Fall 2021 First Year Seminar

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

FSEM 100-OL (CRN 4955) USA, The Natural Experiment: Environmental Debates

The course includes an examination of American history in terms of the environmental features of often-familiar events. The great achievements of American civilization have included, in effect, a grand experiment on the landscape, with a whole range of results for good and ill. After learning how we have developed toward our present relationship with the environment, students will then learn inventive suggestions about the next steps and do guided research for putting forth their own proposals. In short, this class grapples with The Three Whats: what has happened (in the human relationship with the environment), so what (why should we care?) and now what (what's the next step?).

Your Professor

Paul Croce, PhD, has been interested in nature since he was a child; as a little kid, he loved animals, wanted to learn about them and got upset at the rising number of extinctions. As an adult, he has become concerned not only about the current fate of the natural world but also about the way people with different ideologies talk right past each other rather than find solutions on what to do. As a researcher, he has written on the impact of science and religion on our views of nature, and on ways to conciliate cultural and political differences (especially as these ideas show up in the work of American psychologist William James). As a professor in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, he is committed to hearing out different values and enlisting different disciplines for finding paths to environmental health. No matter each student's field of interest, he is committed to fostering environmental awareness-a value in itself, a big plus to countless individual career goals.

FSEM 100-01 (CRN 4618) Energy and 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 PhD 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 MS 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 100-09 (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

Carmen Palmer, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, and specializes in the study of the Hebrew Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Prior to teaching at Stetson, she taught in the areas of biblical studies and global citizenship at a number of colleges in Canada. She is interested in understanding the communities behind ancient texts and their sociohistorical settings, as well as how individuals come to join communities. She serves as the Chair of the International Cooperation Initiative Committee for the Society of Biblical Literature, where she learns much from the wisdom of other global contexts and communities.

FSEM 100-10 (CRN 4627) Self and World

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

A teacher-scholar-artist, Yohann Ripert is currently Assistant Professor of World Languages and Cultures, co-director of the Honors Program, and Bonner Faculty Advisor at Stetson University. He received his Ph.D. from the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University under the direction of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and specializes in French, African, Caribbean literatures and philosophy. Dr. Ripert has worked as a translator-interpreter for the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and is currently translating a series of political essays by the first president of independent Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor (forthcoming, Duke University Press). His interdisciplinary academic research focuses on transatlantic intellectual history, postcolonial literature, foreign policy and has appeared in peer-review journals such as African Studies Review, Journal of African Philosophy, Small Axe, ColumbiaJournal of International Affairs, among others. A graduate from The Juilliard School where he received the John Erskine Prize, Dr. Ripert is a concert pianist who has performed across Europe, Asia and the United States.

FSEM 100-27 (CRN 4968) Social, Spiritual Intelligence (Leading Edge cohort only)

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 100-37 (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 & 193 (CRN 5242 & 5271) The Anxiety of Identity

I think therefore I am... I think? Art often teases us with competing concepts of the self that shake the stability of identity, taunting us with an existential anxiety. This course’s focus on identity will develop critical and analytical thinking while serving as an introduction to existentialism and its relationship to literature and film. We will use novels, short stories, plays, films, and other narrative forms to explore the moral, social, political, and artistic questions at the foundation of existentialism in its specific historical context; we will then try to think through how those questions and answers change in later, more modern contexts, indeed, how they matter for us today in our day-to-day lives.

Your Professor

Nicole Denner, PhD, attended Indiana University for her undergraduate and master's degree and received her PhD 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

First-Year Seminars (FSEMs) are part of the university's mission to acclimate you to the academic standards and practices of this institution, particularly in reference to writing and critical thinking. This is a one-unit/four-credit course. Learn more about the workload expectations for this course.

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, Not Sure, Oge´, and anonymous), 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. Although this course is geared toward social action, it is also a writing course, which means that a premium is placed on refining your communicative fluency. To achieve this goal, a portfolio of your revised work is required (e.g. a comprehensive collection of all your course papers/drafts). The purpose of this course is

  • to improve your ability to argue in writing,
  • to analyze persuasive methods, and
  • to provide historical/social contexts for your assignments that enable you to offer informed, convincing and critical arguments.

The course will incorporate some aspects of a traditional lecture, but dialogue/interaction is expected, since we will engage in many oral debates that will affect the content and revisions of your portfolio. 

In this class, critical thinking is embedded within the rhetorical process (e.g. by examining how authors/historians use tropes, for example, you learn how arguments become convincing. By applying these strategies yourselves, you then internalize these creative and critical processes. These rhetorical strategies are evaluated in all of your papers as you model sources and use similar approaches.

Your Professor

While intermittently working on his graduate degrees (Clemson, MA, English; University of South Carolina, PhD, 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 100-53 (CRN 5268) European Cultures Through Film

What do we really see when watching a film? Film, like all visual culture, offers the possibility and pleasure to see things that we wouldn't normally be able to see. Cinema makes a spectacle of the everyday and turns the extraordinary and spectacular into commonplace. As spectators, we identify with different characters on-screen, share in their private and intimate acts, and witness their breaks with social and cultural mores. In this course, we will watch a series of contemporary films from various European countries and reflect on how each film story challenges our expectations as gendered spectators and questions our assumptions about different cultural behaviors and values.

Your Professor

Elisabeth Poeter, PhD, a native of Germany, came to the U.S. in 1975. As part of her undergraduate studies in Spanish, she spent a year in Barcelona, Spain, before completing her final degree in German Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. At Stetson University, she has served as director of the Gender Studies Program and currently serves as chair of the Department of World languages and Cultures. Her teaching and research interests include German film, migration, and minority cultures in German-speaking countries. She has been the recipient of the Jane Heman Language Professor Stipend and the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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, create the wildest fantasy worlds and 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.

FSEM 100-72 (CRN 5470) An Introduction to the Wild, Wonderful and Wacky World of Opera

Originating at the dawn of the seventeenth century in late Renaissance Italy, opera is alive and well today- as entertainment, as drama through music, as social and political commentary, as a celebration of historical events, as a psychological examination of humanity- in short, as a mirror of society. This course is designed for the opera novice: any student interested in the art form of opera and wishing to learn about the myriad elements that combine to produce this fascinating and complex combination of music, theater and visual art. Topics for classes include learning about voice types, operatic roles and the production elements involved in the art form, such as staging, conducting, set construction, costuming and theater design, with particular emphasis on opera's connection to and impact on society and culture. Students will meet featured guests from the professional opera world. No musicianship skills such as singing or reading music are required.

No musical training is required to fully participate in course activities. The course is open to non-music majors only.

Your Professor

Thomas Gilmore Masse has enjoyed a distinguished career as a clarinet soloist, chamber artist, and orchestral musician as well as serving in academic leadership positions at Yale and Stetson Universities. He has taught at Stetson, University of Northern Colorado, Yale, and the University of Michigan. His former students are performing in some of the world's most prestigious symphony orchestras and at universities around the world. Mr. Masse is a strong advocate for the arts in education and society.

FSEM 100-73 (CRN 5380) Moby Dick and Philosophy

Moby Dick is the story of two kinds of philosophical heroes. One kind of hero seeks to pierce the wall of the mundane in order to catch a glimpse of the Real. “To me,” Captain Ahab says, “the white whale is that wall.” Ishmael represents a different kind of philosophical hero. And while Ahab is ultimately brought down by the whale, Ishmael not only survives the confrontation but is arguably transformed by it for the better. As humans, we find ourselves adrift at sea. How best, then, to confront its mysteries?

Your Professor

Joshua Rust, Associate Professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department, specializes in the subfield of Social Ontology. Having taught courses on philosophical choice within video games and the philosophy and Harry Potter, he's especially interested in how the discipline of philosophy can illuminate questions raised within popular culture.

FSEM 100-83 (CRN 61216) 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 MA in English at Stetson, and an MFA 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 PhD 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 MA 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 100-87 (CRN6224) Revenge Drama

Within western civilization, the theatre arts has a rich cultural history of exploring the theme of revenge. From the earliest recorded history of theatrical activity, we see playwrights and performers struggling with the moral, spiritual and ethical dimensions of the concept of vengeance. Characters and spectators alike must wrestle with the following kinds of questions: is an act of revenge ever justified? Who has the right to seek out vengeance? By acting on an impulse for revenge, does one lose their sense of humanity? Is it ever possible to achieve a sense of peace through revenge? Is it possible to remain objective when pursuing a course of revenge? These are just some of the questions that will guide this course as we study several preeminent works of dramatic literature and performance. Some of the plays that we will study include Greek classics such as Medea, Renaissance and Jacobean classics such as Hamlet and The Revenger's Tragedy, and modern musical classics such as Sweeney Todd.

Your Professor

Dr. Julie Schmitt earned her Bachelor of Arts in theatre from Stetson University in 1997. She received her MA and her PhD in theatre from Bowling Green State University. In 2004, she accepted a position to teach theatre and direct theatre productions here at Stetson University and in 2017 she was promoted to the rank of Professor. She currently serves as Chair of the Creative Arts Department. Her primary area of expertise falls within the realms of theatre history, theatre theory and dramatic literature. Her areas of scholarly research include feminist studies, Renaissance and Jacobean dramatic literature, and theatre pedagogy.

FSEM 100-88 (CRN6227) 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?

In the class we’ll read a text on fashion history at the beginning of class (and develop our eyes in terms of proportions, cuts, and fabric); we'll do an assignment where we analyze current writing about fashion against our own observations of Stetson style; we’ll read history and literary works about fashion movements and rebellion (the LA Zoot Suit Riot in the 1940s; youth culture in the 1960s); last, we’ll read the new book Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas, who addresses the environmental and personal cost of current fashion but also entrepreneurial and scientific breakthroughs in better practices. Each student will write a style credo for their final project.

Your Professor

Lori Snook, PhD, 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 100-89 (CRN 6254) Our Sonic World

In 1877, Edison unleashed his phonograph on the world to much fanfare and went on to invent an industry based on the mass consumption of sound recordings. While the recording industry made sound into a thing to be purchased and collected, industrialization and mechanization continued to create an increasingly noisy environment. Not only has our relationship to and experience of sound changed drastically since Edison's time, but the pace of change is exponentially faster. Some iconic sounds like dot matrix printers and dial-up modems come into the world and leave it in a matter of years. Technology such as iPods and the internet have also enabled the collection and distribution of sound on scales that likely would have been unimaginable to Edison. This course will broadly examine both the production and consumption of sound in modern society. Topics will include the impact of changing technologies, methods and behaviors of sound collecting, the effect of sound on both individuals and groups, and the role of artists and scholars in engaging with our sonic world

Your Professor

Nathan Wolek is an audio artist and researcher whose work encompasses advanced signal processing techniques, multimedia performance, and electronic music history. He enjoys collecting sounds during his various travels and using them as material for making art. In Fall 2012, he was named a Fulbright scholar and spent 6 months living and conducting research in Bergen, Norway. He teaches courses in Audio Recording and Production and Computer Music as part of the Digital Arts program and is also chair of the Creative Arts department.

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 panic 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 100-102 (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 PhD 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 the 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.BA 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 100-107 (CRN 6630) SALSA: Multicultural Music of the Caribbean

Have you ever been to a Latino party? Have you ever listened to salsa? Have you ever danced salsa? What do you know about salsa? This course explores the origin and history of one of the most versatile and popular musical genres of the 20th and 21st centuries. Salsa has transcended the borders of the Caribbean and the entire American continent to European and Asian latitudes because of its complex and irresistible rhythms, its attractive melodies, and its sensual and romantic lyrics. What is the musical power of salsa? What is inside of this contagious rhythm that communes magically with the content of a text? How can performers improvise words and new phrases without departing from the main message? We will examine the different styles of salsa in its various forms and its vocabulary and slangs to identify musical momentums, as well as to recognize their rhythmic structures and sounds. Will you dare to play it, dance it and sing it?

Your Professor

Jesus Alfonzo is associate professor of music in viola, chamber music and music history at Stetson University, where he also conducts the Viola Consort and leads the Viola Clinic. He is also a member of the Bach Festival Orchestra in Winter Park, Fla. and has been a member of the Rios Reyna String Quartet since 1987. He received a diploma and post-graduate Diploma from the Juilliard School of Music and master of music and doctorate in musical arts degrees from the Michigan State University.

Alfonzo was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He is a founding member of the EL SISTEMA, The Venezuelan National System of Youth Orchestras, in which he had the opportunity to develop both his teaching and playing skills. In 1980 and 1981, he was principal violist of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra. Later, he became principal violist of Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for sixteen years. In his vast orchestral experience he has worked with distinguished conductors and soloists including Claudio Abbado, Gustavo Dudamel, Leonard Bernstein, Jose Antonio Abreu, Maxim Schostakovitch, Kristoff Penderecki, Zubin Mehta, Serge Baudo, Carlos Chavez, Jerzy Semkov, Eduardo Mata, Claudio Arrau, Joseph Silverstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, PinchasZukerman, Yo-Yo Ma, Monserrat Caballe, Jean PierreRampal, Yehudi Menuhin and Henry Szeryng. He has taught in Venezuela at the Conservatorio de Musica Simon Bolivar, the Institute of Musical Studies and the ColegioEmil Friedman.

Since 1998, he has given an annual series of viola and string pedagogy master classes at EL SISTEMA in almost every state of Venezuela. In 2008, he wrote the First Catalogue for Latin American Viola Music.

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

Today, 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 100-112 (CRN 6837) Florida as Home

At the time that Stetson University was founded in 1883, Florida was a sparsely populated frontier state with about 300,000 people. A little over 130 years later, today's Florida has been radically transformed into the third-largest state, with several major metropolitan areas and a still rapidly growing population that will soon exceed 20 million.

Naturalists, ecologists, planners and other scholars have for many decades written about the large-scale changes that modern human development has brought to Florida's unique natural landscapes and water resources. A common theme in these writings is that an outsized proportion of Florida residents, many of whom have recently moved to the state from somewhere else, never develop a strong sense of place in connection with the local environment. Fostering a deep sense of care, wonder, and knowledge about the places one lives, the argument continues, is a crucial pillar for the emergence of long-term environmental and social sustainability.

The primary objective of this course is to immerse students in a series of readings, experiences, and discussions that facilitate them to develop personal conceptions about what it means to live in Florida. Students completing this course will be expected to: 1) generally identify major natural ecosystem types that characterized pre-development Florida; 2) describe major patterns of agricultural, suburban, and urban development in Florida since the time of European settlement, but with particular focus on the post-WWII era; 3) identify and critically discuss specific historical events, individuals, and management philosophies that led to the emergence of key land and water conservation initiatives at the state and local level; and 4) relate personal experiences and observations within the local landscape to broader thoughts about sustainability, conservation, restoration, and economic development over the next several decades.

Your Professor

Jason M. Evans is an interdisciplinary systems and landscape ecologist broadly interested in the 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 Dr. 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. He also has extensive experience and a very strong ongoing interest in the ecology, management and restoration of Florida springs ecosystems. Dr. Evans was born and raised in the Orlando area, is an avid gardener, and enjoys playing acoustic guitar.

100-117 (CRN 6845) Chemistry and Society: From Beer Brewing to the Atomic Bomb

Advances in chemistry allow humans to live and interact in ways that could not be imagined by our ancestors. Sanitation, crop fertilization, and medicine are a few of the chemical technologies that allow our civilization to exist in its current form. This course is a study of the impact advances in chemistry had and continues to have on societies. Topics covered will included the impact of beer brewing, Hellenic science, alchemy, medieval and Renaissance medicine, the Chemical Revolution, and the development of modern chemistry.

Your Professor

Paul Sibbald is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. He received a BS degree in chemistry and a BA degree in history from Alma College. After college, he received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Washington where he developed new chemical reactions and studied their mechanisms. He worked in a postdoctoral position at the Center for Drug Design housed in the University of Minnesota where he synthesized novel anti-malaria drug targets. His primary teaching responsibilities include introductory and advanced organic chemistry with a focus on student-centered learning.

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, PhD, 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 100-127 (CRN 7081) Water, Peace & 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 PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University and a BA 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 and 158 (CRN 7083 and 7727) 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 PhD 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, as well as 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 100-137 & 140 (CRN 7401 & 7424) Advancing Human Rights and Social Justice

This course introduces human rights and social justice theoretical frameworks and issues from global perspectives, as well as interdisciplinary opportunities to explore art as activism. Specific topics including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, language and education will be examined. The course encourages reflective practice, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity through community engagement art projects focusing on the intersectionality of social justice issues. Writing as an inquiry-oriented and developmental process will be emphasized, along with oral communication with attention to applied critical thinking.

Your Professor

Rajni Shankar-Brown is an associate professor and the Jessie Ball duPont chair of social justice education. She is also the director of Graduate Education Programs, co-coordinator of the MEd program and a member of the Nina B. Hollis Institute for Educational Reform. She is a passionate teacher-scholar and internationally known expert on poverty and homelessness. As a dedicated educational leader, she has facilitated workshops for thousands of educators and presented around the globe. She has published in leading journals and received numerous awards for her innovative leadership and ongoing community engagement. Prior to her work at Stetson University, Shankar-Brown served as a language arts teacher in high poverty schools in the United States and overseas, a literacy facilitator and the middle-level education graduate program coordinator at UNC Wilmington. Shankar-Brown had the honor of receiving Stetson University's 2014 Hand Community Impact Award and UNC Wilmington's 2013 Inclusive Excellence Award for her teaching, service and scholarship efforts towards social equity, diversity and inclusion. She is actively involved with several professional education organizations at the international, national, state and local levels. She is the founder and executive director of the Poverty and Homelessness Conference (PHC). She is also the current president of the AAUP Stetson Faculty United and the Past-President of the North Carolina Professors of Middle-Level Education organization. Through her research, scholarship and service, Shankar-Brown is committed to transforming education and positively impacting the lives of marginalized students, particularly children experiencing poverty and homelessness in the United States. As a distinguished teacher-scholar and educational leader, her work is focused on transformative education, equity and social justice, culturally relevant pedagogy, diversity and inclusion, arts integration, and multi-literacies. In addition to being a teacher-scholar, Shankar-Brown is a devoted mother, accomplished multi-media artist and a dedicated social activist..

FSEM 100-149 (CRN 7667) The Past is Present

Why do war memorials and historical films spark controversy years after the events they depict? It's because they are part of historical memory—how people shape a collective identity based on ideas about the past. This kind of memory exists in many places—monuments in public parks, films, museums, public art, tourism, and public celebrations like parades and festivals. People learn about history from these kinds of places as much (or more) as they learn from history classes and books. To understand the power of historical memory, we have to think about what these collective memories tell us about the American past. Whose stories are told and whose are not? Whose faces and what events do we learn about in public space? What kinds of films tell America's stories? This course examines how Americans have shaped historical memory at various points in time from the early nineteenth century to the present. We will get out into our local community and use DeLand itself to examine the workings of historical memory in our own times. Ultimately, we will consider how Americans, collectively and in conflict, produce ideas about the past.

Your Professor

Dr. Emily Mieras teaches a range of courses in the History Department as well as in the American Studies Program and the Gender Studies Program. She is currently working on a research project about historical memory and community identity in the American South, work that helped inspire this course. Originally from Lexington, Massachusetts, Dr. Mieras grew up attending battle re-enactments on the anniversary of the battles of Lexington and Concord—an experience that also shaped her interest in the ways history influences tourism, landscape, and sense of place. Dr. Mieras attended Harvard University (A. B in History and Government) and the College of William and Mary (M. A. and PhD, American Studies). Outside the classroom and the archive, Dr. Mieras enjoys exploring new places and seeing firsthand how “the past is present.”

FSEM 100-152 (CRN 7673) Lobbying: A Tool for Change

Effective lobbying is an art form, and lobbying is about relationships. Although lobbying is often derided and sensationalized by media coverage, it remains the single most effective method for advancing policy and causes. In this course, students will understand the political structures and processes of government, as well as the strategies and techniques used by lobbyists to advance their agenda. Students will begin their mastery through writing, reading, guest lectures and class discussion. Students will leave with an improved ability to analyze critically, integrate fully and coherently express knowledge and ideas as well as possess a comprehensive command of the tenets of lobbying: substance, culture and process.

Your Professor

Joshua Truitt serves as a major gifts officer and the director of government relations. He is active in several charitable and civic organizations and serves as a board member for the Adult Literacy League. Joshua received both his BS in Chemistry and PhD in Education from UCF and M.BA from Rollins College.

FSEM 100-163 (CRN 7770) Technology and Crisis

This first-year seminar prepares students to critically examine our culture's extreme obsession with technology and media in an era of perpetual crisis. Using literature, film, graphic novels, and video games, students will analyze the cultural crisis of technology and explore societal issues surrounding privacy and information security, the coming AI revolution, and how science and technology are redefining what it even means to be “human.” How should we live in a world so conditioned—and threatened—by technological progress? To what extent does technology aid humans' search for meaning—and to what extent does it limit us? How are we to protect ourselves in a post-truth world? In this discussion-based and writing-enhanced course, we will address each of these topics as well as the question of how technology and digital culture are shaping our personal identities and lives. Texts may include (but are not limited to) Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Spike Jonze's Her, Lauren Beukes' Moxyland, Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, Issac Asimov's "The Last Question," Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation, the B-Game "Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy," Toby Fox's Undertale, and selections from the television series, Black Mirror and Westworld.

Your Professor

Christopher D. Jimenez is an Assistant Professor of English at Stetson. His research examines the discourse of catastrophe in 20th- and 21st-century global Anglophone literature, with interdisciplinary interests in ecocriticism, nuclear criticism, biopolitics and the sociology of literature. His secondary work in the digital humanities focuses on the theoretical and computational features of alphabets and their relationship to artificial intelligence and the philosophy of language.

FSEM 100-164 (CRN 7776) Identity Theft

This course is an introduction to identity theft and its impact on individuals and businesses. We will focus on the risk, reduction, and recovery from identity theft. Students will learn to recognize the risks of identity theft and ways to reduce victimization from identity theft. In addition, students will develop a plan to recover from identity theft. We will study Identity theft cases as well as business and government actions resulting from identity theft.

This course does not offer or replace legal, financial, or other professional advice. One should consult attorneys, certified public accountants, or other competent professionals should such advice become necessary.

Your Professor

Betty Thorne, PhD, author, researcher and award-winning teacher, is a professor of statistics in the School of Business Administration at Stetson University. She is a winner of Stetson University's McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor given to a Stetson faculty member, and is also a recipient of the university's Advisor of the Year Award and the School of Business Administration's Outstanding Teacher and Professor of the Year Awards. Thorne has taught in Stetson University's undergraduate and graduate programs (M.BA, executive M.BA and J.D./M.BA) and the summer program in Austria. She is a co-author of numerous statistics textbooks that have been translated into several languages and adopted by universities both nationally and internationally. She serves on key school and university committees. Thorne, whose research has been published in various refereed journals, the Decision Science Institute and other professional organizations. Thorne has served the School of Business Administration as the associate dean, the director of undergraduate studies, the director of undergraduate business student success, and the chair of the Department of Decision and Information Science (now the Department of Business Systems and Analytics).

FSEM 100-167 (CRN 7837) Kindred Spirits: Women in Literature

This course provides a thought-provoking approach to reading works written by and about women, focusing on the following themes:

  1. Engendering language, silence and voice
  2. Race and ethnicity
  3. Sexuality
  4. Resistance and transformation

This course includes fictional works from novels, poetry, and short stories. It offers students opportunities for reflective discussion and writing about women in literature.

Your Professor

Joanne Harris-Duff serves as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion. Joanne received her bachelor's degree in English from Bridgewater College and master’s degree in social sciences from Hollins University. Prior to coming to Stetson University, Joanne was the Director of Diversity Education and Advocacy at her alma mater, Bridgewater College in Virginia.

Joanne has a long history of supporting students in creating cultural programs and initiatives aimed at educating, embracing and celebrating diversity and encouraging inclusive excellence. As a playwright, poet and journalist, Joanne has written numerous articles regarding social justice, particularly in higher education, for example, her 2006 publication, “The Importance of Multicultural Affairs in Higher Education.”

In 2013, she and her spouse, Jessica, were named plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Her publication entitled “Just Like Other Couples — But Without Rights” details her family’s journey toward winning the right to marry in Virginia.

FSEM 100-168 (CRN 7842) Religion and Human Rights in a Pluralistic World

What is the relationship between God and morality? What role did religion play in the formation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? How have religious traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism conceived of human rights, and how have their adherents approached such human rights issues as the freedom of religion, violence and the right to peace, women’s rights, and refugee rights? In the course of exploring these and other issues related to religion and human rights, students in this First-Year Seminar will develop skills related to academic and policy research and writing, information literacy, the analysis of scholarly arguments, public speaking, and group collaboration.

Your Professor

Sam Houston specializes in modern Islamic thought, comparative religious ethics, and Christian-Muslim relations. He spent two years teaching English in Abu Dhabi, UAE, during which time he traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. In 2013, he was awarded a U.S. State Department-sponsored Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco. He earned his PhD from Florida State University, an MA in philosophy from Boston College, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a BA from Baylor University. He enjoys traveling with his wife Shannon, long-distance running, and watching Arrested Development ad infinitum.

FSEM 100-175 (CRN 7911) Freedom's Turn

After the Second World War, one European famously compared the defeat of fascism to a moment in time around 500BC. In the 1940s, many of your great grandfathers and great grandmothers helped establish the liberty that we and many others still enjoy. The same thing happened 2500 years ago – only for the very first time, and it was by no means easy: the golden rule had to be invented from scratch. During this “Axis Age,” the likes of Confucius (in China), Socrates (in Greece), and the Buddha (in India) took on social stratification, rapid technological change, and civil war which they believed were the results of a “pre-moral world” dominated by the supernatural. (Can you imagine a world where individual humans had no say over what was happening to them?) But this courageous pivot towards a more reasonable path to liberty and stability soon met its authoritarian match: the rise of emperors and empires and popular monotheisms perfected by St. Augustine (Christianity) and Muhammad (Islam) by the 600s AD. After reading, speaking with each other, and writing about the biographies of such people, our journey will conclude by highlighting Martin Luther's sixteenth century challenge to the Pope and his unintentional kindling of today's democracy. We'll end by asking this deceptively simple question: “Can we continue this ‘pause for liberty' which many of your ancestors helped ensure, or are we destined for some other fate?”

Your Professor

Dr. Martin Blackwell is a specialist on Eurasian history, having lived in cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kyiv, and Almaty (Kazakhstan) for almost a decade and speaking fluent Russian. His recent book Kyiv as Regime City: The Return of Soviet Power after the Nazi Occupation(University of Rochester Press, 2016) uncovered the anti-Semitic and conservatively statist reasons behind Joseph Stalin's popularity following the Second World War. While deeply involved in seeking to understand Soviet Communism's unprecedented collapse, Dr. Blackwell is also interested in the cyclical nature of history and has taught many survey courses on the ancient and medieval worlds. In his free time, Dr. Blackwell especially enjoys hanging out with his wife and six-year-old daughter and cooking Indian food.

FSEM 100-178 (CRN 8024) Exploration and Outdoor Survival

Why do we feel the need to explore? Why do we risk life and limb in pursuit of discovery? When George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Everest, he responded, "because its there." Shackleton recruited volunteers for his Antarctic expedition with the promise of “...hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success”.

This seminar will examine a collection of human attempts at exploration and discovery. The course will cover an eclectic mix of expeditions including the first circumnavigation of the globe, Lewis and Clark's trek to the Pacific Ocean, the race to The South Pole, the quest for Mount Everest, and the US 1969 Moon Landing. The course will also include harrowing accounts of survival as well as discussions of modern outdoor survival techniques. We will discuss the motivations for exploration, the benefits of discovery, and ponder how exploration changes us. The class will culminate in a day hike at a local state park and an optional overnight camping trip.

Your Professor

Matthew Imes is an assistant professor of finance at Stetson University. His teaching experience includes financial management and securities analysis and portfolio management. He has presented research papers at the Southern Finance Association, Eastern Finance Association, American Real Estate Society, and the Financial Engineering and Banking Society conferences. In addition to his work as a finance professor, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, running, and hiking.

FSEM 100-183 (CRN 8125) Data, Technology and Society

Data has become an integral part of everyone's daily life. Every time you post on social media, select a movie to watch online or make an online purchase, you leave a digital footprint. These are only a few of the ways that data is generated. That ever growing ocean of data can be used to help doctors make better medical diagnoses, help you find a movie that you might like, help a marketer target the sales of a product or possibly even affect how a person will vote.

In this class, we will explore different aspects of how data and technology affect your day-to-day life. We will critically think about the ethical implications of the use of data, the consequences of how you share information and how others may misuse data. We will reflect on the implications of these uses (and abuses) of data through discussions, presentations and written activities.

Your Professor

Jay Stryker is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Stetson's Business Systems and Analytics department. He has been a consultant to Volusia County Schools and has many years' experience teaching and tutoring various aspects of technology and data analysis. He is a Stetson graduate who received his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Physics and Mathematics. He went on to receive a Masters's degree in Applied Mathematics from Georgia Tech and a PhD in Mathematics from Florida State University. His research interests include machine learning, big data and multi-criterion decision making.

FSEM 100-184 (CRN 8126) Change Agents: Lawyers Who Make a Difference

Throughout history, lawyers have had a great impact on the direction of American business, government, and society. This course examines how lawyers from the past and in the present have built businesses, shaped government, and righted wrongs. In this course, we will focus on well-known and not-so-well-known lawyers, as well as the business, governmental, and societal environments that provided the impetus for them to make a difference.

Your Professor

Elizabeth (Libba) Galloway is Assistant Professor of Practice in Business Law and Director of Stetson's Business Law Program. She earned a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a JD from Duke University School of Law. Prior to coming to Stetson, she was a Partner in the Cincinnati office of the national law firm Taft, Stettinius & Hollister; served as Deputy Commissioner and Chief Legal Officer of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); and was Executive Director of the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS). Her years of experience working in law and in business opened her eyes to the myriad of ways in which lawyers can not only have fulfilling careers for themselves but can also have a positive impact on the world in which they live.

FSEM 100-187 (CRN 8281) Charisma: Cults and Causes

This First Year Seminar will explore charismatic leadership in the 20th and early 21st century and the impact these leaders have on their organizations and the causes they espouse. The course will explore the attributes of charismatic leaders who have emerged over the last 100 years, along with the role that their followers play in supporting the leader’s power and mission. The course will also examine the nature of Personalized and Socialized charismatic leaders and explore examples, and implications, of modern cults and causes.

Your Professor

Chris Colwell is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Education at Stetson University. Prior to his work at Stetson, Dr. Colwell served as a teacher, counselor, elementary, middle and high school principal, and as Deputy Superintendent for the Volusia County School Board.

Chris Colwell served as President of the Florida Organization for Instructional Leaders. He was named Florida’s Principal of the Year in 1997. Dr. Colwell is a frequent presenter at the state and national level on issues relating to education leadership, innovation, and reform.

Chris Colwell’s scholarly work centers on best practices in educational leadership. He has published three books on the subject; Impact: How Assistant Principals Can Be High Performing Leaders (2015), Mission Driven Leadership: Understanding the Challenges Facing Schools Today (2018), and the Fourth Tier: Leadership and the Power of Charisma (2020)

FSEM 100-188 (CRN 8283) Left-Wing Authoritarianism: Stalin, Mao, and Castro

Communism swept the globe after 1917. What is it that has made socialism or communism widely appealing to so many people over the past century? Why, on the other hand, has it been so challenging to translate a doctrine that was so compelling on paper to reality? And if communism is, intrinsically, an anti-authoritarian ideology, why did it produce so many autocratic regimes? In this course, we are going to examine different facets of Socialist ideology and Communist state and society, using three case studies: USSR, PRC (China) and Cuba focusing on the rule of Stalin, Mao and Castro.

Your Professor

Monika A. Kurlander received her BA from University of Wroclaw, Poland and University of Massachusetts, and her MA from Stetson University. Prior to joining Stetson, she was a resident scholar at Harvard University, a faculty at PH College in Freiburg, Germany, and has been teaching International Baccalaureate for years.

FSEM 100-189 (CRN 8284) The Early American Navy

The young United States Navy was a failure for the first decades of existence, and only gained strength after the War of 1812. This course will introduce you to the study of naval history through the lens of the fighting ships of sail, their officers and the politics, economics and society that defined the evolution of the navy. Race, class, and gender will also be studied as we look at the crews that manned these ships, and the unique naval culture that formed shipboard.

Your Professor

Kimberly D. Reiter is Associate Professor of Ancient and Medieval History at Stetson University. Besides her favorite courses in Roman and English history, Dr. Reiter also teaches maritime and environmental history.As a teenager she sailed around the world in a homemade boat, comes from a naval family, and has expertise in naval and pirate history in the age of sail (She teaches a killer course on the History of Piracy). On dry land she is an expert on Stonehenge – ask her anything. She is past President of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association (IEA) and a National Councilor in the Council for Undergraduate Research.She has also been a Coleman Scholar for Entrepreneurship and recipient of the NEH Enduring Questions Grant. She directs the Stetson Field Course on the Early English landscape and the Stetson Rome Experience.

FSEM 100-190 (CRN 8285) Hello World: Diversity in Computing

For at least 300 years the word “computer” referred to a human being, not a machine. It's nice then that the creators and developers of this machine are as diverse and multifaceted as humanity itself. Did you know that the first computer programmer was not only a women, but the daughter of Lord Byron, one of the most famous Romantic period poets? The words algebra, algorithm and the numbers you count with are all connected to a single Persian scholar from the 9th century, while binary code comes to us via China from the 9th century BC! Did you know that the creator of the first program compiler was also a Rear-Admiral in the US Navy, who has an active duty 9000 ton 505 ft guided-missile destroyer named after her? Or that the first fully electronic computer built and programmed in the US was done so mostly by women in general? How about the fact that NASA astronaut John Glenn refused to fly until a black woman of very humble origins, who lived and worked most of her life in segregation, computed the launch window and trajectory calculations by hand (for his safety)? Finally, you might be surprised to know that one of the most important figures of the Twentieth Century, without whom we might not even have computers today, and who greatly contributed to ending World War II, making him a hero in all sense of the word, was gay and so tormented by the social norms and pressures of his time that he committed suicide at the age of 41 by eating a poisoned apple.

This course is designed to share these stories as well as acknowledge and celebrate the diverse, multicultural contributions to the computing industry. You will read, watch, research, discuss and present on these interesting facts, laments, challenges, and achievements of the creation of the computer and its industry.

Your Professor

Joe Del Rocco has over two decades of experience bouncing back and forth between industry and academia. He has worked as a software engineer for a variety of industries including video games, power diagnostics, government-contracted simulation, e-Discovery, and mobile applications. He has authored and taught courses on computer science, programming, and applied software topics at Stetson University, UCF and Full Sail University. Joe is a cofounder of Cacti Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving critical and creative thinking in education through computer science and its related disciplines. His outreach and volunteer work include degree program and STEM advisory committees, workshops, hackathons, Code.org, etc. Many of his former students have worked for Fortune 500 companies and game development studios. Joe merges industry experience with research-backed principles from faculty teaching and learning experts. He earned his computer science degrees from the University of Central Florida, and his doctoral dissertation uses spectral sky radiation and automated systems to improve building performance.

FSEM 100-191 (CRN 8289) Sustainable Energy Choices - Science and Technology

Humans have an insatiable appetite for energy, particularly cheap energy derived from underground carbon-based fuels that formed on Earth hundreds of millions of years ago. The accumulated impact of burning fossilized fuels has resulted in planet-altering climate change and other life-threatening environmental consequences. Our generation now faces a big reckoning – how to pivot our energy economies before it is too late. We are surrounded by seemingly inexhaustible clean energy sources – sunlight, wind, geothermal, and renewable plant-based fuels. What are we waiting for? This first-year seminar will equip you to better understand the energy quandary that we face and will explore several approaches that we can pursue as society shifts to a clean energy economy. Discussion, readings and activities will focus on the science behind sustainable energy solutions and storage, with a special emphasis on emerging technologies like biofuels derived from cellulose or algae, as well as hydrogen gas generation for use in fuel cells. The feasibility associated with the large-scale implementation of each approach, as well as economic, environmental, and sociopolitical benefits and drawbacks, will be considered. A portion of our class time will be devoted to hands-on lab activities where students will explore, for example, how to synthesize and purify biofuels from natural sources, and will evaluate the performance of solar photovoltaic panels.

Your Professor

Tandy Grubbs holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Duke University, where he specialized in using high resolution and ultrafast laser spectroscopy to investigate dynamics in condensed-phase solutions. Born and raised a North Carolinian, Grubbs has been at Stetson University since 1995 and currently serves as Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He is interested in chemistry in support of sustainable energy, 3D printing and brewing beer (but not all at the same time).

FSEM 100-192 (CRN 8296) Show Me the Money

The idea of giving back is not a new one; however, it may be suggested that the younger generation demands a stronger connection to the community. Individuals and organizations often connect to society through cause-related marketing, fundraising and community events. This course examines the fundaments of fundraising, including not-for-profit organization capital creation and recruiting, and for-profit organization cause-related marketing. We will focus on the idea generation, strategic goal creation and tactical implementation of fundraising activities. Students will learn how to develop effective fundraising activities that meet specific strategic goals, while making a difference and connecting with the community around them.

Your Professor

Dena H. Hale earned a triple major (BS degree in business administration, BS degree in marketing, and BA degree in foreign language and international trade) from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale, an M.BA degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and her Doctor of Philosophy Business Administration (PhD) in marketing from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Dr. Hale has over 20 years of professional experience in marketing and sales within the services sector. Over the course of her professional career, Dr. Hale has held numerous roles. She has 11 years as a soldier, eight years as sales representative for transportation/logistics firms and radio advertising, 8 years as an Entrepreneur, and over 20 years of fundraising success.

FSEM 100-194 (CRN 8313) Creativity and Work

In American society, we spend more hours working than any other activity. We live in a culture that links productivity to self-worth, work to meaning, and pressures us to embrace "the grind" over healthy limits. Creative thinking is highly prized, yet there is no clear method for developing creativity itself. Cultivating creativity and understanding the personal significance of work are some of the most relevant issues in modern life. In this course, we will engage with numerous texts on creativity, work, productivity, procrastination and daily ritual. Students will explore these issues through class discussions, writing, creative work and critical evaluation, developing their intellectual and emotional responses using critical thinking skills.

Your Professor

Chaz Underriner is a composer, intermedia artist and performer based in DeLand, Florida where he is an Assistant Professor of Digital Arts at Stetson University. Chaz's work explores the representation of reality in art, especially landscape, through the juxtaposition of video projections, audio recordings and live performers. Chaz's work has been programmed both nationally and internationally at festivals and venues such as Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s National Composer’s Intensive, the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (Scotland), the International Computer Music Conference, and the Impuls Festival (Austria).

As an engineer, composer and performer, Chaz's work has been released on Edition Wandelweiser Records, Slubmusic, New World Records, Fleur du Son, Task Records, Sedimental Records and Delos.

FSEM 100-195 (CRN 8314) Virtual Reality in Business

This course provides an introduction to immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality) and their application in business and society. Students will learn how these technologies have enhanced today's world by studying their use in everyday life and across a variety of industries including retail, education, healthcare, entertainment, sports, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, military, and law enforcement. In addition, students will research and conceptualize a real-world virtual reality application that can be used to overcome challenges currently faced by business or society.

Your Professor

William Sause is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Business Systems and Analytics at Stetson’s School of Business. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University and has over fifteen years of professional experience as a software developer for corporations such as Lockheed Martin and McKesson. At Stetson’s School of Business, Dr. Sause teaches courses in programming, databases and big data, management information systems, and spreadsheet modeling. His research interests include virtual environments for e-learning and data visualization, software development, and artificial intelligence. Dr. Sause also serves as the Brown Center Fellow for Digital and Remote Learning where he consults with faculty colleagues on the transition to online delivery of classes and promotes faculty development in digital and remote learning.

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

Information coming soon.

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

Information coming soon.

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 a 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

Information coming soon.

MUED 265-01(CRN# 7402) Principles and 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

John A. Lychner is Director of Music Education in the School of Music at Stetson University. He teaches classes in music education, supervises intern teachers, serves as an academic advisor as well as the advisor for the collegiate NAfME chapter, and is active as a clinician and conductor. Prior to coming to Stetson, Dr. Lychner was Professor of Music in the School of Music at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Lychner earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and was then awarded a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship to continue studies in music and education at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England. He taught band, choir and general music in the Lindbergh School District in St. Louis, Missouri. He received a Master of Arts from Northeast Missouri State University where he was the principal conductor for the University Concert Band and then went on to complete a PhD at Florida State University in Music Education. While in Tallahassee, Lychner was also assistant director of Bands at Rickards High School and woodwind coach and rehearsal assistant with the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Orchestra. During his career, he has also worked as a summer music camp instructor, church organist and church choir director.

Lychner has served in a variety of leadership roles with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), including national Chair for two Special Research Interest Groups and President for the Michigan Music Educators Association, the Michigan affiliate of NAfME. He was also a member of the Production Staff for the International Association for Jazz Education annual convention.

His research in the areas of aesthetic response to music and teacher education has been published in the Journal of Research in Music Education, the International Journal of Music Education: Research, and the Journal of Band Research, among others. He has also been published in several volumes of the series Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and has written articles for the Music Educators Journal, The Michigan Music Educator and The Instrumentalist.

MUED 265-02 (CRN# 7403) Principles and 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., PhD, 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 PhD in music education from 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.