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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders First Year Experience



First Year Seminars


Below is a list of the First Year Seminars available in the Fall of 2013. 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 1100-01: Robin Hood: The Outlaw Hero

MWF 1:30 to 2:20, Belknap 101- Tom Murphy

The story of Robin Hood inspires the imagination, and raises questions about the nature of the hero, the role of authority, and the distribution of wealth. The course will involve analysis of the stories, research on the history of the story and of its telling. Literary works are models of the world that allow us to play with experiences, to try on perspectives, to imagine and reflect on a world different from the one we live in, and perhaps to change that world. We will also see how a variety of perspectives—literary, historical, philosophical, scientific, artistic—can combine to deepen our understanding of the world, so the course itself will serve as a model of the way the liberal arts components of an education strengthen our ability to understand and deal with all aspects of our lives.

FYS 1100-02: 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.

FYS 1100-03: Creative Writing

TTh 1:00 to 2:15, Retan 105 – Louise Sullivan-Blum

This is a multi-genre introductory creative writing class. Although you will be writing and revising finished pieces, the emphasis is on the creative process—on cutting to your truth as a writer and as a human being. You will begin with free writing and short assignments and progress to writing longer pieces. Some of your writing will be personal and private, some will be shared in peer workshop groups, and some will be evaluated by me. In addition, we will spend a great deal of the semester reading and discussing what we've read. Part of becoming a good writer is learning to write regularly; another part is becoming a good reader. All writers write not just with inspiration, but with intent. When we read the writing of others, whether it is published work or the drafts we workshop in this class, we will focus not just on the content, but also on the choices and techniques of the writer.

FYS 1100-06: Science in History and Culture MWF 9:30 to 10:20, Grant 122 - Barry Ganong

This course explores the concept of science, its role in our contemporary society, and how it has affected history and culture over the course of four millennia. Particular attention will be paid to significant advances in science and how they have contributed to the evolution of our self-consciousness, our worldviews, and the ways in which we approach knowledge in general.

Media and Pop Culture FYS 1100-07TTh 1:00 to 2:15, Retan 109 

 James Lohrey This course will present and evaluate current and relevant items in the news, media, and pop culture. Students will examine the role of media and how it impacts TV, future films, public relations, magazine sales, downloaded singles and/or radio airplay. Students will become more media literate and critical consumers of information.

FYS 1100-10: Surviving the Undead Apocalypse (Zombies)

TTh 1:00 to 2:15, Retan G4 – Dan Mason

This course will look at the possibility of an apocalyptic attack by the undead. Students will read books and watch movies with scenarios involving the undead and how others have tried to deal with such a situation. The course will encourage students to look at Mansfield University as their default location during the apocalypse and require them to locate campus resources needed for their survival.

FYS 1100-11:There Are No Bears in Moscow MWF 10:30 to 11:20 – Elliot Room 116Jeff Bosworth

A generation ago, the USSR was a communist superpower aligned against the United States in the Cold War struggle. While communism and the Cold War ended, Russia remains a powerful country, with a significant military, a growing economy, and a massive source of raw materials (such as oil and natural gas). It is the largest country in the world by area (spanning 11 time zones), 9th largest by population, and 6th largest economy. For many Americans, Russia is the land of bears, snow and vodka. This course addresses the historical foundations and political system, as well as its varied and rich cultural heritage. It includes an examination of the economy, religion, population, literature, music, and language.

FYS 1100-13: Type and Clay

MW 3:30 to 4:45, Allen Room 022 Belknap 201 – M. Schlegel

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 1100-14: Environmental Conservation vs. Preservation

MWF 11:30 to 12:20, 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.

Kids Who Kick butt (2 different sections of the same course)FYS 1100-18MWF 9:30 to 10:20, Belknap 201 - Teri DoerksenFYS 1100-19MWF 10:30 to 11:20, Belknap 201 - Teri Doerksen

The course looks at children's literature with strong male and/or female protagonists over a period spanning the last 100 years.The course will ask students to consider these books from a range of different scholarly perspectives.We will look at them, for example, in historical perspective, considering the time period in which they were written and the time period they are portraying.We will also look at market considerations: what kinds of market pressures determine content for children's books?Under what circumstances do these pressures change or shift?We will also consider the role of visual arts in children's literature, considering both cover art and how it changes through the decades, and the illustrations in children's picture books.We will be doing some gender readings of the contents of the books, looking at both male and female characters and how they are depicted at different periods; many of the books consider issues of race, as well, and we will look at the ways in which those issues are represented and why.

FYS 1100-20: The Good Life

MWF 1:30 to 2:20, Elliot 101 – 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 1100-22:My Life in PicturesMWF 11:30 to 12:20, 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 1100-23: Public Issues in a Global Economy - Carl Smith

This course is about public issues of our times. The class examines issues such as offshoring of business, pollution, wage differential between men and women, government debt, and other issues. Many issues may be considered non-economic and controversial however, applying basic economic analysis students will develop a new way of thinking about the important issues in today's economy. The course will illustrate that economics is not only a new way to view and analyze todays issues but also entertaining and informative. Student will learn how to recognize the tradeoffs involved in every decision and conceptualize the cost and benefits of any actions or government policy. Students will develop basic study and research skills and other basic learning tools as they progress through the class to enhance their college learning progress while attending Mansfield University.

FYS 1100-24: 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.