11 College classes to take online

The College Blog - Thu, 05/21/2020 - 11:06

Want to expand your knowledge, gain new skills, and earn class credits you need from the comfort of your home? From European goddesses and witches, fanfiction, and earthquakes to global careers, Spanish language for business, and journeys through East Asian art history, our online course listing for Fall 2020 offers something for everyone. Get started by checking out these 11 online College classes you can take during the fall semester! 

HIST 320 History – From Goddesses to Witches: Premodern Europe

Ideas and attitudes about women — from their roles in society to their very nature — have dramatically shifted throughout history. Gain an in-depth understanding of women’s spirituality, goddess-worship, symbols of women, and women’s roles in religious societies within Europe from 30,000 B.C.E. to the 16th century Protestant Reformation by taking HIST 320.

This course examines the social, cultural, and political contexts of women’s spirituality and their relations to gender relations in Europe from about 30,000 B.C.E. to the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Lectures move both chronologically and topically, covering such subjects as goddess-worshiping cultures, women’s roles in Christian and Jewish societies, symbols of women, and male attitudes toward women. Students will be able to participate in weekly discussions of primary and secondary source readings about women. (Same as WGSS 320.) Satisfies: Goal 1 Outcome 1 (GE11), Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), H Humanities (H), HT Historical Studies PC (HT)

ATMO 220 Atmospheric Science – Unusual Weather

Curious about the science behind unusual weather phenomena? Explore the underlying principles at work in extreme weather events like tornados, hurricanes, and blizzards, as well as the effects of air pollution and human alteration of the atmosphere, in ATMO 220.

An introductory lecture course which surveys the general principles and techniques of atmospheric science and illustrates their application through discussions of natural but unusual weather phenomena such as blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, and chinooks, of the effects of air pollution on weather, and of intentional human alteration of the atmosphere. Satisfies: Goal 1 Outcome 1 (GE11), Goal 3 Natural Sciences (GE3N), N Natural Science (N), NE Earth Sciences PC (NE)

SPAN 448 Spanish – Spanish Language & Culture for Business

In today’s globalized world, it’s more important than ever to have a grasp on the relationship between business and language, communication skills, and social and cultural context. In SPAN 448, non-native Spanish speakers will develop analytical and communication skills for international business and professional life. 

Cultural studies approach to contemporary Spanish American societies for students with an interest in business. Explores how individuals from Spanish American countries negotiate their place in a new cultural context, and how different groups in Spanish America perceive business (negocios). Readings include selections from literature, history, journalism, social analysis, and popular culture. Exercises help non-native speakers develop analytical skills as well as vocabulary and communication skills related to international business and professional life. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 323, or SPAN 324 and SPAN 328, or SPAN 325, or consent of instructor. A grade of B- or higher in SPAN 323, 324 or 325 is strongly recommended for students enrolling in this course. Satisfies: Foreign Language Proficiency (FP), H Humanities (H)

ENGL 329 English – Topics in Forms and Genres: Fanfiction

Are you a fanfiction fanatic? Whether you’re a fanfic newcomer or totally unfamiliar with it, taking ENGL 329 will expand your knowledge of the genre that’s “taking over the world” by examining questions like: What is fanfiction in the first place? What does it do? And who is it for? 

An introductory study of a selected topic focused on a literary or rhetorical form or genre (e.g., Lyric Poetry, Captivity Narratives, Genre Theory). May be repeated for credit as the topic changes. Prerequisite: Prior completion of the KU Core Written Communication requirement. Recommended: Prior completion of one 200-level English course. Satisfies: H Humanities (H)

GIST 585 Global & International Studies – Transnational Terrorism

Transnational terrorism has shaped our lives and everyday activities in ways that are largely second nature now — screenings at airports and concert venues, video surveillance on neighborhood streets, and ramped up physical security anywhere masses of people gather. But terrorism, and efforts to prevent terrorism, are complex, ever-evolving issues. In GIST 585, you’ll explore the evolution of terrorism from the French Revolution to modern day, its causes and consequences, and scholarly conservations around terrorism.

The course provides a study of the patterns of transnational terrorism. First, it introduces students to the analytical study of terrorism. The course traces the evolution of terrorism, from the French Revolution to the modern day era. It also covers how scholarship defines, conceptualizes, and measures terrorism. The second goal is to introduce students to key scholarly debates within the literature. Some of the example questions we ask are: are democracies more vulnerable to terrorism? Does globalization render states open to being attacked by transnational actors? Is torture warranted as an effective counterterrorism tactic? The readings draw on empirical scholarship on the causes and consequences of transnational terrorism. (Same as POLS 582.) Prerequisite: Sophomore level or consent of instructor. Satisfies: S Social Science (S)

GEOL 171 Geology – Earthquakes & Natural Disasters

Are you fascinated by nature’s most awe-inspiring, terrifying, and spectacular moments? In GEOL 171, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the processes and impacts of catastrophic natural events including volcanic eruptions, meteorite impacts, and earthquakes.

Addresses the subject of natural disasters with concentration on earthquake effects and their mitigation. Briefly treats volcanic eruptions, tidal waves, floods, global warming, severe weather, and catastrophic meteorite impacts from the perspective of geological and human significance. Provides a basic background into earth-science processes. Satisfies: Goal 3 Natural Sciences (GE3N), N Natural Science (N), NE Earth Sciences PC (NE)

AAAS 106 African & African-American Studies – The Black Experience in the Americas

In AAAS 106, you’ll trace the history of African peoples in the U.S.A. and Caribbean and Latin America. By studying works of literature and music, social and political development, economics, and demography, you’ll make new discoveries and gain insight into the black experience in the Americas up to and during the nineteenth century.

An interdisciplinary study of the history of the African peoples of the New World, relating their cultures and institutions to the African background and to their peculiar New World experiences up to and including the nineteenth century. While the main emphasis is on the U.S.A., attention is also paid to the Caribbean and Latin America. Approaches include demography, economics, social and political developments, literature, and music. (Same as HIST 109.) Satisfies: Goal 4 Outcome 1 (AE41), H Humanities (H), HT Historical Studies PC (HT), World Culture (W)

HA 166 History of Art – The Visual Arts of East Asia

Take a journey through East Asia from your own home by exploring the region’s artistic works. In HA 166, you’ll look at works of art from China, Korea, and Japan, study their significance and purposes, and learn to identity a variety of art styles. You’ll also build your artistic vocabulary by analyzing, writing about, and discussing art in East Asian cultures. 

This course examines major forms of artistic expression in China, Korea, and Japan. Discussions introduce basic art concepts, the themes and purposes of art, and different art styles in East Asia from ancient times to the present. Students develop critical skills through analyzing, writing about, and talking about art and East Asian cultures. Students also learn about important museums in North America and Asia. No prior knowledge of art history or East Asia expected. Not open to students with credit in HA 165. Satisfies: Goal 4 Outcome 2 (AE42), Goal 3 Arts and Humanities (GE3H), World Culture (W)

ANTH 484 Anthropology – Magic, Science, and Religion

It’d be difficult to overstate the importance of religious belief in shaping the philosophies, cultures, and histories of societies across the globe. In ANTH 484, you’ll focus on religion and systems of value and belief in non-Western cultures. Through comparative study, you’ll expand your knowledge of the similarities, differences, and influences of religious beliefs across cultures. 

A comparative study of religion and systems of value and belief in non-Western cultures. Satisfies: Goal 4 Outcome 2 (AE42), Goal 3 Social Sciences (GE3S), NW Non-Western Culture (NW), S Social Science (S), World Culture (W)

LA&S 485 Liberal Arts & Sciences – Global Career Management

If you’re considering a career that requires cross-cultural communication and a solid knowledge of the global economy — which applies to positions in just about every corner of today’s business world— LA&S 485 is the class for you! In this course, you’ll build new communication and analytical skills that will help give you a competitive edge in today’s global job market.

This global career development course studies the theories of cross-cultural communication and analyzes the global economy to help students apply these concepts to their own lifelong career management. Furthermore, the course builds upon the international experiences students are having at KU and also allows any student to gain lifelong knowledge and skills to be successful in a global job search or career transition, by assisting them to articulate their skills and value through a cross-cultural perspective to potential employers. Prerequisite: Students must be sophomore standing or above. Satisfies: BGS Career Course (BGSC), U Undesignated elective (U)

PSYC 465 Psychology – Stereotypes & Prejudice Across Cultures

The destructive power of stereotypes and prejudice — whether directed toward groups of people for their gender, racial, or cultural identities, class or economic status, or any other factors — is evident through the study of societies around the world and their histories. But where do these beliefs come from? Why do people hold them, and what leads people to revise their attitudes? In PSYC 465, you’ll examine stereotypes and prejudice across cultures through a psychological lens.

This course covers a variety of theoretical views concerning the origins of stereotypes and the factors that maintain them, as well as how and when the revision of such beliefs take place. Analysis of various stereotypes (including gender and race) and the experience of prejudice across a variety of cultural contexts is examined. Many difficult social issues are discussed in depth. Prerequisite: PSYC 360 or PSYC 361; or consent of instructor. Satisfies: S Social Science (S)

For more information, check out KU’s schedule of classes. Ready to discuss options? College of Liberal Arts & Sciences majors can schedule an appointment with their advisors at http://collegeadvising.ku.edu/.

Camila Ordóñez Vargas launches campaign to support Colombian community during the pandemic

The College Blog - Wed, 05/06/2020 - 16:04

When Camila Ordóñez Vargas, a political science and economics double-major, traveled to spend spring break with her family in her home country of Colombia, she never imagined that she would be unable to return to finish her junior year in Lawrence. Now facing this unexpected new reality, she’s finding ways to help alleviate the impact of the crisis in Colombia as the country grapples with social and economic uncertainties.

On April 2, Vargas posted a music video on YouTube to raise funds to provide 5,000 lunches to the volunteers, nurses, doctors, and low-income citizens in her home town of Barranquilla. To build on the momentum sparked by the video, which has been viewed more than 2,000 times, she launched the LOCOMBIA campaign, which she describes as “the home of dreamers who not only believe but also work for a better tomorrow… the origin of the wit and creativity that characterizes us, Colombians, where the joy of our culture is born.”

Please walk us through your experience of traveling to Colombia over spring break. How did events unfold from your perspective as the novel coronavirus spread worldwide?

I came to Barranquilla, my hometown, to spend spring break with my family and meet with politicians and government entities to work toward my thesis on food security in Colombia, never expecting that a pandemic would impede me from returning to KU to finish my junior year.

Volunteers handing out meals to children and vulnerable community members.

The first COVID-19 case in Colombia was diagnosed on March 5th, and the national government has imposed preventive measures evolving from voluntary self-isolation to mandatory quarantine. I’ve been in quarantine for 40+ days and the stay-at-home order has been extended until May 11, but elders (70+ and older), are required to stay at home until June, at least. Additionally, there are no domestic or international flights until June, and only banks, hospitals, pharmacies, and groceries are open.

Tell us about your initiative, LOCOMBIA. Where did the idea come from, and what do you hope to achieve through the campaign?

Since the first day I started self-isolation, I have not stopped thinking about how low-income families have not been able to make ends meet and bring food to their tables as they subsist on their day-to-day functions, which have been interrupted by the stay-at-home orders. I came up with the idea to do a music video to provide lunches for the needy and unemployed “Barranquilleros” during this difficult time.

“Odio X Amor” (Love for Hate) is the song that sparks this journey by evoking that love defeats hate. I contacted and brought together 20+ voices to sing that “it’s time to change,” to be kind, to be better, and to unite to beat this crisis. This video gave life to #AmorXLOCOMBIA (Love for LOCOMBIA) to motivate people to show compassion and altruism for those who need it. I founded LOCOMBIA to establish the Colombia that I aspire to perceive and live in. LOCOMBIA is the home of dreamers who not only believe but also work for a better tomorrow. It is the origin of the wit and creativity that characterizes us, where the joy of our culture is born.

I hope to provide food for the families in need with every dollar that is donated. I have been in contact with multinational brands to request their assistance to feed the poorest neighborhoods in my region.

LOCOMBIA’s upcoming project is a fashion collection that pays tribute to “Nuestra Gente” (Our People), the hard-working men and women who live off the goods they sell on a day-to-day basis. This collection of shirts will be up for sale with national and international shipping soon.  

I aim to show how Colombians, from the tastiest coffee to billboard music hits, put our hearts to everything we do. Every campaign that LOCOMBIA launches, will aim to show the potential and talent that distinguishes Colombians. LOCOMBIA can be found on social media on Instagram and Facebook with the handle @amorxlocombia.

How do you apply lessons or skills you’ve gained in your majors to the campaign?

I chose to major in economics and political science to satisfy my interest to not only learn the financial and legislative methods that make up the world, but also to develop a multidisciplinary point of view structured by firm ideals and current events.

Diving into the political economy has opened my eyes to the cruel reality and socioeconomic injustice that most Colombians face. With a poor education system, a lack of a food policy or food aid program, and an informal economy amounting to roughly 50% of the total population, I aspire to close the large gaps that obstruct the creation of new opportunities for all.

Do you have any advice for others who want to help provide relief during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The current COVID-19 circumstances are an opportunity to raise awareness to assist the underprivileged, as we, college students, can contribute our knowledge thanks to all the opportunities we have had. In the case of LOCOMBIA, every single donation makes a difference, as every dollar counts, literally. $1 USD = 1 lunch and $ 8 USD = 1 food basket. All US Donations can be done at Venmo @amorxlocombia

What would you tell your freshman self?

Regardless of how confusing or difficult the journey may seem, nothing will prevent you from following your true passions, for they go in line with your ambitions.

What motivates you?

Believing that I will be able to improve people’s lives through my career has always been my greatest motivation. Being able to apply what I learn to help the vulnerable population is, and has always been, the leading motivation in all my academic and extracurricular decisions.

What do you want to do when you graduate?

I dream of applying my academic, extracurricular, and professional experience to improve the quality of life and boost economic mobility in underprivileged populations.

Are there any other comments you’d like to share?

I am also launching an online volunteering program to provide English tutoring to the juniors and seniors in a public high school in my region. All students, faculty, and staff are more than welcome to support this cause by providing 45 minutes to an hour to tutor 2 – 4 students at a time through online meetings. All volunteers will receive an official certificate recognizing their time and effort. Anyone can e-mail me if interested at camilaordonezv@ku.edu.

Be like Camila. Make an impact. For more information, explore the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economics at the University of Kansas. Learn more about our students’ research on the College Blog.

Hawks to Watch: Kelly Houghteling, Deputy Town Administrator

The College Blog - Thu, 04/30/2020 - 12:51
Why Kelly’s a Hawk to Watch:

Kelly Houghteling is always up for an adventure. When she’s off the clock, you can expect to find her outdoors hiking, biking, and fly-fishing in the Rocky Mountains, which she calls home. She even made the trek up to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro, which stands at 19,341 feet above sea level, once during a trip to Tanzania.

The KU alum has approached her professional journeys with a similar sense of exploration and curiosity. From the time she arrived on Mount Oread as an undergraduate in 2008, Kelly knew she wanted to make her mark by giving back. Now, after earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the College, she’s on to new adventures, fulfilling her ambitions through public service and leadership in local government as Deputy Town Administrator at the town of Wellington, Colorado and president of the League of Women in Government.

In Kelly’s line of work, each day holds new experiences, unpredictable obstacles, and a fair share of hardships. But to those with the patience, understanding, and grit to roll with the punches and take challenges as they come, the rewards can hardly be overstated. Learn about Kelly’s path to public service, and see what she had to say about leading with empathy, what she hopes to be doing ten years (hopefully it’ll include celebrating a KU basketball national championship), and the importance of writing thank you notes. Discover what makes Kelly a Hawk to Watch.

Tell us in a sentence or two what you do for a living:

As the Deputy Town Administrator, I make a daily impact in the community through the efficient delivery of public services and help to operationalize the council’s vision for the future. I also serve as the President of the League of Women in Government, a group dedicated to moving the needle forward on the number of women serving in leadership positions in local government.

How did you end up doing what you do? Was there a certain moment when things came together? Or was it a longer journey?

I entered KU with a desire to give back to the community, but unsure how to make that into a career. As a liberal arts student, I was able to explore different interests and develop my critical thinking skills. It wasn’t until graduate school and my internship with the City of Fort Collins when I knew local government was the right career path.

How did your KU degree prepare you for your current job?

The KU MPA program gave me direction on how to put my passion into practice and gave me a strong support network with alumni across the country. Public service is an honorable career for people gritty enough to accept its challenges.

What do you feel is your biggest achievement so far?

Being named the Colorado City/County Manager Association Assistant Manager of the year was very special. I was recognized for my leading role on several large projects in Windsor, most notably the establishment of the $3.3 million Railroad Quiet Zone throughout the community as well as the construction of a $14 million public works facility. I was also recognized for my work as the Chair of Colorado Women Leading Government and helping to launch the state’s first conference.

What’s your lowest career moment and how did you pick yourself up and move on?

There are many hard days in public service. I’ve witnessed the flooding of my community, a major downtown fire that destroyed a historic building, and the horrific accident that killed a child during a town parade. On the worst days, we must band together as a community to provide support, grieve, ask for help, and fill the gaps of loss with love. 

Where do you hope to be in 10 years?

I hope to be leading an outstanding municipal organization as the city manager, giving back to the profession, and celebrating a KU men’s and women’s basketball national championship!

What do you know now that you wish you could tell your 18-year-old self?

Be patient with yourself. You don’t need to have the answers to life’s big questions yet.

What’s your best career pro-tip?

Lead with empathy, take on tasks outside of your comfort zone, and write thank you notes.

What do you do after you’ve clocked out?

Living in the Rockies, I spend my time on the weekends fly-fishing, biking, hiking, and reading.

What is a fun fact about you that surprises people?

I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Be like Kelly. Find your adventure. For more information, visit the Department of Sociology, the Institute for Leadership Studies, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration at the University of Kansas. Also visit the town of Wellington, Colorado and the League of Women in Government. And meet more Hawks to Watch.

Hawks to Watch are disrupters. They’re poised for greatness, inspiring their colleagues and excelling in their professions. Basically, they’re killing it. Having recently graduated, they are just starting to leave their mark and we can’t wait to see how their story unfolds. These Jayhawks span all industries including business, non-profits, tech, healthcare, media, law and the arts. 

Habitat: Explore KU’s Max Kade Center

The College Blog - Mon, 04/27/2020 - 13:01

Ever wonder what’s in the stone house nestled on the northwest corner of campus? The newest episode of Habitat has the answer. Watch as we explore the interior of the Max Kade Center for German-American Studies. As part of the German Studies Department, the Center provides a link to German immigration to America and Kansas. See this hidden gem now!

For more information, explore the the Max Kade Center, the German Studies Department and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

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