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Insights regarding ‘diversity’ and ‘sustainability’ are goals for a broadened CLASS curriculum

  • September 19, 2013 9:00am

Twenty faculty members from the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences (CLASS) spent a portion of their summer focusing on ways to incorporate two of the university’s Institutional Learning Outcomes – Diversity and Sustainability -- into their coursework within the CLASS diversified curriculum.

Those faculty members were selected by a committee of their peers to receive specially targeted course development funding for the incorporation of either the institutional learning outcome on diversity or sustainability in their respective coursework.

According to Dean Kathleen Rountree, the goal of the initiative is to increase the inclusion of diversity and sustainability throughout the CLASS curriculum.  

“By doing so, diversity and sustainability become a common lens through which CLASS students are able to learn in any of our subject areas,” Rountree said.

The committee reviewed the applications of fellow faculty members and then selected the 20 proposals. Those faculty members whose proposals were selected received summer stipends to implement their recommendations.  The proposals include a variety of unique learning content ideas.

Some examples:

Ke Zou, professor of English, produced a modification of the upper-division English course, "Study of Language," to intently focus on the comparative study of English and other languages for promoting language equality and diversity;

Laurie Price of the Department of Anthropology, Geography, and Environmental Sciences, has updated literature and materials on environmental anthropology in South America. In her revision, she added a focus on ecologically sustainable development in that region;

Jennifer Eagan, professor of Philosophy, has incorporated  new readings into her PHIL 3151 class on Environmental Ethics that  strengthen teaching around  principles  guiding human actions regarding nature, natural resources and  the environment;

Katherine Bell, assistant professor of Communication, has fine tuned her department’s course, "21st Century Communication." She believes the revisions will help students analyze common narratives about universality and more effectively consider the importance of race, gender, sexuality, age and mental health.

Barbara Hall, associate professor of Philosophy, has modified the course ”PHIL 3515: Race and Social Justice” with students meeting in small groups to discuss questions addressing  the unjust treatment of a broad spectrum of groups who suffer racial discrimination in the United States. For  example, students will discuss bias directed at Muslims and Arabs since Sept. 11, 2001, and how it has manifested itself in the form of hate crimes, employment discrimination, and  attempts to deny religious freedoms; and

Gwyan Rhabyt , professor of Art, will have students in “ART 4070: Currents in New Media” observing contemporary debate around gender and gaming through the published writing of prominent media critics known to be critical of the especially male-dominated world of game development and game playing. Through small group discussion, students in this class will consider diversity in the world of new media, social media, games, and the web and analyze how minority groups are represented in popular new media culture.


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