Each year, approximately 40 professors integrate community engaged learning projects into their First Year Seminar (FSP) courses with Center staff and Bonner Scholars. The projects draw a connection between the learning objectives of the course and a specific community need or interests. The following is a sample of projects that will be completed during the Fall of 2012. For class projects from previous academic years, please click here.
Incarceration Nation – Professor Michele Tarter
Students in this class not only learn about literature written about prison life and by prisoners, they visit correctional facilities and develop the writing skills of juvenile offenders. At the start of the semester, FSP students take a tour of the Mercer County Correctional Facility – where students and faculty are working to provide legal research support to inmates. Next, teams of students work alongside Bonners at PEI Kids, participating in writing and reflection sessions with juvenile offenders involved in a life-skills program.
Language in Society – Professor Benjamin Rifkin
This seminar focuses on what makes human language different from the communication systems used by other species and look at the systems that all languages use to build meaning. The class looks at the question of how we use language in social contexts – among friends, family, classmates, colleagues, supervisors, strangers, as well as with health care professionals. Students consider what makes an accent an accent, that associations and impressions accents generate, and look at language-based bias and stereotyping. Students also study how babies acquire the language of their parents, the nature of bilingualism, and how adults learn a second or foreign language. The course examines the relationship of language and ethnicity by analyzing particular languistic situations in depth. As the community engaged learning portion of this course, students engage in ESL tutoring at Trenton Central High School with the Bonner Center.
Diversity and Its Responses – Professor Sarah Chartock
This course examines what diversity is, what it looks like in the United States and how individuals, groups and states have responded to ethnic and racial diversity in their midst. It focuses on debates over diversity such as whether race is “real” or not; whether assimilation or pluralism represent ideal goals; and whether policies such as affirmative action are appropriate responses to issues of race and inequality. The course looks at defining race and ethnic diversity, describing patterns of diversity in the U.S. and explaining the roots of diversity in historical perspective. It also examines responses to diversity by individuals, both psychologically and behaviorally. Finally, the course explores various policies that have been formulated and debated to respond to issues of race, ethnicity and inequality in the U.S. and abroad. Students’ classroom learning and research are supplemented by service learning opportunities at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Trenton Central High School and El Centro de Recursos para la Familias.
Voting with Our Fingers – Professor Nina Ringer
This seminar will look at the 2012 presidential election through the lens of its media depiction to determine what connection the media has on the outcome, and particularly how the media’s rapidly changing face affects this election. Students will study an encapsulated version of the primary process and the Democratic and Republican conventions to catch up. The class will then closely monitor the weeks leading up to the November election to explore all facets of the campaign, including the debates, political ads, speeches and candidates’ websites, looking in particular for aims, messages, successes, failures and surprises. As part of their community engaged learning experience, students will volunteer at various sites and events in Trenton, registering individuals to vote.
Other 2012 FSP Courses:
- New Jersey’s Urban Environment – Professor Diane Bates
- Rebel Girls: Social Change and Leadership Girl Style – Professor Emily Bent
- Once Upon a Time; The Story of Story – Professors Stuart Carroll & Tabitha Dell’Angelo
- Life In, Out and After College – Professor Timothy Clydesdale
- Language and Culture – Professor Jean Graham
- Does What We Eat Matter?: The Culture, Politics and Science of Food - Professor Thomas Hagedorn
- Music and the Holocaust: Culture, Identity and Ideology - Professor Chris Hailey
- Cinema and the City - Professor Lorna Johnson
- Morality, God and Free Will - Professor Richard Kamber
- World on a Plate at an American Table - Professor Sarah Kern
- Morality, Mind and Meaning of Life - Professor Pierre Le Morvan
- Quantifying US Professional Sports: Science, Statistics and Money - Professor Nathan Magee
- Tears and Blood of Our Stage: The Theater as Arts, Culture and Politics - Professor Patrick Maley
- Digital Domain - Professor Janet Mazur
- The Evolution of African American Gospel Music - Professor Todd MCrary
- Rock N’ Roll in Post-Mao China - Professor Jia-Yan Mi
- Human Ability Unplugged - Professor Jerry Petroff
- Ability and Dis/Ability: Deconstructing and Disrupting the Social and Cultural Gaze - Professor Shridevi Rao
- Language in Society – Dean Benjamin Rifkin & Professor David Stillman
- Normal? Issues of Identity and Difference - Professor Kathleen Rotter
- Leadership for Social Justice - Professor Antonino Scarpati
- Being Digital in 2012 - Professor Sharleen Smith
- Reading Bleak House - Professor Glenn Steinberg
- Aging, Death and Dying - Professor Rachel Stutzman
- Becoming an American - Professor Ann Warner Ault
- Multicultural New York: The City from its Beginnings to the Present - Professor Matthew Winkel
- Social Justice - Professor Mort Winston
- Holistic Wellness & Mindfulness - Professor Corinne Zupko