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UCLA Magazine Winter 2003
The Rising
Honorable Intentions
The Cardinal of Westwood
The Littlest Bruin
Sensing the Future
Dershowitz, For the Defense
Bruin Walk

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Winter 2003
Honorable Intentions
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If it seems that students rave about the classes, they practically gush about the faculty.

And the professors gush right back.

"What could be better than bright, inquisitive students taking a course that I have dreamed up because it suits me perfectly?" asks Professor of English Janet Hadda, a recipient of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, who leads a Collegium course on psychology and literature.

Professor of English Robert N. Watson, who teaches classes on popular culture, notes that the Collegium allows professors to "propose and teach courses that departments generally can't make room for, including teaching outside one's area of specialization to pursue a new or side interest."

Best of all, he says, "One can assume that the students will be smart, eager and prepared. It's a chance to make a real contribution to the interdisciplinary functions of the campus."

Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics Jeffrey H. Miller teaches a Collegium course about the interaction of science and society. "We deal with a lot of controversial topics" and discussions can sometimes get tense, he says, but that only makes it more intellectually stimulating. With at least 60 applicants for the 20 class seats, he looks forward to a class mix that reflects varied viewpoints.

"I learn more than the students do each time," he says. "It's a terrific experience."

While some students might complain that it is at times difficult, because of the limited number of courses, to get the class one wants or needs, or that perhaps a selection of the science offerings are more "pop" than hard science, most have found that being in Honors Programs has been a defining educational experience.

"Honors provided me with a sense of academic direction," says Katz. "It has reinforced the deliciousness of dabbling in other disciplines for the pure enjoyment of learning."

Roberta G. Wax is a freelance writer in Los Angeles.

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