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.

Globe Trotters (LIBA 110-A and LIBA 110-D)

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!

Happy Holidays (LIBA 110-B)

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.

Graphic Novels (LIBA 110-C)

A girl stands tall against an unstoppable Titan. A shapeshifter finds her place in society through a super-villain with a heart of gold.  Fairy tale figures navigate the world of mundane humans.  A son learns about his father by asking about his past.  From fantasy and horror to autobiography and history, stories told in graphic novel format cover a wide range of issues and themes.  In this course we will examine the journeys characters take and how words and pictures work together to create richer meaning.  We will experience graphic novels from many different styles of artists and authors, think critically about the visual world around us, and tell our own stories through words and images.

True Crime Investigation (LIBA 110-E)

In this armchair detective class we will focus on learning about historical and current crime cases, mysterious disappearances, and unexplained events. As each case is investigated, we will seek knowledge about society at the time of the crime or event, the marginalized and privileged  groups involved, whose voices are heard and whose are kept silent. We will work to understand the motivation for breaking the law as well as positive outcomes from studying crime and the people who commit them.

Friday Nights Lights (LIBA 110-F)

Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. In this seminar, we will explore the transition to American university life through viewing key episodes of the television program Friday Night Lights. We will examine the ways our identities shift (or not) and how our conception of "home" may change over time (or not) in order to understand the various roles and identities we occupy and perform.

AI and You: Alexa, Can You Replace Me? (LIBA 110-G)

Are humans being replaced by robots? As we become increasingly dependent on technology, are we losing our humanity or transcending it? Would an artificial human have the same rights as us? We will examine all these questions through novels and films, discussing whether a machine can have consciousness or free will, and looking at the ways the lines between humans and machines have been blurred. We will question our place in this future world and the economic, religious, philosophical, sexual, and political impact of these new technologies.

The Science of Happiness (LIBA 110-H)

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.

Game On: Sports, Play, and the Competitive Spirit (LIBA 110-I)

American culture is obsessed with competition. From collegiate and professional sports to casual games with friends, we live and die by our playful impulses. We will explore the history and philosophy of sports, competition, and conflict by focusing on what drives us to excel and how far we’ll go to be seen as champions. From ancient cultural games to modern weekend warriors, we will examine and try various sports, games, and contests to understand what makes them a uniquely human endeavor.

Technology: The Good, the Bad, and the #nofilter (LIBA 110-J)

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.

Women in the Bible: Where All My Ladies At? (LIBA 110-L)

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.

The "Other" and "Othering" (LIBA 110-M and LIBA 110-N)

Humans are naturally curious and have been on a quest to explore and discover the world around them. As a new college student, you're on a similar quest. In the past, explorers tried to understand new people by "Othering" them. We will explore how this helped us understand new people and ideas and how it can hurt us. This course will explore your personal journey to college, consider what qualities will help you to succeed, and interweave some stories from the earliest encounters of Europeans and Natives to learn from their experiences.

We Are the Walking Dead: Interpreting the Zombie Apocalypse (LIBA 110-O)

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.

Island Life: Sun, Sand, and Society (LIBA 110-P)

Islands are more than just a great place to visit! Together we’ll learn about some of the most popular island destinations and investigate discoveries that have been made, political battles that have been fought, and beautiful art that’s been created on these exotic locales. We’ll explore these unique geological formations as a way to understand societal and cultural phenomena while learning to appreciate a diverse cultural universe.

Adulting 101: Now You're a Grown Up! (LIBA 110-Q)

Growing up is hard and exciting work. But what does it even mean to be an adult? When does it happen, and when does childhood end? Do you go to sleep one night a child and wake up an adult the next day? We'll consider these and more questions to help us understand this new phase of your lives, and look to movies like  MoonlightThe 400 Blows Lady Bird, Love, Simon and explore stories in books to better understand our own experiences. Together we will learn how rites of passage, challenges, and cultural perspectives impact our understanding of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

Lying, Deception and Fraud (LIBA 110-R)

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?