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 15 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 2022 Classes
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.
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.
Mental Health & Alternative Therapies
Faculty: Hanaa Unus & Erica Penn
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
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.
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 & Dahlia Ashford
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.
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.
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.
No Lie Can Live Forever: Confronting the Historical Legacies of Deception, Indoctrination, and 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.
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.
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 personal favorites.
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
Faculty: Tracy Fitzsimmons & Bethany Galipeau
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.
“F” Words: Examining Worldviews Through Objects and Narratives
Faculty: Jess Clawson, Ting-Yu Chen, Kelley Crawley, Kathy Evans, Bryan Pearce-Gonzalez, Karrin Lukacs, Matt Corr, Devon Taylor, Amy Sarch, Leann Curley, & Charles Maybee
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.
This course will be delivered in a hybrid format, which means that the class will meet in person in the classroom as well as virtually via an online platform.
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.