Exploring the Entrepreneurial Mindset

Faculty: Bree Langemo

This course introduces students to the attitudes, behaviors, and skills needed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. A key focus of this course is to help students recognize how an entrepreneurial mindset allows an individual to act in entrepreneurial ways – recognizing opportunities, using imagination and creativity, leveraging resources, having a sense of self-efficacy and resilience. Students will be immersed in entrepreneurial experiences that enable them to develop their own entrepreneurial attitudes, behaviors, and skills. Special emphasis is placed on reflection and self-awareness approaches which help students to discover who they are, what they can do, and what they believe they are meant to do in an entrepreneurial context.

Diversity & Equity: Creating Dialogues in American Schools

Faculty: Dr. Sara B. Vinje

Talking about diversity and equity in American schools is a difficult for many teachers. Lack of professional development and training in addressing emotionally charged topics related to diversity have contributed to the absence of effective discussion with students in schools. In this course, students will examine the current state of dialogue surrounding topics of diversity and equity in American schools. Students will explore current inequities regarding issues of diversity as well as programs that have been developed to assist teachers in providing open dialogue with their K-12 students. Throughout the semester students will gain an understanding of implicit biases and reflect on how their own identity, and assumptions about others’ identities, impact their ability to develop relationships with their students.

Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Faculty: Dr. Kirsten E. Theye

The goal of this class is to investigate how social media changes our minds, cultures, behaviors, and allegiances. Each week, our readings and discussions will focus on a Big Question about social media. How can social media be used to unite and divide? What is the role of social media in public shaming and cyberbullying? What is the connection between social media, anxiety, and depression? How does social media hide and reveal biases and discrimination? Through our discussions, we will get closer to understanding how social media affects nearly every aspect of our lives.

Power and Privilege in Music: Dolly Parton Using Her Voice

Faculty: Dr. Amy Watkin

What makes a music icon and how do they both reflect and influence society? Using Dolly Parton as a case study, we will look at the role of music in American life and how it communicates powerful messages around gender, class, race, sexual orientation, and more. We’ll read academic and popular works about Dolly Parton, listen to her music, watch some of her films, and listen to the podcast Dolly Parton’s America in order to answer questions like: What can music teach us about empathy and communication? How does Dolly Parton share such specific messages without alienating people? How do our own personal lives and backgrounds affect how we hear music and messages?

Seeking Justice Within Healthcare in America

Faculty: Dr. Shelly K. Gompf

Why are some people healthy and others not? Can where you live or your ZIP code impact your health? These are many of the questions that will challenge our thoughts and ideas as we wrestle with “Seeking Justice Within Healthcare in America.” This Inquiry Seminar will introduce students to the health disparities in the United States and how social class, race, gender, ethnicity, and the social determinants of health impact us all.

I Want to Help People

Faculty: Dr. Kristi K. Loberg

Many students enter college with a service notion of wanting to help others. Students come to college in search of vocational discernment to not only get a job, but to prepare for the betterment of self and society. Students in this course will investigate relevant questions of helping, such as what is meant by “helping”? What motives us to help? Who helps and how? And what are the ethics of helping? Students will consider appropriate boundaries for helping and explore the impact of power, privilege and marginalization in helping. Students will grow in self and other-awareness as they identify and analyze their own beliefs and assumptions. In addition to examining the role of faith-traditions, philosophical orientations and the history of helping systems, this course will identify current individual & social concerns and the role of different helping professions in addressing those concerns today.

Green Marketing

Faculty: Dr. Jiani Jiang

Today, businesses and society face a confluence of factors such as environmental deterioration, pervasive poverty, and the need for renewable energy sources. The future does not hold a “business as usual” approach, but rather a need for more constructive solutions that resolve environmental, consumer welfare, and community concerns. Green marketing has emerged as a crucial component of marketing management. As a result, green marketing practices have evolved as an integral part of the organization’s competitiveness in the marketplace. In this seminar, students will explore the growing world of green marketing from a global viewpoint. Topics include sustainable organizational strategy; green product development, branding, and packaging; green advertising and communications; pricing and distribution of environmentally friendly products; and the marketing of environmental organizations and ideas. Emphasis will be placed on the role and influence of consumers to form a sustainable society through their buying, having, and being behavior.

Past Time: Baseball and American Society

Faculty: Dr. Richard M. Chapman

It’s only a game, people often say. This Inquiry Seminar takes as a starting point that baseball is so much more. The game serves as a looking glass into American experience and identity – from sport and competition to business and entertainment; from place and politics to labor and the law; extending even to religion and our most cherished beliefs. Old as the colonies and new as the present, baseball tells many tales through multiple voices. Using tools from history, biography, and literature, we will excavate a good many together. Students will develop an original research project using a biographical lens. Students will also shape a collaborative fundraising project to expand youth access to the game, along the lines of MLB’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI). Whether players or spectators, all students with curiosity about the past, social change, and national diversity are encouraged to enroll.

Hitler and the Holocaust

Faculty: Dr. W. Vincent Arnold

This course will focus on the destruction of European Jews by Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. Students will explore the shifting historical conditions from which the Shoah emerged by examining personal memoirs, historical documents, poetry, art, documentary and feature film, novels, and other media that help to illustrate the human experience during this important historical episode. By the end of the course, students will have an expanded knowledge and understanding of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime, the origins and development of antisemitism, the formation and operation of concentration camps, the resistance movements, and the Shoah as a problem for world history. Additionally, students will have engaged with the problematics of representation, memory, ”the memorial,” and witnessing.

Climate Change: How We Can Reduce Carbon and Increase Resilience

Faculty: Dr. Kenneth W. Foster

Concerned about climate change? Wondering what the debates are all about? Curious as to how we can successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also preparing to live in a changed climate? This course will explore the political, social, economic, and scientific dimensions of climate change. By looking at the problem of climate change from these different angles, we’ll be able to understand how progress in dealing with climate change can be achieved. What technologies are most promising? How can we reduce carbon emissions and promote economic development simultaneously? What is the relationship between climate action and social justice? What political strategies can work? How can we best navigate the conflicts over values and ethical stances that run throughout climate change debates? And how can we take care of the most vulnerable as we prepare to live amidst a changing climate? The course will explore these questions using a variety of readings, tools, and activities. As part of the course, we will engage with local and national organizations that are taking action and fueling hope.

Storytelling as Artistic Practice

Faculty: Christian E. Mortenson

Art is a language that often transmits the unknown or underappreciated through the means of a visual object. Whether abstract or representational, art tries to help the viewer to see a different perspective, to make the unknown known. While this is normally realized in non-verbal terms, it heavily relies on the use of story to get this point across. Think of the cave paintings at the Chauvet cave. The images of animals on the walls of the cave, some even interacting with each other, give us a glimpse into life 30,000 years ago. The mind begins whirring and one can fill in the gaps in time and space. The making of art is inextricably linked to storytelling. This class will introduce students to using oral storytelling as an artistic practice. By studying storytelling through the contemporary mediums of radio and oral performance, students will learn how to develop their own storytelling potential.

What’s for Dinner?

Faculty: Dr. Michelle G. Strang

Why do you eat? Why do you choose the foods that you choose? The obvious answer would be, “because I’m hungry and I like the way it tastes!” However, for most of us, hunger is rarely the reason that we eat. Human behavior is unpredictable and dynamic and is influenced by countless variables including culture, religion, socioeconomic status, biology, social norms, and a thousand other things. This course utilizes interesting sources like podcasts, TED Talks, and current news articles to help you evaluate your own eating behaviors and examine how these factors influence everyday choices. You will also learn about basic nutrition concepts that you can use throughout life to achieve better overall health and a positive relationship with food.

Walking and Talking: Active and Embodied Philosophical Inquiry

Faculty: Dr. Tess Varner

On the face of it, walking doesn’t seem to be the most rigorous intellectual exercise. Some might think of it as a mindless activity – pedestrian, even. But, in fact, there is a long tradition of walking as a form of intellectual inquiry, ranging from Wordsworth, Rousseau, and Thoreau to contemporary thinkers like John Francis and Rebecca Solnit, and even including popular thru-hikers and adventurers such as Cheryl Strayed and Christopher McCandless. These thinkers range not only across several centuries, but also across disciplines. In this Inquiry Seminar, students will read a wide variety of texts investigating the very concept of walking and its importance as a deeply philosophical practice. Students will also consider walking as a form of cultural critique; walking can be understood to be a subversive activity – one resistant to the expectations of society, which focuses on speed, efficiency, and multitasking. This course will be reading and writing intensive, but the class period itself will be largely conducted on long walks in the areas around campus and beyond. Students will need to have comfortable walking shoes and appropriate outerwear for long walks into the winter. Please note that people with disabilities are welcome in this class. Even though there is a physical component to the course daily, students of all levels of ability can be accommodated and are encouraged to participate.

Studio Ceramics: The Creative Process

Faculty: Ross Hilgers

This studio course focuses on experiential learning and investigates how the creative process unfolds for visual artists. Students will study the creative process through hand building, wheel techniques, and class critiques. In addition to making art, students will do research to define the creative process and explore the mysteries behind creativity.

The Samurai: Myth, Legend, and History

Faculty: Dr. J. Elijah Bender

Have you ever wondered what the samurai were actually like? Maybe you’ve seen a master swordsman in an anime or a stoic wanderer in a classic Japanese film and wondered what inspired these archetypical characters. This seminar will examine the history and evolution of Japan’s class of professional warriors. We will focus in particular on unpacking samurai myths, legends, and contemporary representations of samurai and comparing these materials to historical evidence of samurai behavior, values, and practices. Group projects will disseminate our findings outside the classroom through various outlets on the web.

Exercise is Medicine

Faculty: Dr. Emily C. Huber-Johnson

Is exercise really medicine? Is the “Freshman 15” real? When does the biggest drop in physical activity occur? Can exercise improve other areas of life, such as mood, academic performance, and social well-being? In this course, you will learn about exercise as medicine, while promoting physical activity as an important aspect of overall health. You will have the opportunity to evaluate your own health and physical activity habits and beliefs, as well as those of the Concordia community. As a class, we will take an in-depth look at our campus community to see what is currently being done to promote physical activity and find areas where the campus is lacking. You will have the opportunity to establish exercise is medicine educational programs and promotions on campus, while working to improve your own health and well-being, as well as that of the campus community.

Exercise is Medicine

Faculty: Dr. Nathan Dicks

Is exercise really medicine? Is the “Freshman 15” real? When does the biggest drop in physical activity occur? Can exercise improve other areas of life, such as mood, academic performance, and social well-being? In this course, you will learn about exercise as medicine, while promoting physical activity as an important aspect of overall health. You will have the opportunity to evaluate your own health and physical activity habits and beliefs, as well as those of the Concordia community. As a class, we will take an in-depth look at our campus community to see what is currently being done to promote physical activity and find areas where the campus is lacking. You will have the opportunity to establish exercise is medicine educational programs and promotions on campus, while working to improve your own health and well-being, as well as that of the campus community.

Women and Power Relationships in Latin America and Beyond

Faculty: Dr. Fanny R. Roncal Ramirez

In this seminar, we will be reviewing the works and the contributions made by women to the development of modern nations in Latin America. This course is designed to help you achieve an inclusive portrait of women’s participation in the public sphere through writing, political activism, and cultural activity. A second important objective of this course is the analysis of gender relationships in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries from literary, historical, and sociocultural perspectives. Special attention is given to how political power has shaped and influenced the construction of gender relationships in Latin America and the Hispanic community in the U.S. to explain situations of inequality and inequity for women today. This course includes group discussions, oral presentations, and lectures presented by various experts.

A Matter of Life and Death

Faculty: Dr. Philip C. Lemaster

Death is nearly absent from young people’s lives yet is something we will all eventually experience. This course focuses on the aging process, particularly the end of life, death, and dying within a liberal arts framework. Sample topics include physical, psychological, and cultural understandings of death, grieving in those affected by loss, and end-of-life controversies (e.g., death with dignity). Using current psychological research and theories, students will come to understand that death is a normative developmental process and that, ultimately, knowledge of our own future deaths makes life more meaningful. The course is structured around lecture, discussions, films, speakers, and integrative community involvement. Service learning with community organizations is required.