Fall 2011 First-Year Seminars

Fall 2011 First-Year Seminars Brochure

Biology at the Movies

Course Number: BIO 1011

CRN: 30412

5:00 - 5:50 pm

Instructor: Walter Diehl

Description: A novel way to think about biology by delving into the genetics, physiology, anatomy, evolution, and ecology of the inhabitants, fauna, and flora of classic and contemporary science fiction and fantasy movies. This seminar is designed for majors in the Department of Biological Sciences or other life science programs.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Walter Diehl earned the Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Florida and conducted post-doctoral research at SUNY Stony Brook. He is a Professor of Biological Sciences and Associate Dean for Research & Graduate Studies in the College of Arts & Sciences. His research expertise is evolutionary biology.


And They Lived Happily Ever After -- The Keys to Building & Maintaining Healthy

Course Number: HS 1001

CRN: 32166

11:00 - 11:50 am

Instructor: Tommy Phillips

Description: While "living happily ever after" might not be the best expression to use when talking about relationships (after all, no one or no couple is "happy" 100% of the time, and all relationships go through their ups and downs), it is possible to have strong, stable, and satisfying relationships that stand the test of time. Students will learn skills that will help build and maintain healthy relationships. Topics will include dating and mate selection, communication and conflict resolution skills, common relationship issues, and more.

Instructor Bio: Tommy M. Phillips received his Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from Auburn University. He has conducted research on factors involved in marital longevity, as well as family and parental influences on young adult romantic relationships. He is a member of the Human Development and Family Studies faculty in the School of Human Sciences.


Real-World Conservation

Course Number: WFA 1001

CRN: 34227

11:00 - 11-50 am

Instructor: Leslie Burger

Description: Steve Irwin and other Animal Planet™ personalities have made wildlife and conservation issues common entertainment for much of the American public. But how much of what you see on TV is really what real-world wildlife biology is all about? This course will explore the answer to that question as we focus on the wildlife and conservation issues of Mississippi. No prior experience in crocodile wrestling is required!

Instructor Bio: Leslie Burger is a wildlife biologist and conservation educator in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture. Past research and job responsibilities have taken her from the Canadian arctic tundra to tropical Galapagos Islands to Midwestern tall-grass prairies. Her passion is teaching others about conservation and the outdoors.


African Cuisine

Course Number: AAS 1001

CRN: 30001

11:00 - 11:50 am

Instructor: Kweku Ainuson

Description: Students will learn the history of sub-Saharan African cuisine and how cultural norms, colonialism, and globalization have shaped food making in Africa, especially in the area of healthy living. Students will learn how African food making has influenced U.S. cuisines and food making around the world. This course will be fun as it will combine lectures with hands-on practice in basic African cooking techniques. It is hoped that this course will help students to become better global citizens as they increase their knowledge about eating habits and food making from other parts of the world.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Kweku Ainuson is an Assistant Professor with a joint appointment at the Department of Political Science and The African American Studies Program.


Coaching/Sport Expertise: Learning From the Best

Course Number: PE 1191

CRN: 32788

1:00 - 1:50 pm

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: Dr. 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. Vickers' studies of Bobby Bowden and Tommy Bowden, Olympic Swimming Coaches Jack Bauerle and Eddie Reese, along with the Southeastern Conferences' Head Football Coaches; have greatly enhanced his understanding of what it takes to be an expert and how to develop that expertise.


Ignorance is NOT bliss!

Course Number: GE 1001

CRN: 31935

12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

Instructor: Amy Barton

Description: When concerns about science and technology arise, the public needs accurate, responsible information. However, what they often get is misinformation, which can lead to fear. Many popular science fiction movies portray the public's fear of "science gone wrong" (Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, The Day after Tomorrow, just to name a few). This course explores what it means to explain scientific information clearly and responsibly. We'll look at some unfortunate examples of misinformation and many good examples of communication from writers, documentary makers, popular web sites, and experts from many fields.

Instructor Bio: Barton is a technical Amy writing instructor in the Bagley College of Engineering. While she currently teaches engineering students how to become better communicators, she has taught high school students as well. She understands the transition freshmen face and is eager to help with those challenges.


SEC Football: Beyond the Field

Course Number: SLCE 1001

CRN: 34877

12:30 - 1:20 pm

Instructor: Lisa Harris

Description: College football is an integral part of higher education. Now a multi-billion dollar industry followed by millions, the importance it plays in higher education cannot be downplayed. This seminar will focus on the issues of college football in today's universities. The dynamics between fielding a winning football team and fulfilling the central mission of academics will provide a framework for discussions regarding such issues as coaches' pay, the bowl system, and paying of student athletes. The fall 2011 college football season will provide current topics relevant to these issues.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Lisa Harris, Associate VP for Student Affairs, is responsible for the related areas of enrollment services, admissions, financial aid and scholarships, along with other duties. Dr. Harris is known across campus for her boundless enthusiasm for college football and knowledge of the game.


The Life of Pleasure: For & Against

Course Number: PHI 1001

CRN: 34729

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Instructor: Joseph Trullinger

Description: Everyone wants to be happy—but not everyone agrees about what makes for a truly joyful life. Neither endorsing nor condemning, this course explores the timeless idea that nothing in life is more valuable than pleasure—the philosophy known as hedonism. Epicurean, Judeo-Christian Biblical, and other philosophical approaches will be considered. Is hedonism a life-affirming alternative to today's dead end consumerist culture? Think, learn, and make up your own mind!

Instructor Bio: Joseph Trullinger has been a member of MSU's Department of Philosophy and Religion since August of 2010. Before that, he taught a wide variety of courses for seven years at the University of Kentucky, ranging from the history of philosophy to existentialist thought and literature. His interests lie in the intersection between ethics and religion. Let me know if you need anything else.


Real World Ethics: An EDGE Initiative Course

Course Number: PHI 1001

CRN: 32942

4:00 - 4:50 pm

Instructor: Michael Clifford

Description: This is a survey of some of the most important ethical dilemmas of our day, including terrorism, genocide, global warming, the financial crisis, guns and violence, abortion, and gay marriage. Students will have an opportunity to engage in critical discussion of these issues. The emphasis is on developing "moral literacy," the ability to make considered decisions of right and wrong. This course is offered as part of MSU's EDGE Initiative.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Clifford earned his Ph. D. in 1989 from Vanderbilt University. He has been teaching at Mississippi State University, including Business Ethics, since 1992. Dr. Clifford has published widely in the areas of political philosophy. His book, Savage Identities: Political Genealogy After Foucault, examines the ethical views of liberals and Conservatives.


The Power of Color

Course Number: ID 1001

CRN: 32216

11:00 - 11:50 am

Instructor: Amy Crumpton

Description: Do you love color and pattern? Are you nervous about combining them? Do you know how to use color to its maximum effectiveness? This seminar introduces color theory and psychology through a series of weekly color activities. At the end of this seminar, color will no longer be a mystery, but a tool for you to improve and enhance your life.

Instructor Bio: Amy Crumpton has over 10 years of professional experience in the field of commercial Interior Design. She currently teaches a variety of courses in the Interior Design department ranging from freshmen to senior level. With a passion for design, she will inspire you to see things in a new way, whatever your current


Veterinary Medicine: Beyond Shots and De-worming

Course Number: CVM 1001

CRN: 31020

1:00 pm - 1:50 pm

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, etc.). 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: Dr. Lathan received her VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and completed a residency at Purdue University. She 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.


Cooking Basics: Iron Chef Bully

Course Number: FNH 1001

CRN: 31832

12:00 - 12:50 pm

Instructor: Sylvia H. Byrd

Description: Healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult or cost a fortune. Students will have fun learning basic cooking fundamentals and techniques through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on practice. 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, PhD, RD, Associate Professor of Nutrition 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.


Public Secret Codes: How Do They Work?

Course Number: MA 1001

CRN: 34743

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Instructor: Bruce Ebanks

Description: Whether you are withdrawing money from an ATM, sending your VISA card number over the Web to make a purchase, or making a stock transaction, stolen data could mean stolen money. Public key codes are codes in which the encoding method is public knowledge. Yet even though everybody knows how messages are encoded, only the recipient knows how to decode the encrypted message. How is this possible? That is the question we will answer in this course.

Instructor Bio: Dr. Ebanks has teaching interests in several areas of pure and applied mathematics and does research on functional equations. He was voted the Outstanding Honors Faculty Member in 2009 and was Region II Finalist for the 2010 Inspire Integrity Award. He is a Fulbright scholar, has been a visiting professor at universities in five countries, and has consulted for Los Alamos National Laboratory.


It's All Greek To Me

Course Number: FL 1001

CRN: 31730

1:00 - 1:50 pm

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 from Greek and Latin). His latest book is In Other Words: A Lexicon of Sports for Winners and Losers…and More, published in 2005. John Grisham Master Teacher; Ageless Hero Award for Creativity; Alumni Teaching Award.


Can 2 + 2 = 5? The Math of an Accounting Fraud

Course Number: ACC 1001

CRN: 30041

Monday, Wednesday
2:00 - 3:15 pm

Instructor: Mark Lehmann

Description: The accounting frauds of the 21st century, from Enron and WorldCom to Bernard Madoff, have dramatically changed the accounting profession. Fun interactive activities allow students to 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. Dr. Lehman is a certified public accountant and a certified fraud examiner.


The Geography of Modern Geography

Course Number: GR 1001

CRN: 34680

8:00 - 8:50 am

Instructor: Sal Nobrega

Description: Since childhood, today's students have been immersed in a digital technology world. Geoscience is one of the leading areas that have driven the most impressive advances in digital information. This seminar will show students how to be more sophisticated daily users of geographic technologies. The advent of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and their operability, for example, require professionals with geographic knowledge. The success of geographic-intelligent tools such as Google Maps, Google Earth, etc. is a consequence of the rapidly evolving field of geography. This seminar will showcase modern geography: how data are collected, processed, and disseminated in practical applications, while introducing students to a stimulating potential career field.

Instructor Bio: Rodrigo "Sal" Nobrega is a Faculty at Geosystems Research Institute at MSU. He has over 13-year of academic and industry experience in Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing as GIS. Rodrigo is a Cartographic Engineer and holds PhD and Msc degrees in Transportation Engineering/Geospatial Analysis. He teaches Cartography and GIS-related courses at Geosciences.


iProgram: Programming for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Course Number: BIS 1001

CRN: 30527

3:30 - 4:45 pm

Instructor: Rodney Pearson

Description: This course introduces programming for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch devices, using the official Apple-supplied iPhone Software Development Kit (SDK). As members of the MSU iPhone Development Team, students will be able to develop third party iPhone applications (apps), and install them on their own iPhone and/or iPod Touch devices. As part of the MSU iPhone Development Team, each student will also be able to install apps developed by other students on his or her device. (Note: Uploading a developed app to the App Store requires a paid membership, which is not a required part of this class. This will all be explained in class.)

Instructor Bio: During his 22 years at MSU, Rodney Pearson has taught a wide range of courses, including COBOL Programming, Advanced Languages I and II, Microcomputers and Networks, and Management of Information Technology. He has received numerous teaching awards, including the MSU Alumni Association Upper Level Undergraduate Teaching Award, and the university 2002 Grisham Master Teacher Award.


Viva Latino America: An Uncensored Sampling of the World's Most Vibrant Culture

Course Number: FLS 1001

CRN: 31776

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Instructor: Rosa Vozzo

Description: Students will embark on a virtual trip to several regions of Hispano-America. 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 U.S. culture. Students will be encouraged to explore cross-cultural comparisons, and to identify cultural patterns that could cause cultural misunderstanding.

Instructor Bio: Rosa Vozzo holds an M.A. in Foreign Languages, M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University. She 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, and study abroad programs and their impact in students' attitude toward language and culture of the target group. Rosa Vozzo was born in the Dominican Republic, and studied for a year in the Centro Regional Latinoamericano de Acuacultura in Pirassununga, Sao Paolo, Brazil.


Making Politicians Eat Dirt

Course Number: PSS 1001

CRN: 34842

12:00 - 12:50 pm

Instructor: William Kingery

Description: "What happened to the sunlight?" "When people along the eastern seaboard began to taste fresh soil from the plains two thousand miles away, many of them realized for the first time that somewhere, something had gone wrong with the land." Timothy Egan (2006). Beginning with the widely acknowledged worst hard time of the Great American Dust Bowl, this course will explore the natural resources and events surrounding this environmental catastrophe. Students will develop their own critical thinking about natural resource use and conservation. The course will include a major field trip to see first-hand a number of current large-scale conservation efforts in Mississippi aimed at protecting some of the nation's most precious resources.

Instructor Bio: Billy Kingery teaches in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences on soil formation and use, plant and soil-water relationships, and soil conservation. Working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service he serves as the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station liaison to the U.S. Cooperative Soil Survey.


Stepping Into the World of Fashion

Course Number: HS 1001

CRN: 32165

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Instructor: Phyllis Miller

Description: Introduction to the many exciting careers in Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising (ATM), including fun experiences with fashion illustration and design, textiles, historic costume, cross-cultural design and merchandising, the social/psychological aspects of dress, product quality analysis, visual merchandising, retailing, merchandising, and research. Students get hands-on experience with various aspects of the field as they learn from ATM faculty and professionals. They also complete a career exploration that helps them to identify careers that suit their personalities and lifestyles.

Instructor Bio: Miller is an associate professor of ATM and co-option leader for Design. She teaches computer applications for ATM, visual design, and fashion design. She is a Fulbright and Fulbright-Hayes scholar and has visited 34 countries/territories. Her International Sunset Jacket was selected for the 2008 International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition.

CSI: MSU - Forensic Sciences Across Campus

Course Number: AN 1001

CRN: 30163

3:00 - 3:50 pm

Instructor: Nicholas Paul Herrmann

Description: This course will introduce the student to the diverse faculty and staff at the MSU campus who are assisting in criminal investigations here in Mississippi, the United States, and across the globe. We examine forensic sciences from multiple perspectives including computer forensics, biochemistry, DNA analysis, forensic psychology, and forensic anthropology. The course will highlight the realities and the fallacies between television crime docudramas and laboratory science.

Instructor Bio: Nicholas Herrmann teaches biological anthropology and forensic anthropology for the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. Faculty in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Computer Science Engineering will also be contributing to this multi-faceted forensics course.

Your Lifetime of Bad & Good Relationships Ahead

Course Number: CO 1001

CRN: 34473

2:00 - 2:50 pm

Instructor: Hank Flick

Description: Relationship Building 101. Humans are biologically wired for social contacts. Relationships are a vital part of life—whatever age, whatever nationality, whichever gender. Without relationships, life is empty, boring, and lonely. Relationships allow a person to feel connected to the world. They help people feel they are loved and have a purpose in life. Relationship building as it relates to life and love is rarely taught. Students must learn for themselves through a trial and error process, often resulting in confusion, bitterness, and wasted time. This seminar will discuss the stages of relationships as they relate to learning about self, others, and the process of living with others in harmony.

Instructor Bio: During his 40 years of teaching at MSU. Hank Flick has taught a wide range of courses, including Media Relations, Corporate Communication, Small Group Communication, Interviewing, etc. He has two books presently being reviewed for publication, Finding the Son on an Overcast Mississippi Day and The Unweddables Among Us. He has received over 50 national, regional, local, and university teaching and service awards, including MSU Alumni Association Service and Upper Level Teaching Awards; Paideia Award for Outstanding University Teaching and Service, College of Arts & Sciences; John Grisham Master Teacher; US Professor of the Year, Carnegie Foundation (Washington D.C); Outstanding Faculty Honoree, The State Legislature of Mississippi; Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award, Burlington Foundation of America; College Professor Year, Department of Communication (4 years).

Nano Exposed!

Course Number: CHE 1001

CRN: 34843

3:30 - 4:20 pm

Instructor: Priscilla Hill

Description: "Size does matter." "Small is the new big." Studying nanotechnology offers an adventure into exploring the smallest of materials (1 billionth of a meter) to improve the largest of structures. Nanomaterials allow chameleons to change color, and nanotechnology allows development of smaller electronic components and more effective sunscreens for personal use. This seminar explores fundamental concepts, various applications, design and fabrication, and ethics in nanoscience. Since nanoscience is interdisciplinary in nature, it will be co-taught by faculty from several departments: Chemical Engineering, Biology, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Students in those departments may register for this seminar as CHE 1001 or BIO 1011 or ME 1001 or ECE 1001, respectively. Other students should register for it as CHE 1001

Instructor Bio: Priscilla Hill has taught courses in chemical engineering with a particular interest in crystallization and particle technology. Other faculty who will co-teach this course are Yaroslav Koshka, electrical engineering; Oliver Myers, mechanical engineering; and Giselle Munn, biology and Institute for Imaging & Analytical Technologies.

MSU 2 MD: Applying to Medical or Pharmacy School

Course Number: CHE 1001

CRN: 34549

11:00 - 11:50 am

Instructor: Deb Mlsna and Joe Emerson

Description: This course is designed to help future applicants to medical or pharmacy school. Topics will include study skills and time management, course requirements and recommendations, GPA expectations and extracurricular activities, how to prepare for the standardized tests (MCAT/PCAT), and other topics related to professional school admission. Guest speakers may include: local physicians/pharmacists who can discuss career tracks; current medical school students (study habits and time management in professional school); and directors/ admission personnel at local professional schools (admission requirements and interviews). This course will fulfill the Paths seminar course (CH 1141) in the Pre-Med/Pre-Pharm Chemistry degree plans for students who need to meet this requirement, but other students are welcome, as well.

Instructor Bio: This course will be team taught by Dr. Joseph Emerson (Assistant Professor) and Dr. Deb Mlsna (Undergraduate Coordinator) in the Department of Chemistry. They both have experience mentoring undergraduate students interested in science- and health-related careers. Furthermore, Dr. Mlsna is a member of the National Association of Advisors for Pre-Health careers and can offer all students enrolled in this course some initial career guidance.