Lyman Briggs faculty and staff collaborate across disciplines and with colleagues from across campus to create a variety of academic and research programs that support students' intellectual and personal growth.
STEPPS (science, technology, environment, and public policy) is a unique cross-collegiate specialization that brings together students and faculty from James Madison College (JMC
), Lyman Briggs College (LBC), and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (FW
). The more than 150 students currently pursuing the STEPPS specialization are interested in how science and politics relate to one another. The program is designed for both science and non-science majors, and allows students to personalize their classes to allow them to pursue specific science policy topics that interest them.
21st Century Chautauqua
This program is a joint effort between the Residential College in Arts and Humanities (RCAH
), James Madison College (JMC
) and Lyman Briggs. Each semester, MSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community engage in weekly dialogue on topics such as " Creativity, Economic Development and Ethics" (fall 2009), "Common Fire" (spring 2009), MLK: Equality and Justice" (fall 2008, spring 2009), or "Sustainability and Human Rights" (spring 2008). The Chautauqua project at MSU began with the Association of American Colleges and Universities' Core Commitments Initiative.
Integrated Interdisciplinary Curriculum
The LBC community continues to actively build bridges between the varied STEM and HPS elements of the college's culture and curriculum. Some faculty members are auditing entire Briggs courses in other fields in order to assess opportunities for highlighting cross-disciplinary connections in their own classes. Another increasingly popular path is the team-teaching of linked courses by STEM and HPS faculty, either during the academic year or as part of a summertime study abroad program. Many faculty are involved in an NSF-funded project Bridging the Disciplines through Authentic Inquiry and Discourse (BRAID)
, that studies the impact on student learning of educational modules interconnecting courses in separate disciplines or suites of STEM and HPS courses taught as an inter-related whole.
In spring 2009, LBC was awarded a $600k National Science Foundation S-STEM grant designed to support recruitment and retention through degree completion of a diverse cohort of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Briggs is now partnering with the MSU Office of Financial Aid
to administer 3 year S-STEM scholarships to participating students. Recipients are required to participate in regularly scheduled activities providing a wide-ranging introduction to opportunities in science and mathematics. These include the participation of Briggs alumni through seminars, mentoring and internship opportunities.
Nearly 25% of LBC students are members of the Honors College
or the Academic Scholars Program
...and likewise, nearly one-quarter of all Honors College students are in Lyman Briggs. LBC is proud to support its Honors students through a variety of academic offerings
, including: Honors sections of its courses, Honors Options within courses, Honors Research Seminars for freshmen, and Professorial Assistantships.
History of Science Graduate Program
Lyman Briggs faculty with joint appointments in the Department of History
have recently created a graduate field of study in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine
. This program embeds science, technology, and medicine in their broader social, political, cultural, and economic contexts and, as such, is a wonderful follow-on to an undergraduate LBC Major in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science
. Students are offered a wide variety of courses covering different periods and fields, can take complementary classes in the philosophy and the sociology of science and are encouraged to develop a working knowledge of the sciences they study.