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FYS 001 (CRN 2931) - What is a book?
Leah Huizar
MW 12:30- 1:45pm

Together, we will explore the Book as a cultural object and medium for knowledge, innovation, inclusion, status, communication, and more. We will examine the concept of the Book and reflect on our own literary backgrounds. We will ask questions about the form and concept, such as, must books be readable? What is it about physical books that endure despite technological advances? How might the book’s transformation into a visual or audio artifact shift its perceived authority and accessibility? What is our own relationship to books?

FYS 002 (CRN 11157) – The Art of Problem Solving
Adam Case
MW 3:30-4:45pm

A “problem” can be many things: a tip that needs to be calculated at a restaurant, a puzzle that we want to solve, a painting that an artist is trying to create, or a scientific question that needs an answer. In this first-year seminar, students will learn how to become better problem solvers by studying how humans reason about problems across various disciplines within the arts and sciences. Some of the topics that will be discussed include procedural thinking, intuition, heuristics, creativity, and artistic thinking. We will learn techniques that professionals use to identify, reason about, and solve problems within their fields of study. We will also learn how to apply these techniques in order to solve interactive puzzles from a computer game!

FYS 003 (CRN 6453) – Evolving Healthcare Paradigms
Erik Maki
MW 12:30-1:45 pm

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), health care in the United States has moved in a state of rapid transformation. This course will review the history and changing paradigms of health care in the United States with specific focus on the Affordable Care Act and innovative technology. Students will develop their understanding healthcare financing including pricing and payment systems and the challenges/opportunities created by the system. This course will be delivered in person. This course will emphasize critical thinking through collaborative problem-based learning. Students will be expected to be active participants in class, complete both individual and group assignments, a group presentation and a final individual reflection paper. 

FYS 004 (CRN 6788) Money or Mission
Natalie Adkins
TR 11:00-12:15 pm

For too long the narrative around business has centered around making money, but businesses have a responsibility to do more—to be a force for good. In this FYS, we will discover how and why businesses—and business leaders—add value to society and transform lives of everyone, everywhere. By exploring the principles of ESG (environmental, social, and governance), CSR *corporate social responsibility) and the UNSDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), examining case studies, meeting with business executives, gauging consumers’’ support of “business with a purpose,” and reflecting on our own values and choices, we will identify pathways to a triple win….a win for businesses, a win for society, and a win for us as future business leaders and consumers.

FYS 005 (CRN 6959) – Disability and Culture
Robert Stensrud
MW 12:30-1:45pm

This course will engage students in exploring how different cultures perceive and interact with individuals with disabilities. It will examine how education, employment, and community engagement vary across cultures for individuals with disabilities. Students will engage in research and critical thinking regarding different academic topics including: (1) analysis of data, (2) verbal and written expression skills, (3) contextual understanding, (4) self-reflection.

FYS 006 (CRN 6456) Keeping the Blues Alive
Thomas Buckmiller
MW 12:30-1:45pm

This writing and critical thinking course will cover the development of the blues in the US throughout the 20th century. This course examines the historic, geographic, social, and cultural concepts associated with American Blues music.  Additionally, this class will explore the various musical styles and the disseminations and marketing of the genre.  Finally, students in the class will grapple with how the blues is relevant today and think about lessons we can learn from this form of music.  The class will feature various guest speakers/musicians to share why Blues music is important to them and you will think and write deeply in a way to make sense of the blues….for you. 

FYS 007 (CRN 1129) – F Is For Family
Amira Allen
MW 12:30-1:45pm

In this course we will understand family from a sociological perspective. We will focus on changing family structures, parenting, media representation of families, family inequality, work-family roles, and family policies during the past several decades in the United States. The goal of this course is challenge familiar understandings of family and to recognize how family life experiences vary across social groups such as gender, race/ethnicity and social class.

FYS 010 (CRN 6481) - The Obligatory Citizen
David Young
TR 8:00-9:15am

Troubled by some behaviors in our politics and trends in our political process? Why? What are they? Let's address them with a foundation of obligations and principles to help American democracy survive and thrive. Let's explore what an ideal citizen should be within the framework of our political experience. Troubled by some behaviors in our politics and trends in our political process? Why? What are they? Let's address them with a foundation of obligations and principles to help American democracy survive and thrive. Let's explore what an ideal citizen should be within the framework of our political experience.

FYS 011 (CRN 11065) – Constructing Reality
Zach Wiser
MW 12:30-1:45pm

In this course we will examine what role language plays in how we perceive and participate in the physical world. This analysis will be measured through written assignments and in-class discussion. 

FYS 012 (CRN 6967) – Comics & Social Diversity
Jeffrey Karnicky
TR 12:30-1:45pm

In this course, we will look at how comic books have portrayed social difference, and more recently, how diversity in comics’ creators and audiences has affected the production of contemporary comics.

FYS 013 (CRN 6484) – Trails and Tribulations
Sean Rogers
MW 12:30-1:45pm

With the primary purpose of fostering an appreciation of nature, this course will empower students to safely engage in outdoor recreation while discussing responsible stewardship of our natural environment. Students will learn foundational topics including trip planning, use of outdoor equipment, and basic wilderness survival through problem-based learning activities.

FYS 015 (CRN 6515) –  Love, Friendship, God and You: What is College for?
Cody Dolinsek
MW 12:30-1:45pm

Love, friendship, religion, and identity are important areas of human inquiry. What are the risks and rewards of human love? What are the criteria for genuine friendship? How do we develop them if we can? How should we think about the seemingly indestructible need humans have to relate to religious beliefs? Or, if we are not religious ourselves, how should we think and feel about those who are so? Finally, all of these inquiries assume at least some answer to the question: Who am I? This course seeks to familiarize students with some important texts in these areas.

FYS 016 (CRN 6486) – Conversation
Amy Letter
MW 8:00-9:15 am

This seminar focuses on conversation — not “argument,” or “communication,” but conversation: the creative-yet-critical open-ended exploration of ideas and experiences in exchange with our fellow human beings. Our readings will focus on the subject of in-person and online conversation, and our routine goal in the classroom and online will be to hold meaningful and rewarding conversations with one another. We will also converse in writing, through our essays, and collaborate on a final project.

FYS 018 (CRN 11067) – This American Life
Laura Shell
MW 8:00-9:15am

This American Life (podcast) broadcasts personal and powerful stories to more than 2 million people each week. They do this with “a little effort and curiosity.” In this FYS, we’ll practice writing our stories in a way that connects with others – both through common threads and through unexpected connections.

FYS 019 (CRN 6964) - Sexual Health Initiatives
Lynne Cornelius
TR 12:30-1:45pm

In order to prevent sexual assaults on our campus we must first understand how we got here. We need to take a look at the social and environmental factors that continue to contribute to harmful situations on college campuses. In this course we will take a nuanced approach to the age old conversations of sexual relationships and consent. We will also examine personal and social concepts of healthy sexual relationships. The conversations and course work will be grounded in empathy, mutual respect and bodily autonomy. Once we have gained an understanding of the problems in front of us we will utilize an adaptive leadership approach to formulate solutions to address campus sexual assaults here at Drake.

FYS 020 (CRN 6507) - Conspiracy Theories in the U.S.
Bartholomew Schmidt
TR 12:30–1:45 pm

From the Salem witch trials to present-day headlines about the Deep State, Americans have embraced conspiracy theories to explain the sometimes un-explainable. This course will explore a sample of conspiracy theories in United States history, focusing primarily on the past century. Students will be exposed to the language, rhetoric, and logic of conspiracy theories. They will be asked to reflect on what these conspiracy theories say about the people who believe them, the people who don’t, and society in general. Students will emerge from the course with a better understanding of the differences between conspiracies and conspiracy theories.

FYS 021 (CRN 11137) – Living Well
Jennifer McCrickerd
MW 12:30-1:45pm 

What are the components and routes to a meaningful life? Philosophy, religion, literature, and psychology (to name a few) have each offered responses to this question. In this class we will read and discuss a wide variety of works focused living meaningfully so that students leave the course with a better sense of the conversations about what constitutes a meaningful life and how to best achieve it.

FYS 023 (CRN 4098) – Is Seeing Believing?
Bret Sikkink
MW 8:00-9:15am

In this course, we will investigate human sense perceptions and how we use them to build knowledge.

FYS 024 (CRN 6962) - How We show Up: Service and Community
Dwana Bradley
MW 12:30-1:45pm

The mission of Drake University is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship. In this FYS, students will address concepts, issues, and practices related to charity, volunteering, and social justice. Utilizing classroom discussions, various readings, and service learning, students will spend time in reflective observation, conversation, and writing to articulate their individual contributions to common good. We will wrestle with the notion of good intentions and question how to best show up to make a difference.

FYS 026 (CRN 6593) – Call the Road Your Own
Jennifer Wilson
TR 12:30-1:45pm

The best travel writing nudges us out the door and into the world with confidence and appetite—the worst oozes dreamlike inspiration and skimps on details that can waste a reader’s precious days off.

FYS 027 (CRN 3437) – Adaptation: Reading Films
Nick Renkoski
MW 12:30-1:45pm

More than half of current Hollywood movies are based on other sources but what is the process of bringing a story from page or stage to the screen? What things are gained, and what things are lost?

FYS 028 (CRN 3006) – Marvel Cinematic Universe
Dana Sloter
TR 12:30-1:45pm

As the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s heroes become more specific, their soundtracks and scores become valuable tools for sharpening differences, conveying cultures, and supplementing production choices to create singular products. This course will introduce concepts from film music before we explore how music can be a powerful resource in onscreen storytelling.

FYS 029 (CRN 7907) – Science Fiction; Science Fact
Daniel Chibnall
MW 3:30-4:45pm

Science fiction storytelling often predicts scientific achievements, warns of darker scientific efforts, illuminates facts in the face of pseudoscience, and helps us navigate social problems.

FYS 031 (CRN 7002) – The History of Hip Hop
Janalyn Phillips
MW 8:00-9:15am

Ready or Not, Walk this Way! This class will discuss everything ‘Hip Hop’ from A to Jay-Z. The influences, the legends, the culture, the celebrations, the rivalries and the art (in so many forms) will be explored through presentations, readings, writings, and through the media. Oh yes, and there will also be plenty of music!

FYS 032 (CRN 6973) – Legends of Lava
Claire Hruby
TR 12:30-1:45pm

We will focus on the science of volcano formation, hazards and the legends that these landscapes have inspired. We will explore volcanoes in Hawaii, Iceland, Greece, East Africa, Mexico, and elsewhere around the world. 

FYS 033 (CRN 6974) – Composing the Female Body
Yasmina Madden
MW 12:30-1:45pm

Students will read and write extensively about the ways the female body has been composed in contemporary literature, film, and popular culture. How do we “write” the female body? How do we rely on, reify, or resist Western cultural definitions of women’s bodies? Students will engage with fiction, memoir, personal essay, film, and critical texts.

FYS 036 (CRN 3663) – Adolescence in Film/Fiction
Beth Younger
TR 12:30-1:45pm

Adolescence in Film and Fiction will examine the depiction of troublesome teens in American film and fiction. We will consider what these filmic and fictional depictions argue about what it means to be an adolescent, as well as what it means to be a "problem." Students will write weekly response papers as well as a final essay. Class will be discussion based, and may include small group discussion. Films include River's Edge, Where The Boys Are, Pariah, & Rebel Without a Cause. Fiction will include Cruddy by Lynda Barry and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

FYS 037 (CRN 6490) – Detroit
Melisa Klimaszewski
TR 12:30-1:45pm 

Detroit, Michigan. Motown. The Motor City. Cars, toughness, Black culture, labor unions, mosques, music, and sometimes violence spring to mind when one hears “Detroit.” In the popular imagination of the United States, Detroit has a powerful presence that teaches us about American identity, race relations, labor relations, violence, immigration, and cultural richness. How does understanding Detroit’s history and its present- day existence contribute to our understanding of American society more broadly? How might learning about Detroit contribute to our shared goals of becoming ethical, responsible citizens?

In this course, students will learn collaboratively as they draw upon works in multiple disciplines and genres (cultural history, fictional literature, news coverage, music and music videos, films, art history, scholarly articles, etc.). Students should expect an enjoyably intense focus on strengthening critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.

FYS 038 (CRN 1916) – How to Navigate News
Amy McCoy
TR 12:30-1:45pm

Through this course students will learn how to explore news sources and identify bias, understand how politics is portrayed through media, and learn tips and tools for having productive political conversations with those they may disagree with. These skills are more important than ever as American society becomes increasingly polarized and disinformation spreads rapidly. Students will engage with different forms of media and political views, and they’ll learn how to research policy information to support more thoughtful political discourse. Learning will be both academic and experiential, with opportunities to apply new skills in the classroom, in online forums, and beyond.

FYS 039 (CRN 6977) – A Small Dose of Toxicology
James Sacco
TR 12:30-1:45pm

Rapid advances in science and technology have produced enormous benefits but have also created undesirable dangers that impact human health and the environment. How do we deal with products that make our lives better but that also harbor a potential for harm? Why are we still confronted, on a daily basis, by toxins in our food, air and water? Through selected readings and movies, class discussions, presentations, and simulation games, students will study and research the controversial impact of poisons on our society.

FYS 043 (CRN 7503) – Photography: The Art, Science, and Impact of Capturing Moments
Chuck Sengstock
TR 8:00-9:15 AM

The world’s first photograph was taken in 1826 by French scientist Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Since then, many things have changed about taking, processing, and sharing pictures. One thing that has not changed is the impact a photo can have. This course will cover the evolution of photography and identify current and past images of significance. Students will take and share photographs each week throughout the semester. Discussions will center on increasing students’ understanding of photography and its impact on our lives.

FYS 045 (CRN 6980) – Place, Power and Identity
Leanne Purdum
MW 12:30-1:45pm

How are the spaces we inhabit shaped by power and identity, and vice versa? Through the lens of human geography, we will learn to think about the places we are in, how they are made, and how they impact us. This is a broad social science theme to expose students to a wide variety of topics, and prepare you for a variety of skills. We’ll critically explore a wide range of social topics: Where did the weekend come from? What does The Titanic have to do with us? What is the connection between law, identity, and Chinese restaurants? We will think about the past as a history of the present. We will read, listen, and watch materials about topics such as pandemics, conflicts over monuments, student movements, and other current events. We will practice expressing ideas in writing and through class discussion, informal and formal. After examining a variety of case studies, students will select a topic of personal interest related to Place, Power and Identity and we will use class time to create final projects. 

FYS 050 (CRN 7952) – The Florida Project: The Inside Story Behind the Creation of Walt Disney World
James McNab
MW 12:30-1:45pm

The Florida Project will explore the development, construction, and operation of Walt Disney World as both an ideal and a reality and begin to answer the question of what Disney World means to us as a society.


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