Integrative Studies Seed Grants awarded to faculty across University

Seedling graphic

The courses will fulfill the new Integrative Studies requirement.

Credit: Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Office for General Education has announced this year’s seed grants to support the development of Integrative Studies courses. This is the second round of seed grant awards. Last year, 70 proposals were funded in the first round.

The awarded proposals are representative of a wide range of academic disciplines, and include proposals from faculty at Penn State campuses across the Commonwealth. These courses incorporate the integrative thinking and learning objectives laid out by the Office for General Education and fulfill the new Integrative Studies requirement. Additional financial support for the grants has been provided by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence and Penn State World Campus. Collaborative support for the awardees will be provided by University Libraries, Teaching and Learning with Technology, the Sustainability Institute, and the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Starting in the 2018-19 academic year, first-year students will be required to take six credits of Integrative Studies, and that requirement can be fulfilled either through Inter-Domain or Linked courses.

The initiative stems from the Faculty Senate’s 2015 approval of the Integrative Studies requirement, with a directive to implement the requirement by summer 2018.

Below is this year’s list of awardees. Course titles may change.


Jacob Benfield, Yvonne Love, Les Murray — Three courses on Climate Change (GA, GS, GN)

Wendy A. Horwitz — Understanding Health and Illness: An Integrated Humanities and Social Science Approach


Kristen Olson — Shakespeare on Page, Stage, and Screen


Luciana Aronne, Alan Jircitano, Amy Carney — Chemistry in World Wars I and II

Arpan Yagnik, Victoria Kazmerski, Shariffah Sheikh Dawood — Understanding and Enhancing Creativity


Michele Ramsey, Cheryl Nicholas — Horror Films, Identity, and U.S. Citizenship

Cheryl L. Nicholas — LGBTQ+ Identity, Culture and The Arts


Maureen Fielding, Stephen Cimbala — The Cold War in Literature and History

Greater Allegheny

James A. Jaap — Literature, Art, and Culture of Western Pennsylvania


Shobha Devi Potlakayala, Anilchandra Attaluri, Sairam Rudrabhatla, Catherine Rios — Art as a Means to Communicate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics


Michael Polgar, Jerry B. Pierce — The Holocuast and Human Relations

New Kensington

Alina R. Bodea Crisan — Health and the Media (Patterning conceptions of health through health discourse)

John Craig Hammond  — Slavery, the Civil War, and Cinema


Jessica Petko, Amber Seidel — Addiction: Science to Society

University Park

Scott Wing, College of Arts and Architecture — Designing a Sustainable House

Rukmalie Jayakody, College of Health and Human Development — Global health and families

Cross-college/campus collaborations

Meredith Defelice, Eberly College of Science; Michele Duffey, College of Health and Human Development — Fitness for Life/Molecular Basis of Disease

Tim McNellis, College of Agricultural Sciences; Michael Collins and Carlos Rosas, College of Arts and Architecture — Plant and Microbial Art

Julie Gallagher , Brandywine; David Livert, Lehigh Valley — Roots of Conflict, Pathways to Peace

Kristen Baxter, College of the Liberal Arts; Andrew Baxter, Eberly College of Science — Cultural Perspectives on Mathematics

Daniel Mallinson, Harrisburg School of Public Health; Rebecca Mallinson, College of Health and Human Development — Science and Politics of Women in Sport

The Office for General Education is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at