First-Year Experience Program

First Year Seminar Topics and Abstracts

Lenoir-Rhyne University offers its 1st-year students a comprehensive introduction to the Lenoir-Rhyne community. These will combine academic courses on a variety of topics with practical information on the tools you will need to succeed. Descriptions of the FYE courses can be found below.


FYE Course Descriptions: Fall 2013


FYE 191H.01     Sex, Race, Politics, and Other “Impolite” Topics       Goldsmith

Some of the most important topics affecting our lives are simply never discussed.  We are taught from early adulthood to avoid taboo topics in public.  Sadly this means that important issues about gender, race, politics, and religion are never discussed in an open and informed manner.  These hot button topics end up becoming the fodder of shock jocks—people more interested in driving ratings with inflammatory speech than in understanding and fixing problems.  This class will explore these sensitive issues to open up a meaningful conversation among students and encourage a deeper understanding of these contentious issues.


FYE 191.02     Reading Children’s Literature       Bories-Lu

From reading aloud to silent reading: FYE students will be exposed to the experience of reading aloud as they will experiment in person the act of reading aloud to preschool age children (3-5).  They will then detach from this collective (or non-solitarian) act to rediscover, through many of their youth literature classics, the phenomenon of the solitarian act of silent reading.


FYE 191.03 & 04     Roots of Southern Culture         LePrevost

“American by birth, Southern by the grace of God” – Often seen on baseball caps, bumper stickers, and even tattoos, this slogan reflects the pride Southerners take in their region.  But what qualities make the South so special?  Over the course of two semesters, students—both native Southerners and transplants—will explore Southern culture, history, literature, cuisine, music, and art.  Films, guest lectures, fieldtrips, and original research will be integral parts of the course. 


FYE 191.05 & 06      Love and Film         Deckard

This course will examine the topics of love and film from philosophical, literary, and religious perspectives. In the first semester, we will focus primarily on the history of love from the Hebrews to the Greeks, and C. S. Lewis. What are the different kinds of love and how do they affect us differently? Are these different kinds of love really as different as they seem? For example, can there be eros without sex or love without eros? Does true love wait? Whereas there are three different words for love in Greek, there is only one word in English. What is the difference between romantic love (eros) and friendship love (philia)? Are there other kinds of love as well? The fall semester will end with an examination of agape love. The second semester will focus specifically on film and how love is portrayed differently in film. By the end of this course, students will have detailed knowledge of what love in film is. They will be able to have a distinct characterization of the different forms of love and be able to depict various effects from film and be able to analyze films critically.


FYE 191.07     “All the World’s a Stage”: Discovering Your Role, Learning Your Part    Yoder

Shakespeare said it: “All the world’s a stage / and the men and women only players.” If he was right, what kind of actor do you want to be? In this course, you will explore the different roles you play in your daily lives and identify other roles you’d like to play. Students will examine characters, scenes, and speeches from Shakespeare’s plays to reflect on the plots of their own stories. What can an English playwright who’s been dead for nearly 400 years tell us about life in the age of YouTube and Twitter? Come find out!


FYE 191.08     Empires 101       Custer

This course will romp through some of the greatest "empires" in history, from Egypt and Rome through to the 20th century, in an exploration not only of causes and origins, but also of the long-lasting effects, from theories of power and law, down to schemes of human classification and definitions of human value.


FYE 191.09     Magic and Critical Thinking      Schaefer

Have you ever seen a person sawn in half?  Can you square three-digit numbers in your head?  Is levitation possible?  Do magicians really wear magical hats, or do they just keep rabbits up there?  This course will apply critical thinking and observation techniques to answer these questions and more.  Success in college and beyond depends on the ability to discern fact from fiction.  In this course you will investigate the fields of magic and illusion to gain a better understanding of both science and logic.  You will look for natural explanations to observed phenomena.  Will you really saw someone in half?  


FYE 191.10 & 13      The Education of Joe Bear         Voss

Why did you decide to go to college?  What do you hope to get out of your education?  What are you willing to put into it?  What does it mean to be educated?  How does education affect society?  How is education different in other parts of the world?  These are just some of the questions we’ll ponder in this section of FYE, as we take an intentional look at education from personal and cultural angles.  We will read fiction and nonfiction, watch films, conduct interviews, and investigate issues as we think about what education means to each of us individually, to our society, and to our world.


FYE 191.11 & 12      Forgive and Forget?          Makant

Forgive and forget? Turn the other cheek? Seventy times seven? Does forgiveness necessitate forgoing justice? Does forgiveness require reconciliation? What does forgiveness mean? On the one hand, contemporary notions of forgiveness tend to be therapeutic rather than theological. That is, those who have been harmed by another are urged to forgive for the sake of "getting over" the past in order to "move on." On the other hand, Jesus' commandment to forgive has often been, and continues to be, misused by those in positions of power and privilege as a way of maintaining the status quo. In this course we will explore the Christian understanding of forgiveness, we will ask questions about the meaning and limits of forgiveness, and we will consider the imaginative possibilities afforded by a robust and intentional practice of forgiveness. Through both novels and film we will engage a variety of stories of violence and trauma, both fiction and non-fiction, in order explore the themes of forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption on both a personal and political level.


FYE 191H.14     Latinos in the U.S.               Parrado-Ortiz

Interested in Latino Studies and Latin American Studies? This course will explore topics in Anthropology, Art, Economics, History, Literature, Government, Sociology, and some other topics of Latinos in the US and US Latinos. This course features guest speakers, literature, films and music, current articles from various disciplines, and direct contact with the local Latino population.  (Honors)


FYE 191.15     Metaphor, Gender, Race and Texts    Foster

Metaphors shape our philosophical conceptions of gender and race. They inform how we read texts and interact with one another. Yet what is a metaphor? How might we define gender or race? What are the social implications of the metaphors that we personally choose? How do texts influence the everyday language that we use? This FYE course will explore the social relationship between gender, race and texts. It will explore why metaphors have been called "dangerous things." Students will discover the social import of metaphors by means of readings, films, guest speakers and experiential learning. The approach to these issues will be practical and theoretical.


FYE 191.16     Crimea to Afghanistan… A History of Nursing       Apperson

This section of FYE will explore the origins and advancements of nursing practices originating with the Greeks and Romans and terminating with the war in Afghanistan. We will also examine Notes on Nursing by Florence Nightingale and its relevance to current nursing practice.  Nursing is an active, dynamic profession. Our endurance is a result of the desire we have to care for others and promote optimal health. Significant changes in nursing practice have occurred as a result of war, politics, religion and technology. As an FYE course, we will also explore acculturation to university life. We will study various topics such as learning strategies and stress management. Participation in oral and written exercises is emphasized in addition to service learning opportunities.


FYE 191.17     Emergency! Emergency! It’s All About Perspective      Bumgarner

Emergencies that occur in life are a constant factor.  The differing degrees of the emergencies that occur actually develop from the perception of the individual experiencing the situation.  What may seem like an emergency to one person may seem insignificant to another.  Many opinions and perceptions are influenced by media.  When exposed to such influences, good or bad, perspective is formed or may be changed.  By exploring the information that one is exposed to in the media as it relates to healthcare, specifically emergency situations, we can begin to decipher fact from fiction.  In exploring the media influences on perspectives, students will be able to better distinguish important facts from fictitious influence.  This study will serve as a vehicle through which students will become oriented to Lenoir-Rhyne and to their new roles as college students.



General Education


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