allow the proposers to travel to the Society for the Anthropology of North America, where they organized a roundtable discussion on the topic of general education and urban diversity.  The round table discussion was used to generate new learning strategies and content for the lectures and assignments. A graduate assistant was also hired to design web-pages for the course.



Proposers: Miki Makihara (Anthropology), Michael Newman (Linguistics and Communication Disorders)

Abstract:  “Voices of New York” takes the form of a cross-disciplinary undergraduate research seminar in linguistics and anthropology in which students conduct original research projects involving local communities.  The course is designed to increase students’ awareness and understanding of issues connecting language use with social identity, including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and socioeconomic status. 

Funding was awarded to support a teaching assistant to develop the course website, for equipment and supplies.

The course was offered in Fall 2010, but did not reach expected enrollment and will be offered again in Fall 2011.


Proposers: Susan Croll (Psychology), Jason Tougaw (English)

Abstract: In this proposed course, students will learn ways of investigating questions about the human brain that are not yet understood  through methods both literary study and scientific.

This course will require students to bridge traditional disciplinary gaps, inviting them to join a generation of thinkers for whom the synthesis of methods and aims traditionally associated with science or the humanities are becoming increasingly blended to produce new ways of thinking, new ways of understanding the world, and new and fruitful research methods.

Funding supported faculty collaboration.

The course has not been offered yet.


JUST WAR THEORY: America and the War in the 21st Century

Proposers: Sari Kisilevski (Philosophy)

Abstract: This synthesis course critically examines the moral, political and legal issues raised by the war on terror. It does so through the careful analysis of leading historical and contemporary scholarly writing in philosophy and political theory, and original source documents that represent the rules governing the behavior of states in wartime, and the policies adopted by those who determine the course of the war.

The final evaluation for this course will involve the production of a podcast to be aired as an episode of Public Ethics Radio, a podcast (similar to an online radio show) that engages leading ethicists in discussion of pressing practical dilemmas.

Funding was provided for a stipend for a co-teacher, who is one of the producers of Public Ethics Radio.

The course was taught in the Fall 2010, as planned.



Proposers: Roopali Mukherjee (Media Studies), Jeff Maskovsky (Urban Studies)

Abstract: This course encourages students to interrogate their own relationship and that of their families, friends and classmates to the U.S. body politic and to the public sphere. It is designed to teach students at Queens College how democracy works in America by asking them to participate in it.

After students learn about important historical and contemporary examples of democratic action in America, they will develop their own “democracy projects,” interventions into the public sphere that they devise and implement for themselves.

Funding was awarded to prepare a revised course syllabus and to reestablish contacts as well as pursue new relationships with community groups, public officials, and local organizations that might become part of the proposed “democracy projects.”

The course has not yet been taught yet due to enrollment concerns.

(Updated February 23, 2010)
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