College of Arts and Sciences

First Year Adventure Courses

Offered Fall 2019

CAS 101-01: Latin America: Music, Movies, and More

Daniela Goldfine
TuTh 11 - 12:15 p.m.
What do you think about when you hear the words “Latin America”? Sun, beach, exotic dance, music, migrants? Where do those images come from? Let’s explore countries you may never have traveled to – but possibly would like to. Using different forms of media: film, music, short stories, and blogposts we will examine people and cultures from across Latin America. Come and join the adventure!

CAS 101-02: The Power of Doodling, Drawing, and Design

Ann Lawton
MWF 2 - 2:50 p.m.
Can doodling be an effective way to take notes? Can we use drawing and design to understand complex information? Can we apply color, shape and texture to share experiences? Absolutely.

Something profound happens when we apply images and symbols with words during the learning process; comprehension, independent thought and creativity flourish. This class requires no artistic skill or "talent". We’ll play and learn using sketchbooks, colored pencils, collage, and watercolors. These tools paired with hands-on experiences will help you cultivate your personal identity, community involvement, and academic applications.

CAS 101-3: The Truth is Out There

Ross Jilk
MWF 10 - 10:50 a.m.
We live in a world dominated by myth, science denialism, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. Thanks in part to social media and the internet, this misinformation gets spread much faster than facts. Since there is no single person or authority we can rely on as a source for the truth, this course will teach the skill of rational skepticism as an approach to discerning reality for ourselves.

CAS 101-04: The Soundtrack of Your Life

Pat O’Keefe
MWF 1 - 1:50 p.m.
Every person on Earth engages in an activity that we call Music. Whether you are a casual listener or an active performer, music is vitally important to each of us, and in this class we explore music from multiple angles. We will look at both the sonic side—examining how music is created, structured, and experienced—and the cultural side, digging into music’s relationship with many aspects of our daily lives. Through these aural adventures you will gain a fuller understanding of the music all around you and the world around us all.

CAS 101-5: "I'm Just a Phone Call Away": Social Support in Everyday Life

Melissa Schnettler
MWF 12 - 12:50 p.m.
Leaving the comforts and familiarity of home, stepping onto a new campus for the first time, taking your first college course, living with a random roommate, and meeting new friends can all be very stressful! Receiving social support from others can help us manage these new transitions. But, what is social support? Throughout this course, we will explore social support from a communication studies perspective. By the end of this course, you will understand and hopefully appreciate the significant impact social support can have on our everyday lives.

CAS 101-06: How Do Sports Shape Our Values and Beliefs?

Greg Kerkvliet
TuTh 2 - 3:15 p.m.
Sports: some of us participate, some of us watch, but all of us are affected in some way. This course will focus on our attachments to sports and the patterns of thought and behavior surrounding them. We’ll also dig into the ways that sports connect to other fields such as rhetoric, literature, film studies, mass communications, politics, and psychology.

CAS 101-7: Flash Fiction to Clickbait: The Power of Small Pieces of Writing

Sarah David
MWF 11 - 11:50 a.m.
Can you fit your life story into a Snapchat caption? In this course, students will read, write, and examine the role of tiny pieces of writing in our fast-paced lives. We will explore diverse genres, including flash fiction, poetry, song lyrics, social media and news articles. Discover how to make every word count in both creative and academic types of writing.

CAS 101-8: 99 Problems, But Ain’t This Class One?

Casey Maude
MWF 1 - 1:50 p.m.
Problems confront us on so many levels, from how to address a professor to how to address climate change. As individuals, as members of a community, as a society—problems come in great variety. Yet so many of them are ones we all share. Training ourselves to identify and analyze the problems that truly concern us is necessary for our survival as humans—and as college students; after all, knowing how to become a successful college student can be its own kind of problem. This course dabbles in multiple disciplines, but is centered in stories that connect us to real-world problems. Of the 99 problems or more you are aware of, which ones would you like some time and resources to better understand?

CAS 101-9: “Based on a True Story”: American History and Memory on Film

Ryan Fischer
MWF 9 - 9:50 a.m.
How reliable are movies about history? Why should we trust historians over movies? Should we trust historians over movies? What do the mistakes that these movies make tell us about America?

Movies have become one of the main ways that Americans learn and remember their history. American history is a common subject for films from Westerns to war movies to political films to costume dramas. Most of us know that these films don’t always portray history accurately, but how do we know what really happened? Should we care?

CAS 101-10: “The Force Awakens”: Identity and Justice in Science Fiction

Rellen Hardtke
TuTh 12:30 - 1:45 p.m.
Science fiction encourages us to think beyond what is and to think about what could be. Not bound by current technology or existing cultural norms, science fiction suggests that much of what is considered natural or unchangeable is actually socially constructed or even arbitrary. We’ll use a novel, short stories, television episodes, and films to discuss alternate ways to conceive of gender, race, ability, and class. Topics will include gender fluidity, androgyny, sexuality, reproduction, xenophobia, and economic and social inequality.

CAS 101-11: Is it a Problem? Investigating Crime and Deviance

Desiree Wiesen-Martin
MWF 10 - 10:50 a.m.
In this course, students will examine criminal/deviant behavior from an academic perspective. Students will be exposed to and explore the extent and nature of one type of criminal/deviant behavior. We will also examine the criminal justice and community responses to that criminal/deviant behavior.


FYA gallery

More coming soon...

Click to view full-sized image
FYA professor Pat O’Keefe’s class explores the music and culture of Brazil at UWRF’s Carnival Brasilerio FYA professor Pat O'Keefe's class explores the music and culture of Brazil at UWRF's Carnival Brasilerio. Pictured from left to right are Mya Larson (FYA student), Emily Jackson (FYA student), Dandra Odara (guest singer from Brazil), Professor O'Keefe, and Kali Teply (FYA student).

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