Fall 2008 First-Year Seminars

Fall 2008 First-Year Seminars Brochure

Introduction To International Business

Course Number: IB 1001-02

CRN: 34814

Wednesday
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Place: Allen 24

Instructor: Brian Watkins

Description: This seminar provides a brief introduction to the international business environment while identifying the personal attributes and skills necessary to success as international businessmen and businesswomen.At the close of the seminar, students should be able to (i) accurately define international business and to identify the major issues surrounding its conduct; and (ii) be able to plan a personal course of study with an eye toward launching an international business career.

Instructor Bio: Brian Watkins is the director of International Business Academic Programs at the College of Business and Industry. A graduate of MSU, he also holds a law degree from the College of William and Mary and a M.Phil. in International Development from Lincoln College, University of Oxford. In his professional capacity, Mr. Watkins has worked on a number of international legal and financial issues, having served as a senior mediator and consultant to the Indonesian Ministry of Finance and as an Assistant Attorney General for the Federated States of Micronesia.


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Civil And Environmental Engineering Introduction

Course Number: CE 1011-01

CRN: 34872

Thursday
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Place: 120 McCain

Instructor: Dennis Truax

Description: This course provides students with a better insight into the technical disciplines of the profession of Civil Engineering. Students will be exposed to issues of professional conduct and ethics, as well as, frames the tools and techniques used during their undergraduate education in the areas of problem-solving, basic computation, literature research, time management, and engineering communications.

Instructor Bio: Dennis Truax is the James T. White Chair, Professor, and Department Head of Civil and Environmental Engineering having 27 years as a member of the Mississippi State University faculty. He is licensed in Mississippi as a professional engineer and is nationally certified as an environmental engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineering. A Herrin-Hess Professor of Engineering at Mississippi State, he is a member of the Bagley College of Engineering Academy of Fellows at Mississippi State.


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Coaching/Sport Expertise: Learning From The Best

Course Number: PE 1031-01

CRN: 34870

Tuesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Herzer 100

Instructor: Brad Vickers

Description: This course will provide students with an in-depth analysis of the growth and development of coaches (both novice and seasoned professionals). The course will provide valuable information about what it takes to become an expert coach.

Instructor Bio: Brad Vickers has a great interest in the development of expertise of coaches and athletes. As a former college all-American and coach of a national champion swimmer, Vickers has perused this interest in a practical setting as well as through research. His studies of Bobby Bowden and Tommy Bowden, along with Olympic Swimming Coach Jack Bauerle, have greatly enhanced his understanding of what it takes to be an expert and how to develop that expertise.


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So What Is All This About Engineering Anyway?

Course Number: CHE 1001-01

CRN: 34816

Tuesday
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm

Place: McCain 175

Instructor: Bill Elmore

Description: Ever wonder what all this engineering stuff is about? In this seminar, we will have fun investigating different kinds of engineering by building projects using LEGO robotics kits. Build a "Sumo wrestler" and combat others; try constructing a compact disc launcher; develop a security system for your dorm room—it will be an adventure!

Instructor Bio: Bill B. Elmore is the Associate Director for the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering and has taught freshmen several years using the LEGO robotics as an interesting and fun learning tool. He also coached First LEGO League middle school robotics teams for two years and a “BEST” robotics team for one year. Not a robotics expert by any means, Dr. Elmore is convinced anyone can learn some really great things about engineering by working with LEGO robots—they are easy to use and terrific for doing some amazing things.


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An Introduction To Social Work Via Popular Culture

Course Number: SW 1001-02

CRN: 34817

Wednesday
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Place: Carpenter 109

Instructor: Melinda Pilkinton

Description: This course introduces students to depictions of social work as a helping profession within various media. We’ll discuss the role of social work and career options in the field.

Instructor Bio: Melinda Pilkinton is an Instructor of Social Work in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work.


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Death From Above: Will Climate Change Kill Me?

Course Number: GR 1001-01

CRN: 34818

Wednesday
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm

Place: Hilbun 152

Instructor: Grady Dixon

Description: Rising sea levels, hurricanes, extreme heat and cold, floods---what’s the likelihood that any of the projected outcomes of climate change will result in death? This course will examine the different weather hazards affecting locations around the plant based on multiple climate change scenarios.

Instructor Bio: Grady Dixon teaches Synoptic Meteorology, Weather Analysis I, Weather Analysis II, and Weather Prediction. His research is focused on biometeorology and applied climatology.


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Language As Power: Myths, Legends, And Truisms

Course Number: EN 1001-01

CRN: 34819

Wednesday
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Place: Lee 201

Instructor: Scott Andrew Crossley

Description: This seminar will discuss popular myths that appear to be sanctioned through language differences. The purpose of this seminar is to introduce students to the field of linguistics and demonstrate how analytical and empirical evaluation of language differences dismisses preconceived notions of language superiority, conventionalized language, language pejoration, language difficulty, language change, bad grammar, logical languages, dialectical differences, and accent. The course will also discuss how language has been used as a medium for discrimination, supporting racial and gender superiority, nationalism, and educational elitism. The course will focus on non-specialist readings addressing language myths followed by discussion sessions.

Instructor Bio: Scott Crossley is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Mississippi State University where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate classes in second language acquisition, general linguistics, and TESOL approaches and methodology. His current research interests include computational linguistics, corpus linguistics, dialogue structures, conversational agents, lexical acquisition, and discourse analysis.


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It's The Economy, Stupid: The 2008 Election

Course Number: EC 1001-01

CRN: 34820

Tuesday
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm

Place: McCool 110

Instructor: Kevin E. Rogers

Description: During the 1992 presidential campaign, Bill Clinton popularized the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid”. This catch-phrase and its popularity highlight the importance of current economic conditions and policy in any national election. This course will provide dynamic, non-partisan analysis of current economic conductions and economic policy as they relate to the 2008 presidential elections.

Instructor Bio: Kevin Rogers is Interim Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business and Industry. He teaches Macroeconomics and Economics.


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It's All Greek To Me

Course Number: FL 1001-01

CRN: 34821

Tuesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Carpenter 101

Instructor: Robert Wolverton

Description: This seminar will look in a comprehensive way, at the ancient Greeks and evaluate their contributions to modern America.

Instructor Bio: Robert E. Wolverton, Sr. has teaching interests in Classical Mythology, Latin, Greek, History of Christianity, Greek and Roman Civilizations, and Etymology (English Words Derived from Greek and Latin). His latest book is In Other Words: A Lexicon of Sports for Winners and Losers…and More published in 2005.


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Serving The World Better: Designing & Merchandise

Course Number: HS 1001-01

CRN: 34822

Monday
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Place: Dorman 156

Instructor: Phyllis Miller

Description: Introduction to the global market and how it affects fashion design; product development; merchandising and product selection; and store layout, display, and service. Students will learn how to research, analyze, and utilize cross-cultural influences and practices to improve products and services in the U.S. and abroad.

Instructor Bio: Phyllis Bell Miller is an associate professor of ATM and co-option leader for Design. She teaches computer applications for ATM, visual design, and fashion design. A Fulbright scholar to Bulgaria and Fulbright-Hayes scholar to India, Miller also teaches through the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad and has visited 32 countries and territories.


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Research On School Dropouts

Course Number: EDF 1001-01

CRN: 34823

Thursday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Swalm 210

Instructor: Dwight Hare

Description: College graduates earn more than high school graduates and high school graduates earn more than high school dropouts. Therefore, it would seem a simple task to tell students to stay in school, graduate from high school, get better paying jobs, and earn more money. However, we know that about one out of every three or four students will eventually dropout of school. What we do not know is why.

This seminar examines the research available on dropouts. Use is made of reports submitted by research centers and social science researchers to examine the context of students who dropout. Extensive use is made of student level data. Students who have decided to drop out and students who decided to stay will speak to the seminar.

 

Instructor Bio: Dwight Hare, Professor of Educational Foundations and Coordinator of Research and Evaluation for the Research and Curriculum Unit, has published research using school level data. Jake Walker, Senior Researcher at RCU, is an experienced researcher using large data bases. He has published and presented research using individual level data.


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Mississippi Mud Pie; Not Your Grandmother's Recipe

Course Number: EN 1001-02

CRN: 34824

Wednesday
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Place: Swalm 105

Instructor: Ginny Sanders

Description: This course is a student-centered study of current Mississippi writers with an emphasis on community and academic research. The goal is to engage student interest in Mississippi through a guided study of current native writers, diverse singers /songwriters, and cultural aspects of communities within the state (and, perhaps, through a taste of Mississippi cookin’ too!)

Instructor Bio: Virginia "Ginny" Sanders is a life-long resident of Mississippi and teaches several freshman level English courses at MSU. In addition, she serves as the Administrative Assistant Director of the MSU Writing Center.


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Origami: Math Meets Art

Course Number: MA 1001-01

CRN: 34825

Thursday
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Place: Carpenter 110

Instructor: Kevin P. Knudson

Description: This will be the most fun math class you’ve ever had! The focus will be on geometric forms obtained by folding (and folding and folding) paper. Learn how to make some of the most intriguing origami shapes while exploring geometric concepts. There will be group projects (resulting in large origami projects) as well as individual projects.

Instructor Bio: Kevin Knudson’s research interests are in the emerging area of computational topology. Recent projects include the analysis of human speech data via persistent homology techniques, and refining various theoretical results about multi-dimensional persistence. Knudson has aslo done work in discrete Morse theory by developing algorithms to generate discrete Morse functions from point cloud data and to study birth-death phenomena in families.


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Biology Of Middle Earth

Course Number: BIO 1011-01

CRN: 34898

Monday
5:00 pm - 5:50 pm

Place: Allen 15

Instructor: Walter Diehl

Description: The seminar will provide an introduction to understanding science and biological processes, focusing on the anatomy, physiology, evolution and ecology of the inhabitants and flora of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. This seminar is designed for potential majors in the Department of Biological Sciences and/or students of LOTR (Lord of the Rings).

Instructor Bio: Walter Diehl III is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Interim Associate Dean for Research in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research expertise is in evolutionary biology.


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Digital Image Manipulation

Course Number: CSE 1001-01

CRN: 34828

Monday
5:00 pm - 5:50 pm

Place: Butler 104

Instructor: Joe Crumpton

Description: This seminar will explore the basics of computer programming using the manipulation of digital images and photographs as the application domain. Students will write programs in Python to change the colors in images (lightening, darkening, converting to grayscale, posterizing), combine images (collages, blending, chromakey), and create short animations. No previous experience in computer programming is required. In fact, if you are curious about computer programming and the subject of Computer Science this seminar is for you. Projects will be started during class and finished outside of class, therefore a laptop is required.

Instructor Bio: Joe Crumpton has worked in the past as a programmer and a high school math teacher. His hobbies include digital photography and showing his daughter how to irritate his wife.


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Events That Shaped The Chemical Industry

Course Number: CHE 1001-02

CRN: 34829

Thursday
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm

Place: Swalm 140

Instructor: Becky Toghiani

Description: The chemical industry in the United States began in the early 1900s. Learn about its history and how economics and environmental concerns have shaped the chemical industry as we know it today. Topics examined include landmark environmental events such as Love Canal and Times Beach, process plant accidents such as the Flixborough and Bhopal catastrophes and economic events such as the 1973 oil embargo. During the past three decades, the chemical industry has improved energy efficiency and product quality, while minimizing the environmental impact of their operations. Learn about the challenges that face the chemical industry in the coming decades.

Instructor Bio: Rebecca K. Toghiani is a Grisham Master Teacher. She received the 1996 Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award and the 2005 Outstanding Teaching Award from ASEE. Toghiani worked for Proctor and Gamble and for Monsanto Industrial Chemicals.


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Can 2+2=5? The Math Of An Accounting Fraud

Course Numbers: ACC 1001-01 & 02

CRNs: 34830 & 34863

 

Wednesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm & 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Place: McCool 234 (Both Course Numbers)

Instructor: Mark Lehman

Description: The accounting frauds of the 21st century, including Enron and WorldCom, have dramatically changed the accounting profession. This seminar will explore how and why individuals commit fraud and what accountants can do to catch them.

Instructor Bio: Mark Lehman is an associate professor in Accounting. He teaches Accounting Information Systems and a graduate level Fraud Examination at Mississippi State University. He is a co-author of South-Western Publishing Company's popular Century 21 Accounting Series. First published in 1903, the textbook has remained the premier high school accounting textbook.


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History Of Fast Foods

Course Number: FNH 1001-01

CRN: 34831

Tuesday
4:00 pm - 4:50 pm

Place: Dorman 120

Instructor: Brent Fountain

Description: This course examines the early history and growth of fast food restaurants in America. We’ll focus on the early pioneers of the industry, innovations and technological advancements, marketing and advertising issues, and the controversy of nutrition and the changing fast food industry.

Instructor Bio: Brent Fountain is an Assistant Extension Professor in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. His research interests include childhood overweight, nutrition related chronic illnesses, food insecurity, nutrition public policy, nutrition federal programs, and nutrition and food marketing.


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The Interior Designer's Toolbox

Course Number: ID 1001-01

CRN: 34833

Wednesday
10:00 am - 10:50 am

Place: Etheridge 120

Instructor: Amy Crumpton

Description: Ever wonder if those design shows on HGTV are real? They’re not but interior design can be an exciting and challenging career; this course will introduce you to the real story behind interior design. We’ll explore the designer’s toolbox, examining the principles of design, graphic communication, space planning, and much more.

Instructor Bio: Amy Crumpton has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of Interior Design. She has participated in roundtable discussions regarding Interior Design career planning and provides summer camp opportunities for high school students interested in design.


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Reel Music: Exploring 100 Years Of Movie Music

Course Number: MU 1001-01

CRN: 34834

Wednesday
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Place: McCool 112

Instructor: Elaine Leigh Peterson

Description: This course will explore the ways in which music has been used in film over the past century. We will begin with silent movies of the 1920s, explore Hollywood’s golden age, and see how past and new techniques are being used in the soundtracks of today. Classes will consist of discussion, lecture and the viewing of film clips. Viewing of complete films outside of class will also be a component of the course. This is a chance not only to learn how vital the music is to the movie industry, but also serves as a good introduction to film history, in general.

Instructor Bio: Elaine Peterson teaches music history, music appreciation, and double reeds for the Department of Music at Mississippi State University. She is the current director of the Magnolia Independent Film Festival, which is held in Starkville each February. The Festival is now in its 12th season.


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Money, Math And Magic

Course Number: MA 1001-02

CRN: 34839

Monday
11:00 am - 11:50 am

Place: Swalm 110

Instructor: Diane L. Daniels

Description: This course is intended to be a gee-whiz experience with students learning about number theory in a very practical way. Does a student know how to compute his GPA or in fact, just figure out his grade in a course using weighted averages? Can a student find the actual cost of buying a car when compound interest comes into play? Does a male student know why his car insurance is more that his female counterpart? Is the car insurance company just prejudice? This course will explore these topics and many more. In this problem oriented class, students will do compound interest problems, weighted average problems, probability and statistics, ratio and proportions and much more. Hop on board for a fun filled ride.

Instructor Bio: Diane Daniels is a 28 year veteran of the mathematics department at Mississippi State. As an alumni association faculty award winner and a John Grisham Master Teacher, Diane has taught a multitude of math classes over the years. Students rate her classes as their favorite.


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Basics Of Healthy Living

Course Number: FNH 1001-03

CRN: 34852

Tuesday
3:00 pm - 3:50 pm

Place: Dorman 134

Instructor: Sylvia H. Byrd

Description: Do you want to feel better, think more clearly and have more energy without taking pills, going on a fad diet, or using other unproven methods? This course will teach you how by showing the importance of combining physical activity and healthy eating to enhance performance.

Instructor Bio: Sylvia Byrd has 20 years of experience as a dietitian and nutrition educator. She is dedicated to teaching others about healthy eating and physical activity and their role in living and learning. Jack Pennington Graduate Assistant and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer will assist with the class


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Cooking Basics - Iron Chef Bully

Course Number: FNH 1001-02

CRN: 34848

Monday
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Place: Herzer 100

Instructor: Sylvia H. Byrd

Description: Healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult or cost a fortune. Students will have fun learning through lecture, demonstration and hands-on practice, basic cooking fundamentals and techniques. These skills will help students be more versatile, creative, and experienced with food as well as developing skills that can be used every day.

Instructor Bio: Sylvia Byrd has over 20 years of experience as a dietitian and nutrition educator. She is dedicated to teaching others about agriculture and food preparation and their role in healthy lifestyles. Chef Roland Parny, a French trained chef will assist with the seminar demonstrations.


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Extreme Adventures

Course Number:FLS 1001-01

CRN: 34845

Tuesday
2:00 pm - 2:50 pm

Place: Allen 16

Instructor: Rosa Vozzo

Description: Students will embark in a virtual trip for several regions of Hispano-American. Students will be presented with cultural information, ideas, and events that have influenced the region, specifically those that provide a basis for comparisons of Hispanic and US culture. Students will be encouraged to explore cross-cultural comparisons, and to identify cultural patterns that could cause cultural misunderstanding.

Instructor Bio: Rosa Vozzo teaches courses in Spanish language and Spanish for professionals (agriculture and business related fields). Her research interest focuses on teaching culture in the FL classroom, students’ motivation, study abroad programs, and their impact in students' attitude toward language and culture of the target group.


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Decoding Economic Data In The News

Course Number: BQA 1001-01

CRN: 34851

Wednesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: McCool 113

Instructor: Alireza Tahai

Description: This introductory seminar briefly describes how business and economic indicators are used to track the economy and business environment. In addition, some background materials on using economic indicators are provided, including how to interpret changes in them and how to evaluate their accuracy.

Alireza Tahai is a professor of Quantitative Analysis in the Department of Marketing, Quantitative Analysis, and Business Law. He teaches courses in Business Statistical Methods, Business and Economic Forecasting, and Advanced Business Statistics.

 


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Creativity And You

Course Number: EPY 1001-01

CRN: 34853

Wednesday
10:00 am - 10:50 am

Place: Dorman 134

Instructor: Donna Carol Gainer

Description: This seminar will be devoted to helping learners explore and develop their own creativity. Creative imagination, creative thinking, creative imagery, creative problem solving, brainstorming, and other standard creativity techniques will be taught as well as exploring the current research related to creativity. Each learner will be encouraged to complete a creative project of their own design during the semester.

Instructor Bio: Donna Carol Gainer is an Educational Psychologist and faculty member in the department of Counselor Education, Educational Psychology, and Special Education. Her research interests are creativity in at-risk populations, sensory learning styles, and assessment design. She is president of the Institute of Learning Style Research and enjoys helping students become the best person they are capable of becoming.


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Your Identity Unveiled - Self Knowledge For You

Course Number: EPY 1001-02

CRN: 34854

Monday
10:00 am - 10:50 am

Place: Dorman 134

Instructor: Donna Carol Gainer

Description: This seminar will assist new college students in exploring and revealing their own identities as learners. Various assessments of personality, career interests, learning styles, thinking styles, and self actualization will be administered and interpreted. Practical ways to use this knowledge of self to learn effectively and choose a satisfying major will be the pragmatic aspect of the seminar. Activities such as the Campus resource scavenger hunt, faculty interview, and various brief reflective writing assignments will assist students in moving from novice learner to master student.

Instructor Bio: Donna Carol Gainer is an Educational Psychologist and faculty member in the department of Counselor Education, Educational Psychology, and Special Education. Her research interests are creativity in at-risk populations, sensory learning styles, and assessment design. She is president of the Institute of Learning Style Research and enjoys helping students become the best person they are capable of becoming.


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Freshman Seminar For Undeclared Majors

Course Number: LSK 1001-04

CRN: 34849

Monday
12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Place: Allen 24

Instructor: Rita McReynolds

Description: This course is designed to orient incoming freshmen and transfer undeclared majors to the university. More importantly, the course prepares students to become successful in college.

Instructor Bio: Rita McReynolds has been teaching in The Learning Center for 19 years. McReynolds has taught Freshman Seminar, College Reading and Study Skills, Speed Reading, and Effective Reading. Her experience includes working with students from all disciplines.


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Freshman Seminar For Education Majors

Course Number: LSK 1001-05

CRN: 34850

Wednesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Allen 11

Instructor: Rita McReynolds

Description: This course is designed to orient incoming freshmen and transfer education majors to the university. More importantly, the course prepares students to become successful in college.

Instructor Bio: Rita McReynolds has been teaching in The Learning Center for 19 years. McReynolds has taught Freshman Seminar, College Reading and Study Skills, Speed Reading, and Effective Reading. Her experience includes working with students from all disciplines.


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Why Do I Want To Help?

Course Number: SW 1001-01

CRN: 34815

Tuesday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Carpenter 110

Instructor: Adele Crudden

Description: This seminar will assist you in gaining insight regarding why you feel “called” into one of the helping professions. It will include self reflection activities and exercises designed to help you identify your own motivations and anxieties regarding becoming a helper, as well as your aptitude for successfully functioning in a helping field. Issues regarding professional values, ethics, and legal issues will be addressed. Self-care and its importance to helping professionals will be included.

Instructor Bio: Adele Crudden, Associate Professor and Director of the Social Work program, has taught in the social work program since 1994 and joined the full-time faculty in 1996. She holds degrees in social work and counseling and has been employed in social service settings as a direct service provider and administrator.


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Veterinary Medicine: Beyond Shots and De-worming

Course Number:

CRN:

TBA

 

Place: TBA

Instructor: Patty Lathan

Description: This seminar will discuss various aspects of and approaches to veterinary medicine. Each seminar will be delivered by a specialist in a specific discipline (i.e., small animal internal medicine, large animal surgery, reproductive medicine). Seminar topics will be diverse and include discussions about specific diseases, the importance of veterinary medicine in controlling human disease, and diagnostic and therapeutic techniques used in veterinary medicine. As part of the course requirement, students will be assigned to “shadow” a veterinary clinician for at least 6 hours in MSU’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Instructor Bio: Patty Lathan is certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, and teaches small animal medicine at the MSU-CVM. She has a special interest in endocrinology and Labrador retrievers.


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Other one-hour courses that students may be interested in taking

Introduction to Engineering for Pre-engineers

Course Number: GE 1011-01

CRN: 31934

Monday
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

Place: Allen 13

Instructor: Donna Reese

Description: This course presents an overview of each of the Bagley College of Engineering’s ten academic degree programs. Presentations will discuss the types of job opportunities that exist in each field and the different areas of specialization within the field. In addition, techniques for being academically successful in engineering will be presented. These topics include time management, study skills, technical communication, and career planning. This course is *not* open to declared engineering majors. It is intended for students curious about what engineering is all about or who desire to pursue an engineering major but do not yet meet the college’s entrance requirements.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Reese is the Associate Dean for the Bagley College of Engineering and a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering. She has been at MSU since 1990 and is a Grisham Master Teacher and winner of the National Academic Advising Associations Outstanding Faculty Advisor award. Dr. Reese is also the faculty sponsor for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Engineering Living/Learning Community in Hull Hall.