HUMAN BIOLOGY | Health, Behavior, Communication

The human body is fascinating and our health is affected by a variety of factors beyond strictly physical concerns. This major takes an interdisciplinary approach to biology. Students complete a natural science core complemented by courses that address personal and group behavior, the role community can play in an individual’s health, and how to communicate health information to a variety of stakeholders. Students are prepared for careers in patient care and engagement, health-care management, and health-care administration.

BE PART OF THE DISCUSSION

Small class sizes and extensive interaction with instructors and fellow students promote a vibrant learning community where you’ll be challenged every day.

PERFECT FIRST STEP

The study of human biology is excellent preparation for graduate study in patient care and public health.

BEYOND BIOLOGY

Human biology majors complete a core of biology courses, then choose two of these four tracks to round out their science education: communication, psychology, sociology, and health science.

INTERNSHIPS & SUMMER SHADOWING

Baker’s faculty excels at placing students in full-time summer internships and facilitating opportunities for job shadowing.

Filling a Need

We saw a growing number of students who showed interest in biology and the social sciences, so we designed a major that allowed students to pursue both areas. This major is a good choice for students considering applying to nursing school or pharmacy school or pursuing a master’s degree in public health after earning an undergraduate degree—all careers that focus on natural science and successful communication.
—Dr. Darcy Russell, Chair of the Department of Biology & Chemistry

CAREERS

Human biology majors are prepared for these pursuits:

  • Graduate study in a variety of health-related fields
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacy
  • Health-care administration
  • Public health
  • Medical and pharmaceutical sales

%

of Baker graduates are employed full time or enrolled in graduate school within six months of receiving their diploma.

INTERDISCIPLINARY TRACKS

Students complete two of the following tracks.

Communication (9 credit hours)

Students will learn communication strategies, methods, and principles in order to disseminate health information effectively, influence audiences, and bring about change in the health field.

Psychology (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of psychological principles and human behavior. They will then be able to evaluate research and health policy and improve the physical, mental, and emotional health of themselves and those they serve.

Sociology (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of the interaction between individuals, groups, and institutions and learn how to apply this to the health field.

Health Science (9 credit hours)

Students will gain an understanding of community-based programs that focus on the overall health behaviors and risk factors of the community and be able to evaluate and apply these programs.

Course of Study

R: course can be repeated for credit; P/NC: course graded on a pass/no credit basis

Courses required for these programs are listed in the current catalog.

BIOLOGY CORE REQUIREMENTS (22-24 hours)

Students must complete three of the following courses:

BI 151 and BI 151L Cell and Molecular Biology and Lab

BI 246 Human Anatomy and Physiology I

BI 247 Human Anatomy and Physiology II

BI 262 and BI 262L Microbiology and Lab

Students must complete three additional upper-level biology courses (10-12 hours)

INTERDISCIPLINARY TRACKS

Students majoring in human biology are required to complete two of the following tracks:

COMMUNICATIONS (9 hours)

CO 237 Introduction to Intercultural Communication

CO 337 Interpersonal Conflict Management

Choose from one of the following:

CO 245 Advanced Public Speaking

CO 355 Group and Team Communication

PSYCHOLOGY (9 hours)

PY 111 General Psychology

Choose one of the following:

PY 168 Human Sexuality

PY 234 Psychopathology

PY 236 Social Psychology

PY 243 Human Development

Choose one of the following:

PY 382 Health Psychology

PY 386 Clinical Psychology (If choosing this course, student must choose PY 234 Psychopathology as a prerequisite.)

SOCIOLOGY (9 hours)

SO 115 Principles of Sociology

One 200-level sociology course (SO prefix)

Choose one of the following:

SO 328 Sociology of the Family

SO 329 Gender and Sexuality

SO 330 Race and Ethnicity

SO 331 Social Class and Status

SO 338 Life Course

SO 363 Religion, Ritual, and Belief

SO 364 Culture and Society

SO 372 Sociology of Medicine

SO 410 Power, Politics, and Society

HEALTH SCIENCE (9 hours)

ED 180 Concepts of Health

EX 247 Public Health Aspects

EX 328 Health Promotions

Scholarships

The Department of Biology and Chemistry gives these awards with financial prizes to be applied to the following year’s tuition:

  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Biology
  • Mildred Hunt Riddle Departmental Recognition Scholarship for Chemistry
  • Howard T. Bonnett Scholarship and Mrs. Ivan L. Boyd Memorial Scholarship
  • Margaret E. Scanlon Endowed Memorial Scholarship
  • J. Cragoe Scholarship
  • Chemical Rubber Company Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
  • Sonia Browning Endowed Scholarship
  • Doris Cink and Kathryn Zimney Endowed Scholarship

 

Academic Recognition

  • Outstanding Senior in Biology
  • Outstanding Junior in Biology
  • Outstanding Sophomore in Biology
  • Outstanding Freshman in Biology

STUDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

DIALOGOS RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."

Dialogos creates opportunities for the free exchange of ideas among scholars. Students from every part of the academy present original works, in a variety of forms and mediums, and engage with an interdisciplinary community of peers, staff and faculty. The symposium also features a keynote address from a prominent Baker alum. Through open and critical discussion, participants learn from and contribute to the betterment of the whole. At Dialogos, to quote John Wesley, we "think and let think."

BOOK Program

Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

BOOK Program

Students are encouraged to participate in the BOOK Program (Baker Organizational Observation for Knowledge) to enhance their internship experiences. The program encourages students to look deeper into organizations by researching the history, mission, structure, products and services, finances and management of the company. At the conclusion of the program, presentations are given in front of a panel of judges who choose the winner of a cash prize.

FACULTY

Dr. Darcy RussellDr. Darcy Russell
Professor of Biology & Duboc Chair, Chair of the Department of Biology & Chemistry | darcy.russell@bakerU.edu
Curiosity is what drove Dr. Darcy Russell into the lab, and working with students is what has kept her there. To her, the best thing about the department is its laboratory and field experiences, which are tied into the curriculum. And when she’s not studying how cells and viruses combat each other, she feeds her Jane Austen/George Eliot/Charlotte Bronte addiction.

B.S. Baker University, Ph.D. Kansas State University
Expertise: microbiology
darcy.russell@bakerU.edu | 785.594.8418
Office: Boyd Science Center 229

Charmaine Henry

Dr. Charmaine Henry

Associate Professor of Biology | charmaine.henry@bakerU.edu

B.S. University of the Virgin Islands; Ph.D. University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
Expertise: physiology, immunology, anatomy
Office: Boyd Science Center 228 | 785.594.4596

Sara Crump

Dr. Sara Crump

Associate Professor of Psychology | sara.crump@bakerU.edu
B.S. University of Washington, Ph.D. University of California at Santa Barbara
Office: Mabee Hall 204 | 785.594.8319

Robyn Long

Dr. Robyn Long

Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of Study Abroad | robyn.long@bakerU.edu

B.S. Baker University; M.Ed., Ph.D. University of Georgia
Office: Mabee Hall 206 | 785.594.8437

TIm Buzzell

Dr. Tim Buzzell

Professor of Sociology | tim.buzzell@bakerU.edu
It was an interest in both law and law-breaking that drove Dr. Timothy Buzzell to his chosen field. Being able to work with students, discovering patterns in surveys or getting those “a ha!” moments in class is what has kept him passionate about teaching. But, at the end of the day, its the “refined, cultured set of nerds” in the Department of History, Culture, and Society that makes his job amazing.

B.A., M.P.A. Drake University; Ph.D. Iowa State University
Expertise: computer crime and Internet deviance, sociology of ritual and holidays, political sociology and extremist groups
Office: Parmenter Hall 16 | 785.594.4598

Susan Emel

Dr. Susan Emel

Professor of Communication Studies, Ernestine Susannah Buckley Chair, Director of BU Speech Choir, Chair of the Dept. of History, Culture, and Society | susan.emel@bakerU.edu
Dr. Susan Emel’s passion is studying meaning and how people uniquely express it—and there are plenty of one-of-a-kind expressions in college. “My favorite thing in the world is interacting with students about my field of study. But I also enjoy just getting to know students and what life is like in their ‘world.’ It turns out that college students change over time, and I am honored to get to witness that first-hand.”

B.S. Kansas State University, M. Div. St. Paul School of Theology, Ph.D. University of Kansas
Expertise: interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, communication theory, rhetorical studies
Office: Parmenter Hall 15 | 785.594.8457

Kimberly Schaefer

Dr. Kimberly Schaefer

Associate Professor of Communication Studieskimberly.schaefer@bakerU.edu

B.A. University of Richmond; M.A., Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin
Expertise: interpersonal communication, communication technology, personal relationships
Office: Parmenter Hall 18 | 785.594.4539

Chris ToddenDr. Chris Todden

Assistant Chair of the Department of Behavioral & Health Sciences, Associate Professor of Exercise Science | chris.todden@bakerU.edu
“Our exercise science majors gain a very good understanding of physical stress, both negative and positive, on the body. Seeing the pride in the students as they explain what they’ve learned and present their work is without a doubt one of the best parts of my job.”

B.A. Buena Vista University, M.S. Western Illinois University, Ed.D. University of South Dakota
Office: Mabee Hall 405 | 785.594.8440

Erin HoltDr. Erin Holt

Assistant Professor of Exercise Science | erin.holt@bakerU.edu “A lot of my focus is getting students active during curricular lessons, plus research shows that if you’re up and active while you’re learning, you’re going to retain more and learn it easier. I want students to feel comfortable enough outside of class to come and talk to me, as well. I think that’s important because they are here for an education and I’m here to teach, so we should teach the whole person.”

B.A. Park University, M.A. Southeast Missouri State, Ed.D. Delta State University Office: Mabee Hall 404 | 785.594.4542

CONTACT US

Kathy Wright
Department Assistant
Biology & Chemistry
Math, Physics, & Computer Science
Office: Boyd Science Center 227
785.594.8419
kathy.wright@bakerU.edu