First Year Seminar Topics

Fall 2020

BU 101A3-01 - FYS Cope & Reduce Stress in Your Life

Students will explore and identify their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social stressors to create a balanced approach to reducing and managing stress. An array of traditional and holistic approaches will be introduced and demonstrated throughout the course. Beginning with time management lectures and activities, students will identify barrier’s and create personalized strategies to become successful college students. Upon competition of the course, students will understand stress, stress-reducing strategies, and stress-reducing techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to experience Reiki and massage from practicing professionals in the field. In addition, they will learn the tenants of mindfulness and take part in Mindfulness activities
Instructor: Joni Koegel

FD 101A2-01 - FYS It’s a D.I.Y. World

Join the Do-It-Yourself Movement and discover why this global trend is catching on everywhere as a means to create, engage and connect through hands-on making. Create projects that will inspire, provide unique, personalized products and develop a creative outlet to de-stress from your hectic life. Students will explore how DIYers form communities to share creations and information via on-line platforms. We will experience this phenomenon directly in the creation of our own DIY group composed of class members who will explore repurposing, crafting and creating in many different forms and materials based upon student input and interest.
Instructor: Karen Steen

HG 101A4-01 - Historical and Hysterical Horses

Throughout history, horses have made significant impacts on humans and on societies. This includes our beliefs, our transportation, our welfare, our security, our leisure time and even our happiness. Horses have provided subject material for history texts, for art, for novels, movies and comics. In many cases, the horses involved were real and in other cases they were fictional. Historically, consider the Cave Dwellers with their drawings of horses; the Greeks with their mythological horses and the Trojan horse; the horses that helped settle the West; and the horses that were instrumental in war and peace. Fictional characters such as Black Beauty and the hilarious Thelwell pony have won our hearts and have contributed to generations of young people appreciating horses. The purpose of this FYS is to recognize the influence of the horse on society from both a historical and a humorous perspective. Students will select time frames and will research, identify and document significant contributions made by horses – both factual and fictional ones!
Instructor: Carol Buckhout

HG101A5-01 - FYS The Making of the President – The Presidential Election Process

Shamelessly “borrowed” from the title of one of the very best books ever written on American politics, this course promises a detailed look at the entirety of American electoral system—on the national, state, and local level. Readings will explore political issues—as well as issues which have become some of America’s most persistent political myths. Among the many issues about which we will read: Voting and Voter Turnout; Campaign Finance; the Myth of the “Independent” Voter; Negative Campaigning; the Media Sweepstakes; the Decline of the Political Party; and Candidate Imagery. Papers and seminar discussions will center on analyses of the 2020 presidential race, as well as critiques of the system at large. Students will utilize both the New York Times (the print source of record) and C-SPAN. Students may also play a role in the instructor’s election-year media commitments (ie: election night television analysis).
Instructor: Bob Greene

HU101A2-01 - FYS Discovering Your Inner Playwright

In this course, students will engage in creative writing assignments that emphasize the development of characters, plot, and dialogue as they work toward the creation of dramatic scenes and their own, original oneact plays. Class time will involve mini-lectures that explore the history and evolution of playwriting, group work wherein students share their own writing and read short plays aloud, and writing workshops that feature exercises designed to foster creativity.
Instructor: Roxy Spano

PS 101A2-01 - FYS Brain Games and Beyond
During this course, we will delve into the biopsychology of topics depicted on popular programs such as Brain Games. Topics discussed will include neuroanatomy, sensation and perception, emotions, attention, memory, and social psychology. Prepare to be entertained, amazed, awed, and intrigued while learning neuroscience!
Instructor: Michael Holdren

SB 101A1-01 - FYS Imagination Unbound

This course will help you to explore your unique talents and inborn creativity by engaging your imagination through the tools and techniques expressed in the seven principles for “thinking like Leonardo da Vinci.” Rediscover the joyful inquisitiveness of your childhood, meet new challenges with confidence, find your passion, unite your body, mind, and spirit, and enhance your inspiration and intuition through the da Vincian principles of curiosity, experience, sensory refinement, ambiguity, physical fitness, and connection.
Instructor: Jesse Lott

SB 101A6-01 - FYS Bounce! Cultivating Resilience

What would you do if you knew you could not fail? This question is commonly asked by motivational speakers, and it’s great for helping us realize what we value. But we know we can fail. We see it all the time, in schoolwork, in athletics, and in relationships. Some people suffer anxiety, like test anxiety, or fear of forming a new relationship, or not trying out for a sports team. Others seem to move through a variety of activities, including failures, without harm. In this course, we’ll examine the idea of resilience, what it is, how it works, and how to cultivate it. We’ll examine our own anxieties and fears and explore the idea of “failing upward.” Class activities will include readings, writing, interactive games, and discussion. This class is suitable for students in all programs.
Instructor: Chris Geyer

SB 101A7-01 - FYS Feminism, Communism and Free Love?
How did a Victorian era religious commune in upstate New York survive while rejecting the American traditions of religion, capitalism, monogamy and subservient women? This course will provide an in-depth study of the Oneida Community and the Oneida Limited silverware company that grew out if it. Students will examine the Community through a social science lens, looking at their religion, their family dynamics, their businesses, their sexual practices and much more. This course will include a trip to the home of the Oneida Community.
Instructor: Jodi Hicks

SB 101A8-01 - Advocates for Children
Do you want to provide a voice for those who cannot vote? Do you want to learn how to represent the emerging needs of children around the globe? This course will present over 100 urban and rural agencies and services for children. Moreover, we will explore competing rights, the legislative system, immigration, mass media, enrichment resources, and child protection. Furthermore, we will cover a myriad of services including; health, diagnostic, social, family, educational, and legal. Also, you will be introduced to a variety of guest speakers which have made a direct impact as child advocates. Walk in this course with curiosity and leave with civic engagement goals to support the future generations!
Instructor: Jessica Essary

SM 101A1-01 - FYS Life In and On the Lake

We investigate organisms that live in, on, or around local lakes in relationship to their environment and in the context of lake-watershed stewardship. These organisms include fish, invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl, plants, and algae. This course is not recommended for students who are uncomfortable with outdoor exercise, fresh air, water, mud, and/or slimy things. Laboratory activities are all “hands-on” and will be outdoors in, on, or near some water body unless weather makes this impractical. You will frequently get your hands and clothes dirty and smelly, and you will at least occasionally be uncomfortably cold and perhaps even miserable. Your oldest pair of sneakers will be sacrificed. Fulfills the lab science requirement.
Instructor: Thad Yorks

SM 101A3-01 - FYS Human Diet and Nutrition

This course introduces the basic principles of human diet and nutrition with an emphasis on personal nutrition. Topics will include a brief overview of the digestive system, understanding nutrients and nutrient sources, nutritional requirements, nutritional disorders, and comparing nutritional needs for various developmental stages (pregnancy, lactation, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and sports nutrition). We will also evaluate food products and diets as a wise consumer. Lecture only, but some class periods will involve simple laboratory experiments to supplement lecture material. No pre-requisites.
Instructor: Emily Flynn

SM 101A5-01 FYS All Math You Need to Know

In this course we will look more deeply at much of the arithmetic and algebra that you learned in high school. Where did it come from? What is it about that math that we didn’t learn and how can we fill in those holes for a more complete understanding? Lastly, we will see how we can use that math in everyday life.
Instructor: John Livermore

VC 101A1-01 FYS Cartooning & Humorous Illustration
This studio course will allow students of all drawing abilities to discover the power of humor, and their ability to create it, through the use of the cartoon medium. Through exercises and studio projects, students will learn both basic humorous writing and drawing techniques, and how words and image can work together to make us laugh (or at least smile). Students will be introduced to a variety of humorous cartooning techniques and tools, with projects in different cartoon media, presented in an historical context. Required art supplies: a pencil (other art tools provided).
Instructor: Scott Jensen