Shenandoah University’s Going Global Initiative Is A Series Of Building Blocks That Begin With Our Going Global First Year Seminar.
Every Fall, All First-Time Shenandoah Students Register For One Of The Many Going Global Offerings.
Fall 2023 Classes: Please click the course title below for descriptions and class videos.
There Is No Planet B
Faculty: Ally DeGrassi & Marshell Edney
This seminar focuses on ways to live sustainably when human interactions deplete our planet’s resources, because there is NO Planet B. Researchers found that college student’s environmental awareness was “suboptimal” and they showed little to no willingness to offset environmental damages. Several implications can be drawn from these revelations such as, students are not 1) aware of various environmental impacts, and 2) willing to change their behaviors to reduce these impacts. Learners will explore the questions, “What environmental issues exist and what can be done to reduce negative impacts”. Learners will compare their own behaviors and interactions with the planet to interactions around the world to become better global citizens.
The Things We Do: Occupational Choice and Making Meaning
Faculty: Lacy Woods HockHammer
Innately wired within the human brain is the need to do. From the time we are born until the very end, humans occupy their time with various tasks and activities, a.k.a. occupations. This seminar evaluates those occupations and how they add meaning to our lives. Students will examine their own roles and occupations and evaluate how meaning is derived from them. Students will also explore how occupations change throughout the lifespan and are influenced by culture and context. Some of the topics explored will include drug use, criminal occupations, occupational justice, play and leisure occupations, and gender identity roles.
Ghost Stories and Legends
Faculty: Ginger Garver
Enter the land of banshees, pookas, wendigos, and golems. Our class focuses on ghost stories and legends from around the world. We will see how common American tales have their origins in other lands. We will gain an appreciation of how “we are the stories we tell” as these reveal the hopes, dreams, and dears of every corner of the globe. Students will learn to recognize the distinct culture of each country as well as the common themes of each story.
Global Perspectives on Mental Health
Faculty: Hanaa Unus
Have you, or someone close to 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 and impact their ability to reach their fullest potential. Research from all corners of the world, provides new and improved methods for addressing mental health concerns. This course will review the research and study the various types of therapies that are healing people all around the world. This class will include informative hands-on experience through class outings including a nature trail, horse farm, and art studio.
How Do You Peel a Banana
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!
You Mean I Have Culture? Exploring your identity and how it impacts the world you live in!
Faculty: Mady Rodriguez
This course examines the construction of race, ethnicity, and gender from the late 19th century to the present and how it relates to you. Throughout this semester we will see experiences and movements that impacted the development of racial and ethnic stereotypes and gendered norms. By examining the relationship between major shifts in cultural and political landscapes we will see how advertising portrayed stereotypical shifts in terms of race and gender. We will engage in many conversations as we dive into what is portrayed as an American ideal and ask who is included, excluded, and what are some implications of that inclusion and exclusion.
Achieving Peace, Love and Harmony through Interreligious Activism
Faculty: Rebecca Gibson
Together we will explore voter registration, engagement and advocacy and how to share our knowledge and experience with our peers and the broader community through events and activities on campus that relate to the November 2023 election. In addition, we will have opportunities to discuss and reflect on global social justice issues through the lens of some of the late night talk show hosts. We will learn to make the connections between issues we care about and ways to advocate for them in the community and in the world, through activism and through our legislators. Videos, readings and real-world experiences will give us opportunities for dialogue and reflection, group presentations and other ways to increase our understanding of global issues.
Achieving Peace, Love and Harmony through Interreligious Activism
Faculty: Marco Pflanzen
In this course, participants will explore important historical events in which people of different religious, spiritual, and secular identities came together to address a global injustice. These examples will fall within three different categories/units: music, nature, and activism. Music, nature, and activism are particularly powerful ways in which people build community and solidarity across national, political, cultural, and ideological differences. We will learn and practice intentional and open-minded communication that is central to achieving interreligious collaboration and peaceful coexistence.
Theatre for Youth: Bringing Multicultural Picture Books to Life
Faculty: Diane Schnoor & LaTasha Do’Zia
This seminar, Bringing Multicultural Picture Books to Life: Theatre for Youth, focuses on the ways that youth theatre and the world of children’s picture books intersect to provide mirrors that reflect who we are, as well as windows to develop empathy for other perspectives and experiences. This fast-paced, arts-infused, high energy course focuses on how to creatively communicate to and with multicultural audiences and experiences. Students will reflect on the importance of what it means to share and amplify stories, their own and those of others, as well as on Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s work about mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Approaching children’s stories and stagecraft through the lens of windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors prioritizes diversity, honors many cultures, and promotes empathy.
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.
Don’t Sleep on Sleep
Faculty: Scott King
Did you get enough sleep last night? About a third of Americans don’t, and in our current age of anxiety, this number is surely rising. In this course we will examine science-based causes, correlates, and consequences 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.
You’re a Creative Genius! How to hold up the world with your creative muscle!
Faculty: Kelley Crowley & Nor Makhtar
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.
Faculty: Salli Hamilton
This seminar focuses on what is considered by many experts as the biggest looming healthcare crisis.
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.
Talkin’ About Our Generations: What Has (and Hasn’t) Changed
Faculty: Sean Murphy & Jeff Coker
You might say “OK, Boomer,” but here’s an interesting question: Is your generation really that different from those who grew up in the 1960s? This course compares “Gen Z” with the “Boomers,” considering how these two generations compare in terms of values, beliefs, and attitudes. We’ll examine the cultural and political climate of the 1960s, a time of significant upheaval in American society that confronted civil rights, women’s liberation, and the Vietnam War, and also explore how your generation is confronting a range of challenges, such as climate change, gun control, and racial justice. We’ll spend time discussing the artistic and societal transformations that occurred across music, art, and fashion. Then, we’ll turn our attention to the youth of today and explore the different social, political, and cultural issues that shape your worldview. Icons like Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and Muhammad Ali (among others) were considered voices of their generation; which popular figures today serve these roles for you? We’ll also consider how technology has impacted the way we interact, then and now. Join us for a semester of reflection, discussion…and fun!
All the World’s a Stage
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 active participation, research, and reflection, we will experience the performing arts — participating in, observing, and discussing a broad range of artistic responses to global issues. We will reflect on how we experience the arts and how those experiences are shaped by our own world view. In particular, we will explore how the arts have been used globally as a tool for social justice and how artists use social practice as a technique for fostering creativity, building community and impacting change.
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.
Empowering Women Advancing Sport
Faculty: 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 barriers to girls and women in participation and leadership. This course requires not only your participation but your willingness to help facilitate and maintain a supportive classroom environment where every student’s perspective is honored and heard. Be open. Be inquisitive. Be thoughtful.
Vizualizing the Voice: The Power of Public Art
Faculty: Abi Gomez
This seminar, The Power of Public Art: Visualizing the Voice, focuses on visual art applications as extensions of individuals and communities. What does it mean to have a voice? How does voice transcend language and culture? Can someone have a voice without uttering a word? What is community? Where do communities exist? What is art? What is public art? Where and how does public art exist? Can public art create community? Can public art affect social change and accelerate social justice? In The Power of Public Art: Visualizing the Voice we will explore these questions and others by looking at visual art in the public sphere created in response to local, national, and global social justice issues. Students will engage in a variety of personal experiences including, but not limited to: public art site visits, public art critiques, and presentations of their own public art projects.
What Does a Scientist Look Like
Faculty: Beth Cantwell
In this course, students will explore discrimination and underrepresentation of groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Institutional biases affect a wide range of historically marginalized groups, including female, Black, LatinX, indigenous, and LGBTQ scientists. In addition, this course will address social structures that discourage participation of some individuals in scientific inquiry, while encouraging others even at a young age. Students will present research on successful scientists from underrepresented groups and identify ways to address inequities in the STEM fields. We will watch movies and documentaries that highlight notable minority scientists, and participate in discussions on these and other, lesser known, individuals. This course will take a global view on this issue, considering how scientific communities differ from country to country, and how regional biases shape those communities.
Slowing it Down: Walks & Pilgrimages Across the World
Faculty: Tracy Fitzsimmons & Bethany Galipeau Konate
Do you like to walk? 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, or do you rely on spontaneity to guide you? Across the world and across centuries, people have participated in intentional walks, and such intentional walks are gaining in popularity in recent years. People may reflect on the act of walking, they may reflect while walking or they may use walks to clear their minds. And when is a walk a pilgrimage?
Through this class, we will study walks and pilgrimages from the Camino de Santiago and the Hajj, to the Char Dham and the Appalachian Trail. Together and individually, we will do several active walking assignments, and our class will travel to Spain for one week in October (during and after break) to walk a portion of the Camino de Santiago. Note: there is an additional cost of $1,500 for this class; some financial assistance is available.
Ready for the World: Development Student Global Leadership Competencies
Faculty: Fritz Polite
This FYS course focuses on developing and understanding individual traits and principles of global leadership/awareness. Students will engage in a variety of exercises that will explore global topics such as economics, politics, technology, cultures, and the dimensions of global leadership. They will explore the concepts of globalization and the need for educating themselves to be able to effectively operate in a truly global economy.
Speaking of Sex
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.
Marriage and Sexuality in Islam
Faculty: Younus Mirza
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.
Gender, Fashion, and Culture: An Exploration of Gender Expression
Faculty: Mannie Brown
For the past 100 years, we’ve seen fashion trends go through substantial changes as a result of the culture of the particular time period said fashion trends fall within. Additionally, these adjustments in expression have allowed us to examine gender expression and how fashion has influenced our understanding of the concept of Gender. This course seeks to answer the following questions: How has fashion influenced the understanding of both gender identity and expression from the 1920s to now? What are some similarities and differences of the United States and Global fashion influences?
“F” Words: Examining Worldviews Through Objects and Narratives
Faculty: Bryan Pearce-Gonzalez, Amy Sarch, Leann Curley
What does your clothing or what you had for lunch say about you? This course uses “show and tell” as a tool for us to learn from and to express ourselves to others who may view the world through a different lens. In each unit students will “show” an object or ‘tell” a story relating to an “F” word (Food, Fashion, Fiction, Faith). We start with what that object or story means to the individual, and then broaden our scope to examine how anything can have meaning attached to it that is beyond the individual. How might our approaches to things like food, fashion, fiction, and faith exclude others? What does what you eat say about who you are? What does a piece of clothing say about who you are not? What does the book you’re reading say to the person next to you? How is your worldview shaped (or not) by religion? Together we’ll focus on questions like these and encourage you to find your own “F” word.
Meet the Director of First Year Seminar
Department Chair & Professor of Hispanic Studies
540-542-6202 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Henkel Hall 217
I look forward to meeting all of you!
Please feel free to call me, e-mail me, or stop by my office.
FYS brought me to not only friends but a family! My class encouraged me to find the most important parts of curriculum, the city of Winchester and most importantly myself! It brought a sense of purpose that encouraged me to evaluate and establish my most important values in a way that supported my most true self.
Camryn Roberts ’23
Public Health, BS
Business Administration in Healthcare Management, BBA
My FYS class created so many opportunities to make new connections and learn from my fellow peers. Starting a new chapter in life can be a little intimidating but through the support of my fellow FYS peers and mentor, Shenandoah quickly began to feel like home.
Rachel Taylor ’24
Psychology, BS EA-OT
When I first got to Shenandoah, it was my FYS class that really made me feel at home. My professor, my classmates, and the class itself was a warm welcome and I still utilize intercultural skills from that class every day! I’m forever thankful to my FYS family, because that class has shaped who I am as a student, an artist, and a leader.
Maya Bhatnagar ’22
Theatre Design and Production- Stage Management, BFA