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First Year Seminars
2013-2014
Summer 2013 | Fall 2013 | Spring 2014

Fall 2013:

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

Math & Psychology 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
(AH) GEP
TuTh 2:30AM - 3:45PM
Math & Psychology 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

(AH) GEP

TuTh, 2:30PM - 3:45PM

Engineering 336
Galina Madjaroff

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: Discussing Classics
(AH) GEP
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:15PM
Math & Psychology 105
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
(AH) GEP
MoWe 4:00PM - 5:15PM
Sherman Hall 207
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 101V: Perspectives on the Heroic Journey

(AH) GEP

Th 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Fine Arts 529
Steven McAlpine

What makes someone heroic? What happens when heroes fall? From ancient myth to modern films such as The Matrix and Harry Potter, the story of the ordinary man or woman who is called to an extraordinary journey has been told in a thousand different ways. At the heart of our fascination with the heroic story is the belief that in each of us lies untapped potential to change the world, that we possess a latent power that only needs a call to action. What if we viewed our journeys through higher education as a call to heroic adventures? Through the lenses of science (are we "hardwired" for heroic behavior?), psychology, mythology (ancient Greek heroes such as Odysseus), philosophy (do heroes have a stronger ethical impetus?), theology, and the arts, we will explore how the heroic journey is a necessary step in the construction of one¿s identity in order to answer the question, "who am I, and what am I called to do in the world?"

FYS 102A: Images of Madness

(SS) GEP, (SS) GFR

Th 4:30PM - 7:00PM

Public Policy 203

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

(SS) GEP, (SS) GFR

M, 3:00PM - 4:15PM

Sherman Hall 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 102K: Passive-Aggressive Behavior
SS (GEP)
TuTh 8:30AM - 9:45AM
Math & Psychology 105
Karen Freiberg
This semester long course will provide information about the developmental pathways to passive aggressive (P/A) behavior, or to a passive aggressive personality as well as identifying five distinct and increasingly pathological levels of passive aggressive behavior. The course will help students distinguish between situational and pathological passive aggression and identify specific reasons why people use passive aggressive behaviors. Passive aggression will be examined across the lifespan and in four distinct contexts; home, school, marriage and extended family. Students will learn the different ways that passive aggressive behavior is exhibited across these settings.

FYS 102P: Creativity, Innovation, and Invention

(AH) GEP

We, 4:30PM - 7:00PM

Meyerhoff Chemistry 272

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 102R: Learning About, With, and From Students with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities
(SS) GEP
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
Sherman Hall 011
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
(SS) GEP
Tu 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Math & Psychology 105
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
(SS) GEP
We 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Math & Psychology 102
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.

FYS 102U: Poverty Amidst Plenty: The Economics of American Poverty
TuTh 8:30AM - 9:45AM
TBA
Nandita Dasgupta
Poverty is not an oft-quoted word in USA. Nonetheless, the phenomenon is worth exploring especially in the backdrop of the Great Recession that US has recently experienced. With continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living, more and more families have to choose between necessities like health care, child care, and even food. This seminar will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the poverty alleviation measures adopted through government programs and policies.

FYS 102V: Life and Death in a Police State
(SS) GEP
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
TBA
Alan Rosenthal
What is it like to live in a police state, which rules by instilling fear? What is it like when a totalitarian government exerts control over most aspects of your life? How does it feel when you live in constant anxiety of saying or doing the wrong thing and facing possible arrest, or worse? To answer these questions, we will examine the two most prominent examples of such a regime¿Hitler¿s Germany and Stalin¿s Soviet Union. We will learn how they came to power, what their objectives were, how they functioned, and how some people embraced them and others suffered under constant repression and terror. Gathering all the information acquired during the semester, we will conclude with a crucial question: could it happen here?

FYS 103B: Paradigms and Paradoxes: An Attempt to Understand the Universe
(S, non-lab) GEP, (Science non-lab) GFR
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
Meyerhoff Chemistry 351
Joel Liebman
There are at least two kinds of scientific activities: acquiring and generating data, and inquiring and generating general modes of understanding. The latter activities will dominate this course. The course contents include discussions of some remarkable features of the universe: the class discussions will require no more scientific background than gained from high school chemistry and mathematics.

FYS 103N: Monitoring Global Environmental Change with NASA Satellite Imagery
(S, non-lab) (GEP)
Mo 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Math & Psychology 105
Ana Prados
The course will provide students with an opportunity for early exposure to the Earth Sciences by learning how earth satellite monitoring is currently utilized in environmental and societal applications. The course structure will be a combination of in-class lectures, directed web-based hands-on activities, and student presentations, and will be taught at a computer lab on campus. In-class time will be divided evenly between lectures and hands-on computer exercises. The course curriculum will primarily rely on NASA imagery and tools to teach 1) basic earth system science principles, climate variability and atmospheric chemistry and 2) Environmental and societal implications of climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, and air pollution.

FYS 103O: Microbes, Humans, and History: How Microorganisms have Shaped World History
(S, non-lab) (GEP)
Mo 4:30PM - 7:00PM
Sherman Hall 108
Susan Schreier
Microorganisms have been on Earth far longer than humans. Bacteria, viruses, and other microbes have caused many devastating diseases, often changing the nature of society and influencing politics as well as the outcome of wars. Yet, microorganisms have also provided untold benefits to human societies. This First Year Seminar will focus on the various ways our human history has been influenced by microorganisms. Through a variety of formats, students will focus on exploring the impact of microorganisms and their interrelationships with humans from an historical perspective.

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