From CUES to BCII: Caitlyn Hall works to shape Transdisciplinary Education in Franke Honors and Beyond

Dec. 13, 2023
woman sitting in front of lap top computer speaking with a microphone

Caitlyn Hall presenting about her involvement in the CUES funded grant.

Veronica Rodriguez, University Center for Assessment, Teaching & Technology

On November 3rd, Franke Honors Assistant Professor of Practice Caitlyn Hall presented on her involvement in a University of Arizona CUES funded project, along with fellow Spanning Boundaries Grantees Nicole Antebi, Lysette Davi, Laura Horley, and Kenneth Kokroko. Each member of the team represented a different unit on campus, including The College of Fine Arts, Arizona International, The W.A. Franke Honors College, and The College of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape Architecture (CAPLA) respectively. 

Their presentation, Creating Cross-Cultural, Interdisciplinary Academic Research Experiences, explained the ways in which the grant allowed them to cultivate opportunities for their students collaborating with communities and organizations throughout the Borderlands region.  

Dr. Hall is a big proponent of service learning, civic engagement, and interdisciplinary learning and pedagogy across campus, the city, and border, as well as the Franke Honors College. Earlier this year, she helped launch the first ever transdisciplinary degree program offered in Honors—the Bachelor & Minor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII & CII), inspired by the University of Technology Sydney. Dr. Hall will serve as Compton Chair for Creative Intelligence and Innovation, overseeing the College’s new dual degree program. This endowment is part of a generous $3.2 million gift that was recently given to the W.A. Franke Honors College by Dr. John Lee Compton. 

The BCII is unique in that it is a dual degree program which can be layered on top of any student's chosen major. Hall worked closely with several Franke Honors colleagues, as well as staff and faculty from the University of Technology Sydney, to organize the first course of the degree program, Problems to Possibilities, and get it off the ground in Franke Honors over summer.  

HNRS 270: Problems to Possibilities and HNRS 271: Creative Practice and Methods are the first two classes of the BCII and CII, and will be offered again in the coming spring. These courses will be co-taught by Caitlyn Hall and campus colleagues Kristi Doran and Meg Lota; as well as Jacqueline Melvold, a scientist and senior lecturer from the University of Technology Sydney. Both HNRS 270 and 271 will be a great way for students to dip their toes into creative intelligence and transdisciplinary study. 

“Creative intelligence is exploring new ways to look at problems so that you can innovate new solutions,” said Hall in a recent interview about her involvement in the BCII. “It’s breaking apart a problem and looking at it not from a disciplinary perspective but embracing that complexity and bringing that mindfulness to exploring a problem space and developing interventions.” 

Embracing transdisciplinary perspectives and civic engagement and service learning is a mainstay of Franke Honors curriculum. From unique seminars, to study away or abroad experiences, to innovative academic programs, each opportunity brings together students from a wide range of disciplines to learn together, from one another, and the greater community around them. 

Apart from her work with the CUES grant and the BCII, Dr. Hall also leads the Future Earth Resilience Minor (FER) in Franke Honors, advises decision-makers to develop equitable legislation, and founded the Arizona Science Policy Network. 

Explore Spring 2024 courses with Dr. Caitlyn Hall! 

business team strategy meeting

HNRS 270: Problems to Possibilities

MWF | 3:00 - 5:00 PM | Hybrid (Live and In-person)
First seven weeks (January 10 - March 1)

Problem solving and looking at options on sticky notes

HNRS 271: Creative Practice & Methods

MWF | 3:00 - 5:00 PM | Hybrid (Live Online and In-person)
Second seven weeks (March 11 - May 21)

Students Serving

HNRS 314: Ideas Into Action

MW | 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM | Hybrid (Live Online and In-person)