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Freshman Seminars

GLI seminars typically fulfill at least one general education requirement. If a seminar does fulfill a general education requirement, the type of requirement it fulfills will be indicated at the end of each course title. For an understanding of what the University of Montana's general education requirements are please watch the video here.

Can Giving Change the World?: Engaging Social Responsibility through Philanthropy/Honors (COMX 191S)

Greg Larson, Communication Studies
Andrea Vernon, Office of Civic Engagement
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10am-11:00am
This course examines the relationship between the individual and society by addressing the question: How do individuals and organizations address pressing and enduring social problems to create meaningful change? Through the lens of philanthropy, this course introduces students to social responsibility and some of the big problems facing society. We will learn about how donating money to charitable causes is building the philanthropic movement at local, national and global levels to combat the most pressing contemporary challenges facing society such as poverty, environmental degradation, and disease. This is an experiential learning opportunity for you to study and experience philanthropy as a tool for social change and community engagement at local and global levels. Students will engage as community grant-makers allocating $10,000 of funding to local nonprofit organizations. This course is designated as an honors course and will count toward honors credit. You are not required to be an honors student to be enrolled in this course.

Crossing Borders: Film, Literature, and Adaptation (LIT 191L)

John Glendening, English
Sean O'Brien, Film Studies
Tuesday 8:10am-11:00am
This course exposes students in the first part of the course to a variety of literary texts and films from various parts of the world that explore how crossing national, ethnic, or psychological borders gives shape to fundamental philosophical questions and their possible answers. The goals are two-fold: (1) speaking and writing clearly about the core questions raised by the course and prompted by works of literature and (2) learning what is involved in adapting literature to film. During the final part of the course students will learn basic production skills (shooting and editing) and then be assigned to groups, each of which will produce two videos based on scripts adapted from novels or short stories.

Exercise is Medicine (KIN 191S)

Steve Gaskill, Health and Human Performance
Reed Humphrey, Physical Therapy
Tuesday, Thursday 9:40am-11:00am
This multidisciplinary course will evaluate how physical activity affect both body and brain health. Students will study and discuss how modern sedentary lifestyles are related to increases in diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression and other chronic disease. Included is a unit on the mind-body relationship and how inactivity and obesity decreases learning and cognitive abilities, lifetime earning power, self-efficacy, work capacity and overall life satisfaction. The class includes a weekly lab as a portion of the course. This seminar includes content from exercise physiology, health, sociology, economics, social history and education making the course a great way to explore many areas of potential study and qualifies as a Social Sciences General Education course.

Fairness and Social Justice: Quantifying the Unquantifiable (M 191)

Jenny McNulty, Mathematical Sciences
Dave Patterson, Mathematical Sciences
Tuesday, Thursday 9:40am-11:00am
The course seeks to answer fundamental questions such as “What is fairness?” While we seek to give students the tools to address quantitative aspects of this question, the main issue of the course remains “What is justice in our society?” The course focuses on both global and local issues and seeks to use tools from mathematics to help answer questions in society. The course is multidisciplinary in nature as it addresses social, political, economic and cultural topics. We seek to create citizens and leaders who are deeply engaged in the community, question the world around them, and can analyze relevant issues from a quantitative perspective. Through the use of problem solving and logical arguments, we seek to improve students' critical-thinking skills and verbal and oral expression. This course fulfills the general education requirement in mathematics.

From Homer to HeroCams: Adventure Narrative through the Ages (JRNL 191A)

Nadia White, Journalism
James Scott, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Tuesday, Thursday 9:40am-11:00am
Read classic and contemporary adventure stories, then build and share your own adventure tale. The class will begin by reading Homer’s classic adventure, Odyssey, then transition to contemporary adventure stories and hands-on exercises to encourage you to explore Missoula and yourself. You will travel on your own or in pairs to different local trail systems in order to hike or bike the trails and build a report about the adventure potential of the area.  You will use writing, photography or video, collage and map making skills to share your experiences with an online audience. Along the way you will think about how learning about a new place and overcoming challenges helps you — and all of us — grow.

Human Genetics and Personalized Medicine (BIOH 191N)

Sarah Certel, Biological Sciences
Tuesday, Thursday 2:10pm-3:30pm
Why study human genetics? One reason is simply to better understand ourselves, and the contribution genes make to the development of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and depression. A second reason is to understand the implications of using our growing knowledge of our genetic composition to tackle issues of personalize medicine. This course will examine the clinical, monetary, and ethical impacts of genetic testing and genetic information on society as a whole and on the individual. Global concerns related to genetic information transcend national borders due to the enormity of their political, economic and health impacts. We will discuss how our genetic differences are strengths not weaknesses and how through the cultivation of variety we can preserve individual health and human kind.

Social Interaction, Relationships, and Human Well-Being (COMX 191S)

Steve Yoshimura, Communication Studies
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:10pm-1:00pm
Friends, family members, and romantic partners provide opportunities to exchange many positive experiences, including kindness, affection, gratitude, humor, love, and forgiveness. However, these same relationships can also sometimes cause considerable amounts of stress from conflict, betrayal, rejection, and loss. This paradox gives rise to an important question: How do we communicate and interact with others in ways that maximize our health and well-being, even in the face of difficult relationship situations? In this course, we will discuss the variety of ways in which human well-being can be defined, and will examine how acts of social support, humor, kindness, gratitude, affection, love, forgiveness, and altruism can, under the right conditions, enhance the well-being of individuals, groups, and large societies.

The Net Effect (JRNL 191)

Lee Banville, Journalism
Monday, Wednesday 11:10am-12:30pm
This course does not fulfill a General Education requirement. Why is Tumblr worth $1 billion? How many people credit the Internet for helping them find their spouse and blame it for their divorce? Would you expect that two different people googling the same term would get two different sets of results? Why is Facebook lame now? Is the Internet the same in the U.S. and in France? The answers may surprise you. This class will challenge students’ preconceptions of the Internet and social media. Students will read about how the Internet – initially imagined as a way of making all information available to the public (and still thought of by many as a global library open to all) -- has evolved into a media that is both highly filtered but one that also possesses the power to topple governments and empower citizens.

Who Am I? Identity and Our Social World (SOCI 191S)

Kathy Kuipers, Sociology
Tuesday, Thursday 9:40am-11:00am
Identities influence both our immediate interactions and our perceptions of our social world. What do we mean by identities? Where do they come from? How do we manage them? In answering these questions, we take a closer look at how identities are linked to social groups—families, gender groups, cultural groups, and racial/ethnic groups. Through literature, film, and music, we explore how identities are learned, become salient within social contexts, and are enacted globally. At the same time, we pose and begin to answer the question: Who Am I? This interdisciplinary seminar gives freshmen an opportunity to explore not only what research says about identities, but also the personal dimensions of who they are, and how their self-conceptions are linked to their social world.

Why? (PSCI 191)

Abhishek Chatterjee, Political Science
Brent Ryckman, Biological Sciences
Tuesday, Thursday 2:10pm-3:30pm
This course does not fulfill a General Education requirement. How do human beings find out how things in the world work? The “world” here includes both the—so-called--“natural” world, and the “world” of humans (though the latter is really a part of the former). So, this course will examine if and to what extent there is common set of principles, or even a common spirit that guides human inquiry in any field. As such it will introduce students to works in both the social and the natural sciences—among other areas of human inquiry—in order to contemplate the extent to which both these areas, despite their apparently different methodological practices, face similar dilemmas, or deal with similar issues in the identification, formulation, and investigation of questions.

Previous GLI Seminars