Skip to Content

Fall 2017 First Year Seminar

Choose a course to view details about it and to find out who the professor will be!

Please note that some FSEMs will be removed from the PDA-Personal Data Advising Form-as they become filled.

FSEM 100-01 (CRN 4618) Energy & the Environment

One of the most important challenges facing the world in the twenty-first century is to identify and develop sustainable sources of energy in order to maintain a reasonable standard of living while also minimizing our impact on the environment. This seminar will discuss the science of energy production and usage for a variety of energy sources and energy conservation strategies, and also examine the environmental advantages and drawbacks of each source or strategy. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and the nuclear disaster in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 illustrate just some of the dangers underlying our current energy production portfolio. The science regarding the challenge of global climate change will also be discussed. While the seminar is discussion based and writing intensive, students will be introduced to the basic physical principles and skills necessary to understand the issues involved in energy systems and sustainability, including physical units conversion and problem-solving techniques. The course will also include course blog postings and discussion of topics of current interest regarding energy and environmental issues found in the popular press.

Your Professor

Kevin Riggs holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Minnesota and specializes in research on magnetic materials useful for magnetic recording and information storage. He also holds an M.S. in Physics/Musical-acoustics from Case Western Reserve University and has an active research program using laser-based holographic techniques to image the vibration patterns of musical instruments. He teaches many advanced courses for physics majors, but especially enjoys interacting with students from a wide range of backgrounds in his general education course on musical acoustics titled "The Science of Music" and his new first-year seminar titled "Energy and the Environment." In his spare time, Riggs enjoys playing guitar in a Stetson University faculty jazz quartet, the "Thin Film Magnetism."

FSEM 100-02 (CRN 4619) Writing for the Health of It

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 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 be assigned to work with an elderly citizen.

Your Professor

Gail Radley received her B.A. in independent studies with an emphasis in creative writing from Mary Baldwin College and her M.A. in English from Stetson. Besides journaling and dabbling in poetry, she is the author of 24 books for children as well as articles and short stories for adults. One of these, "Writing With the Ink of Light on the Tablet of the Spirit," a paper Radley presented at the annual Writing and Wellness Conference, was published in Writing and Wellness Connections (Evans: Idyll Arbor, 2010). Radley has been teaching in the English Department since 1993 and began teaching Writing for the Health of It when the FSEM program began at Stetson.

FSEM 100-09 (CRN 4626) The Search for Wisdom

You don't tug on Superman's cape. You don't spit into the wind. (Jim Croce)

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing personal opinion. (Proverbs)

Never insult an alligator until after you have crossed the river. (Cordell Hull)

Ancient seekers of wisdom believed that there was meaning in human existence. If you found the rhythms of life, success followed. Other thinkers were less positive. No matter how hard you try, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get sucker-punched! As did the sages of old, students will enter the ageless quest for wisdom. We'll explore the traditions of the ancient Near East including that of the biblical texts. We'll look to wisdom traditions within world religions and consider contemporary expression of wisdom themes. The worldview of wisdom, as a social movement and as language and literature, will provide students a blueprint for developing their own guide for finding meaning in life. This course includes a weekly success lab.

Your Professor

Kandy Queen-Sutherland holds the Sam R Marks Chair of Religion. Her courses focus on the literature of the Bible, particularly Hebrew Scriptures and often grow out of the interplay of biblical texts and issues of social justice. Before coming to Stetson, she taught on a theological faculty in Switzerland. Her love of international travel continues at Stetson through the offering of travel courses to Greece and Turkey as well as the Middle East. She enjoys being the mother of a Stetson student, living on a dirt road, volunteering at the Neighborhood Center, and downtown DeLand on Friday evenings.

FSEM 100-10 (CRN 4627) Self and World (required for first-year Bonner Scholars)

What does the term "individual" mean apart from "the community"? What does "community" mean apart from the concept of "the individual"? This seminar will explore the relationship between these two concepts with a view to understanding how the community shapes the individual and how the individual can, and should, shape the community. We will think about issues pertaining to social justice and ask what responsibility the individual has for her or his own formation and what responsibility the individual has for the formation and well-being of the community. Service learning in the community is central to this exploration.

Your Professor

After earning his B.A. from Stetson University, Greg Sapp went on to earn an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. in Philosophical Theology from the University of Virginia. He is particularly interested in the formation of Christian thought and doctrine. He has published articles and presented papers in the fields of doctrinal development, historical philosophy and theology, and religion and culture. His latest work is in the area of sports and religion. He returned to Stetson in 2006 and holds the Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility. He comes to us most recently from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where he was awarded the 2005 Spencer B. King Distinguished Faculty Award. He has taught first-year seminars for 12 years now.

FSEM 100-14 (CRN 4631) Food and Humans: The Past, the Present and the Future.

This course will explore how humans have changed food through the ages, and, in turn, how food has changed humans. After air and water, food is the most important need for humans, and scientists, sociologists, and archaeologists, among others, have been very interested in tracing the origin of food. Topics will include the invention of farming, how food created social structure, how the industrialization of nations affected food production, and the use of food in war. Modernist cuisine, also known as molecular gastronomy, will be an additional topic for investigation.

Your Professor

Ramee Indralingam started teaching at Stetson University after she received a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Florida. She teaches general chemistry, analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis. She has also taught forensic chemistry in the Honors Program at Stetson. She is interested in determining the volatile and medicinal components of herbs and spices, as well as developing new and innovative lab experiments for the curriculum. A recent success was in developing a technique to determine the amount of iron in the yolk of an egg. She carries out her research with the collaboration of chemistry and biochemistry majors.

FSEM 100-16 (CRN 4633) The West in Question

It is impossible to read a newspaper, surf the Internet, or watch the nightly news without hearing how "western values" are under assault. Chinese economic might, Islamic terrorism, Russian imperialism-the so-called "West" faces numerous challenges. Such challenges are hardly new, of course. From the Thirty Years War and The French Revolution to the Holocaust and the Cold War, "Westerners" have debated, fought, and even killed each other in the name of "freedom", "equality", "nation", "democracy," and "Judeo-Christian" values. By analyzing major questions in Modern European History, this First Year Seminar will inquire whether "The West" possesses a coherent set of values and whether those values continue to have relevance at the outset of the twenty-first century. This course includes a weekly success lab.

Your Professor

Eric Kurlander, Professor of Modern European History, studied at Bowdoin College (BA) and Harvard University (MA, Ph.D.) before coming to Stetson in 2001. His most recent book (co-edited with Joanne Miyang Cho and Douglas McGetchin), Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India: Kindred Spirits in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Routledge, 2013), looks at the history of German-Indian relations in the spheres of culture, politics, and intellectual life. His last book, Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich (Yale University Press, 2009), examines the ways in which German liberals negotiated, resisted, and in some ways accommodated the Third Reich. His first book, The Price of Exclusion: Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1898-1933, appeared in 2006. He has published articles in leading journals, including Central European History, German History, and The Journal of Contemporary History, and held research and writing fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; the German Historical Institute; the German Academic Exchange Service; the Krupp Foundation; and Harvard University's Program for the Study of Germany and Europe. His current projects include a textbook, The West in Question: Continuity and Change (Pearson-Longman, 2014), an edited volume (with Monica Black), The Nazi Soul Between Science and Religion: Revisiting the Occult Roots and Legacies of Nazism. (Camden House, 2015), and a monograph, Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich (Yale, 2016). In his free time, Kurlander enjoys parenting, reading, travel, sports, and popular culture.

FSEM 100-19 (CRN 4636) American Popular Culture

Why is a movie never “just a movie?" Any film is a product of its times—expressing the dreams, fears, values and conflict of the larger culture. The same goes for any form of popular entertainment. Whether we’re talking about music, fashion, news media, television, holiday celebrations, cartoons or social media, all forms of popular culture do more than entertain us. They shape and are shaped by the culture that produces them. In this course, we will study American popular culture over the course of the 20th century (with emphasis on the period from 1950-present) and consider how it has influenced and reflected the events, ideas, and behaviors important in the larger American society. In the process, we’ll consider the connection between popular culture and concepts of national identity, gender, race, ethnic identity, social-economic class, and generational identity. This course will help make you a savvy critic and consumer of popular culture in your own lives.

Your Professor 

Dr. Emily Mieras enjoys teaching this course because popular culture is everywhere and illuminates many aspects of American life; through it, we get a chance to uncover deeper meanings in elements of daily life that often go unexamined. Dr. Mieras is an Americanist in the History Department and teaches courses on women's and gender history, Progressive Era culture and social reform, Southern History and Culture(s) and American Consumer Culture, among other topics. Her current research studies the ways nostalgia, history, and marketing intersect to create a small-town identity in American society, past and present. She has also published on the origins of college students' community service work in the Progressive Era.

FSEM 100-21 (CRN 4638) American Freedom in Action

Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, due process of law- commonly recognized terms, but what do they mean in practice? Using public schools as our backdrop, we will examine American freedom by reading and discussing exciting legal cases with a primary focus on U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Can students protest? Pray? Advocate illegal behavior? Be strip-searched? Can a school post the Ten Commandments? Censor student publications? Teach intelligent design alongside evolution? Compel students to accept diversity? Ban the expression of uncomfortable ideas?

We also consider the inevitable conflict between the twin pillars of the American experience: freedom and democracy. When individual freedoms clash with the desires of the majority, how are we to referee the disagreement? Should the majority always rule? Are there instances where one's individual rights are so important that it does not matter what the majority believe? Where do we draw the line between individual liberties and majority rule? Anyone who is considering a career in law, education, religion, politics- or who is passionate about liberty- will enjoy this hands-on study of America's experience in defining individual freedom while preserving democratic order.

Your Professor

Glen Epley has been a sportswriter, high school history teacher, professor at three universities, deputy superintendent of a 55,000 student school district, and a senior executive for the world's 8th largest insurance brokerage. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Teacher Education at Stetson where he teaches graduate courses in school law and school finance. He has published his research on separation of church and state, due process in student discipline, censorship in schools, legal issues of child abuse, teachers and tort liability, in loco parentis, educational malpractice, and the constitutional rights of parents. He earned his Ph.D. from Duke University.

FSEM 100-26 (CRN 4967) Medicines, Drugs and Toxins

In modern society, individuals are bombarded with information about chemical compounds and their impact on human health and well-being. This information about compounds such as pharmaceuticals, drugs, environmental toxins, and nutritional supplements, is often difficult for people to interpret or understand. Sometimes, the scientific basis of such information is wrong or even purposefully misleading. In this course, students will explore the impact of selected chemical compounds on human health. Discussions will focus on the use of both man-made and natural compounds, investigating both their beneficial and harmful effects on individuals and society. Students will also explore how various classes of chemical compounds are viewed by people in our society and how these views are affected by social, political, and economic factors. Some topics to be discussed include Drugs and Medicines; Poisons and Toxins; Foods and Nutrients; DNA and Genetic Testing/Modification.

Your Professor

John York received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and worked for the DuPont chemical company in New Jersey. After realizing that teaching was his true calling in life, he obtained a degree in Secondary Science Education from the University of Wyoming, followed by a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. York teaches a variety of chemistry classes at Stetson, ranging from introductory General Chemistry to advanced classes like Biological Inorganic Chemistry. He is very interested in research involving the chemistry of metals in biological systems and in industrial processes, and actively recruits undergraduate students to participate in this research. In addition, York is always working to develop new and better ways for teaching chemistry to undergraduate students. In his spare time, York likes to play music with several other Stetson professors and spend time with his wife and three sons.

FSEM 100-27 (CRN 4968) Social, Spiritual Intelligence

Can u raed this? Do you bilvee ptassinaloey in the poewr of iedas to cnaghe ateitudts, lveis and umtillaety, the wrlod? If so, you may wish to ponder over why so many life-changing ideas are ignored or downright rejected in the world. We agree that humans are rational, intelligent beings, but why do we often act against our intelligence? To what degree do we live our lives in an economically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually thoughtless manner? Is it possible that despite our intellectual dominance, we live like goslings imprinting upon the first role model (economically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually) that we come across, blindly following it to the death of our human intelligence? Students registering for this course will read and analyze books in economics, psychology, sociology, and religious studies to contemplate these questions and more. However, as you prepare to think outside the box, be wary of jumping into the frying pan.

Your Professor

Ranjini Thaver, born in South Africa, completed her bachelor's degree, with honors, in economics at the University of Cape Town, and her master's and doctoral degrees in economics at the University of Notre Dame. She has taught at Stetson since 1992. She developed the first university-based micro-credit program in the world, located in a poverty-stricken area in DeLand, and in Manio Village, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. She has partnered with local and national organizations to deliver economically empowering programs to the poor, such as personal finance education workshops, and volunteer income tax preparation (VITA). She has taught courses in economics, Africana studies, gender studies and the honors program, and received Stetson University's McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching. She has presented her research at international, national and local conferences, and at universities such as Cornell, Notre Dame and Mary Washington College.

FSEM 100-37 (CRN 4993) Diversity in the 21st Century Classroom

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 non-profit organizations to provide practical experiences that will illuminate our class's major concepts.

Your Professor

Bette Heins holds the Nina B. Hollis Chair of Educational Reform in the Department of Teacher Education. She directs the Hollis Institute for Educational Reform and teaches educational psychology, exceptional student education, and classroom management. Her research interests include single-gender education, reading issues and classroom management. She loves teaching about diversity in the classroom and, in her words, "celebrates deviancy on a daily basis." 

FSEM 100-48 (CRN 5242) The Anxiety of Identity

I think therefore I am... I think? Our identity, we wish to believe, is housed in our control over our inner thoughts, in the choices and memories we have made. What does it mean, then, when someone else takes control of my "I"? Even scarier, what happens when I cannot avoid this "I," and "I" takes me places where I don't want to go? Art often taunts this anxiety, teasing us with competing concepts of the self that shake the stability of identity. That "I" scams people (me, too!), commits crimes, stalks victims. All the while, I uncomfortably enjoy the alienating experience. In this course, we will concentrate on analyzing literature and films which use this "I" to question the stability of the self. We will explore novels and short stories, mystery and horror films, and other narrative forms with which we engage daily that all work to creatively manipulate first-person narration for different, often subversive purposes.

Your Professor

Nicole Denner, Ph.D., attended Indiana University for her undergraduate and master's degree and received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Northwestern University. She studied horror films at IU and eighteenth-century Enlightenment literature for her doctorate (they aren't so different after all). She has taught at Stetson since 2001 in both the French and English departments. She is most interested in how and why texts so frequently turn inward and comment upon themselves. 

FSEM 100-51 (CRN 5251) Writing the Revolution: Civic Engagement and Rhetoric

Regardless of political orientation, class, nationality (or any perspective that informs a worldview), everyone is in agreement that something is wrong with the "system." As we examine a wide range of historical reform figures and their strategies to effect social and institutional change (i.e., Lycurgus, Cicero, Gandhi, Assange), you will work to emulate and/or adapt these models to achieve some degree of measurable civic improvement, either in a local or national context. Given this purpose, your success in the course will depend, at least partly, on the written, verifiable impact you have. For example, for every meaningful email response you receive (from city/county leaders) or for any published letter to the editor, you will receive credit. All non-violent political perspectives (and agendas) are welcome. Significant research is required, with a portfolio that consists of your accumulated research, communications, and action narratives which, taken together, argue for your overall ability to persuade others of your point of view.

Your Professor

While intermittently working on his graduate degrees (Clemson, M.A., English; University of South Carolina, Ph.D., Composition and Rhetoric), Michael Barnes taught, wrote and traveled in the Far East, calling Tokyo home for four years. Tenured at Stetson University in 2006, his current research interests focus on computer-facilitated empirical studies on academia via overlooked institutional artifacts (textbooks, internal communiques and so forth). Pedagogically a sophist, most of his courses push students to "argue both sides equally well."

FSEM 100-59 (CRN 5451) Comics and Graphic Novels

Stories told in words and pictures go by many different names all around the world, such as comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, manga, bandes dessinées, fumetti, tebeos, comix, imagetexts, sequential art, and graphic narratives. Whatever they are called, comics and their influence are everywhere-on magazine racks, online, in literary journals, in museum galleries, and on movie screens. They have been used to tell the simplest of jokes, to create the wildest fantasy worlds, and to explore the depths of the most profound human experiences. This course will examine the art form that the French call "The 9th Art" in order to: Examine how words and pictures combine to make meanings; Survey a variety of texts from different times and places; Investigate where comics have come from, where they are now, and where they might go in the future. We will work together on reading visual/verbal texts closely, on writing analytically, and on finding ideas and presenting them in class. Students will have the opportunity to design a creative project in which they make their own comic or create a work of art about comics.

Your Professor

Joseph "Rusty" Witek, professor of humanities, has been teaching English and Humanities courses at Stetson University since 1989. He is known as one of the first academics in the United States to focus on comics as an art form, making Stetson one of the first universities to offer regularly scheduled courses on comics and graphic novels. He has published books and articles on such topics as comics criticism and theory, autobiography and history in comics, war comics, 9/11 in comics, and the fact that Donald Duck can't fly. He is presently working on a book project that examines some of the worst comics ever published.

FSEM100-70 (CRN 5263) Finance in Film

The class will examine films with finance-related themes. The course will review various movies such as: comedy classic Trading Places, which deals extensively with the futures markets; Wall Street, which portray the rampant deal-making of the go-go Eighties; Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, which exposes the greed and unethical behavior behind one of the biggest accounting scandals in U.S. history; and Too Big to Fail, which documents the early days of the financial crisis and the government's response to a crumbling financial sector. In the process, we will cover finance and economics from an academic standpoint to better understand the concepts dealt with in the films.

Your Professor

Giovanni Fernandez, assistant professor of finance at Stetson University, was born in Miami to Cuban-American parents, both of whom had previously majored in finance. Fernandez' father, a former professor and financial advisor, inspired him to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in the field. Giovanni enjoys tying in theory in finance with real-world application from his experience as a financial advisor. Courses such as Personal Finance and Risk Management and Insurance allow him to prepare students for what is expected of them if they choose to pursue a career in financial advising. Giovanni received his Ph.D. in Finance from Florida International University, and his areas of research are investment performance and corporate bankruptcy prediction.

FSEM 100-71 (CRN 5267) Building Wealth and the Lifestyle You Desire
in Both Good and Bad Economic Times

Your economic future will be decided partially by the choices you make individually and partially by events and circumstances that you have no control over. This course is designed to help you identify and choose a course of action related to your future assets and liabilities so that you can become monetarily successful in life. The course is also designed to recognize and adjust to the behavioral habits of 300 million people walking in tandem in a capitalistic society. My purpose is to teach you, the student, how to build your economic success and to do so in an ethical manner.

Your Professor

Richard Copeland is an associate professor in the School of Business Administration. He received his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1972, and his LL.M. from the University of Miami in 1973, majoring in tax. For 36 years he has been an associate professor at Stetson University. Copeland has extensive experience in the areas of taxation and estate planning and for 39 years has had his own law practice specializing in the purchase and sale of businesses, probate, guardianship, sale of real estate, and adoptions. He is an active speaker in the Florida Bar Association, Florida Institute of CPAs, at estate planning meetings for numerous churches, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, insurance companies, and others.

FSEM 100-74 (CRN 5527) Love, Hate, Passion and Deceit: Four Centuries of French Love Stories

"And they lived happily ever after." That's how most fairy tales end isn't it? But what happens if you meet Prince Charming on your wedding day, or if Prince Charming is a womanizer and a rogue? What if Snow White isn't as pure as the driven snow? The French novels that we will read and discuss this semester will present us with scenarios that differ considerably from those of most fairy tales with different endings and different ways of looking at love and the consequences of falling in love. Does faithfulness always lead to happiness? Is it possible to live up to someone else's ideal of a lover? Can jealousy blind one to the truth about the other? Does trust in God lead to happiness in love? These are some of the questions that we will seek to answer through our reading of these novels set in four different periods of French history with very different perceptions of the relationship between a man and a woman. Along the way, we will explore French culture, art, music and history as they help us to look at the meaning of love.

Your Professor

Richard Ferland has a B.A. in French from Assumption College, and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University. He also has an M.B.A. degree from Stetson University. His main interest is the History of Ideas in 18th Century France with an emphasis on the conflict between Enlightenment writers and the established Church. His other academic interests include the Marquis de Sade, French Comic Theater and French feminist writers. At home, he loves to cook, putter around in his yard and read spy novels and thrillers whenever he has the time. In addition to teaching at various universities in the U.S., he has taught in Paris and Freiburg, Germany.

FSEM 100-82 (CRN 6125) The First Americans: American Indians in Fiction, Film and Fact

This seminar for first-year students will develop skills of critical thinking and persuasive writing by focusing on literature and films by and about Native Americans. Among the works that we’ll encounter are Alice Marriott’s The Ten Grandmothers, a collection of stories about the Kiowa nation on the Great Plains from the 1840s to the 1940s; Sherman Alexie’s story collection about the contemporary Spokane/Coeur d’Alene, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven; and Louise Erdrich’s National Book Award-winning novel, The Roundhouse, a detective story about justice on a contemporary Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. We’ll also watch a few films, including Zacharias Kunuk’s breathtaking legend of Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner), a hero of the Inuit people before European contact; Chris Eyre’s Smoke Signals (adapted from Alexie’s contemporary stories); and a documentary on the Cherokee nation and the events leading to the Trail of Tears (We Still Remain). To understand Native American voices, we must also consider what they are confronting, namely a history of dehumanization, cultural insult and appropriation, and even genocide. Reading from contemporary journalism and nonfiction, we’ll touch on some of these issues from first European contact up to today’s controversies about sports mascots (notably Chief Wahoo and the Redskins), extreme poverty and high suicide rates on reservations, the construction of oil or gas pipelines across tribal lands (DAPL, Sabal Trail) or the building of walls through the border lands of tribal nations.

Your Professor

Grady Ballenger,Professor of English, has long been interested in American literature and its representation of national ideals such as equality, justice under the law, and unlimited individual self-creation. After college, he joined Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), editing a community newsletter and organizing tenants' unions, then returned to study, earning a master's in English at Columbia University and a Ph.D. in American Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he also taught film studies. Before coming to Stetson in 1998 to serve as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he helped to create Louisiana's state residential honors high school and its public liberal arts honors college. He looks forward to working with First Years in this seminar, which is being offered at a time of impressive work by American Indian writers and filmmakers and some 500 years after Ponce de Leon landed nearby to claim La Florida's land and first peoples as possession for the monarchs of Spain.

FSEM 100-83 (CRN 6126) The Spirit of Travel

In this course, we’ll look at the relationship between travel and spirit, in other words, the relationship between outer journeys and the inner ones. Pilgrimages have long been a part of religious and cultural traditions. Consider, for example, the centuries of trips to the Holy Land, Mecca, Bodh Gaya, Lourdes, and Santiago de Compostela. Think about secular pilgrimages to places like the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Vietnam War Memorial, or Graceland. Besides pilgrimages to one specific place, many travelers have more free-ranging objectives: for example, the Australian walkabout or even the post-college rite of backpacking around Europe.

Why is travel such a catalyst for spiritual growth? In this course, we’ll focus on the ways in which travel--especially unpredictable travel outside one’s comfort zone--has an effect on the spirit. We’ll read books and essays—fiction and non-fiction—and watch movies and videos, alas jumping-off points for thoughtful insights, discussions, and writings about the spiritual transformations of travel.

Your Professor

Nancy Barber has been a lecturer at Stetson University since 1998. She majored in political science at Davidson College, then worked as a journalist before getting an M.A. in English at Stetson, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida. Barber specializes in creative nonfiction. Among her other writings, she published an essay on human cannonballs in Raritan Quarterly in 2006 and co-wrote Meals Worth Stopping for in Florida: Local Restaurants within 10 Miles of the Interstate, published by Globe Pequot Press in 2008. She is also a veteran of both sacred and secular pilgrimages. 

FSEM 100-85 (CRN 6177) The Sociology of Power in National and International Contexts

Have you ever wondered how race/nationality/ethnicity can affect decision-making, not only in this country but around the globe? What about gender? Environmental considerations? How do these concepts shape culture and affect our physical environment? This course explores the different perspectives that analyze these relationships. In addition to discussion and in-class group work, this course uses activities such as developing guidelines for and conducting group observational research, individual field trips, and physically charting/mapping globalization to determine these social concepts' effects on social and physical environments. We then consider how an understanding of these concepts may contribute to the betterment of humankind.

Your Professor

Sven Smith holds a Ph.D. in Law and Society from the University of Florida and has an active research program regarding group organizations, critical race theory and globalization. He also holds a law degree from Florida state University and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Chicago and has recently completed a multi-method research project on the structural effects of group organization on judicial decision making. He teaches beginning as well as advanced sociology courses and seeks to make the classroom a vibrant learning center wherein students learn conceptually and through experiencing sociology. In his spare time, Dr.Smith enjoys playing music, attending the cultural events here at Stetson and reading.

FSEM 100-88 (CRN 6227) Self and Style

Everyone begins the day by putting on clothes, but not everyone thinks about their choices. We thus begin the course with three central questions: Looking at history and culture, how have value and meaning - personal, cultural, economic -- been inscribed in clothes and adornment? How does what we wear reflect our choices and our places in the world? What are the true costs of style?

As we seek to answer these questions, we'll begin with readings and writings that help us understand how to describe what we see. Next we’ll talk about role-playing, authenticity, and style, looking at the 1950s film Funny Face and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Then we'll investigate historical style movements and their significance, focusing on 1940s Los Angeles “zoot suiters” and 1980s drag balls but with other style movements covered too. We’ll end the class with readings and research into some of the business and ethics of current fashion and style. Assignments will include a reading journal, a presentation on Stetson style, short responses on style movements, three longer essays, and to pull everything together, a personal style credo as part of the final portfolio.

Your Professor

Lori Snook, Ph. D., is a specialist in dramatic literature; her academic training is in Restoration comedy, a historical genre famously concerned with style, and she is currently working on a scholarly project on Noel Coward. She is also the chair of the English Department.

FSEM 100-92 (CRN 6345) The Art of Listening to Music

For people who don't have a background in music, going to a classical concert may be unfamiliar (is he really playing inside the piano?), boring (what does everyone find so enjoyable about this strange music?), or even intimidating (am I supposed to clap now?). In The Concert Experience, you will learn the answers to these questions and more as you attend and write about Stetson University School of Music performances, talk with professional musicians about their work preparing concerts, and learn the basics of rhythm, pitch, and instruments that create the sounds we hear. The class offers an intriguing introduction that will prepare you for a lifelong appreciation of great classical music.

Your Professor

A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, cellist David Bjella has a multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, orchestral player and soloist. He is a professor of the cello at Stetson University as well as co-principal of the IRIS Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Michael Stern and a member of the Inman Piano Trio represented by Phillip Truckenbrod. He was one of the featured IRIS chamber musicians for the Naxos-released CD "Music of Stephen Hartke" which was chosen as a Top Ten Classical Recording of 2003. Mr. Bjella has been principal cellist of the Florida Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Southwest Florida Symphony and the Annapolis Symphony.

FSEM 100-94 (CRN 6523) Global Flashpoints

Somalia... Palestine... Tibet ... Cuba... Myanmar... human trafficking... the Arab Spring. Politics and greed mingle with economics, history and culture, seeping into 21st-century life to form deep-seated societal rifts that periodically erupt like dormant volcanos. In this course, students will discuss and debate some of the major global and regional conflicts and wrestle with the prospects of whether potential solutions should inspire hope or whether futility and skepticism are the only realistic outcomes.

Your Professor 

William Andrews, Ph.D., is past chairman of the Department of International Business at Stetson He received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in strategic management and his Masters of International Management (M.I.M.) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has taught or lectured in ten countries and led student trips to Spain, Cuba and Panama. In addition, he earned his Certified Financial Manager designation with the Institute of Management Accountants, Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor certification with the Alliance of Mergers and Acquisition Advisors and his Certified Global Business Professional designation from NASBITE. He is an active participant in the Florida Venture Forum -- the South's largest association of venture capitalists and has over 17 years of experience on various company boards, including roles as board chairman.

FSEM 100-97 (CRN 6578) Call of (civic) Duty: Video Games in Society

From Pong to Grand Theft Auto 5, this course will examine how video games have become a part of our society over the last 40 years. Video games have gone from primitive pixels on the screen to complex narrative devices. During that time they have been hailed as everything from the epitome of art to purveyors of violence and depravity. Portrayals of violence, sex, gender and race will be considered as they appear in video games. So too will the issue of moral panics and how society can sometimes overreact, even in absurd ways, to new media. This course will examine how society reacts to video games and other new media and, in turn, how video games have shaped society.

Your Professor

Chris Ferguson is a professor of psychology and has extensively studied the impact of video games on human behavior. He participated in discussions about video game effects hosted by Vice President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. He has published numerous research articles, particularly on the topic of video game violence, but also on moral panics and how video games have sometimes been (mainly falsely) accused of causing serious societal ills. He enjoys the occasional game of Bioshock himself but mainly plays Lego games with his 13-year-old son and can only watch with befuddlement as his beautiful wife obsesses over Mahjong. 

FSEM 100-99 (CRN 6585) Drug Cartels and Drug Wars in the Americas

In this course, we will examine the origins, features, and consequences of the Peruvian, Colombian, and Mexican drug cartels and drug wars in the Americas and their relationship with the United States politically, culturally, and economically. After taking this course, successful students will be able to better appreciate and think critically about the drug trade and drug cartels. No prior knowledge of Spanish or of Latin America is required.

Your Professor

Nicole Mottier, Ph.D., teaches and researches various topics in Latin American history. She teaches Colonial and Modern Latin American History and World Civilizations, and is developing courses on the histories of drug cartels in the Americas, the Mexican and Cuban Revolutions, the history of Latinos, the Atlantic World and the history of relations between Latin America and the U.S. Before coming to Stetson University, she taught at the University of New England in Maine, the University of Chicago and Harold Washington City College of Chicago. She is turning her dissertation on the political and social histories of peasant loans in twentieth-century Mexico into a book. Her next research project is a history of the Ciudad Juárez drug cartels, about which she has published an article. Her research has been supported by grants from the British Council Overseas Research Student Award Program, The University of Oxford, The University of Chicago, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Fulbright-Hays Program. Both her master of philosophy from Oxford and her bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign are in Latin American Studies.

FSEM 100-102 (CRN 6591) Ghost Stories: East and West

A few buildings at Stetson University are said to be haunted, most notably Elizabeth Hall and the remnants of Hulley Tower. Central Florida abounds in ghost stories overall and such tales can be found all over the world. Students may be familiar with the misty apparitions that glide through walls or walk noisily upstairs in the middle of the night, but what about the life-sucking powers of Chinese fox spirits, the gory appetites of Tibetan flesh-eating demons, or the unrelenting stalking of Japanese vengeance ghosts? This course will introduce students to both classic examples of Western ghost stories and gothic tales as well as folklore and fictional accounts from India, Tibet, China, and Japan. Western examples will include the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, M.R. James, and H.P. Lovecraft, while eastern stories will include Indian tales by Rudyard Kipling, Pu Songling's "Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio," and the Japanese "Tales of Moonlight and Rain" by Akinari Ueda. Students will read these stories and compare and contrast how ghosts and otherworldly spirits are portrayed between cultures. Assignments will also focus on how these stories reflect the societies in which they were written and include viewings of popular Chinese and Japanese horror films.

Your Professor

Christopher Bell received his B.A and M.A from Florida State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His specialization is in Tibetan Buddhism, with a secondary concentration in Asian religions overall. He is particularly interested in Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese demonologies. He has presented papers and published articles on Tibetan deity cults, oracles, and divination. Prior to joining Stetson in the fall of 2013, he taught at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, conducted fieldwork in Tibet and India, and lived in the south of Turkey. He is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. 

FSEM 100-104 (CRN 6604) Social Justice in Film: Prejudice, Discrimination and Persecution

The class will examine films with social justice-related themes; specifically prejudice, discrimination, and persecution related to Apartheid and the Holocaust. The course will review various movies such as The Power of One, Skin, Conspiracy, Sophie's Choice, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Perlasca. We will discuss the issues and concepts related to prejudice and discrimination as represented in these films and cover social justice from an academic standpoint to better understand the concepts dealt with in the films. We will go beyond prejudice and discrimination to discuss the personal and social implications of diversity for both majority and minority group members. We will consider how historical, political, economic, and societal factors shape the way people think about and respond to diversity. Be prepared to be involved in thought-provoking class discussions.

Your Professor

Stuart Michelson is the Roland and Sarah George Professor of Finance. He teaches corporate finance and investments at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He was formerly Dean of the Stetson School of Business Administration (three years) and Director of the Executive M.B.A. program (four years). He is editor of the refereed academic journal Financial Services Review. He is a member of the editorial board of several scholarly journals, a board member of Financial Executives International, and a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is a past president of the Academy of Financial Services, Financial Executives International (Central Florida) and the Academy of Business Education. Michelson has published over 50 refereed academic journal research articles. His current research areas include behavioral finance, tax efficiency in retirement accounts, the use of alpha to increase portfolio returns, the use of technology in education, mutual funds, portfolio risk budgeting, and academic honesty. He received the School of Business Administration Professor of the Year award in 2009, Researcher of the Year for several years (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007), and Outstanding Service Award in 2008. He received the Stetson University Hand Award for Outstanding Research in 2008. 

FSEM 100-106 (CRN 6607) Here We Are: Latinos and Latinidades in the U.S.

By the year 2050, the United States will have the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. This interdisciplinary course will explore a wide range of Latina/o issues in the US and its relationship to Latin America. As a class, we will explore the complex and historically specific processes of identity construction among Latinos by examining the intersection of race, gender, socio-economic background, ethnicity, politics, citizenship, and 'national origins' (place and location). Throughout this course, we will raise questions such as: What are the political differences and implications of calling oneself a "Latino" or a "Hispanic"? What is "Spanglish" and what does it tell us about processes of "assimilation"? Which elements unite and separate Latinos in the U.S? Students will actively engage with course material including artistic, historical, and literary representations of Latinos. We will also analyze popular culture, including television programs, political speeches, cartoons, and news reports. Students will bolster their classroom discussions with experiential learning opportunities on campus through La Casita Cultural Latina. In addition, students will collaborate with local organizations that cater to the Latino community, including the Farmworkers Association and schools (among others) in order to deepen their analysis and learn how Latina/o studies as a scholarly discipline can help us better understand the complexities and diversity of the lived experiences of Latinos in the United States.

*No Spanish is required to fully participate in this course.*

Your Professor

Pamela Cappas-Toro, Ph.D., earned a B.A. in Physical Education from the University of Puerto Rico (2001) and an M.A. in Spanish & Latin American Cultures from the University of Texas in San Antonio (2006). She earned a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2013) where she taught numerous ESL, Latina/o Studies, and Afro-Latin American workshops at the Education Justice Project at Danville Correctional Center, Illinois, a model college-in-prison program that demonstrates the positive impacts of higher education upon incarcerated people, their communities, and families. At Stetson University, Cappas-Toro teaches the Spanish language, Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures, Latina/o studies, and Portuguese and Brazilian studies as well. Cappas-Toro's passion for social justice, community engagement and commitment to undergraduate education guide her efforts as the director of La Casita Cultural Latina at Stetson University. This program creates bridges between Stetson University's classrooms and our Latino/a communities. It prepares students to forge a meaningful partnership with Latino/a communities while promoting critical awareness about social justice issues and institutionalized disparities.

FSEM 100-111 (6654) Global Citizenship: Individual, Community, World

oday, more than ever before, globalization is part of our everyday local lives. We are linked to others on every continent:

  • socially through the media and telecommunications
  • culturally through movements of people
  • economically through trade
  • environmentally through sharing one planet
  • Politically through international relations and systems of regulation.

In a fast-changing and interdependent world, education can, and should, help people to meet the challenges they will confront now and in the future. Global Citizenship is essential in helping people rise to those challenges. In this course, we will define global citizenship. We will discuss what steps need to be taken in order to prepare to become a global citizen. We will reflect on what it means to be an individual, what it means to be a citizen in your local community, and what it means to be a citizen of the world.

Your Professor

Savannah-Jane Griffin has over six years of higher education experience focusing on community engaged learning, campus-community partnership development, strength-based leadership and non-profit leadership. Savannah-Jane has facilitated community engaged learning and community capacity building training for faculty, students, and community partners nationally through Campus Compact, the Bonner Foundation, and the IMPACT National Conference. She is the founding Director of Stetson University's national award-winning Center for Community Engagement and has led Stetson University's efforts in institutionalizing community engagement across the curriculum. She has a Master's in Business Administration with a focus in Management from Stetson University and is currently serving as a Bonner National Fellow. She is a current executive board member of the IMPACT National Conference and the Mainstreet DeLand Association. Savannah-Jane has a passion for empowering individuals to use their strengths to create positive change in our local and global communities.

FSEM 100-122 (CRN 7035) Andy Warhol, Artist and Brand

"If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There's nothing behind it." 
-- Andy Warhol

This course is designed to do exactly the opposite. We will go beyond the surface, examining the artistic career of Andy Warhol, commercial artist, major Pop Art artist, queer icon, filmmaker, producer, founder and publisher of Interview magazine, a successful businessman and ultimate celebrity. We will consider these aspects of Warhol’s public and private persona as they continue to influence contemporary artistic practice. The central objective of this course is to understand how Warhol redefined what it meant to be an artist in contemporary culture, introducing celebrity logic into artistic production. Special attention will be paid to the role of business and marketing, the media, and the art market in the artist’s construction of his stardom.

Your Professor

Katya Kudryavtseva, Ph.D., assistant professor of art history at Stetson University. She specializes in art of the twentieth century, and her research focuses on the intersecting trajectories of art history, politics, law, and business and their role in the development of the canon of modern and contemporary art. Her teaching interests include historiography and canon formation; collecting and display; aesthetic and critical theory of modern and contemporary art; and the impact of art institutions and the art market on the art historical discourse. Her book, The Making of Kazimir Malevich's Black Square, is under contract with NLO publishing house (Moscow, Russia) and will come out in 2012.

FSEM 100-125 (CRN 7058) Passion, Politics and Policy

The founding purpose of institutions of higher education was to create citizens who have the knowledge and civic skills necessary to collectively address the most pressing challenges facing our communities. At that time, “politics” was seen as a noble endeavor for such citizens seeking to improve their communities, rather than as a dirty word with connotations of lying and corruption. This course will reclaim the classical spirit of politics as a force for doing good in our democracy by examining the dynamic relationship between the individual and the community through the lens of citizenship and political action. Through this course, students will:

  • Examine their passions and values
  • Understand challenges facing our communities, such as poverty, education, and homelessness
  • Learn about the scope and operations of local political institutions
  • Learn about the role of local political and local civic organizations
  • Identify ways to address community challenges using political institutions and civic organizations

Your Professor

Kevin Winchell is a civic and community engagement strategist who specializes in connecting citizens to civic institutions so that they can turn their passions into policy. He serves as the assistant director of the Stetson University Center for Community Engagement, through which he directs Stetson University’s nationally recognized political engagement efforts to conduct research and increase student voter registration, voter education, voter engagement, and voter turnout in elections. He also founded and operates the political and civic consulting firm Democracy Strategies, which works with candidates, organizations, businesses, and nonprofits to identify strategies for creating change through political institutions. You can probably spot him around campus wearing an Uncle Sam outfit while registering students to vote.

FSEM 100-126 (CRN 7077) Food for Thought: You are What You Eat

This course will explore why and how food has become an all-encompassing expression for the human condition. What we eat day in and day out is a result of an exciting, complicated and convoluted maze of natural and human-made processes. Topics like sustainability, health and nutrition, the environment, advocacy, policy, water, and artistic expressions at all levels are all naturally part of the exploration and learning. "You Are What You Eat" promises an exploration of one's very existence.

Your Professor

Hari Pulapaka, a native of Mumbai, India, came to the U.S. for graduate studies in 1987. He has been at Stetson University since the fall of 2000. Pulapaka is interested in all areas of mathematics and is always looking for new sources of problems for undergraduate research. Hari is also a classically trained chef and is interested in all areas of gastronomy. When not teaching or working on mathematics and related areas, he is at Cress, a restaurant in downtown DeLand that he owns with his wife, working as an active professional chef.

FSEM 100-127 (CRN 7081) Water, Peace and Prosperity

This class will study how societies allocate a critical natural resource, water. Analysis will range from the Incas in Peru to the Fertile Crescent in the Near East for historical context, then study modern water use in the Western US and Israel. You will learn the economics of water allocation and the environmental, political and social impacts of water policies.

Your Professor

Dr. de Bodisco is an environmental economist whose focus is water allocation issues in Florida and globally. His secondary interest is economic development, also with both local and global applications.

He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from New College of the University of South Florida. After earning his doctorate, Dr. de Bodisco conducted applied research on agricultural and public water demand at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) at the University of Florida. More recently, he conducted a range of environmental policy analyses (e.g. protection of Florida’s source waters, and optimal policies to mitigate damage from sea level rise for Florida’s coastal communities) as an economic consultant in Orlando.

FSEM 100-128 (CRN 7083) Psychology of Popular Fiction

It is impossible to avoid "pop psychology" in books, movies, and television shows today. Some of it is based in research, and some of it is pseudoscience. How do we know what's true about the mind and human behavior? Moreover, what it is about heroes or villains that make them appealing to an audience? Students will analyze and integrate ideas about the intersection of the reality of Psychology and how it is represented in the media, including Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Hannibal. Students will choose their own topics (subject to approval) in order to critique the flaws and identify the correct representations of psychology in a fictional work. Students will also give two oral presentations on the psychological principles in a work of fiction.

Your Professor

Laura Crysel is a social psychologist whose research focuses on the dark side of human nature. Dr. Crysel received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 2014. She is particularly excited to teach this course because it will encourage individuals to understand the value of scientific truth and artistic experience. In her spare time, Laura attends comic conventions and goes to theme parks. Her hobbies include swimming, photography, and rock climbing.

FSEM 100-129 (CRN 7132) Inked: Tattoos in Society

From the geometric line-work found on the 5,000-year-old mummy of Ötzi the Iceman to the full-color, photo-realistic portrait of their dog that someone, somewhere is getting tattooed right now, tattoos have been a part of societies across the globe for millennia. In this seminar, we will explore the art of tattooing, examining different styles and methods, and delve into tattoos as self-expression and their place in various cultures and subcultures. Through frequent writing assignments, lively classroom discussions, oral presentations, and debates we will examine the questions of why do people get tattoos, what do they mean, how are they received by others, and much more.

Your Professor

Colin MacFarlane comes from a social science background with a focus on quantitative analysis and postmodern historiography. He is heavily tattooed, receiving his first piece at the age of 18 and continuing to build his collection every year since. His ink is diverse in content but has predominant stylistic influences from Japanese Traditional and Art Nouveau. He is a strong proponent of identity exploration and expression and has facilitated dialogues and presented workshops around identity development and intercultural competence with college students, business leaders, and higher education professionals. Joining Hatter Nation in the fall of 2012, he serves as the Director of Assessment and Operational Effectiveness where he leads the division of Campus Life and Student Success in answering the questions of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how could we be doing it better. He received his Master of Education in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment from the University of Illinois at Chicago and has been working in higher education since 2009.

FSEM 100-130 (CRN 7139) Still Free: The Road to Serenity

“I don’t care, I’m still free,

You can’t take the sky from me.”

Firefly and the follow-up film Serenity have become cult classics, and their popularity is still growing ten years after the show was canceled. Part of the Joss Whedon universe, Firefly & Serenity presents us with a thought-provoking and genre-bending space western. We will discuss a wide range of themes found in the stories such as social class, culture, religion, ethics, effects of war, and colonialism, among others. Assignments will respond to the works and critical essays focused on the series and film. Be prepared to have thoughtful conversations, substantive analysis, critical thought, & reflection. Students will need to have consistent, reliable access to Firefly & Serenity (available via Netflix, Amazon, and other sources). NOTE: Prior knowledge of (or an affinity for) the series is not necessary.

Your Professor

Michele Randall holds degrees in Technical Writing (BA), Creative Writing (MA), and Poetry (MFA), and has taught College Writing, Composition, Creative Writing, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction. Her book, Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books) was published in 2015, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming from Painted Bride Quarterly, The Potomac Review, Newport Review (First Prize Flash Fiction), and elsewhere. Her current work focuses on the new-realities of mental health patients and was a finalist for the Peter Meinke Poetry Prize. She appreciates a good sense of humor and has been known to geek out over Dr. Who, Torchwood, Star Trek, and Star Wars.

FSEM 100-131 (CRN 7142) Every Hero Has a Story

From Luke Skywalker to Katniss Everdeen, all heroes are pulled from a place of comfort and thrust into an adventure that will change their lives forever! The Hero’s Journey is a pillar of narrative development in mythology, literature and film. During this course, students will learn about the various stages of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth and how each stage is crucial not only in the telling of the story but the growth and development of the hero. Students will explore what it means to be a “hero” through examples from history, literature, film, and television. Finally, students will have a chance to tell the story of their own “hero’s journey.” In the words of Joseph Campbell, “you are the hero of your own story!” 

Your Professor

Aaron Distler serves as the Associate Director of Academic Success and Accessibility at Stetson University. He earned his B.A. in psychology with a minor in sociology and M.A. in mental health counseling from the University of Central Florida before joining Stetson in 2013. He believes in the power of storytelling as a catalyst for personal growth. The more we learn about our strengths through our various life experiences, the better prepared we are for the next challenge thrown our way. In his spare time, he enjoys running, reading novels and comics, watching television and movies, and spending time outdoors. He is excited to dive into some very popular tellings of the Hero’s Journey and work with students to tell their stories!

FSEM 100-135 (CRN 7380) Health and Human Rights

This seminar will introduce students to human rights and their impact on health. Students will learn how the violation of human rights negatively impacts the health of individuals and communities. Students will gain a deeper understanding of the historical, political, cultural, and religious roots for human rights abuses and their interaction with mortality and morbidity. The course is interdisciplinary as students will learn about various topics such as genocide, war and conflict, terrorism, sexual discrimination and violence, racism, and sexism. Students will analyze how these experiences ultimately affect victims' physical, mental and social well-being. This seminar prepares students for intellectual engagement in discussing challenging topics by reviewing current human rights issues and their health implications (e.g. Syria's civil war).

Your Professor

Asal Mohamadi Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H. is an assistant professor of integrative health science at Stetson University. She was awarded her Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from Florida State University and received her M.P.H. in epidemiology from Georgia Southern University. She has a bachelor's degree in economics and a second master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Tehran. She previously held visiting professorships at Florida State University and Georgia Southern University, where she taught an array of courses including sustainable development, statistics, international studies and global health. Her research focus encompasses a dynamic, interdisciplinary spectrum pertaining to health and the built environment. Some current research interests include social epidemiology; epidemiology of chronic diseases; and environmental and ecological impacts on health disparities. Exploration of these various but interrelated themes has afforded her the opportunity to employ a multi-layered perspective in understanding the connection between health, the built environment, and social justice.

FSEM 100-136 (CRN 7388) How Not to Die

"In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes"--Ben Franklin. What is uncertain is how you will die. For many, how you will die has a lot to do with how you choose to live. This seminar course will examine how not to die by exploring how to live and live well. The course focuses on the most common causes of death in the US or lifestyle disease and how everyday choices such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management can contribute to these diseases. Students will be asked to delve into the latest scientific studies to determine what diseases are primarily dependent on how we live, what diseases can or cannot be prevented, and what diseases, if any, can be reversed. And, students will be introduced to the field of integrative medicine to help find the answer to these questions and much more. Many disciplines contribute to the understanding of lifestyle disease and treatment models. Students will discuss and evaluate interdisciplinary contributions to how we view lifestyle disease and integrative medicine including its financial and societal costs on our population. Information students will learn in this course about the human body, their body, could change the way they choose to live. But the choice is up to them.

Your Professor

Michele Skelton has been teaching undergraduate students at Stetson University since 1993. She is a strong advocate of the complementary nature of anatomical structure to function. She often utilizes this principle in teaching, encouraging students to study physiology as a biography and apply the content they learn to their bodies now and for a lifetime. She mentors students to be lifelong learners and healthy, health-conscious global citizens.

Skelton's passion for teaching has been recognized by a variety of awards including the prestigious McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest award given to a faculty member at Stetson University. But the greatest awards and rewards for Skelton come from watching her graduates achieve their career goals (medical school, PA, PT, OT, chiropractic medicine, nursing, public health, exercise physiologist, etc.) and their life goals.

Skelton served as the chair of the integrative health science department from 1999 to 2012. She also served as the Lynn and Mark Hollis chair of health and wellness 2009-2015. She is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Physiological Society. She has published in journals associated with both of these organizations.

FSEM 100-138 (CRN 7405) Interfaith Encounters: Beyond Belief

The interfaith movement in the United States seeks to actively understand one another across lines of difference, while discovering common understandings. This course will guide first-year students in the development of their writing skills through the exploration of this movement. Rather than solely studying the tenants of religious and spiritual traditions, this course seeks to explore: what is the contribution of religious and spiritual communities to the society in which we live?

In this course, students will gain religious literacy, skills, and appreciative knowledge to assist in addressing the urgent questions of our time: How do we dialogue with those belonging to religious and non-religious traditions other than our own? How can we work together with people of various faith backgrounds and worldviews to achieve the common good?

Students will write a series of short response papers and longer essays in this writing-intensive class. Class discussion of assigned readings will be a large part of our in-class work, accompanied by occasional lectures, presentations, peer-review of written work, and other activities.

Your Professor

Lindsey Carelli received her B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and her M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies) from Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. Since 2014, she has served as the Assistant Director of Interfaith Initiatives at Stetson University. She enjoys teaching this course because students have the opportunity to examine what is often referred to as the “invisible identity:” one’s religious, non-religious, or spiritual identification. Additionally, on a global scale, understanding religion matters. Whether you aspire to become a CEO, a journalist, or a doctor, learning to navigate the religious complexity of our global society is a necessary skill.

FSEM 100-139 (CRN 7422) Democratic Deliberation

This course we will consider the challenge of democratic deliberation and decision-making within societies and institutions by examining contemporary democratic practices. Rather than seeing democracy merely as a governmental system characterized by voting and representation, this class will look at a larger series of practices (speech, film, protest, etc.) that occur in a wide variety of arenas (workplace, education, etc.). Through course readings, assignments, and class discussions we will (1) attempt to define the term democracy; (2) explore democracy's possibilities and limitations; and (3) study democratic practices and techniques for participation.

Your Professor

Antonio Golan was born and raised in New York City, and received his B.A. in Cinema Studies and M.A. in Cinema & Media Studies from the College of Staten Island (CUNY). He is currently finishing his disseration on the democratization of the Spanish State, which focuses on the role of rhetoric and public memory.  He is is particularly interested in how, despite being universally celebrated in Western societies, democracy is often contained by social forces, conventions, and laws. At the same time, he is also interested in how citizens attempt, and sometimes succeed, in influencing institutions and society (despite existing barriers to civic paricipation).

FSEM 100-140 (CRN 7424) Creative Placemaking: Arts and Cultural Management

Arts and cultural activities account for about 4% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product. Arts and culture generally includes the performing, visual and fine arts; architecture and graphic design; film, digital media and video; and historic preservation. Artistic and cultural activities take place at a variety of venues including museums, galleries, theaters, concert halls, dance studios, libraries, mansions, and memorials. Arts organizations nurture new ideas, preserve our cultural history, and create audience energy. Arts and culture is essential to a community's well-being, economic and cultural vitality, sense of identity and heritage (American Planning Association, 2011). In this seminar, students will learn about the history, purpose and practices of managing arts and cultural organizations. Topics include organizing staffing, fundraising, marketing, planning and audience development. At the end of the course, students should have an understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful manager of an arts organizations and an appreciation for the how arts and culture contribute to community engagement and economic vitality.

Your Professor

Deborah Goldring, Ph.D., is a life-long patron of the arts. She is keenly aware of the challenges of managing arts organizations and the constant need to remain relevant and sustainable. Goldring holds a PhD in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University, an MBA from Villanova University, an MS from the University of Miami and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches in the marketing department of the business school. Prior to coming to Stetson, she had a successful career as a marketing manager for companies in South Florida and the Philadelphia area. She looks forward to teaching this first-time FSEM and sharing her enthusiasm for why arts matter.

FSEM 100-141 (CRN 7425) Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy

This course will discuss the reasons people believe in conspiracy theories. Through recent work in social and political psychology, literature and media studies, we will discuss the role conspiracy theories play in contemporary America. The question guiding this course isn't if you are a conspiracy theorist--you are--but, rather, is conspiracy thinking a good or bad thing for American democracy?

Your Professor

Dr. Steven Smallpage (PhD, Michigan State) specializes in empirical political psychology, American political culture and development, and the history of normative political philosophy. He has coauthored forthcoming research on the importance of American political values on polarization. He is currently working on the historical, philosophical, and empirical aspects of conspiracy thinking in the American mass public. At Stetson University, Dr. Smallpage teaches courses on American national government, the American presidency, political psychology, research methods, and American constitutional law.

FSEM 100-142 (CRN 7426) Gender and Sexuality in Sport

In this course we will engage in critical examination of issues involving gender and sexuality in sport from historical and current perspectives, and with an emphasis on the laws and organizational policies that impact them. We will study the experiences of girls and women participating in sport, as well as the experiences of women working in the sports industry. We will also explore conflicts among concepts of competitive equity, social equity, and legal dictates that impact participation by transgender athletes and intersex athletes. In addition, we will reflect upon the experiences of gay and lesbian athletes, and the similarities and differences in their competitive environments.

Your Professor

Elizabeth (Libba) Galloway is Visiting Assistant Professor of Business and Sport Law. She earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from Duke University. She has enjoyed a comprehensive career as a corporate lawyer, sport business executive and university instructor. Her experience as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Legal Officer of the Ladies Professional Golf Association opened her eyes to the myriad of complex issues involved with gender and sexuality in sport. In addition to examining these issues in the classes she teaches, she has spoken on women’s sports topics at numerous conferences across the world.

FSEM 100-143 (CRN 7427) Products of our Environment

This course will critically assess how people are carriers of culture. In contrast to the idea that all people are unique, in this course we will examine how the environment shapes and determines our trajectories throughout life. Using the narration of experience, historical and contemporary contexts and a critical engagement of the everyday, students will link together their sense of self to others. In doing so, students will expand their understanding of themselves in relation to the world around them. This is an interdisciplinary seminar that draws from sociology, anthropology, psychology, and history. Additionally, this course introduces students to doing social science research in understanding the self and its connection to others.

Your Professor

Sharmaine Jackson, Ph.D., studied sociology at the University of California, Irvine, as well as a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School and a B.A. in women's studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Most recently, Jackson has been a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Sociology at Yale University, where she has conducted research with the Urban Ethnography Project. Her areas of expertise include urban ethnography, youth street gangs and subcultures, violence and the state, deviance and Australian racial and ethnic relations.

FSEM 100-144 (CRN 7429) Living Textiles

Textiles not only inhabit all aspects of our lives today, they also have an engrained material language that is informed by history and culture. In this course we will take a critical look into contemporary textile art as it relates to many subjects including touch, memory, structure, politics, production and use. We will have the opportunity to apply our scholarly explorations to various hands-on projects throughout the semester.

Your Professor 

Madison Creech is a multimedia artist with a dedication to mixing digital fabrication with traditional textile processes. Her past experience includes teaching textile surface design courses at Arizona State University and working as the Fashion Design Curatorial Assistant to Dennita Sewell at the Phoenix Art Museum. At Stetson, she has taught Graphic Design, Digital Art Fundamentals and Textile Design. Included in her exhibition record is a Surface Design Association juried exhibition Explorations, Chandler, AZ, where she received a Jurors Award. Currently, Creech is working on a collaborative exhibition with the artist collective FEELD called Antibodies at the Hand Art Center in DeLand, FL opening mid-August, 2017. This exhibition engages with the community on foraging adventures while wearing digitally printed "anti-camouflage" ensembles. The FEELD artist collective was awarded the PAOM Endowment to support this exhibition. Creech held a residency at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft as well as a residency at TechShop in Chandler, Arizona, where she had comprehensive training on digital equipment. Creech's work can be viewed online at her website.

FSEM 100-145 (CRN 7430) Disruptive Technology

Current, past and future impact of exponential growing technology on the economy, environment, and industries will be explored. Discussion on whether technological growth is more likely to lead to an abundance or hurt the societal status quo through disruptive impacts on industries and the economy.

Your Professor

Since joining the faculty at Stetson University, James Mallett, Ph.D., has concentrated his teaching in investments, money and banking, and international finance. He teaches these courses at the undergraduate level, as well as the M.B.A. program and in the Innsbruck Study Abroad Program. Prof. Mallett served as director of the Roland George Investments Program and George Investments Institute for 18 years, chair of the Department of finance for one year and currently serves as director of the Summer Innsbruck Program. His research interests are in investments and technology’s impact on financial markets.

FSEM 100-146 (CRN 7439) Freedom

Everyone loves freedom. Sometimes we love it to death: “Give me liberty or give me death!” Yet we have long lived in societies governed by laws, rules and customs that restrict freedom in multiple ways -- apparently individual freedom and social life are contradictory. Sometimes one wins out over the other. When and why, for example, does freedom devolve into anti-social selfishness? When and why do laws and rules devolve into tyranny?

Welcome to one of the foundational questions of political philosophy and political science: what's the proper balance between individual freedom and social order, and how do we find and maintain such a balance?

In this class, we will explore a number of debates about freedom and order that have marked certain periods of U.S. history, including our own. What were those debates at the founding of the republic? How did freedom ring in a society that included the enslavement of a significant percentage of the population? How has freedom of speech evolved over the years? How does freedom ring in a society riven with severe economic inequality?

A constant theme throughout the course will be the need to recognize the limits of current ideological thinking, especially the uncritical elevation of the individual good (self-interest) above any and all social or collective goods. Aristotelian “virtue,” the Founders’ “republican spirit,” and contemporary progressives’ “social justice” will be shown to be the necessary ‘other side of the coin’ of individual freedom and liberty. At the same time, the 'spirit' of individual creativity, constructive criticism, challenges to illegitimate authority and other such 'anti-social' individualistic behaviors will be recognized and celebrated as a foundation of Western modernity. The need to actively and openly (i.e. democratically) manage the antinomy of these two logics -- individual freedom and social cohesion -- will be revealed as the enduring challenge of modern politics.

Your Professor

William Russell Nylen, Ph.D., has been a student of political science, from his undergraduate years to today, for forty years. He has been at Stetson University for twenty-five of those years. Prior to coming to Stetson, he taught at Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Columbia University. He is currently Director of Stetson’s International Studies Program. His areas of expertise include democracy and democratization, the political-economy of economic development, Latin American politics and African politics. He obtained his PhD from Columbia University (New York, NY), an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Washington, DC), and his BA from the University of California at Berkeley. He plays bass guitar and electric guitar in two local bands, The Administration and Pedro’s Attic. He enjoys hanging out in downtown DeLand, especially at the Friday night farmer’s market in Artisan Alley south of New York Avenue.

FSEM 100-147 (CRN 7444) The Evolving Roles of Healthcare

This seminar introduces students to the varying roles of health care professionals and how these roles have and continue to evolve over time. Class discussion will focus on how physicians, nurses, veterinarians, and other practitioners are perceived by patients and the community they serve, how practitioners view their patients and their role in the community, and how these views evolve.

Your Professor

Kenneth E Nusbaum taught viral pathogenesis at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. He served as an AVMA-AAAS Congressional Science and Policy Fellow in the US Senate Office of Labor and Human Resources, and developed the Undergraduate Minor in Public Health at Auburn. For 3 years, he served on the Committee on Admissions and Standards.

At Stetson, he has taught Epidemiology, Bacterial and Viral Pathogenesis, and courses related to health and disease. Kenneth Nusbaum is interested in Zoonotic Disease, diseases transmissible from animals to people.

HON 101-01 (CRN 5706) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

Melinda C. Hall is an assistant professor of philosophy at Stetson University. She specializes in bioethics and continental philosophy, and her research interests include the intersection of contemporary bioethics and disability studies, the ethics of human enhancement and the social and cultural construction of disability. She received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University; her dissertation developed a critique of the notion that enhancement - especially the genetic selection of one's offspring - is a moral obligation. Her work is published in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics and the Disability Studies Quarterly.

HON 101-02 (CRN 5707) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

Jason Evans is an interdisciplinary systems and landscape ecologist broadly interested in the emergent geo-spatial interfaces between human and natural systems. Most of his current research projects involve collaborations with several regional Sea Grant programs to assist local governments along the southeastern U.S. coast with sea level rise adaptation. Communities Evans is working with on such work include Monroe County and the Village of Islamorada, Florida; St. Marys and Tybee Island, Georgia; and Hyde County, North Carolina. Another body of his recent research has focused on land cover change, wildlife habitat and life cycle assessments for various bioenergy systems (including ethanol, biogas, and wood pellets) across the U.S. Evans also has extensive experience and very strong ongoing interest in the ecology, management and restoration of Florida springs ecosystems.

HON 101-03 (CRN 5708) Enduring Questions (Honors Only)

"We should live sustainably!" seems a recent exhortation, but perhaps it is no more than a return to the literary tradition of Utopias. Are we not telling stories about an intentional community based on idealistic visions? How do such comparisons between sustainability and Utopias fail to account for contemporary realities? What are the dystopic aspects to sustainability? The primary work of this course will be to historically situate the sustainability movement within a historicity of Utopian and dystopian thought. What is the relationship between contemporary calls for sustainable living and the rich tradition of Utopian thought? In what ways can the Brundtland Report, which popularized the notion of sustainability, be seen as continuous with a corpus as heterogeneous as Plato's Republic, Augustine's The City of God, Marx's Manifesto of the Communist Party?

Your Professor

John Tichenor is the chair of the Department of Management in the School of Business Administration. He teaches a wide variety of courses at Stetson, including business ethics, business thesis, a first-year seminar on innovation and creativity and a junior seminar on corporate social responsibility. Before coming to Stetson in 1996, John worked in applied social research settings for the East Carolina University School of Medicine, the State of Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, the Vanderbilt University Institute for Public Policy Studies and the Florida Office of Comprehensive Health Planning. John has worn many Stetson hats over seventeen years, teaching statistics courses, serving as director of institutional research and university registrar. John is also an avid drummer in local jazz and rock bands (you can currently hear him in the DaVinci Jazz Experiment). His academic background includes a B.A. and an M.A. from Baylor University and Ph.D. in sociology from Florida State University. John and his family enjoy traveling and often participate in Stetson's study abroad program in Innsbruck, Austria.

MUED 265-1(CRN# 7402) Principles & Methods of Instruction for Diverse Learners - Music

Introduction to Music Education: Principles and Methods of Diverse Learners is an introductory course that provides a foundation for upper-division coursework in education. Emphasis will include research-based literature on teacher effectiveness and student learning with classroom observations/participation. This course is designed to help music majors explore the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of music education while examining issues that focus on music curricula, goals, and objectives of music programs and the many aspects involved in teaching music. Teacher effectiveness and student learning are demonstrated through classroom observations and instruction.

Your Professor

Coming soon.

MUED 265-2 (CRN# 7403) Principles & Methods of Instruction for Diverse Learners - Music

Introduction to Music Education: Principles and Methods of Diverse Learners is an introductory course that provides a foundation for upper-division coursework in education. Emphasis will include research-based literature on teacher effectiveness and student learning with classroom observations/participation. This course is designed to help music majors explore the historical, philosophical, and social foundations of music education while examining issues that focus on music curricula, goals and objectives of music programs and the many aspects involved in teaching music. Teacher effectiveness and student learning are demonstrated through classroom observations and instruction.

Your Professor

Gregory W. LeFils Jr., Ph.D., is a visiting assistant professor of choral music education at Stetson University. His duties include teaching music education classes and supervising student teachers. LeFils holds a Ph.D. in music education from The Florida State University where his teaching included assisting with music education, conducting and graduate choral literature classes. As a conductor, he was the assistant conductor of various choral ensembles including the Women’s Glee Club, Choral Union, Chamber Choir and the Tallahassee Community Chorus.

LeFils’ professional experience includes directing two secondary choral music programs in Florida, conducting The Orlando Chorale and The Orlando Chamber Choir, and singing/soloing with the Festival Singers of Florida. His research interests include teacher effectiveness, music teacher curriculum and training, incorporating elements of teamwork into rehearsals, choral improvisation and choral history. LeFils has presented research and educational clinics throughout the region including the annual conferences of Music Education Associations in Alabama and Florida and other workshops for music educators in central Florida. His dissertation is entitled The History of the Stetson University Concert Choir. In addition to his roles as researcher and educator, LeFils maintains an active agenda as a speaker, clinician and adjudicator across the region.