Published: June 26, 2017

Prof. Shelly Miller and Lupita Montoya are teaching 2 new classes this Fall. These classes are part of the new First Year Seminar concept launched by CU Boulder. The First-Year Seminar series answers diverse questions by approaching critical thinking and academic curriculum on a completely new level.The university asked our inventive professors to develop courses that focus on unusual topics and then to structure the topics to meet our rigorous academic standards. More information here.

Please find below the description of the classes offered by 2 of our EVEN. Both of these courses include Focus Interest Groups (FIGS) that allow to go deeper in each subject through field trips, seminars, movies...:  

Shelly MillerCan we stay safe in a toxic world?​

Toxins in Our Environment: Health Impacts and What We Can Do About It (Sect 09)—Shelly Miller, Professor, Mechanical Engineering 
T/TH, 9:30–10:45 a.m.

In this course we will learn what is an environmental toxin, the adverse health effects associated with exposure, and everyday actions we can take to reduce our exposures to toxins. A toxin is a substance that causes, directly or indirectly, harmful effects. We will discuss how society creates, regulates and perceives the effects of environmental toxins. We will emphasize the complexity of the issues and the difficulty in resolving them. This is a diverse topic and combines the fields of toxicology, exposure assessment, epidemiology, environmental engineering, environmental science, medicine, public health, sociology, and chemistry with politics, lobbying, economics, marketing, law, media, and human behaviorism. Unfortunately for you, your professor is not an expert in all of these topics! You will have to help me fill in the missing pieces. A goal of this course is to create an experience-oriented learning environment in which you have a more interactive role in the day-to-day classroom activities. We will use our computers regularly, so bring a laptop. Activities will include multimedia presentations, computer exercises, homework with real-world data analysis, readings, and discussion groups. We will also use social media to communicate what we are learning with the world.

Lupita MontoyaCan we design our way to sustainability?​

Building Sustainable Communities (Sect 35)—Lupita Montoya, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering 
M/W/F, 10–10:50 a.m.

This seminar will demonstrate how the process of engineering design can be used to solve technical or scientific problems as well as societal challenges. The process includes: problem definition, background research, requirement specification, brainstorm solutions, solution selection, prototype, test and redesign.  These steps will be applied to problems recognized and discussed in class. The goal will be to contribute our efforts to building sustainable and resilient communities in the United States and abroad. Dynamic multidisciplinary teams with diverse intellectual, social, and academic backgrounds will tackle real problems in these communities. Students will explore concepts such as resilience, grit, growth mindset, diversity and justice in order to deliver the best solution to the problems we set out to solve. Our goal will be to use this effective tool in new ways to serve society. Students in the course will learn to work in teams and communicate across disciplines in written and oral forms.