napier courses

Since 2012, the Napier Initiative, together with Pomona College and Harvey Mudd College, has offered two intergenerational courses open to students at all five Claremont Colleges.  

Course I:    Religion, Ethics, and Social Practice:  An Intergenerational Learning Partnership on Vocations for Social Change   (RLST #155).  To be offered Spring Semester, 2018, Pomona College.  Instructors:  Professor Zayn Kassam,  David Mann, Pilgrim Place.

Twenty sophomores and juniors are permitted to pre-enroll with permission of instructors.   Ten retirees from Pilgrim Place and other local community partners are fully enrolled co-learners.  These persons have spent their lives in vocations of social change and/or service.

Course Objectives:    Through direct experience, related readings, structured reflection, and class discussion, this course seeks to develop an informed awareness of our interaction with the poor and otherwise marginalized members of our global community.  To what extent do factors such as class, gender, and ethnicity determine our assumptions about the human condition and our own role in society?  How does our own personal development foster or inhibit our capacity to deal effectively with injustice?  What are the religious, ethical, and/or simply humane elements that motivate and sustain our social practice?  How does our present commitment to justice become a lifelong vocation of participation and leadership in effective social change?   These are some of the question that will be addressed.

Undergraduate Expectations:

Syllabus available: To get a copy e-mail one of the co-instructors:  Prof. Zayn Kassam:;   

David Mann: 

Course II:  HIV-AIDS:  Science, Society and Service (BIO#187).  To be offered Fall Semester, 2016, Harvey Mudd College. Instructor: Professor Karl Haushalter, Harvey Mudd College.

Sixteen juniors and seniors are permitted to pre-enroll with permission of the instructor.   A background in molecular biology and genetics is strongly preferred for the undergraduate participants.  Up to four retirees from Pilgrim Place and other local community partners enroll as co-learners, participating fully in class discussions and serving as mentors for the students as they embark on their community-based projects.

Course Overview:    Through a series of lectures, readings, and case studies, students learn the underlying molecular biology that accounts for the devastating effects of AIDS and the biochemical principles of the treatment and prevention of HIV infection.  By reading and discussing the history of the AIDS and current drivers of the continuing HIV epidemic, students critically examine the responsibility of scientists to society.  Finally, students discover their own agency in response to complex societal challenges by completing team projects in partnership with local community-based organizations. 

Syllabus available: To get a copy, e-mail Prof. Haushalter: