Wildcat Connect: e-FOCUS Seminars

College prep will be online for summer 2021

With the health and well being of all participants in mind, Northwestern College Prep Programs will continue with an online format in Summer 2021.


The Wildcat Connect: e-FOCUS Seminars are designed to expose you to top Northwestern faculty highlighting themes relevant today. These interactive courses are two weeks in length, highly engaging, and are structured similarly to the curriculum in a undergraduate seminar. Northwestern faculty and staff will lead your seminar through rigorous college level work and discussion, enabling a rich learning experience. Depending on the course, you can expect to devote additional time outside of class to readings or assignments at the discretion of the instructor. 

Most of our e-Focus courses run synchronously online from 10am to 2pm CT with a few courses running in the afternoons (1pm to 4:15pm CT) and evenings (7pm to 9:15pm CT). Please be sure to check the specific course information below to see when your course is scheduled.

e-FOCUS courses may also include virtual field trips and guest speakers as well as access to our Wildcat Connect: Get Ready Series. This series adds an additional robust co-curricular component to your schedule outside of the virtual classroom with interactive workshops that will prepare you for college and integrate you into the Wildcat community!

Once you successfully complete your e-FOCUS seminar, you will receive an official Northwestern University transcript and certificate. If you wish to request credit at your high school for a seminar, discuss this with your counselor ahead of time since the acceptance of credit depends on your school's policy.

Apply Now REQUEST INFORMATION

 

Wildcat Community

In this program, you will be part of Northwestern University’s Wildcat community in many ways.  Check out the exciting schedule to learn how you can best prepare for college and meet peers enrolled in Northwestern classes this summer!

Sample Schedule

Click on a tab to view that day's schedule. All times listed are central U.S. time zone.

10–10:15am
Orientation

10:15–11:30am
Academic Coursework

11:30am–noon
Lunchtime Hangout

noon–1:00pm
Academic Coursework

1–1:45pm
Get Ready Series: Using your high school years wisely: The role of extracurricular activities including challenges and competitions

1:45–2pm
Closing Activity: open forum for technology/seminar questions

10–10:15am
Opening Activity: Discussion—Have you gained a new skill or hobby during the stay at home?

10:15–11:30am
Academic Coursework

11:30am–noon
Lunchtime Hangout

noon–1:00pm
Academic Coursework

1–1:45pm
Get Ready Series: Leadership—Creating and leading a club in your school

1:45–2pm
Closing Activity: Open forum for technology/seminar questions

10–10:15am
Opening Activity: Discussion—If you could have any superpower, what what it be, and why?

10:15–11:30am
Academic Coursework

11:30am–noon
Lunchtime Hangout

noon–1:00pm
Academic Coursework

1–1:45pm
Get Ready Series: Leadership—Giving back through community service

1:45–2pm
Closing Activity: Trivia Game

10–10:15am
Opening Activity: Slideshow—View from your window

10:15–11:30am
Academic Coursework

11:30am–noon
Lunchtime Hangout

noon–1:00pm
Academic Coursework

1–1:45pm
Get Ready Series: Your application/your interview

1:45–2pm
Closing Activity: What show have you binge watched recently, and why should I watch it?

10–10:15am
Opening Activity: If you could live in a fictional world for 30 days, which would it be?

10:15–11:30am
Academic Coursework

11:30am–noon
Lunchtime Hangout

noon–1:00pm
Academic Coursework

1–1:45pm
Get Ready Series: Different types of applications and writing the college essay

1:45–2pm
Closing Activity: 10-minute meditation session

 

Northwestern's College Prep program is something that every high school student should take part in. The experience showed me what college has to offer and provided an amazing chance to meet new people and establish lifelong memories.”

Rapheal Mathis, former College Prep student

 

Read what some of last year's College Prep students thought about the online experience.

Rapheal Mathias, former College Prep student

 

e-FOCUS Session Details

How the Constitution Works and How to Fix It

Instructor: Andrew Roberts, Associate Professor, Political Science
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates: June 21–July 2; M-F 10:15-1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Americans are justly proud of their constitution which gave birth to the first modern democracy and has endured for over two centuries. But the US Constitution also produced the Civil War, the most destructive conflict of its time, and is arguably implicated in all of the problems that the US suffers today from polarization and populism to increasing inequality. This course asks whether the US Constitution has outlived its usefulness and should be changed. Can we solve existing problems within the bounds of our current constitution or is it time to go back to the drawing board? If it should be changed, what sort of changes should we make and what are the prospects of enacting them? This course will try to answer these questions.

The course will consist of a number of elements. Students will learn about the origin and development of constitutions and the US Constitution in particular. They will analyze the effects of different parts of the US constitution and their interrelationships. They will look at different constitutional forms from countries around the world. And through it all they will learn how to think — that is, how to construct and critique explanations of politics and law.

Methodology

This course will include brief lectures on elements of a constitution, class discussions of problems with the US constitution, and debates over the pros and cons of constitutional changes. Students will undertake a study of a non-US constitution, write short reaction pieces to readings, present to the class a non-traditional political institution, and make a concluding. presentation recommending a change to the US constitution.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the structure and purpose of constitutions
  • Understand the different options for structuring a constitution - electoral rules, executives, legislature, judiciaries, federalism, rights
  • Understand the benefits and problems of the US Constitution and other constitutions
  • Become a constitutional engineer able to diagnose and fix existing constitutions

Applicants

This seminar is for students interested in law, domestic and global politics, public policy, history, debate, and students who want to create an analytical argument. No special expertise in political science is necessary.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • The perils of presidentialism: What are the inherent problems with a presidential system? Why have presidential regimes failed in other countries and how has the US avoided these problems (or has it)?
  • The parliamentary alternative: How does a parliamentary system work? What are its advantages and disadvantages? How would a parliamentary system change US politics.
  • Debate on relative merits of presidential and parliamentary systems.
  • Possible changes: How might we alter the presidential system - presidential powers, presidential elections and terms, presidential debates.


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What’s Your Problem? Innovative Problem Solving Through Design Thinking and Communication

Instructors: Deb Wood, Lecturer, The Cook Family Writing Program; Janice Mejia, Associate Professor of Instruction, McCormick School of Engineering
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates: June 21–July 2; M–F 10:15–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00-2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 30

Like to problem-solve? Curious how things work? Wish you could express yourself so others immediately get what you’re saying? Want to use your creativity and ideas to make the world a little better? Then Intro to Design Thinking and Communication is for you!

You’ll discover how to put your ideas into motion by working on a project team with other like-minded individuals to design a solution that solves a real-world problem. You’ll learn how to find background information on the problem at hand, how to refine the creation process, and how to write up how you arrived at your solution. Whether you’re interested in becoming an engineer, want to improve your thinking and communication skills, or like working with others to solve problems, Intro to Design Thinking and Communication is a first step in the right direction.

Methodology

This course will provide brief, introductory lectures on the engineering design process, discuss relevant readings, impart research skills, and offer peer editing of students’ writing. Through these methods, students will learn about the different aspects of the engineering design process. They’ll also learn how to draft individual and team writing assignments at the college level, how to do research, and how to edit and revise documents after receiving feedback.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand the iterative, user-centered design process used to solve real-world design problems
  • Frame a problem and determine the needs of a user population
  • Conduct and analyze findings from research
  • Generate alternatives by participating in established Ideation techniques
  • Present ideas and obtain feedback through peer reviews and instructor meetings

Applicants

This seminar is for students who are interested in innovative and creative problem solving and want to build their communication toolkit to inspire others with their vision. No special expertise is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • Design process: Research and generate alternative solutions to a real-world problem by applying the user-centered design process.
  • Communication: Document and synthesize key findings from research, using best practices for engineering design communication in various forms, including written deliverables and presentations.
  • Teamwork: Work effectively on a team to design and communicate findings and solutions.

Potential guest lecturers will include:

  • Upperclass students who have taken DTC at Northwestern
  • Alumni who are professional engineers
  • Librarians and other Faculty from NU

Instructor Bios:

Deb Wood
The Cook Family Writing Program:

Janice Mejia
Segal Design Institute, McCormick School of Engineering:

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Cultivating Your Voice: A Beyoncé Experience 

Instructors: TiShaunda McPherson, Associate Vice President for Equity; Shá Norman, Equity Outreach and Education; Kate Harrington-Rosen, Director, Equity Outreach and Education
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates: June 21–July 2; M-F 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00-2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Finding and cultivating your voice through an examination of the artistry of Beyoncé.

Over the past few decades, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, a Black-American singer/songwriter, actress, and fashion icon, has mastered the art of infusing her personal voice and perspectives into all aspects of her work and persona. Her influence ranges beyond music, as she has impacted culture and politics through social justice advocacy and philanthropic initiatives.

Through examining the work of Beyoncé, you will explore how identity and life experiences shape your personal voice. Once you have explored and delineated your voice, you will examine how to permeate your personal voice into every aspect of learning and growing. 

Methodology

This course will center a co-construction framework, allowing you to co-create your personal outcomes and objectives in collaboration with instructors and peers. The course will include brief lectures, inspection of music and lyrics, activities that require active engagement, dialogues, readings and discussions, and oral presentations. These methods will allow for peer feedback, building collaboration skills, and expanding techniques for active listening and developing social emotional skills.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will (or be able to):

  • Identify themes of feminism and critical race theory within Beyonce’s work
  • Reflect on your social identities and how these identities shape your personal narrative and goals
  • Articulate a unique position and vision for utilizing your voice

Applicants

This seminar is for students interested in tapping into their own social identity to find out how they can ‘run the world’. No special expertise is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • The Cycle of Socialization and Social Identity Wheel — readings and activities designed to support students in recognizing and unpacking their socialization into dominant and non-dominant identities
  • Small-group discussion and peer teach-in on feminist themes within Beyoncé’s visual work

Instructor Bios

TiShaunda McPherson joined Northwestern University as the Associate Vice President for Equity in September 2020. TiShaunda is an accomplished civil rights professional with 20 years of experience addressing institutional, regional, and systemic discrimination in higher education and employment settings. She has served in numerous positions, including roles as a researcher, attorney, compliance professional and equity officer, each of which strengthen her understanding and bold leadership in the areas of equity and access. TiShaunda has a demonstrated commitment to ensuring a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment in which all members are treated with dignity and respect, and are provided access to resources that enable them to thrive. 

Shá Norman joins Northwestern with eight years of non-profit management and community organizing experience.  While teaching students performing arts and creative writing all across Chicago, they became aware of the inequities in educational systems for students from marginalized backgrounds. This led to their passion for not only the work of advocacy for equity in education, but also the training and professional development of administrators, staff, and program instructors around equitable educational practices and cultural competencies. They have worked with prominent non-profits including Youth Guidance, Youth Opportunity United in Evanston, and recently served as Interim Executive Director of PlayMakers Laboratory. Shá holds her BA in Communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Masters of Education in Higher Education from Loyola University of Chicago.

Kate Harrington-Rosen has over a decade of experience facilitating and advocating alongside marginalized communities. In addition to her direct support work with youth and adults affected by sexual violence and gender discrimination, Kate has provided training for corporate clients, non-profits, and healthcare teams on sexual violence prevention, anti-oppression frameworks, and LGBTQ cultural humility. Kate was named one of the Windy City Times’ “30 Under 30” in 2016 and is currently the Equity Outreach and Education Specialist for the Office of Equity at Northwestern University, where she trains over 6,000 people every year on harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence prevention. Kate cofounded the Chicago-based Praxis Group, a queer- and trans-owned consulting practice that empowers teams of any size to work more effectively by creating space for dialogue and growth. Kate holds a BA in Women and Gender Studies from McGill University, and a Master of Science in Communications from Northwestern University.

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The Fine Art of Lying and Misleading: The Language of Deception

Instructor: Brady Clark, Associate Professor of Instruction, Linguistics
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates: June 21–July 2; M–F 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00-2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Ideal uses of language involve honesty, cooperation, and trust. Real-world communication is not like this at all. We often use language to lie, mislead, insinuate, and "B.S". In this seminar, you will examine communication in our non-ideal world. Your focus will be several forms of deceptive communication (lying, "B.S"ing, and misleading) in a range of settings with a special focus on deception in political speech (both how to expose it and how to resist it). Along the way, you will answer the following questions: what is the survival value of deception and self-deception? what are the linguistic cues to deceptive communication? does lying necessarily involve an intention to deceive? how is perjury related to lying? why is there so much bullshit in political speech? has technology made that problem worse? if so, how? Together we will develop the tools and concepts you need to understand (and challenge) the varieties of deception that characterize human language interaction.

Methodology

This course will include brief lectures, discussion of readings, writing and revision of several short papers, and in-class peer review of students’ writing. Through the use of these methods, you will learn about the different kinds of writing you will do in college, and techniques for drafting, editing, and revising your own papers.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • identified the tools and concepts you need to understand (and resist) the varieties of deception that characterize human language interaction,
  • developed an understanding of several dimensions of linguistic meaning, and
  • acquired a working knowledge of several analytical tools used to investigate meaning in linguistic communication

Applicants

This seminar is for students interested in how to analyze and interpret language to discern deceit. No special expertise is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • Class discussion of lying and the lying-misleading distinction. How is lying distinct from misleading? Should we worry about the distinction? Can we lie about something without asserting it?
  • Class discussion on the legal definition of ‘perjury’ and the relationship between perjury and lying. The discussion will be paired with a short writing assignment that addresses the following questions: In what ways is the case involving Bill Clinton's 1998 grand jury testimony regarding his affair with Monica Lewinsky similar to and different from the Bronston case? Would you come to the same conclusion in the two cases (e.g., that both violated the relevant perjury statutes)? Why or why not?
  • Group research assignment and presentation on the forms of non-ideal language used by members of the George W. Bush administration to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, both before and after the invasion. What deceptive linguistic devices did members of the George W. Bush administration use when making or justifying the case to invade Iraq?
  • A case study of Donald Trump’s use of deceptive speech and the Washington Post compilation and analysis of the more than 20,000 falsehoods that Trump uttered since his inauguration.

Instructor Bio

Brady Clark received a BA in linguistics from the University of Washington and a PhD from the Department of Linguistics at Stanford University. Since joining the Northwestern University faculty in 2004, he has taught courses on syntax, meaning, historical linguistics, and the origin and evolution of language. His publications cover topics such as intonational meaning, the history of English syntax, the application of game theory to problems in several areas of linguistics, and theories of language evolution. His current primary research areas are semantics and pragmatics.

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How to Think Like a Scientist

So you want to be a Scientist?

Instructor: Professor Andrew J. Rivers, PhD, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates: June 21–July 2; M–F 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Modern science has revealed fantastic stories of the universe well beyond our direct experience–from invisible subatomic particles and their gargantuan forces, to powerful black hole collisions that ripple spacetime millions of light years away. In this course, you will examine the story of the evolving scientific method that serves as the engine of discoveries that birth technological revolutions and expand our understanding of the universe. Our lens will be the story of astronomy–the first efforts of mankind to look beyond our sphere. We will discuss scientific methods developed in parallel with discoveries in the heavens from the enlightenment era to modern day, learning how the once-distant laws of heaven and Earth unified and changed the course of human history. From there, we’ll expand our lens to push the limits further, as science confronts the problems of a changing and dense landscape of data and information. We’ll look to modern examples like climate change, scientific bias and pseudoscience. The next evolution of the scientific method–and in society– will challenge both limitations in our tools and ourselves. Our ultimate goal is to construct a pocket lens of knowledge so you  can sharpen your view of a noisy, information-filled world.

Methodology

Lectures, group discussions and interactive exercises will be combined to develop a deeper understanding of the universe and how we know what we know about it. Students are expected to come prepared to each class by completing the readings and by participating in on-line discussion boards.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Develop understanding of scientific theories about the universe and their foundations built on observation, predictions and testing.
  • Analyze levels of certainty in the fundamental theories compared to alternative ideas.
  • Develop familiarity with theoretical and experimental methods of science and apply those methods to claims encountered in news, politics and everyday life.

Applicants

Thinking like a scientist benefits everyone. By understanding the importance of observation, prediction, testing and analysis students will learn they can apply these concepts to areas beyond a specific discipline. No special expertise is required, but some background in algebra is helpful.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • You will research a current controversial scientific issue and analyze the topic through the lenses explored in class. You will discuss your topic and conclusions in a short class presentation and refine your research topic in collaboration with the professor and T.A.

Instructor Bio

Dr. Andrew Rivers joined the Northwestern University Physics department in 1999 and has since taught a courses in physics and astronomy including the introductory physics sequence, Modern Cosmology, and Highlights of Astronomy. Andrew was awarded the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008 and has been named to the Associated Student Government faculty-administrator honor roll six times. Andrew serves as a Weinberg College adviser and has been active in Northwestern's Residential College (RC) system, serving as Faculty Master of the Cultural and Community Studies RC from 2004–2009. He assisted in development of the Gateway Science Workshop program in physics and has worked on other curricular innovations within the Northwestern community. Andrew's PhD research included a large scale radio survey of the so-called "Zone of Avoidance": his project revealed 20 previously unknown nearby galaxies. 


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Public Health in the Age of Globalization

Instructor: Arda Gucler, Lecturer, Department of Political Science
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Is it a coincidence that South Korea managed its COVID-19 health crisis much better than Spain? What factors should be taken into account when assessing the effectiveness of a healthcare system? Why has the World Health Organization’s authority been declining in global health for the past two decades? This class will address such pertinent questions pertaining to public and global health. We will first establish a comparative perspective on various healthcare systems around the world. We will start with the United States and then visit other countries such as the United Kingdom, Cuba and South Africa to compare their strengths and weaknesses. The class then will focus on global health policy where students will be introduced to a survey of different actors, methods and challenges that belong to the field. We will particularly focus on the newly emerging actors such as the Global Fund and the GAVI Alliance. The class will deploy a variety of teaching tools such as group exercises, short presentations and writing assignments. 

Methodology

The class time will be divided into two. The first half of the session will be lecture-based and the second half will consist of in-class exercises. The lectures will be dialogical in character where the instructor will encourage student participation. The in-class exercises will invite students to focus on topics in global health that resonate with them. They will be both group-based and individual. For example, students will work on short articles on global health, will be asked to do a quick Twitter search on global health organizations and will write a think piece on the impact of individual responsibility in public health.  

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Analyze different healthcare systems around the world to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Apply various technical terms such as cultural competency to address medical and social determinants of health.
  • Assess the relationship among different actors in global health (i.e. states, businesses and civil society organizations).
  • Develop an awareness of actual cases to capture best practices around the world.
  • Design and execute a well-organized, engaging and relevant research project on a current issue in global health.

Applicants

Understanding public health in this day and age is more important than ever. This seminar is for students interested in public policy, public and global health, healthcare systems in the U.S. and around the world. Students will consider ethical standards, comparative analysis, and the evolution of public health on the world stage. No special expertise in the area of medicine or public health is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • Understanding the evolution of the World Health Organization since early 1900s.
  • Comparing the US healthcare system with the Cuban system by looking at health outcomes.
  • Providing a comparative analysis of four core frameworks in global health (i.e. national security, human security, human rights and global commons).
  • Considering the application of different ethical standards in global health.

Instructor Bio

Arda Gucler is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Government at Uppsala University. He holds a PhD in political theory from the Department of Political Science at Northwestern University. His research interests are at the intersection of democratic theory, politics of representation, global health, and forced migration studies with a strong regional focus on the Middle East (especially Kurdish politics in Turkey). His book manuscript intervenes in the contemporary debates pertaining to the question of why representation should be seen as essential to democratic politics. It also examines the recent democratic opening in Turkish politics towards Kurdish constituency to understand what becomes democratically lost when moments of rupture in a represented identity becomes domesticated rather than affirmed. He is also currently writing two journal article manuscripts. The first one investigates the policy implications of the recent shift in global health governance from being a predominantly intergovernmental system to a much more inclusive paradigm that incorporated other actors such as business and civil society organizations. The second article studies the tension between the Alevi and Sunni communities in the border town Antakya, Turkey to understand if Alevis see the influx of the Sunni refugees as a governmental project to change the political fabric of this multicultural town. He is also an avid follower of stand-up comedy known for his top 150 comedians list that he keeps updating quite frequently.


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Crime, Crisis and Genocide: Global Justice in the 21st Century

Instructor: Jeff Rice, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College Adviser
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00-2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

As we have seen in recent years, international courts of justice have risen to the forefront of global response to genocides, civil wars and other crises which involve mass killings.  From trying Nazis to the fomenters of the genocide in Rwanda, we watch government officials and ordinary people stand on trial charged with crimes against humanity.  In this seminar, you will tackle recurring questions which arise before and during these trials.  Where was the rest of the world while these killings occurred? What laws were broken? What are the standards of criminality and when does global justice take precedence over national sovereignty? You will begin with the origins of the law against genocide as well as the historical and philosophical roots of the principle of sovereignty.  You will examine the cases of Rwanda and either Darfur or Syria; how these crises began and how they were fueled (both internally and through international action and neglect).  Our findings will address whether the decision to try killers is easier than the decision to intervene in an effort to stop the killing.  You will consider the advantages and disadvantages of the overall policy that the United Nations seeks to enact called “The Responsibility to Protect” or R2P. At the end of two weeks, you will stage a mock genocide trial in which you will play a role of either a perpetrator, victim, attorney, judge, or government official.  Scripts will be written by the students themselves based on the readings and class discussion.

Methodology

Through reading background material, survivor narratives and watching documentary film footage, students will be introduced to the origins and the unfolding of genocides. Lectures, group discussions, invited speakers, and journal writing assignments will be mixed together to develop a deeper understanding of humanitarian crises.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Provide an historical understanding to the genocide in Rwanda and the humanitarian crises in Darfur (one question will be whether Darfur is, in fact, genocide).
  • Understand the relationship between civil wars and genocides asking the question of whether genocide is the intended result or a by-product of war.
  • Investigate the complexity of international intervention: can it work, what are the long term problems, does it violate norms of sovereignty, when is it necessary?
  • Look at the effectiveness of post-genocide tribunals, the role of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and court proceedings in Rwanda.

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in humanitarian issues, comparative history, Africa, or trans-national justice. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required — just passion.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • What causes Genocide? Is it true that religion is at the root of genocides? Do ethnic divides provide the preconditions?  Can we see a pattern in “preconditions”?
  • Are genocide and ethnic cleansing the same thing? International law requires that is a ‘Genocide’ is identified, there is a legal obligation for the nations of the world to intervene. No such obligation exists for ‘Ethnic Cleansings’.  Is this a distinction without a difference or are these somewhat different? And is one worse than the other?
  • Can we identify and stop genocides. I have used the word precondition and if such a thing exists, can we more perceptive about identifying the earliest stages of an impending crisis of murderous cleansing/genocide.  If that is the case, what kind of measures might exist that can be employed by either the home country or the countries of the world to mitigate this danger (from arms embargoes, freezing of assets, threat of military intervention etc.)?
  • How do we avoid them? If you are the head of a country and you notice a divide that puts your population at odds with itself and violence is on the horizon, you will likely get early warning signs. How do you react when these signs cross your vision?  How can you tell is this is a passing phase or a more profound threat?
  • The bullet points above take two directions: origins and execution on the one hand and identification and mitigation on the other.  The class will be looking at these two pathways both on their own and how they intersect.

Instructor Bio

Jeff Rice is a Senior Lecturer in Political Science and African Studies. He has been at Northwestern since 1968 as an entering freshman and has been associated with the University in one way or another since then. He pursued graduate work at the University of Edinburgh in African Studies after completing a dissertation entitled "Wealth Power and Corruption: A Study of Asante Political Culture". He returned to Northwestern full time in 2001 teaching in the History and Political Science Departments and became a Weinberg College Academic Adviser. He retired from that position in August 2018 and is presently teaching full time in Political Science. His courses have included West African History, History of the 60's in the U.S., Marx & Weber, Politics of Africa, Military Strategy, the Politics of Famine, Student Protest and Free Speech, and Africa in Fact, Fiction and Film.


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Game Theory, and Practice

Instructor: Scott Ogawa, Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Economics
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 2–4:15pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

In this course you will apply tools of game theory to a wide range of domains, including economics, politics, and biology. Why do Coke and Pepsi taste so similar? Why do candidates focus on such a small group of voters? And why do trees have such big trunks!? Game theory will provide a lens for answering all of these questions, and many more.

We may even dabble in less serious stuff like sports and, well, games! Whenever possible we will play games, with a focus on the concept of Nash equilibrium, and how to find it using a bit of mathematics. Other topics include rationalizability, backward induction, commitment, and evolutionary stability. In the process, you will better understand strategic interactions as they take place all around us.

Methodology

When possible, you will play games with each other, though not games that you have heard of, like chess or poker (this is not quite that kind of class; it will be a bit more serious). These games include The Prisoner’s Dilemma, The P-Beauty Contest, The Battle of the Sexes, and The Ultimatum Game. After we play we will formally derive the theoretical equilibrium, and then see how well theory matches practice.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Better understand what it means to “think strategically”
  • Apply the concept of Nash equilibrium
  • Use mathematics to derive the equilibrium in a range of games
  • Model real-world scenarios that often appear in economics, politics, and biology

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for any student who is willing and able to use a little bit of algebra. And while we will not be learning how to play chess or poker, students who enjoy games like this will likely find this course particularly interesting.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • Participate in classroom games such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma or The Ultimatum Game. 
  • Collect data and analyze results.
  • Work through examples in which students use a bit of mathematics to solve for the equilibrium of various games.
  • Applying newly acquired theories and solution concepts to broader applications in economics, politics, and biology.

Instructor Bio

Scott Ogawa's research focuses on the economics of education and the decisions of students and teachers. He has applied the techniques of experimental economics to ask whether students who pay more for their education put forth more effort. More generally, he is interested in the behavioral effects of price on product utilization. He has been a fellow for the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence and has a strong interest in undergraduate economics education. Prior to attending graduate school, Scott taught high school math and economics at Lakeside School in Seattle.


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Fake News! Misinformation and Public Opinion

Instructor: Jolie C. Matthews, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Fake news. Misinformation. Propaganda. Post-truth. We live in a climate of polarity of opinion, distrust, and often intolerance for oppositional views that became even more pronounced in a 2020 world. Social media platforms tacked on warning labels or blocked certain tagging and search engine practices to combat the spread of misinformation, yet fears and accusations of “fake news” persisted in public discourse around the pandemic and social justice movements, as two examples. The vast array of media content available today can increase exposure to diverse perspectives, yet customization and choice can result in the ability to follow predominantly like-minded content while dismissing other information as produced by “biased sources.” But what is fake news or a biased source? How do we identify and guard against either? This seminar explores source credibility, trustworthiness, and "fake news" both in terms of actual media practices and in the broader public rhetoric used to discuss these issues, with contemporary (especially 2020) and historical cases studies for review.  

Methodology

Before you can fully unpack “fake news,” you first need an understanding of what constitutes “news,” for underlying assumptions and attitudes about this can vary widely. From reading articles on how previous research has defined “news” to in-class exercises where they interview themselves and their peers and discuss their personal definitions, you will create a class rubric for how to score “credible information,” which will then be used as the course transitions into how to identify and guard against “fake news.”

Through a combination of individual and group exercises, you will learn about and directly apply tips and practices for spotting fake news, such as checking the source of an article (author, site history and ownership, timeline of information, etc.) to multiple corroboration tactics. You will also focus on self-reflection, even as you build skills, in terms of how, why, and when they tend to accept information at face value, how often do they check the origin or trustworthiness of a source, and how you can do a better job of doing so in your day-to-day life. You will be asked why and if it matters how accurate a comment or post on social media is, and whether meaningful dialogue (or genuine harmfulness) can occur in these spaces. You will be asked to write your own news articles as well as “re-write” articles that already exist to see the effects of perspective in shaping how information is presented, and you will personally test the importance of being able to identify and protect against misinformation by engaging in a project where they will implement and spread “fake news.”

Objectives

By the end of this course, you:

  • Will learn to define, argue, and reflect on what constitutes “news” by organizations, researchers, and most importantly themselves and their peers.
  • Will be aware of the role of bias in how “news” is written but also read. Bias is a bilateral rather than unilateral issue, and students must recognize their own bias along with the bias that exists in others.
  • Will have an awareness of how to look for and truly understand who/what is the source behind the content they see.
  • Will understand how and why “fake news” is disseminated (and accepted), and how to determine the “trustworthiness” of sources through skill-building exercises.
  • Will be able to consider the benefits and challenges of news aggregators and feeds versus individual websites or organizations for acquiring “news”.

Applicants

This seminar is designed for college-bound high school students who are interested in:

  • Media institutions and media culture, journalism practices
  • Polarity in the public sphere and the role of “fake news” in increasing that polarity
  • News production and consumption habits
  • Reflection on personal media habits and the messages encountered in daily life
  • Learning how to collect and analyze social media data for research purposes

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework
  • Students will analyze case studies from 2020 and earlier years around the spread of misinformation in the public sphere.   
  •  Discussion and debate of different rubrics and digital tools for how to evaluate “credible information” and guard against “fake news.” 
  • Presentations and exercises on narrative construction techniques that examine how adjectives, a lack of context, framing, and author choices can create two articles (or videos) that both contain “factually correct” content yet tell opposing stories about the same events.  
  • Students will create a media project around a topic and then manipulate or “re-write/reimagine” the project in a second iteration in direct application of previous presentations and exercises on narrative construction techniques.  


Resources and Materials

Some readings will be distributed (or links provided) at the start of the course. Students will additionally gain experience using different online databases and tools to search for and gather content, considering the pros and cons of various platforms for information access and credibility. Film and television clips along with other multimedia sources will also be part of this seminar. 

Instructor Bio

Jolie C. Matthews is an Assistant Professor of the Learning Sciences and a Faculty Associate at the Institute for Policy Research. She focuses on the relationship between bias and source credibility, dominant narratives and historical consciousness, the interplay between education and media in shaping beliefs and knowledge, and social media behavior norms. 

She received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University, where she was a research assistant with the Stanford University YouthLab, the Joint Media Engagement Group, and the Wallenberg Media Places Grant for Digital Humanities. An alumnus of NYU, she received her BA from Gallatin, with a concentration in Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Studies. She has also been a research intern for the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research New England in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has published in the Journal of the Learning Sciences, New Media & Society, Democracy & Education, Popular Communication, and The Social Studies


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So You Want to be a Lawyer: Legal Interpretation and Communication

Instructor: Lesley Kagan Wynes, Director of Partner Recruiting and Integration, Thompson Coburn LLP, Former Clinical Assistant Professor of Management, Assistant Dean for Academic Experience, Kellogg School of Management
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

The American legal system is premised on the idea that legal rules are subject to creation, change, and interpretation.  In our common law system, government actors and private citizens alike take part in the process of defining the legal principles and understanding how those principles apply to resolve disputes and controversies.  In this intensive seminar, you will learn the fundamentals of creative legal interpretation, the cornerstone of law school learning and the legal profession. This process of interpretation and re-interpretation of legal ideas (often called “thinking like a lawyer”) is what students learn through the Socratic dialogue in law school and must master to succeed on law school exams, and it serves as a the foundation for oral and written communication in all areas of legal practice.

Methodology

During the two weeks of this program, we will survey five main topics: 

  • Introduction to the American legal system and sources of law
  • Reading and briefing cases
  • Mastering the Socratic Method
  • Legal reasoning and analysis
  • Oral advocacy and persuasion

In the seminar, you will hone your critical thinking skills as you work on a client-based legal problem and communicate your analysis of how the law applies to the client’s problem in a clear, concise written form. You will also learn the fundamentals of law school exam success and participate in a persuasive argument exercise. Last, you will develop teamwork and collaboration skills by working in groups inside and outside of class. You will get practical perspectives on future careers in the law and insight into how the legal system operates. 

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Have previewed the experience of law school and introduce strategies for successful student behavior (on the pre-law and law school levels)
  • Have learned how to read and analyze legal sources and apply the law to a client’s problem
  • Understand the unique ways that lawyers communicate with other lawyers, clients, and judges
  • Have developed teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Be prepared to conquer the college admission process and to maximize pre-law learning opportunities during the undergraduate years
  • Be inspired to select the professional path that best suits their personality traits, analytical strengths, and intellectual interests

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in a career in the law or government and want to better their critical thinking and analytical skills. No previous knowledge or experience with legal studies is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

Example of academic coursework

Understanding the Socratic Method

Law School 101: Understanding Legal Education -Open discussion of readings about the purpose of legal education, teaching methodologies employed by law professors, and the types of legal education (doctrinal, theoretical, and clinical).

Reading and Briefing Cases. Lecture and discussion on reading a legal decision (a “case”) and preparing for a Socratic discussion of the case in a law school classroom

Rule Development and Application. Introductory lecture on rule development. Analytical exercise: understanding rules and how to apply them to a client’s story



Resources and Materials

Required text for the course will be Writing a Legal Memo by John Bronsteen.  You are expected to bring the book to the first class. Other reading and analytical assignments will be provided. Readings will be excerpted from textbooks on legal reasoning and analysis.  Additionally, you will read edited legal decisions and complete exercises designed by the seminar’s professor.

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Ethical Problems, Public Controversies, and Democracy

Instructor: Professor Mark Sheldon, PhD, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Faculty in the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

The US President, Donald Trump, following the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, declared that we need the death penalty.  Many agreed with him, taking the view that there are some circumstances where this is the only punishment that is appropriate and just.  Others disagreed, claiming that the values of our country and our Constitution prohibit or should prohibit the imposition of death as a form of punishment.  This is one of the issues that we will discuss, along with affirmative action, the treatment of animals, hate speech and censorship, physician assisted death, abortion, and the just allocation of scarce medical resources, particularly in the time of Covid-19. 

While we will be dealing with clearly very controversial issues, there will be no agenda other than giving attention to the value of thoughtful argument and rational analysis of the issues in question, and hopefully seeing the worth of such endeavors.

Methodology

Each online class meeting will begin with a brief lecture and discussion of the readings.  In preparation for each class students will be asked to submit a half page written reflection on the day’s topic, outlining some of their thoughts on the issue. After class, students will be asked to record a three-minute video in which they comment on whether or how the discussion affected their thinking. Finally, students, towards the end of the two week seminar, will submit a three-page paper where they engage in a critique of one of the assigned readings. They will choose the reading for their critique but they will be asked to follow a particular format.

Objectives

There are two basic learning objectives. One is to become more able to understand the nature of the challenges associated with the controversial topics that are the focus of the course. The second is to be introduced to writing that reflects thoughtful attempts to deal rationally with topics that too often are used as vehicles of division and political advantage. One could argue, as John Stuart Mill did in 19th-century England, that democracy depends on respect for reasoned argument and rational discourse. 

Towards these two ends, you will be introduced to moral and political theory in the form of literature selected for balance and diverse perspective. You will acquire an understanding of how good arguments are constructed, how they can be further defended, and also how they can be subjected to good criticism.


Applicants

The seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in philosophy, debate and public policy. No previous knowledge with any of the topics is required. The topics under consideration have implications for all members of society.

An Example of Academic Coursework

an example of academic coursework

Structured discussion of topic in question

Debate representing different positions set out in assigned readings

Consideration of relevant real-life examples or court cases

Written assignments and video responses

 

Instructor Bio

Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Philosophy and also in the Medical Ethics and Humanities Program, Feinberg School of Medicine. He received his PhD from Brandeis University, where he was awarded a Sachar Fellowship to study at Oxford University. He has served as Adjunct Senior Scholar at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Medical Association. Formerly Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Indiana University (Northwest campus) and Indiana University School of Medicine, he currently serves as adjunct faculty and ethicist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Sheldon has published and presented talks on a variety of issues including informed consent, confidentiality, the forced transfusion of children of Jehovah's Witnesses, children as organ donors, disclosure, and the use of Nazi research. He has contributed book chapters and published in a variety of journals including The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Hastings Center Report, The Philosophical Forum, The Journal of Value Inquiry, and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has served as guest editor of two journals — Theoretical Ethics and Bioethics and The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. He has served a three-year term as a member of the Committee on Philosophy and Medicine of the American Philosophical Association, and is currently co-editor of the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine. He also served as a member of the Task Force on Genetics for the Illinois Humanities Council. The focus of his research is the point at which the interests of children, the prerogatives of parents, and the obligations of the state often come into conflict in relation to medical decisions for children.

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Writing for College Success

Instructor: Charles Yarnoff, PhD, Associate Professor of Instruction in Writing, The Writing Program, Northwestern University
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

What do college professors look for when evaluating student writing? This course teaches practical and effective strategies for meeting professors' expectations when writing at the college level. You will learn about the conventions of writing in a range of academic disciplines and in different types of papers, such as close analysis of texts, reflective responses, and research-based persuasive essays. Through creative exercises, peer editing, and discussion of thought-provoking articles, you will develop your critical thinking skills and learn to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In addition to preparing yourself for writing papers in college, you will have the opportunity to work on producing a draft of your college admission essay.

Methodology

Seminar sessions will include brief lectures on writing topics, discussion of readings, peer editing of students’ writing, and in-class writing. Through these methods, you will learn about the different kinds of papers you will write in college, and techniques for drafting and editing your own papers. You will read examples of college admission essays, draft your own, receive feedback on it, and write a revision.

Objectives

Through this course you will:

  • Become familiar with the types of papers you will write in college
  • Learn about the expectations professors have for writing
  • Learn strategies for drafting and revising college papers
  • Produce a draft and revision of your college admission essay

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in improving their writing to help prepare themselves for college. No previous knowledge of college writing is required.

 

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework

Lecture and discussion on the topic for the day

Follow-up on previous day’s activities, e.g., peer editing of a paper followed by time to work on revision

In-class writing, e.g., starting to work on a paper or practicing editing techniques

Introduction of next day’s topics

 

Resources and Materials

Readings will include examples of writing assignments from various Northwestern University courses; articles about effective writing; readings for analysis and critical reflection; handouts on editing techniques; and examples of college admission essays.

Instructor Bio

Charles Yarnoff, who received his PhD from Northwestern University, teaches a wide variety of undergraduate writing courses, including Intermediate Composition, Writing and Speaking in Business, and Freshman Seminars. He also teaches courses in American literature in Northwestern's School of Professional Studies.

He was named a Charles Deering McCormick University Distinguished Lecturer, an award recognizing faculty members who “have consistently demonstrated outstanding performance in classroom teaching.” He has been voted to the Associated Student Government faculty honor roll three times, has been nominated for the freshman advising award, and has received the Distinguished Teaching Award from Northwestern's School of Professional Studies.

Dr. Yarnoff especially enjoys teaching students who are preparing for and starting out in college. He has been a freshman advisor in Weinberg College at Northwestern since 2000, and is the academic director of the Summer Academic Workshop, a writing seminar for incoming Northwestern freshmen.  He has taught "Writing for College Success" since 2014.

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My Genes Don't Fit, and Other Tales of Applied Biology

Instructors: Erin Cable, Program Manager for Professional Health Programs; Lauren Woods, Assistant Director for CIRTL at Northwestern
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F, 7–9:15pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Have you ever wondered why we talk about carbon when discussing climate change, or why a stressful semester can make it easier to get sick? And how did that cold virus spread to your school, anyway?  We ask questions about our living world at all scales; from how changes to your DNA “blueprint” can change behavior, to what influences the speed of disease spread throughout a population. Throughout this course, you will uncover the answers to these questions by making connections between key biological principles and your lived experience, and more importantly by beginning to ask (and answer) some of your own questions about biology.

Methodology

This course will include brief lectures on topics in biology connecting the foundational concepts to real-world applications. Interactive discussions and web-based labs will continue to develop your understanding of these biological concepts, while incorporating them into explanations for everyday life. Students will choose one topic of interest to them, and develop a presentation to share their independent research with the class. Through these methods, you will be able to make connections between your lived experience and key biological principles and critically evaluate current scientific research presented in popular media.

Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Apply key concepts in biology to address broad societal challenges such as climate change, cancer, and disease spread
  • Identify the diverse scientific methods (observation, experimentation, theoretical modeling) and processes of science (interpretation of data, uncertainty, peer review) that underlie the generation of knowledge in the biological sciences
  • Critically evaluate scientific evidence presented in popular media
  • Research a question or current challenge in the biological sciences based on interests

Applicants

This seminar is for students who are interested in the intersectionality of biology, ecology, neuroscience, psychology and behavior to understand how key biological principles can be applied to daily life. No perquisites are required for this course.

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
  • What is Cancer, and how does it develop within the body?
  • Understanding the cell cycle and cell division: Brief lecture and discussion of reading for foundational biological processes.
  • A Cure for Cancer? Interactive Case Study prompting students to investigate current treatment interventions for cancer and discuss how to address misleading information.
  • Application of current research: Analytical discussion of found current research in cell cycles or mitosis applied to cancer treatment or diagnosis.

 

Instructor Bios

Lauren Woods: Lauren Woods, PhD is the Assistant Director of CIRTL at Northwestern at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning and Teaching. Lauren develops, facilitates, and evaluates professional development programming for STEM graduate students and postdocs and works with STEM instructors to identify ways they can create inclusive learning environments for students. Prior to joining the Searle Center, Lauren was a postdoctoral researcher at Davidson College. She holds a BA in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University and a PhD in Evolution, Ecology, and Population Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

Erin Cable: Erin Cable completed her BS in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Michigan in 2010. Following her undergraduate work, she completed her PhD in Psychology with a focus in Integrative Neuroscience from the University of Chicago in 2016. Her research primarily focused on the neural mechanisms by which circadian disruption affects the function of the reproductive and immune systems. During her graduate education, Erin worked as a lecturer at the University of Chicago in the Department of Psychology and as a Preceptor for the Career Advancement Office at the University of Chicago. Following completion of her doctorate, Erin began her current role at Northwestern University’s School of Professional Studies as an Academic and Career Adviser and Lecturer in Biology and Psychology courses. 

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Life, Death, and Justice in Healthcare

Instructor: Professor Mark Sheldon, PhD, Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; Faculty in the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
Orientation: July 2
Session Dates: July 5–16; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Due to the July 4th holiday, class time on July 5th will be held at the discretion of your instructor. Please contact your instructor directly or refer to your syllabus for more information.
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

On a seemingly daily basis, we are confronted by stories in the media that focus our attention on various issues in bioethics. Furthermore, many of these issues stand powerfully at the center of our political discourse. Some of these questions result from the development of new technologies — when does life begin, when does it end, when should it end? Other questions relate to the increasing cost of medical care — who should receive a heart transplant, what is our responsibility to the millions of individuals who do not have health insurance, should medical resources be allocated on the basis of age? And then there are issues specific to the doctor/patient relationship — what should doctors tell and not tell patients, how much confidentiality should be protected by the doctor/patient relationship? In this thought-provoking seminar, students will expand their ability to analyze the ethical dimensions of these challenging social issues.

Methodology

The seminar will consist of discussion primarily of a variety of important and timely readings. There will also be brief lectures for the purpose of providing a context for the discussion. Since the topics considered will be intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically complex, it will be important to have time to reflect thoughtfully on the issues, to examine a variety of perspectives, and to develop the skill of listening carefully to what others have to say.

Objective

The main objective of this seminar is to enable you to develop insight into and appreciation for the way philosophical analysis and argument can contribute significantly to clarifying the ethical and conceptual issues in these very complex matters. 

Applicants

The seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in philosophy, medicine and public policy. No previous knowledge with any of the topics is required, and one does not have to be focused on medicine as a career. The topics under consideration have implications for all members of society.

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
  • Each day will be a mix of brief lectures, extensive discussions, film clips, and small group (two or three students per group) presentations. 
  • Each group is to present an analysis of a case relevant to the topic, ultimately working together as a hospital ethics committee would, presenting and defending the group’s resolution of the case to the seminar at large.

 

Resources and Materials

Students may be asked to purchase one book, but it is more likely that the relevant readings will be available on line for download. The readings will be accessible readings from philosophy, medicine and law journals.

Instructor Bio

Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Philosophy and also in the Medical Ethics and Humanities Program, Feinberg School of Medicine. He received his PhD from Brandeis University, where he was awarded a Sachar Fellowship to study at Oxford University. He has served as Adjunct Senior Scholar at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago, and Senior Policy Analyst at the American Medical Association. Formerly Professor of Philosophy and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Indiana University (Northwest campus) and Indiana University School of Medicine, he currently serves as adjunct faculty and ethicist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Sheldon has published and presented talks on a variety of issues including informed consent, confidentiality, the forced transfusion of children of Jehovah's Witnesses, children as organ donors, disclosure, and the use of Nazi research. He has contributed book chapters and published in a variety of journals including The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Hastings Center Report, The Philosophical Forum, The Journal of Value Inquiry, and The New England Journal of Medicine. He has served as guest editor of two journals - Theoretical Ethics and Bioethics and The Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. He has served a three-year term as a member of the Committee on Philosophy and Medicine of the American Philosophical Association, and is currently co-editor of the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine. He also served as a member of the Task Force on Genetics for the Illinois Humanities Council. The focus of his research is the point at which the interests of children, the prerogatives of parents, and the obligations of the state often come into conflict in relation to medical decisions for children.


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So you Want to be a Business Executive: Jump Start your Journey to Leadership

Instructor: Joseph Patton, Executive Coach and Associate Director of Career Advising & Education at the Kellogg School of Management
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

In this highly interactive seminar, you will be coached through several tools, techniques and skills which have been integral in helping business executives bolster their success and MBA’s from around the world accelerate their career progression. The focus will span both (internal) self-development and (external) tactical skill development. Self-Development: You will benefit from getting to know yourself more acutely, through a professional lens, and leverage this understanding to develop more intentionally moving forward. Tactical Skill Development: You will strengthen several imperative business skills including interpersonal communication, project management and effective team engagement.

If you engage meaningfully, you will understand how to leverage these insights through the remainder of your academic journey and later into your career. This will provide you an incredible advantage regardless of chosen industry pursuit or specialty.

Methodology

This seminar will include brief interactive lectures, engaging discussions focused on the assigned readings, and guided individual and small group developmental exercises. You will learn from the instructor, learn from & about yourself and learn from your peers. Active engagement and participation in the subject matter will be paramount.

Objectives

In this course you will:

  • Gain insight into several executive coaching topics, tools and techniques, in addition to understanding how to strategically apply them.
  • Enhance your ability to self-assess and leverage introspection to further your professional pursuits.
  • Strengthen your interpersonal communication toolkit, including how to pitch and position yourself, in addition to persuading others.
  • Develop your ability to participate in and lead effective teams and projects.

Applicants

This seminar is for students involved or looking to involve themselves in a community service project, clubs, team sports, students council, debate, Model UN, or other important extra-curricular activities. This course will benefit students by enhancing their self-development and tactical leadership skills. If you are interested in becoming an inspiring leader and sharing your vision with others, this seminar is for you!

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
  • Interactive Lectures: You will be prompted to engage with the presented information and participate to drive the discussion forward.
  • Assigned Readings: Assignments will provide foundational knowledge of both executive coaching tools & techniques in addition to tactical skills.
  • Guided Exercises: You will be coached through live individual and group exercises during class to develop and test relevant skills. You will give and receive feedback as part of the process.

  

Instructor Bio

Joseph Patton is an executive coach who left Wall Street to focus on the comprehensive professional and personal development of others. He helps executives, managers, and aspiring leaders identify their individual strengths and discover ways to help themselves grow and advance. His coaching clients span the globe, across a range of industries. He is also an established speaker and author, leveraging his insightful expertise in career advancement, personal engagement, sales and diversity & inclusion to create and deliver impactful content to a variety of organizations.

In addition, Joseph currently serves as Associate Director of Career Advising & Education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he helps MBA students identify their career goals and carve out a carefully crafted path to achieve those aspirations. He is also a highly-rated lecturer for select Executive Education programs at Kellogg.

Previously, Patton was a Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, where he provided strategic advice and guidance across multiple asset classes. He is also a former board member of the Evanston Community Development Corporation (ECDC). He received his MBA in Analytical Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his bachelor of science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

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So You Think This Stuff Is Easy? Using the Science of Psychology to Raise a Virtual Child

Instructor: Alissa Levy Chung, Associate Professor of Instruction in Psychology
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 2:00pm–4:15pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Have you ever wondered what makes someone a good parent or if your parents are doing things “right”? There is actually a science to parenting, but a lot of what parents worry about (violin lessons or trumpet? Travel soccer or club? Should I get an SAT tutor or enroll in a prep class?) actually has very little to do with how well their children develop. In this class, you will learn about research on parenting and then get the chance to try it yourself with the My Virtual Child program. Will you be nurturing? Strict? Indulgent? Students will create their own children in this program (who may or may not resemble you in personality and appearance) and get the chance to name their children and raise them to adulthood. The program gives you a series of questions and decisions you have to make, and each decision slowly shapes the trajectory of your child’s life.

Students will work in groups, each choosing a different kind of parenting style so that you can learn the consequences of different kinds of decisions. In other words, you cannot all just raise boring, perfect children like yourselves! Your choices will be grounded in research, but we will also look at holes in our research, such as limited information on parenting and child development outside of the U.S. At the end of the experience, you will write or present about your journey with your child, and we as a class will also write to the company that produces the program to offer suggestions about how to improve it. Do they need a wider range of parenting choices? Are the scenarios too culturally biased toward middle class families from the U.S.? What aspects of modern life have they failed to capture (e.g., the role of social media on teenage life)?

Methodology

This course will include brief lectures about parenting and child development, which will include watching and analyzing videos of parents and children. Discussion and participation will be regular features of class, even during the lecture parts. You will be working in a group to complete the My Virtual Child parenting program, which will be through guided discussion. Through these methods, you will learn about the science of parenting and how to think about your childhood experiences the way a psychologist would. You will also receive feedback about your writing and scientific thinking.

Objectives

By the completion of this course, you will:

  • Have learned about what the different styles of parenting are from a scientific point of view
  • Have thought about how parenting may differ in meaningful ways in cultures other than your own
  • Have learned the effects of nurturing and disciplining children in different ways
  • Have reflected on the ways that you were parented and how that may have affected you
  • Have learned how to work effectively in a group, where each person makes an equal contribution

Applicants

This seminar is for students interested in learning how parenting techniques effect a human psychologically through childhood and beyond. No previous knowledge is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
  • Attachment: how do children form their first relationships with their parents? (lecture and video examples)
  • Parenting styles: what are the four scientific categories of parenting, and what are examples of each? (lecture and discussion of examples from popular books and films)
  • Parenting across culture and time: lecture and discussion, including examples, incorporating research to understand our real-life experiences
  • Raising a virtual child: guided group work and discussion to apply class findings to raising a “real” child


Instructor Bio

Alissa Levy Chung is a clinical and developmental psychologist who received her PhD from the University of Minnesota (Institute of Child Development and Clinical Psychology). She is joining the department as an Associate Professor of Instruction. Her early research focused on the intergenerational transmission of parenting and the role of early experience in the development of psychopathology. For the past several years, she shifted her focus to teaching and was an award-winning teacher as a member of the adjunct faculty in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern, teaching courses in developmental and clinical psychology. Previous teaching experience also included participating in the development of and teaching classes in the infant mental health specialty program at Erikson Institute in Chicago. For the past 18 years, Alissa has been a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, working with children, adolescents, adults, and families throughout Evanston, Chicago, and the North Shore. She is active in the Evanston public schools and has been a special education advocate for families.

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The Mathematics of Chaotic Dynamical Systems

Instructor: Daniel Cuzzocreo, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

The world is a chaotic place. All around us, our lives are governed by complicated systems that evolve over time, from the weather, to the stock market, to the neurons firing in our own brains. Sometimes these systems fall unto predictable patterns, but other times they are predictably unpredictable, and math can tell us why.

In this course, you’ll explore how systems governed by seemingly simple rules can lead to wildly complicated outcomes and how tiny changes now can lead to huge consequences later on. Along the way, you’ll learn about how these chaotic systems connect to other wild areas of mathematics, like imaginary numbers and fractal geometry.

Methodology

This course will include readings and lectures on the fundamental mathematical concepts you’ll need to understand the ideas of dynamical systems and chaos, as well as interactive technology demonstrations, projects, and group problem sessions. Previous knowledge of calculus is helpful.

Objectives

By the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use technology to predict and measure how chaotic systems change over time
  • Write models to represent real world systems with mathematics
  • Learn about how and when small changes to a system can have enormous effects
  • Create stunning fractal images based on simple formulas

Applicants

This seminar is for students who want to explore topics beyond typical mathematical concepts offered at the high school level.  High-School level pre-calculus is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
  • Discrete and Continuous Models: Lecture on how systems that change over time can be modeled in discrete or continuous ways, and how these lead to different mathematical approaches, with a crash course in just enough calculus to get us through the rest of the course.
  • Predator-Prey Models: Lecture and technology project exploring how different assumptions about interacting populations can affect their long-term survival
  • The Quadratic Family: Lecture and technology project exploring how simple quadratic expressions generate chaos.
  • The Mandelbrot and Julia Sets: Lecture and interactive demonstration taking chaotic systems into the world of imaginary numbers to see how chaotic systems generate wild fractal pictures.


Instructor Bio

Dr. Daniel Cuzzocreo has been a Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Northwestern since 2015, and previously taught at Smith College in Massachusetts and Boston University. He earned a BA in Mathematics from Tufts University in 2009 and a PhD from Boston University in 2014. He has published several papers in the field of complex dynamical systems, he earned the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Northwestern Department of Mathematics, and he was recently named to the Associated Student Government Faculty and Administrator Honor Roll at Northwestern. 

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Chemistry Research with Real World Application

Instructor: Shelby Hatch, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Chemistry, Weinberg Adviser
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

Would you like to do research? Be a published scientist? In this course, you will experience all aspects of scientific research; from writing a research proposal to submitting your work for publication! You will design and perform your own experiments as well as write a scientific paper with your classmates on a group research project. You will have the opportunity to meet virtually with scientists in a variety of fields. You will also interact with researchers from Chicago-area research institutions including Northwestern University and museums such as the Shedd Aquarium and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as they give us curated virtual tours of their laboratories, describe their research, and take questions from all of you. 

Methodology

This course will be project-based. You will work together on a group research project, as well as develop your own individual projects. The group research project will be a study of heavy metal environmental contamination in Chicago. Students will learn how to collect and prepare environmental (e.g., soil, water, and plant) samples for analysis. Where it is safe to do so, students will actually collect and prepare their own samples for analysis; we will also analyze samples previously collected in the Chicago area. Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) will be an integral aspect of this course. PLTL activities will center around the research process. Examples include learning to read a research proposal, designing a research plan, and preparing a scientific poster to present at a conference. 

Objectives

By the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Read and summarize the main points of a research paper
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources
  • Explain the peer review process
  • Write an effective research proposal
  • Design and conduct scientific experiments
  • Communicate scientific results orally and in writing
  • Construct a scientific poster

Applicants

This seminar is designed for high school students who are interested in: delving into the scientific research process, conducting their own experiments, collaborating with classmates, and honing their communication skills.

 

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework
Question of the day/Check-in - What is your current research question?
Peer-Led Team Learning Activity - break into PLTL groups to work on activities to develop a research plan

Perform experiments - get a virtual tour of the 'trace metal analysis' laboratory where samples are being analyzed.

Data analysis/writing up results/planning upcoming experiments - get instruction on how to use Excel to analyze and graph data received from the inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometer located in the 'trace metal analysis' lab


Resources and Materials

Readings will be distributed electronically at the start of the course. Film and television clips along with other multimedia sources will also be part of this seminar. 

Instructor Bio

Shelby Hatch is an Academic Adviser in Weinberg College and Assistant Professor of Instruction in the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. Shelby earned a PhD from the University of Rochester in Biophysical Chemistry. Shelby’s current research focuses on “youth participatory science” in the field of sustainable and environmental chemistry. Shelby is one of the scientists on the “Poisoned Onion Project” (POP), an NSF-funded endeavor that studies heavy metal contamination in Chicago, with particular focus on how that contamination impacts communities of color and low-income areas of the city. POP researchers include high school students, teachers, community organizers, and university scientists.


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Words Matter: Story and Social Justice

Instructor: James Richard O'Laughlin, College Adviser, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Associate
Orientation: July 16
Session Dates: July 19–30; M–F, 10:15am–1:00pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 40

We hear much about the centrality of narratives in political discussions today and about the importance of which narratives or stories are being told.  Both of these reflect the power of narratives, whether to make tellers visible to themselves and others, or to transform listeners.  This course will explore narrative specifically in relation to struggles for social justice by analyzing the way it speaks to social contexts.  We'll start with close readings of a few texts to identify several key ideas about social justice and some key features of narrative as well.  Then we’ll deepen that inquiry with close analysis and discussion of several distinct kinds of narratives that articulate perspectives on social justice, from short stories to narrative essays to short narrative poems. Our goal will be to identify how different narrative strategies are used to articulate social justice perspectives in relation to their social contexts (drawing on examples from 1980 to the present in the United States), especially regarding race, class, gender and sexual identity.

Students will write short responses to the readings on Canvas discussion boards and also get feedback on a short analysis of one of the readings from the instructor.

In final projects students will work in small groups to apply the analytic techniques and approaches of the course to one or two narratives beyond the class readings, whether a story, poem, essay, song lyric, short film, program, etc.  They will present these to the whole class.

Methodology

A mixture of brief, introductory lectures, group discussions, a presentation on utilizing the library’s online resources to read about social context, all to enable students to develop perspectives and approaches to analyzing and understanding the role of narrative in social justice.

Objectives

By the completion of this course, you will:

  • Learn some key themes and ideas of social justice and learn different aspects of narrative analysis  
  • Learn approaches for analyzing narratives in relation to social justice issues.
  • Learn to work on a team and reach a consensus about a social justice analysis of a narrative.

Applicants

 This seminar is for students passionate about equity across social systems and who are interested in exploring how the written word and multiple narratives impact justice in our society. No previous knowledge is required. 

An Example of Academic Coursework

Example of academic coursework

Classes will usually include some framing of the topic by the instructor, then discussions by the whole class of some key issues, and sometimes also small group work on specific issues raised in discussion as well as brief individual writing exercises. 


Resources and Materials

Readings may include some of the following:

  1. Amartya Sen, from “The Idea of Justice”
  2. Rachel Ghansah, “The Weight”
  3. Amy Tan, “Mother Tongue”
  4. Martin Espada, “Bully”
  5. Sherman Alexie, “This Is What It Means To Say Phoenix, Arizona” and “The Trial of Thomas Builds-the-Fire”
  6. Natahsa Trethewey, “History Lesson”
  7. Lucille Clifton, “i am accused of tending to the past”
  8. Ta-Nehisi Coates, “Notes from the Fifth Year” and “Notes from the Sixth Year
  9. Jamaica Kincaid, “A Letter to Robinson Crusoe”
  10. Layli Long Soldier,  “I Cannot Stop:  A Response to the Murder of George Floyd”

Instructor Bio

James O’Laughlin teaches in the Cook Family Writing Program and is a Weinberg College Adviser.  He has been named to the Associated Student Government (ASG) Faculty Honor Roll and has received the Distinguished Teaching Award from Northwestern’s School of Professional Studies. He has taught a wide range of courses, including: first-year seminars on environmentalism and on postcolonialism and writing in Ireland; modes of writing; reading and writing fiction; reading and writing creative nonfiction; and intermediate composition.


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So You Want to be a Doctor?

"Insight Into Medicine"

Instructor: Sarah B. Rodriguez, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Global Health Studies, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Lecturer, Medical Education, Feinberg School of Medicine
Orientation: June 18
Session Dates:
June 21–July 2; M–F, 10:15am–1pm CST
June 21–July 2; M–F, 2–4:15pm CST
Optional Get Ready Series (Linked) 1:00–2:00pm CST*
*You may also view the Get Ready Series asynchronously at your own leisure.
Enrollment Capacity: 30

This course provides you with an opportunity to critically consider these questions: what does it mean to be healthy, what is medicine, and what does the practice of medicine look like in the United States, and how may the practice of medicine change in the future? By framing this course around these fundamental questions, we will explore what it means to be a medical professional, why someone chooses to become a doctor, what the path to medical school consists of, and what it is like to go to medical school. We will consider what it means to be healthy and the importance of non-physiological factors (such as social, cultural, environmental) on who is at risk for ill-health. Further, we will also examine where medicine is heading in the future. Because the practice of medicine involves critically analyzing information and working in teams, you will participate in presenting and analyzing materials from a variety of sources and working on team-based projects.

Methodology

This seminar will consist of lectures, discussion of readings and assignments, small group and individual coursework, student presentations, and visiting speakers. You are expected to come prepared to each class having done the readings and with comments and questions ready from which to participate in discussion.

Objectives

At the end of this course, you will:

  • Describe the path toward applying to medical school;
  • Outline what the first year of medical school consists of, and how undergraduate medical education has changed;
  • Summarize how health care is paid for in the United States, as well as alternative models for funding health care;
  • Describe the variety of methods used in medical research;
  • Articulate and consider the importance of anatomy in undergraduate medical education as well as how ideas about anatomy and bodies have changed;
  • Describe the importance of medical codes of ethics as well as medical professionalism;
  • Describe the importance of community, social, economic, and environmental factors affecting health and healthy living;
  • Appraise the importance of socioeconomic impacts on health and illness;
  • Become familiar with using medical journal indexes and critically reading medical journal articles;
  • Articulate the importance of working in teams to solve a problem;
  • Outline possible routes regarding the future of medical practice.

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in issues and careers related to medical practice and health care systems. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required.

An Example of Academic Coursework

Each day will be loosely organized around a topic such as: The American Health Care System

Example of academic coursework

Presentation by instructor on the economics of health care

Students will present researched information on health care delivery in America covering the private and government sectors

Discussion and debate about alternative ways of delivering and funding health care and what role the government should play in funding health care

Case study and discussion

 

Resources and Materials

A reading list will be sent prior to the start of the program so you can prepare for the seminar. During the seminar, you will be given assistance with sources for your presentations and will gain experience in using online databases. 

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