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.
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.
Every Fall, All First-Time Shenandoah Students Register For One Of The 24 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.
Fall 2018 Classes
Justin Allen and Colleen Hallagan Preuninger
The mythical world of George R. R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” provides a lens through which we may explore the dynamics of empire, power, and community on a global scale. Students will explore the interplay between empire, power, and community from multiple perspectives, drawing connections between the manifestations of empire and moral/ethical frameworks present in the mythical world of Westeros and the geopolitical realities of the “real world”
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.
2018 marks the 200th birthday of Mary Shelley’s “hideous progeny”: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus explores the meaning of life and death, the risks and responsibilities of scientific exploration, the treatment of outsiders, and the shocking results when our creations speak back to us. The power of its images and themes means the novel has traveled the globe in the two centuries since its publication, where it has been taken up, transformed, and expanded far beyond the original text. This seminar will read Frankenstein as well as examples of adaptations from around the world.
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”.
Kathleen Eid-Heberle and Janice Smith
There is an uprising of zombies across the world! How can we get ready for such an incident? The propensity of disasters is increasing every day, so establishing an effective escape from a house fire or a zombie apocalypse is essential. This course introduces students to disasters and preparedness efforts implemented at the local, national and global levels. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to become ready when an earthquake rattles the earth or zombies walk among us. This course is for non-nursing majors (nursing majors are required to take a comprehensive disaster nursing course their senior year). Let’s stop thinking that it will never happen to us!
This seminar, Humor and Satire in the Digital Age, will focus on the social and cultural roles of contemporary satire vis-à-vis the media landscape of Facebook, Twitter, and the 24-hour news cycle. We will explore televised as well as internet-based satire, focusing mainly on primary-source texts from the United States, Mexico, France, and Germany. Over the progression of the semester, the class will examine the following broader questions: What functions (artistic, political, economic) does comedy serve? Are there any forms of humor or satire that are virtually universal? How much is dependent upon context? Why are some aspects considered humorous in one culture—but not funny in or for another culture? Students will examine primary-source documents—videos, news articles, photos, and scholarly publications—to articulate their own reactions and feelings in exploring the role of satire and humor within the immediacy of the digital age.
Tracy Fitzsimmons and Bethany Galipeu-Konate
Do you have an urge to travel? To gain cross-cultural and cross-continental understanding? This class will take us from the historical manuscripts housed in the ancient libraries of Timbuktu, Mali to the riot-of-colorand-noise tap-tap buses of Haiti. Over 200 years ago, Haiti experienced the world’s first successful slave uprising leading to an independent, free country. As a class, we will explore – through readings, movies, and interviews – the extent to which Haiti’s contemporary cultural and political forces can be traced back to West Africa. We will learn not only through secondary sources, but we will learn first-hand…..this first-year seminar will travel to Haiti over October break where we will see both the capital city and rural areas. We visit with healthcare professionals, business owners, farmers, artists, government officials, school children and teachers. Acceptance to this FYS class is by application only. Applications must be submitted by July 15 for consideration. Additional course fee is $1,200; some financial aid is available.
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.
Joey Gawrysiak and Brian Wigley
This course will explore how major sporting events through history have shaped the world we live in. These events have had an impact on culture and values throughout the world and have been used as platforms for change. We will investigate how major significant sporting events have made an impact on history all over the world.
The biggest barriers people with disabilities face are…other people. As a student in the Please Accept Me for Who I Am FYS, you will try answer the question: “When does a disability become a handicapping condition?” You will hear from / learn about persons with disabilities like Sudha Chandran and John Hockenberry, explore global topics such as the Disability Rights Movement and the three dimensions behind disability oppression, and explore your own role(s) in how to address the issues that persons with diff-abilities face.
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.
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.”
Maggie McCampbell Lien
Famous activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Mother Teresa created major change in our world but they all started somewhere. What injustices do you see around you? What fires you up? Examine controversial global issues like racial equality, immigration, drug laws, and sexual violence from multiple perspectives. Discover what inspires you to step up and learn the leadership skills you need to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” A trip to Washington, D.C. will give you the opportunity to put your activism skills to work early in the semester as part of a Unity Walk to embrace different faiths and cultures.
Interested in creating your own government in a fictional world and grappling with real world issues like terrorism, nuclear proliferation, refugees, climate change, piracy and others? Be the master of your own destiny in the online simulation, Statecraft (http://statecraftsim.com/) where you can achieve goals such as world peace, equality, the rule of law and cooperation among nations. Or you can seek global domination of all those around you. Join a class where you create a fictional world that provides insight into parallel real world dilemmas. This simulation will drive classroom discussion and provide you “hands-on” experience in ruling the world. These discussions will include the best form of government, the purpose of the United Nations, how to gain access to resources, the purpose of military power, among many others.
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.”
This class offers a scholarly exploration of ancient Mayan civilization, culture, literature, ideology, and cosmology in order to better understand the Mayan worldview, religion, and intellectual achievements. Class time will be devoted to class discussion regarding the thematic content we are studying, and students will be encouraged to perceive and discuss this content from different perspectives. By the completion of the course, students should be able to express and appreciate the Mayan people, its culture, and its worldview, thereby fostering a respect for cultural diversity as well as an understanding of how to interact with individuals from cultures other than your own.
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!
The world is more connected than ever. Today’s students will become tomorrow’s leaders. Leadership competencies are not a given. They must be developed. Cultural competencies must also be explored and developed. This course will develop a framework that will allow students to expand and grow their global leadership competencies by examining the tenants of globalization, while exercising and developing foundations of leadership traits and principles.
Keith Jones Pomeroy
This course will explore what it means to be human in our complex world. The class will address facets of human identity such as race, sex, gender, socio-economic class, and religion through the lens of popular culture and particularly the television series The Walking Dead. Does all human life have worth? Are some people more valuable than others? Who decides the defining characteristics of humanity? Who is in/out? The answers to these questions have significant implications on the future of humankind. Readings, videos, and other assignments will serve as the background for class discussions, small and large group activities, and immersive experiences.
This course will utilize the popular Tumblr blog and Facebook page “Humans of New York” (HONY) 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 also 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.
Laurel Rodgers and Beth Cantwell
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.
This course introduces students to a world of genocide and extermination in the Twentieth and Twenty-FirstCentury. Focusing on atrocities such as “The Destruction of the European Jewry” (1939-1945) “the Bosnian”, “The Cambodian” (1975-1979) and the “Rwandan Genocide” (1994) students engage in a comparative study of these genocides within the framework of Crimes against Humanity. We explore the terms of violence, repression, rape, terror and mass murder through written and visual testimonies of survivors. The course is divided in four parts: 1) The Origins of Genocide; 2) Modern Genocides and man-made Mass Murder, in particular with regard to Race, Gender and Nation; 3) Gender & Genocide and 4) International Criminal Court and Global Justice. Students will visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
Rhonda Van Dyke
“With freedom comes responsibility.” Eleanor Roosevelt and Spiderman both made this same point. Campuses across America are seeing a resurgence of interest in civil liberties – freedom of speech and expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and petition. When your personal passions catch fire, how do your talk and your walk align to create positive change? What can we learn from marches and movements of the past and present? Experience a walk in the woods and a walk in our nation’s capital. Practice using your gift of speech effectively in personal relationships and in public forums. Our class will form a close community on the move and even plan our own campus march. Use your talking and your walking to make a difference!
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.
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 2019 semester. Interested in becoming a student mentor? Apply by Wednesday, February 6!
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 2019. Each mentor acts as a liaison between the student and instructor and helps to build a “Class of 2023” community.