What is First Year Seminar?
Shenandoah University’s Going Global Initiative Is A Series Of Building Blocks That Begin With Our Going Global First Year Seminar.
In the fall, all first-time Shenandoah students register for one of the 24 Going Global offerings.
Course topics range from Ghost Stories & Legends to Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse. All classes focus on a global theme, are small in size, and are challenging and highly interactive.
Every Fall, All First-Time Shenandoah Students Register For One Of The 27 Going Global Offerings.
Course topics range from how sports have changed the world to The Walking Dead and the human experience. All classes focus on a global theme, are small in size, and are challenging and highly interactive.
Please click the course title below for descriptions and class videos.
Fall 2021 Classes
Chopsticks, Calligraphy and Zen(dance): A Taiwanese approach to culture, etiquette and the Arts
Faculty: Ting-Yu Chen
This course focuses on team and community building, enhancing creativity, and intercultural understanding through experiential learning of cultural rituals and artistic traditions. Students will explore Taiwanese culture, etiquette, and the arts through the lens of the instructor Ting-Yu Chen who is a native Taiwanese. A Taiwanese tea ceremony will engage students to learn about the art and health benefit of tea, teamwork, and shared responsibilities. Through Chinese calligraphy students will experience peace and harmony by creating their own distinct brushwork art. Zen(dance) will facilitate students to find ease and comfort with themselves in their bodily homes and explore the depth of expression that engages a person’s mind, body and spirit. This course encourages students to question, interpret, and evaluate their own culture and other cultural traditions in the global community with awareness and respect.
Don’t Sleep on Sleep
Faculty: Scott King
About a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and in our current age of anxiety over racial prejudice, political division, wealth inequality, and a pandemic, this number will surely rise. In this course we will examine science-based causes, correlates, and effects of changing sleep patterns across the world, paying special attention to connections with lost sleep among marginalized persons, and discuss empirically supported strategies for students to improve their own sleep habits.
The World in Six Songs
Faculty: Jeff Marlatt
Music provides us with the opportunity to tell the story of our lives. Through music we express emotion, attempt to understand life’s meaning, and share our humanity. Why can a song make you cry or tap your foot? We understand ourselves, and others, better when we think about six kinds of songs: friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, faith, and love.
Please Accept Me for Who I Am
Faculty: Diane Painter
This First Year Seminar, Please Accept Me for Who I Am, focuses on Disability Awareness. Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities since the biggest barrier people with disabilities face are other people using their power and privilege to thwart persons with disabilities to gain independence and self-determination. Power is the control, use, and protection of economic, political, and social resources and the conscious or unconscious use of these resources against others. Privilege is an “unearned asset or benefit received by virtue of being born with a particular characteristic or into a particular class” (Rocco & West, 1998, p. 173).
Aunt Jemima, the Marlboro Man, and Betty Crocker: Advertising and the construction of the American ideal
Faculty: Amy Sarch
This course uses American advertising to examine the construction of race, ethnicity, and gender from the late 19th century to the present, particularly the historical contexts contributing to stereotyped portrayals in advertising. We will examine the relationship between major shifts in cultural and political landscapes and how advertising portrayed those shifts in terms of race and gender. Throughout the semester, we will relate the old to the new by focusing on persistent patterns of meanings that reoccur in advertisements and what these patterns tell us about the development of particular racial and ethnic stereotypes and gendered norms. We specifically question the images advertising personifies as an American ideal and ask who is included, excluded, and what are some implications of that inclusion and exclusion.
You Want Equity with Your Boomerang? A Critical Examination of Rule of Law in Achieving Social Justice Within a Global Community
Faculty: John Winn
This course critically examines whether traditional justice structures, remedies, and enforcement systems remain viable in achieving social justice, diversity, and equity locally, nationally, and globally. Topics include core principles of human rights (universality), genocide, corruption and transparency, the role of the police and corrections, human trafficking, capital punishment, modern slavery and wage slavery, immigration and naturalization, equitable supply-chains and fair-trade. Domestic analytical context may include affirmative action, diversity, systemic racism, taxation, reparations, and social media regulation. Students participate in guided classroom discussions, consider viewpoints of guest speakers from different stakeholder groups, attend court-proceedings, engage in (limited) research, share and discuss their own positions on controversial topics, and advocate solutions to achieve equitable outcomes. This course should appeal to students interested and engaged in current events within a global context. Students should be receptive to examining current perspectives on power, privilege and rule of law within a non-judgmental environment.
From The Back To The Front Of The Line: How Do Leaders Become Leaders?
Faculty: Theresa Golding
Many of the leaders that have kept society from “standing still” did not necessarily set out to do so. Think about Rosa Parks. She came from the back of the bus and now no discussion of Civil Rights history is complete without her story. Malala, the female student in Afghanistan, who was shot by the Taliban for simply going to school. Harvey Milk was the first openly gay elected official in California — only he had not truly lived his life in the open until his 40s. None of these individuals had the goal of being a leader — they had a goal of making change and reforming society. What characteristics did these and other leaders like them have that may explain the natural transition to the role of leader? What do you think a leader looks like? Leadership is much more than a role — it is a way of being. Let’s delve into history and examine these dynamic leaders — Let’s follow their lead to become the leaders of today and tomorrow.
Science, Pseudoscience and Bullshit
Faculty: Beth Cantwell
This course will focus on how science is viewed by the general public and how to recognize trust-worthy resources. We will explore how controversial topics, such as race, vaccination and climate change, are viewed throughout the world and by the scientific community. We will discuss the issues that drive each controversy and how a topic may be highly controversial in some countries, but not in others. Throughout the course, we will discuss the role science plays in popular culture, including television, books and blogs, as well as how and why science is often distorted. If possible, the class will take a trip to visit museums in Washington D.C.
Speaking of Sex: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Global Perspective
Faculty: Jess Clawson
It’s easy to see examples of heteronormative relationships and identities in nearly every facet of American society, from The Bachelor to classic literature. How are gender, sexual orientation, and American culture constructed and constrained in such a snapshot of “reality”? This course asks students to closely examine how they experience gender and sexuality in their everyday lives and challenges them to broaden that experience to exploring how cultures outside the U.S. construct gender identity and sexual orientation. Why are only some kinds of sex legitimated and institutionalized as the proper form of sexuality? Why are only some partnerships considered legitimate or normal? How do race and racism come into play? This course provides a framework for addressing questions such as these; together we will look globally to find answers, question those answers, and question our own perceptions of what is “normal.” Together, we will explore how what bell hooks calls the white supremacist hetero-capitalist patriarchy has shaped our lives from a gendered perspective, and how each of us is privileged or marginalized in various contexts relating to gender.
How did you come up with that? Creative acts and cultural contexts
Faculty: Kelley Crowley
Many students cringe when they are asked to “do something creative”. This class is a workshop in exploring your relationship to creative acts large and small. Creative acts happen in personal, academic, industry, art, war, peace science, sports settings, just to name a few. This class also explores topics in creativity like, who gets to call themselves creative? How is creativity valued in different cultural frameworks? Is the need for originality and uniqueness typical of our culture, or is it universal? We will strive in this class to help you uncover your personal creative process through the discovery of diverse cultural meanings and values in creativity.
Slowing it Down: Walks & Pilgrimages Across the World
Faculty: Tracy Fitzsimmons & Bethany Galipeau-Konate
Do you like to walk or bike? Do you move briskly or meander or charge through life? Do you have a sense of purpose or calling, do you chart an exploratory path, do you rely on spontaneity to guide you? Across the world and across centuries, people have participated in intentional walks, and such intentional walks and bike rides are gaining in popularity in recent years. People may reflect on the act of walking (or biking), they may reflect while walking or they may use walks to clear their minds. What makes a walk a pilgrimage? Through this class, we will study walks and pilgrimages from the Camino de Santiago to the Hajj to the Char Dham to the Appalachian Trail. Together and individually, we will do several active walking (or biking) assignments.
Ghost Stories and Legends
Faculty: Ginger Garver
How to stop a zombie? What is a pookah? What is the one way to escape a Cajun werewolf? the answers to these questions and more wisdom on the supernatural await you in the FYS adventure Going Global: Ghosts and Legends. Our class explores the lore of specific cultures as well as the universal themes that unite all cultures from Ireland to Mexico to Eastern Europe. It turns out we all have the same fears, hopes, and dreams. Listen to a real paranormal investigator. Record ghostly voices. Create a project on the Top Ten Haunted Locations.
Communicating in a Global Society
Faculty: Yolanda Gibson
This seminar, Communicating in a Global Society, is designed to help students learn how to communicate with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Students will examine their own cultural identity as well as cultures around the globe as it pertains to values, beliefs, language, media, and traditions. Utilizing various aspects of intercultural communication theory, students will address how these cultural indicators manifest through communication and how societies use communication in different ways.
Globesity: A balance of feast or famine?
Faculty: Salli Hamilton
This seminar focuses on what is considered by many experts as the biggest looming healthcare crisis.
“With great power comes great responsibility”: Ethical leadership in a complex world
Faculty: Keith Jones Pomeroy
The course will center on the theme of ethical leadership in a complex world. It will seek to address questions such as: What is an ethical leader? What is a leader’s responsibility? Are leaders more important than followers? Throughout the semester, students will reflect on their own leadership styles and qualities, while learning about different models and theories of leadership, and relate these to global issues or power, privilege, and equity in the world. The class will use the world of superheroes as archetypes and models of leadership and compare these with real-world examples. In popular fiction, the special strengths and abilities of superheroes correspond to the needs of the world. Using that narrative, students will explore how their own strengths and abilities can better be utilized to meet the needs of their communities.
Addiction and Trauma | Cultural Differences & Racial Disparities
Faculty: Alicia Lutman
This seminar, Addiction & Trauma – Cultural Differences & Racial Disparities, will help students understand the science behind addiction and the trauma cycle in general while also taking a look at cultural perspectives in relation to both addiction & trauma. The final layer will be to look at the racial disparities in relation to available rehabilitative services in addition to the “school to prison pipeline” and other challenging barriers to ending both the addiction and trauma cycles. We will read two contrasting works of literature and learn about the history of drugs from a global perspective as well as the physical changes that happen from a neurological perspective. The mental health side of the issue will also be addressed along the way through the literature as well as movies about the barriers of overcoming addiction in multiple areas (gambling, drugs, alcohol etc.). And we will also look at how specific groups have been disproportionately impacted by addiction (such as Native Americans with alcoholism, black populations and harsh punishment for Crack vs the milder punishment for cocaine).
Empowering Women, Advancing Sport
Faculty: Bridget Lyons & Ashley Smeltzer-Kraft
The United Nations officially recognizes that participation of women and girls in sports challenges gender stereotypes and discrimination and can therefore be a vehicle to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The first international conference on women and sport was held in Brighton, England in 1994. As a result, the Brighton Declaration was endorsed to provide the principles that should guide action intended to increase the involvement of girls and women at all levels and in all functions and roles. Despite growing participation of women in sport in recent years, increased representation of women in decision making and leadership roles within sport has not always followed. This class will examine the the barriers to girls and women in participation and leadership.
From Maya to Mandela: Global Activism for Racial Justice
Faculty: Maggie McCampbell-Lien
People like Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Dolores Huerta and Colin Kaepernick fought for racial justice across decades and nations. Each using their own unique skills and platforms, these activists – along with many others – have taught us what it takes to change the world. Whether you see yourself as an activist or just want to be a better ally, you will have the opportunity to examine race from multiple perspectives. The class will explore global topics that impact us all, including immigration, criminal justice reform, and equity in education. Discover what inspires you by remembering that “the time is always right to do what is right.” A tentative trip to Washington, D.C.’s Museum of African American History and Culture will give you the opportunity to discover real examples of activism throughout history. This class welcomes students from all backgrounds. Diversity of thought will foster more productive conversations.
No Lie Can Live Forever: Confronting the Historical Legacies of Deception, Indoctrination, & Denial
Faculty: Jonathan Noyalas
This seminar will examine the ways in which governments, organizations, and other parties, at various moments in history and around the globe, have created false narratives, ignored historic reality, utilized indoctrination, or demonized certain racial or ethnic groups for the purpose of promoting racial superiority. Additionally, this course will examine the legacies of those efforts at asserting racial superiority and explore the ways in which governments and groups might be held accountable and a more inclusive and diverse historical landscape be established to promote a more complete understanding of the past. Students in this course will engage in a variety of learning experiences, including, but not limited to discussion, personal reflection, immersive learning experiences, and presentations.
Faculty: Bryan Pearce-Gonzales
This seminar, Taco Tuesdays, focuses on the national cuisine of Mexico – tacos. The strong association that tacos have with Mexico actually belies their identity as a truly globalized food that synthesizes European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Native American tastes and preferences. This course will explore the historical roots and cultural preferences of tacos in Mexico, in the United States, and throughout the world. Students will engage in a variety of personal experiences including, but not limited to, taco tastings, restaurant visits, recipe critiques and presentations of personal favorites.
How Do You Peel Your Banana: Conflicts in Intercultural Communication
Faculty: Kim Pineda
What is culture? Do I have a culture? Or is culture something that others have? How do I feel when I am the different one? What can I do to have better interactions in situations where differences exist? This highly interactive class, How do You Peel a Banana? An Exploration of Identity and Equity will address these questions. By using experiential training activities, movie clips and intercultural readings, students will explore behavior through the lenses of cultural dimensions, values, and equality. Students will be guided in developing their own cultural self-awareness, recognizing their own cultural dimensions and how they affect the ways they interact with the world around them and developing empathy for the experiences of others. Join us on this multicultural adventure!
All the World’s a Stage: How the Arts Connect Us
Faculty: Courtney Reilly
Beyond enjoyment and entertainment, the arts broaden our perspective and bring meaning to our lives — they give voice to human struggle, tackle challenging questions, provide space for reflection, and connect us to our own humanity. This course will explore how the arts impact and connect us on an individual and global level. Through research, practice, and reflection, we will experience the performing arts — attending a broad range of music, theatre, and dance performances on campus and beyond. We will reflect on how we experience the arts and how those experiences are shaped by our own world view. We will also explore the very nature of experiencing the arts with others, examining how the arts have been used globally as a tool for cultural diplomacy and nation-building.
A Global Look at Mental Health and Alternative Therapies
Faculty: Hanaa Unus
Have you ever experienced a life altering event that left you stretching your head, unsure of how to process the experience? More and more individuals are dealing with events, abrupt or gradual, that so significantly alter their lives that it impacts their ability to function to their fullest potential. Research from all corners of the world provide new and improved methods for addressing mental health concerns. This course will look at the globally recognized equine assisted psychotherapy model that is helping people around the world, including American veterans suffering from PTSD and tens of thousands of others in 40 countries around the globe. We will also look at the growing trend in journaling and why Scotland’s physicians have started writing “nature prescriptions” to help manage anxiety. This class will include informative hands on experience through multiple class outings including a nature trail, horse farm, and art studio.
Sports as a Political Tool
Faculty: Brian Wigley
Sport as a Political Tool examines the intersection between Sport and Politics. Specifically, students will analyze how politics affects sporting events, athletes, fans, and coaches. Political movements and events will be examined in the context of athletics. Examples include Olympic boycotts, such as the 1980 games in response to the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan, the 1972 massacre at the summer Olympics in Munich, Muhammad Ali being stripped of his heavy weight title due to his refusal to enter the draft for the Vietnam conflict, and Nike’s use of sweatshop labor in the production of their athletic shoes and apparel.
Meet the Director of First Year Seminar
Amy Sarch, Ph.D.
Associate Provost & Director of General Education
540-542-6534 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Gregory 157
I look forward to meeting all of you!
Please feel free to call me, e-mail me, or stop by my office.
Want To Become A First-Year Seminar Mentor?
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) program is looking for a few good student mentors for the fall 2020 semester. Interested in becoming a student mentor? Applications are open NOW!
FYS student mentors assist faculty members by advising first-year students on the transition into university life and serving as academic tutors in one of the Going Global First-Year Seminar sections in fall 2020. Each mentor acts as a liaison between the student and instructor and helps to build a “Class of 2024” community.
Submit A Going Global First-Year Seminar (FYS) Course Proposal
Going Global First-Year Seminar (FYS) has been successful because of the diverse faculty involved. We need representation from all undergraduate programs — please consider teaching one yourself!
Full and part time faculty from across the university are invited to submit proposals for the Going Global First-Year Seminar (FYS).
Faculty are encouraged to develop innovative courses related to their area of academic expertise that can be developed for incoming first-year students.
Kiersten Coulter ’19 | Exercise Science & Spanish Double Major
I took the Diplomacy, Destruction, and Domination class with Dr. Leonard. This class exposed me to a new perspective. I learned global politics through playing a simulation. It was interesting and I learned a lot as I had no background in politics or playing video games. I also made friends with different types of people. Since this class is not major specific, I was able to interact with people outside of my major and even college. The class was a lot of fun and I felt more prepared for the next 7 semesters.
Sarah Macias ’19 | Biology Major with a Chemistry Minor
My First Year Seminar class with Dr. Trinidad and Dr. Tierno dealt with music history and the artists behind the masterpieces. We also looked at different health issues that impacted these artists and how it may have affected the way they produced or composed music. As a student looking towards a career in health and as a music lover, this class helped me realize there can be and are connections in the world of health and music.
Clelia Wilson ’20 | Nursing Major with a Spanish Minor
My professor for my FYS class was Maurice Fraga. Our subject had to do with self awareness through movement and improvisation. It made me realize how my upbringing has influenced how I see the world and how there are different types of thought. This class helped me understand how to put my biases aside and how to connect with others.