Whitney Gaskins is an assistant professor of engineering education and assistant dean of inclusive excellence and community engagement in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Nandita Sheth is an educator, artist, and researcher who serves as an adjunct instructor in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).
Whitney and Nandita co-teach the best-practice honors seminar Sticky Innovation: Solving the Problem of the Bees through Engineering and Art. Together, they navigate the sites where art & design intersect with science & technology in order to help solve our world’s wicked problems – in this case, the problem of the bee collapse. This honors seminar is a best practice of the UHP’s vision of developing students into global citizen scholars who will lead innovative efforts toward solving our world’s complex problems. It is also a best practice of the Next Lives Here values of innovation, inclusion, and impact.
Student comments provide the best window into the strength of Whitney and Nandita’s teaching. Here are a few:
“This class opened my eyes to new ways of thinking. I enjoyed working in two disciplines outside of my own, and with so many people with skill-sets so vastly different than my peers. My favorite part of this class was the fact that I am now equipped with knowledge to do something about a real-world problem. Moreover, I can share this knowledge with others in my life to make a difference in the bee crisis.”
“I have learned to use my senses in different ways when experiencing the world and learned about breaking paradigms of traditional learning.”
“This was one of the most engaging courses I have ever taken! …Now more than ever I truly believe that interdisciplinary studies and cooperation between different fields of work are vital to the solution of our world’s problems.”