2012 Courses

Please visit Howdy for course days, times and locations.

UGST 181-501
Going Global: From Classroom to Career
Instructor: Tacey
How “global” are you? This course is an exploration of the impact of globalization on your education and your career. This course will look at the myriad of perspectives that we bring with us, and how to use them to succeed in life.

UGST 181-502
More than the Bomb: How Radioactivity, Nuclear Power, and Nuclear Weapons Define Your World
Instructor: Folden

Introduction to the basic principles of nuclear science and exposure to the benefits and risks associated with nuclear technology. Course will cover technical details of nuclei, radioactivity, and half-lives, and the intersection of history, geopolitics and sociology with nuclear science. Students will tour of the Cyclotron Institute, a major nuclear research center on campus.

UGST 181-503
Women in Leadership: Learning from Successful Leaders
Instructors: Reinarz

Women who seek to become leaders will need education, experience, and credentials plus ability to affectively motivate and influence others. This seminar allows students to learn from leaders at Texas A&M and across the state. Guests will share stories of how they succeed, what they learned, and pitfalls to avoid.

UGST 181-504
Spark Your Brain and Body
Instructors: Wagner, McNeill

This course is an investigation of how and why physical activity is crucial to the way one thinks and feels. Through a variety of physical and interactive activities, the science of how exercise cues the building blocks of learning in the brain are examined. Topics include: how exercise affects mood, anxiety, and attention-deficit and how it guards against the effects of stress. Multiple hands-on activities will be used to promote self-understanding as a means for achieving academic success.

UGST 181-505
Leadership for Social Change
Instructors: Starke, Shehane, Sturtevant, Crawford

This seminar course will provide students an opportunity to explore the concepts of leadership, social capital, and civic engagement. Students will participate in class discussions and service-learning experiences within the Bryan/College Station community.

UGST 181-506
Stories in the Making
Instructor: Samuelson

Examine and discuss ancient artifacts, rare books, and manuscripts in Cushing Library.  Experience the historical processes of bookmaking in hands-on sessions.  Debate issues of information exchange such as censorship and social change.  Collaborate in a final course project, written and hand-printed with course mates.

UGST 181-507
Raising Your Cultural IQ
Instructor: Edwards

This course will provide instruction on why it is important to be culturally competent and how to transfer these skills into the classroom, workplace or community environments. Students will learn about their own culture, how we judge the behavior of others based on our own cultural values and how to interact with people from other cultures while avoiding cross-cultural clashes.
Course Flyer: Raising Your Cultural IQ

UGST 181-508
Writing Visually: Digital Storytelling and Documentary Development
Instructor: Green

The 21st century is a visual and digital age. In this seminar students write visually to produce a personal narrative, a digital video to share with others or post on the internet. Supports the development of writing skills, an understanding of images to convey meaning, and increased digital technology skills.

UGST 181-509
Leadership in Crisis
Instructor: Powers

As challenging as leadership is, leading through a crisis is exponentially more difficult. This course will introduce students to real0world crises and details about how relevant leaders prepared, responded and recovered. Specifically, students will engage in discussions about different crises, identify key leadership behaviors, and visit with expert guest lecturers.

UGST 181-510
Pathways to Health and Happiness
Instructors: Ramasubramanian, Tauferner

This seminar focuses on developing and strengthening the mind-body connection that supports and enhances one’s ability to transition to life at a large university. Students will engage in critical thinking and experiential activities to recognize practiced habits that affect lifelong learning about wellness and stress management.

UGST 181-511
First-Year Photo Project
Instructor: Bierck

The First-Year Photo Project enables first-year students to intentionally document their personal transition to Texas A&M University through guided photography, internal reflection, and communication with others. This class will challenge participants to examine personal identity, future hopes and dreams, uncertainties, and what Texas A&M means to them.

UGST 181-512
Geoscience Through Rock (Music)
Instructor: Thomas

This course explores major topics and questions in the geosciences, using references to geoscience issues in song lyrics. The songs and lyrics serve as the starting point for discussions and discovery-based activities to enhance students’ understanding of how we investigate fundamental aspects of the geosciences.

UGST 181-513
Money Savvy Students
Instructor: Windle

Through class discussions, selected lectures, hands-on exercises and brainstorming sessions students will become savvy in: budgeting, goal-setting, saving, using debt, the basics of financial management, and developing a sound credit history. Course focal points include development of a personal financial budget and individual student presentations demonstrating use of budgeting skills.

UGST 181-514
Arts & Crafts & Maths
Instructor: Zarestky
In this course, we explore the relationship between art, mathematics, and a variety of crafting and fiber arts techniques, such as knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, cross-stitch, weaving, and quilting.

UGST 181-515
The World in Six Drinks
Instructors: Bednarz, Bednarz

The geography and history of the world through the lens of six beverages: coffee, tea, Coca-Cola, beer, wine, and spirits. Origins, diffusion and societal impact of each drink in different world regions at different periods of time.

UGST 181-516
Twilighters and Moonlighters: Fan Studies and the New American Vampire
Instructors: Coker, Benefiel

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to academic discourse through the realm of “Fan Studies.” Students will read critical essays on works such as Twilight, Moonlight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more. Students will also view segments of media to learn how to critically discuss multimedia.

UGST 181-517
Aggie Knitters R.O.C.K. (Reach Out with Compassion and Kindness)
Instructor: Lynch

Designed for students who love to knit or do handwork, to introduce ways to use this skill to help others. Through this topic students will gain basic “survival skills” of using the library for research, writing, and making presentations. Different resources around campus will also be discussed. Students will also contribute to a class community service project.

UGST 181-518
What Would You Do? Techniques for Preventing Power Based Personal Violence
Instructors: Kraft, Rahn

Social psychological research tells us that people will often not intervene when they see bad things happening to other people. This is a serious problem, as over 60% of interpersonal violence has witnesses, at least at the beginning of any given incident. Using the Green Dot Bystander training program, this class will examine the pertinent research, explore our personal disinclinations to get involved, and work on skill building to teach each of us how to intervene in physically safe, and personally comfortable ways.

UGST 181-520
Springsteen’s American Dream: An Ideology in Music, Lyrics, and Performance
Instructor: Heinz

Who are we, and where are we going? One of America’s greatest storytellers, Bruce Springsteen has attempted to answer these questions by presenting everyday people in his lyrics, music, and performances. We will explore our individual lives and collective experiences and how they relate to Springsteen’s real and fictional characters.
Course Flyer: Springsteen’s American Dream

UGST 181-521
How Free are We? Students and the First Amendment
Instructors: Wegener, Dunsford, Binzer

This seminar is designed to enhance students’ understanding of the First Amendment and the five freedoms therein, to examine contests to those freedoms throughout history, especially in higher education, and to explore legal, moral, social, technological and cultural perspectives on the Constitutional protections.

UGST 181-523
From Lucy to Liz Lemon: A Look at Women in Sitcoms
Instructor: Engle

The tomboy, the working-girl, the flirt, the mean girl, the supermom, the diva – women have had roles in sitcoms for decades, but how often do we really think about what these shows are saying about women? This class will look at some of our favorite female characters from the last 60 years of TV sitcoms and explore how they affect our lives and cultures.

UGST 181-524
Leading the Pint-Size Generation
Instructor: Montague, Lee

Interested in working with children? Do you want to work with kids through coaching, teaching, summer camps, Sunday school, etc.? If so, then this class on classroom management and behavioral intervention is for you. Students have the opportunity to observe and complete a case study in a meaningful setting.

UGST 181-525
3D Technology: A Brave New Virtual World for Real Education
Instructor: Raisor
What can you discover about history, science, art, culture, engineering, and other topics in a 3D virtual world? Learn how 3D software can be used to educate the next generation of Aggies. Create an avatar, collaborate with classmates, and tour virtual sites in Second Life®. Must be 18 years old.
Course Website: FYS Brave New World

UGST 181-527
Death and Destruction: How Drought Changed History
Instructor: Quiring
Overview of the science, policy and socioeconomic aspects of drought. We will focus on characterizing the severity, causes and impacts of the recent Texas drought.

UGST 181-528
Hip Hop: A Historical and Cultural Overview
Instructor: Gray
This course is an exploration of Hip Hop culture. Participants will examine music, dance, poetry, and art of Hip Hop. Historical origins, prominent figures, and cultural debates are studied.

UGST 181-529
Learning How to Learn
Instructor: Klemm
Learn how to learn as a team of fellow students, how to make better grades with less effort, how to evaluate research literature, how to improve critical and creative thinking skills, and how to improve writing and speaking skills.

UGST 181-530
Fact or Fiction: The Science Behind Nutrition and Diet Trends
Instructors: Taylor, Geismar
Introduction to scientific method; work collaboratively to conduct a review of literature of current nutrition concepts; review of literature culminates in oral presentations and critical discussions.

UGST 181-531
Finding Nemo
Instructor: Brooks
The popular movie Finding Nemo draws upon many topics central to the ocean environment. In this seminar, small groups (3-4 students) will research assigned topics from the movie using web-based resources. Near the end of the course, each group will summarize its new knowledge with a written essay and present its results for discussion by the full class.

UGST 181-532
Building for a Better World
Instructor: Smith
In today’s world, construction encompasses much more than lumber, bricks and mortar; it includes science, human resource and environmental management, and engineering. Learn about the variety of skills and professions needed to construct a complex project, leading to a better world. Introduction to construction terminology and processes, materials and methods, team work, communications, creativity and innovation, computer graphics and visualization, and environmental issues.

UGST 181-533
Earth Art: Geosciences and the Arts
Instructor: Tchakerian
This first-year seminar is a survey of the representation of geography, geomorphology and environmental sciences in the visual arts and classical music from antiquity to the present and includes such topics as cave and rock art, Renaissance art and geology, earth and environmental art and landscape and music.

UGST 181-534
Become a Money Wise Aggie
Instructors: Mielke, Kilmer
This course’s goal is to help students make smart personal finance decisions while pursuing their academic degrees and to lay a foundation for financial success throughout life.

UGST 181-535
Outdoor Adventures: Geocaching
Instructors: Linhart, Heister
Students will discover a lifelong learning and wellness activity in geocaching, an outdoor, GPS-enabled scavenger hunt. On the hunt, we will learn about different types of geocaches; how geocaching can enhance our physical and mental fitness; we will see how geocaching can help us explore a new location.
Course Blog: Outdoor Adventures

UGST 181-536
Texas Barbecue
Instructors: Savell, Riley
Survey, demonstration, and participation class celebrating the rich heritage of Texas Barbecue; preparation techniques include types of meats, seasonings, and cooking methods with emphasis on food safety, costs, and availability.

A Call for Proposals for First Year Seminars for Fall 2013 will be announced mid-January.