College premieres sample class program

Meghan Schmitt, Crier Staff

Dean Ann Harrington introduced a new program during the week of Oct. 24 called “Try It Before You Buy It”. The program consisted of several 30-minute class segments and discussions offered to all students free of charge across campus.  With preregistration only days away, there is hope that the program will inspire students, some of them undecided majors, to pursue a new major, minor,  research topic, or internship, thus furthering their development here at the college.

The classes offered on Monday were focused on global engagement.  The first course was titled “Global Multilatinas: Insights From Internalization and Diversification Patterns”, given by Professor Dina Frutos-Bencze. According to her description, “ The term Multilatina designates multinational companies that include ownership acquired or controlled in a Latin American country. The internationalization patterns of the largest Multilatinas are the focus of the research.”  Within the sphere of global engagement, this class appealed to International Relations majors and also those with a background in Spanish.  The next class offered was named “Globalization: Helping or Hurting”, given by Professor Kevin Doran.   Addressing the social commentary surrounding globalization, he gave a short summary of the course: “This brief class will first introduce the ways that sociologist might answer the question, “What is globalization.”  Then, focusing on material well-being, we will discuss the debate over whether globalization is generally “helping” or “hurting” the people that comprise our global community.

The classes offered on Tuesday followed the theme of language and literature.  “Stegaganography: The Art and Science of Hiding Messages”  was given by Professor Rajesh Prasad , who commented, “The digital age is associated with embedding data in some form of digital media. [Stegaganography] is the practice of concealing a secret message within another file, message, image, or video without the observer even detecting the presence of the hidden messages.”   The next class offered was a course labeled “Vampires, Ghosts, and Demons: The Archaeology of Death” by Professor David George, and following that was “30 Minutes for An Hour: Beginning Literary Analysis”, given by Professor Ann Maria Contarino. Beginning Literary Analysis is a course detailing the process of storytelling by reading Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour”.

Wednesday’s classes were focused on religion and art.  Professor Dan Daly presented his course “Pope Francis Thinks You’re Too Busy: A Theological Conversation about Life in the Twenty-first Century”

When asked why he chose to enter the program, Daly replied, “I saw it as a way to show students what theology is about, and as a way to attract students to our major and minor. I also find the topic of “busyness” ethically interesting, and wanted to discuss it with students. I hope they begin to understand how interesting theology is. I hope they consider majoring or minors get with us. I hope they continue to think about whether being busy all the time is actually a good thing.”  The second class offered that day was named “Here’s Looking at You: Unlocking the Mysteries of a Great Art Masterpiece”, a study in painting technique.  Given by Professor Katherine Bentz, this class “investigates one of the most famous masterpieces of Western painting: Diego Velázquez’s, Las Meninas, 1656 (Prado Museum, Madrid).”

The final class offered on Thursday was titled “Sociology of Health and Illness”. According to Professor Chih-Chien Huang, the course is meant to “provide students with sociological perspectives on health and illness. This brief class will introduce how social factors influence health, and how various health outcomes are differentially distributed in the United States.”