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The Summer Institute

CofC Honors College Summer Institute

A summer of exploration in a world-renowned city.

You’ll encounter culture, history and delicious eats throughout the city of Charleston. Ranked by Conde Nast traveler as the top city in the United States and the second in the world, it’s hard to imagine wanting to be anywhere else once you’ve experienced Charleston. You’ll experience the best parts of being a member of the Honors College by residing in the living-learning cohort that we create. Throughout the summer, we’ll host social events, offer academic programming and provide opportunities for community engagement. You’ll immerse yourself in graduate-quality coursework, taught by distinguished Honors College alumni, with a focus on interdisciplinarity, real-world problem solving and analytical thinking. 

The Class

Summer II (July 7 -August 5): Global Perspectives on Poverty, Inequality and Vulnerability, co-taught by Stephanie Wheeler ‘03, PhD, and Melissa Siegel ‘03, PhD

This multidisciplinary special topics course examines theoretical and applied concepts in poverty, inequality, and vulnerability and in particular, the literature delving into the relationships among these concepts and public policy, human migration, health, and well-being. The course begins with overview of the definitions of poverty, causes of poverty, global distribution of poverty, and poverty measurement. As the course progresses, students move to defining inequality, exploring social justice as related to inequality, understanding root causes of income, health, educational, and social inequalities within and between countries, and outcomes resulting from inequality. Further, the course aims to understand the literature around human vulnerability, including economic, health-related, and social vulnerability, and specifically, risk and shocks, correlates of vulnerability, root causes of vulnerability within and between countries, and outcomes among vulnerable populations.  Finally, students explore how poverty, inequality, and vulnerability relate more specifically to human migration, health, and overall well-being, as well as policies to mitigate poverty, inequality, and vulnerability

This course fulfills the interdisciplinary course requirement for the College of Charleston Honors College.

Dr. Wheeler is currently an Assistant Professor of Health Policy Management at UNC- Chapel Hill and Dr. Siegel is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Governance at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

The Community

One of the best parts of the Honors College is the community present in Berry Residence Hall. More than just a place to sleep, Berry is the social hub for student activity in Honors. Each floor boasts large common kitchens and study and laundry spaces to boot. The first floor also provides space to connect with other residents in our student-curated art gallery and academic classroom equipped with smart equipment.  All of these benefits are available to students participating in the Summer Institute! Berry is available on a daily rate of either $29/day for a double room or $33/day for a single room, and you can see images of current student rooms at

If interested, register as soon as possible! For more info, email