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First Year Seminars
Summer 2012 | Fall 2012 | Spring 2013

Fall 2012:

FYS 101D: Turning to One Another: Beliefs and Behaviors

MoWe 4:00PM - 5:15PM
Physics Rm. 107

C Randles, Diane Lee

This course is oriented toward exploration of questions that are both personal and global in their orientation. What do I believe about others? What is the relationship I want with the earth? When and where do I experience sacred? Conversations will occur around topics such as these to expand and inform our understanding of how our beliefs and behaviors have the power to transform.

FYS 101Q: Building a Culture of Peace: What Would It Take?
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:15PM

Math & Psychology Rm. 102
Joby Taylor

Building a Culture of Peace will engage students in investigating the diverse meanings and methods operating in the study and practice of peace. The course will include an interdisciplinary exploration of primary texts, key terms, major theories and methods, and a guest presentation. There will also be individualized research opportunities for students that will result in critical and creative essays across a range of interrelated topics and build toward an overall course learning portfolio.

FYS 101R: Sustainability in American Culture
TuTh 11:30AM - 12:45PM
Math & Psychology Rm. 105
Rita Turner
This course explores the concept of sustainability, and how it is presented in popular American culture. We will examine cultural conversations and beliefs about the environment and about pressing environmental challenges, investigating how attitudes toward these issues get presented, debated, and constructed in American culture, through such media as books, movies, television, poetry, art, and news stories. Students will be expected to critically analyze readings and viewings, to discuss and reflect upon their own environmental attitudes and experiences, and to produce creative writing, digital stories, research presentations, and a final essay exploring an issue of their choice related to sustainability in American culture.

FYS 101S: Creating Stories About Times of Change


TuTh, 1:00PM - 4:00PM

Engineering Rm. 021
Elizabeth Lunt, Dr. Judah Ronch

This course explores common themes in both adolescence and aging, stages in life that can transform a person’s sense of identity. In intergenerational teams, students will explore changes in their identities by producing video stories together that will focus on common threads, shared insights and lessons about growth. The narrative collaboration will offer opportunities for empathy and broadening of perspective, and participants will gain wisdom about creating identity in times of change.

FYS 101T: 01 Discussing Classics
MoWe 2:30PM - 3:45PM
Academic IV Rm. 006
David Irvine
The objectives of this class are twofold: To discuss excerpts of twenty classics (such as The Handbook of Epictetus) and to develop discussion skills. To that end, each reading is preceded by a short piece pointing out its relation to some aspect of discussion groups.

FYS 101U: But is it Art? Filmmakers, Art, and the Artist
WeFr 1:00PM - 2:15PM
Janet & Walter Sondheim Rm. 203
Alan Kreizenbeck
What is art? What is an artist? Filmmakers have frequently explored these questions in documentaries and fictional narratives. This course will view several films about artists in an inquiry into what is art and what it means to be an artist in our society. The purpose of the course is to formulate answers about art and the artist, and to expand awareness of the multiplicity and diversity of what those two terms can mean. The films presented will cover a wide range artists and artistic genres.

FYS 102A: Images of Madness


Th, 4:30PM - 7:00PM

Math & Psychology Rm. 102

Carolyn Tice

This course reviews Academy Award winning films depicting mental illness to consider the influence of motion pictures on the public perception of social issues, policies, and services. We will analyze films using a historical framework and with assigned readings that address cultural stereotypes, societal attitudes, and the public's response toward people with mental illness.

FYS 102C: Diversity, Ethics and Social Justice in the Context of Schooling


M, 3:00PM - 4:15PM

Academic IV Rm. 208

Vickie Williams, Sue Small

We will explore and mediate the tensions that exist in current reform efforts as schools endeavor to meet the needs of diverse students. This course will use an inquiry-based approach to examine federal and local policies and how they impact students, schools and society.

FYS 102P: Creativity, Innovation, and Invention


We, 4:30PM - 7:00PM

Meyerhoff Chemistry 351

Gilbert Mason, William LaCourse

This course is for undergraduate students of all majors to explore the invention process from the germination of an idea to the development of a prototype in order to solve problems that address everyday needs. The purpose of the course is to inspire creativity and motivate students to invent, and supply them with the minimum expertise necessary to design, market, and protect an invention. Students will work in “active-learning” I-teams that will assume responsibility for tasks that are important to the development and success of their invention. Students will essentially act as the divisions of a company that are all working toward a common purpose.

FYS 102Q: History under the Microscope
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
Math & Psychology Rm. 102
Ivan Erill Sagales
What does the foundation of the modern state of Israel have in common with the miracle of bloody hosts? Why do farmers rotate crops? What was the main cause of American casualties in World War I? This course aims at providing a new perspective on different times and historical episodes, by revisiting them through the eyes of some of the most important players in human history and prehistory: microbes. Based on a discussion section format, the course will analyze several historical events and the role played by specific microbes or microbial communities in the political, societal, economic and environmental changes that took place. In each case study, the analysis will revolve on the specific nature of the microbe and its actions, but the focus will be on the historical background surrounding the event and the secondary factors and triggers that brought microbes into the limelight.

FYS 102R: Learning About, With, and From Students with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
Performing Arts & Humanities Rm. 108
Clare Greene, Michele Wolff
This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to offer a comprehensive exploration of intellectual and developmental disabilities across a number of academic disciplines. While assisting UMBC students in gaining a multidisciplinary understanding of intellectual/development disabilities, this course will provide a unique and substantive college-based experience for a cohort of non-degree seeking college-aged students with disabilities who are enrolled as participants in a new program called UMBC SUCCESS. Full-time UMBC students will explore the theoretical underpinnings of a range of intellectual and development disabilities, along with the practical application of these theories, from multidisciplinary perspectives delivered by faculty from Sociology, Psychology, Visual Arts, Education, Theater, Information Systems, and Dance (among others). Activities, grounded in these theories, then will be used as a framework for interactive and experiential engagement with the UMBC SUCCESS students so that all course participants can learn about, with, and from each other.

FYS 102S: The Deaf Community and Its Culture
Tu 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Math & Psychology Rm. 102
Denise Perdue, Suzanne Braunschweig

Through lectures, directed readings, attendance at deaf community events, and student research presentations, this course will introduce students the American Deaf Community, their unique culture, history and language. This course will also highlight significant impacts that American education systems, laws, and technologies have had on the Deaf Community¿s social status. The course will have several guest speakers, both Deaf and hearing, who will explore specific topics in depth such as CODA, Deaf Education, Interpreting, and Audism.

FYS 102T: International Migrations and the National Debate
We 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Math & Psychology Rm. 105
Sara Poggio
This course examines the continuous flux of immigrants arriving in the United States and contributing to American culture. Analysis will be done from a socio-historical perspective and a focus on the process of cultural assimilation of the new comers to American Society around issues of class, race and gender of the immigrants as well as the context of incorporation into the host society. This particular perspective of the analysis will allow students to reflect on past experiences, to compare, and evaluate present challenges of immigration issues today. The course analyzes the different populations that have contributed in the past and the ones that are contributing now to create the specific cultural diversity of the United States.


For More Information, Please Contact:
Jill Randles
Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education | (410) 455-3715