Simmons.edu

Learning Communities

SPRING 2018

Sustaining a Nonprofit Organization

This Learning Community combines a course in environmental science/sustainability and a nonprofit management course and applies the content in both to study a specific nonprofit organization, namely the Star Island Corporation which owns and manages a conference center on an island 10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire. The conference center's age and location provides specific challenges and opportunities for both intentional environmental sustainability as well as financial sustainability. The course will give students the opportunity to integrate these two viewpoints on sustainability in service to an existing organization and develop practical recommendations for additional sustainability efforts.

This LC contains short-term travel components. Students and faculty will travel to Star Island, NH, from June 16-23, 2018. The estimated travel cost is $1500. Students interested in this Learning Community should visit http://cof.studioabroad.com/ and contact Joe Stanley, Director, Center for Global Education, joseph.stanley@simmons.edu.

BIOL-243-LC, Environmental Sustainability
Aguilera (Biology), 3 credits
This course introduces students to current environmental issues regarding resource use and sustainability. Topics will include availability of fresh water, waste disposal, agriculture, forestry, and climate change. Students will examine environmental threats in conjunction with the current and potential future sustainability solutions.

MGMT-213-LC, Nonprofit Management
Decurtis (Management), 3 credits
This course introduces students to all of the structural and functional components of the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit-specific areas that are covered include the roles and responsibilities of boards of directors, fundraising and financial development, management of volunteer programs, financial structures, accountability, strategic planning and organizational growth.

LCIS-201-13, Integrative Seminar: Sustaining a Nonprofit Organization
Aguilera and Decurtis, 2 credits
In this integrative seminar, students will evaluate the environmental and financial sustainability of the Star Island Corporation nonprofit organization. Students will apply both environmental science and nonprofit management concepts to the evaluation. Students will then make recommendations as to possible improvements that would impact both aspects of sustainability.

Word + Image

In this learning community, students learn to craft personal narratives that are both language-based and image-based. Ultimately, through the integrative seminar, students synthesize work and image to create a form that transcends the limits of each modality.

ENGL-105-LC, Creative Writing: Non Fiction
Pei (English), 3 credits
Designed for students with a solid base of writing skills who wish to grow further as writers. Teaches writing of non-fiction that a non-captive audience would willingly read. Focuses primarily on personal narrative.

COMM-121-LC, Visual Communication
Grabiner (Communications), 3 credits
Introduces visual culture and visual literacy with an emphasis on looking at looking. From the perspective of the producer of images, visual experience is deconstructed to illuminate visual meaning-making practices, including photography, comics, fine art, advertising, film, TV, and the graphic novel.

LCIS-201-02, Integrative Seminar: Word + Image
Pei and Grabiner, 2 credits
This integrative seminar asks: what are the distinctive properties of a word + image artwork that are different from those of either medium on its own, and what are the distinctive creative processes of working with the two synergistically, as opposed to the creative process of doing either separately?

Visualizing Cultural Change Using Social Network Analysis: The Birth of the Modern Era

The transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century was a period of tremendous innovation in arts, science, and technology; correspondingly, it was also a period of profound societal transformations affecting everyday life. Using the computational and analytical tools of social network analysis, students will identify the key actors in this transitional period, detect the invisible communities of these individuals and their interactions, and gain a deep understanding of the complex dynamics that brought about our modern era.

MATH-213-LC, Introduction to Social Network Analysis
Beers (Mathematics), 3 credits
Social networks are everywhere today, and the mathematical model for a social network is a graph. With graphs we visualize the actors within a community and any connections between them. This course introduces students to graph theory and to important tools for analyzing networks, e.g., metrics for measuring the centrality of each actor, and algorithms for detecting communities within a network. The course is self-contained, without prerequisites. Fulfills an elective requirement in the Math major.

IDS-200-LC, Birth of the Modern Era
Berger (Chemistry, Physics), 3 credits
We will explore the parallel revolutions in art and science from 1890 - 1920 in the context of the concurrent cultural and social dynamics of that period. We will also understand how advances in technology played a key role in stimulating and facilitating change. The groundbreaking work of Einstein, Picasso, Freud, and others will be examined through the lenses of their disciplines to better understand the social and cultural structures of their times.

LCIS-201-06, Integrative Seminar: Visualizing Cultural Change Using Social Network Analysis
Beers and Berger, 2 credits
The goal of this integrative seminar is for students to use the computational tools of social network analysis in order to arrive at an understanding of the drivers that led to the dawn of the modern era. In particular, students will analyze the cultural changes of the period 1890-1920 through the lenses of art, science, and technology, and uncover those individuals and communities that were most influential as agents of change.

Individual and Community Health

NUTR-237-LC, The Practice of Community Health
Brown (Nutrition), 3 credits
Prerequisite: NUTR111 or NUTR112, or permission of the instructor.
This course explores the influence of policy on health care delivery, nutrition education, and food availability; the programs that support community nutrition and serve as a safety net; and the application of behavior change models to influence individuals to adopt better lifestyle behaviors.

PSYC-232-LC, Health Psychology
Donovan (Psychology), 3 credits
Prerequisite: PSYC101
This course explores the biological, psychological, and social factors related to health and illness. Discussion centers around biological factors involved in prevention and treatment; the role of personal factors such as lifestyle choices, stress, addictions, and coping mechanisms; and social factors related to compliance and health care delivery.

LCIS-201-15, Integrative Seminar: Individual and Community Health
Brown and Donovan, 2 credits
This integrative seminar will draw together the two perspectives on health with a student-centered approach built around weekly out-of-class readings or activities. During the seminar, students will be encouraged to reflect on their experiences and to discuss their insights in the context of theories of community and individual health behavior change.

France and its Cultural Legacy

In a recent survey about American attitudes towards the French, 50% of Americans stated that France was a world leader in culture. Indeed, Americans have been fascinated by the culture of this country, a fact attested to by the many intellectuals who sojourned or chose to live in Paris, such as Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Baldwin, to mention but a few of the most famous. Though many people seem to agree that culture is at the core of French identity, few understand exactly what this means. This course is designed to begin answering these questions through a chronological study of French civilization – namely, all cultural products – historical, institutional, artistic and symbolic – produced in France from the Gaulois to the present day.

This course includes a travel component to Paris, France, from March 2-10, 2018. The estimated travel costs are $3150. Students interested in this Learning Community should visit http://cof.studioabroad.com/ and contact Joe Stanley, Director, Center for Global Education, joseph.stanley@simmons.edu.

MUS-239-LC, Music That Changed The World
Slowik (Art and Music), 3 credits
Looking for new means of self-expression, musicians, artists and writers rejected traditional forms and methods of creativity in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. Students study these explosive new ways of creating music, art, and literature that changed the world forever. Topics include Debussy, Impressionism, Stravinsky, Picasso, Gertrude Stein.

FREN-310-LC, Inside France: Studies in French Culture

Febles (Modern Languages), 3 credits
Address the question "What is French culture?" through a multimedia study of topics drawn from French geography, history, artistic traditions, and institutions. Includes topics such as Paris and its legacy, the formation of a citizen of the republic, and World War II. Taught in English.

LCIS-201-07, Integrative Seminar: France and its Cultural Legacy
Slowik and Febles, 2 credits
The integrative seminar will take place mostly in Paris as a travel course where students can experience first-hand the cultural products studied in class via excursions (to museums and monuments) and performances at the many Parisian venues (l'Opera Garnier, l'Opera Bastille, concerts at selected churches such as the madeleine or Notre-Dame, and other venues as available).

Multicultural and Feminist Themes in Contemporary American Literature

This learning community will explore themes in contemporary American literature by authors of a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds in a multicultural, feminist context. It will bring critical insight to literary representations of especially female characters by conjoining readings of short stories and novels with investigations of socio-historical contexts and theoretical frames provided by scholarly essays and personal narratives. The learning community will explore thematic similarities and divergences that characterize the experiences of such racial and ethnic groups as Jewish Americans, Irish Americans, Chinese American, African Americans, and a number of others. Our work will be organized around themes relating to gender and sexual identity, skin color and physical appearance, and gender-based violence in a way that will allow us to understand systems of privilege and oppression as they relate to the lives of women.

WGST-100-LC, Multicultural Women's Studies
Lusiak (Women's and Gender Studies), 3 credits
This course will examine the position of women in society and the larger institutions that influence women's lives. Using a multicultural framework, students will investigate how race, class, gender, ability, religion, etc., impact the lives of women with an eye toward social justice and action. Weekly readings, lecture, and class discussion will help us to explore the dynamics of power, oppression, and privilege as they relate to issues such as reproductive health, violence, the workplace, and cultural representations of the body. The course will draw on contemporary feminist discourse in the form of essays and narratives from authors such as bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa, Arlie Russell Hochschild, Anne Fausto-Sterling, and Roxane Gay.

ENGL-178-LC, Multicultural Themes in Contemporary American Literature
George (English), 3 credits
This course examines thematic similarities and differences within the texts of contemporary, post-World War II authors from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds (including Irish, Asian, Jewish, Native American, Hispanic, African American and Anglo). Part of our goal will be to investigate literary depictions of the processes by which immigrant populations seek to find a place for themselves within American culture. We will examine the conflicting roles played by such factors as skin color, physical appearance, religious association, and linguistic background both in determining the ability of immigrants to become American and in helping to establish a definition of American identity. Authors covered in the course may include Julia Alvarez, Jack Kerouac, Maxine Hong Kingston, Toni Morrison, Gish Jen, and Philip Roth, among others.

LCIS-201-04, Integrative Seminar: Multicultural and Feminist Themes in Literature
Lusiak and George, 2 credits
This seminar will critically explore contemporary notions of American and female identities. Addressing questions about the relation of gender and national identity to race, class, sexuality, and ethnicity, this integrated seminar will apply knowledge of feminist scholarship and socio-historical contexts gleaned from coursework in Multicultural Women's Studies not only to the literary texts read in Multicultural Themes, but also to significant contemporary events discussed in the news and media. Through weekly reflections and class discussions, students will work through the process of applying a critical contextual lens to literary texts while building, finally, toward application of their literary and contextual understandings to readings of a contemporary news item that students will critically engage in an oral class presentation.

Gender, Politics, and Literature

This learning community integrates the study of women in literature with public policy analysis by considering how policies relevant to different gender identities are translated into persuasive narratives and how stories about and by women can have explicitly political aims. Analyzing contemporary and historical policy developments as well as literature from the seventeenth century to today, this course will investigate long-standing social challenges like education, welfare, and healthcare, throwing light on how these problems have been seen and discussed by American writers and politicians from different backgrounds.

POLS-217-LC, American Public Policy
Cole (Political Science), 3 credits
This course examines public policy in the U.S., emphasizing how patterns of political power shape, and are shaped in turn, by state intervention. How do local, state, and federal governance structures in the United States interact to produce policy in response to emergent policy problems? How do problems make the agenda, and under what circumstances are radical policy solutions more or less likely to occur? Why, for example, did healthcare reform fail so dramatically under the Clinton administration, and why was the time right some fifteen years later? This course uses contemporary and historical case studies from social, economic, and foreign policy arenas to introduce students to the processes of problem identification, agenda-setting, and policymaking in the United States.

ENGL-193-LC, Women in Literature
Fash (English), 3 credits
Explores the writings and cultural contexts of literature by and about women from the 19th century to the present. Features novels, short stories, speeches, poems, and plays. Selected topics may include: education, friendship, sexuality, the marriage plot, labor, and protest and politics.

LCIS-201-14, Integrative Seminar: Gender, Literature, and Politics
Cole and Fash, 2 credits
This seminar integrates the study of women in literature with public policy analysis by considering how policies relevant to different gender identities are translated into persuasive narratives and how stories about and by women can have explicitly political aims. Analyzing contemporary and historical policy developments as well as literature from the seventeenth century to today, this seminar will investigate long-standing social challenges like education, welfare, and healthcare, throwing light on how these problems have been seen and discussed by American writers and politicians from different backgrounds.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Code and Digital Storytelling

This learning community takes an interdisciplinary approach to digital storytelling and introductory programming. Students work individually and in teams to produce an interactive mobile website that will include elements such as short-form video documentaries or historical narratives, accompanying audio pieces, photography, and a story script – all based on solid storytelling techniques. Students will gain a foundation in coding basics needed to create a website, which also serves as the entrance to Computer Science.
This learning community takes an interdisciplinary approach to digital storytelling and introductory programming. Students work individually and in teams to produce an interactive mobile website that will include elements such as short-form video documentaries or historical narratives, accompanying audio pieces, photography, and a story script – all based on solid storytelling techniques. Students will gain a foundation in coding basics needed to create a website, which also serves as the entrance to Computer Science.

COMM-250-LC, Digital Storytelling
Erickson (Communications), 3 credits
In this course, students use digital media to create interactive stories in multiple spaces - both online and through engagement with urban space. Students will research a specific location-based story and create a set of multimedia narratives for the Internet that engages users in a walking tour.

CS-112-LC, Introduction to Computer Science
Stubbs (Computer Science), 3 credits
Students will learn basic skills in developing software applications: variables, decision and repetition structures, data structures and modular programming. They will also learn the basics of building web sites, including HTML, CSS, and responsive web design.

LCIS-201-01, Integrative Seminar: Coding and Digital Storytelling
Erickson and Stubbs, 2 credits
Students will use skills learned in both courses to create a multimedia, location-based story with elements of a choose-your-own adventure. Using lived experiences, storytelling techniques and basic media skills learned in Course 1, combined with computer skills gained in Course 2, students will develop an interactive walking tour.

Seeking the Sacred: Poetry, Yoga, and Zines

This learning community explores yoga, poetry and zines as practices that encourage access to the sacred in our lives. Each practice invites a willingness to bring a vulnerable, questioning spirit to our work as intellectuals, artists and activists. Attention will be given to the history of these practices as locations of empowerment for communities resisting oppression and seeking healing or justice. Previous experience with yoga, poetry or zines is welcome but not required.

SOCI-216-LC, Born to Belonging: Embodied Practices for Social Justice
Thompson (Sociology), 3 credits
This course explores the multidimensional history of yoga and contemporary political poetry as sites of justice-seeking. Students will examine the work of political poets and grassroots yogis as key in contemporary national and global social justice movements.

COMM-252-LC, Breaking Silences: Mending Paths to Social Change
Stahura (Communications), 3 credits
This course examines DIY politics through self-published zines with a focus on the Beatley Library to the Front Zine Collection and the Social Justice Zine Collection as a way to understand identity construction, self-expression, the sacredness in our truths, systemic oppressions, intersectional feminism, political dissidence, mainstream media and creative resistance.

LCIS-201-13, Seeking the Sacred: Poetry, Yoga, and Zines
Thompson and Stahura, 2 credits
This integrated seminar will be a hands-on opportunity for students to apply course readings and discussions with poetry writing, yoga practices, and zine creations. Students will work together to brainstorm zine ideas, asana sequences and poems in preparation of their final projects.

Health Promotion and Nutrition: Essentials for Optimal Health*

*For Nursing majors only. Sophomore Nursing students are required to take this Learning Community.

NURS-229-LC, Health Promotion
Teeley (Nursing), 3 credits
Prerequisites: NURS228 and NURS295
An overview of theoretical concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention. Students will gain skills and knowledge in assisting individuals in making choices that promote health and wholeness. There is emphasis on wellness, prevention, health promotion, and health education, as well as a focus on populations and their environment as a unit of service.

NUTR-112-LC, Nutrition for the Health Professions
Metallinos-Katsaras (Nutrition), 3 credits
This course provides a foundation in nutrition science, with a special emphasis on nutrition principles in health promotion and disease prevention. It provides an overview of the functions of nutrients, their requirements in the body, and their effects on health and nutritional needs during different stages of life. It also covers principles of nutrition and diet in the prevention of disease complications.

LCIS-201-08/09/10/11, Integrative Seminar: Health Promotion and Nutrition: Essentials for Optimal Health
Teeley and Metallinos-Katsaras, 2 credits
The integrative seminar will have an applied focus through the use of case studies. These will promote critical thinking, and problem solving skills using real life scenarios in which students will develop health promotion strategies using the principles learned in the two courses.