Office for General Education announces Integrative Studies Seed Grant awards

Cross-college and campus collaboration highlighted
Office for General Education Seed Grant Logo
Credit: Samantha Gleason

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Integrative Studies Seed Grant Program, offered through the Penn State Office for General Education, will support 71 different course development projects this summer. In response to the large volume of highly qualified proposals, the budget was generously increased by more than 50 percent by the Office of the Provost and the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Adding to the financial support, World Campus, the Schreyer Honors College, and the College of the Liberal Arts provided full or joint funding for 11 of the proposals. Thirteen different collaborating University units will provide additional wrap-around expertise and resources to awardees.

In April 2015, the University Faculty Senate approved a new integrative studies requirement within General Education, followed by the approval of implementation details in March 2016. Such courses have never been required or received a recognized designation at Penn State.

The aim of the Seed Grant Program is to incentivize faculty to develop integrative studies courses, through either inter-domain or linked courses. In doing so, the University can build the capacity to offer these courses to students. Details about the changes in the General Education program and requirements can be found at

The awarded proposals include faculty from Penn State campuses across the state. All course ideas embrace the goals of General Education, specifically around the integrative thinking and learning objective and the new integrative studies requirement.

The awardees are (course titles are approximate and may change):


Ann Schmiedekamp — The Film Media and Extraterrestrial Life: Science Fact or Fiction?

Les Murray; Yvonne Love — Art and The Natural World


Karyn McKinney Marvasti, Beth Seymour — Communicating Culture: Representations of Dominant and Marginalized Groups


Sarah Whitney — Fashion, Identity, and Gender in America

Heather Lum, Gerald Scott Rispin — Human Factors in Design and Art

Rod Troester — CAS/Communications Summit

Sharon Dale, John Champagne — The Arts of Love


Jessica Schocker, Justin De Senso — Race in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences

Jayne Park-Martinez — Scientific Controversies and Public Debate

Sandy Feinstein, Brian Shawn Wang — From Beast Books to Dinosaurs Resurrected

Christian Weisser — Issues in Sustainability

Samantha Kavky — Psychology, Madness, and the Visual Arts

Justin De Senso — Politics of Hip Hop

Sandy Feinstein — Medievalism

Samantha Kavky — Witches and Witchcraft, From the Middle Ages to the Present

Azar Eslam-Panah, Heidi Reuter — Flow Visualization

Jennifer Hillman — Psychology in the Cinema and the Arts

Valerie Cholet — International Sport


Nathaniel Bohna, Valerie Vanderhoff — Art of Science

Greater Allegheny

MaryEllen Higgins — Social Justice and the Image

MaryEllen Higgins, Veronica Montecinos — Cinema and Globalization

Katherine McLean — Criminal Justice and Public Health


Azamat Sakiev, Siyu Liu — Comparative Violence: Political and Criminal Perspectives

Jennifer Sliko, John Haddad — Understanding Earth: American Cultural Perspectives linked to Understanding Earth: Scientific Perspectives

Ellen Stockstill — Human Rights and the Novel: Empathy and The Imagination to be linked with PSYCH 221


Karen Stylianides, Amie Yenser, Melissa Ranalli — Biology of Exercise

Lehigh Valley

Elizabeth Flaherty — Intersections of Art and Psychology

Donna Wade — Food Psychology: Why We Eat What We Eat

Doug Hochstetler, Mary Hutchinson — Link CIVCM 211 and PHIL 003

Christopher Landino, Drew Anderson — History & Weather: How Weather Played an Instrumental Role in Great World Events

New Kensington

Donald Bruckner — Philosophy, Psychology, Happiness, and the Good Life


Stephen Couch — Media Messages

Jeffrey Stone, Michael Gallis, Nicole Andel — The Art and Science of Virtual Worlds


Tamrya d’Artenay — Human Society as A Dependent of the Environment

University Park

College of Arts and Architecture

Aaron Knochel, Cristin Millett — Art and Health

Leanna Rosas, Carlos Rosas — Revise Art 201

Sarah Rich — Art and Money

College of the Liberal Arts

Robert Schrauf — Conducting International Comparative Research

Jonathan Marks, Christopher Zorn — Interplay of Ethics, Policy, Law, and Science

Antone Aboud, John Marsh — Work and Literature

Johanna Wagner, Tim Robicheaux — Organized Crime in Film & Society

Mary Miles — The Pursuit of Happiness: Historical Literature and Modern Practice

Eberly College of Science

Benjamin Lear — When Data Meets Design

Brittany Teller — Conservation Decision-Making

College of Health and Human Development

Robert Roeser, Mark Greenberg, Gaby Winqvist — A Life Worth Living: The Theory & Practice of Human Flourishing

Kathryn Hynes, Shannon Corkery — Reading Our Lives: Understanding Diversity in Human Development Through Memoir

College of Engineering

Andrew Lau — Introduction to Sustainability

Alan Wagner — Robots and Their Role in Society

College of Education

Dana Stuchul — Food and Farms

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

Karl Zimmerer — Society, Environment, and Food

Lorraine Dowler, Chris Fowler, Josh Inwood — Apocalyptic Geographies

Cross-college collaboration

David Hunter, Eberly College of Science; Paula Droege, College of the Liberal Arts; Andrew Read, Eberly College of Science — On Bullshit (Identifying Bias and Falsehoods)

Gary Adler, College of the Liberal Arts; Selena Ortiz, College of Health and Human Development — Healthy People, Healthy Society

John Waters, Eberly College of Science; Joel Waters; College of Health and Human Development; Jason Laine, College of the Liberal Arts — Human Anatomy in the Context of Renaissance-Era Italy

Bradford Bouley, College of the Liberal Arts; Michael Troyan, Eberly College of Science — History of Disease and Epidemiology

Heather McCune Bruhn, College of Arts and Architecture; Maureen Feineman, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences — Rocks, Minerals, and the History of Art

James Endres Howell, Eberly College of Science; Scott Smith, College of the Liberal Arts — Success and Challenges of an Inter-domain Course: Disseminating Science in Literature

Jennifer Savage Williams, College of Health and Human Development; Ted Jaenicke, College of the Agricultural Sciences; A. Catharine Ross, College of Health and Human Development — Linking AG BM 170 to New Food for All: U.S. Nutrition Programs, Food Security, and Economics

Molly Martin, College of the Liberal Arts; Alyssa Gamaldo, College of Health and Human Development; Stephen Matthews, College of the Liberal Arts — 3-Way Course Linkage on Health Inequalities – Social, Geographic, and Ethnicity

Leana Topper, Eberly College of Science; Gus Colangelo, Smeal College of Business; Jennifer Gruber, Harrisburg — Society and Disease Management

Jenny Kenyon, College of Arts and Architecture; Jack Hietpas, Eberly College of Science; Gary Chin, College of Arts and Architecture — Introduction to Forensic Photography linked with Introduction to Forensic Science

David Stensrud, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Graeme Sullivan, College of Arts and Architecture — Meteorology and Visual Arts: To Know Is to See

Ryan Russell, College of Arts and Architecture, Gary Chin, College of Arts and Architecture; Henry Pisciotta, Arts and Humanities Library — Information Visualization

Alex Hristov, College of Agricultural Sciences; Ken Davis, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences; Jennifer Baka, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences — Science and Policy of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Worthington Scranton

Kelley Wagers — Communicating Care

Todd Adams, Jennifer Lubinski — Art and Philosophy in Ancient Greece

Michael Evans, Paul Frisch — Historical Perspectives on Health Care Innovations

Patrick Sellers, Margret Hatch — Evolution of Homo Sapiens


Joe Downing — Interpersonal Conflict and Negotiation

Cross-campus collaboration

Xenia Hadjioannou, Lehigh Valley; Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Penn State Libraries — Picture Books

Christian Weisser, Berks; Lynette (Kvasny) Yarger, College of Information Sciences and Technology — Digital Cultures

The Office for General Education is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at