LEARNING SCIENCES AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT, COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES
“Children, Families, and Public Policy” will provide students with a nuanced understanding of the role of public policies in the lives of children and families. Topics will include the policy process, policy and science, poverty, social indicators, welfare reform, teenage pregnancy, marriage and families, early childhood education, housing and juvenile justice. Students will hear from non-profits, state agencies and NGOs. Ultimately, students will complete a service-related project, completing a needs assessment around one social issue, evaluating the effectiveness of policies on meeting the needs of children and families around that issue.
SCHOOL OF NURSING
“Perspectives on Caring” will ask students to explore the concept of caring over the past, present and future, using theoretical, ethical, socio-political and interpersonal lenses. What does it mean to be caring? How is caring lived in the human experience? Engaging in discussions and reflections, students will learn to embody this concept and approach it in individual, interpersonal, professional and civic engagements. Students will build a portfolio based around the four lenses of caring, culminating in creating a personal philosophy of caring which will address how to put this philosophy into action.
COMMUNICATION STUDIES, EBERLY COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
“ Black Mirror: The Dark Side of New Media and Technology” challenges students to explore the psychological underpinnings of people’s often troubled relationships with media and technology, using case studies from the popular dystopic science fiction television series, Black Mirror, and other science fiction works. Students will receive a crash course in film analytics, applying computer-mediated communication and media psychology theory and research to explain the depictions of emerging technology and human behavior. Based on what they have learned, students will ultimately create a pitch for their own Black Mirror episode.
ECONOMICS, COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS
“Banking and Politics in America” will explore how politics and banking have interacted throughout American history. It will explore such areas as the politics of inflation and deflation, the debate over the powers of the Federal Reserve and the political reaction to bank bailouts. The course will bridge the fields of political science, history, economics and finance, as well as other areas. Focusing on the 2008 financial crisis, students will perform a group research project on a single large, contemporary bank, tracing the bank’s public relations, lobbying, financial statements and other aspects before, during and after the crisis.
MECHANICAL & AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES
“Energy and Its Implications” will introduce students to energy’s broader implications
by addressing it within multiple social contexts. Students will explore hotly debated
topics such as energy efficiency, emissions, economics, ethics and climate
change. The course will include conventional lectures, trips, group discussions,
experiments, project based learning, technical writing and debating. Students
will also have the opportunity for exposure to ongoing research topics at the
Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions, and to collaborate
with graduate students from various fields of study.
SCHOOL OF THEATRE & DANCE, COLLEGE OF CREATIVE ARTS
“Comedy and Cognitive Dissonance” will work to show that the arts and sciences are more often than not after the same end: What makes people tick? How do creative artists frame the discourse and how do scientists? Students will use many kinds of comedy as their “laboratory” to examine several facets of the problem of cognition, cognitive dissonance and how the arts (specifically comedy) exploit the machinery of thought and reason for their own purposes. This interdisciplinary course will provide students from a variety of disciplines with an alternative take on the psychological/neurological framework through the lens of the arts and creativity.
From fairy tales to world building, “Storytelling with Archives” is an immersive
experience in storytelling, combining elements found in theater, creative writing and
journalism. Students will practice storytelling and creative journaling, ultimately
using historical archives including photos, music, oral history and personally
conducted interviews to build fictional stories of West Virginia steeped in deep
historical context. Students with different majors and backgrounds will collaborate
in an exciting creative experiment to design an interactive online storytelling
experience. A celebratory launch and storytelling festival will serve as the final