Summer Honors Institute at Xavier gives gifted Ohio students a chance to earn college credit

The residential program in July is subsidized by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education | April 7, 2009

Xavier University’s Summer Honors Institute from July 5-18 offers gifted Ohio high school students the opportunity to study a college-level course while living on campus with other gifted students. Participants live in a Xavier residence hall, eat on campus and have full access to all the amenities available to Xavier students. They also participate in extracurricular activities such as a campus scavenger hunt and talent show, and trips to fun, local attractions such as the Cincinnati Zoo or Museum Center.

Students can earn three college credits, which may be applied toward degrees at Xavier or other colleges and universities they attend. Participants must be Ohio residents classified as gifted who have completed their freshman or sophomore year of high school. The cost to attend is $500, which covers all residential and extracurricular expenses of the program. Tuition, books and field trip costs are covered by a grant from the Ohio Department of Education. A limited number of scholarships are distributed on the basis of need or minority status and considered in order of their submission.

The deadline to apply is April 10. For more details or to apply online to Xavier’s Summer Honors Institute, visit  

The courses being offered in 2009 are:

Ecology and Human Affairs: This course focuses on the ecological principles and human aspects of ecology that underlie the critical environmental issues affecting the world today. Field trips include local forests, a local stream and Cincinnati's natural history museum, as well as hands-on laboratory exercises on campus. The course includes a day dedicated to issues of environmental justice, including a tour of a Cincinnati neighborhood where environmental justice issues are widespread. It is taught by Brent Blair, PhD, whose research interests are in the area of plant ecology and the impact of disturbances on forested ecosystems.

Computation and the Information Age: The focus of this course is on key issues contributing toward understanding technology in the Information Age. It is taught by Gary Lewandowski, PhD, whose research interests include: parallel and distributed computing, including applications to real-world problems; computational biology; and computer science education, including novice programmers. Lewandowski has served as principal investigator on two National Science Foundation grants.

Justice in America: An Ohio Rendition: The focus of this course is on the criminal justice system in America. Students gain hands-on knowledge into various law enforcement practices, court decision-making processes, criminalistics/forensic science lab experiences and detention /confinement solutions. Students take field trips to the Hamilton County Courthouse, Coroner's Office and Detention Center, and the Citizens' Police Academy. Jack Richardson, PhD, and Kam Wong, PhD, are teaching the course. Wong’s expertise is in comparative policing, the People’s Republic of China criminal law and criminal process, and Homeland Security and the USA Patriot Act.

Philosophical Dialogue and Drama: This course introduces students to philosophical questions and concepts as presented in Plato's dialogues and films with strong philosophical content. The issues are ethical and political. If an appropriate play is scheduled to be presented during the timeframe of the institute, a field trip will be made to a stage performance in the Cincinnati area. The course is taught by Richard Polt, PhD, whose main interests are the metaphysical and ethical problems of Greek and German philosophy. He has taught elective courses on a variety of topics, including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, German idealism, existentialism, slavery, time and Heidegger.

Spoken Word, World Poetry: This course examines the explosion of contemporary poetic practices in the Americas, focusing on the popular and diverse spoken word scene. Students visit the Greenwich Tavern in Cincinnati to hear spoken word and traditional poetry. Tyrone Williams, PhD, teaches literature, literary theory and creative writing, and is widely published. Williams is currently circulating his manuscript on hip-hop culture, "Hip-Hop and The Public," working on a book on intellectual property and the arts, "Quotation and Modern Art," and completing another book of poetry for the avant-garde publisher Atelos Books.