Welcome Back, Explorations and Perspectives Leaders!

It’s an exciting day at the ExCollege…the upperclass students who are teaching Explorations and Perspectives seminars for first-year students start their training tonight with a kick-off dinner and inspiration from Steve Cohen, lecturer in the Education Department. Then they’ll go through intensive training for teaching and advising through next Tuesday, and next Wednesday, the first-year students arrive to start Orientation. Can you believe it?

Ramping up for fall

Though I haven’t posted much this summer, we’ve actually been rather busy in behind-the-scenes work on fall courses, orientation, first-year seminars, and even a possible fall event or two. The ExCollege also welcomes our new Program Assistant, Melissa Burke, who starts work next week. Look for some posts from her soon!

Melissa Burke, Program Assistant, 2011-2012

Melissa Burke, Program Assistant, 2011-2012

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Changes to the ExCollege staff, changes to our course listing, changes in the weather…we’re just full of changes over here. First, our Program Assistant for the last two years, Alison Mehlsak, finished up her time with us this past Friday. We’ll miss her a great deal, but we’re excited to announce the new Program Assistant, starting in mid-August, is Melissa Burke! She has big sneakers and Frye boots to fill, but I’m sure she’ll fit right in.

Next, we have a few changes to the course listing we’ve posted. The changes will be up on our website soon, but for now you are the first to know…the course on Nazi war criminals won’t be happening, but instead we’ll be offering a course on gender in conflict and peace-building. Watch the list in the next few weeks for course descriptions and instructor bios.

Fall Courses!

Wahoo! The ExCollege Board met on Wednesday (for FIVE hours) to select the courses we’ll be offering in the Fall. Here is the PRELIMINARY list. It is subject to change, but we’ll post updates on our website throughout the summer.

Fall 2011 Courses

This is a PRELIMINARY listing of courses for the Fall 2011 semester. This information is subject to change. Updates (course times, descriptions, locations) will be posted as soon as possible. Registration for ExCollege courses will take place on the first day of Fall classes, Tuesday, September 6th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and will take place on SIS Online. The page was last updated on 5/9/11.


EXP-0003-F: Reading Infinite Jest: David Foster Wallace Deconstructs Your Future
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Jacqueline O’Dell

EXP-0005-F: Arthuriana Through the Ages
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Amy Rowan Kaplan

EXP-0015-F: Money and Ethics in the Contemporary Art World
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Laura Knott

EXP-0016-F: Nature Encounters Through Art
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Thursday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Diane Fiedler

EXP-0018-F: Guerrilla Performance Art & Politics
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Thursday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Milan Kohout

EXP-0019-F: Research for Success: Using the Library for Thesis and Capstone Projects
0.5 credit, Pass/Fail
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Regina Raboin and Laurie Sabol

EXP-0020-F: Architecture and Climate Change: Policy, Power, and Principles
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Michael Davis

EXP-0022-F: Exploring the Quantitative World through Computation and Geometry
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Alec Resnick

EXP-0026-F: Introduction to Sustainable Food Systems
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Jeff Hake and Marisol Pierce-Quinonez

EXP-0027-F: “When the snow has not frozen”: Damage and Resilience in the Arctic
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Thursday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Nathan Stewart

EXP-0028-F: Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Jennifer Bauder

EXP-0029-F: Friend or Foe: The Psychology and Neuroscience of Perceiving People
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Jonathan Freeman

EXP-0031-F: Sports Obsession: Athletics, Money, and Culture
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Brian Fair

EXP-0033-F: In Their Boots: Reopening the Case of the Minutemen
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Mary Fuhrer

EXP-0034-F: Religion and the New Immigrants in American Culture
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Thursday 6:00-8:30 PM
Kristen Lucken

EXP-0035-F: Rape Aggression Defense
0.5 credit, Pass/Fail
Tuesday, 4:00-6:00 PM
Mark Roche

EXP-0038-F: The History of “Once Upon a Time”: A Close Look at Fairy Tales
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Janet Daniels

EXP-0040-F: Homeland Security, Immigration Policy, and the Politics of Fear
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Nancy Hiemstra

EXP-0044-F: Just War and Jihad: Ethics, Religion, and War
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Bronwyn Roantree

EXP-0051-F: Introduction to Narrative and Documentary Practice
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Wednesday, 4:00-6:30 PM
Samuel James

EXP-0052-CF: Public Relations and Marketing: Unraveling the Spin
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Gail Bambrick

EXP-0053-CF: Producing Films for Social Change
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Dacia Kornechuck

EXP-0063-F: The Nazi Shadow: War Criminals, the Arms Race, and the Cold War
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Wednesday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Gerald Steinacher

EXP-0075-F: Search and Seizure: An Introduction to Fourth Amendment Criminal Procedure
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Julian Allatt

EXP-0077-F: The Right to Marry: History, Social Change, and the Law
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Tuesday, 6:30-9:00 PM
Anne Chernicoff and Arielle Kristan

EXP-0078-F: Health Care Access and the Law
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Thursday 6:00-8:30 PM
Clare McGorrian

EXP-0084-F: The Business of Sports: A Study of the NBA
1.0 credit, Letter-graded
Monday, 6:00-8:30 PM
Jan Volk

Back from Houston!

A post from Ali Mehlsak:

So a few weeks ago Cindy mentioned that I was headed to Rice University in Houston for a conference. I promised a blog entry, and finally, here it is!

What to say first about my trip…Well, I left a clear, crisp forty-degree Boston morning for the muggy eighty-degree afternoon of Texas. In retrospect, not too shabby. (But like any New England native I do prefer my heat without the humidity.) I was in the good company of other non-Texans though, so we all managed together. There were representatives at the conference from Brown, James Madison, Pitt, UCLA, Berkely and Oberlin. We were all there to discuss our student-taught course programs, and though my trip was short (just 36 hours!) it was fabulous to trade ideas and lessons with the other schools. (Here at the ExCollege, our student-taught programs include Explorations, Perspectives and Peer Teaching.)

Of the many things I discovered at Rice, one of the most interesting was the fact that the ExCollege is unique in allowing our students to grade their own full-credit courses without faculty or administrative input. Not only do we truly trust our students with the responsibility of teaching and grading, but they live up to our high expectations and often receive wonderful course evaluations.

Throughout the course of the day-long conference, I found that no two programs were exactly alike. Each school put its own unique spin on the simple process of undergraduates teaching undergraduates. However, what did remain constant across the board was the enthusiasm that each school exuded for the concept. Students teaching students is just plain awesome.

My advice? Don’t miss out on your chance to take part in one of these programs while at Tufts!

Naked Trivia!

Our last event of the year is coming up on Monday night (5/2). Stop by Hotung Cafe in the Campus Center for Faculty-Student Trivia Challenge. Several teams of faculty and staff are prepared to challenge all the student teams that can fit without violating fire code. The fun starts at 8pm. Quizmaster Bob from P. J. Ryan’s will be slinging the questions.

What happened?

I haven’t blogged all week! What’s happening?

Well it’s been a little crazy around the ExCollege. Let’s see…we are finalizing the Explorations and Perspectives seminars for the fall (see below for a list), getting all of the application information together to make final selections for fall visiting lecturer courses (on our website by May 9), interviewing new Program Assistant candidates, presenting at Admissions Open Houses, helping our current lecturers wrap up their semesters and administer course evaluations, planning for our Faculty-Student Trivia Challenge, and more! Phew. I’ll try to post more next week.

In the meantime, here are the seminars for our two first-year programs — Explorations and Perspectives. If you are an incoming student in the fall and want to take one of these, you’ll have a chance to list it as one of your preferences in an online form in June.

Explorations 2011

Comedy and Culture in the 21st Century
From Woody Allen to Seinfeld: Comedy, Relationships, and the American Jewish Experience
French or Familiar: Why is France Unique?
Food of France
Mental Health in Film
Are you there, God? It’s me, Gossip Girl.
Reliving the Past on Screen: Historical Film in a Modern World
Storytelling: Studying Scripted Television
Sustainable Development Redefined: Lessons from Uganda
The American Political Process and The West Wing
World War II in International Film
The Massachusetts Political Experience
Sports and International Relations in the Modern Era

Perspectives 2011

Film Noir
History of Independent Film
The Impact of Drugs and Alcohol in Film
Food in Film
Popular Flops: A Study of Bad Movies
Blockbusters: Art and Industry of the Popcorn Movie