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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders First Year Experience


First Year Seminars


FYS 1100-01: Animal Allies, Mates, and Rivals/Leslie Clifford/TTH 10:00 –11:15 AM/Retan 105

From birds that build and decorate elaborate towers to attract mates, to monkeys that commit infanticide, to vampire bats that feed starving colony members, animals exhibit a variety of fascinating behaviors. This course will examine animal behaviors involved in cooperation between allies, courtship between mates and aggression between rivals. Each behavior will be considered from two perspectives: how does each behavior benefit an individual animal (evolutionary perspective) and what biological factors produce each behavior (physiological/genetic perspective)? We will then investigate whether principles discovered from studying non-human animals are applicable to human behavior.

FYS 1100-02:Public issues in a Global Economy/Brad Carpenter/MWF 9:30 –10:20 AM/Elliott 101

This course is about public issues of our times. The class examines issues such as offshoring of business, pollution, wage differential between men and women, government debt, and other issues. Many issues may be considered non-economic and controversial however, applying basic economic analysis students will develop a new way of thinking about the important issues in today's economy. The course will illustrate that economics is not only a new way to view and analyze todays issues but also entertaining and informative. Student will learn how to recognize the tradeoffs involved in every decision and conceptualize the cost and benefits of any actions or government policy. Students will develop basic study and research skills and other basic learning tools as they progress through the class to enhance their college learning progress while attending Mansfield University.

FYS 1100-03:The Good Life/Adrianne McEvoy/MWF 12:30 –1:20 PM/Retan G-5

What is the Good Life? Power? Money? Intelligence? Freedom? The Glory of God? Livin' la vida loca?

Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the most important figures in the 20th century, considers the following to be the most pernicious, the most problematic and destructive, traits of mankind: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, science without humanity, knowledge without character, politics without principle, commerce without morality, and worship without sacrifice. His grandson added to these Seven Social Sins: rights without responsibilities. In this First Year Seminar, we'll look at different conceptualizations of the Good Life and discuss the ramifications of each of the eight "Social Sins." Our discussions will be framed by numerous liberal arts lenses including history, philosophy, psychology, literature, political science, and religion.

FYS 1100-04:Debates in Current Affairs/Jonathan Rothermel/MWF 1:30 –2:20 PM/Retan 110

This course is about taking a position. Whether it be social media outlets, assignments for class, or lively arguments with friends at the lunch table, students are often prompted to take a position on an issue. In this course students will tackle debates in current affairs, including policies in fields such as politics, education, criminal justice, sociology, and biology, to name a few. To that end, knowledge of current affairs will be a significant component of the course. In addition, students will learn how to construct arguments from numerous perspectives. They will learn skills that will be transferrable to not only other courses at MU but to life in general.

FYS 1100-05:Our Lives Through Music/Susan Laib/TTH 10:00 –11:15 AM/Butler 163

Students will broaden their perspectives as they explore their favorite music, the music of their peers, generational differences in musical choices, and live performances outside of the classroom.In learning about musical genres, how to listen to music, and tracing the historical context and influences on their favorite music, students will broaden their understanding both of societal influences and the musical arts as personal expression. They will also improve their observational skills by observing and understanding how music is used in our every-day lives as well as the power and affect it may have on us in varying circumstances.

FYS 1100-06:My Life in Pictures/Sheryl Monkelien/MWF 1:30 –2:20 PM/Butler 102

Photographs have always been used to record special events, places and people. Collecting and examining old family pictures can aid in the discovery of a person's history. Taking photos of important aspects of life today can help define current and future life plans. Through photographs and written narrative, students will discover their own family history, discuss where they are today and describe their future.

FYS 1100-07:Type &Clay:Creating Identity/Mardi Whitehouse/TTH 1:00 –2:15 PM/Allen 022

From the ancient Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia, who made wedge-like marks in cuneiforms as a means of communication—to the decorated vessels from which we eat and drink today—typography and clay have been partners for thousands of years as they exist in our world as both functional objects and sculptural art. This First Year Seminar will explore the histories, forms, and artistic expressions associated with these two mediums, while examining the various 'hats' worn by students, which reflect and shape their identity. Readings, lectures, discussions, and projects will facilitate creative expression, information research, and the everyday hurdles of being a new college student.

FYS 1100-08:Art &History of the Book/Daniel Roemmelt/MWF 2:30 –3:45 PM/Allen 124

This course introduces first-year students to the changing historical perspectives and conceptual attitudes of the book as a work of art and an object of intellectual and multicultural significance.  Students will explore scholarly and creative aspects of book structure and design, content and meaning, and hands-on artistic methods inherent to the defelopment of books from the beginning of recorded time to present day.

FYS 1100-09:Fabulous Berlin/Bradley Holtman/MWF 9:30 –10:20 AM/Retan G-4

From small fishing village in the 13th century, to trading post, to Prussian capital, divided between two Germanys, then finally reunited, Berlin has had a turbulent and unique past leading to its vibrant present and a most promising future. Together, we will explore the glamorous, sometimes gritty, artistic, and action-packed capital of the Federal Republic of Germany from multiple perspectives: history, the arts, social issues, cuisine, festivals and civic life, geography, diplomacy and government, diversity, night life, architecture and city planning, the infamous Wall and former East Germany, language(s), and much more. There is no place else on earth like it, and you will be ready for your visit when you've finished this course!

FYS 1100-10:Machu Picchu/William Keeth/TTH 10:00 –11:15 AM/Belknap G-8

Wrapped by the Urubamba River and towering at the height of 7,970 feet, stands the 15th Century Incan city of Machu Picchu—icon, symbol, and World Heritage sanctuary. In this First Year Seminar course, the lost Incan city becomes a pivot around which students begin explore the world and the many cultures and the academic disciplines that help interpret its realities. Through classroom discussion, exploratory writing, and a research paper students will recognize the importance of knowledge accumulation through personal inquisition, will compare different interpretations of this archeological site, will reflect on different artistic and academic works, and will discuss their perception of culture, society, and language. The goal of this course is to stretch one's thinking and prepare to embark on one's own academic quest.

FYS 1100-12:Zombie Apocalypse/Dan Mason/TTH 10:00 –11:15 AM/Belknap 103

The skills a student needs to survive the first year of college parallel those needed to survive a zombie apocalypse. These skills breakdown into three broad areas: planning, preparation and execution done through the use of critical thinking. 

FYS 1100-13:Discovering France/Monique Oyallon/MW 4 –5:15 PM/Belknap G-8

The course will look at France today, through a selection of readings from primary and secondary sources. We will examine French daily life as experienced by university students, as well as by school students, parents, and professionals and workers of all kinds. We will look at the music French people listen to, the social media they prefer, the websites they use, the movies and TV shows they watch, the newspapers, magazines, and books they read. We will look at the diversity of people in France—at traditional French citizens as well as at former and recent immigrants, visitors, tourists, and others. We will get a sense of the importance of historical events (French Revolution) in French attitudes today. We will compare things French with things American.

FYS 1100-14:Grimm Variations/Lynn Pifer/MWF 10:30 –11:20 AM/Belknap G-3

This course examines famous and not so famous stories from the oral tradition commonly known as Fairy Tales. Students will read, discuss, and write about fairy tales recorded by the Brothers Grimm and variations of these tales in other works of literature, film, and television. Students will examine these well-known stories through the lenses of different academic disciplines, such as history, folklore, and psychology, and learn to argue their own interpretations of these tales.

FYS 1100-18:Climb that Mountain/James Guignard/TTH 2:30 –3:45 PM/Belknap 102

Climbing mountains is a physical act and an imaginative act, an escape and an engagement, at once euphoric and exhausting. In this seminar, students will explore the physical, mental, and metaphorical facets of climbing mountains through multiple disciplines, including but not limited to literature, psychology, rhetoric, physiology, physics, and geology. Students will look at how mountain climbing is portrayed to the public through written and visual texts, and they will explore why such texts about a relatively fringe activity holds such sway over public imagination. Students will take what they learn about climbing mountains and apply it to their own their lives, specifically pursing a college degree.

FYS 1100-19:Serving to Learn/Christopher Cummings/TTH 1:00 –2:15 PM/South 102

This course investigates community service as a means for learning. Topics within the course include the relationship between service, learning, and education, consciousness of self, cultural diversity and awareness, and reflection for learning. Through the context of Mansfield University and other student identified communities, this first year seminar will engage students in experiences that will help them develop characteristics of citizenship and valuing service for common good.

FYS 1100-20:College Athletics/Jason Roscoe/W 6:15 –9:15 PM/South 102

This course examines the role intercollegiate athletics play in higher education.Topics will include diversity, the NCAA and other governing bodies, academics, sportsmanship and ethical behavior in sports and athletics, the history of college athletics in higher education, social changes and gender equity in and college athletics, the media, and the challenges and benefits of being a student-athlete.

FYS 1100-22:College Athletics/Roger Maisner/TTH 1:00 –2:15 PM/Elliott 116

This course examines the role intercollegiate athletics play in higher education.Topics will include diversity, the NCAA and other governing bodies, academics, sportsmanship and ethical behavior in sports and athletics, the history of college athletics in higher education, social changes and gender equity in and college athletics, the media, and the challenges and benefits of being a student-athlete.


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Pennsylvania's Premier Public Liberal Arts University