Cynthia Taylor

What is your connection is to URI?

I completed my BA (Anthropology) and PhD (Biology/Science Education) at URI and have been teaching here since 2008. But my connection to URI runs much deeper! I grew up about 10 minutes away in Exeter, RI and my mom worked for the University for over 30 years. So many of my earliest childhood memories involve being on campus.

What interested you in teaching for honors?

I was drawn to the interdisciplinary collaborations, experiential learning, and mentorship opportunities that the Honor program affords, to both students and faculty. The program’s focus on active learning and the development of high-impact teaching practices aligns very well with my goals as an educator. I’m really looking forward to trying out some new things in the classroom with our incoming cohort of Honors students and learning from them!

Tell us a bit about the class you’ll be teaching and what you want students to get from it.

I’m teaching HPR 124 Planet Honors, which is the collaborative brainchild of faculty working both within and outside of the Honors department. It’s designed in a way to help students identify their goals as Honors students, hone their creative problem-solving and design thinking skills, and become actively involved in addressing current sustainability challenges, both on and off campus. Much of our class time will be spent working in teams analyzing, assessing, and proposing authentic strategic action plans for local manifestations of global issues, such as food waste, ecological degradation, and marine pollution. We want students to leave the class not only with a sense of urgency, but also a sense of hope and empowerment as future changemakers!

Any advice for students in the honors program?

Strive to make deep and lasting connections– with other students, with faculty, and with advisors. Relationships are truly what makes college (and the Honors Program) a transformational experience, and are vital not only to your well-being but also your academic success and future goals! You might want to check out the book “Connections are Everything: The College Student’s Guide to Relationship-Rich Education” for simple tips and strategies to help you make the most of your time at URI.