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 26 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 2020 Classes
The Olympics on Film
Faculty: Glenn Anderson
The modern Olympics and the film industry were born at approximately the same time in
the late nineteenth century – this seminar course will explore the shared history of the two movements by looking at how the games have been portrayed on film. From screwball comedies (Walk, Don’t Run 1966, Cool Runnings 1993) to period dramas (Chariots of Fire 1981, Miracle 2004) and political propaganda films (Olympia 1938) to documentaries (16 Days of Glory 1984) – we will explore and discuss how these portrayals of the Olympic Games spoke to audiences about the movement itself, the time periods when they are set, the goals of the games, challenges, ideals, successes and failures.
Science, Pseudo-science and Bull Sh**
Faculty: Beth Cantwell & Mike Zimmerman
This course will focus on aspects of how science is viewed, understood and
misunderstood by the general public. First, we will explore how controversial topics, such as vaccines and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are viewed throughout the world. We will discuss the issues that drive each controversy and how a topic may be highly controversial in one country, but not in another. Next, we will have fun discussing the role science plays in popular culture, including television, books and blogs. During these discussions we will explore the fact that science is often distorted in popular culture and the reasons why, such as simplifying a plot or attracting more followers. Students in this course will have the opportunity to research countries of their interest, visit museums in Washington D.C. and test for GMOs in their food.
Speaking of Sex: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in Global Perspective
Faculty: Jess Clawson
Ever wonder why a show like The Bachelor prevails on American television, a reality television show where the winner receives a rose and a marriage proposal? How is gender, sexual orientation, and American culture constructed and constrained in such a snapshot of “reality”? This course asks you to closely examine how you experience gender and sexuality in your everyday life and then challenges you 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 legitimized and institutionalized as the proper form of sexuality? Why are only some partnerships considered legitimate or normal? 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.”
You’re a creative genius! How to hold up the world with your creative muscle
Faculty: Kelley Crowley
Don’t think you are creative? You don’t have to be “artist” to be creative. In this class you will work your creative muscles by understanding how creative ideas are nurtured in different cultures and the global role of creativity to make change in the world. Our class will experiment with many forms of global creativity practices like African storytelling traditions, Zen movement and Portuguese café life. You’ll use these traditions to take practice reps through writing songs, drawing comics, performing poetry, writing a play, making a movie. Don’t know how to do those things? Don’t worry this class is a safe space to try out your ideas and to give a voice to the things that you’ll discover about the wider world.
From Black Mirror to Borges: Mysterious Stories, Technology, and the Uncanny
Faculty: Casey Eriksen
In this seminar, Black Mirror to Borges: Mysterious Stories, Technology, and the Uncanny, students will examine episodes of Black Mirror alongside a selection of Latin American short stories to highlight parallel, broader commentaries on technology and modern life. Black Mirror is a contemporary British reworking of The Twilight Zone with stories that tap into a collective unease about our modern world. In the stories of Silvina Ocampo, Jorge Luis Borges, and Julio Cortázar, a comparable sensibility emerges with regard to the benefits and contradictions that technology provides. By bringing stories alongside episodes of Black Mirror, the class will discuss which parallels and differences are apparent, while drawing upon their own lived experiences in a technological world.
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, and our class will travel to Asheville, NC to experience the Camino de Asheville (no additional cost involved in this class).
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.
Justice, Honor, and Duty in Samurai Movies
Faculty: Jon Gettman
This seminar will highlight modern American concepts of justice, honor, and duty by studying how they are portrayed in Japanese cinema about their Samurai tradition. The value of the comparative method is that one reaches a better understanding of their own culture through they study of another. Many modern criminal justice issues are addressed in Samurai films, such private vs. public justice, corruption, and organized crime. In addition, an almost universal theme in this genre is the conflict between giri, a Japanese value often explained as duty or obligation, and ninjō, the concept of human feeling. This conflict goes to the heart of the relationship of the individual to society. Students will explore the meaning of these concepts in a foreign culture, by way of their portrayal in Japanese cinema, and address their significance in contemporary American society.
Communicating in a Global Society
Faculty: Yolanda Gibson
This seminar focuses on intercultural communication. This course is designed to help
students learn how to communicate with individuals from diverse cultures. 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 a communicative lens, we will address how these cultural indicators manifest through communication and how societies use communications in different ways. College is a time of self-reflection, self-discovery, and transition, therefore I hope to broaden student’s perspectives and increase their capacity to adapt to an evolving global society.
Supersized: A Look at the Global Obesity Epidemic
Faculty: Salli Hamilton
This course will guide students through an examination of the global obesity epidemic.
Students will investigate the prevalence, the causes and the possible solutions of what the World Health Organization calls “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.”
“With great power comes great responsibility”: Ethical leadership in a complex world
Faculty: Keith Jones Pomeroy
What is an ethical leader? What is a leader’s responsibility? Are leaders more important than followers? This course 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 be utilized to meet the needs of their communities. Readings, videos, and other assignments will serve as the background for class discussions, small and large group activities, and immersive experiences.
Exploring and Understanding Addiction
Faculty: Alicia Lutman
This seminar is a course designed to help students gain an understanding of the opioid addiction within our geographical location as well as other significant addiction challenges facing families and individuals today. The course will focus on J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and Beth Macy’s Dopesick students will read and discuss in addition to identifying current events and legislative measure. Students will be challenged to think about addiction in their world as well as the world around them from a global perspective.
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.
The World in Six Songs/h5>
Faculty: Jeffrey 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. This course is designed to explore how people make music meaningful and useful in their lives. We will explore music in relation to global and cross-cultural perspectives with open minds (and ears).
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 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.
How to Die
Faculty: Meredith Minister
This course explores death practices around the globe from cremation rituals in India to recent attempts to legalize body composting in Seattle. Through this exploration, students will consider how death practices are intertwined with cultural assumptions about the environment, sickness and health, what it means to be human, and individual autonomy. Engaging with death positivity, untimely deaths, and the process of decomposition, this course blurs disciplinary lines in order to consider how thinking about how we die helps us live.
Marriage and Sexuality in Islam
Faculty: Younus Mirza
A study of the various marriage and sexual practices in Islamic history beginning with
pre-Islamic Arabia and ending with the modern Muslim world. We examine how Muslims understood sex, arranged sexual relationships, and structured marriage contracts. Special attention is paid to how Muslim women were placed within sexual relationships and how they navigated different cultural and religious rules to their advantage. Attention is also paid to modern attempts to reform Islamic law in an effort to seek greater gender equality.
The Uses, Abuses, and Purpose of the Past
Faculty: Jonathan Noyalas
Although some regard the study of the past as merely the collection of mundane facts and dates, history is among the most useful and contentious of subjects. This FYS will explore the various purposes and usefulness of the past. It will examine why it is important to preserve the past, in written from as well as part of the landscape. The seminar will also afford students an opportunity to gain a deeper sense of how the telling of history has been manipulated at all times and in all places across the globe to advance particular agendas–creating what some might classify today as “alternative facts.”
We’re All “Humans of New York”: Empathy and Connectedness on a Global Scale
Faculty: Jessica Peacock
This course will utilize the popular Tumblr blog and Facebook Page “Humans of New York” to enhance student understanding of human connectedness on a global scale. Students will complete reflection activities that will serve to identify their own biases and world views, and basic psychological and counseling theory and skills will be covered to assist students in building empathy for themselves and their fellow human beings. Students will be assigned to review the blog’s entries from a variety of countries such as Uganda, Iran, and India, and a series on refugees in order to better understand other cultures and their similarities/differences.
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? Conflicts in Intercultural Communication, will address these questions. Through the use of experiential training activities, movie clips and intercultural readings students will explore behavior through the lens of values. Students will be guided in developing their own cultural self-awareness, discover ways to increase effectiveness interacting with those different from themselves and explore how cultural differences play into conflict. We will explore differences found throughout the world, but also differences that exist in our own neighborhood. 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 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
This seminar, Sport as a Political Tool, focuses on the intersection between sport and
political, social, and historical movements. Sport is often seen as “just a game”, but a closer inspection demonstrates how sport both reflects and alters political and social realities throughout the world. Students will learn about instances wherein sport – both positively and negatively – has been used or leveraged as a political tool, and reflect on ways sport-related events and policy can change how we see our world.
Meet the Director of First Year Seminar
Amy Sarch, Ph.D.
Associate Provost & Director of General Education
540-542-6534 | email@example.com | 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.