LC 1: American Dreams: Leadership and Innovation in a Diverse Nation
HI 227: Leadership in the Face of Conflicts (Dr. Lori Weintrob)
GOV 103: American Government (Dr. Cyril Ghosh)
RFT: Ghosh/ Weintrob
The United States prides itself on being a country that thrives on individual efforts, leadership, creativity, innovation, and the achievement of lifelong dreams. Some even claim that these were our most powerful weapons in defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War. But who are our best leaders and innovators? What visions do they have? Does creativity or innovation flourish with increased diversity? Students will explore leadership philosophies and team-building from diverse perspectives as citizens, workers, managers, artists and athletes. In this interdisciplinary course, we will study how political, civic and other leaders use and abuse their power and authority, including in the Civil Rights era and today. Students will have an opportunity to polish their leadership skills and, finally, gain some critical insights into ideology, law and activism in America.
LC 2: Developing Leadership Through Ethics
MDS 103: Business and Society (Prof. LaRocca)
PS 241 : Special Topics: Decisions and Persuasion (Dr. Eshleman)
RFT: Eshleman/ LaRocca
This Learning Community explores ethical decisions for future businessleaders. 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 (PS291), 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: Money Where Your Mouth Is: Debates on Love, Power, and Money in the Public Forum
EC 101: Macroeconomics (Dr. Jayne Dean)
SPC 103: Public Speaking (Prof. David McDonald)
This Learning Community unites two courses that explore different and conflicting perspectives on the economy and economic policy, and on rhetoric and public speaking. The Macroeconomics course provides the tools for analyzing the current economic crisis, while Public Speaking encourages an internal inquiry into personal attitudes and values carried into the public arena. The Reflective Tutorial explores more fully the implications of diverse views in each field. The 30-hour experiential placement for this LC engages Wagner students in a Readers Theatre project in the Alice Austin School, a local New York City public elementary school.
LC 4: Global Traditions and Material Expression
HI 120: Global History and the Modern World: Who Owns the Past? (Dr. Ousmane Traore)
AH 118: Intro to Art History: The Ancient World from a Global Perspective (Dr. Sarah 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: Spanish at Work: Language and Business in the 21st Century
SP 111: Intermediate Spanish (Dr. Marilyn Kiss)
MDS 103: Business and Society (Dr. Cathyann Tully)
This Learning Community is designed primarily for those who are considering a possible major in business administration. One course Business and Society, (MDS 103) will cover a broad range of practical business issues, effective communication strategies, and the role of business practices on society at large. Interdisciplinary topics will include the history of advertising, the current power of branding and the principles of political persuasion and how they are used in contemporary America. The other intermediate Spanish course is a class with vocabulary and cultural activities designed for those in business situations. Because of the growing Hispanic population of the U.S., students in all areas of business will need to be able to use the Spanish language with clients. In the Reflective Writing Tutorial, students will see such films as The Social Network or Inside Job that deal with ethical issues relating to business, do oral presentations and group works on the topics presented, and write essays about them, using insights from both classes. The experiential component will involve field trips to major Hispanic businesses and such places as the Financial Museum and Wall Street. Students will also work with El Centro del Immigrante in their after school program. (Open to those with 2-3 years of previous study of the language).
LC 6: Emerging Global Health Concerns
CH 111: General Chemistry 1 (Dr. Nicholas Richardson)
MDS 109(D): Health and Society (Prof. Annemarie Dowling-Castronovo)
An examination of the role of chemistry in issues affecting the health status of individuals and groups throughout the world with emphasis on the needs of vulnerable populations and equity of health care. Experiential hours include two field trips: 1) Ellis Island; and 2) the Staten Island Health Care Expo. In addition, students will be assigned to a community agency to examine how determinants of health influence individuals and communities while, at the same time, providing service determined by the needs of the agency. Upon completion of the experiential and didactic components, students develop an understanding of how society influences health.
LC 7: Human Rights and Human Wrongs
GOV 104: Introduction to Political Theory (Dr. Patricia Moynagh)
EN 111(I): World Literature (Dr. Anne Schotter)
This Learning Community draws upon classical as well as contemporary works in the history of political thought and world literature to probe acts of dissidence in a changing world. We’ll examine various literary and political interventions that allow us to think through what socially responsible citizenship might entail. What does it mean to write and act with courage when one’s society or world is not hospitable to the one who writes or the one who acts? How does one make one’s dissident voice heard? How does the exile or the outsider introduce new ways of seeing and being in the world with others? We’ll address these kinds of questions through a rigorous reading of literary and political texts. We will integrate three key field trips (to museums, exhibits, and performances for example) that directly relate to our studies.
LC 8: Remembering and Representing America
AH 215: American Art History (Dr. Laura Morowitz)
EN 291(I): American Literature, World Identities (Dr. Steven Thomas)
Many of us have had our understanding of American history shaped by popular culture as much as by the classroom.This RFT 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)
This LC 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 American Experience through African American Eyes REVISED
HI 248: African American History to the Civil War (Dr. Rita Reynolds)
MDS 291 Young, Gifted, and Black: Narratives of African American Experience (Dr. Stephen Preskill)
Understanding American history through the experiences of African Americans is the guiding theme of this LC. Unavoidably, we will also examine the issue of racial oppression and what African Americans have done to respond to and overcome severe prejudice through the unique strengths that this community has developed over time.
The course - African American History to the Civil War - provides an introduction to the early history of Africans and African descendants in North America. Using historical scholarship, film, nineteenth-century slave narratives, and other primary documents, we will consider the momentous transformations in African American history from enslavement to emancipation. Far from a homogeneous experience, this diverse history reaches from colonial outposts in South Carolina, to the antebellum cotton plantations of the Deep South, from the towns and farms of the upper South to the urban communities of the North. Four main themes of community, cultures, religion, and resistance form a foundation for our investigations.
For the course entitled Young, Gifted and Black, we direct our attention to autobiographies and biographies of the Black experience, especially from the 20th century. The focus here is to hear, savor, appreciate and understand the voices of leading African Americans who wrote eloquently about their struggles and triumphs and who by virtue of their words and ideas helped to fashion the freedom movements of the second half of the 20th century. This learning community is not just about prejudice against Black people, however.
It is also about societal racism and institutionalized bias against people of color and historically marginalized groups. Much of the oppression that both Blacks and others have endured has occurred not just at the hands of individuals, but owing to institutions and societal norms that favored whites and other privileged groups. We will analyze the dynamics of race and other forms of discrimination and explore the challenge of eradicating these institutionalized oppression.
LC 11: The Love-Hate Relationship Between Humans, Microbes, and Chemicals
CH111: General Chemistry 1 (Dr. Joseph West)
MI200: Microbiology (Dr. Christopher Corbo)
RFT: Corbo/ West
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: Place, Culture, and Community Living: Living Local in Global Times
AN 101: Introduction to Anthropology (Dr. Alexa Dietrich)
SP291: The Magic of Short Films; Intermediate Spanish 1 (Dr. Margarita 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 times 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 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 13: Being Human: Biological and Anthropological Perspectives
BI 213: Genes, Cells and Evolution (Dr. Heather Cook)
AN 101: Introduction to Anthropology (Dr. Celeste Marie Gagnon)
Being Human is a complex interplay of our genetics and society, which becomes expressed in out biology and culture. In this Learning Community, we will examine the basic foundations of the fields of biology and anthropology by examining what makes us human. To this end, we explore the molecular and evolutionary bases of life. In addition, we will investigate how genetic and environment interact to create individuals and how individuals come together to form households, communities, and society. To explore these connections and see how humans are bio-cultural beings, we will complete a number of field and community based experiences focused on issues of diet and health.
LC14: Society and the City
GOV 205: Urban Politics (Dr. Abraham Unger)
SO 103(D): American Society and Its Social Problems (Dr. John 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: Creative Advocacy
MDS291: Testing and Miseducation in the U.S.A. (Dr. Karen DeMoss)
AR203: Advertising Art Graphic Design 1 (Prof. Andy Needle)
This learning community will explore the most effective ways to influence people with the goal of bettering some aspect of our world. Techniques of persuasion can be used to modify the political process, advocate for social change, and market products. Past and present leaders in such diverse fields as education, politics, psychology, advertising, and art will be studied with the goal of learning how to advocate. Students will then use these techniques to do real life advocacy. Web design will be created to further the advocacy process, and a shared social action such as hosting a conference, visiting legislators, or petition for a change, will be part of the course experience.
LC 16: Scripts and Scores
MU 245: Music in the Theater (Dr. David Schulenberg)
TH 103: Script Analysis (Prof. Phil Hickox)
This Learning Community explores theatre and music history from early times to the present day. Students read plays and study music while attending performances visiting museums in the New York area. This LC is open to all incoming students regardless of their prospective major; no previous study of music or theatre is necessary although some familiarity with theatre and music may be helpful. LC18 uses the field trip model to inform work and writing in the RFT. Students make six to eight trips to concerts, museums, and other arts venues off campus while attending four to eight on-campus performances.
LC 17: Healthy People, Healthy Communities: Exploring Health Behaviors, Risks, and Outcomes in the U.S.
PS 101: Introduction to Psychology (Dr. Lily D. McNair)
MDS 109: Health and Society (Prof. Patricia Tooker)
RFT : McNair/ Tooker
Encouraging positive health changes has been a major effort of individuals, the government, health professionals, and society in general. In the United States many public and private attempts to improve the health states of individuals and groups have focused on reducing rates of illness and subsequent deaths. Today however there is also concern to improve access to and reduce costs of health care services and to improve the overall quality of life for all people.
In this learning community we will look closely at the relationship of personal lifestyles across the life span that is known to influence health status. By linking the theories within the study of Psychology within the components of the health care delivery system we believe the student will gain a greater understanding of growth and development, beliefs and traditions, personal behaviors and other functional health patterns that directly impact our well being. The experiential learning component of this learning community will consist of two field trips; 1) Ellis Island, and 2) the Staten Island Health Care Expo. Additionally, students will be placed in a community setting to provide assistance with various approaches to health promotion.
LC 18: Global Travel through Cultural Studies.
EN 111: World Literature (Dr. Ann Hurley)
FR 111: Intermediate French (Prof.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 the French language and Francophone readings. From reading the literature of a foreign culture, to learning the nuances of another language, 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.