Frontiers of the Discipline

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers Frontiers of the Discipline, one-credit seminars that focus on cutting-edge research of faculty members. It’s an opportunity for students to interact with a faculty member as part of a small community (approximately 20 students) and learn first-hand about her/his current research.

Are you interested in interacting with a faculty member as part of a small community? Consider enrolling in a one-credit Frontiers of the Discipline seminar that focuses on cutting edge research.

Spring 2019 Offerings

Offered as 1 credit, Satisfactory/Fail.

Stem Cells and Cellular Engineering: Applications, Politics and Ethics

LAS103D (Section 1)
Instructor: Dr. Don Sakaguchi
Day and Time: Mondays, 4:10-5PM (full semester)
Target Student Population: Students from any major interested in stem cells (such as BIOL, GEN, POL S, PSYCH, PHIL, etc.)
Description: Are you interested in stem cells? Advances in stem cell research are occurring at a rapid pace. New discoveries may lead to regenerative therapies for diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative conditions, and even blindness. Realizing the potential benefits requires continued scientific advances but also negotiation of regulatory issues, ethical considerations, and the political climate. Learn about and discuss important issues surrounding stem cell biology (embryonic, adult and induced stem cells), ethics, and politics. We will discuss all of these topics and methods to harness the power of stem cells using cellular engineering approaches. As a student, you’ll participate in weekly presentations on current events relevant to stem cells (biology, ethics, and politics). Consider joining us for this fun and enlightening class!

Cutting Edge Approaches to Treating Cancer: What’s New? What’s Promising?

LAS103D (Section 2)
Instructor: Dr. Clark Coffman
Day and Time: Thursdays, 4:10-5PM (full semester)
Target Student Population: Open Option students; The Sky is the Limit, Biology, Genetics, other STEM majors
Description: Cancers impact us all. According to recent statistics from the American Cancer Society, the odds of developing cancer are 1:2 for males and 1:3 for females. Fortunately, new forms of cancer treatments are resulting in better and better odds for surviving cancer, >95% survival in some cases. In this seminar, we will explore revolutionary new approaches to cancer treatments, some that involve nanotechnology, others, mixtures of ancient and modern medical practices. The topics for each week are determined by student interest. In class, we will work to understand how these treatments lead to the death of cancer cells and possible future treatments for forms of cancer that are currently difficult to treat.

Social Justice & Identity: Allyship & Advocacy for the Here and Now

LAS103B (Section 1)
Instructor: Dr. Sarah Crosby
Day and Time: Wednesdays, 4:10-5PM (full semester)
Target Student Population: Women’s and Gender Studies, Education, Leadership Studies, Sociology, English, Speech Communication
Description: Have you ever wanted to be more involved in social justice issues but weren’t sure how to get started? This course focuses on discovering your identity and activist interests, understanding what it means to be an ally and/or advocate for a community, and experiencing relevant service-learning. Activities will include engaging in discussions (based on assigned readings, videos, and podcasts), reflection journals, completing a small service-learning project or volunteering hours for a campus or Ames community group, and the choice between a poster presentation or writing an op-ed piece based on your service-learning experience and community needs.