Spring 2020 First Year Seminar

FSEM 100-17 (CRN 8091) Publicity and Earned Media Techniques

Public Relations is the building of relationships between an organization and its stakeholders, including journalists, investors, employees, community members, and customers. This course will give you a complete tool kit for writing and creating a full range of public relations materials for distribution through media channels including press releases, blogs, fact sheets, pitch letters, e-mails, and presentations. We will review the basic concepts of persuasive writing and help you think strategically and creatively about what makes news. A major emphasis of the course is on the media release and its structure, format, and ability to get the attention of the editorial community. We will also explore the technology that is currently used by public relations professionals to effectively distribute news about their company.

Your Professor

Deborah Goldring, PhD is an associate professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration. She has had multiple careers in marketing and communication. After receiving a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, she started her career in public radio and television working for stations in Philadelphia and Miami. Then, she earned an MS in Computer Information Systems from the University of Miami and gravitated to technical writing for software companies. That followed with an MBA in Marketing from Villanova University and a career as a marketing director for several technology and financial services companies. Dr. Goldring earned her PhD in Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. Her teaching and research focus on marketing management, brand building, and digital marketing communications. 

FSEM 100-168 (CRN 7988) Religion and Human Rights

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. 

HONR 101-1 (CRN 7965) 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

Jim Beasley has been a member of the Stetson faculty for 45 years. He was a professor of Religious Studies for 17 years, then served as Senior Vice President of the University, and now has been teaching Business Ethics in the Management Department for the past seven years. Jim's primary scholarly interest is in ethical issues facing business and he is the co-author of several business cases being published by Sage Publishing. Dr. Beasley has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Stetson, a Master of Arts degree from Andover-Newton Theological School, and a PhD in history from Tufts University. He began the business ethics initiative in the School of Business Administration in 2011 and is the founder and co-director of the annual Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition hosted by Stetson University.