First-Year Learning Communities

Fall 2018 Cornerstone Learning Communities

Students on ropes course

Please Note: While some of the experiential opportunities with each learning community will be mandatory, others may require both permission forms and a small fee. Those opting out of extracurricular activities that require additional fees or because of extenuating circumstances will be given alternative activities to meet the learning objectives.

You will see some information in bold below some communities to let students know if a community is not an option due to possible AP or IB (higher level only accepted) exams or transfer credit.

There are seven total Cornerstone Learning Communities to choose from. For more information about each Learning Community and the courses offered, you may click on one of the following or scroll through the page.

  1. “Lift Every Voice!"
  2. Big Brother's Brave New World: Media Politics in the 21st Century
  3. Exploring Literature and Film
  4. Yoga, Meditation, Contemplative Practices, and the World's Religions
  5. Stretching Your Mind: Yoga and Psychology
  6. Free Expression, Protest Literature, and Related Campus Issues: A Holistic Exploration
  1.    “Lift Every Voice!"

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

Course Description

AFN 130

African American Studies

MW

3:00-4:45 PM

Mr. Sean Palmer

3

Living in Our Diverse Nation

PSY 105

General Psychology

MW

1:00-1:50 PM

Ms. Tracy Peña

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

TR

12:30-1:45 PM

Dr. Emmanuel Harris

3

Foundations

Description: Have you ever wondered why most conversations about race, ethnicity, and identity are inadequate?  Maybe you’ve asked yourself, “Why can’t I find words to adequately describe what I see every day?”  If so, join Tracy Peña, Sean Palmer, and Emmanuel Harris II, for a semester long immersion into the topic of race through both African American Studies and Psychology courses.  From an interdisciplinary approach, students can expect to participate in events and discussions that widen knowledge about culture and heritage. Using a psycho-social perspective, students can also expect to examine how race and race relations in our society affect the individual.  Historical and modern day events will set the backdrop for inquiry and analysis. Finally, students can expect, and are encouraged, to bring their voice and find their voice. So, if you are looking for an engaging, critical, and innovative exploration of race, culture, and psychology, we encourage you to join us for “Lift Every Voice!"  *You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 4 or better) on AP Psychology or a 5 or better on IB HL, or are transferring in credit for an introductory Psychology course.

2. Big Brother's Brave New World: Media Politics in the 21st Century

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

University Studies Category

COM 160

Engaging Contemporary Media

TR

3:30-4:45 PM

Dr. Chadwick Roberts

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

PLS 101

American Government

TR

2:00-3:15 PM

Dr. Julie Lane

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

UNI 101

First-Year Seminar

TR

12:30-1:45pm

Dr. James Taylor

3

Foundations

Description: In the age of 'fake news' and social media, how do citizens engage with media and politics? Equally – perhaps more – importantly, how should citizens engage with media and politics? In this CLC, students will answer these questions with input from communications studies and political science. Students will explore the structures, systems, effects, conventions, and genres of contemporary media in Communication Studies 160. The emphasis of this course is on improving media literacy to foster critical and educated consumption of media. From political science, students will examine the role of the media in American democracy and explore the implications of “fake” and partisan news. The goal of this CLC is to foster and create critical media literacy and engaged citizens for the 21st Century.

3.   Exploring Literature and Film

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

Course Description

GER 209

German Literature in Translation: Topics

TR

11:00-12:15 PM

Dr. Raymond Burt

3

Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives

FST 110

Concepts in Film

MW

M 9:00-11:45 and W 9:00-10:15 AM

Ms. Elizabeth Rawitsch

3

Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

TR

2-3:15 PM

Mr. Zach Underwood

3

Foundations

Description: As a learning community we will explore the depths of the human soul as expressed in great works of German literature (in English) with a solid foundation in film studies. In the German literature course (GER 209) you will experience some of the best writers in Western culture to whom, with the exception of Kafka, you were probably not exposed during your high school years. In the film studies course (FST 110) you will learn to be an active “reader” of film style and narrative as we analyze how German and American filmmakers elicit an audience response in films ranging from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) to The Reader (2008). Having German literature paired with a film class will allow us to look at the adaptation and transformation of literary themes into cinematic form. You will gain a rich understanding of how art crosses both mediums and cultural boundaries. The interdisciplinary approach will benefit students both in their understanding of basic cinematic and literary concepts and their ability to critically analyze the interaction between these two artistic forms. Joint assignments will involve presentations and papers examining how each medium uses its unique tools to shape a common plot or theme.

4.   Yoga, Meditation, Contemplative Practices, and the World's Religions

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

Course Description

PAR 125

Great Books of the World’s Religions

MWF

12-12:50 PM

Diana Pasulka

3

Historical & Philosophical Approaches

PED 101

Yoga

MW

11-11:50 AM

Jessica Hartmann

2

Lifetime Wellness

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

TR

TR 11-12:15 PM

Beverley McGuire

3

Foundations

Description: What is the relationship between our minds and bodies? How do our thoughts and actions contribute to our sense of happiness and well-being? What is the value of yoga, meditation, and Western contemplative practices (sometimes understood as practices of prayer), and what role have such practices played in religious traditions in the past and present? This Learning Community will discuss such questions through a combination of Physical Activity and Wellness (PED 101), a Special Topics UNI focused on yoga, meditation, and contemplative practices (UNI 101), and Great Books of the World's Religions (PAR 125). In PED 101, students will learn how the mind-body connection facilitates peace and happiness both on and off the yoga mat. A full practice of meditation, physical yoga postures, and self-reflection will allow students to reshape attitudes, views, and thoughts to move forward on the path to happiness. In UNI 101, students will explore their views and assumptions about happiness, their experience doing yoga and contemplative practices, and how such practices have been understood in religious traditions. In PAR 125, students will engage in a comparative study of Eastern and Western religious traditions, reading and interpreting classic religious texts including the Bible, the Qur'an, as well as Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. Common themes and links between the courses include an examination of one's mind and body, the role that one's thoughts and actions play in one's happiness and well-being, yoga, meditation, and Western contemplative practices, the religious foundations for such practices, and how they compare to other religious worldviews.

5.   Stretching Your Minds: Yoga and Psychology

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

Course Description

PED 101

Yoga

MW

10:00-10:50 AM

Mr. Christian Barnes

2

Lifetime Wellness

PSY 105

General Psychology

MWF

9:00-9:50 AM

Ms. Elaine Hogan

3

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

TR

8:30-9:45AM

Ms. Leah Colvin

3

Foundations

Description: How can we achieve balance in our lives? What can we do to enhance our health in every aspect; mind, body, and spirit? How does our environment influence our choices? How can we develop behaviors that will serve us well as we age? This Learning Community seeks answers to these questions and many more through the combination of General Psychology (PSY 105) and Physical Activity and Wellness (PED 101) with a concentration on Hatha Yoga techniques. In the PED 101 class, students will receive an introduction to the various aspects of Yoga, including Hatha Yoga postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation and meditation. Students will also increase their awareness and development of the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and intellectual components of wellness, become informed health consumers, and practice applying healthy lifestyle choices for improved quality of life. In PSY 105, students will be provided a sampling of the major subject areas of psychology, with an emphasis on the general principles and methods of psychological study. It is hoped that, as they explore the wide range of psychological research and learn the disciplines of yoga, students will increase their own self-awareness and their understanding of the determinants of their own behavior. *You cannot choose this as an option if you have taken (and scored a 4 or better) on AP Psychology or a 5 or better on IB HL, or are transferring in credit for an introductory Psychology course.

6.   Free Expression, Protest Literature, and Related Campus Issues: A Holistic Exploration.

Course

Title

Days

Time

Instructor

Hours

Course Description

CRM 110

Introduction to Criminology

MW

9:00 - 9:50 AM

Babette Boyd

2

Understanding Human Institutions & Behaviors

ENG 290

Themes in Literature

TR

12:30 - 1:45 PM

Melina Reed

3

Aesthetic, Interpretive, & Literary Perspectives

UNI 101

First Year Seminar

TR

11:00 - 12:15 PM

John Scherer & Jim Koebel

3

Foundations

Description: Speech. Expression. Assembly. Debate. Protest. Activism. Revolution.  The First Amendment is the source of what are perhaps our most cherished, yet controversial, rights. Throughout its history, our nation has witnessed countless iterations of the exercise of those rights by people and organizations and for causes across the political, religious, and social spectrums. How have our rights under the First Amendment evolved? What role does the college campus play? How do we exercise and protect these rights in society and on a college campus? In this Learning Community, we will explore the exercise of free speech through landmark Supreme Court decisions, historical and contemporary American protest literature, and the unique lens of the college experience. In ENG 290, students will inquire into the written, spoken, and visual language of protest. In CRM 110, students will learn how First Amendment expression has been formulated and shaped by court decisions, primarily those of the U.S. Supreme Court.  We will use a case study method to gain a legal and historical perspective of how the courts have attempted to strike a balance between the interests of the government and those of the people at the intersection of the First Amendment and the Criminal Law. In UNI 101, students will examine the intertwining freedoms and restrictions of the government, university, faculty, visitor, student, and listener related to free speech and expression. This Community will emphasize critical thinking to enable students to approach these issues from sociological, legal, literary, and practical perspectives.