Prodesse Scholars Program
The Prodesse Scholars Program offers energetic and gifted incoming first-year Miami students from the Class of 2027 (and earlier) an intensive and intimate one-year, cohort-based experience that is led by an outstanding faculty member, focused on a cross-cutting and relevant theme or problem.
Highly motivated peers who come from a range of majors and share a passion for the given theme take a first-year course together and participate in at least one significant co-curricular project, activity or event. Students also have the option of residing in a Living Learning Community focused on the program theme in the first year.
PLEASE NOTE: The Miami Class of 2027 will be the final year for the Prodesse Scholars Program. We are no longer accepting applications.
In the Prodesse Scholars Program you will:
- Build anchoring connections with your peers and a faculty expert within your theme.
- Take a first-year course with other scholars in a theme of your choice and complete at least one co-curricular project, activity, or event.
- Have the option to reside in a Living Learning Community related to your theme.
- Develop a deeper understanding of an interdisciplinary problem, question, or theme, while gaining individual support for your career exploration and development.
- Earn a $2,000 annual Prodesse Scholarship, renewable for the four years of your undergraduate education.
To remain in the Prodesse Scholars Program, Prodesse Scholars are required to complete in their first year of study:
- One approved interdisciplinary theme-related course or seminar in the fall semester of your first year;
- One approved integrative co-curricular activity or project which relate to one of the program themes in the fall or spring semester of your first year;
- Completion of reflection essay on these experiences and submission via the Prodesse Scholars Canvas site.
Program themes are typically aligned with the mission, goals and resources provided by Miami’s interdisciplinary centers, institutes and museums, and themes are selected for their capacity to advance liberal education outcomes, skills and knowledge relevant to students of all majors. Prodesse seminars are typically capped at 19 students to encourage lively interaction and engagement and to promote lasting friendships among our fellow Prodesse Scholar students.
To complete their program requirements, Prodesse Scholars may indicate a first, second, and third choice preference from the list of themes below. Efforts will be made to enroll students in one of the student’s preferred seminars at the time of registration. Prodesse Scholars then may select one or more of the approved co-curricular activities or projects and complete one or more by the end of the spring semester of their first year. Finally, students are automatically enrolled in the Prodesse Scholars Canvas site and must submit a reflective essay on their program experiences by May 1 of their first year via the Prodesse Scholars Canvas site.
Efforts are made to offer a diversity of seminar topics and co-curricular opportunities so that students may make choices that suit their interests and schedules.
Scholarships and Programming
Prodesse Scholars earn an annual $1,000-$2,000 scholarship (renewable for up to four years) and must complete a first-year seminar or course and an approved co-curricular activity or project, to retain the award.
Through Prodesse Scholars programming and activities, you will recognize the value of learning and working with individuals from multiple disciplines and how this integrated approach to education provides an excellent foundation for all career paths.
As a Prodesse Scholar, you will join high-achieving peers who bring multiple perspectives from multiple majors to one of the themes below. Scholars within each theme take a first-year course together, receive customized career counseling, participate in at least one co-curricular activity, and have the option to reside together in a Living Learning Community.
Students are required to complete one of the following during the fall semester of their first year.
Creativity and Innovation Theme
CCA 190 | Arts, Activism and Advocacy
This course explores how the arts can be a conduit for social change. Through an exploration of visual and performing arts at Miami, students will engage in dialogue about how artists make meaning and impact culture. In addition, students will gain a better understanding of the workings of arts advocacy processes on both local and national levels.
Instructor: Elizabeth Mullenix, Dean, College of Creative Arts
Design Thinking and Technology Theme
CCA 111 | Innovation, Creativity and Design Thinking
This course will explore the roots of original thought and it's role in the evolution of different areas of human endeavor. Students will explore the many facets of creativity and innovation, which are purely human traits at the heart of our ability to grow, change and adapt as individuals, and ultimately to survive as a species. The course will present scientific and scholarly ways of understanding creativity, but will also engage students in a series of exercises to experience processes through a diverse range of media and project types. Learning the roles and processes of innovation and design thinking will be central to this exploration. Team work, problem-solving and leadership skills will also be addressed, and students will both self-author and collaboratively author original concepts
Instructor: Michael Bailey-Van Kuren, Armstrong Associate Professor of Technology; Interim Chair, Department of Emerging Technology, Business & Design
Film, Communication and Media Theme
ENG 225 | Writing About Conspiracy Theories
Why are conspiracy theories such a prominent part of contemporary culture? What is a “conspiracy theory” anyway, and what if anything distinguishes it from a legitimate explanation of social events? What causes conspiracy explanations to proliferate? In this course, we will examine the history of conspiracy thinking in the US and its relation to paranoia, rumor, disinformation, corporate public relations, mass surveillance, clandestine government agencies, and contemporary media. Course material will include novels, films, manifestos, online material, essays, and political theory. Students will write frequently and participate regularly in discussion of course texts.
JRN 120 | Truth, Lies and the News
In an era of overlapping crises, we need more than ever to base our collective decisions on a strong foundation of fact. Yet Americans are losing their grip on any shared sense of what is real and what is false. Through case studies and exercises in finding and telling the truth, Journalism 120 explores our current crisis in information. This course can be used to fulfill a requirement in the Journalism major.
Health and Society Theme
PMD 101 | Explorations in Health Care
This course explores the various career pathways in healthcare and helps students considering a career in a healthcare field develop a comprehensive plan of preparation for admission to medical school or other healthcare profession school. Students are exposed to upperclassmen, current professional school students, and healthcare professionals who share advice for the pathway. This course is for students who are interested in attending a professional healthcare program, such as medical school, dental school, PA school, optometry school, or pharmacy school.
Instructor: Tailyn Walborn, Assistant Director, Mallory-Wilson Center for Pre-Health Education
Law and Politics Theme
LAS/HST/BWS 243 | The European Slave Trade and the Making of the Black Atlantic
This course examines the development of European slaving activity in the African continent from the 15th to the 19th century with a primary focus on Portugal, Spain and France. It charts the expansion of European slave trading activity and examines how European colonists used slave labor in the Americas, focusing on Mexico, Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil. By identifying the economic forces, as well as the social consequences, of the Atlantic slave trade, students will explore how slavery transformed Europe and the Americas and the legacies that last until this day.
Instructor: José Amador, Associate Professor, Global and Intercultural Studies (Latin American, Latino/a, and Caribbean Studies)
Nature and Environment Theme
BIO 157 | Nature for Non-Biologists
Nature is a fundamental part of every major. The raw materials for everything you own were either grown on or dug from the Earth. Your culture, neighborhood, family history, and even worldview have been influenced by nature. Your ancestors were naturalists. Yet, the skills of a naturalist are declining, even within the biological sciences. Students of any experience level or background are invited to join the Hefner Museum of Natural History team to get muddy, cut things up, smell the roses (and remove the invasive ones) and learn through first-hand experience, the basic principles and theories of nature that make you who you are. This course is a literal walk in the park (among other things). It will be a good overview for the aspiring biologist but equally, it is designed to be useful and exciting for the non-biology student who has often wondered about nature but never had a guide.
Instructor: Steven Sullivan, Director, Hefner Museum of Natural History
IES/SOC/FST 127 | Environmental Justice in Film
This course introduces students to a variety of environmental and social justice issues through cinema. The emphasis is on fictional feature films (as opposed to documentaries), and the films will reinforce the idea that justice and environmental issues are inseparable. Students will meet to watch films together and reflect on the messages they carry about environmental and/or social justice issues and how those messages are conveyed to the viewers. The course offers students a chance to interact and discuss environmental and social justice issues while bonding and planning other activities. This course is for any student interested in environmental issues and sustainability and their connection to social justice.
Instructor: Jonathan Levy, Associate Professor and Director, Institute of Environment and Sustainability
Social Justice Theme
PHL 103 | Society and the Individual (The Art of Living)
A study of the relationship between human beings and the societies in which they live and of the implications different perspectives on this relationship have for a view of social justice. We investigate this relation in terms of its political, economic, social, ethical, and epistemological dimensions. Introduces fundamental questions of philosophy and basic reasoning skills, methodologies, and concepts used by philosophers. Students are prepared for further work in philosophy and develop skills in critical thinking, reading, and writing for any area of learning. This course is for all students who are exploring their intellectual interests and might be interested in examining questions about how to lead a good and meaningful life.
Instructor: Emily Zakin, Professor, Department of Philosophy
WST 201 | Self and Place: Reparations and Restorative Justice: Moving Toward Racial Justice
This course investigates various disciplinary models for how place and identity interact in American culture, and, specifically, how the local environment, including geographical location, ethnic traditions, and family traditions, impact our lives. Students draw upon their own life experiences to begin to formulate their intellectual interests.This course is for students who are exploring majors and are interested in social and climate justice. This course can be used for the flexible Individualized Studies minor.
Instructor: Jacque Daugherty, Associate Teaching Professor, Western Program
Activities and Projects
Students will be required to complete at least one of these activities or projects during the fall and/or spring semester of their first year.
Creativity and Innovation Theme
Techstars Startup Weekend Miami (Fall Semester)
Sponsored by Techstars®, the largest accelerator network in the world, Startup Weekend Miami is a 50+ hour weekend event, during which groups of student-founders, developers, managers, marketing experts, engineers and more pitch ideas for new startup companies, form teams around those ideas, and work to develop a working prototype, demo, or presentation by Sunday afternoon. Students who participate earn credit for ESP 102 and build networks with professionals, mentors, and peers from public and private organizations.
World Creativity and Innovation Week (Spring Semester)
Take on a leadership role and participate in World Creativity & Innovation Week which will be held April 15-21. Contact the Department of Entrepreneurship for information on how to participate and undertake a leadership role in the WCIW event.
Igoodea Creatives (Fall and Spring Semesters)
Join the Igoodea Creatives which is the student creativity organization that is dedicated to developing the creative skills and mindsets in everyday life. Take on a leadership role and help to design and implement one of their major events such as Creativity City which occurs in April. Creativity City is an event that brings students together to design a city in celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Week. With the event, students live and share their creativity with games, activities and teachings about applied creativity and innovation.
Social Innovation Weekend (Spring Semester)
Participate in Social Innovation Weekend (SIW) which is a 50+ hour weekend event that brings students from departments and programs across campus and professionals from key public and private stakeholder organizations at the national, state, county, and local city-level together to solve significant societal issues. Students who participate earn course credit for ESP 102 and work side-by-side with industry partners from 20+ organizations in the public and private sectors.
Field Trip to Local Museums and Galleries (Fall or Spring Semester)
Visit on your own or join one of the scheduled tours of the Miami Art Museum, Miami’s Hiestand Gallery, or the Freedom Center in downtown Cincinnati. Scheduled tours will be created by the College of Creative Arts.
Design Thinking and Technology Theme
Global Game Jam (Spring Semester)
Participate in the Global Game Jam® (GGJ) which is the world's largest game creation event taking place over a weekend (typically in late January) around the globe, including at Miami. A "game jam" is essentially a hackathon focused on game development. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48-hour development cycle.
Data Analytics Awareness Microcredential (Fall and Spring Semester)
Chances are you have heard of data analytics, which has revolutionized industries and become something of a buzzword in recent years – but what does the term really mean? What implications does it have for students and their prospective careers? Loosely defined as the analysis of raw data to reach conclusions, the Center for Analytics and Data Science (CADS) aims to equip Miami students with a working knowledge of this emerging field through a new Data Analytics Awareness microcredential. Learn how data can be questioned, organized and communicated, and see data analytics in action first-hand by virtually visiting one of CADS' corporate sponsors. Attend all four sessions and complete the requirements for each session to earn the Data Analytics Awareness credential and receive a digital badge. Session topics are: (1) “Question the Question”; (2) “Code Demystified”; (3) “Art and Science of Storytelling”; and (4) “Analytics in Action.”
Data Analytics Storytelling Microcredential (Fall or Spring Semester)
Data analytics storytelling is the effective use of data visualizations and insights generated by data to drive a call to action. Mastering the art of data storytelling takes practice. In this workshop, students will be exposed to case studies that will develop the skills of pulling insights out of data, data visualization, and communicating a concise story.
Still being developed but this will be an introduction to coding in R or Python.
Film, Communication and Media Theme
Writer’s Practicum (Spring Semester)
Join a practicum with Professor Jim Tobin to shape and focus ideas for possible publications in student media outlets.
Marianne D. McComb Conference on Undergraduate Creative Writing (Spring)
Participate actively in this exciting conference which is an intensive weekend of panels, workshops, and seminars with local and distinguished visiting writers.
Health and Society Theme
Destination Wellness (Fall and Spring Semester)
Complete one of the Destination Wellness outdoor adventure trips designed to help students struggling with stress anxiety through intentional challenging activities, self-reflection and group discussion. The program seeks peer leaders who have a passion for the outdoors and an interest in mental health mentorship. Training includes Mental Health First Aid.;
Dates: Destination Wellness trips are offered over various weekends during the fall and spring semesters. For more information contact Jen Siliko, jen.siliko@MiamiOH.edu or (513) 529-7510.
Ohio Medical Education Day (Fall)
Register and attend all events at the Ohio Medical Education Day. This is the premier event for all Ohio premedical students to gather for a day-long set of activities. You will learn about the path to medical school from experts, gain insights into building a competitive application, and hear from admission experts throughout the state. Contact the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education for more information. The Center may be able to provide support for registration and transportation.
Center for Disease Control Research Project on COVID-19
Work with Dr. Cameron Hay-Rollins on a special research project relating to COVID-19 and Native America populations.
Global Health Case Competition
Join with other students from different majors to enter the Global Health Case Competition.
Law and Politics Theme
Janus Forum (Fall and Spring Semesters)
Register for free tickets and attend both the fall and spring lectures associated with the Janus Forum. The Janus Forum provides a place for members of the community to come together and discuss opposing views freely and passionately. It is a forum where students can explore the multitude of views that exist, and then arrive at their own opinions. The Janus Forum is a catalyst for developing timely, interesting, and rigorous discussion of public affairs.
Nature and Environment Theme
Leave No Trace Trainer Certification (Fall Semester)
Complete the two-day Trainer Course to learn Leave No Trace skills and ethics as well as techniques for educating others about these low impact practices. Trainer Courses typically take place over two consecutive days and involve spending more than half of the course outdoors. Graduates of a Trainer Course are prepared to offer Leave No Trace Awareness Workshops and promote environmental stewardship in their community. This course is offered every Fall over a weekend in late October/early November. For more information contact Jen Siliko, jen.siliko@MiamiOH.edu or (513) 529-7510.
Environmental Lecture Series (Fall and Spring Semester)
Attend both events in the annual Drs. Gene and Carol Willeke Frontiers in Environmental Science Distinguished Lecture series which brings prominent figures in the field of environmental science to the Miami campus.
Field Trip with Dr. Levy (Fall or Spring Semester)
Participate in one of the field trips organized by Dr. Jonathan Levy, Director of Miami’s Institute for Environment & Sustainability. Possible fields trips include: Fernald Nature Preserve (formerly the Fernald uranium processing facility for production of nuclear weapons), Miller Water Treatment Plant, Bolton Well Field and Water Treatment Plant, Rumpke, Miami’s Geothermal Plant, Mammoth Cave (weekend trip).
Social Justice Theme
John W. Altman Program in the Humanities (Fall and Spring Semester)
Attend at least three of the lectures associated with the 2021-2022 Altman Program related to Race, Racism and Racial Equality.
Western Center for Social Impact Lecture Series (Fall and Spring Semester)
Attend three of the lectures offered at the Western Center for Social Impact during the 2021-2022 academic year.