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Understanding and Negotiating “Worlds” through Maps

This course will be led by Stefanie Ohnesorg, associate professor of modern foreign languages. Class will be held Tuesdays from 2:10 – 3:00.

Course description:

When looking at a globe or a map we may catch ourselves explaining things like “This IS America, this IS China, this IS the Tennessee Valley…“ while pointing at the depictions in front of us. Statements like this suggest that the boundaries between the representation and what is being represented seem to get blurred in the act of reading the map. As we identify places on a map, the images in front of us invoke associations that make us – as the slippage in language suggests – at least momentarily forget or ignore that the map and what is being represented are not the same.
In this course, we take a closer look at what a map ‘is’ (and what it is ‘not’). While doing so, we will develop a framework that will enable students to understand maps as cultural constructs that need to be ‘read’ by not only focusing on what is being depicted but by also paying attention to the layers of meaning that become apparent by realizing what is omitted and/or (literally or symbolically) moved to the margins. Students will work with maps from different cultural contexts to understand that the features we will look at are not unique to any particular culture.

French Cinema and Film Criticism in the 1930s

This course will be taught by Susan Edmundson, distinguished lecturer in French and Francophone studies. Edmundson’s research interests include cultural and political history, contemporary French culture, and online teaching and assessment. Class will be held Tuesdays from 2:10 – 3:00.

Course description: 

In this course, students will learn about French culture and history by viewing and analyzing several famous French films from the 1930s. Students will study how reviews of these films are influenced by the critics’ political orientation and point of view. Through blogging, games, and role-playing, students will develop an awareness of how their own experiences and worldview influence their interpretations of these films. 

Forests and Sustainability

This course will be taught by Donald Hodges, a professor of forestry, wildlife, and fisheries. Professor Hodges academic interests include forest economics and policy. Class will be held Tuesdays from 12:40 – 1:30.

Course Description:

Forests and Sustainability introduces students to the basic concepts of sustainability in the context of forested ecosystems. The course is focused on developing an awareness of multicultural perspectives, and specifically how sustainability and efforts to enhance sustainability are viewed in different cultures. Emphasizing the ecological, economic, and social aspects of sustainability, class discussions and projects will explore how a sustainability framework can be applied to practical problems of forest use and protection, both locally and globally.

Energy Choices and Consequences

This course will be taught by Harold Dodds, department head emeritus in nuclear engineering. Professor Dodds’s academic interests include nuclear reactor analysis, radiation transport methods, and nuclear criticality safety. Class will be held Mondays from 4:40 – 5:30.

Course description:

With the world’s population increasing from seven billion currently to approximately nine billion by the year 2040, achieving a healthy lifestyle for all people on earth will depend, in part, on the availability of affordable energy, especially electricity. This seminar course will focus primarily on the various options for producing and using electricity, and the consequences associated with each option. The options include fossil, renewables, nuclear, and conservation. All energy options are needed, but some options may be better than others when compared in the following subject areas: economics, environmental effects, public health and safety, sustainability, and politics. Thus, a primary goal of this course is to provide the students, many of whom will become important national and international leaders in the future, with a sound basis for making informed decisions about the path forward for electricity production and utilization. Other goals are to help the students make the transition from high school to the university and to inspire the students.

Service Learning

This course will be taught by Robert Kronick, professor of counseling and education. Professor Kronick’s research interests include full-service schools, at-risk children and youth, and social justice. Class will be held Mondays from 2:30-3:20.

Course description:
This course is an introduction to Service Learning. Through this course, students will learn what Service Learning is, the importance of systems theory, prevention, and collaboration, how to get a project started, how to enter a system that is culturally diverse, and much more. Lectures, class discussions, group activities, guest speakers and experiential opportunities, including a trip to a University Assisted Community School, will be combined to address important topics in relation to Service Learning in a university community.

Improv(e) You! Using Improve Games to Improve Soft Skills

This class will be led by Stefanie Benjamin, an assistant professor in retail, hospitality, and tourism management. Professor Benjamin’s research interests include cultural and historical landscapes regarding heritage tourism in the U.S. South. Class will be held on Mondays from 10:10 – 11:00.
Course description: 

Improvisational theater activities can foster a space where students become more aware of their own speech, body, and behaviors in order to observe, listen, and respond to their environment. Participating in such games encourages students to communicate directly both inside and outside the classroom, helps with their soft skill development, and present/interview in a confident manner. Most importantly, improvisation offers a framework where students can let go of “self-judgment” and learn to trust their best, most creative, most confident, authentic self.


This course will be led by Thomas Broadhead, director of Undergraduate Academic Advancement. Professor Broadhead’s academic interests include the applications of paleontological data to the solution of geological problems. Class will be held Thursdays from 5:10 – 6:00.

Course description: Nations utilize postage stamps as icons of history and culture and thereby propagandize their citizens and the world. Discover the obvious and discrete messages from stamp images of a country of your choice and discuss examples of historic and modern image messaging in the mail.

HSP Spring 2017 E-Newsletter

The Haslam Scholars Program is glad to share its spring newsletter for the 2016-2017 year. Explore to discover the accomplishments of Haslam Scholars, student perspectives on core aspects of the program, and the story of an HSP alumni. We welcome you to share our progress with friends, family, and supporters of the Honors & Scholars Programs at the University of Tennessee.

What’s inside:

  1. Haslam Scholars Reach New Heights
  2. Haslam Scholars and Alumni Receive National Scholarships and Fellowships
  3. Congratulating Our Scholars
  4. HSP Retreat
  5. Making a Difference in the Community
  6. Alumni Spotlight: Aeron Glover 

HSP Alumni Spotlight: Aeron Glover

By Kevin Webster, HSP program coordinator

“One of the best decisions of my life,” Aeron Glover said of his HSP experience at University of Tennessee. An alumnus of the 2008 Cohort and a 2012 Torchbearer, Glover highlighted the encouraging members of his cohort, supportive faculty and staff, and a plethora of opportunities as essential components of his personal and professional growth and development at UT.

Glover majored in industrial engineering and capitalized on his passion for startups and entrepreneurship as a member of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in UT’s Haslam College of Business. Glover speaks to the values of the HSP pillars of integrity and diversity in reflecting on how his cohort influenced his current success:

“I was exposed to people from a lot of different backgrounds, and it really helped me discover how to communicate and influence people who are different than me.”

Glover’s time at UT was one of critical experiences and influential people. He interned at ExxonMobil and twice at Google—once after his junior year and once after his senior year. He also participated in summer programs at Harvard University and Tsinghua University in China. His passion for business led him to write his thesis on viral content and the college market of the websites and, with advisement from Lee Martin, a professor in industrial and systems engineering and director of the Engineering Entrepreneurship program.

According to Glover, Martin was a great mentor who helped him with managing life and finding balance. Working on those areas while starting and managing a company is extremely important. Glover also attributes his success to former director of Honors and Scholars Programs Steve Dandaneau, who believed in his potential. “I was at a point in my life where I had a very narrow focus on what I wanted. I wanted to be involved in startup space, grow something, and manage it from end to end,” he said.

Glover currently works as a program manager at Google, where he manages an operations team that works on advertising products for some of Google’s most reputable clients. “Ninety percent of my team is located in India, and it really challenges me to be a more effective communicator. It is super important to understand how to identify and work with cultures and personalities separate from my own.”

According to Glover, his time in the Haslam Scholars Program took him out of his comfort zone, which prepared him for the type of communication he does today.

Interestingly, Glover’s passion for entrepreneurship did not begin at UT. As a high school student in Memphis, he started a business selling candy. As his business grew larger, he hired his first employees, opened concession stands at different schools, and eventually expanded to sporting events. Glover says his proclivity for entrepreneurship is a natural part of who he is. It was no surprise then that he and one of his colleagues, during their junior year at UT, were the recipients of a $25,000 award from a national business competition to begin a startup to help college students learn more about student housing around the world. Glover said that a study abroad trip to Spain, which required him to live with a host family, sparked the idea and that the culture and daily living experience there made a lasting impression on him: “I think the best ideas come from the most basic concerns in a person’s life. It does not have to be transformative to be impactful. As long as there are marginal improvements in your awareness, you can develop a smart idea.”

Soon after graduation, Glover attended the Startup Institute in Boston to cultivate his skills and harness his talents in the startup industry and tech field. He also accepted a job with one of the largest tech companies in the world: Google.

Exposure is a concept that is personally meaningful to Glover and one which he desires to pay forward. He met a lot of people at UT with entrepreneurial experience, which solidified his confidence and understanding of his passion. He is looking forward to spending more of his spare time in New York teaching middle school students about technology, 3-D printing, and coding for an outreach program called Code Next. “I think exposure is so important in the early stages of someone’s life. Especially during adolescence,” he said.

Glover reflects that, to him, being a Haslam Scholar means “being comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time.

There were times during my experience when I felt that I did not have the perspective or the background to analyze a certain text or piece of literature as well as some of my peers. In those situations, I had to learn to be comfortable with understanding that I had a lot of space to grow. Being in HSP really taught me how to be open to being uncomfortable, while exposing myself to different academic, social, and professional environments.” He encourages current and future scholars to maintain that sense of vulnerability while enrolled in the program: “Never stop thinking about and pursuing what you love. Understand that there will be times when you’re not doing or experiencing the things that you love. It can make you un- comfortable, so you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable— but do not accept that as your end state. If there is a place you see yourself and you have a vision, keep striving for that.”

Making a Difference in the Community

By David Marsh, junior HSP student in mechanical engineering, 2014 Cohort

The Haslam Scholars Program is founded on four pillars: integrity, diversity, social justice, and social responsibility. These pillars construct a program dedicated to shaping scholars into socially conscious thinkers and, more importantly, doers. I quickly discovered that the critical social lessons taught in my Haslam Scholars courses would have more of an impact on my life than the physics taught in my engineering program. Social consciousness is merely a fruitless thought exercise without action, so serving Pond Gap and Inskip Elementary Schools is a vital knowledge integration experience for Haslam Scholars.

During my first year of service at Pond Gap Elementary, I immediately observed a lack of STEM education and experiences. I wanted to help introduce these young students to a new world of possibilities through engineering and learn more about the specific challenges students face when considering futures in STEM. I proposed a Lego Robotics Club, hoping that it could be the entry point to engineering for these elementary-aged students. Admittedly, prior to the Lego Robotics Club, I had little experience working with elementary students or Lego EV3 parts.

While I quickly learned that Lego kits were intuitive and easy to use, elementary students were somewhat of an enigma.

During my third day with the Lego Robotics Club, I remember sitting on the ground to test one of the robots. A student asked what I was doing, and sat straight down in my lap. No warning, just plopped down. No amount of education in Haslam Scholars classes or knowledge of robotics could have prepared me for that—only experience. It was clear this fourth-grade student needed companionship, so I shifted him to the side of one of my legs, and I continued helping the other students test the robot. After this experience, I became less concerned about the students’ knowledge of robotics and more conscious about supporting their development and confidence in their problem-solving abilities and their beliefs so they can pursue careers in engineering. Lego robotics just happens to be a fun way to instill this confidence.

The most rewarding aspect of leading a Lego robotics club is paying forward a significant experience that greatly influenced my own engineering dreams.

I owe much of my engineering interests, abilities, and skills to membership in my middle- and high school’s robotics clubs. Through my service with the Haslam Scholars, I can introduce one of my major passions to elementary-aged students. I have developed a commitment to creating opportunities for those in under-resourced communities who are less likely to be exposed to an engineering curriculum. For students, the Lego Robotics Club fosters a positive experience with building, designing, and programming each week. For the volunteers and me, facilitating the club allows us to gain glimpses of how social institutions construct disadvantages. Although many of these students have lived through hardships that I have not, Lego robotics shows that they are as eager as anyone to learn about engineering.

My last duty to Pond Gap Elementary is ensuring the Lego club is sustainable and continues to inspire the next generation of future engineers. Next semester, I will start training my replacement as I approach my graduation from UT. As I move forward in my career, I will look back on my time with the Lego Robotics Club and continue to search for opportunities to serve my community by sharing my passion in engineering.

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