Here at the Honors program, we know that not all learning happens in the classroom. But we also understand the importance of academics and the nuanced learning experiences that can come with redefining the classroom. HumanitiesX is a program offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that brings students into the process of creating courses and is working to reimagine academia. Several of our very own honors students, Sergio Godinez, Yessica Pineda, and Lauren Rosenfeld, were among the six students selected for HumanitiesX last year and represented our honors community proudly. 

For a bit of background, HumanitiesX is a collaborative joining DePaul LAS faculty and students with partners from Chicago-area community organizations to create co-taught, project-based courses in the humanities that are then offered in spring quarter. Divided into three sections, these courses all focus on a shared annual theme, with last year’s theme being Immigration and Migration. The three groups were titled Children Seeking Asylum, Sharing Their Stories, and Geographies of Displacement. 

Sergio Godinez, one of the honors students in HumanitiesX, was kind enough to give us a little insight into what the program entails and the important work they accomplished. A sophomore double majoring in American Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish, Godinez worked on the Geographies of Displacement course alongside fellow honors student Yessica Pineda and LAS staff fellows Yuki Miyamoto and Kerry Ross, along with the Japanese Arts Foundation. With a personal connection to the theme through his maternal grandmother who immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, Godinez was especially drawn to the issue of migration. He describes how this program offered a new way to explore this topic as well as a new lens through which to view academia as a whole. He explains, “This has allowed me to engage deeper with the content within my classes and make my contributions more thoughtful and fruitful. It has also been great to work behind the scenes of course creation.” He also highlights the significance of engaging critically with the humanities, illustrating how “The use of the humanities as a base to study these issues plays such a critical role. The humanities give students the chance to think creatively and think outside the bounds of traditional forms of thought… The world is a complex place to exist and navigate, and the humanities are fundamental in understanding and propelling human existence and its endeavors toward a better, brighter tomorrow.” He strongly advocates for courses like those created by HumanitiesX, saying “It gives students the chance to take what they’ve been learning beyond the classroom and apply themselves to the world around them. If DePaul wants to create the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, project-based learning must become the standard in education.” 

For those looking to get involved with HumanitiesX, there are many opportunities. Applications for Student Fellows for the 2022-23 academic year are now open and can be submitted through the Campus Job Board, which is closes on 10/10. Six undergrad/graduate students will be selected to receive a paid fellowship to explore this year’s theme The Environment: Crisis and Action. More information on applying can be found here, and any questions can be directed to the HumanitiesX Faculty Director Dr. Lisa Dush. 

Further, Godinez explains how “Each of our community partners is always looking for volunteers or interns to aid in their work. Each of them provides amazing opportunities to work in a variety of fields from social work, art, to healthcare.” And the annual nature of the HumanitiesX program provides countless opportunities for students to get involved, be it as a student in the classes or a student fellow. To check out HumanitiesX’s general page, click here. As Godinez emphasizes, “If students can’t fit it into their schedule this quarter or don’t personally resonate with the theme, there is always next year!” 

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