Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Governor's Scholar's Program

This guide describes the library services available to the students and faculty of the Governor's Scholar's Program.

Library Resources for GSP Courses

Focus Area:

Since the 1950s, overt and covert foreign interventions have been a common feature of international relations. This summer class will critically examine the different dimensions of foreign interventions, such as political pressure, military invasions, and socioeconomic sanctions. The class will also debate and analyze the complex motives, justifications, and reactions to foreign interventions in selected countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Through thoughtful discussions and debates surrounding the domestic and global ramifications of the past and current foreign interventions, scholars will gain new insights into the complexities and nuances of international relations and security.

General Studies:

The Politics of Poverty. Hélder Pessoa Câmara, a Brazilian Catholic archbishop, once said: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.” What does it mean to be poor? Is poverty natural or caused by human beings? Can poverty be eliminated? This summer, scholars will explore the comparative global perceptions, manifestations, and implications of poverty and engage with the debate surrounding the effectiveness of poverty alleviation practices by governments and non-governmental organizations.

Focus Area:

Healthcare Industry class provides an exploration of our own country’s healthcare system, with all of its pros and cons, as well as a comparison to other healthcare systems in the world.  Scholars will look at the ethics, politics, and cost of healthcare systems as well as insurance and pharmaceutical companies.  This year’s book, Why We Sleep, by Matthew Walker, will be a personal study and glimpse into just how important sleep is to our well being, both physically and mentally.   Naps will be encouraged!

General Studies:

Mud Pies for the Apocalypse. Scholars will explore the practical realization of creative thought and big dreams.  We will use the book by Anita Musgrove, Kentucky Back Road Restaurant Recipes, to take a virtual tour of Kentucky historic sites and locally owned restaurants.  Scholars will cook some of the recipes in the book and we will have virtual meetings with many of these owners and learn how they turned their dreams into realities.  Additionally, we will utilize local food sources and  preservation techniques like canning, smoking and pickling as ways to preserve food as food prices and depleted shipping chains threaten our own normal food supply.

Focus Area:

We will focus on design principles and artistry through the lens of world culture. Students will interrogate their common conceptions about the use of architectural space: why and how do we live or work as we do? Special attention will be placed on the architecture of Japan, where conceptions such as light/shadow, materials and aesthetics, and attention to building site are very different from those in the United States. The ultimate purpose will be for students (1) to incorporate a broader sense of design philosophy into their creative work and (2) to expand their architectural vocabulary to include non-western or international aesthetic principles.

General Studies:

DISCORD: Discord seems to be a relevant theme in the contemporary history of the world, seen usually as an opposite of peace or harmony.  Our course will look instead at discord as a powerful and unique opportunity in the creation of new art and ideas: we will explore this "clash of opposites" as it weaves through painting, music, film, and literature in the production of positive and important historical outcomes.

Focus Area:

In Political and Legal Issues, we’ll focus on a variety of contemporary issues surrounding the US criminal justice system. A focus on criminal justice will also illuminate broader trends in power dynamics between law-making institutions and the people they aim to serve. We’ll explore the challenges and opportunities for equal justice and representation within political, legal, and social processes.

General Studies:

Movers and Shakers
Young people have long been some of the most powerful movers and shakers in our world. From climate justice to gun violence prevention to racial equality, youth activists have influenced bold changes in policy and culture. In this General Studies course, we will explore historical and contemporary social movements elevated by the unique voices and skills of youth. Together, we’ll learn from their example to discover the issues most important to us, explore a range of opportunities for advocacy and involvement, and exercise our own power as agents of social change.

Focus Area:

No Solution to Pollution. Many Toxic and potentially toxic chemicals substances, some of natural origin and others due to human activities are released into the environment daily. Genotoxic pollution of the aquatic ecosystem describes introduction to contaminants with metagenic, teratogenic, and/or carcinogenic potentials in its principal medium (water). The project is based on a current environmental issue and the scholars(researchers) will test on a minnow population using a locally used pesticide in our agricultural farms. Scholars will investigate LD50 and LC50 using universal dilution factors and will be analyzing the physical, physiological, cellular, nuclear, and DNA mutations on the minnow population. Micronucleus assay (MN) is an ideal monitoring system that uses aquatic organisms to assess the genotoxicity of water in the field and laboratory. If time permits, scholars will investigate mutations of DNA in the given species. Data will be collected, pictured, analyzed, and can be presented. Scholars also investigate various pollutants around the community and its biological effects on life that threaten our human society.

General Studies:

Beyond Bollywood: The Variety of Indian Culture. It is our time to explore and bring Indian culture to the land of Kentucky. Indian culture is an ancient culture and holds the heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems, and artifacts that are originated and associated with the ethno-linguistically diverse Indian subcontinent. India is a country full of diverse cultures, religions, and languages that never ceases to amaze. From its impressive architecture to its fragrant spices, exploring India is an experience that engages all your senses.When you explore India, you will have the opportunity to admire some unique traditions that you won't find anywhere else.

Focus Area:

Civilization. Conquest, empire, expansion, and collapse. Archeologists and anthropologists have spent centuries studying and theorizing how to understand the material evidence of life left in the wake of societal demise. Scholars in this focus area will explore the concepts of “civilization” and “culture” through a variety of topics in the broader field of anthropology. Drawing on research methods from across academic disciplines, we will unearth some of the great mysteries and explore some of the most central questions of anthropological study.

General Studies:

"Gee Times 3
What does it mean to “do what you love?” How do we know what we really want? How do we know who really belongs?
Let’s find out, shall we? "

Focus Area:

In Music Theory and Performance this summer I plan to focus on storytelling and the power of music to either tell a story or enhance a story. I would love to collaborate with another class once I better know who is going to be there. For example, I think it would be fun for my class to do something like create musical jingles for Melony's class products or businesses. Or we could work with Jason's class to do film underscoring. I think we could even find a way to collaborate with astronomy or agriculture... I love this type of challenge--bring it on. :-). We are going to be doing a larger project, should that still be okay with you, but I don't know what it will be until the scholars decide. We will be looking at composition, compositional techniques, and various levels of theory to help enhance what we are doing. I'm still in favor of exploring American/Kentucky musical history, even without a field trip, so we will be doing that as well, likely as a means of working towards our final project.

General Studies:

"Thinking Outside the Box"
What constitutes art? What makes art good? When is a person considered an artist? What does it mean to be an artist? Scholars in this general studies will explore the concept of artistry in various facets. They will make literal art and explore their own creative potentials, and scholars will also consider what might make someone an "artist" in non-creative fields. (Does this sound okay to you? I do literally want to make some art, but I also want to leave room for topics like "The Art of..." (fill in the blank with whatever you want. :-))

Focus Area:

“Who wants to become a writer? And why?” These are two important questions asked by British  playwright and author Enid Bagnold who best known for the classic story National Velvet. As a  writer, Bagnold answers her two questions—answers which give us a foundation for our writing  journey: “Because it’s the answer to everything. It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to  pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let  nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a  cactus.” We will engage with various authors on paper, in person, and via ZOOM; experiment  with different genre forms; and expand our creativity and curiosity with different experiences.

General Studies:

THE SECRET INGREDIENT
Of the four communication modes—reading, writing, speaking, and listening—listening is what  we most daily use but are least taught. Many people do not connect their struggles with work  and with people back to ineffective listening which makes listening the secret ingredient to every  experience. Effective listening focuses on enrichment: ways for us to explore new meanings,  make deeper connections, and participate with deeper understanding. The terms associated  with learning styles, such as auditory, visual, and kinesthetic, are recognizable. But few  understand the latest research that links us to one of four primary listening habits—connective,  reflective, analytical, and conceptual. If we understand our unique brain-based listening habit,  we can better adjust and fine tune our listening for different settings, different people, and  different purposes.

Focus Area:

Scholars will explore the Spanish language and the field of linguistics in this course.  Scholars will also explore the United States' unique relationship with Mexico. The culture, art, food and political systems of modern-day Mexico will also be examined through a variety of lenses.

General Studies:

The Common, the Ordinary and the Very Drab

Scholars will explore how our perspective impacts our understanding of the world around us. This interdisciplinary course will allow scholars to explore the mechanics of our own understanding through a variety of lenses.

Focus Area:

Every year students across Kentucky take science courses in their middle and high schools in which they learn about the fundamental laws of nature and their applications. In many cases, information is presented as fact without giving students the opportunity to learn where that information came from in the first place. My goal this summer is to teach my scholars how we find knowledge about the natural world and how we translate that knowledge into workable scientific theory. I would consider the summer a success if my scholars discontinued the practice of taking scientific knowledge for granted but rather paused and asked, "how exactly did scientists figure that out?". Critically considering where our knowledge comes from, and the limitations of our knowledge, is a key skill for Kentucky's next generation of leaders to hone and utilize. This will be accomplished through the observation of everyday and extraordinary phenomena where scholars will be challenged to draw the precise connections between their observations and underlying reality.

General Studies:

XFiles: The possibility of life beyond Earth is a tantalizing question that has entertained the minds of humanity for millennia. It is a question that borders on being unknowable--or is it? This summer I hope to challenge the preconceived notions of my scholars as we confront the possibility of life beyond Earth from philosophic, scientific, and statistical points of view. I know that many scholars may have world views which conflict with this possibility. Instead of avoiding that conversation, I am looking forward to having it on Day 1. I view this challenge as an opportunity to discuss what being a scholar is all about: encountering points of view that are different than our own and learning to coexist with those ideas. I fully acknowledge that this may be a difficult and delicate situation, so I would appreciate any advice on how to navigate those conversations!

In this class we will look at everything from media of UFO sightings to first-hand abduction stories. We'll examine the size of the universe and calculate how long a journey would take to travel from one star to the next. We will perform some statistical calculations which, spoiler alert, given some base-level assumptions, all but confirm life beyond Earth but also make it clear that we'll never get proof of it. I would consider the summer a success if my scholars could compose a balanced and nuanced response when asked "do you believe in aliens?"

Focus Area:

Engineering the future.  This Focus Area will discuss bio engineering, enviro engineering and all of the traditional mechanical, aerospace, etc... fields of engineering to help scholars think about solutions for the problems their generation is facing.

 

General Studies:

"My way or the highway" It will be about decision-making and how people, and to some extent animals, make decisions.  The book "how to think" by Daniel Pink will be the catalyst...along with other pop-culture and historical events...Kennedy's decision to go without a bubble for example.

Focus Area:

This summer we will explore the language of film as literature and giving scholars a lens to watch films critically and analytically. Scholars will apply this knowledge by collaborating with the Forensic Science class to produce a series of shorts surrounding a fictitious but plausible crime scenario.

General Studies:

6: This course will focus on (approximately) 6 seconds in Dallas, Texas in 1963 when President Kennedy was assassinated.  The course will explore the latest in forensic analysis, the conspiracies, and at least 6 deaths that may be related, including those of Marilyn Monroe, Lee Harvey Oswald, Bobby Kennedy, and Dorothy Kilgallen.

Focus Area:

This course will explore how our brains develop, process, and store memories. We will learn how false memories are created and what happens when our memory fails us as we age or develop memory disorders. We will also discuss how our sense of memory helps to develop our character and unique personalities.

General Studies:

"This course will explore the intersectional history of gender, class, and race through the lens of home economics. Why has it fallen out of favor? Is it inherently sexist/classist/racist? Or was it (and can it be) a force for equity in our society?"

Focus Area:

The CSI Effect. With recent developments in technology, forensic science plays an increasingly vital role in our judicial system.  Therefore, it is very important to have a realistic view of how evidence is interpreted.  However, many people today are influenced by an exaggerated portrayal of forensic science on popular television crime shows, which is known as "The CSI Effect". In this course, we will explore how this influence could be deemed somewhat unrealistic when examining the limitations of forensic science.  We will focus on the reliability of scientific principles and techniques used by forensic scientists such as crime scene analysis, processing of physical evidence, and behavioral science. Our goals will be to develop critical thinking skills, learn how to approach analysis of evidence without bias, and how to apply these practices to solve a real problem.

General Studies:

This Makes No Sense! Maybe you have heard about the 2018 controversy surrounding the viral “Laurel/Yanny” sound clip. It is also possible that you have debated the color of the infamous dress back in 2015.  Were you team blue and black or team white and gold?  Whatever your position, we can all appreciate that our senses have extraordinary powers and give us insight into our surroundings. However, they are also very good at being able to trick us. Just like the examples mentioned above, there are many other unexplainable illusions that we experience dealing with sight, sound, and even touch. These misperceptions are brought about by the way our brain processes information. By looking at some of these misperceptions, we may be able to gather insight on how our brains work. In this course, we will explore common illusions associated with each of the five senses in an attempt to better understand how our brains interpret the world around us.  

Focus Area:

We simply have to stan.  

This class will explore what it means to be a fan of something—delving into the imaginative, emotional, and identity-shaping world of fandom culture. On a more reflective level, I hope it will be a way to encourage scholars to: reflect on why they are drawn to particular forms of media and culture (and why other people might love different teams/shows/etc. than them), ask how people create meaning and community from certain symbols and experiences, and wonder at what our imaginations are capable of and how we rely on them to shape our perceptions of self and the world around us.

General Studies:

Underfoot
This summer we’re going to spend time thinking about and getting to know the land we live on. No matter where you’re from in Kentucky, the stuff we stand on has a story—who are the characters that came before us? How have their stories been told, by whom, and why? How do we define ‘home’? What does the future of our Old Kentucky Home look like and how do we fit into it? From nuclear waste sites to community gardens, we’ll learn together how what’s under our feet affects the way we live now and the steps we might take into our future.

Focus Area:

Welcome to the junkyard: where one persons trash is a scholars concept. During this course we will be taking a look at how to re-imagine the basic scientific innovations that have ushered us to the modern era.

General Studies:

Altered Cranium-- Have you ever considered how the average size of a velociraptor has affected your perception of science? In this course we will explore the lasting effects of Science Fiction on our collective awareness and interpretation of science as we know it.

Focus Area:

Astronomy will engage students in dynamic discussions about the mysteries of the night sky and the greater universe around us. Astronomers will engage in both nighttime observing and exciting daytime activities. At night, scholars will practice focusing their telescopes, identifying constellations and planets, and doing lunar photography. This will also be where we get the most use from the "textbook" of printed resources I will be providing. These materials should serve as an excellent resource for scholars as they discover the objects they can see in the sky around them. During the day, scholars will explore how stars, planets, and galaxies (and maybe the universe) form and behave. They will develop the skills astronomers use to find answers and make discoveries about the universe. Inquiry activities throughout the week will include Hubble’s classification scheme for galaxies, astronomical images for exploring the history/nature of planet formation, and trying to get an understanding of general relativity and cosmology. Time and interest permitting, we will touch on astronomy disciplines like astrobiology and exoplanet discovery.

General Studies:

It's All Relative - The philosopher Augustine of Hippo wrote, “What is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone who does ask me, I do not know.” In the intervening 2,000 years since those words were written, most of us, if asked, would have to give the same reply as St. Augustine. What is time? Is time real or an illusion? Could the universe have existed before the Big Bang? What can the quantum world teach us about time? Is time travel possible? In this course, we explore the history, philosophy, and physics of keeping, measuring, experiencing, and understanding time and its historical and continued importance to us as individuals and a society.

Focus Area:

In business, a clear vision is what you need to begin solving a problem, and a healthy profit is the goal. How are these ideas managed harmoniously in entrepreneurship? According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of entrepreneurship is “the activity of setting up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.” However, the concept involves more than that. Innovation, leadership, problem-solving, and communication are just as vital. This course will challenge you to think of yourself as an innovator in search of solutions to problems, big or small.

General Studies:

Noise, Voice and Silence
The sweet sounds of life — a child’s laughter, a warm breeze, a merry tune — carry a positive energy more than the stressful noises of loud traffic, an argument between loved ones, or the crash of something breakable. What sound comes from the information that we hear daily? What kind of sound do you make when you speak? How do you use your voice? What about silence? Does silence have sound? In this course, you will explore sound through music, history, communication, and cultural perspectives.  

Focus Area:

The Focus Area in philosophy will engage students in critical examination and discussion of fundamental philosophical questions concerning the nature of the human person, the basis of moral value, and the foundations and extent of human knowledge.  Our point of departure will be classic philosophical texts beginning with Plato, and including such other authors as Aristotle, Augustine, Descartes, Locke, Kant, and Sartre.  Scholars will examine different ways of understanding basic concepts that are often taken for granted, and will explore how these concepts have taken different shapes throughout history.  Finally, following the interests of the scholars in the Focus Area, there will be application of some of the basic concepts to current social and cultural issues such as social and economic inequality, education, national boundaries, freedom of thought and expression, duties to society, and how humans should relate themselves to the natural environment.

General Studies:

The Good Life: Gift or Accomplishment?  What makes a life good?  Happiness seems to be a goal that many people would agree is important to a good life.  But can an unhappy life still be good?  Some people think meaningfulness is a more important ingredient to a good life than is happiness.  What are some of the ways that a life can be happy and/or meaningful?  Whereas happiness might seem more like a matter of luck, a meaningful life is perhaps achieved through moral engagement.  We will examine a range of current moral problems as ways to become morally engaged in the world, including environmental issues, economic and social inequalities, and care for the disadvantaged.