Leading Edge

Leading Edge is an exclusive opportunity for advanced students who are admitted to Stetson University to receive enhanced learning experiences to help maximize and kick-start their college experience.

The benefits will include

  • a summer class to prepare you for success at Stetson University
  • a personal faculty champion, Dr. Sarah Cramer, Teacher-Scholar Fellow of Sustainable Food Systems
  • an exclusive Freshman Seminar
  • $1,200 grant for individual research, summer international travel, or an internship

Leading Edge Summer Class Experience 

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” This quote from lauded food writer M.F.K. Fisher serves as both a universal truism in life and also an orienting principle for this unique summer tutorial course. Together we will explore the myriad roles food plays in our lives. Though food keeps us alive and carries symbolic meaning, the production of the food we eat and the disposal of the food we don’t eat are enormous contributors to some of our planet’s most serious environmental problems. During our time together, we will discuss the nature of food waste, and investigate solutions to this “wicked problem” on individual, institutional, and national scales. In addition to diving into the academic food literature, you will also have the opportunity to participate in guided, hands-on learning opportunities including foraging, cooking and food preservation that bridge scholarship and experience. Finally, this two-week course will allow you to form close connections with me (Dr. Cramer) and your fellow LEADING EDGE cohort members, and expose you to the expectations and values of a Stetson education so that you can hit the ground running come fall!

Your Professor

Dr. Sarah Cramer is a member of the Environmental Science and Studies Department, and she teaches courses about food and agriculture for Stetson’s interdisciplinary Sustainable Food Systems program. She holds a PhD in agricultural education and a Master's in Public Health degree, both from the University of Missouri. Her primary research interests are alternative food systems and elementary garden-based learning. When she’s not teaching about or researching food, she’s cooking or preserving it in her kitchen, growing it in her garden or buying it from her farmer friends.

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

Can u raed this? Do you bilveeptassinaloey in the pweor of iedas to cnagheateitudts, lveisandumtillaety, 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 was born and raised like a gosling in South Africa. She completed her BA degree in Economics and Psychology at the University of Durban-Westville, a BA (Hons.) degree in Economics at the University of Cape Town, and then completed her MA and PhD in Economics at the University of Notre Dame. She has taught at Stetson since 1992 and co-created the AFS program and developed the first university-based microcredit program in the world. This program is located in poverty-stricken Spring Hill in DeLand, and in a small village in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. She has also teamed up with organizations such as the United Way, the FDIC and the IRS to offer business development workshops and personal finance classes to low-income families. She has taught courses in Economics, Africana Studies, Women and Gender Studies and the Honors Program.

FSEM 100-67 (CRN 5030) Life at the Intersection: Examining the Collision of Ideas, Innovations and Culture

From Galileo to Marie Curie to Steve Jobs, great innovators have stood in the intersection of ideas, technology and culture. In this course, we will examine these intersections and the great innovators and innovations that have made our world; we will discuss how ideas and innovations come together in often-explosive ways. We will read, study, and discuss texts such as The Medici Effect, writings of Malcolm Gladwell and Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World. Through our study and discussion, we will challenge ourselves to see beyond our own current expertise and to actively approach new situations, including the first year in college, in creative and game-changing ways.

Your Professor

John Tichenor is an associate professor in the decision and information sciences department in the School of Business Administration. He has worn lots of Stetson hats over seventeen years, teaching statistics courses, serving as director of institutional research, university registrar and occasional drummer in local rock and jazz bands (you can currently hear him in the DaVinci Jazz Experiment). His academic background includes a BA and MA from Baylor University and a PhD in sociology from Florida State University. Tichenor and his family enjoy traveling and often participate in Stetson University's study abroad program in Innsbruck, Austria.

Additional Information

If you are interested in taking part in this exclusive cohort, please email Shannon Greeley and Brett Whitmore at [email protected]. This is a first come first serve program, so don't wait too long!