First-Year Experience

For More Information, Contact:
Marc Adkins, M.Ed.
Director of Student Success Initiatives
(440) 826- 2116
Are you interested in getting together with a small group of other first-year students to talk about engaging topics? Do you want to be part of a class taught by a faculty member who is excited about the same subjects that you are?

The First-Year Experience (FYE) class provides students the opportunity to discuss engaging issues while you develop your critical thinking and communication skills. Each class has 18 members: 15 first-year students, an upper-class student mentor, a BW staff member who works closely with first-year students, and a faculty member. Each FYE class is focused on a unique subject (see below), but all FYE classes are about intellectual curiosity, making campus connections, and learning how to thrive in the BW community.

FALL 2014 First-Year Experience (FYE 199) Descriptions

Lori Long - Julie Bishop: "The Future of Work"

Do you picture working in your future career within the confines of a cubicle, or on a beach with a laptop? Technology allows the latter, but most organizations still hold on to the traditional 9-5 workday. This course will explore the topic of work structure and the interaction between one's life and one's work, pondering the questions: what does the future hold and why is it taking us so long to get there?

Ven Ochaya - Trina Dobberstein: "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired (and Time-Tested) by Nature"

Did you know burrs inspired the invention of velcro or that the swim suits used by Olympic swimmers mimic sharks' skin? These are two of many instances of humans imitating nature in order to solve seemingly complex problems - a process called biomimicry. This course will actively examine nature and biomimicry from multiple perspectives in order to find possible solutions to current challenges facing humanity by asking the question, "What would Nature do?" in each case.

Beth Hiser - Margaret Stiner: "The Long and Winding Road: A Seminar on the Legacy of the Beatles"

John, Paul, George, and Ringo! This course is an intensive study of the emergence, eminence, and legacy of the most important rock band in history. Throughout the course, we will explore the cultural and musical impact of the Beatles and consider the continuation of their popularity.

Mary Dobrea - Annie Heidersbach: "The Art and Science of Creativity"

What is creativity? What do Beethoven and Steve Jobs have in common? Do great minds and creators really think alike? In this course, we will study creativity through many disciplines, explore its definition and influence in our world, and find ways to develop our creativity and ingenuity as we maneuver in our rapidly-changing, unpredictable world.

Ken Schneck - Christie Shrefler: "This Course is So Gay: Debating the Current Pride and Pitfalls of LGBT Culture"

From RuPaul to Fred Phelps, marriage equality to employment discrimination, blood bans to school bullying, this course will examine hot-topics as they pertain to modern LGBT culture. We will explore that crowded intersection between identity, controversy, history, and media representation.

Emilia Lombardi - LaDonna Norris: "Public Health within an Apocalypse"

How likely is a world-wide environmental or infectious disease-based calamity like the zombie apocalypse? In this course, we will examine apocalyptic/dystopic literature (movies, books) as a way to discuss real world environmental and health issues. We will critically examine these stories in order to consider their plausibility and their similarity to existing issues within society.

Molly Swiger - Beth Ehrbar: "Barbie, Mad Men, and Shopping Malls: Reading Popular Culture"

How do we experience and understand popular culture? In this course, we will examine the role of popular culture in everyday life, paying particular attention to the mass media industry, the role of consumption and identity, and the significance of leisure activities such as shopping and sports.

Ellen Posman - Shannon Fee: "The Quest for Immortality across Time and Space"

Can we live forever? Would we want to? The goal of the course will be to explore these "enduring questions” while looking at immortality from multiple perspectives, from science and technology to pop culture. From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (and others), we will read texts that explore this topic over the spans of time.

Randy Molmen - Marc Adkins: "Codes and Codebreaking: Secure Communications in War and Peace"

How do people keep communications secret? Why? How do people try to penetrate the secrets of others? In this course, we'll look at the use of codes, ciphers, and hidden communications during wartime and peacetime. We will examine how codebreakers use their understanding of language, cultures, and human nature to crack the codes. You will get to make and break codes of your own.

Mark Mattern - Charles Vesei: "Fight the Power: Politics of the Everyday"

Does Lady Gaga empower? Should cars be abolished? Why are there so many crappy jobs and so few good ones? In this course, we will think critically and self-reflectively about the many ways our everyday lives are partly determined by forces outside our individual control. We will also examine how the choices we make in our everyday lives have political consequences.

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