FYP Courses 2015

LC 1: Creativity, Leadership and Crisis

HI 227: Museums,Myths and Memories (I) (Dr. Lori Weintrob)                                                  AR203: Advertising Art 1 Computer Design (Prof. Andrew Needle)
RFT: Weintrob/Needle

How have visual images captured such misfortunes as genocide, inequality, war, and the depersonalization of society? Students will study significant political and cultural transformations in modern times and the ways that leaders and ordinary people have responded to these challenges. We will consider how visual images and public display, including advertisements, paintings, films, and architecture have both fueled and diffused global and local tensions. In support of this course, a history course will explore how museums represent such subjects as immigration, slavery, the Holocaust and 9/11. Students will create a website dedicated to a leader in a graphic arts class. There will be field trips to museums and interviews with local civic or cultural leaders.

LC 2: Developing Leadership Through Ethics

MDS 103: Business and Society (Dr. Richard LaRocca)
PS 244: Decisions and Persuasion (D) (Dr. Amy Eshleman)
RFT: Eshleman/LaRocca

This Learning Community explores ethical decisions for future business leaders. Students develop a critical understanding of how business functions within society as well as the psychological study of common biases in our thoughts and feelings. Business and Society (MDS103) will focus on exploring all major components of the business world and the role which business plays in society. In Decisions and Persuasion (PS244), discussions will focus on recognizing unintentional errors and striving for ideals, such as compassionate leadership. In the Reflective Tutorial, ethical practices in business will be explored through an online simulation and in-class discussions. Experiential learning will include a guided on a tour of Wall St. and applying course concepts in service to a local not-for-profit organization.

LC 3: Politics in Theater, Literature and Film

GOV 236: Politics in Literature and Film (Dr.Steve Snow)
TH 103: Script Analysis (Prof. David McDonald)
RFT: Snow/McDonald

This Learning Community analyzes political themes in theater, literature, and film. We read works by Richard Price, John Steinbeck, Joseph Conrad, Ivan Turgenev, Anton Chekhov and Leo Tolstoy. Films will vary but will include Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and Stacy Peralta’s “Crips and Bloods: Made in America.”  Plays from ancient Greece to today’s theater will be analyzed according to their structure, content, and sociopolitical context.  Playwrights include Aeschylus, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Miller, Wendy Wasserstein, and Anna Deavere Smith. A central learning goal of the LC is developing students’ rhetorical skills, i.e., speaking and writing effectively and persuasively.

LC 4: Global Traditions and Material Expression

HI 120: Global History and the Modern World: Who Owns the Past?(I) (Dr. Ousmane Traore)
AH 118: Intro to Art History: The Ancient World from a Global Perspective(I) (Dr. Sarah Scott)
RFT: Traore/Scott

Expression and visualization of global traditions are found in works of architecture, painting, and sculpture from across the globe. Religion, geography, politics, economics, and society: all contribute to the development of bodies of history. How can we better understand our place in the world today though an examination of the various evidences of textual and material culture from other places and other periods? This Learning Community will examine global traditions of material expression through Art History and History. It will explore how a global perspective is relevant to American society today. How can adults better guide children through a global world? By understanding the material world of other cultures, we can better prepare ourselves to interact and function within a global setting. By visiting museums, examining text and objects, and working with community groups, students will develop an understanding of world art and history. What is global perspective, given that our population itself is diverse? How do we learn, children and adults from multiple backgrounds, about the world around us?

LC 5: : Exploring the Hispanic World through Language and Film

FM 291: Screening Films of Spain and Latin America (Dr. Marilyn Kiss)
SP 111: Intermediate Spanish 1: Spanish for Life (I) (Dr.Katica Urbanc)
RFT: Kiss/Urbanc

This Learning Community is designed for students who have had three – four years of high school Spanish (or equivalent) and who want to continue their study of the language in college because of the career opportunities it enhances. It is also designed for students who have a love of movies and who would enjoy and introductory film course taught in English that uses films from Spain, South America, the Caribbean, and the Hispanic US as visual texts. In the writing-intensive RFT, students will read coming-of-age short stories and novels from the Spanish-speaking traditions and write different kinds of essays about these experiences. Students will use their Spanish in the experiential learning component by tutoring elementary school students through the Port Richmond Partnership.

LC 6: The “Scientific Method”: Fact or Fiction?

CH 111: General Chemistry 1 (Dr. Nicholas Richardson)
BI 213: Cells, Genes and Evolution (Dr. Heather Cook)
RFT: Richardson/Cook

The “scientific method” as taught in most introductory science classes is at est a crude approximation of how science is actually performed. This Learning Community will give students the opportunity to take two introductory-level classes in biology and chemistry. The third component of the LC, the reflective tutorial, will explore the scientific method and the ethics of scientific research by examining real examples of scientific research, allow students to engage the scientific literature by studying a recent scientific topic, and give the students the opportunity to examine if Charles Darwin used appropriate scientific methods in his research.

LC 7: You Are What You Eat, and You Are What You Say: Being Human in a Changing World.

AN 101: Introduction to Anthropology (Dr. Alexa Dietrich)
SP 111: Intermediate Spanish(I) (Dr. Margarita Sanchez)
RFT: Dietrich/Sanchez

What is culture? How does culture bind together human communities in particular places at particular times? How do communities use rich and complex cultural resources to respond in time of crisis? How are today’s communities using both new and old technologies to reconnect to their home environments, and build community-based coalitions that can help to build sustainable futures? In this Learning Community, students and professors will address these questions using foundational coursework in Anthropology and Spanish language and culture as a portal to community-action research. We will learn about how the environment shapes people’s everyday lives, and how they work together to reclaim and re-envision their communities in ways that nurture themselves, their histories, and futures. Finally, we will work with local community-based organizations on their current projects addressing these concerns, including community gardening and educational workshops. This Learning Community is ideal for students that are considering Study Abroad or other international opportunities

LC 8: Remembering and Representing America

AN 215: American Art History (Dr. Laura Morowitz)
EN 230: Introduction to Film (Dr. Steven Thomas)
RFT: Morowitz/Thomas

Many of us have had our understanding of American history shaped by popular culture as much as by the classroom. This Learning Community explores the way American history has been represented in various museums, theme parks and films. We will look at the way that American events and values are portrayed, displayed and interpreted in these sites. What image of the United States emerges from these objects, settings and narratives? Whose America is being depicted? Whose voices have been empowered to tell these stories? Through readings, discussions, site visits and film screenings we will come to better understand the changing representations of U.S. history and culture and their broader context.

LC 9: Minds, Machines, and Human Beings

PH 202: Medical Ethics (Dr. John Danisi)
BI 209: Human Anatomy and Physiology (Prof. Linda Raths)
RFT: Danisi/Raths

This Learning Community will bring our knowledge of biology and ethics to bear upon some of the central human life issues in modern medicine. Questions to be discussed include: Is a patient in a persistent vegetative state a person? Is there a place for “personhood” within a biological account of human beings? Are the practices of abortion and euthanasia morally permissible? Do animals have rights? What is the nature of the relationship between healthcare professionals and their patients? Are their limits in the use of robotic technology in medicine? Designed for physician assistant majors.

LC 10: The Righteous Path

HI 291: Reacting to the Past- The Civil Rights Movement (Dr. Rita Reynolds)
SPC 104: Oral Interpretation (Prof. Theresa McCarthy)
RFT: Reynolds/McCarthy

This Learning Community in American History and Theater will teach students about American history using role play. Students are assigned roles of historical personalities informed by Civil Rights history – oral and written sources. In the second half of the semester, class sessions are run entirely by students, however instructors will advise and guide students concerning content and procedure. The course seeks to teach students history by drawing participants into the past to promote engagement with big ideas, improve oral skills, intellectual skills, and academic skills.

LC 11: The Love-Hate Relationship Between Humans, Microbes, and Chemicals

CH 111: General Chemistry 1 (Dr. Arun Sharma)
MI 200: Microbiology (Dr. Christopher Corbo)
RFT: Sharma/Corbo

When we hear “bacteria” we think “illness;” when we hear “chemicals” we think “poisons;” when we hear “environment” we think of the world around us. Can you name one thing which connects all three? Do you know that bacteria can positively affect human health as well as the health of our planet by remediating poisons and toxic waste? Humans, bacteria and the environment are constantly interacting with one another through chemical processes. The human attitude towards the environment has been shaping the lives of all species on our planet, but did you know there are microbes that can also end a human life within days? Chemical reactions are the weapons used in this “microscopic” battle between humans and bacteria.

In this learning community, the focus is on the triangular interaction of humans, microbes and the environment by viewing their basic chemical interactions. Students will observe how chemistry and microbiology are intertwined in everyday human life. They will develop a better understanding of the influences the three parties have on one another and on our planet. Experiential hours will include field trips to the Greenbelt, Food and Drug Administration and NYU Medical School. The field trips are chosen to support three directions of interactions: 1) interactions within the environment, 2) interactions within the health care system, and 3) interactions within the society through the implementation of laws and regulations. Through this learning community, students will become better global citizens, obtaining a better understanding of the Earth and the impact of its inhabitants.

LC 12: Justice in an Unjust World

GOV 104: Introduction to Political Theory (Dr. Patricia Moynagh)
EN 291: Narratives of Education in America (Dr. Alison Arant)
RFT: Moynagh/Arant

This Learning Community draws upon classical as well as contemporary works in the history of political thought and American Literature to examine how contexts shape what it means to act ethically. We will consider questions like  How should individuals respond to unjust laws and the systems that create them? Is it possible to look out for one’s own interests as well as the interests of others? What does it mean to write and act with courage in the face of human rights abuses?  In addition to covering thematically linked material, the RFT is designed to equip all students with writing, reading, and critical thinking skills.

LC 13: Citizen Appetites

HI 291: Feeding New York City 1600 to the Present (Dr. Alison Smith)
PS 291: Psychology, Nutrition and Food (Dr. Laurence Nolan)
RFT: Smith/Nolan

This Learning Community will link the history of New York City to the psychology of eating behavior in order to demonstrate how powerful our decisions to eat what we eat can be-and what an impact such decisions have had on the course of history. The experiential learning will include many opportunities to explore the politics and culture of food in contemporary New York.

LC14: Society and the City

GOV 205: Urban Politics (Dr. Abraham Unger)
SO 103: American Society and Its Social Problems(D) (Dr. John Esser)
RFT: Unger/Esser

This Learning Community explores the historical development of urban politics within a broader American social context characterized by race, gender, class, religious, and ethnic distinctions.  It emphasizes the political and economic development of American cities and the intersection of public and private interests in urban policy-making, with a special focus on New York City.  Students will conduct fieldwork around economic development issues in the St. George and Port Richmond communities. Past projects have included simulated grant proposals and policy papers after time spent visiting these neighborhoods and interviewing community leaders.

LC 15: Micro-Macro Linkage: Microeconomics and International Politics

GOV 251: International Politics (Dr. Shaohua Hu)
EC 102: Microeconomics (Dr. Utteeyo Dasgupta)
RFT: Hu/Dasgupta

This Learning Community focuses on the theme of micro-macro linkage in the world. Aside from the reflective tutorial, it consists of two courses from two disciplines. Microeconomics analyzes theories of decision-making using the rational man/homo-economicus paradigm. In particular, it looks at theories of decision-making for individual consumers as well as firms when faced with economic scarcity. International politics studies relations among countries, which range from economic transactions to military conflicts. In particular, it analyses decision making through a rich lens that enriches and adds insights for the homo-economicus framework considerably. The subjects, although disparate in their theoretical approach, share similar logical structures. In particular, all actors, individual or states, are assumed to act in their interest under given circumstances. The experiential component of the RFT will be coordinated with “Generation Citizen,” a national organization with action based programs that work to strengthen our nation’s democracy by empowering young people to become engaged and effective citizens.

LC 16: Global Travel through Cultural Studies

EN 111: World Literature (Dr. Anne Hurley)
FR 291: Introduction to “French” through Cinema, Literature, Art and Music (I) (Dr. Dane Stalcup)
RFT: Hurley/Stalcup

This course is designed for students who are curious, energetic, flexible and adventurous, and who perhaps plan a future of travel and experience in cultures other than our own and in languages other than English.

Our focus will be on cultural studies as our primary mode of inquiry, and we will carry out our exploration by putting the world of non-western literature into dialogue with French culture and identity.  From reading the literature of a foreign culture, to learning how France defines itself through artistic expression, to the simple act of daily conversation, this communicative process regularly takes us beyond that which we presume to know best, ourselves.

Our textbook for the RFT will be the city of New York, which we will explore by visiting, closely observing, and writing about its museums, restaurants, music, street fairs, art galleries, and theater.  We will be seeking the fascinating and unfamiliar, so bring open minds, a taste for intellectual adventure, and a willingness to work at understanding the complex global world in which we live.


LC 17: Views from the Fringe: Access and Equity in America through the Lens of Immigrants and Individuals with Disabilities

MDS 106: Ways of Knowing (Prof. David Gordon)
SO 103 : American Society and its Social Problems (D) (Dr. Bernadette Ludwig)
RFT : Gordon/Ludwig

This Learning Community is designed for students who are considering the fields of Education, Social Sciences, or Social Work as a career, but all undeclared students are welcome.  In this course students will learn about society and its problems (with an emphasis on the Education System) through the lens of exclusion and inclusion of immigrant populations and individuals with disabilities. Students will have the opportunity to discover the implications of these inequalities through hands-on teaching and learning with individuals from Lifestyles for the DisabledNapela, Inc., and the Staten Island Liberian Community Association. Wagner students will explore access and equity issues—past and present—that both populations face (d) every day. Toward the end of the course, students will work on a culminating project focused on creating a solution that addresses a specific societal need for either population.  Students will have the opportunity to discover New York City physically in our Reflective Tutorial (RFT) through visits to historically significant places that relate to the ideas of access and equity in our society.  Finally, LC students will use these experiences and perspectives to better understand their own ways of learning, and how to incorporate and collaborate with others who may learn differently due to socio-cultural backgrounds and experiences.


LC 18: Other People’s Money

TH 103: Script Analysis (Dr. Felicia Ruff)
MDS 103: Business and Society (Dr. Donald Crooks)
RFT: Ruff/Crooks

This Learning Community combines Business and Theatre.

In Script Analysis we read a variety of plays from the Greeks to the present as well as attend performances in NYC and on campus–so sign up if you like to go to the theatre, read extensively, and engage in a critical discussion of a variety of plays that deal with business from Death of a Salesman to The Merchant of Venice.

Business and Society introduces students to various facets of business: Management, Marketing, Accounting and Finance.  In conjunction with our RFT we explore societal implications of capitalism relative to corporate power, government regulation, current economic conditions, peer pressure, business ethics and societal justice to promote student awareness of contemporary business issues.

Our writing seminar will consider aspects of sports from performance to business.


Antium Font. Textbooks available on Reserve