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Fall 2010


Business, Technology and Innovation 
Lancie Affonso/Carmen Paz Aparicio

6 elective credits
Business, Technology, and Innovation invites you to think about the connections between Business and Technology in the 21st century. This learning community focuses on the ideas of business innovation through emerging and changing technology and will include a survey of the activities that occur in a business institution. Students will learn about disruptive technologies and how to use and leverage Web 3.0 collaborative technologies in their personal, academic, and professional networks.

Sacred Ritual to Performance: Myth, Ceremony, Art and Architecture in the Ancient and Medieval World
Tessa Garton/Mary Beth Berry
6 humanities credits

Theatre emerged from myth, ritual, and ceremony.  The earliest rituals developed from the human need to solve the mysteries of nature, transform uncertainty into truth, and preserve cultural identity.  Art and architecture grew alongside providing the sacred ceremonies with a visual reality of those mysteries, truths and identities. This learning community will link the study of symbolic, sacred images, art and architecture from Prehistory through the Middle Ages with an exploration of how the transformative power of sacred rites evolved into the physical action, dramatic voice and the creative arrangement of time and space that is theatre. 

Critical Thinking: A Catalyst for Success in Science and Math
Caroline Hunt/Sofia Agrest/Deb Bidwell
4 English/4 math/4 science credits

Designed for entering freshmen considering majors in biology/marine biology, chemistry/biochemistry, actuarial studies, or mathematics.  The learning community will help students transition to college through active learning, problem-solving, supplemental instruction, peer facilitation, and social activities. To emphasize the inherent links between these disciplines we will focus on research skills, utilize writing assignments and conduct an interdisciplinary laboratory.

Exploring Ancient Rome
Noelle Carmichael/Darryl Phillips
3 humanities/3 language credits

An introduction to the daily lives, literature, history and language of the Romans. Classics 102 explores Roman religion, entertainment, politics, family life. Latin 101 introduces the basics of Latin grammar, syntax, and vocabulary while translating adapted and original Latin passages that complement many of the civilization topics and authors read in Classics 102.

Movers and Shakers: Politics on a Changing World 
Helen Delfeld/Elizabeth Rhodes
3 social science/3 science (4 with lab) credits

The study of geology and of political science may seem quite dissimilar, but both rely on scientific data accumulation and reasoning skills.  By teaming up Political Science 103 (World Politics) and Geology 103 (Environmental Geology), we intend to draw attention to the parallels and dissimilarities between the physical and the social sciences – you’ll be surprised!  We will investigate the process of scientific inquiry, deepen analytical reasoning skills, and critical thinking.  In addition to the essential content of both classes, we will explore some specific intersections of politics and geology, including a culminating project which asks students to study the political effects of a particular geological effect – this might be a terrain feature or a geological disaster like an earthquake or tsunami.

Chemistry and Biology for Pre-Med Students 
Pam Riggs-Gelasco/Wendy Cory/Kathleen Janech
4 science credits/4 major credits for pre-med students

This Learning Community is tailored to incoming freshmen with a strong desire to pursue a career in medicine or in biomedical research.  The fields of Chemistry and Biology are increasingly intertwined and we will use these two introductory classes to demonstrate the natural connections in the fields.  The community will include sessions that focus on career opportunities and on strategies and skills required to successful admission to post-baccalaureate programs.

To Know a Freshman
David Gentry/Hope Florence
3 social science/3 math credits

The transition year into college can be challenging. Many factors will influence quality of life and learning experiences for entering freshmen. The students in this Learning Community will conduct research into the lives of their fellow freshmen to explore this transition. The FYSM 158 course will be a practical experience with survey research methodology and MATH 104 will cover basic statistical techniques that we will use to interpret data.

Biology and Psychology for Pre-Professional Students
Deb Bidwell/Mark Hurd
4 science/4 social science credits

This Learning Community is aimed at entering freshmen with a strong desire to become health professionals. These courses will demonstrate and reinforce the inherent, extensive connections between psychology and biology. Psychology 103 will introduce students to the science of behavior with special emphasis on the biological bases of behavior (neuroscience) and psychological disorders. Biology 111 focuses on molecular and cellular biology, including neurobiology highlighting the biochemical processes that define living systems. Special emphasis will be placed on a multimedia approach to this learning community with the use of reading assignments, computer exercises, video clips, written work, group discussions, and a service learning project.  Students will also have an opportunity to attend pre-professional health advising sessions.

Computer Music and the Quest for Beauty 
Bill Manaris/Blake Stevens
3 elective/3 humanities credits

This community will explore connections between the "beautiful" in music and computing. Students will study the history of computer music, aesthetics, and elements of music theory. Students will investigate aspects of computing and computational thinking related to music making. Students will develop several digital artifacts and elementary musical compositions.

Literacy and Science for Students Not Planning to Major in Science or English
Marie Fitzwilliam/Paul Sessa
4 English/4 science (with lab) credits

This Learning Community is tailored to incoming freshmen with no expressed interest in majoring in Chemistry or English, and likely without a firm determination of major or career goal as incoming freshman.  The link between Chemistry and English will be demonstrated in the form of communication of scientific issues to a generally educated, but scientifically oriented public.  The linked courses will require student reading of essays which provide additional insight to individual chemists or chemical principles, and will also require student essays to be written about individual chemists or chemical principals.  Critical evaluation of the same essays by a chemist and an English professor will help to reinforce the importance on scientific understanding, clarity of communication, and critical reading skills of technically challenging material.   

History of Western Art The French Connection 
Frank Cossa/Shawn Morrison
3 humanities/3 language credits

Students will learn about the importance and impact of French culture on Western civilization (15th-20th centuries).  This community emphasizes interrelationships between language and visual culture via historical contextualization.  Students will explore how art and artists were understood in their own time as well as today.  They will consider authentic documents in French, research artists and objects, and explore exhibitions of French works.  They will utilize their knowledge of French to explore viewpoints and perspectives of the Francophone world on French art and Western visual culture. 

Cultures of Communication: Public Speaking and Beginning German 
Stephen Della Lana/Robert Westerfelhaus
3 language/3 elective credits

In the wake of globalization, both knowledge of a foreign language and the ability to speak well in public are crucial for success in cultural pursuits, politics and business. This Learning Community will enable students to communicate concisely and clearly in both English and Beginning German.  German 101 will introduce the German language while Public Speaking will enrich students’ understanding of the historic and cultural context of German via spoken and written assignments in English.

Trials of Life: Culture and Community in Theatre and French
John Walsh/Susan Kattwinkel
3 language/3 humanities credits

Some of the greatest and most thought-provoking playwrights have been French, including Jean-Paul Sartre, who wrote the quote in our title.  This Learning Community will pair an Introduction to Theatre class with a French101 class.  In Introduction to Theatre we will study the elements of theatre practice and literature, focusing on the theatre of France.  In French 101 we will study the basics of the French language, its inherent theatricality, and its contributions to world culture. Through the two classes we’ll explore some of the French cultural attitudes toward life.

Messages, Mottos and Myths about Health 
Jenifer Kopfman/Edith Ellis
6 elective credits

Students will identify personal health behaviors and risks, while developing skills to live healthier lives. The focus includes facts and myths regarding healthy eating, sexuality, substance abuse, stress reduction, and chronic and communicable diseases, among others. At the same time, students will critically examine health messages received every day from a variety of sources. They will explore the effectiveness and impact those messages have on lifestyle choices and staying healthy, while also learning to design health messages that work.

Self-Advocacy: Psychology and Communication 
Cindi May/Deborah Socha McGee
3 social science/3 elective credits

As young adults transition to full independence, an essential life skill is the ability to advocate for oneself in a variety of situations.  In this inclusive learning community, students with and without disabilities will learn about effective self-advocacy by understanding the science of human behavior and the role of communication in relationships.  Topics will include perception, social interaction, information processing, development, verbal and nonverbal communication, and conflict management. The learning community will take an interactive approach to learning with the use of reading assignments, oral presentations, video clips, written work, group discussions, and a service learning project. 



Me, Myself and My 23: An Exploration of the Impact of Modern Genetics 
Christopher Korey
3 elective credits

Would you have your own genome sequenced?  Will we be able to create medicines personally tailored for each individual patient?  What does genetics tell you about your deep ancestry? How is genetics impacting reproductive choices?  This seminar will introduce the basics of genetics through an exploration of the impacts of modern genetic technology on how we live, die, and reproduce.  We will focus on understanding the underlying genetic principles as well as the social and ethical implications of each topic discussed in class.

Epic Archaeology: Troy and the Trojan War 
James Newhard
3 humanities credits

This course explores the Trojan War in all its mythic, archaeological, textual, and historical splendor – from the remains of the Late Bronze Age through to modern popular reception.  As a means of approach, we will read ancient and more modern interpretations of the story, explore archaeological evidence, engaging in the processes of analysis and discussion along the way. 
             Students will gain greater insight into Greco-Roman culture and the way in which one of the most powerful of their mythic stories has affected our own world. In the process, students will therefore learn about the development of western civilization, and how those foundations have affected our own society.

Introduction to Health Communication
Jenifer Kopfman
3 elective credits

From commercials on TV to conversations with doctors or parents, college students constantly receive messages about lifestyle choices and staying healthy.  This course will explore whether or not these messages work, as well as how to develop health messages that will work.  Issues addressed will include doctor/patient communication, images of health in media, and campaigns designed to educate/change health behaviors.  An emphasis on public health and health communication as interdisciplinary fields will guide the course.  This course will be paired in a Learning Community with HEAL216.

Designing Responses to Large-Scale Natural Disasters 
Jim Bowring
3 elective credits

Students will gain first-hand experience working in teams to propose solutions to the complex, interdisciplinary problem of creating national response strategies for natural disasters.  We will emphasize computational thinking and "imagineering."  Students receive training in skills such as library research, electronic communications, and web design.  Teams are encouraged to be self-directed.  Students will be responsible for developing and then articulating their plans in a public presentation. Students must have unlimited access to a portable, WWW-browser enabled and connected device. (This means laptop OR PDA OR phone, etc.)

Data Visualization
Chris Starr
3 elective credits

Empower yourself by understanding, creating and evaluating images, graphics, animation and video.  The power and utility of the human visual system catalyzes business and scientific processes and empowers humans to consume vast amounts of data quickly.  Learn how to use digital resources for information collection, analysis, modeling, communication, and knowledge extraction.  An eye-opening course for business and science students in particular. 

Healing Narratives: Chronicling Illness through the Ages
Kathleen Beres Rogers
3 humanities credits

This seminar will examine what we now call “illness narratives” by exploring theories of pain and its linguistic expressions.  We will begin with a seventeenth-century diary entry, a nineteenth-century letter, and end with modern-day stories of illness.  Interviewing nursing home residents and hospice patients will allow us to understand the psychological impact of verbalizing pain. When we transcribe these narratives and give them to patients and/or their families, it proves meaningful to them and aids in their "healing" process.

Shakespeare on Screen
Emily Rosco
3 humanities credits

If you like Shakespeare and enjoy films, this course will help you learn more about both.  We will look in depth at films from five or six of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.  We will also become familiar with the “language” of film and develop a sense of how the language of Shakespeare can adapt to this visual medium in a number of ways.  We will also examine the different “screen” approaches to Shakespeare, from animation and digital media to YouTube and beyond.  There will be movie screenings on Wednesday evenings.

Neurobics: Sparking Mental Connections
Susan Flynn
3 elective credits

This course will focus on current brain research findings which support the link between physical activity and academic performance.  This course challenges students to examine brain science research and engage in action-based learning activities.  Be prepared to put theory to practice as you develop and teach interdisciplinary action-based lessons to children in a school-based setting.   Using motor assessment tools, students will track the progress of the relationship between the perceptual and sensory motor input to the motor and academic output.

FYSM142-001, 002 
Debating Immigration
Adam Mendelsohn
3 humanities credits

The United States is in the middle of a major – and often overheated – debate about immigration. This same debate has numerous echoes in American history. This class will examine responses to earlier episodes of mass migration to our shores, focusing on reactions to the arrival of millions of eastern European Jews from the 1880s until the 1920s. By reading a range of historical sources including memoirs and novels, we will investigate how the American public viewed the immigrants, how Jews viewed the immigration.

Business Skills, Campus Leadership: Taking the Plunge
Carrie Blair
3 elective credits

Several topics from business apply to students’ roles in community service and campus leadership. For example, campus leaders need to understand marketing and product selection, motivation, succession planning, professional communication, and budgeting. Students will be encouraged to apply these concepts to their campus and work roles. Students will also take part in the Higdon Student Leadership Center’s programs for freshmen.  

Darwinian Revolutions 
Todd Grantham
3 humanities credits

This course will examine Darwin’s ideas and their philosophical implications.  We’ll begin by reading some of Darwin’s most influential works (selections from Origin of Speciesand Descent of Man).  We will then explore how Darwin’s ideas shaped our understanding of: human psychology/human nature, ethics, and the relationship between science and religion.  In particular, we will focus on the following questions: How has human evolution shaped human psychology?  What, if anything, does Darwin imply about ethics?  Is intelligent design a legitimate scientific theory?  Should it be taught as an alternative to Darwinism in the high school curriculum?

From Apocalypse to Warp Drive: Physics in Film
P. Chris Fragile
3 elective credits

This course will use popular media, particularly movies, as a basis for teaching fundamental principles of physics such as force, momentum, energy, power, heat, temperature, and relativity. Movies are a great tool for this purpose, because while some filmmakers do a good job of sticking to the laws of physics, many blatantly ignore them. By the end of the course, students should be able to distinguish good movie physics from bad and recognize physics principles in the world around them.

Geography of Modernity 
Mark Long
3 social science credits

This course focuses on how the modern world is radically different.  We consider the emergence of new ways of seeing and thinking about the world in Europe, before charting the Europeanization of the world’s regions.  We will study revolutions in how and where people live, how many of us there are, how our relationship to time and space changes etcetera; and how these processes of change play themselves out in places like Iran, China, Australia and Guatemala, among others.

To Know a Freshman
David Gentry
3 social science credits

The transition year into college is challenging. Many factors will influence quality of life and learning experiences for freshmen. The students in this course will conduct research into the lives of freshmen exploring this transition using techniques from social science and then employ basic statistical analyses to interpret the results.  This class will be paired with MATH104 in the To Know a Freshman Learning Community.

Women and Religion 
Louise Doire
3 humanities credits

Students will explore two ‘categories’ of "woman" in human religious history, i.e., the religious roles of women, and representations of the divine feminine. Students will analyze various functions and roles of women as they participated in religious activity. Attention will also be paid to religiously and culturally constructed gender ideology and role expectations. Representations will include the priestess, the holy virgin, the saint, the martyr and the mystic. Study of the “divine feminine” will focus on images of the goddess through various historical periods and cultures.

Communities, Social Networks, and the Internet: Why is Mom on Facebook? 
Michael Stern
3 social science credits

Have you ever wondered what motivates people to join online communities such as Facebook, move to a certain neighborhood, or even volunteer in their local area?  This course is designed to introduce students to the sociological study of “community”.  We will explore approaches to studying communities (online and off) by analyzing the concept of community and individuals’ commitment, attachment, and participation in communities.  We will also investigate the development of suburbia and urbanism as a way of life, as well as the impact of social change, such as the internet, on the concept of community.

Sociology of Food 
Idee Winfield
3 social science credits

Biology may dictate that we eat, but what and how we eat depend upon wider cultural values and social practices.  This course puts food into its social contexts.  We will explore how what we eat and the way we eat it expresses our social identities; how 
preparing and consuming (or not consuming) food reproduce gender roles; how the 
system for producing and marketing food affects what (and how much) we eat; and how
food is both an object of politics and a basis for social movements.

Female Action Figures on the Screen
Evan Parry
3 humanities credits

If a woman wields a gun is she strong?  If a woman is physically aggressive is she an empowered woman, or is she just acting like a man?  Through the viewing of a variety of films from the last 30 years, this course will explore answers to these questions by critically evaluating the way in which female action figures are constructed both visually and thematically on the screen.  There will be screenings of films on Wednesday evenings that portray women in such roles as outlaw, comic book villainess and soldier, to name a few.