First Year Forum, XPL
Dr. Lee Ann Westman
Monday & Wednesday 9:35am-10:55am

The Honors College First-Year Forum is a 3-credit course organized around the 2022/23 theme “What is a Just Community?” This course is required of all first-year Honors College students in their first or second semester at Rutgers-Camden. Faculty from across campus will join us each week to discuss how their discipline approaches the question of “What is a Just Community” and students will work with Honors College Teaching Assistants and each other on semester-long projects to produce a change-making product, service, or initiative.


Upper Division Honors Courses

An Indigenous Perspective on Fostering a Just Community, HAC USW – FULL
50:525:151:01; 50:525:154:01
Sara Beth Plummer
Thursday 2:00pm-4:50pm

“Decolonization is not a metaphor” – Tuck & Yang

In 2008, the United Nations, adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (Yellow Bird, 2013). It was then formally adopted by the United States on June 15th, 2016 after initially voting against it. This was a worldwide recognition of the erasure, co-option and oppression deliberately introduced by centuries of colonization by Eurocentric ideals and values. Yet, today Indigenous Peoples continue to face oppressive systems that attempt to destroy their culture, language, environment, and history (Yellow Bird, 2013). Social work, based on the profession’s mission, values, and ethics requires it to work towards its decolonization. While the ultimate goal of decolonization is returning the land seized by colonizers (Tuck & Yang, 2012), the use of the term can be seen as a process, by which Indigenous Peoples’ scholarship, research, education, and practice are acknowledged, properly credited, and highlighted (Gray, 2005). This course seeks to take a step towards the process of decolonizing social work by working a) to recognize its complicity and assistance with violent acts of colonialism, b) stop all acts that harm Indigenous Peoples, c) acknowledge and condemn past actions that caused harm, d) collaborate with Indigenous Peoples to decolonize previous actions, and most importantly e) recognize and celebrate Indigenous culture (Yellow Bird, 2013). This active collaboration between a social work educator and a Lenape leader will build community connections between Rutgers Camden and the Lenape Peoples and educate students on Lenape culture, indigenous culture to New Jersey, with a specific highlight on their approach to building a just community.


Migration, Deportation, and Justice, USW DIV
50:525:154:02; 50:525:160:01
Professor Sarah Tosh
Monday & Wednesday 2:03pm-3:25pm

Over the past few decades, systems of immigrant detention and deportation in the United States have grown in unprecedented ways. Increasingly militarized borders and the widespread criminalization of immigrants are part of a broader societal turn towards punitive policy, exemplified by the ongoing War on Drugs and related mass incarceration. In this class, students will engage with a growing field of interdisciplinary scholarship examining the links between migration, deportation, and justice. Over seven two-week units—each with content, experiences, and assessments built in—students will develop a broad knowledge of migration to the United States, as well as the evolution of immigration policy, detention, and deportation over time.

This course will emphasize the central role of criminal justice systems in shaping streams of migration and deportation, as we delve into longstanding (and unfounded) stereotypes of immigrants as criminals, and the increased intertwining of immigration and criminal law. The course will also highlight the diverse field of community-based resistance that has emerged in response to the mass detention and deportation of immigrants, demanding justice beyond the scope of current immigration law. Throughout the class, students will be asked to think critically about the broader place of migration, borders, and deportation in a “just community,” as we examine the historical underpinnings of today’s deportation regime, and the deeply engrained social inequalities that shape its function and results.


Poverty, Policy, and Justice: Building Community amid Barriers to Inclusion, DIV
Joan Maya Mazelis, Ph.D., 
Tuesday & Thursday 11:10am-12:30pm

This course will examine poverty and inequality with a lens that engages directly with normative perspectives on poverty and exclusion in one of the richest countries in the world, specifically exploring issues of belonging, community, and justice from a sociological perspective. For example, moving beyond descriptions of the extent of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing, we will explore interventions to expand access to housing and to reduce homelessness and how some resist these efforts at inclusion. We will focus class attention on what our duties are as a society and as individuals within society to address inequality’s causes and consequences. Who does the “community” include? Why do some seek to maintain exclusion? What would justice look like for the community? What would achieve justice? What does inequality do to society?  How does it shape whether or not we have a just community?


Perspectives in the History of Medicine and Health, DIV
Dr. Margaret Marsh
Tuesday 2:00pm-4:50pm

The study of the history of medicine can help us to make sense of controversial or troubling issues in health and medicine today. It can help us understand, for example, why the United States, virtually alone among developed nations, does not provide health insurance as a matter of right, why the tobacco industry continues to flourish even though there is no question that smoking causes lung cancer and other diseases, and why this nation’s maternal mortality rate is higher than that of nearly every European country.

Many of the health and medical issues that we deal with today have critical historical roots and even parallels. For example, what does the Pandemic of 1918 teach us about medicine and public health as we continue to contend with the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic? This course employs historical frameworks to help us focus on this and other timely and significant contemporary questions in health, medicine, and health policy.

This seminar focuses on the United States, and it will cover such topics as the history of medical training and practice, the development of nursing as a profession, changes in public health and health policy, and the lives of patients. As we consider the historical roots of important and sometime controversial issues that affect our health and well-being today, we will pay particular attention to the significance of race, socio-economic status, and gender. We will use that same lens as we explore issues in bioethics, public health, disparities in access to care, and health inequities.


Nutrition (Only for Nursing students) 
Professor Nielsen
Monday & Wednesday 3:45pm-5:05pm

An examination of the basic principles of nutrition as applied to the needs of people from all age, cultural, and economic groups.