Welcome (and first assignment)

This blog will be used to document the progress of participants of this workshop. We are very excited to work with you to design interesting and innovative courses!

Your first assignment ….

  1. Join the blog: (http://gcsusencerflc.wordpress.com/) – You do NOT need your own blog
    (if you are here you have already done this)
  2. Use what we did today to identify (3) civic issues or community projects you could use as the nexus for your course.
    Do your best to tie these issues to a course you are currently teaching or plan to teach.
  3. Post your three ideas to the blog within one week. Include a brief introduction of yourself.
  4. Read everyone’s post and comment on them.
  5. Use the blog as a forum for identifying a partner (optional).

About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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7 Responses to Welcome (and first assignment)

  1. Will Hobbs says:

    Well, my leaving early must have adversely affected me more than I thought! I am having a hard time connecting our exercise to civic issues or community projects. Can you give me a quick refresher on that process? Sorry to be the dense one!

  2. georgecazacu says:

    I don’t know if this qualifies as a “civic issue” but here it is anyway: IMMEDIATE OUTCOME OF ONE LEARNING SESSION. We’ve all been students, we know the feeling of going to a class one day, learning something, and urging to use (apply) that newly acquired knowledge right away. With thoughts ranging from “I have no clue whatsoever” or “I don’t care” to “If this works, I’m going to be #1 on the planet”, this aspect of student perception seems to be of significant importance to the student’s further evolution (attitude).

    I’m thinking of trying to find “premeditated” answers to the question “How do I use what I learned today?” and even present some of them before the question is asked (in the introduction of the new topic), of course keeping the rest for post-act.

    I feel that inter-disciplinary cooperation might prove itself useful.

  3. lengling says:

    I would like to say something about the recent financial crisis from the perspective of finance. The source of the crisis traces back to the subprime mortgage market. So, I can incorporate this topic into my course of business finance, such as how to find the mortgage amount that a borrower can afford. The second related topic would be the effect on the stock market. Around this issue, I can address in the class why the mortgage market problem affects the stock market. My third idea would be the risk management on asset. How to avoid the loss on investment on stock or bond, which will be covered in future course, Derivative Markets.

  4. cbzehnder says:

    My first homework assignment and I’m already late…..

    My brief intro: Grew up in NJ, undergrad Penn State, 2 years in the Peace Corps teaching HS math & science in Western Samoa, PhD Ecology UGA. Postdoc-Texas A&M for less than a year, but I did go to the Houston Rodeo (so cool!) and I own a pair of cowboy boots. Right now I’m really looking forward to the day when I’m more than one lecture ahead of schedule.

    I’m teaching environmental science in the spring (and its a class I will likely teach again in the future), but I would also like to teach an upper-level environmental science course on campus sustainability, so I’m considering civic issues that could be covered in either/both of those classes. Water conservation would be a great issue to tackle given the ‘water wars’ between Georgia, Alabama and Florida, and I would like to cover individual water use/conservation and then scale up to municipalies, states & regions. Global warming and climate change – its something most of the students have heard of, but they’re kinda shaky on the science behind it. Food – its not really a civic issue, but how our food is grown/harvested, transportation, etc ties into so much environmental issues (shade grown coffee anyone?).

  5. kcossey says:

    Kim Cossey. I’m an organic chemist in the dept of Chemistry & Physics. My research focus is organic synthesis, which just means using store bought chemicals to make more complex molecules. The biggest employer of chemists like me are drug companies. I got my Ph. D. from Penn State and am originally from Oklahoma. 🙂

    Ideas for courses.
    a. Drugs & Health care. For the chemistry end, I would use drugs as a platform to talk about how molecules’ shapes and electronics affect reactivity. Could also expand discussion into how drugs are metabolized. Relate drug development processes (synthesis, production into large scale, and human testing) to rising costs of prescription drugs & health care. Who will pay the costs (consumers, companies, government)?
    b. Science behind alternative energy sources (hybrid vehicles, biofuels, solar, etc.) This would include the basics of how current energies work (fuel, coal, etc.) Could be linked with Environmental. WHY we need these alternatives. Long-term concerns, how chemists and biologists are contributing to new technologies and cleaning up pollution. (sidenote: did anyone see the Discovery special about large-scale removal & burying of CO2) CRAZY! Could also be linked to national and global environmental policies. Who makes the “rules” and what influences the choices of what energy types become available.
    c. Chemistry of art. Focuses more on the material science angle of chemistry. Some ideas: what paints are made of and their interactions with surfaces, how removing paints vs. cleaning paintings work, chemical analysis used for art forensics

  6. lengling says:

    I remember that I wrote something about myself when I firstly logged in. But it is not here. Well, let me say it again. 🙂 I obtained my B.A. in Business Administration from Wu Han University, China and worked for five years in industry including commercial banking and equity investment. In 2002 I got a MBA in Finance from Georgia State University and my PhD in Business Administration in summer 2008. My main research interests are mutual funds, institutional investors, and investments.

  7. klmkleine says:

    I wanted to tell George–and Amy will join me I think–that Ryan brown’s colloquium on voting systems today would being very applicable to present day issues. I am not very knowledgeable in math specifics but it would seem to me that the notion of a system would run across all of the content fields that our learning community represents.

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