FS 101/200 Descriptions (Fall 2022)

Specific descriptions of sections of FS 101, Academic Discourse I and FS 200, Academic Discourse for Transfer Students, offered in Fall 2022:

Please consult Self-Service to confirm the days, times, and locations of these sections.

FS 101 01, Lost Territory: SciFi Depictions of Simulation
Professor B. Rich
TTH 11:oo AM 12:15 PM
A study of the relationship between art, science and culture as viewed through the lens of science fiction film and texts. Students investigate social interaction and construction through analysis of near-future scenarios and speculative technologies while examining the complex relationships between speculation and technological advancement as they relate to the socio-political climate. Social, technological and scientific notions of the “simulation” conceptually underpin the media we are exploring. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 02, Genes, Culture, and Identity
Professor B. Hersh
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
An examination of the relationship between modern genetics and issues of privacy, identity, and culture. Genetic determinism—the idea that our genes determine our destiny—can be pervasive in discussions about biotechnology and personalized medicine. How do our genes influence our personalities and our health? By contrast, what are the ways in which our genes fail to determine our personal and cultural identities? How has genetics been used and misused in these contexts? Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communications skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 04, Science in the News
Professor A. Deckert
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of science topics reported in the news. Articles from news sources along with literature that helps explain the science topics covered will be the primary text for this course. Analytical reasoning skills are developed through close reading and analysis of arguments presented in the articles. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 05, Made By Hand
Professor T. Chapp
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
This seminar is an exploration of artisanal crafts, both edible and nonedible alike. We will seek to answer the question -what is the value of items made by hand-by interacting with local artisans, screening short films, reading and discussing a variety texts, and engaging in our own attempts at handmade crafts. Students may be required to participate in trips off campus outside of regularly scheduled class time. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 07, Representations of College
Professor J. Tompkins
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of representations of college in the media. Students will consider the different ways the college experience is depicted in popular culture, movies and TV shows, including how these depictions have changed over time and how they shape our expectations and assumptions about the meaning of college life. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 08, Food for Thought: Exploring Food Controversies
Professor J. Wiebel
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An examination of contemporary issues related to food’s production and consumption. Students read a wide range of materials including food manifestos, editorials and columns by food critics, advertisements for grocery stores and restaurants, and television food programming. In doing so, students gain a greater understanding of the issues these texts raise and communication strategies they rely on to advance particular visions of food. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 10, Baseball’s Sabermetric Revolution
Professor R. Ormiston
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An examination of baseball teams’ increasing utilization of advanced statistical analysis and economic theory to make decisions regarding player acquisition, game management, and business operations. We explore the statistical revolution in baseball and how it has influenced the rise of data-driven decision-making in basketball and football. Further, students are exposed to the power—and limitations—of quantitative data to compose logical arguments, solve problems, and make informed predictions about the future. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 11, PogChamp
Professor C. Finaret
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
A celebration of all things esports. Students explore the emergent culture of competitive gaming, explain how to play certain games (and play them!), and discuss what broader society can learn from gamers. We dive into streaming, forums, replay analysis, and guides to examine how players and fans of esports communicate. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 12, Friends, Followers, & Fakes: Camaraderie Through the Ages
Professor A. Hart
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of friendship from the ancient world through the digital age. We will consider how friendships form and evolve throughout our lives, how friends influence our experiences and choices, and what happens when our friendships change or end. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 13, Magical Words: Love, Liberation, & Justice
Abbreviated Title: Love, Liberation, & Justice
Professor S. Caballero
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of love, liberation, and justice in contemporary texts. We engage with contemporary literature to examine the ways these concepts are defined and imagined. We investigate definitions of liberation and the extent to which liberation and love are connected. We also consider how justice is conceived in relation to questions about liberation and love. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 14, Natural Resource Conservation
Professor R. Bowden
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An investigation of natural resource use and conservation. Northwest Pennsylvania has a diversity of natural resources that provide environmental and economic opportunities to the region. We examine protection and management of forests, farms, wildlife, streams, and wetlands, as well as the economic and social concerns that challenge informed use and long-term protection of valuable resources. In this laboratory and field-based class, students can expect to spend a considerable amount of time outdoors in the diversity of weather enjoyed by this region. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 15, Environmental Storytelling: Power, Place, Privilege
Professor J. Swann-Quinn
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of stories and their ability to shape our environments and communities. Students consider diverse storytelling forms and mediums while reflecting on their own positions, relationships, and experiences in the world. Students investigate how questions of difference intersect with environmental issues, including climate change, environmental justice, and resource struggles. Students develop their personal storytelling approaches while exploring Allegheny College and Meadville. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 17, Can Your Zip Code Predict Your Health?
Abbreviated: Can Zip Codes Predict Health?
Professor C. Waggett
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of the social determinants of health and disease, particularly as they relate to our lived environments. Where and how we live, work, and play all impact our health, and they can all also lead to systemic health disparities. Students examine factors that influence disease (such as poverty, stress, geographic location) and wellness (such as community design, access to public transit, access to recreational spaces). We will use natural and social scientific research, case studies, and even draw some examples from popular cultural and fictional settings to discuss how these factors are interconnected. Students then have the opportunity to evaluate patterns of disease and policies that lead to disparate health outcomes. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 18, History on Film
Professor B. Miller
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
A study of how film is both an alternative and a complement to established methods of studying the past. While interested in the production of film as well as the perception and popular impact of film, the course does not offer a formal history of filmmaking. Through a variety of films this course investigates what film can communicate about the time within which it was composed. This course focuses on specific problems or topics in the relationship between film and history. Possible topics could include the cultural and social organization of twentieth century Europe and the United States. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 19, That Happened Here?
Professor A. Ribeiro
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of surprising episodes in the history of Meadville and Northwest Pennsylvania. Students investigate the area’s connections to the Underground Railroad, the first oil boom, and the invention of the zipper, among other topics. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 20, Mathematics and Storytelling
Professor B. Carswell
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of mathematics in fiction. The role that mathematics plays in literature, on Broadway, and on the big screen, its relevance and accuracy, whether real or imaginary, is addressed. Fictional portrayals of mathematicians and the impact on public impressions of mathematics are also considered. Various mathematics topics, including cryptography, game theory, number theory, and chaos theory, are introduced as needed. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 21, Puzzles and Problem Solving
Professor C. Werner
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
An exploration of puzzles, riddles, and logic problems. Students develop problem-solving skills while engaging with examples such as Rubik’s cube, Sudoku, and Wordle. We study the history of puzzles and consider the question of what makes puzzles popular. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 24, Visions of Reality
Professor I. Kurtsal
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
An exploration of assumptions about reality, obtained by examining the connection between works of art and philosophical ideas. The course combines classical as well as contemporary philosophy of objects, psychology of perception and judgment, and the history of installation art to critically examine common assumptions about reality. Sculptures and other three-dimensional artworks from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries are the main focus of discussion. Work in class may include creating art. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 25, Masters of the Universe
Professor J. Lombardi
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of the connections between scientist and science. The scientists we study include Albert Einstein, Vera Rubin, and Stephen Hawking, while the science includes cosmology, relativity, and the theory of everything. Through our investigations, we are exposed to some of the most tantalizing concepts, events, and objects of our universe, including the Big Bang, black holes, dark matter, and the potential for time travel. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 26, Truth, Lies, and Politics
Professor A. Bloeser
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
A study of political misinformation. We focus on the problems of misinformation—false or unsubstantiated information that citizens believe to be true. Such problems include the psychological motivations that can leave citizens susceptible to misinformation, the challenges of correcting misinformed beliefs, and the consequences of acting on the basis of false information. Through class discussions and analytical essays, students attempt to clarify how misinformation can affect political decisions and also contemplate ways that citizens can adapt to, or even overcome, the problems that misinformation presents. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 27, America: From “Melting Pot” to “Salad Bowl”
Professor M. Chowdhury
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
A study of the pluralistic nature of the United States. From historical, anthropological, and psychosocial perspectives, we explore America as a mosaic of varied influences from different cultures and ethnic groups. Students examine their own diverse roots and analyze issues surrounding the development of a racial and ethnic identity while simultaneously retaining the common ground of shared traditions and citizenship. Through readings, discussions, analytical essays, and presentations, we delineate the concept of America as a “melting pot” or “salad bowl” – two differing metaphors that describe assimilation and diversity in America. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 28, Application of Behavior Analysis to Environmental Sustainability
Professor R. Clark
MW 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An exploration of the potential applications of the principles of behavioral psychology to environmental issues. Issues such as global warming, pollution, inefficient use of resources, and recycling are assessed from what is known in psychology as a “behavior analytic” perspective, which. suggests we can address these issues through a technology of behavior. Students will produce, discuss, and write about viable solutions to some of the major problems that face us today both locally and nationally. Discussion will focus the scientific literature related to human activity and environmental changes from a behavior analytic perspective. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

FS 101 31, Arabs and Muslims in Media, Television, and Film
Professor R. Hilal
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM
An introduction to the depiction of Arabs and Muslims in media, television, and film. In this course, students learn about the constructions of images and their impact on these communities. We examine various examples from news media and popular culture. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking. 

FS 101 33, Community Engagement and Higher Education: Beyond Town & Gown
Professor A. Pouliot
TTH 11:00 AM 12:15 PM

An exploration of community engagement and development in the context of US higher education. This course explores the complex and sometimes fraught histories of higher education-led civic engagement and community development initiatives. Through readings, class discussions, and interactions with guest speakers, students will learn about Allegheny College’s unique and evolving relationship with the Meadville Community. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

The following section is intended for S-STEM scholars program and is by invitation only.

FS 102 03, Busted or Confirmed: Critical Thinking Mythbusters’ Style
Professor L. French
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
An exploration of the scientific process and critical thinking skills using the television show, Mythbusters, as a model. In this show, the hosts test popular myths and legends mixing “scientific method and gleeful curiosity.” Students engage in the process of developing and testing questions or hypotheses. Activities include exploring myths – how they develop, whether there is any evidence to support them, and how to communicate such evidence effectively. We develop our own (non-explosive) experiments as a final project. Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on description, summary, and critical thinking.

 The following FS 200 section is intended for Transfer Students ONLY

FS 200 00, Examining Excellence
Professor R. O’Brien
MWF 11:00 AM 11:50 AM
An examination of what constitutes excellence in both personal and professional realms. Students examine a variety of works (e.g. artistic, religious, scientific, economic) and forms (e.g. written, visual, electronic) to identify common themes and aspects of excellence. How do we determine if something is excellent? How is this concept expressed in different cultures and other social constructs? From the smallest act to life-long project, how can we build excellence into our ways of being? Coursework emphasizes the development of effective oral and written communication skills with a focus on research, formed argument, and critical thinking.