BI490 Advanced Topics in Biology:

for SP2 2008

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BI 490 Advanced Topics in Biology:


SP2 2008 HOZ


Williams, Donald L.


Associate Professor of Biology


Ed. D. in Science (Biology), Ball State Univ., Muncie, IN, Sum. '98
MS in Biology, Western State College, Gunnison, CO, Sum. '78
BA in Biology, Kansas Wesleyan Univ., Salina, KS, May '70

Office Location

SC 114B

Office Hours

T-R:  9-11:00 a.m.

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

March 17, 2008-May 11, 2008

Class Days


Class Time




Credit Hours


Shorter, Edward, Ph. D.  1987.  The Health Century. Doubleday.  New York, New York.

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Course Description:
Topics left to the discretion of the instructor and the students. Plant taxonomy, histology, cellular physiology, advanced field ecology, entomology, etc. are possible topics. Laboratory work may be required. May be repeated for credit if topics differ. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Variable credit: 1-4 hours.
This special topics involves a book review of  Edward  Shorter's The Health Century, a documentary chronicling the century of time between 1887 and 1987 during which time the field of medicine made exponential growth.  In addition, the intervening years since the completion of The Health Century have seen some more dramatic medical breakthroughs and accomplishments. 

Educational Philosophy:

. Critical thinking and skepticism are the cornerstones of science and the foundations to uncovering the truth about the natural world. Course topics will be presented and discussed with these foundations in mind. It is the belief of this instructor that everyone can understand and utilize scientific principles, and that science can be fun; therefore, this course will be taught from these premises.

This instructor has an “open door” policy towards students. Please feel free to come in or call if you have any questions concerning course items or college life in general.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Varies depending on topic (approved by the department)

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. The student, upon completion of this special topics, will have a deeper appreciation for the historical background of medicine.
  2. The student, upon completion of this course, will have practiced critical thinking and applied this thinking to how medicine has advanced over time.
  3. The student, upon completion of this course, will have evaluated scientific writing and practiced their own scientific writing.
  4. The student, upon completion of this course, will be able to discuss and relate the medical advances which have occurred over the past 120 years in America.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

The student is to read all the nine chapters and the Epilogue of Edward Shorter's book, The Health Century.
The student is to prepare a typed, written summary of no less than 1 nor more than 2 pages for each chapter and the epilogue of Shorter's book, The Health Century.  (A total of 10 summaries)  Each summary should include a factual summary/overview of the selection followed by the student's personal reflections concerning the writing itself and the revelations concerning medicine that the selection addressed.  Standard documentation and internal citations should be used for quoted material.
The student is to prepare a typed, written 3-5 page addition to Shorter's book from the standpoint of adding an additonal chapter to include medical advancements during the last 20 years from 1987-2007.  Within this "final chapter" the student is to include a list of diseases, advancements, medical breakthroughs, etc. which they believe Shorter would have addressed had he extended his book.  Standard documentation both within the writing and then within a References Cited section at the end of the chapter is to be followed.


The grade for this special topics reading will be based upon the successful completion of the reading summaries and the written summaries submitted by the student.
  • 11 summaries (9 chapters, 1 epilogue, & 1 "final chapter") @ 10 pts. = 110 pts.
  • Standard documentation both within and in a References Cited section = 20 pts.
  • All summaries submitted to instructor on or before Friday, May 2, 2008.  Late submissions will be discounted by one letter grade.
  • A = 117-130, B = 104-116, C = 91-103, D = 78-90, F = 0-77.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late submissions will be discounted by one letter grade.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Not applicable

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
All summaries submitted to instructor on or before Friday, May 2, 2008.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:3/18/2008 9:59:11 AM