Fall 2020 First Year Seminar

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

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 100-08 (CRN 4625) Concepts of the Human: Freaks, Others, and In Groups) 

This course explores various conceptions of what it is to be human-and what it is to be viewed as less than human (thus, a freak). Academics label such outcast status "otherness." Fundamentally, to be 'other' is to be different from the norm. Indeed, in viewing human beings as persons with dignity and worth, we often exclude those we view as different as not deserving of equal treatment. In order to come to an understanding of what we as a society value, however, we must understand otherness. And it is only by deconstructing difference, by understanding what constitutes the 'other' and how it is defined by the in-group, that we can ultimately become a truly multicultural and diverse community. Deconstructing difference promotes awareness of diverse peoples by deconstructing the concept of the 'other' and the role it plays in fostering fear and discrimination. In order best to understand how discrimination works, its historical and literary origins in western culture, its enduring conceptual power, and its pervasive presence in modern America, we intend to pursue a multilevel analysis. This course will begin with an examination of prejudice in Harry Potter's world, then turn to classical Greek origins of identity and the concept of otherness, and finish with a deconstruction of contemporary attitudes toward the various '-isms.' The class aims to embolden students to reconsider the significance of contemporary models of the human, as supplied by various religious, scientific, philosophical, and pop-cultural sources.

Your Professor

Susan Peppers-Bates, PhD, attended Davidson College as an undergraduate and received her PhD in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. She has published on figures in early modern philosophy, topics in the philosophy of religion, friendship in Harry Potter, and on existentialist vampires. She has two fabulous daughters, Anne-Marie (8) and Sophia (3). She is fond of science fiction, medieval murder mysteries, gardening, and all things philosophical.

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

This is a class about the history of social justice through the current pandemic with an important service-learning component. 2500 years ago—for example—the golden rule had to be invented from scratch. At that point, the likes of Confucius, Socrates, and the Buddha took on social stratification, technological change, and civil war which they believed were the results of a “pre-moral world” dominated by the supernatural. But this courageous pivot by individuals and communities to work together for liberty 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 introducing ourselves to such individuals, our journey will conclude by highlighting Martin Luther’s sixteenth-century challenge to the Pope and his unintentional rekindling of modern democracy. While covering this historical timeline to the present, a consistent question will animate us: what qualities does a society need to generate equitable opportunities and outcomes for the individuals which comprise it?

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 100-21 (CRN 4638) American Freedom in Action

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

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

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-24 (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 100-26 (CRN 4967) Medicines, Drugs and Toxins

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

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-27 (CRN 4968) Social, Spiritual Intelligence (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 100-30 (CRN 4979) Healthy Religion & Sick Religion

This course will help you think intelligently about religion and its role in today's world. Religion serves both to heal, empower and to promote violence in the name of God. We will examine key topics including religion and self-transformation, religion and violence, and freedom of religion as a human right. The class is organized as a seminar, meaning that during most classes we sit around a table and discuss assigned readings and films. You are actively engaged in discussions, debates, presentations and questioning. You will enhance your ability to make professional oral presentations and to write with clarity and persuasiveness. You also will refine your ability to think critically so that you can discern whether an argument rests on solid evidence or not. Religion has long been a controversial topic in human life. Wars have been fought over religious disagreements. In this class, we examine religion's power to heal and transform lives and to divide, oppress and destroy. Finally, we examine why freedom of religion is considered a universal human right and why that right is often under siege in the contemporary world.

Your Professor

Phillip Lucas, Professor of Religious Studies, enjoys teaching, spirituality, baseball, India, guitars, travel to sacred sites around the world and gardening. He received his MA and PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara and has published four books and numerous articles in the fields of new and minority religions, religious freedom, comparative spirituality and American religious history. He is regularly interviewed in newspapers and television news and is the founding General Editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions. This academic publication is the leading international journal in the field of new and minority religions. At Stetson University, he teaches courses on world religions, American religious history, comparative spirituality and new religions. He received the William Hugh McEniry Award for excellence in teaching from Stetson in 2002 and the Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Excellence in Scholarship in 1995 and 2007. In 2011, he became the university director of the First-Year Seminar program at Stetson. He has lived and/or traveled in India, Nepal, Taiwan, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central America and Canada.

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

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

Your Professor

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

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

I think therefore I am... I think? 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 a gendered spectator and questions our assumptions about different cultural behaviors and values.

Your Professor

Susanne Eules received a PhD in German Studies, Art History and Musicology from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg/Br. and an MA in Music and Art Education from the University of Education, Freiburg/Br., Germany. She teaches German Language, Literature, Film and Culture, Elementary Italian, Art History, and Art and Gender at Stetson University. At Stetson University, she served as co-director of the university's summer program in Freiburg, Germany and coordinator of the Hand Art Center. Her professional career includes positions as director, curator and designer of various museums and art galleries in Germany as well as a freelance editor and photographic assistant for a German Publisher.

She is the author of three books of poems, two in German der kønig.innen hasen hůten (2016) and ůbern růckn des atlantiks/den rand des nachmittags (2012) and one in English lièvre - a book of hares (2018). She has published in literary venues in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Great Britain and the US. For her poetry, prose and translation, she has received various grants and literary awards in Germany, Austria and in the US. As an interdisciplinary artist, she contributes to exhibitions, performances and publications. Her artwork is and was part of Solo and Group exhibitions in Germany, the US and Great Britain.

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 100-61 (CRN 5457) Asian History in the Cinema

Have you ever watched a film which depicts a major historical event and asked yourself what really happened? Are you a fan of Jet Li or have you wondered what it was like to be a samurai? If you are curious about any of these issues and or some aspect of Asian culture or history, consider taking this course. This course will examine films about Asia's past, including both Asian and Western blockbusters. It will analyze how filmmakers have influenced both Western and Asian perceptions of Asia's past by using artistic license while portraying important events and personalities. Case studies for this Fall 2020 semester will place emphasis on China and Korea, including Jet Li films and movies about the Korean War.

Your Professor

Leander Seah holds a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, and teaches courses on East Asia, Southeast Asia and modern world history at Stetson. He is currently the Chair of the History Department and has also served as the founding Director of Stetson's Asian Studies Program. In terms of research, as an ethnic Chinese citizen of Singapore who lives in the United States, he is particularly interested in migration and diasporas, China-Southeast Asia connections, modern China, East Asian relations, modern Japan, US-China relations and transnational and world history. He has published journal articles, has presented his work at conferences in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China, and is currently revising a book manuscript, Conceptualizing Chinese Identity: China, the Nanyang, and Trans-Regionalism. He has also begun work on another book, a transnational study of the Burma Theater during World War II with emphasis on China, the United States, and Southeast Asia. His accolades include over twenty fellowships, research grants and awards from the Association for Asian Studies, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the National Library Board of Singapore, the National University of Singapore, the University of Pennsylvania and Stetson University.

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.

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 100-88 (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 100-97 (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 100-106 (CRN 6607) Here We Are: Latinos and Latinidades in the U.S.

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

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

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-107 (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 100-117 (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 100-128 & 158 (CRN 7083 & 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 100-130 (CRN 7139) Still Free: The Road to Serenity

Firefly* and the follow-up film Serenity* have become cult classics, and their popularity is still growing more than ten years after the show was cancelled. Part of the Joss Whedon universe, Firefly & Serenity presents us with a thought-provoking and genre-bending space western. We will discuss a wide range of themes found in the stories such as social class, culture, religion, ethics, effects of war, and colonialism, among others. 

*Prior knowledge of the series is not necessary. This course fulfils the Freshman Seminar requirement.

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-137 (CRN 7401) 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 100-143 (CRN 7427) Digital Storytelling

In this course we will explore the art of storytelling using digital media. Throughout humanhistory, storytelling provided a medium to communicate information, entertain and invokeaction. Using a digital program, students will design and build a digital story to communicate a message of social importance. Through the narration of experience, historical and contemporary contexts, and a critical engagement of the everyday, students will tell a story that is multisensory engaging visual and audio forms of communication. In doing so, students will expand their ability to communicate storytelling in a digital format. This is an interdisciplinary seminar that draws from sociology, anthropology, digital media and history.

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-152 (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 100-153 (CRN 7674) Counterculturals and Artistic Revolutions for the Twentieth Century

Countercultural movements throughout the twentieth century, holding values contrary to those of mainstream society, have sought to challenge the status quo with radical works of music, art, and literature. Were they effective? Does art have the power to change the way people think? Have these works of music, art and literature contributed to the creation of the culture in which we live, and, if so, how? In this course, students will be introduced to some of the more radical and controversial works of music, poetry, theatre, and visual art from the 1880s to today as well as the cultures that produced them: from the composers, writers and painters of the fin de siècle to those of the New York art scene in the 1960s; from the writers of the Beat Generation, to the musicians and artists of the San Francisco psychedelic movement, to the formation of hip-hop in the late 1970s. Through class discussions and writing assignments, students will be asked to reflect upon what art is and what its role is in society. They will be asked to reflect upon the music and art of their own generation, its culture and its countercultures and identify the values that are propagated by it.

Your Professor

Lonnie Hevia holds a D.MA in composition from The Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Christopher Theofanidis, Nicholas Maw and Michael Hersch. His bachelor's and master's degrees in composition were earned from The Florida State University School of Music, where he studied with John Boda and Ladislav Kubik. Dr. Hevia has presented music in master classes conducted by John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse and Justin Dello Joio, and he has taken individual lessons from Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Libby Larsen and Chen Yi. His music has been performed throughout the United States by world-class musicians. It has been presented at conferences of the College Music Society, Society of Composers, Inc. and The Midwest Graduate Music Consortium.

The confluence of a variety of influences, Dr. Hevia's music often combines the energy of rock, the melodic lyricism of pop, the harmonic and rhythmic complexities of jazz, the timbres of spectral music and the counterpoint and dramatic form of concert music, all into a unified style that is uniquely his own. While at Peabody, Dr. Hevia earned a second master's degree in music theory pedagogy, and, before his appointment at Stetson, he held teaching positions at Peabody, Towson University and Johns Hopkins University. He has taught music theory, aural skills, keyboard skills, counterpoint, form and analysis, twentieth-century theory, composition, arranging and the history of popular music.

FSEM 100-161 (CRN 7753) Secret Life of Bees

Colony Collapse Disorder, the mysterious condition which causes honeybees to abandon their queen and disappear from the hive, burst onto the scene in 2006, heralding an era of unprecedented public interest in honey bees, beekeeping, and all things pollination. By 2015, the phrase “Bees are dying at an alarming rate” had reached meme status. And while it's hard to judge the validity of the quote often misattributed to Einstein, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live,” it is true that roughly 1 out of every 3 bites of food you take is dependent upon pollination. In this seminar course, we will use bees as a focal point for examining myriad issues plaguing our agricultural systems, environment, and social structures. Topics include the history of beekeeping, migratory beekeeping, native pollinators, the “honey bee democracy,” bees in pop culture, and much more! Students will learn basic beekeeping skills and gain hands-on beekeeping experience by tending to the campus beehives and harvesting a crop of honey together at the end of the semester. 

Your Professor

Sarah Cramer is a Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems and member of the Environmental Science and Studies faculty. She holds a PhD in agricultural education and a master of public health degree from the University of Missouri. Her primary research interests are alternative food systems, experiential learning, and elementary garden-based education, but her one true love is the humble honey bee. She has been keeping bees since 2012 and can often be found sitting in front of a hive just watching worker bees return home loaded with colorful pollen.

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 100-171 (CRN 7900) Text and Textile

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

Your Professor

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

FSEM 100-179 (CRN 8025) Freedom's Turn: The Axis Age of 500 BC and its Legacy

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 100-176 (CRN 8005) Global Sport Marketing

The course will emphasize the size and scope of the global sport marketplace through an introduction to the wide variety of stakeholders in the industry (sport properties, venue operators, tourism interests, media, sponsors and licensors). The course will also introduce students to key marketing strategies common amongst sport stakeholders through an understanding of the unique characteristics of sport fans and the factors which influence such decisions.

Your Professor

Scott Jones (Ph.D. University of Oregon) is an Associate Professor of Marketing. He teaches courses in Stetson's MBA program, sport business and marketing. He has published more than 25 blind peer-reviewed intellectual contributions including manuscripts in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, the Journal of Internet Commerce and Sport Marketing Quarterly.

FSEM 100-177 (CRN 8022) Global Flashpoints

History and culture have seeped into 21st century life forming deep-seated societal rifts that periodically erupt like dormant volcanos. In this course, students will discuss and debate some of the major global and regional conflicts, and wrestle with the prospects of whether viable solutions should inspire hope or whether futility and skepticism will prevail.

Your Professor

Dr. William Andrews received his masters degree was from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and his PhD in Strategic Management from the University of Georgia. He has earned professional certifications in mergers & acquisitions, finance, and global trade. His recent research interests have focused on corruption in the developing world. He has been married for 40 years and has three grown children. For fun, he competes in triathlons and running events and has written a novel and a number of songs and short stories.

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 100-180 (CRN 8042) Young, Gifted and Black: A New Generation of Artists

By studying the work of contemporary African-American visual artists, this course will develop your ability to understand, respond to, and contextualize the work of artists like David Hammons, Amy Sherald, and LaToya Ruby Frazier.

Your Professor

Luca Molnar is a painter and installation artist working in pattern-based abstraction. Her most recent work explores lesser-known histories of knowledge gained by women and shared in woman-dominated space. At Stetson, she teaches courses in drawing, painting, experimental 2D media, and works with students completing their senior projects in Studio Art. Recent exhibitions in Florida include Fresh Squeezed 4 at the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersburg and Faculty Focus at the Hand Art Center. Molnar earned her B.A. in Studio Art from Dartmouth College and her MFA from New York University.

FSEM 100-181 (CRN 8107) Christianity Since Darwin

A look at the impact the Enlightenment and modern science have had on the teachings of Christianity with special attention to Charles Darwin's views on the age of the universe and biological evolution. We will consider the relationship between religion and science with a view as to what constitutes "truth" in each system. We will also look at court cases that involve the attempt of some public school systems to incorporate the so-called "Creation Science" in their science education curricula.

Your Professor

Greg Sapp completed his undergraduate degree at Stetson University, his M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. For most of his academic career, he has focused on philosophical theology and the development of Christian thought. In recent years, he has also done work in the area of religion and culture considering the intersection of religion with American politics, the American civil rights movement, and sport. He is the co-author (with Eric Bain-Selbo) of Understanding Sport as a Religious Phenomenon: An Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2016). His current book project (for NewSouth Books in Montgomery, AL) is tentatively titled, Regulating Relationship: The Moral Premise of the Law. He is the series cofounder and coeditor of Springer Publishing’s Springer Briefs in Religion and Sport and is also on the editorial board of the interdisciplinary journal, Soundings. Before returning to Stetson in 2006, he taught at Mercer University in Macon, GA, where he won the 2004-2005 Spencer B. King Distinguished Professor Award. He currently holds the Hal S. Marchman Chair of Civic and Social Responsibility at Stetson. A native Floridian, he enjoys surfing, golf, the Harry Potter books and movies, and pineapple gardening.

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 100-185 (CRN 8127) Freakonomics

This course is inspired from the best-selling book Freakonomics, and the blogs, podcasts, and movies that followed it. This is an applied course that aims to show how one can apply the most standard principles, methods and tools of economics to non-standard settings. Through these real-life examples, students will gain a better understanding of supply and demand, costs, and how to optimize under imperfect information. Students will be expected to describe and critically evaluate the diverse perspectives relevant to each topic in written and verbal works.

Your Professor

Khushbu Mishra finished her PhD in Applied Economics from The Ohio State University in the summer of 2017. Her work broadly focuses on Gender and Development Economics, Agricultural Economics, and Impact Evaluation. She completed her BA. in Economics and Mathematics from Mount Holyoke College in MA.

FSEM 100-186 (CRN 8180) 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.

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

Andy Eisen earned a PhD from the University of Illinois and is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Stetson University. He specializes in twentieth century U.S. History. He's also the Assistant Director of the Honors Program and he co-founded and co-directs the Community Education Project, Stetson University’s higher education in prison program. CEP is a multidisciplinary college in prison program committed to offering quality liberal arts education and learning opportunities to incarcerated people in Florida.

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

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

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

Sarah Cramer is a Brown Visiting Teacher-Scholar Fellow in Sustainable Food Systems and member of the Environmental Science and Studies faculty. She holds a PhD in agricultural education and a master of public health degree from the University of Missouri. Her primary research interests are alternative food systems, experiential learning, and elementary garden-based education, but her one true love is the humble honey bee. She has been keeping bees since 2012 and can often be found sitting in front of a hive just watching worker bees return home loaded with colorful pollen.

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.