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First Year Experience

First Year Seminars

Below is a list of the First Year Seminars available in the Fall of 2014. Students will be asked to select their top three choices at Orientation. Although every effort will made made to provide one of your top choices, this schedule is subject to change. 

MWF: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - MW: Monday, Wednesday - TTH: Tuesday, Thursday

FYS 1100-03: Court and the Media
TTh 4:00 to 4:15, Belknap G-3 – Nancy Clemens

An examination of the impact that advances in media are having on our nation's courts.It includes a survey of America's court system and an in-depth analysis of three current issues:(1) social media and the courts; (2) portrayal of courts in novels, on television, and in movies; and (3) cameras in the courtroom and access to justice.Emphasis will also be placed on exploring these issues from perspectives other than those of criminal justice professionals.

FYS 1100-04: Court and the Media
T 6:15 to 9:15, Belknap G-3 – Nancy Clemens

An examination of the impact that advances in media are having on our nation's courts.It includes a survey of America's court system and an in-depth analysis of three current issues:(1) social media and the courts; (2) portrayal of courts in novels, on television, and in movies; and (3) cameras in the courtroom and access to justice.Emphasis will also be placed on exploring these issues from perspectives other than those of criminal justice professionals.

FYS 1100-16:The Journey

TTh 10:00 – 11:15, Belknap G-8 – Jess Trump

This course explores the learning, growth, and development that take place along life's journeys. Through various readings, dialogues, and personal reflections, students will be encouraged to examine their own journey, specifically as they transition to college, in comparison to the journey of others. It forces first-year students to consider how each decision we make influences the outcome of our journey and also how the decisions of others affect our own outcomes. The course also investigates the context of each person's journey from the viewpoint of several disciplines, including history and political science, the social sciences, environmental science, and philosophy. This course encourages students to become engaged members of the university learning community, exploring the context of Mansfield University undergraduate experience through the perspective of the liberal arts curriculum. It also will help students explore the means by which they can succeed as students at the university and how to use the various support services of the university.

FYS 1100-07:Serving to Learn

TTh 10:00 – 11:15, Elliott 123 – Chris Cummings

This course investigates community service as a means for learning. Topics within the course include the relationship between service, learning, and education, consciousness of self, cultural diversity and awareness, and reflection for learning. Through the context of Mansfield University and other student identified communities, this first year seminar will engage students in experiences that will help them develop characteristics of citizenship and valuing service for common good.

FYS 1100-13:College Athletics

W 6:15 to 9:15 South Hall Room 102 - Jason Roscoe

This course examines the role intercollegiate athletics play in higher education.Topics will include diversity, the NCAA and other governing bodies, academics, sportsmanship and ethical behavior in sports and athletics, the history of college athletics in higher education, social changes and gender equity in and college athletics, the media, and the challenges and benefits of being a student-athlete.

FYS 1100-14:Stepping Up to the Challenge

M 6:15 – 9:15 South Hall Room 102 – Vicki Sax

This course will explore examples of individuals and characters in history, popular culture, and cinema who have overcome challenges and adversity.The challenges, goals, and personal attributes of these individuals will be considered and analyzed from various perspectives.The lessons learned from these examples will be applied by students to identify their unique challenges, strengths, opportunities, and goals, and to develop strategies to achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals.Topics also include self-assessment, goal setting, resiliency, college success, academic skills and planning, personal management and planning, the role of liberal studies, communication skills, and critical thinking.

FYS 1100-06: Type and Clay

TTh 1:00 to 2:15, Allen Room 022 – Mardi Whitehouse

From the ancient Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia, who made wedge-like marks in cuneiforms as a means of communication—to the decorated vessels from which we eat and drink today—typography and clay have been partners for thousands of years as they exist in our world as both functional objects and sculptural art. This First Year Seminar will explore the histories, forms, and artistic expressions associated with these two mediums, while examining the various 'hats' worn by students, which reflect and shape their identity. Readings, lectures, discussions, and projects will facilitate creative expression, information research, and the everyday hurdles of being a new college student.

FYS 1100-12:Fabulous Berlin

MWF 12:30 – 1:20, Belknap Room 102 – Brad Holtman

From small fishing village in the 13th century, to trading post, to Prussian capital, divided between two Germanys, then finally reunited, Berlin has had a turbulent and unique past leading to its vibrant present and a most promising future. Together, we will explore the glamorous, sometimes gritty, artistic, and action-packed capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from multiple perspectives: history, the arts, social issues, cuisine, festivals and civic life, geography, diplomacy and government, diversity, night life, architecture and city planning, the infamous Wall and former East Germany, language(s), and much more. There is no place else on earth like it, and you will be ready for your visit when you've finished this course!

FYS 1100-08:Discovering France

MW 2:30 – 3:45, Belknap Room G-8 – Monique Oyallon

The course will look at France today, through a selection of readings from primary and secondary sources.We will examine French daily life as experienced by university students, as well as by school students, parents, and professionals and workers of all kinds.We will look at the music French people listen to, the social media they prefer, the websites they use, the movies and TV shows they watch, the newspapers, magazines, and books they read.We will look at the diversity of people in France—at traditional French citizens as well as at former and recent immigrants, visitors, tourists, and others.We will get a sense of the importance of historical events (French Revolution) in French attitudes today.We will compare things French with things American.

FYS 1100-09: Grimm Variations: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm to the Present

MWF 9:30 to 10:20, Belknap 102- Lynn Pifer

This course examines famous and not so famous stories from the oral tradition commonly known as Fairy Tales. Students will read, discuss, and write about fairy tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm and variations of these tales in other works of literature, film, and television.Students will examine these well-known stories through the lenses of different academic disciplines, such as history, folklore, and psychology, and learn to argue their own interpretations of these tales.

FYS 1100-01: Environmental Conservation vs. Preservation

MWF 12:30 to 1:20, Belknap 201 - Jennifer Demchak

This course investigates the history of two environmental movements: preservation vs. conservation through the perspectives of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. The first-year seminar focuses on ethical frameworks for evaluating human decisions and what effects may be seen in the natural world.It will also encourage students to become engaged members of the university learning community, exploring the context of the Mansfield University experience through the perspective of a liberal arts education. It also will help students explore the means by which they can succeed as students at the university.

FYS 1100-02:Black Gold

TTh 10:00 to 11:15, Belknap 202 – Christopher Kopf

In this course you will investigate the ways in which our use of fossil fuels has helped to shape the social, economic, and environmental choices we make as a society.You will use government data, written and video accounts, and your personal experiences to evaluate some of the ways that our present reliance on fossil fuels influences our choices and our social structures today.You will also build some basic predictive models based on present day and historical data trends to form opinions on the possible future impacts of continued reliance on fossil fuels, and evaluate some of the potential pros and cons of alternative energy sources like solar, nuclear, or biofuels.During the course of these investigations you will be introduced to some of the methods of inquiry and campus resources that will be critical to your development as a student over the course of your studies.

FYS 1100-15: The Good Life

MWF 12:30 to 1:20, Retan G-5 – Adrianne McEvoy

What is the Good Life? Power? Money? Intelligence? Freedom? The Glory of God? Livin' la vida loca?

Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most important figures in the 20th century, considers the following to be the most pernicious, the most problematic and destructive, traits of mankind: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, politics without principle, commerce without morality, and worship without sacrifice. His grandson added to these Seven Social Sins: rights without responsibilities. In this First Year Seminar, we'll look at different conceptualizations of the Good Life and discuss the ramifications of each of the eight "Social Sins." Our discussions will be framed by numerous liberal arts lenses including history, philosophy, psychology, literature, political science, and religion.

FYS 1100-17:Debates in Current Affairs

MWF 12:30 – 1:20, Retan 110 – Jonathan Rothermel

This course is about taking a position.Whether it be social media outlets, assignments for class, or lively arguments with friends at the lunch table, students are often prompted to take a position on an issue.In this course students will tackle debates in current affairs, including policies in fields such as politics, education, criminal justice, sociology, and biology, to name a few.To that end, knowledge of current affairs will be a significant component of the course.In addition, students will learn how to construct arguments from numerous perspectives.They will learn skills that will be transferrable to not only other courses at MU but to life in general.

FYS 1100-05:  My Life in Pictures 
MWF 1:30 to 2:20, Butler 102 - Sheryl Monkelien
Photographs have always been used to record special events, places and people. Collecting and examining old family pictures can aid in the discovery of a person's history. Taking photos of important aspects of life today can help define current and future life plans. Through photographs and written narrative, students will discover their own family history, discuss where they are today and describe their future.

FYS 1100-18:Our Lives Through Music

TTh 10:00 – 11:15, Butler 163 – Susan Laib

Students will broaden their perspectives as they explore their favorite music, the music of their peers, generational differences in musical choices, and live performances outside of the classroom.In learning about musical genres, how to listen to music, and tracing the historical context and influences on their favorite music, students will broaden their understanding both of societal influences and the musical arts as personal expression.They will also improve their observational skills by observing and understanding how music is used in our every-day lives as well as the power and affect it may have on us in varying circumstances.

FYS 1100-19:Talking with Ted (and Friends)

TTh 10 – 11:15, Retan 109 - Nancy Werner-Burke

This course utilizes the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) series of multi-media, cross-disciplinary presentations as a springboard for discussion, informational research and writing, and the use of new/digital literacy tools to create original multimedia presentations. Participants will develop information literacy and digital communication skills as they identify viable topics, inform and support positions and perspectives, and create original presentations that demonstrate and incorporate their research.

FYS 1100-20: Grimm Variations: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm to the Present

MWF 10:30 to 11:20, Belknap 102- Lynn Pifer

This course examines famous and not so famous stories from the oral tradition commonly known as Fairy Tales. Students will read, discuss, and write about fairy tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm and variations of these tales in other works of literature, film, and television.Students will examine these well-known stories through the lenses of different academic disciplines, such as history, folklore, and psychology, and learn to argue their own interpretations of these tales.

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