core seminar i for first-year students

you will need to choose five options for core seminar i prior to attending orientation. this 3-credit class takes an interdisciplinary approach to a course-specific theme while allowing you to explore personal development, intellectual growth, and what it means to have a liberal arts education.

the first-year seminar is designed to introduce you to the standards of academic rigor while providing you with the knowledge to make informed decisions in your transition to college. you'll compose a variety of projects that demonstrate critical inquiry and information literacy skills.

lying, deception, and fraud (liba 110-a)

why do people lie? and why are even really good liars just as susceptible as the rest of us to deception, wacky superstitions, phony scientific claims, and all manner of cheap hustles? this fun, skill-building first-year seminar will explore the mechanics of lying, the psychology of magical thinking, and our human tendency to be fooled and even to fool ourselves. we’ll also look at cons and explore our love affair with the huckster and scam artist, all while building critical thinking, writing, and information literacy skills needed for success at the university level. so what do you think? ready to get fooled?

we are the walking dead: interpreting the zombie apocalypse (liba 110-b)

students in this course will examine what the zombie apocalypse means to society, culture, the future, and ourselves. is a zombie apocalypse a theological crisis? is it a test of morality, to determine whether one can remain “human,” to say nothing of “good,” in a world filled with monsters? is it an examination of societal fears to soften the blow of discussing racism, capitalism, the military-industrial complex, genetic engineering, loneliness? we will examine these question by watching tv shows and movies, playing video games, and reading books.

keeping connections (liba 110-c)
never has the world been more connected, and yet, right now, you might feel more isolated than you ever have. in this seminar, we will navigate what it means to be connected in a world where technology both separates and unites and where a pandemic has caused us to stay apart in order to take care of each other. we will also explore the physical, social, and psychological needs for connection and discuss how to make connections across the various classes you take to learn valuable skills to succeed as a college student and beyond.
happy holidays (liba 110-d)

one commonality among many countries throughout the world is the celebration of holidays. while some are celebrated in many countries, others such as bonifacio day and croatia’s statehood day, are celebrated in only a few. holidays provide a rich, fun way for us to learn about a country’s history, traditions, food, and music. in this course we will explore the world by investigating numerous holidays. we will partake in these traditions as a way of experiencing life as locals. these activities will open up our minds and hearts to the wide variety of celebrations that occur around the world each day.

the games people play (liba 110-e)
do you find yourself constantly playing games of some form? if so, this course is for you. this course will examine what makes a good game, why gaming is so popular, and what happens when gaming interferes with other aspects of life. we will also find ways to turn our love of games into marketable skills that will aid us in the real world.

Plagues, Pandemics, and People (LIBA 110-F & LIBA 110-J)

humans have endured a number of crises over time. some of the most well-known crisis points center around pandemics, including the recent outbreak of covid-19. using the lens of pandemics and plagues, we will look at how humans have responded to some of the greatest health crises over time. what do we learn about understandings of religion, science, culture, technology, and misinformation during these events? are there universal experiences and responses we can see, despite the centuries between these events? in what ways were experiences related to covid-19 unique or new? what accounts for this? how can we better prepare for the next pandemic? let's find out together!

the pursuit of happiness (liba 110-g)

what makes people happy? how do they create happiness in their lives? is it possible to increase happiness? we will explore these questions and more in this seminar. we will look at how happiness has been talked about for thousands of years and try to find connections to our modern, hectic lives. we will discuss who has a right to happiness and begin to practice steps that are scientifically proven to increase our happiness to understand if and why happiness really matters.

Technology: The Good, the Bad, and the #nofilter (LIBA 110-H & LIBA 110-N)

drawing inspiration from the netflix series black mirror, we will explore the ethical, social, and economic impact of technology on our personal and professional lives. from job automation to the impact of social media, from pervasive advertising to the psychology of video games, the influence of technology is nearly inescapable in a developed country such at the united states. are we a better world because of the internet—with knowledge at our fingertips as well as the capability to bully or be bullied? how much of a threat does job automation pose? can we really learn, connect, and relax when we are constantly receiving notifications?

sustainability (liba 110-k)

this course will challenge students with the concept of sustainability and its implementation in their personal lives. we will start by analyzing your preparation and readiness for success in college and beyond. we will consider our local community, country, and world and how these can be sustained. we will follow your interests and consider how to sustain society, political systems, economic systems, the environment, and so on. we will discuss sustainability from all perspectives.

globe trotters (liba 110-l)

this will be an exciting seminar where we will learn about culture: gv culture, your culture, new cultures, and cultures you thought you knew. we will build, reinforce, and expand our knowledge through music, humor, food, art, dance, sports, and more. this will enable us to connect to a variety of cultures, empower us to learn about ourselves and one another, and encourage us to questions our current worldviews while drawing new conclusions. best of all, the golden global awards will be held at the end of the semester!

women in the bible: where all my ladies at? (liba 110-m)

jesus? moses? noah? we know these guys, but what about the women? this class will focus on women in the bible—the courageous, faithful, violent, and sexual roles women plan in the biblical narrative. we will also consider how race and class impact our interpretation and understanding. we’ll visit various religions’ places of worship and observe women’s roles in religious communities today. no prior religious knowledge is necessary to be successful in this class.