Fall 2022 FYS:

Available topics for Fall FYS options are listed. To find out more about scheduled times and available sections, consult the Scheduler Tool or the Real-Time Course Schedule!

Dinosaurs! Science, art, and public understanding

Instructors: Amy Harwell and Gareth Hopkins
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, The Arts, Media & Current Events

Did you know that there is a dinosaur singing outside your window? By the end of this course you will know why we know that! This course will introduce fundamental scientific principles and explore how science and the arts interact to shape the public understanding of science using this iconic group of animals. We will use dinosaurs as a case study of evolution, and explore how our understanding or mis-understanding of these animals through time has shaped our perceptions of these legendary creatures. Exploring dinosaurs takes a multidisciplinary investigative approach, introducing how we evaluate evidence across the sciences, and how the arts and media can shape our understanding of the
way science works, for better or for worse.

Fast zombies vs. slow zombies: the biology of fear

Instructor: Erin Baumgartner
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, True crime & Horror, Storytelling

Explore the biology of fear. Find out what appens in your body during a good fright and explore the evolutionary advantages of fear in humans. Dig into the biological roots of classic frighteners like werewolves, vampires and the walking dead to learn how myths arise from real phenomena. Use your new knowledge to argue your case for the scariest horror books and films of all time. Join with your fellow students to tackle some of your biggest fears about the college experience. Because while creepy clowns are always to be avoided, class projects, office hours and Hamersly Library are nothing to be afraid of.

Logic, Language, and Alice

Instructor: Ryan Hickerson
Keywords: Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Storytelling

A lesser-known fact is that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written by an Oxford logician. It is filled with logical fallacies and whimsically named creatures. In this seminar we will study some logic through examination of some seriously silly arguments, but we will also investigate a serious philosophical question about whether names can have meaning, by reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, alongside Plato and John Stuart Mill.

Me, Myself, and I. Who the Heck am I?

Instructor: Tracy Powell
Keywords: Self & Identity, Health & Wellness

This course examines the perplexing question of what constitutes the self from a philosophical, psychological, existential, and biological lens. Con
sideration will progress from a broad theoretical understanding of self to an individually focused look at one’s own self-identity. Deeper self-understanding should lead to better decision-making and overall well-being in life here at WOU and beyond.

Moving in the Movies

Instructor: Corrie Cowart
Keywords: The Arts, Media & Current Events, Policy, Culture, & Society

What do the feel-good song and dance moments in movie musicals tell us about American culture? How do the popular dance forms highlighted in these films reflect and challenge social trends of the 20th century? These are some of the questions this FYS seeks to explore. We will examine a selection of American movie musicals analyzing how the story and the dance within the film excavate “the temper of the age.” Movie musicals reflect back to us shifting American values and cultural trends in relation to race, gender, economics, class, history and religion. While grappling with this seemingly light-hearted genre we will have the opportunity to analytically examine a distinctly American genre at different points in American history.

Oregon History Detectives

Instructors: Kim Jensen and Ken Carano
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Local Connections, Teaching & Education

Oregon History Detectives introduces students to the tools they need to discover and analyze the lives of diverse Oregonians in our history and teach others about their experiences to build a richer understanding of our past. Methods for students to gain these analytical, comprehension, and teaching skills, including gallery walks with primary source documents, role-playing through literature, comparing and contrasting worldviews through human stories, self-reflection activities, story mapping, and gaining observation, reflection, and questioning skills during field studies. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources through discussion and in writing.

Play: It’s not just for kids

Instructor: Jennifer Taylor-Winney
Keywords: Health & Wellness, Hands-on, Self & Identity

This first year seminar will explore the role of lifetime play from global to local through multiple lenses – historical, cultural, political, sociological, relational, psychological, and physiological. These perspectives will be framed using Social Ecological Theory, Wellness Model, and Play Theory. The signature assignment will be a letter to your future self.

Poets, Playwrights & Revolutionaries: Lessons From the Soviet Bloc

Instructor: David Doellinger
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Global Exploration

Did you know that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor and comedian before he became the wartime leader of Ukraine? In fact, he named his real-life political party – “Servant of the People” – after the name of the 2015 television program that he produced and starred in to challenge the corruption and abuses that had shaped Ukrainian politics. This First Year Seminar explores how playwrights, poets, students, workers, novelists, filmmakers and pacifists also challenged the authoritarian political systems of Communist Central Europe after 1945. In this seminar, students will engage in a study of this recent history through a critical analysis of primary source materials such as poetry, music, art, & film that shaped these transformations in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany – and of course Ukraine.

Serial Killers

Instructor: Miyuki Arimoto
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Communication & Humanity, Media & Current Events

This seminar examines different types of serial killers and explores possible reasons behind their killings. By exploring concrete cases, it defines different degrees of homicide and circumstances of homicide in the United States. The diversity in offenders’ demographic characteristics and motivations are also discussed.

The Creative Process: How to Think Like an Artist

Instructors: Jodie Garrison and Gregory Poulin
Keywords: The Arts, Communication & Humanity, Hands-on

Learn creative thinking strategies used by some of the world’s greatest innovators, artists, and inventors. In this studio art course, you will learn to develop a creative mindset that will benefit any major or career. This course will occasionally join together with the other section of the course to complete in-class workshops and art projects. No art experience is necessary: anyone can learn how to “think like an artist”!

Travelers of Latin America

Instructors: Ricardo Pelegrin-Taboada
Keywords: Global Exploration, Communication & Humanity, Historical Perspectives

This course unveils the different approaches and interpretations that foreigners visiting Latin American territories have made of significant historical events taking place in the region since colonial until modern times. During the class, we will examine, in chronological order, primary sources such as diaries and memories written by travelers during their stay in South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The course will also include secondary sources such as monographs or collections of articles describing the experiences of travelers during their stay in the region. Differences of gender, race, religion and purpose among these travelers will show to the students the diversity and mobility that has existed in Latin America since colonial times. This course will develop analytical and critical thinking of the students, their formal and informal writing, as well as their oral skills through classes’ discussions and presentations.

Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Policy, Culture, & Society, Self & Identity, Teaching & Education

In this class, we will research and write about what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. How are members of these populations, traditionally underrepresented at college, impacted by policy and the Higher Ed experience? We will examine what a modern “War on Poverty” would look like and what role education would play. We will explore issues of identity and culture (including gender, race/ethnicity, and class) and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face.

The Future Is In Our Hands**

Instructors: TPSSS Staff
Keywords: Policy, Culture, & Society, Self & Identity, Teaching & Education

In this class we will research and write about what it means to be a first-generation or low-income student pursuing an Education degree in the US. We will explore issues of identity and culture and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face in the K-12 school system. Example topics may include: inequity of resources in neighborhoods and communities and the impact on k-12 schools or cultural bias in standardized tests.

FYS 207

#SlayingPublicHealth

Instructor: Loren Wisniewski
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Health & Wellness, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course showcases all the ways public health impacts living conditions and quality of life around the world, in Oregon, and on our campus. Through hands-on fieldwork, multimedia and guest lectures, students will explore ways to get involved locally and globally to make a positive difference in their communities.

A Solar System Odyssey

Instructor: Jeremiah Oxford
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Historical Perspectives, Media & Current Events

Exploration of the solar system is the first step to understanding our place in the universe. We will take a journey through time and see how our perception of the solar system has evolved over the centuries and how a revolution in astronomy led to the birth of modern science. With a gift for pattern recognition, humans formulated the laws of physics which are essential for predicting the motions and properties of celestial bodies. By analyzing the structure and composition of the solar system, we can discover what this information reveals about the origin and evolution of the solar system. We will explore the surface geology of planets and moons and learn what physical processes have shaped these unique worlds. In addition, we will examine the latest observations acquired from spacecraft, assess the significance of these recent discoveries and what they mean for the future of humankind.

Energy Issues: An Environmental Perspective

Instructor: Phil Wade
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course will focus on the origin, production and development, distribution, uses and impacts of energy in contemporary society. The course is a natural interdisciplinary topic and links all chemistry, earth science, physics, biology. Additionally, this course links the science of energy with societal costs and benefits, policy, and law.

Forensic Science: Fact vs. Hollywood

Instructor: Graham Rankin
Keywords: Media & Current Events, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

Crime shows, like CSI, have significantly increased public interest in forensic science over the last several decades and more. However, these shows present forensic science as though it were an almost magical solution to all problems and that results come back during the commercial break. Some prosecutors have even claimed juries expect a mountain of forensic evidence in every trial, the “CSI Effect”. In this course, we will review what is presented in movies and TV shows versus how forensic science is actually performed. The field of forensic science has evolved over the decades with new and more reliable tests being developed. We will cover some examples where new methods have been used to overturn convictions based on earlier and less accurate methods.

Get Woke to Being Broke*

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Teaching & Education, Self & Identity, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution

In this class, we will research and practice what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. What are the financial mechanisms that make Higher Education possible for those coming from low-income backgrounds? What is the financial impact of a college education, positive and negative? Students will calculate these costs and rewards from an individual perspective exploring cost of attendance, impact of financial aid, inflation in both cost of attendance and local economy, and planning for future financial needs.

Illuminating the Code of Dance

Instructor: Darryl Thomas
Keywords: The Arts, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

This course will explore the parallels between dance and coding and will culminate in creating an iPuppet dance using basic tools from dance choreography, illuminated puppet pieces, and basic coding skills. No previous dance or coding experience is needed.

Impact of Video Games on Modern Society

Instructor: Luke Cordova
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Policy, Culture, & Society, Media & Current Events

Video games are having an undeniable effect on modern society. This course examines how video games are impacting culture, art, education, medicine, rehabilitation, and communication as well as their role in societal issues such as sex, sexuality, gender, and race.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: Cultivating Numerical Media Literacy

Instructor: Maren Anderson
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Media & Current Events, Communication & Humanity

We are confronted with an astronomical amount of information in the modern era. Much of this information is tied to numbers and statistics, yet often little or no context is offered so people can truly understand what the data shows. Worse yet, there are entities that are purposefully obfuscating the truth by misstating the data or presenting them in a misleading way. This course will focus on how data and statistics are used in the media and modern culture and how to view data through a critical lens to understand what the information means and whether it is being presented in a truthful manner.

Rocking the National Parks

Instructor: Grant Smith
Keywords: Careers, Policy, Culture, & Society, Science, Tech, & Data

America’s National Parks and Monuments preserve some of the most iconic landscapes on Earth. The historical reasons of why these places have been set aside will be explored and we will investigate what makes some of them geologically significant. Students will also learn how to use online map and navigation tools for exploring the parks. Challenges to park preservation both now and in the future will also be discussed. Finally, strategies for those seeking employment with the National Park Service will be investigated.

Superheroes or Supercriminals?

Instructor: Jennifer Moreno
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Policy, Culture, & Society, Storytelling

Superheroes are here to save the day and do whatever is necessary to defeat forces of evil. But what if “whatever’s necessary” crosses the line into criminal activity? In this course we examine epic good versus evil battles and analyze the criminal implications of being a superhero.

WOU Earth Corps: Beginner’s Guide to Environmental Stewardship

Instructor: Steve Taylor
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course engages service-based learning with a focus on environmental restoration of water, land and soil. Students apply basic principles of Earth Science and Permaculture design to hands-on environmental restoration projects in the community. Four hours of active learning and group discussion per week

Dinosaurs! Science, art, and public understanding

Instructors: Amy Harwell and Gareth Hopkins
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, The Arts, Media & Current Events

Did you know that there is a dinosaur singing outside your window? By the end of this course you will know why we know that! This course will introduce fundamental scientific principles and explore how science and the arts interact to shape the public understanding of science using this iconic group of animals. We will use dinosaurs as a case study of evolution, and explore how our understanding or mis-understanding of these animals through time has shaped our perceptions of these legendary creatures. Exploring dinosaurs takes a multidisciplinary investigative approach, introducing how we evaluate evidence across the sciences, and how the arts and media can shape our understanding of the
way science works, for better or for worse.

Fast zombies vs. slow zombies: the biology of fear

Instructor: Erin Baumgartner
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, True crime & Horror, Storytelling

Explore the biology of fear. Find out what appens in your body during a good fright and explore the evolutionary advantages of fear in humans. Dig into the biological roots of classic frighteners like werewolves, vampires and the walking dead to learn how myths arise from real phenomena. Use your new knowledge to argue your case for the scariest horror books and films of all time. Join with your fellow students to tackle some of your biggest fears about the college experience. Because while creepy clowns are always to be avoided, class projects, office hours and Hamersly Library are nothing to be afraid of.

FYS 207

#SlayingPublicHealth

Instructor: Loren Wisniewski
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Health & Wellness, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course showcases all the ways public health impacts living conditions and quality of life around the world, in Oregon, and on our campus. Through hands-on fieldwork, multimedia and guest lectures, students will explore ways to get involved locally and globally to make a positive difference in their communities.

A Solar System Odyssey

Instructor: Jeremiah Oxford
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Historical Perspectives, Media & Current Events

Exploration of the solar system is the first step to understanding our place in the universe. We will take a journey through time and see how our perception of the solar system has evolved over the centuries and how a revolution in astronomy led to the birth of modern science. With a gift for pattern recognition, humans formulated the laws of physics which are essential for predicting the motions and properties of celestial bodies. By analyzing the structure and composition of the solar system, we can discover what this information reveals about the origin and evolution of the solar system. We will explore the surface geology of planets and moons and learn what physical processes have shaped these unique worlds. In addition, we will examine the latest observations acquired from spacecraft, assess the significance of these recent discoveries and what they mean for the future of humankind.

Energy Issues: An Environmental Perspective

Instructor: Phil Wade
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course will focus on the origin, production and development, distribution, uses and impacts of energy in contemporary society. The course is a natural interdisciplinary topic and links all chemistry, earth science, physics, biology. Additionally, this course links the science of energy with societal costs and benefits, policy, and law.

Forensic Science: Fact vs. Hollywood

Instructor: Graham Rankin
Keywords: Media & Current Events, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

Crime shows, like CSI, have significantly increased public interest in forensic science over the last several decades and more. However, these shows present forensic science as though it were an almost magical solution to all problems and that results come back during the commercial break. Some prosecutors have even claimed juries expect a mountain of forensic evidence in every trial, the “CSI Effect”. In this course, we will review what is presented in movies and TV shows versus how forensic science is actually performed. The field of forensic science has evolved over the decades with new and more reliable tests being developed. We will cover some examples where new methods have been used to overturn convictions based on earlier and less accurate methods.

Illuminating the Code of Dance

Instructor: Darryl Thomas
Keywords: The Arts, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

This course will explore the parallels between dance and coding and will culminate in creating an iPuppet dance using basic tools from dance choreography, illuminated puppet pieces, and basic coding skills. No previous dance or coding experience is needed.

Impact of Video Games on Modern Society

Instructor: Luke Cordova
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Policy, Culture, & Society, Media & Current Events

Video games are having an undeniable effect on modern society. This course examines how video games are impacting culture, art, education, medicine, rehabilitation, and communication as well as their role in societal issues such as sex, sexuality, gender, and race.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: Cultivating Numerical Media Literacy

Instructor: Maren Anderson
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Media & Current Events, Communication & Humanity

We are confronted with an astronomical amount of information in the modern era. Much of this information is tied to numbers and statistics, yet often little or no context is offered so people can truly understand what the data shows. Worse yet, there are entities that are purposefully obfuscating the truth by misstating the data or presenting them in a misleading way. This course will focus on how data and statistics are used in the media and modern culture and how to view data through a critical lens to understand what the information means and whether it is being presented in a truthful manner.

WOU Earth Corps: Beginner’s Guide to Environmental Stewardship

Instructor: Steve Taylor
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course engages service-based learning with a focus on environmental restoration of water, land and soil. Students apply basic principles of Earth Science and Permaculture design to hands-on environmental restoration projects in the community. Four hours of active learning and group discussion per week

Dinosaurs! Science, art, and public understanding

Instructors: Amy Harwell and Gareth Hopkins
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, The Arts, Media & Current Events

Did you know that there is a dinosaur singing outside your window? By the end of this course you will know why we know that! This course will introduce fundamental scientific principles and explore how science and the arts interact to shape the public understanding of science using this iconic group of animals. We will use dinosaurs as a case study of evolution, and explore how our understanding or mis-understanding of these animals through time has shaped our perceptions of these legendary creatures. Exploring dinosaurs takes a multidisciplinary investigative approach, introducing how we evaluate evidence across the sciences, and how the arts and media can shape our understanding of the
way science works, for better or for worse.

Moving in the Movies

Instructor: Corrie Cowart
Keywords: The Arts, Media & Current Events, Policy, Culture, & Society

What do the feel-good song and dance moments in movie musicals tell us about American culture? How do the popular dance forms highlighted in these films reflect and challenge social trends of the 20th century? These are some of the questions this FYS seeks to explore. We will examine a selection of American movie musicals analyzing how the story and the dance within the film excavate “the temper of the age.” Movie musicals reflect back to us shifting American values and cultural trends in relation to race, gender, economics, class, history and religion. While grappling with this seemingly light-hearted genre we will have the opportunity to analytically examine a distinctly American genre at different points in American history.

The Creative Process: How to Think Like an Artist

Instructors: Jodie Garrison and Gregory Poulin
Keywords: The Arts, Communication & Humanity, Hands-on

Learn creative thinking strategies used by some of the world’s greatest innovators, artists, and inventors. In this studio art course, you will learn to develop a creative mindset that will benefit any major or career. This course will occasionally join together with the other section of the course to complete in-class workshops and art projects. No art experience is necessary: anyone can learn how to “think like an artist”!

Illuminating the Code of Dance

Instructor: Darryl Thomas
Keywords: The Arts, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

This course will explore the parallels between dance and coding and will culminate in creating an iPuppet dance using basic tools from dance choreography, illuminated puppet pieces, and basic coding skills. No previous dance or coding experience is needed.

Dinosaurs! Science, art, and public understanding

Instructors: Amy Harwell and Gareth Hopkins
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, The Arts, Media & Current Events

Did you know that there is a dinosaur singing outside your window? By the end of this course you will know why we know that! This course will introduce fundamental scientific principles and explore how science and the arts interact to shape the public understanding of science using this iconic group of animals. We will use dinosaurs as a case study of evolution, and explore how our understanding or mis-understanding of these animals through time has shaped our perceptions of these legendary creatures. Exploring dinosaurs takes a multidisciplinary investigative approach, introducing how we evaluate evidence across the sciences, and how the arts and media can shape our understanding of the
way science works, for better or for worse.

Moving in the Movies

Instructor: Corrie Cowart
Keywords: The Arts, Media & Current Events, Policy, Culture, & Society

What do the feel-good song and dance moments in movie musicals tell us about American culture? How do the popular dance forms highlighted in these films reflect and challenge social trends of the 20th century? These are some of the questions this FYS seeks to explore. We will examine a selection of American movie musicals analyzing how the story and the dance within the film excavate “the temper of the age.” Movie musicals reflect back to us shifting American values and cultural trends in relation to race, gender, economics, class, history and religion. While grappling with this seemingly light-hearted genre we will have the opportunity to analytically examine a distinctly American genre at different points in American history.

Serial Killers

Instructor: Miyuki Arimoto
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Communication & Humanity, Media & Current Events

This seminar examines different types of serial killers and explores possible reasons behind their killings. By exploring concrete cases, it defines different degrees of homicide and circumstances of homicide in the United States. The diversity in offenders’ demographic characteristics and motivations are also discussed.

FYS 207

A Solar System Odyssey

Instructor: Jeremiah Oxford
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Historical Perspectives, Media & Current Events

Exploration of the solar system is the first step to understanding our place in the universe. We will take a journey through time and see how our perception of the solar system has evolved over the centuries and how a revolution in astronomy led to the birth of modern science. With a gift for pattern recognition, humans formulated the laws of physics which are essential for predicting the motions and properties of celestial bodies. By analyzing the structure and composition of the solar system, we can discover what this information reveals about the origin and evolution of the solar system. We will explore the surface geology of planets and moons and learn what physical processes have shaped these unique worlds. In addition, we will examine the latest observations acquired from spacecraft, assess the significance of these recent discoveries and what they mean for the future of humankind.

Forensic Science: Fact vs. Hollywood

Instructor: Graham Rankin
Keywords: Media & Current Events, Science, Tech, & Data, Hands-on

Crime shows, like CSI, have significantly increased public interest in forensic science over the last several decades and more. However, these shows present forensic science as though it were an almost magical solution to all problems and that results come back during the commercial break. Some prosecutors have even claimed juries expect a mountain of forensic evidence in every trial, the “CSI Effect”. In this course, we will review what is presented in movies and TV shows versus how forensic science is actually performed. The field of forensic science has evolved over the decades with new and more reliable tests being developed. We will cover some examples where new methods have been used to overturn convictions based on earlier and less accurate methods.

Impact of Video Games on Modern Society

Instructor: Luke Cordova
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Policy, Culture, & Society, Media & Current Events

Video games are having an undeniable effect on modern society. This course examines how video games are impacting culture, art, education, medicine, rehabilitation, and communication as well as their role in societal issues such as sex, sexuality, gender, and race.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics: Cultivating Numerical Media Literacy

Instructor: Maren Anderson
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Media & Current Events, Communication & Humanity

We are confronted with an astronomical amount of information in the modern era. Much of this information is tied to numbers and statistics, yet often little or no context is offered so people can truly understand what the data shows. Worse yet, there are entities that are purposefully obfuscating the truth by misstating the data or presenting them in a misleading way. This course will focus on how data and statistics are used in the media and modern culture and how to view data through a critical lens to understand what the information means and whether it is being presented in a truthful manner.

Fast zombies vs. slow zombies: the biology of fear

Instructor: Erin Baumgartner
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, True crime & Horror, Storytelling

Explore the biology of fear. Find out what appens in your body during a good fright and explore the evolutionary advantages of fear in humans. Dig into the biological roots of classic frighteners like werewolves, vampires and the walking dead to learn how myths arise from real phenomena. Use your new knowledge to argue your case for the scariest horror books and films of all time. Join with your fellow students to tackle some of your biggest fears about the college experience. Because while creepy clowns are always to be avoided, class projects, office hours and Hamersly Library are nothing to be afraid of.

Serial Killers

Instructor: Miyuki Arimoto
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Communication & Humanity, Media & Current Events

This seminar examines different types of serial killers and explores possible reasons behind their killings. By exploring concrete cases, it defines different degrees of homicide and circumstances of homicide in the United States. The diversity in offenders’ demographic characteristics and motivations are also discussed.

FYS 207

Superheroes or Supercriminals?

Instructor: Jennifer Moreno
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Policy, Culture, & Society, Storytelling

Superheroes are here to save the day and do whatever is necessary to defeat forces of evil. But what if “whatever’s necessary” crosses the line into criminal activity? In this course we examine epic good versus evil battles and analyze the criminal implications of being a superhero.

Fast zombies vs. slow zombies: the biology of fear

Instructor: Erin Baumgartner
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, True crime & Horror, Storytelling

Explore the biology of fear. Find out what appens in your body during a good fright and explore the evolutionary advantages of fear in humans. Dig into the biological roots of classic frighteners like werewolves, vampires and the walking dead to learn how myths arise from real phenomena. Use your new knowledge to argue your case for the scariest horror books and films of all time. Join with your fellow students to tackle some of your biggest fears about the college experience. Because while creepy clowns are always to be avoided, class projects, office hours and Hamersly Library are nothing to be afraid of.

Logic, Language, and Alice

Instructor: Ryan Hickerson
Keywords: Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Storytelling

A lesser-known fact is that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written by an Oxford logician. It is filled with logical fallacies and whimsically named creatures. In this seminar we will study some logic through examination of some seriously silly arguments, but we will also investigate a serious philosophical question about whether names can have meaning, by reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, alongside Plato and John Stuart Mill.

FYS 207

Superheroes or Supercriminals?

Instructor: Jennifer Moreno
Keywords: True crime & Horror, Policy, Culture, & Society, Storytelling

Superheroes are here to save the day and do whatever is necessary to defeat forces of evil. But what if “whatever’s necessary” crosses the line into criminal activity? In this course we examine epic good versus evil battles and analyze the criminal implications of being a superhero.

Logic, Language, and Alice

Instructor: Ryan Hickerson
Keywords: Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Storytelling

A lesser-known fact is that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was written by an Oxford logician. It is filled with logical fallacies and whimsically named creatures. In this seminar we will study some logic through examination of some seriously silly arguments, but we will also investigate a serious philosophical question about whether names can have meaning, by reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, alongside Plato and John Stuart Mill.

Poets, Playwrights & Revolutionaries: Lessons From the Soviet Bloc

Instructor: David Doellinger
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Global Exploration

Did you know that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor and comedian before he became the wartime leader of Ukraine? In fact, he named his real-life political party – “Servant of the People” – after the name of the 2015 television program that he produced and starred in to challenge the corruption and abuses that had shaped Ukrainian politics. This First Year Seminar explores how playwrights, poets, students, workers, novelists, filmmakers and pacifists also challenged the authoritarian political systems of Communist Central Europe after 1945. In this seminar, students will engage in a study of this recent history through a critical analysis of primary source materials such as poetry, music, art, & film that shaped these transformations in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany – and of course Ukraine.

Get Woke to Being Broke*

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Teaching & Education, Self & Identity, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution

In this class, we will research and practice what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. What are the financial mechanisms that make Higher Education possible for those coming from low-income backgrounds? What is the financial impact of a college education, positive and negative? Students will calculate these costs and rewards from an individual perspective exploring cost of attendance, impact of financial aid, inflation in both cost of attendance and local economy, and planning for future financial needs.

Me, Myself, and I. Who the Heck am I?

Instructor: Tracy Powell
Keywords: Self & Identity, Health & Wellness

This course examines the perplexing question of what constitutes the self from a philosophical, psychological, existential, and biological lens. Con
sideration will progress from a broad theoretical understanding of self to an individually focused look at one’s own self-identity. Deeper self-understanding should lead to better decision-making and overall well-being in life here at WOU and beyond.

Play: It’s not just for kids

Instructor: Jennifer Taylor-Winney
Keywords: Health & Wellness, Hands-on, Self & Identity

This first year seminar will explore the role of lifetime play from global to local through multiple lenses – historical, cultural, political, sociological, relational, psychological, and physiological. These perspectives will be framed using Social Ecological Theory, Wellness Model, and Play Theory. The signature assignment will be a letter to your future self.

Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Policy, Culture, & Society, Self & Identity, Teaching & Education

In this class, we will research and write about what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. How are members of these populations, traditionally underrepresented at college, impacted by policy and the Higher Ed experience? We will examine what a modern “War on Poverty” would look like and what role education would play. We will explore issues of identity and culture (including gender, race/ethnicity, and class) and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face.

The Future Is In Our Hands**

Instructors: TPSSS Staff
Keywords: Policy, Culture, & Society, Self & Identity, Teaching & Education

In this class we will research and write about what it means to be a first-generation or low-income student pursuing an Education degree in the US. We will explore issues of identity and culture and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face in the K-12 school system. Example topics may include: inequity of resources in neighborhoods and communities and the impact on k-12 schools or cultural bias in standardized tests.

FYS 207

Get Woke to Being Broke*

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Teaching & Education, Self & Identity, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution

In this class, we will research and practice what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. What are the financial mechanisms that make Higher Education possible for those coming from low-income backgrounds? What is the financial impact of a college education, positive and negative? Students will calculate these costs and rewards from an individual perspective exploring cost of attendance, impact of financial aid, inflation in both cost of attendance and local economy, and planning for future financial needs.

Me, Myself, and I. Who the Heck am I?

Instructor: Tracy Powell
Keywords: Self & Identity, Health & Wellness

This course examines the perplexing question of what constitutes the self from a philosophical, psychological, existential, and biological lens. Con
sideration will progress from a broad theoretical understanding of self to an individually focused look at one’s own self-identity. Deeper self-understanding should lead to better decision-making and overall well-being in life here at WOU and beyond.

Play: It’s not just for kids

Instructor: Jennifer Taylor-Winney
Keywords: Health & Wellness, Hands-on, Self & Identity

This first year seminar will explore the role of lifetime play from global to local through multiple lenses – historical, cultural, political, sociological, relational, psychological, and physiological. These perspectives will be framed using Social Ecological Theory, Wellness Model, and Play Theory. The signature assignment will be a letter to your future self.

FYS 207

#SlayingPublicHealth

Instructor: Loren Wisniewski
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Health & Wellness, Policy, Culture, & Society

This course showcases all the ways public health impacts living conditions and quality of life around the world, in Oregon, and on our campus. Through hands-on fieldwork, multimedia and guest lectures, students will explore ways to get involved locally and globally to make a positive difference in their communities.

Oregon History Detectives

Instructors: Kim Jensen and Ken Carano
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Local Connections, Teaching & Education

Oregon History Detectives introduces students to the tools they need to discover and analyze the lives of diverse Oregonians in our history and teach others about their experiences to build a richer understanding of our past. Methods for students to gain these analytical, comprehension, and teaching skills, including gallery walks with primary source documents, role-playing through literature, comparing and contrasting worldviews through human stories, self-reflection activities, story mapping, and gaining observation, reflection, and questioning skills during field studies. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources through discussion and in writing.

Poets, Playwrights & Revolutionaries: Lessons From the Soviet Bloc

Instructor: David Doellinger
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution, Global Exploration

Did you know that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was an actor and comedian before he became the wartime leader of Ukraine? In fact, he named his real-life political party – “Servant of the People” – after the name of the 2015 television program that he produced and starred in to challenge the corruption and abuses that had shaped Ukrainian politics. This First Year Seminar explores how playwrights, poets, students, workers, novelists, filmmakers and pacifists also challenged the authoritarian political systems of Communist Central Europe after 1945. In this seminar, students will engage in a study of this recent history through a critical analysis of primary source materials such as poetry, music, art, & film that shaped these transformations in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany – and of course Ukraine.

Travelers of Latin America

Instructors: Ricardo Pelegrin-Taboada
Keywords: Global Exploration, Communication & Humanity, Historical Perspectives

This course unveils the different approaches and interpretations that foreigners visiting Latin American territories have made of significant historical events taking place in the region since colonial until modern times. During the class, we will examine, in chronological order, primary sources such as diaries and memories written by travelers during their stay in South and Central America, and the Caribbean. The course will also include secondary sources such as monographs or collections of articles describing the experiences of travelers during their stay in the region. Differences of gender, race, religion and purpose among these travelers will show to the students the diversity and mobility that has existed in Latin America since colonial times. This course will develop analytical and critical thinking of the students, their formal and informal writing, as well as their oral skills through classes’ discussions and presentations.

A Solar System Odyssey

Instructor: Jeremiah Oxford
Keywords: Science, Tech, & Data, Historical Perspectives, Media & Current Events

Exploration of the solar system is the first step to understanding our place in the universe. We will take a journey through time and see how our perception of the solar system has evolved over the centuries and how a revolution in astronomy led to the birth of modern science. With a gift for pattern recognition, humans formulated the laws of physics which are essential for predicting the motions and properties of celestial bodies. By analyzing the structure and composition of the solar system, we can discover what this information reveals about the origin and evolution of the solar system. We will explore the surface geology of planets and moons and learn what physical processes have shaped these unique worlds. In addition, we will examine the latest observations acquired from spacecraft, assess the significance of these recent discoveries and what they mean for the future of humankind.

Oregon History Detectives

Instructors: Kim Jensen and Ken Carano
Keywords: Historical Perspectives, Local Connections, Teaching & Education

Oregon History Detectives introduces students to the tools they need to discover and analyze the lives of diverse Oregonians in our history and teach others about their experiences to build a richer understanding of our past. Methods for students to gain these analytical, comprehension, and teaching skills, including gallery walks with primary source documents, role-playing through literature, comparing and contrasting worldviews through human stories, self-reflection activities, story mapping, and gaining observation, reflection, and questioning skills during field studies. Students will analyze primary and secondary sources through discussion and in writing.

The Future Is In Our Hands**

Instructors: TPSSS Staff
Keywords: Policy, Culture, & Society, Self & Identity, Teaching & Education

In this class we will research and write about what it means to be a first-generation or low-income student pursuing an Education degree in the US. We will explore issues of identity and culture and potential solutions to the barriers that underrepresented students face in the K-12 school system. Example topics may include: inequity of resources in neighborhoods and communities and the impact on k-12 schools or cultural bias in standardized tests.

FYS 207

Get Woke to Being Broke*

Instructors: SEP Staff
Keywords: Teaching & Education, Self & Identity, Conflict, Debate, & Revolution

In this class, we will research and practice what it means to be first-generation or low-income in the current U.S. educational system. What are the financial mechanisms that make Higher Education possible for those coming from low-income backgrounds? What is the financial impact of a college education, positive and negative? Students will calculate these costs and rewards from an individual perspective exploring cost of attendance, impact of financial aid, inflation in both cost of attendance and local economy, and planning for future financial needs.


Contact Us

Phone: 503-838-8296 | E-mail: gened@wou.edu | Location: Instructional Technology Center

 


General Education

CONTACT US

503-838-8296 | or e-mail: gened@wou.edu  | Location: Instructional Technology Center

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