Run Toward the Fire: Consuming and Creating Global Mass Media Messages
Dr. Andrea Frantz
Picture this: You're in a crowded subway station. At your stop, a police officer hustles down the platform stairs and announces, "Everyone must exit the station in an orderly fashion. When you get to street level, we need you to turn right and run." Everyone nervously begins to ascend the stairs and you can see the people in front of you comply with the officer's instructions. Which way do you turn? If curiosity makes you say, "left," then you are a person driven by the need to know and perhaps the need to share what you know with the world. In this age of the smartphone, the backpack journalist, the first-person iReport, revolutions fueled by Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, our understanding of who provides information to the public (and how) is very different than it was 50 years ago. "The public" is now a global audience no longer limited to the people in your immediate community with shared interests and experiences. "Reporters" are no longer exclusively the trained Bob Woodwards or the Anderson Coopers of the world, but can be your neighbor who witnesses the fire, runs toward it and shoots images for the local television station with her iPhone. Through class discussion, case studies, written and oral projects, this course will analyze the who, what, where, when, how and why of global mass media message creation and consumption.
Coming of Age: How Stories Help Us See and Connect with the World
Dr. Bethany Larson
Theatre and its cousin, the cinema, are lenses through which we see who we are and who we might become. In this seminar we will explore the issue of globalism as it relates to the way children and young people are presented in theatrical and cinematic storytelling from Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, South America, and the United States. Our purpose is twofold: to build a better appreciation for the experiences of people from differing backgrounds by watching relevant films and reading play texts, and to connect our own childhood and coming of age experiences to those of children from around the world through writing and sharing stories.
The World In Your Front Yard: An In Depth Examination of Storm Lake, Iowa
Professor David Walker
Storm Lake has long been on the leading edge of a variety of issues confronting the United States and world today- immigration, diversity, religious freedom, commerce, global trade, and city planning. Through primary research, access to city and regional leaders, and service-learning opportunities, you will learn how these issues contribute to Storm Lake as a microcosm of the world and how you and your college experience puts you in the middle of that world.
Perspectives on Family Communication in a Global Society
Dr. Elizabeth Lamoureux
As we explore the theme of globalism, our specific course deals with the important and very practical topic of family and how it's conceptualized across the globe. Issues that will be addressed include: types of families, family roles, family culture and traditions, power and intimacy in families, family conflict, the role technology plays in family functioning, as well as the implications of social issues on family structure and interaction. Our focus will include careful analysis from the required summer reading in relation to the above themes as well as a cross-cultural approach to our understanding of family.
Let's Examine That More Closely, Please!
Dr. Stan Ullerich
Some beliefs are demonstrably true. Other beliefs are consistent with a widely held vision of many or repeated ad-nauseum by a few and accepted as a substitute for facts. Subjecting beliefs to the test of facts is important as an educated person and future leader so that fallacies can be refuted and myths "busted." Be they rural-urban, male-female, labor-leisure, race-gender, third world-developed world, teaching-learning, or cost-price myths, we'll apply a common sense approach to debunking some widely held beliefs about wealth and prosperity among not-so-disparate groups. Readings, in addition to our common University Seminar book, will likely be from among Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell; Common Sense Economics by James Gwartney, Richard Stroup and Dwight Lee; and First Principles by John B Taylor.
Social Media & Global Change
Prof. Jamii Claiborne
The rise of social media usage around the globe has been rapid and remarkable. Facebook, in existence for less than a decade, already hit one billion worldwide users last year. Twitter is barely seven-years-old and at a half-billion users. In a short period of time, social media have changed the way we communicate, and as new media guru Clay Shirky has written, "When we change the way we communicate, we change society." This course will focus on how social media have opened new possibilities for worldwide civic engagement and collaboration for social change. Social media allow people to share information, organize, protest, and collectively act in new and innovative ways, at astonishing speeds, and at times, with impressive and important results. This course explores different types of social media in a global context, how they have been used in recent social/global movements, and their influence on change.
Where are all of the scientists?
Dr. Lisa Mellmann
Fewer people are entering STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and yet there is an increasing need and many job opportunities in these fields. This class will explore the current and historical trends of people entering STEM fields and implications these trends have on our society. We will look at the attitudes towards STEM research and job opportunities around the world (Asia, Europe, South America, Africa) and compare them to attitudes in the US. We will explore reasons why increased numbers in STEM fields is essential to a growing economy and staying competitive worldwide. We will research the challenges students face going into these fields (education, gender, diversity) and ways to promote and encourage young people to pursue higher education in these fields. We will use these ideas to develop outreach opportunities in the local schools or extracurricular activities for area youth.
Hatred in America
Dr. Stephanie Hays
What is the nature and extent of hate crime in the United States? Who are the offenders and victims? How can we prevent the growth of hate? This course is an interdisciplinary approach to examining the topic of hate and hate crimes. You spent the summer reading How Does it Feel to be a Problem: Being Young and Arab in America. Now spend the semester continuing to deepen your understanding of hatred in America. We will use a wide variety of sources including textbooks, scholarly articles, historical documents, personal narratives, newspaper articles, and films to explore the issue of hate in America. Student discussion will be an integral part of the course. Reflective writing, independent research, and group projects are also utilized to help students develop a more thorough understanding of hatred and the impact hatred has in today's world. Please note this course will be academically and emotionally challenging. The focus of this course is on hate. Some of the material includes graphic depictions that you may find difficult to read, view, and/or discuss.
What Customers Want
Dr. Scott Anderson
Knowing customers and knowing what customers want allows companies to out maneuver competition and provide superior customer value. This course will explore the fundamental ingredients of a successful business and successful person. We will focus on "knowing and satisfying customers" with an emphasis on customer research and strategy development. Group projects and guest speakers will complement lectures providing additional learning about internal and external customers. Development of a personal mission and vision statement will support the development of a powerful resume and strong interviewing techniques that will ultimately lead students to successfully sell themselves in many situations throughout their lives.
The Real Cost of Products We Consume
Dr. Robert Blodgett
Americans are among the world's most gluttonous consumers, irritated when our favorite products are temporarily vacant from our store's shelves. The cost of products we use cannot be gauged by the price tag alone. A long trail of costs precedes the "cha-ching" at the cash register. Millions of workers in developing nations live in abject poverty and work in deplorable conditions to harvest and refine raw materials, to manufacture, to assemble, to transport the myriad of nonessential items we take for granted and deem essential. A long trail of toxic waste flows onto arable land, spills into ground water, and billows into the air, the long-term health costs of which loom menacingly in our not so distant futures. Working cooperatively as a community of learners we will explore the real costs of some of our favorite products from apples to Zippos. More importantly, we will discover the size of our own global footprints and explore strategies for educating consumers about ways to reduce our global impact. Our resources will include a textbook, selective websites, lessons in films, stories, and songs from indigenous cultures who live sustainably, and excursions to observe and interview consumers.
The Effect of Sports on the Global Community
Dr. Matt Hanson
Throughout history, there has been a shift in the purpose of sports. It has been suggested that the development of sport has been intimately associated with the civilization and politics of the time. Competition and sport have affected culture both locally as well as globally throughout history. One does not need to think twice about the way Jackie Robinson affected baseball, or how the "Miracle on Ice" affected the game of Hockey in the United States. Numerous other examples certainly exist. The effects of these events and individuals go far beyond the specific sport. This course will look at a selected history of the cultural and global effects of sport. This course will also look at the effects the media as well as 'pop' culture has had on the way sporting events and individuals have been portrayed.
The Role of Women in the Global Community
Jennifer McNabb, Deans Fellows and Honors Program Coordinator
While women make up half of the world's population, their power and status is anything but equal. This course will explore the idea of globalization and its significant effect on women and gender. Together, we will look at issues such as prostitution, the wage gap, sex trafficking, child brides, female genital mutilation, division of household labor, and much more. In addition to discussing the impact of globalization on women, we will also look at the ways in which women are impacting the global community. Using readings, class discussions, videos, and selected web sites, we'll consider both the advantages and the disadvantages of being a woman in the 21st century. This course may also be applied toward a minor in Gender and Women's Studies.