First Year Seminars Spring 2011

The First Year Seminar allows you to become a member of your new community in a dynamic environment and to experience intellectual life at the university level. Taught by professors with a passion for the subject and a passion for teaching, these courses are designed to encourage exploration of new ideas, examine a range of academic topics, challenge you to set high goals for your academic career, and promote a lifelong love of learning. First Year Seminars count as a core Liberal Studies requirement for all degree programs.  

Honor’s Credit

Many seminars can be offered for Honor’s credit with an individual contract.  Please talk to your advisor and instructor if you want to pursue this option.  For descriptions of those that are designated Honor’s only, please scroll to the bottom of this list.

 

CRN SUBJECT COURSE SECTION

ART 191 - Integral Arts
For new first year students only, this course will explore the integral nature of the arts: how we live, record our life and world, and imagine our future.  Whether we paint, sculpt, act, sing, dance, or write, we have something to share.  Often, many or even all of the art forms work in concert to share their vision.   This course is arts intensive and is strongly recommended for those with an interest in the arts.  As students examine the intersections of art to art and arts to life, this course will bring theory to life through experience and engaged collaboration.  This course is part of a triad that includes THEA 191 and MUS 191.  All three sections collaborate as a partnership to provide a rich arts experience as students and instructors from all three sections interact in a dynamic exchange of energy!

LAW 195 - Contemporary Legal Issues: Law for Life                                                                                                     
In every way and every day law is a major factor in our lives. From birth, to school, work, play, marriage, home buying, credit, children and even death, the law governs our actions and decision-making. Emphasis is placed on providing practical legal knowledge including such topic as divorce, alimony, division of marital property, child obligations, employment, criminal law, estate planning, home ownership, and establishing credit. Hands on activities will provide insights into the application of law to real-world situations and will include activities such as reading researching statutes, calculating child support payments, writing a will, completing articles of incorporation, and checking credit reports. Students will investigate the impact of law on everyday life while they explore the fundamental operations of the legal system.

COMM 190 - A User’s Guide to the Mass Media
An increasing number of media streams vie for your attention every day. But the messages may not always be as simple as they seem. Learn to read between the lines and recognize the nuance and subtext of all media.  Take a look behind the curtain to see how diverse motives, agendas and practices affect the media you consume. And see how that same media responds and reacts to pressures and trends from you, the consumer.  Media and culture are bound together in an elaborate dance. This course will help you understand that dance and make you a smarter consumer of media.

CIS 195 - Information Society at Work   
Students explore the changes information technology has made in their lives and community, and learn how computer culture affects their work, study, family and play through a hands-on technology approach.

CJ 190 - Controversies in Criminal Justice
Due to the serious and personal nature of crime and justice, people think viscerally and often emotionally about criminal incidents. Therefore, facts are needed to determine whether these incidents are typical or unusual. It is only in this way that we can properly gauge our fear, decide precautionary measures to be taken, and determine whether or not we should support various new laws and policies being proposed. Criminal Justice 190 provides these facts by examining the social myths pertaining to criminal behavior and the responses of the criminal justice system. Topic areas include crime waves, missing children, murder, organized crime, corporate crime, serious juvenile offenders, capital punishment, the drug war, and the responses of the police, courts and corrections.  This course is designed especially for students in the areas of criminal justice, sociology, social work, law, psychology, as well as, professionals in all fields of criminal justice and law enforcement.

ENGR 190 - Technology Systems: How Things Work
ENGR 190 is an introductory engineering course for non-engineering majors.  This course provides an in-depth view of the engineering and technology that we rely on every day in every aspect of our modern life. Whether it is the digital SLR camera that takes breathtaking pictures of the Great Smoky Mountains in autumn, the Hubble Telescope offering views of the deepest portions of the universe, using Twitter, Skype, or smart phones to connecting you instantaneously to your family and friends anywhere in the world, the hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) that help you find your way when  lost on a deep mountain trail, or the pacemaker that save people’s lives, these innovative engineering advancements have become an integral part of our culture. Together, we will investigate where these technologies came from, how they work, and where they might take us in the future.   The course will also incorporate four hands-on projects ranging from making images from Hubble Telescope data of the deep universe to building and testing a medieval Trebuchet.  Advanced mathematics will not be required for this course.  The challenging modern topics will be presented conceptually and only basic math (some trigonometry and simple algebra) will be needed to complete the projects.  The focus will be on conceptual understanding, proportional reasoning, estimating, and graphical interpretation.  Verbal and written communication of scientific ideas will be emphasized throughout the course.

ENGL 190 - First Year Seminar in Literature: The Literature of Home and Belonging 
This course will examine reading and writing about literature, with an emphasis on human experience and values. As an introduction to some facets of “English” as a discipline, this seminar will explore different ways that “home,” “family,” and “a sense of belonging,” are presented in short stories, poetry, essays, and film. For example, we will read Barbara Kingsolver’s 2001 collection of personal essays, Small Wonder, as well as Sir Thomas Moore’s 1516 fictional “novel,” Utopia. Short stories and poems by American and international authors, and films such as A River Runs Through It, The Joy Luck Club, and City of Joy will provide other views and perspectives in addition to an introduction to different literary genres. Further, the class will engage in experiential and service learning projects, such as doing a “Family Heritage” interview and oral presentation, learning about the history of Sylva and Cullowhee, and helping build homes with “Habitat for Humanity.” Students will do a variety of writing assignments, from literary and film interpretation to personal as well as researched essays.
       
ENVH 190 - From Black Death to Bioterrorism                                                                                                    
This course uses current events to examine basic public and environmental health concepts as they apply to the average U.S. citizen; critical evaluation of various public health components such as environmental disease agents, radiation, chemical exposures, biological hazards (including potential bioterrorism agents), noise, air, water, and soil pollutants, and food safety; and, an assessment of the various ways that the public can be protected.

 

HIST 190 - First Year Seminar in History: Animal, Vampire, robot, Cyborg: The Human and the Non-Human in Modern Western Culture
Human interactions with nature and technology raise unavoidable and often deeply unsettling questions about our own place in the order of things.  What makes us human?  What are the implications of our relationships with non-human others?  How are the boundaries between the human and the non-human constantly negotiated and renegotiated in ways that shape our conception of what it means to be a human being?  This course takes up these questions through the lens of history of science and technology, examining the complex practical and conceptual relationships we have with what is marked out as non-human. We’ll look at everything from animals in the ancient world, to Dracula, to the implications of genetic engineering in the present day. Our readings will include original scientific texts and other primary documents, novels and short stories, and historical accounts of human/non-human relationships.  We will also examine films and other visual media that depict human confrontations with the non-human.  The main course themes include the complicated and often blurred boundary between humans and other animals, the implications of human relationships to non-human others of our own making—both imaginary and technological—and the prospects of a post-human future. 

MUS 191 - Integral Arts
For new first year students only, this course will explore the integral nature of the arts: how we live, record our life and world, and imagine our future.  Whether we paint, sculpt, act, sing, dance, or write, we have something to share.  Often, many or even all of the art forms work in concert to share their vision.   This course is arts intensive and is strongly recommended for those with an interest in the arts.  As students examine the intersections of art to art and arts to life, this course will bring theory to life through experience and engaged collaboration. This course is part of a triad that includes THEA 191 and ART 191.  All three sections collaborate as a partnership to provide a rich arts experience as students and instructors from all three sections interact in a dynamic exchange of energy!

ND 190 - Personal Nutrition
How do I avoid the freshman 15?  What are the healthiest foods to eat on campus?  Should I still be taking vitamins?  Explore the answers to these questions and more, design your own personal eating plan (chocolate cream pie included) and discover how the foods you eat influence your appearance, energy level, health, and longevity.

PSC 190 - Freshman Seminar – Political Ethics

THEA 191- Integral Arts
For new first year students only, this course will explore the integral nature of the arts: how we live, record our life and world, and imagine our future.  Whether we paint, sculpt, act, sing, dance, or write, we have something to share.  Often, many or even all of the art forms work in concert to share their vision.   This course is arts intensive and is strongly recommended for those with an interest in the arts.  As students examine the intersections of art to art and arts to life, this course will bring theory to life through experience and engaged collaboration. This course is part of a triad that includes ART191 and MUS 191.  All three sections collaborate as a partnership to provide a rich arts experience as students and instructors from all three sections interact in a dynamic exchange of energy!

Honors First-Year Seminars: Spring 2011

PSC 190 HON - Freshman Seminar - Political Ethics
 

 

 

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