Whether students are capturing biological field samples in nature or capturing the essence of a culture, the eye-opening experience of experiential learning will be on full display through the University of Mississippi’s Study USA Wintersession 2018 classes.
This year’s offerings are: “Writing Gender and Sexuality in the Crescent City” in New Orleans; “Californian STEAM: Microbial Science, Conservation and Society” in Riverside, Monterey Bay and San Francisco, California; “Las Vegas Resort Course” in Las Vegas; and an honors course in “Biomedical Ethics” in Washington, D.C.
New Orleans native Jaime Cantrell is among the UM faculty members leading a Study USA learning adventure in January. A visiting professor of English and faculty affiliate for the university’s Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, she said she wants to share her knowledge of the community and culture with students.
“Like its gumbo, New Orleans is richly diverse,” Cantrell said. “It’s our plan for this course to highlight those transnational, multicultural and indigenous legacies.”
The dual-listed course can be taken for Writing 398 or Gender Studies 395 course credit. Participants will travel to New Orleans Jan. 4-9 and conduct a virtual presentation on Jan. 12.
Cantrell said she hopes the course will prepare students to understand how their university educational experience parallels communities, publics and subcultures outside their learning walls.
“This can be seen where people work together in meaningful, creative and unexpected ways to transform lives and preserve historical and cultural memory,” she said.
Students who are interested in the teaching and exploration of the scientific process have an opportunity to get their hands dirty during the “Californian STEAM” course set Jan. 4-14 in various Californian coastal areas.
“California is a hotbed for both microbial sciences, conservation research and STEM education,” said Erik Hom, UM assistant professor of biology. “This course is looking at how microbes are everywhere and affect all areas of life.”
Hom, along with Renee Cunningham, assistant professor of education, will lead the class in conducting field samples and exploring conservation issues at various Pacific coast locations, including Monterey Bay and Joshua Tree National Park.
Students interested in education, environmental science, biology, premedicine, pharmacy, chemistry, biochemistry, geoscience, ocean sciences and engineering are all encouraged to take part in this course.
Hospitality management and business majors have a chance to learn more about the business of managing resorts and tourism while interacting with industry leaders during the Las Vegas resorts course set for Jan. 3-8.
Led by Jim Taylor, associate professor of hospitality management, the class will offer informative meetings with upper-level management to discuss how various amenities of a resort property add to the overall guest experience.
“Las Vegas is a real-world laboratory for hospitality management,” Taylor said. “Where else can students see a destination that was once a desert and has now become one of the premier convention, vacation and dining locations in the United States?”
Students will learn more about large-scale hotel operations and how lodging components interact with resorts. They will also find out more about how different facets of resorts work together to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
Students from the UM Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College can dive into ethical theories and principles at work in our nation’s health care system during “Biomedical Ethics,” led by philosophy professor Neil Manson.
The class will meet Jan. 2-6 in Oxford and Jan. 7-13 in Washington, D.C.
“Students will get to meet with experts addressing some of the most interesting issues in medicine right now,” Manson said. “They will be discussing questions like ‘What can we do with a person’s genetic information’ and ‘How should the American health care system be structured?’
“Also, ‘Is medicine just about restoring people to “normal” health, or should we feel free to use medical technologies to enhance human abilities?'”
Manson said he hopes the class helps students learn how to be professional, prepare, ask intelligent questions, overcome their fears and feel comfortable interacting with experts in the workplace.
“I also hope they get some sense of how Washington works – not just the branches of government, but the think tanks and the lobbyists,” Manson added. “Whether or not they aspire to careers in or near government, there is just no substitute for seeing up close how the system works.”
The application deadline for Study USA’s Wintersession 2018 courses is Nov. 9. Some scholarship opportunities are available. For more information, visit https://www.outreach.olemiss.
By Pam Starling
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