What is U-Engage?
U-Engage is an elective, 2-credit course designed to help first year students explore a current real-world issue or compelling question of interest. In a small class environment, new students built strong relationships with their instructor, peer leader, and classmates while engaging in interactive learning. Students learn about and practice college success strategies while receiving regular support and encouragement. Additionally, students gain information about campus resources and support available on campus and how these services can enhance their education. Check out the courses we offered in Fall 2013 and look for new course descriptions for Fall 2014 in April.
Fall 2013 U-Engage Course Descriptions:
The Power of Hashtags, "Likes," and Retweets
Marjorie Coffey, CRN: 19884, MW 9-9:50
Are you a master at getting the most out of 140 characters? Do you get your daily dose of inspiration from Grumpy Cat or xkcd? Maybe you can relate to other students who send and receive hundreds of texts a day without thinking about just how much reading and writing are involved. Forget paper, pencils, and textbooks; digital text has become a huge part of how we represent ourselves and how we interact with our friends, families, and communities. In our course, we'll look closely at social media, movies, books, and photos to investigate how reading and writing shape our identities and our daily experiences. You'll see how people like you are joining--and influencing!--important conversations, and you'll leave the class with insider tips on how you can be a successful reader and writer at OSU.
Science Myth Busters
Kyle Cole, CRN: 19885, WF 9-9:50
Do people really only use 10% of our brains? Do vaccines cause autism? Do astrological signs determine personality traits? Does birth order determine intelligence? Do video games cause violence? In this class we will investigate a broad range of common beliefs with the goals of learning critical analysis, performing literature research and evaluating scientific data to draw conclusions—important skills for separating fact from fiction, succeeding in college and flourishing throughout life. You’ll be introduced to the concepts underlying many myths and learn how to develop a research question by delving into your own interests on a current topic in this field.
What Are You Eating?
Dale Weber, CRN: 15627, TR 9-9:50
Have you ever wondered where your food comes from or why there are hungry people in the world? Is eliminating hunger from Oregon, The USA and the world a realistic goal or just a nice idea? Why or why not? What contributions has OSU made to aid in the production, processing and distribution of food? How can you eat well and wisely as a college student? How does food affect one's lifestyle? While dealing with these questions, there will be opportunity for group discussions, team building, cooperative learning and the synthesis and presentation of information related to the topic of food. In addition, efforts will be made to acquaint you with many of the resources that are available for students on the OSU campus.
Working with Youth in Our Community
Corinne Manogue, CRN: 15620, MW 9-9:50
Are you considering volunteering with a youth group in the community (e.g. Boys & Girls Club, 4-H, Scouts, religious youth groups)? Do you already have such experience? In this class, you’ll learn how to discover the goals and purposes of youth organizations and explore how those goals affect both the structure of the organization and the capabilities youth gain by participating. Is the group designed around building community or building independence? What is the implied relationship between individual service and social progress? We’ll also spend time talking about the ways that youth are looked at in society and challenge assumptions about who youth are and how they benefit from these programs. In pairs, we’ll investigate local organizations and together we’ll create a website that highlights service opportunities as a resource for our class and the entire community.
Untold Stories: Histories of People of Color in Oregon
Janet Nishihara and Kim McAloney, CRN: 15618, TR 9-9:50
Have you ever wondered about the histories of people of color in Oregon or why you haven’t heard their stories? As a class, we’ll explore stories such as those about slaves brought to Oregon with the promise of freedom, the internment of American citizens of Japanese descent, the displacement of tribal communities in the name of “progress,” and the exploitation of Mexican labor through the Bracero program. We’ll explore the OSU and community archives and talk with local historians and community members as part of our research to uncover the real untold stories. Authors of course readings will join our conversations to help us understand why and how they did their research. We may review films such as The First Oregonians, Turbans, and Local Color. As a class, we will have opportunities to attend campus and community events, visit local historical sites and societies.
Lissa Perrone, CRN: 15619, WF 9-9:50
Ever wonder how much of your paycheck is actually ending up in your wallet? Want to build a budget for your time at OSU, but don’t know where to start? This class is for you! Through discussion and research, we’ll develop a working knowledge of personal budgeting, savings, and the power of interest earnings. You’ll build a flexible budget template, assess your spending habits, calculate tuition and the full cost of college, and learn how to review your own credit report. We’ll also explore cultural and personal perceptions about money, as well as the myths and realities of credit and debt. This course will build your financial literacy and ability to meet your own goals such as financial independence, buying a car or house, or pursuing further education. Activities will help familiarize you with OSU by visiting campus locations, and exploring OSU resources available to all students regarding financial topics.
Margaret Mellinger, CRN: 15598, MW 10-10:50
Why do stories about elusive human-like creatures living in the wilderness persist through time? Why are there so many television shows and movies about finding Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch? What do these legendary creatures represent in human culture, specifically in the Pacific Northwest? In this class, we'll approach the Bigfoot phenomenon from multiple perspectives: mythological, cultural, historical, geographical and scientific. We'll use a variety of activities to look critically at Bigfoot in books, magazines, TV, films and on the Internet. Activities for the course will include a field trip to the McDonald Dunn Research Forest and developing a Bigfoot exhibit for the Valley Library.
Powered by Orange?
Jay Well, CRN: 15629, WF 10-10:50
Do you know how much energy you consume on a daily basis? It might be more than you think. In this age of climate change reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing energy security, and utilizing energy more efficiently have become vital to ensuring the future health of our environment. Yet we are currently seeing great advances in power-hungry technology: smart phones, tablets, and laptops TVs are owned by many, including the majority of college students. You’ll need a steady stream of power to keep up to speed in your classes, search for jobs and internships, and keep connected with friends and family, so, what can you do to use energy more responsibly during your time at OSU? This course will look at the ways we utilize energy on campus and explore how OSU researchers are looking at novel ways to help us have a more sustainable energy future on campus and beyond.
Fashion in Film
Jennifer Mower and Genna Reeves-DeArmond, CRN: 16819, F 10-11:50
Do you like to admire the costumes worn in films? Fashion in Film is an introduction to observing the relationship between costume in film and its influence in fashion. View iconic films like, Titanic and Breakfast at Tiffany’s that have illustrated styles of dress from the past and impacted styles of dress in recent decades, as well as receive an overview of the dress from the time period associated with each film. This course will assist students in understanding how representations of fashion in film reflect historic, social, and cultural aspects of society. Students will engage in analysis of fashion in film through journaling activities and discussion. No fashion experience is required.
Engineering and the Arts
Christine Kelly, CRN: 15597, MW 11-11:50
In this course, we'll explore the areas in which art and engineering intersect. Consider microphones, speakers, recording devices, music, composition, melody and how electrical engineering and computer science can expand the possibilities. Ponder paints, glazes, glass, and materials for sculptures – is there a role for chemical engineering and materials science? Contemplate sculpture at large scales, interactive robotics performance, and cantilevered structures: mechanical engineering can help realize the artists’ vision. All of the engineering disciplines can empower artists who are alter-abled: a man without fingers to play the piano, a child who is deaf to feel a drum beat, a woman who cannot walk fly in the theater. This class is an opportunity to allow your technical self and your artistic self to play together in the same classroom, and will expand your vision of the potential for engineers and artists. Outside-of-the-box, highly creative thinking is encouraged.
Food for the World
Sabry Elias, CRN: 15623, TR 11-11:50
If you’ve ever considered how serious world hunger is, or what the root causes of it may be, then this is the course for you! In this class, we’ll investigate these questions and think up possible, creative ideas for securing food for the world. Understanding the challenges to creating sustainable food systems is the first-step to finding practical solutions, so we’ll learn about what OSU college(s) and departments are currently doing to prepare students, like yourself, to take an active part in building secure food systems. You’ll learn about what scientific disciplines (e.g., molecular biology, plant breeding and genetics and agronomy) are involved and ultimately come away with a greater knowledge of how you can be part of solving the hunger problem in the world. In addition, part of the course will be designated to acquaint you with many of the resources that are available at OSU to help you succeed academically.
Mary Chuinard, CRN: 15625, WF 11-11:50
How often have you seen “Leadership or “leadership skills” referenced in class objectives, job application, or interview? How often have you wondered what that means or how you can display leadership? Despite the prevalent use of the term, there isn't always a great understanding of what is meant by “leadership,” even though we put such great importance put upon it. In this course we'll examine what it means to be a leader, by examining the theory and definition and then put our knowledge into practice. Plan to explore your own leadership qualities through challenge courses and trait assessments, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and StrengthsQuest. By the end of the term you’ll have the skills and knowledge necessary to be more successful in group interactions and have gained increased self-awareness, both of which will aid you in future classes and career pursuits.
Slime, Circuits, Functions, and Velocity: Helping Expand Love for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Richard Nafshun, CRN: 15600, MW 12-12:50
Do you have a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM)? Want to spark the same love in a younger generation? In this class you’ll learn about and then develop hands-on/minds-on activities for local school children to investigate at an outreach event at the end of the term. Past activities included the investigation of slime, constructing electrical circuits, exploring velocity and acceleration using carts and photogates, making batteries, and math games. We’ll explore appropriate STEM activities, discuss the value of these activities and the benefits of outreach, and examine the concepts your activities illustrate. Just imagine the value you’ll get sharpening your presentation and communication skills for your future interactions as a scientist, engineer, teacher, curator, colleague, or Senator! OSU offers many opportunities; we’ll offer you the team, the materials, and the resources to share your love of science and also explore other great ways to get involved.
What’s the Key to Success?
Mike O’Malley, CRN: 15626, TR 12-12:50
Become who you are! This course will help you find your academic niche at OSU. You will discover and assess your interests, strengths, and passions, so that you can experience a convergence between who you are and what you do. Our main text will be Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers: The Story of Success." In addition, we will utilize short stories, film, articles, guest speakers, and lectures to unleash our intellectual potential. In short, this course will not be about what to think, but how to showcase the prospect of an existential quest that can sustain us beyond mere disillusionment.
The Naked Truth: Telling Our Stories; Race, Class and Power
Oscar Montemayor, CRN: 18642, TR 1-1:50
Is everyone really equal or is this just a nice lie we’ve been told? We’ll confront this question by viewing the subject matter through psychological, sociological, gender and ethnic studies lenses. You will develop a better awareness of your own racial identity, gender, social class and sexuality. Gain an understanding of yourself in the larger context of OSU and the world by telling your story and dialoging with others who have similar interests. Interactive collaborative learning, group discussions, film, and guest lectures will be integrated throughout the course. In addition, we will explore the culture of higher education, learn to navigate within the university and become acquainted with campus resources. Learn why it is of value to take bacc. core courses and become a well-rounded global citizen, why faculty do research, and the roles professors and support staff play in their students’ lives.
Seeing the Forest for the Trees…
Lauren Magalska, CRN: 15601, WF 1-1:50
And the wildlife, recreation, ecosystem services and many other functions of forest ecosystems. Forests are incredibly diverse and can be managed to provide services ranging from timber production, to wildlife habitat, to clean air and clean water. This section is geared toward students interested in learning more about natural resources, with an emphasis on forestry. We will examine questions such as: How do managers decide where and when to conduct a prescribed fire? What role do forests play in climate change? What services do forests provide, other than timber? Why can I mountain bike in national forests, but not in national parks? Answering these questions will help to illustrate the different career paths that people can take with a forestry or natural resources education. We will also discuss forestry and natural resources education at OSU, as well as more general resources available to all students.
Think Globally, Research Locally- CANCELED
Michelle Donaghy Cannon, CRN: 15630, WF 1-1:50
Did you know that OSU is home to the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute? In this course we will use climate change research at OSU to explore how scientists work collaboratively to investigate complex, large-scale environmental issues. How do scientists choose their research questions and how do they interpret and share their results? What does consensus mean in science and how do we achieve it? We will talk to OSU scientists about their research in Oregon and throughout the world. From bees and trees to oysters and glaciers, we will learn how individual scientists are working together to create a comprehensive picture of the most important environmental issue of our time.
Demystifying Illusions about Altered States of Consciousness
Robin Pappas, CRN: 16040, MW 2-2:50
What “myths” have you heard about drugs and inebriants? Do all cultures use the same ones… in the same ways… for the same reasons? What can prominent authors writing about their experiences in “altered states” tell us about consciousness? In this class we’ll use key texts to examine many approaches to answering some of these big questions and in doing so pave the way for you to start examining big questions of your own. After all, the first term of college presents lots of questions: “How should I get involved? Did I pick the correct major?” Together we’ll learn different methods for researching the history of altered states, research methods you’ll use in many future classes. We’ll also reflect on what it means to be a college student and identify ways to maximize opportunities to support your major, career goals, and personal interests in OSU’s social and educational communities.
Tristen Shay, CRN: 16041, WF 2-2:50
What is gender and sexual identity? In this course we will explore the process, conscious and unconscious, that goes into forming identity. Focusing on social messaging received through family, school, and the media we will critically examine how gender and sexual identity is created in all of us and reinforced in modern society. Through basic texts in gender studies and visual culture studies we will identify the process of gender and sexual identity development as it applies to the individual. Over the course of the term you will engage in group discussion, panels, and campus observation activities to gain a deeper understanding of your own identity, as well as the identities of those you will encounter at OSU and beyond. Particular focus will be paid to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other identities.
Lunar Forces, Marine Zombies, Edible Sea Vampires and other Curiosities of the Sea
Itchung Cheung, CRN: 17243, F 2-3:50
Can wave energy really solve the world’s energy crisis? Is it worth it to farm the world’s oceans in the name of world hunger or is aquaculture simply killing off too many creatures of the sea? As a class we’ll tackle these questions and others like them while learning about exciting marine research such as fisheries management, marine mammal conservation, marine protected areas, and environmental education. Students will walk away from class having discussed some of the most pressing social, historical and environmental issues connected to human involvement in the marine environment. We’ll also get out in the field and see first-hand the current research being done on the Oregon coast and at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Plan to leave this class knowing how to get involved in undergraduate research, the value of experience based education and many of the hands-on learning opportunities available at OSU.
Six and Eight Legs: A Bug’s Perspective
Jennifer Snyder, CRN: 16042, MW 3-3:50
Come to this course ready to explore the world of insects and arachnids, and learn various pathways for to pursue your buggy interests at OSU. We'll start with an overview of the entomological (insect) orders and class Arachnida. Using YouTube, blogs, and social media, we will explore the diversity of insect and arachnid behavior, beauty, and function, and the role of popular media in labeling them as creepy and crawly. Field trips will introduce you to insect collection methods used in aquatic and terrestrial sampling. You'll become familiar with insect resources at OSU, including: courses, research, professors, and social and volunteer opportunities. Fundamental concepts in research - the scientific method and hypothesis testing - will be introduced. The Valley Library and other on-campus resources will be used to explore an insect-related question of your choosing, develop a hypothesis, and create a simple study design to test your hypothesis.
Global Warming and You
Edward Brook, CRN: 16044 , TR 3-3:50
Is the earth getting warmer? If so, should we be doing anything about it, and what? This class will examine the historical and geological evidence for global warming, the factors that control earth’s climate and how they may be changing, what the future may hold, and whether or not geo-engineering of climate is a good idea. Field trips, discussion, data analysis, and investigation of current science will introduce students to the study of global warming, real live glaciers, ocean acidification, programs in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, and techniques and resources for research at OSU. We will also talk about how to get involved in undergraduate research, get your professors to pay attention to you, and achieve your goals at OSU. Two all-day Saturday field trips (Mt. Hood and the Oregon Coast, dates TBA) early in the term will be required (and hopefully will be highlights of the course).
Sports Media in the 21st Century
Louie Bottaro, CRN: 16043, WF 3-3:50
Sports media is an ever-changing evolving world. Twitter and other forms of media have made it possible for the sports fan to interact directly with the biggest stars in the sporting world. This class will help you learn to do this effectively, and also feature opportunities to learn from local sports media professionals and how they got their starts. Careers like theirs began at OSU and so can yours.
Exploring Adventure Based Leadership
Ty Atwater, CRN: 15621, M 4-5:50
Have you completed a high ropes course and wondered if you could lead one? Maybe you’ve taken wilderness medicine, rock climbing, or survival courses and left wanting to become more involved. What does it take to be a professional outdoor/experiential educator? Do you love the outdoors and want to share your experience with your peers in an engaging and dynamic way? Come to this class ready to learn about the history of adventure and exploration here at OSU along with the leadership theories that guide adventure education practices. Join us as we discover and experience the variety of outdoor recreation and experiential education options available at OSU. We will explore programing including but not limited to trips through the Adventure Club, PAC classes with an outdoor recreation theme, and the Adventure Leadership Institute. Let’s explore these opportunities and more while making lasting friendships, exploring the local outdoor recreation opportunities and having a blast.
NCAA Football: Supporting Students or Supporting Big Business?
Ashleigh Stubblefield, CRN: 17242, MW 4-4:50
Football is often called America’s one true religion, but will it stay that way? The American public has enjoyed professional and collegiate football for decades and its popularity is continually increasing, but lately professional and collegiate football has been the source of several controversial debates. During this past Super Bowl week, President Obama said, “ if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I’d let him play football." What makes football so popular? Is football safe? Should the NCAA pay student-athletes? What values is football teaching American youth? In this course we will examine both NFL and NCAA football through a critical lens and engage in discussions about topics including: safety, changing rules, paying NCAA players, coaches' salaries, playoff systems, and game day traditions.
World Cultures in Film
Nabil Boudraa, CRN: 15631, M 4-5:50
Come to this class ready to explore different cultures of the world through film! Via the screening and study of films from different parts of the globe, this class will take you on a journey into the heart of these societies and teach you about cultural diversity at the global level. While enjoying the discovery of new cultures you will also learn how to “read” and analyze films through various conversation and writing activities, such as film reviews, scene analyses and reaction papers. Intouchables (France, 2012) and Goodbye Morocco (Algeria, 2012) are just two of the highly acclaimed and award-winning films of this class.
The Twisted Road to Adulthood: Finding Your Path at OSU
Leslie Richards, CRN: 17245, T 4-5:50
You're off to college and ready for new adventures at OSU! Feeling excited, but maybe a little uncertain at the same time? You are not alone--most entering students have many questions about what lies ahead and how they will figure out what's the right path. In this seminar, we will explore strategies for achieving academic success, help you to build solid relationships with other students, develop connections with faculty, encourage you to think critically about your coursework and your major, and investigate resources to ease your transition to OSU. It won't be all work--college is also about having fun, and getting to know Corvallis. The class will conclude with a student-led community service project.
Coming-of-Age Through Humorous Narratives
Clint Edwards, CRN: 16045, TR 4-4:50
Welcome to adulthood! Growing up is full of contradictions: love and loss, success and failure, discovery and boredom. Great authors have been laughing about their coming-of-age for years. In this class, we will explore the humorous side of coming-of-age by reading and discussing memoirists such as David Sedaris, Steve Almond, and Diana Joseph. We will analyze and deconstruct the elements of their stories. Then we will draft and create our own humorous coming-of-age stories. Most importantly, we will learn to laugh at the crazy transition to OSU, something you are in the throes of right now. This class will absolutely interest English and writing majors and anyone willing to laugh at life.
Discover Yourself in Oregon Politics
Jock Mills, CRN: 19883, MW 4-4:50
Oregon State University offers many opportunities for becoming politically active – from campus-based student government, to the local, state and federal political world. In addition to exploring what opportunities are open to you, this course will address questions like: Why do people go into politics? How do they get there? What do politicians actually do and how do they make decisions? And what impact does all this have on my life? This class will provide you with the opportunity to interact with elected officials, staff, and political advocates from student government, the state legislature, Congress, and the Governor’s office. A capstone assignment will explore how the legislative process works as we prepare strategies for dealing with a bill from a variety of political and economic viewpoints and perspectives.
Writing Powerful Stories for the Earth
Lee Sherman, CRN: 18739, F 2-3:50
Do you love the natural world and want to protect it? Are you curious about the wild animals of the forests, grasslands and oceans and how to keep them alive and well? Ever wonder how climate change became such a huge, local and international issue while other environmental issues never make it to the spotlight? Come learn how to turn your words into powerful pieces about the causes you care about! In this course, you will learn how to write about environmental sciences in the lively, colorful language used by good science writers. Along the way, you will get an introduction to some of OSU’s amazing environmental scientists in fields like oceanography, forestry, climate science and zoology. Readings for the course will be drawn from top American science writers as well as from OSU’s own research magazine, Terra, where you will become acquainted with many of the university’s renowned researchers.
Developing the Critical Edge to Success: Learning To Think Like a Scholar
Hannah Gascho Rempel, CRN: 19881, MW 2-2:50
OSU is home to world-class researchers who are making the world a better, more compassionate and interesting place. If you are interested in making this type of an impact then this is the class for you. Together we’ll explore current OSU research and scholarship such as building wireless hand sensors, extending the human lifespan by studying naked mole rats, the interactions between gender roles and children’s play, and humanizing inmates by examining their last meal choices, just to name a few. This exploration is designed to help you begin developing your own research ideas and skills. We’ll look at the ways that OSU supports undergraduate research and how you can get involved! We’ll examine popular and scholarly writing about research, practice strategies for finding quality research, and develop synthesizing and organizing skills so you are prepared to ask your own unique questions.
“How To” OSU: Your Path to Success
Lisa Hoogesteger, CRN: 15599, TR 1-1:50
Nova Schauss, CRN 15624, TR 2-2:50
Kerry Thomas, CRN 15628, TR 10-10:50
Katie Whitehead, CRN 15622, MW 1-1:50
I just unpacked. Now what? The first term of college is filled with many questions “How do I get involved? Did I pick the correct major? “How can I make the most of my time here?” Using real student experiences, exploration, and reflection, this class will help you figure out how to interweave your sense of self within the new social and educational communities at OSU. What does it mean to be a college student? What are the responsibilities and expectations of college and what can you do to be successful in this new environment? Spend time exploring OSU, and learn how to make the most out of the opportunities available depending on your major, career goals, and personal interests. This course is your guide to success and thriving at OSU. This class will require active participation and learning.