2014-15 First-Year Seminars

AA. Become A Campus Leader. Do you hold positions of leadership in your high school? Do you aspire to become a leader in your major field of study? This seminar will show you how to use your past experiences as a leader, identify the innate character traits you possess that are important for leadership, and develop the skills needed to be a successful leader. During the seminar experience, you will complete personality tests and self-assessments, interview other leaders, explore leadership theories and current research on effective leadership, and discover leadership opportunities on campus that will translate into successful leadership in your chosen career. Your experiences in this seminar will help you to become a campus and community leader, prepared to take on the challenges waiting for you in your future.
(Kathy Furbee, Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Work Program
BB. Berlin on the Silver Screen. This is neither going to be your run-of-the-mill film class, nor your average first-year seminar. The limits of your imagination will be challenged by strange and unusual subject matter, placed in a strange and unusual city: Berlin, capital of Germany, the chopped-up Phoenix, risen from the ashes, once again unified, multi-culturally vibrant, and in living color. You will share this class with “older” students, who are taking this class because they are interested in film, in cultures, and because they enjoy being challenged. A part of the challenge for them is to help you figure out what it means to be a Bethany College student. Together, you will meet youngsters tunneling under the Berlin Wall, spies being exchanged at Checkpoint Charlie, a girl running through a unified city, again and again and again, and angels hanging out on top of public buildings and looking over peoples’ shoulders in libraries. You will learn how to “read” and interpret movies, and study the culture that has brought them forth; and you will write about it – intensively. You will understand that Hollywood is not the only game in town, especially in this town – BERLIN! (Limited to 10 students. Students registered for this seminar are expected to enroll in Berlin Live in JTerm. Berlin Live carries a $1500 course fee to cover travel expenses to Berlin, Germany.)
(Harald Menz, Co-Chair of the Humanities, Professor of World Languages and Cultures, Director of International Studies, Co-Director of Interdisciplinary Studies)
CC. Bethany College History: The Truth. This seminar engages students in basic research into the history of Bethany College. Students search through the College archives (examining old newspapers, letters, minutes of meetings, yearbooks, etc.), engage in interviews and read existing histories of the College. In the process they encounter fundamental issues of historical research and writing. As the capstone experience of the seminar, students engage in primary research on one of the College’s academic awards, write the “official” history of that award, and create a webpage for the Honors Project website within Bethany College home page. CLOSED (Gary Kappel, Perry E. and Aleece C. Gresham Chair in Humanities and Professor of History)
DD. ESPN Rules: From Programming Practices to Sports and Societal Development. This course takes a two-pronged approach as an introduction to sports communication. First, from a career perspective, ESPN and similar companies are studied to identify, select, and introduce limited best practices in sports announcing, writing, interviewing and production. Secondly, topical issues and historical personalities in sports culture (through a media filter) are discussed such as sport as intervention for troubled youths, sports heroes, sporting events and social responsibility, and corporate philanthropic activity related to sport. CLOSED
(Patrick Sutherland,Professor of Communications and General Manager of WVBC-Radio
EE. From Big Bangs to Bad Breaks: Perceptions of Scientists on the Small Screen. In the twenty-first century, television has become competitive with and, in some cases, has even superseded Hollywood drama and comedy. A happy consequence of this is the number of engaging and interesting representations of science, technology, and medicine on the small screen. This seminar will examine archetypes of scientists in modern pop culture, using class discussion, reading, writing, and visual aids including television episodes. Topics will include tortured “mad scientist” geniuses such as Gregory House (House, M.D.), Walter White (Breaking Bad), and Walter Bishop (Fringe); socially-inept deductive reasoners such as Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock/Elementary) and Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory); modern forensic scientists including Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Bones) and the cast of CSI (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation); and quirky medical practitioners like John “J.D.” Dorian (Scrubs), and Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy). Students will journal their experiences, reflecting on how modern scientific stereotypes are portrayed on television. They will also consider which character traits they possess, as well as how they can use these attributes in their future careers in science, education, the humanities, or other fields.
(Scott Brothers, Assistant Professor of ChemistryCLOSED
FF. Human Struggle through Sports. Through the mediums of Literature and films, this seminar explores the way in which men and women struggle through sports. Topics such as aging athletes, ethical decisions making, competition, success, and even death will be explored through the eyes of the athlete, fans, and the general sports enthusiast.
(Jan Forsty, Chair of the Department of Physical Education and Sports Studies, Assistant Professor of Physical Education, Associate Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation and Head Softball Coach
GG. Leadership: A Journey, not a Destination. The aim of this course is to examine leadership styles and practical application skill development within a variety of organizations. The class format will include individual, small group and class assignments. CLOSED
(Matthew Payment, Assistant Professor in Physical Education and Sports Studies)
HH. May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor. "A people rose up from the ashes and a new era was born. But freedom has a cost." President Snow, THE HUNGER GAMES. "The system removes the threat of anyone exercising their independent will. Divergents threaten that system. It won't be safe until they're removed." Jeanine Matthews DIVERGENT "The last law in a world gone out of control. Pray that he's out there somewhere." MAD MAX movie tagline. Since the dawn of time, society has been obsessed with the apocalypse. What will the end look like? What will society become? Would creating a world where everything and everyone are equal delay the end? Students in this class will examine works of literature and film that explore post-apocalyptic and utopian/ dystopian themes. "This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." Morpheus THE MATRIX.
(Heather Taylor, Coordinator of the Writing Center and Learning Specialist)
II. O My Gods! This course will examine a wide range of mythologies from all over the world, both ancient and modern. It will explore fairy tales, sagas, epic poetry, ghost stories, and various forms of young adult literature, including the Harry Potter series, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and the Ring Trilogy, the works of Rick Riordan and much more. It will also explore mythic ideas in films such as the Star Wars series, American Western drama, The Matrix, The Hunger Games, and more. Special consideration will be given to the meaning of mythic ideas in everyday life.
(Scott Thayer, College Chaplain)
JJ. Psychology of Fairy Tales.This course will explore a variety of psychological themes present in fairy tales. Students will read a selection of fairy tales from around the world, view movie adaptations of fairy tales, and write their own fairy tale. Themes to be explored include morality, pro-social and anti-social behavior, romantic love, and archetypes. CLOSED
(Katrina Cooper, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of First Year Studies
KK. Stress, Coping and Health. This seminar is intended to teach freshmen about the link between stress and mental as well as physical health. Initial discussions will focus on the effects of stress on anxiety, depression, cardiovascular function, and susceptibility to disease. After that, discussion will focus on ways to cope with stress. Coping techniques for everyday stresses will include humor, social support, exercise and developing a positive self image. The seminar will also emphasize coping styles specific for the college experience including time management, open communication, conflict resolution, using on-campus resources and developing effective studying techniques to deal with such issues as adjusting to college-level academics, dealing with separation from home and adjusting to a new environment. Students will be graded on attendance, seminar participation and weekly self-reflection papers. Any student is welcome to take this seminar, but the anxious student may benefit the most.
(Mark Affeltranger, Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology)
LL. The Beatles and Their Times. This seminar engages the student in a study of music, popular culture, and history through the phenomenon of the Beatles. Our examination involves listening to music, viewing DVDs, research, writing, discussion and special projects tailored to student interests. An objective of this course is to understand and appreciate the dramatic paradigm shift in popular culture during the 1960s and its ramifications, both musically and sociologically for its own time and beyond.
(Pandel Collaros, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of the Jazz-Rock Ensemble)
MM. Which Way Do I Go? This seminar will help the student explore themselves, their interests, and help to answer the question we’ve all been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The course will use reading samples as well as “virtual field trips” to discover new and interesting hobbies and activities. Student will be challenged by discussion during class and short writing assignments outside of class.
(Maureen Golick, Assistant Registrar)
NN. Social Media: How to Make it Work for You, Not Against You. Social Media has changed how human interaction has evolved and created new forms of sociability. This seminar challenges students to develop awareness and the ability to recognize their responsibilities using social media while encouraging belief in social responsibility and action. It will show how people are interacting with one another in positive and negative ways. This seminar will allow students to become more aware of just how much information they are allowing to be known about themselves and how this can help or hurt them in the future. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Instagram will be covered. Students will conduct a social media audit of their own accounts and research and discuss how social media is shaping the world around them. There will be pre and post survey done to see if their views and uses of social media changes after this seminar.
(Ashley Kanotz, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations)
Happiness 101: Philosophies of Happiness. This seminar is an attempt to identify, describe and implement habits of body and mind that can lead to increased happiness. Using Tal Ben-Sharar’s "Happier" as a starting point, students will identify through critical thought, reading and writing, a personal practice of eudemonia. Students will also read Barry Schwarz’s "The Paradox of Choice" in addition to researching the topic of happiness from the standpoint of eminent thinkers of the student’s choosing. 
(Luke Hardt, Associate Professor of Theatre, Director of the Bethany College Theatre, and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts)