Stetson University

Student Resources and Services

Certificate of Community Engagement Courses

Service-Learning Courses

Writing For the Health of It (FSEM 100.02)

Is writing good for your health? Many writers describe their creative process as a sort of spiritual practice from which they gain insight. And many of us have experienced the way we can write our way to answers in our lives and discover our inner wisdom. Numerous fictional works explore illness - are writers drawing from their related experiences and instinctively moving themselves toward wellness when they write? Is it that same impulse that drives others to keep journals and diaries or turn their troubles into poems? Scientific studies on the impact of writing on health - both emotional and physical - show remarkable results, supporting what those who love to read and write have known all along: the written word is powerful medicine. Where do writing, spirituality, and wellness meet? This course explores that intersection through a variety of texts, discussion, and written responses. In addition, students will learn the sort of writing that has been found to be healing and have the opportunity to experience its potential through journaling and creative writing. This course includes a service-learning component, in which students will perform some tasks off-campus in our local community.

For more information, contact Gail Radley, Ph.D., at gradley@stetson.edu.

Self and World (FSEM 100.10)

This course is offered to first-year Bonner students only. It is designed to help students understand the forces that shape the individual as that individual acts in the world and the relationship of the self to the community and the ways that each shape each other. The service-learning component of this course will be met through a minimum of 10 hours of community engagement per week tutoring at Woodward Avenue Elementary School.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Greg Sapp, Ph.D., at gsapp@stetson.edu.

Diversity in the 21st Century Classroom (FSEM 100.37)

In this course, we will examine the meaning of diversity and its relation to global education. Through literature and film, we will discuss the broad definition of diversity, focusing on the study of race, ethnicity, language, gender, social class, sexual orientation, religion, and emotional and physical disabilities. All students will use field placements in local schools or nonprofit organizations to provide practical experiences that will illuminate our class' major concepts.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Heins, Ph.D. at bheins@stetson.edu.

Are We What We Eat? Food, Health, and Controversy (FSEM 100.49)

In this course, we will have lively discussions about food (fast, organic, wild, vegan, ethnic, and food stuffs, among others). How does popular culture influence what food we purchase and consume? How does the media affect our perceptions of what is healthy or nutritious? What do we need to know to make thoughtful choices about food? In our exploration of food, ideas of nutrition and our personal and community health will be discussed. What role does society and science play in our pursuit of health and wellness goals? How are we situated in the culture of food and society, not just in the science of nutrition? The class partners with a local grower in a service-learning project so that we may better understand and aid in locally grown, sustainable agriculture and how that plays a part in our, personal and community, health. Together, we will endeavor to discover what options we have for taking action to address food-related issues in our own lives.

For more information, contact Tara Schuwerk, Ph.D. at tschuwer@stetson.edu.

Poverty and Microcredit (ECON 141J)

This course is for Stetson students interested in poverty and the people it has affected. Students will gain an awareness and understanding of people who have lived in a different situation than that in which they have lived. Students will also gain an understanding of the difficulties people face in trying to make a living and live a life. The service-learning component of this course will be met through a minimum 10 hours of interactive workshops with a community partner. The students will benefit from these workshops by helping people as they try to better their economic situation.

For more information, contact Ranjini Thaver, Ph.D., at rthaver@stetson.edu.

Health Communication (COMM 327W / IHSC 327W)

This course provides an introduction to the field of health communication, including origins and development, and an overview of several areas of the field such as information technologies in health communication, social support, the social construction of health, illness and health narratives, recipient-provider communication, and communication in healthcare organizations. This course is designed to explore the question, "What is the role of communication in health and wellness?" and to encourage a lively exchange of ideas about various perspectives on health communication theory and the application to everyday health practices. Students will work with the Stetson University Office of Health and Wellness to provide materials, presentations, and service for the university community.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Tara Schuwerk, Ph.D., at tschuwer@stetson.edu.

Civic Engagement (POLI 328J-JS)

This course will combine the study of contemporary theory and empirical research on civic engagement in the United States with Community-Based Research (CBR) designed to enhance the level of civic engagement in the region around Stetson. To meet the service-learning requirements, students will conduct a CBR project with selected partners in local government, business groups, and nonprofits on enhancing civic engagement based on the topics selected for the semester.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Bill Ball, Ph.D., at wball@stetson.edu.

Social Entrepreneurship (ENTP 353JS)

Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly developing and changing business field in which business and nonprofit leaders design, grow, and lead mission-driven enterprises. As the traditional lines blur between nonprofit enterprises, government, and business, it is critical that you understand the opportunities and challenges in this new landscape. Furthermore, social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining attention in universities around the world, as social entrepreneurs combine the knowledge and skills used in traditional business with a passionate commitment to having a meaningful and sustainable social impact. In this course, we will focus on using entrepreneurial competencies to craft innovative responses to social problems, touching upon the broader fields of 1) poverty and its causes, 2) entrepreneurship as a mechanism of social justice, and 3) the challenges of starting and sustaining a social venture.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Gary Oliphant, Ph.D., at goliphan@stetson.edu.

Community Based Research (SOCI 363JS)

In this Junior Seminar, students will work directly with community partners to address real community problems using academic research skills and the substantial intellectual resources of Stetson University. This course is designed to facilitate faculty, student, and community collaboration to plan and conduct research that addresses social, environmental, and/or justice issues identified by the community. Students will directly participate in a community-based research (CBR) project and will present their research results to the community partner, class, instructor, and CBR faculty and staff.

For more information, contact John Schorr, Ph.D., at jschorr@stetson.edu.

Internship in the Mexican-American Community (SPAN 397L)

The course will primarily focus upon Latino/a issues in the United States, as well as the ways in which institutionalized oppression affects and impacts these groups. Throughout the semester, we will discuss various topics, including migration issues, education, gender, race, the U.S. Empire, Latino/a family detention centers and mass incarceration, DREAMERS, Civil Rights, and the Chicano/Puerto Rican movement, among others.

Students will also engage in service-learning at La Plaza Communitaria, a program which mainly focuses upon ESL education and adult computer literacy.

For more information, contact Pamela Cappas-Toro, Ph.D., at pcappast@stetson.edu.

Creative Outreach: Advanced Fiction (ENCW 417)

The purpose of this course is to give advanced writing students a chance to lead and instruct a writing workshop. Classes will alternate between Lawtey Correctional Institute and Flagler 205. On "Stetson" weeks will we discuss the previous class and plan the coming class. "Lawtey" classes will consist of a one-hour craft discussion (of an assigned story from Narrative Design) and a one-hour workshop. The craft discussion will involve the entire group. The workshops will involve two Stetson tutors and a writing group of around five men. Tutors must plan and manage their workshops, crafting a syllabus, reading list, and a series of writing assignments. Tutors must also complete all writing assignments. At the end of the course we will self-publish an anthology of work from the course. Tutors are responsible for writing a short introduction to their section as well as editing all work in their section.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Mark Powell at mpowell@stetson.edu.

Conservation Biology (BIOL 444)

This course investigates the levels of biological diversity (from genes to ecosystems), patterns of diversity, threats to diversity, and the approaches and problems involved in conserving this diversity. Laboratory activities include field work to learn conservation methods. During our discussion of the role of human societies in biological conservation, we will conduct a community-based research project to address a local conservation issue.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Kirsten Work, Ph.D., at kwork@stetson.edu.

Plant Ecology (BIOL 450)

This course will give students a better understanding of plant growth, reproduction, anatomy, and physiology as they relate to whole plant adaptation. We will use evolutionary principles to understand adaptation to the environment and to elucidate strategies for maximizing reproductive success, avoiding predation, and maximizing carbon gain while avoiding water loss. Lectures and laboratory sessions will complement the study of basic botanical concepts with an emphasis on the ecological and evolutionary implications of plant structure and function. Students in Plant Ecology will incorporate community service into the experiential portion of the course by partnering with a local entity responsible for the management/conservation of natural land. Specific partners and projects vary from year to year, with students working closely with agency officials in all cases to determine the experimental questions and design that will provide the partner with ecological data that will inform management decisions.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Cindy Bennington, Ph.D., at cbenning@stetson.edu.

Community Engagement Theory Courses

Self and World (FSEM 100.10)

This course is offered to first-year Bonner students only. It is designed to help students understand the forces that shape the individual as that individual acts in the world and the relationship of the self to the community and the ways that each shape each other. The service-learning component of this course will be met through a minimum of 10 hours of community engagement per week tutoring at Woodward Avenue Elementary School.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Greg Sapp, Ph.D., at gsapp@stetson.edu.

Diversity in the 21st Century Classroom (FSEM 100.37)

In this course, we will examine the meaning of diversity and its relation to global education. Through literature and film, we will discuss the broad definition of diversity, focusing on the study of race, ethnicity, language, gender, social class, sexual orientation, religion, and emotional and physical disabilities. All students will use field placements in local schools or nonprofit organizations to provide practical experiences that will illuminate our class' major concepts.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Heins, Ph.D., at bheins@stetson.edu.

Cultural and Political Ecology (GESS 310R/JS)

An interdisciplinary approach to understanding the tensions between economic development and management of natural environments. The course emphasizes the dynamic (dialectical) influences of humans and environment on each other. The concept of nature is questioned while we explore various paradigms for understanding the effects of economic development and underdevelopment on natural systems. An international context is stressed.

*Offered on an ad-hoc basis. Last offered in Fall 2013. Future dates are TBA.

For more information, contact Tony Abbott, Ph.D., at tabbott@stetson.edu.

Health Communication (COMM 327W/IHSC 327W)

This course provides an introduction to the field of health communication, including origins and development, and an overview of several areas of the field such as information technologies in health communication, social support, the social construction of health, illness and health narratives, recipient-provider communication, and communication in healthcare organizations. This course is designed to explore the question, "What is the role of communication in health and wellness?" and to encourage a lively exchange of ideas about various perspectives on health communication theory and the application to everyday health practices. Students will work with the Stetson University Office of Health and Wellness to provide materials, presentations, and service for the university community.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Tara Schuwerk, Ph.D., at tschuwer@stetson.edu.

Civic Engagement (POLI 328J-JS)

This course will combine the study of contemporary theory and empirical research on civic engagement in the United States with Community-Based Research (CBR) designed to enhance the level of civic engagement in the region around Stetson. To meet the service-learning requirements students will conduct a CBR project with selected partners in local government, business groups, and nonprofits on enhancing civic engagement based on the topics selected for the semester.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Bill Ball, Ph.D., at wball@stetson.edu.

Local Economic Development (ECON 347J-JS)

In this course, students will learn about the economics of local economic development, especially with reference to low-income families. A combination of theoretical and empirical analysis on asset allocation, poverty, finances, and taxation will be undertaken. Students will partner with local community agencies such as United Way, The Campaign for Working Families, Community Foundation of East Central Florida, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Bank of America. Students will develop skills in personal finances and in preparing simple tax returns for working families. At the same time, students will gain first-hand experience on the multifaceted dimensions of poverty and the variety of ways in which governmental and non-governmental entities are attempting to create policies and procedures to empower working families.

For more information, contact Ranjini Thaver, Ph.D., at rthaver@stetson.edu.

Social Entrepreneurship (ENTP 353JS)

Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly developing and changing business field in which business and nonprofit leaders design, grow, and lead mission-driven enterprises. As the traditional lines blur between nonprofit enterprises, government, and business, it is critical that you understand the opportunities and challenges in this new landscape. Furthermore, social entrepreneurship is increasingly gaining attention in universities around the world, as social entrepreneurs combine the knowledge and skills used in traditional business with a passionate commitment to having a meaningful and sustainable social impact. In this course, we will focus on using entrepreneurial competencies to craft innovative responses to social problems, touching upon the broader fields of 1) poverty and its causes, 2) entrepreneurship as a mechanism of social justice, and 3) the challenges of starting and sustaining a social venture.

*This course meets both the Theory and Service-Learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Gary Oliphant, Ph.D., at goliphan@stetson.edu.

War and Peace in American History (AMST 360J-JS)

This course focuses on the relation of war and peace in American history. Students will study large and small military engagements that have shaped American politics and culture, and examples of individuals and groups striving for peace since the nation's founding. Through examining these histories, students will learn how war relates to the use of resources, connects to economic conditions and interests, and generates deep debates over values. Questions over the nation's turns to organized violence touch on deep ethical and religious commitments and point to competing ways of defining American identity. The methodological focus of this class is on a theoretical understanding of ways to deal with community problems through evaluating contexts leading up to war, campaigns for war and peace in themselves, and ways of coping with their consequences. The topics touch on many fields of study, with students learning about the group thinking of war psychology, the connections between war and social change, and wartime spurs to the growth of the state. Throughout the course, students will also be challenged to consider their own values in relation to the diverse ideological commitments connected to war and peace in American culture.

For more information, contact Paul Croce, Ph.D., at pcroce@stetson.edu.

Creative Outreach: Advanced Fiction (ENCW 417)

The purpose of this course is to give advanced writing students a chance to lead and instruct a writing workshop. Classes will alternate between Lawtey Correctional Institute and Flagler 205. On "Stetson" weeks will we discuss the previous class and plan the coming class. "Lawtey" classes will consist of a one-hour craft discussion (of an assigned story from Narrative Design) and a one-hour workshop. The craft discussion will involve the entire group. The workshops will involve two Stetson tutors and a writing group of around five men. Tutors must plan and manage their workshops, crafting a syllabus, reading list, and a series of writing assignments. Tutors must also complete all writing assignments. At the end of the course we will self-publish an anthology of work from the course. Tutors are responsible for writing a short introduction to their section as well as editing all work in their section.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Mark Powell at mpowell@stetson.edu.

Conservation Biology (BIOL 444)

This course investigates the levels of biological diversity (from genes to ecosystems), patterns of diversity, threats to diversity, and the approaches and problems involved in conserving this diversity. Laboratory activities include field work to learn conservation methods. During our discussion of the role of human societies in biological conservation, we will conduct a community-based research project to address a local conservation issue.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Kirsten Work, Ph.D., at kwork@stetson.edu.

Plant Ecology (BIOL 450)

This course will give students a better understanding of plant growth, reproduction, anatomy, and physiology as they relate to whole plant adaptation. We will use evolutionary principles to understand adaptation to the environment and to elucidate strategies for maximizing reproductive success, avoiding predation, and maximizing carbon gain while avoiding water loss. Lectures and laboratory sessions will complement the study of basic botanical concepts with an emphasis on the ecological and evolutionary implications of plant structure and function. Students in Plant Ecology will incorporate community service into the experiential portion of the course by partnering with a local entity responsible for the management/conservation of natural land. Specific partners and projects vary from year to year, with students working closely with agency officials in all cases to determine the experimental questions and design that will provide the partner with ecological data that will inform management decisions.

*This course meets both the theory and service-learning course requirements.

For more information, contact Cindy Bennington, Ph.D., at cbenning@stetson.edu.

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