First Year and Pre-Major Program (FYPP)

Spring 2020 Discovery Core III



Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:

Democracy, Politics, and Freedom
B CORE 118A, I&S

Instructor: Jason Lambacher
Monday/Wednesday 8:45am - 10:45am

Few would argue that freedom is a central value of democracy, yet our political discourse and policies reveal substantial disagreement about what freedom means.  In this class, we will read authors who approach the issue of freedom as a question with many different answers.  We will examine what they see as the most pressing threats to it, as well what social conditions best permit it to flourish, from a range of perspectives including liberalism, existentialism, Marxism, anarchism, communitarianism, and critical race theory.  In so doing, we will also consider how their visions of freedom and related critiques of domination and oppression are nested in broader theories concerning selfhood and identity, economics, and the role of government in ordering social life.  By exploring freedom as a democratic question, we will gain a deeper understanding of freedom as a concept, as well as appreciation for the diversity of democratic ideals.

Women's Empowerment: A Critical Media Justice Approach
B CORE 118B, I&S

Instructor: Mo West
Monday/Wednesday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

This interdisciplinary course will explore media justice work through a feminist lens and engage with communication strategies and media tools to subvert media misrepresentation and marginalization.

Through a community-based research/community service learning project, students will develop action research media analysis, work with community partners on digital media empowerment, and promote media advocacy for policy/social change. Students will acquire a knowledge base for pursuing leadership opportunities at both local and national levels. In addition to lectures and discussion of course readings, students will engage in hands-on group work and role playing to develop their leadership skills.

Leadership Communications in Social Enterprise
B CORE 118C, I&S

Instructor: Carol Shaw
Tuesday/Thursday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

Want to turn dreams into action? Great thought leaders use the power of language to generate change in our world. This class will survey the evolving landscape of business and philanthropy, highlighting the rise of social enterprise. We will examine essential roles played by corporate communications, from vision and mission statements to strategic plans, marketing, and social responsibility. We will explore writing styles, conventions, and new media used in running businesses and non-profit organizations. Students will generate original leadership recommendations and innovative solutions for today's real-world challenges across business, government, and society.  Individual research projects, group work, and class discussions will inspire us on ways to integrate economic goals with aspirations for the environment, arts, health, education, and social justice. Incorporate your own passion for societal change into academic and career planning, your final Discovery Core reflective essay, and student video presentations for our class Leadership Forum capstone event. This is an opportunity to champion your favorite cause and show us why it matters. 


Natural World (NW) Options:

Pacific Northwest Natural History

Instructor: Ursula Valdez
Monday/Wednesday 1:15pm-3:15pm

Natural History of the PNW is a course designed to familiarize students with the natural world through the lenses of science and traditional nature studies. Students will learn underlying principles of environmental and ecological sciences, their application to conserving and restoring natural habitats, approaches to observing and recording nature, and conveying this information in different venues. Students will develop an understanding of the interconnected relationships between human and natural systems with a great focus in the Pacific Northwest and its influence in the global context.

Class time will include short lectures, in-class discussions, and spending time outdoor observing nature in the UWB wetlands or other nearby locations. Students will participate in a quarter-long research project, and dedicate time to independent literature research, writing short field trip reports and communication pieces.

Chronic Toxicity and Health

Instructor: Grace Lasker
Tuesday/Thursday 11:00am - 1:00pm

This course specifically investigates chronic toxicity and human health in the context of major scientific disciplines: physiology, biochemistry, toxicology, and sustainability. Students will view their environment through a critical lens supported by course content and inquiry-based activities. 


Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA) Options:

Applied Theatre and Community Building

Instructor: Deborah Hathaway
Monday/Wednesday 11:00am - 1:00pm

This course is an active exploration of how theatre is used for social change work and to provide opportunities for empathy and dialogue. Students will learn acting and improvisation skills, as well as engage in discussions and research. We will define applied theatre and explore examples of individuals and groups participating in this work. Additionally, we will put these ideas into practice. This quarter, we will be working with the group 206 Forward- Youth Advocates of Seattle, a club through Seattle Parks and Recreation. They focus on building youth voice, engaging in community action, and building leadership skills. We will meet with them twice during the quarter to learn from one another and use theatre as a tool for self- expression and gaining confidence as public speakers. At the end of the quarter, you will all create original theatre projects designed to stimulate dialogue about access to education. I hope that you leave the course having connected deeply with your classroom community and used theatre as the means to contribute positively to the larger Seattle community as well.

Red Riding Hood on the Rapid Ride: Folklore, Fairy Tale, and Fantastical Stories

Instructor: Louise Spiegler
Monday/Wednesday 1:15pm – 3:15pm

Why do traditional tales excite, frighten and inspire us? How do they startle us into deep insights about psychology, power and the nature of life? We’ll explore how these old tales reflected and shaped the imaginative universe of people in cultures around the world and how they have been reinterpreted and used afresh in modern times. From creation stories to trickster and transformation tales, stories of ghosts and monsters, love and hate, slavery and freedom, life and death, we’ll plunge into a strange and fascinating universe, and through it, come to understand our own a bit better. Students will read, analyze, and engage in creative writing and performance, while connecting the material we study to their own challenges and life journeys.

The Art of the Myth: Bringing Sacred Stories to Life
B CORE 120C and 120D, VLPA

Instructor: Gavin Doyle
120 C-Monday/Wednesday 11:00am – 1:00pm
120D-Monday/Wednesday  3:30pm-5:30pm

Through an exploration of folk tales, myths, and sacred stories selected from a diverse range of cultures, students will work to parse out universal truths - looking for differences, commonalities, and meaning. Students will learn to re-imagine stories and to communicate their interpretations to an audience through creative writing, visual arts, stage movement, and spoken word. Readings, assigned essays, and class discussions will pair with class exercises. Student artifacts from the course will be taken up and transformed into final group artistic Showcase.

Reading to Reflect, Reflecting on Reading

Instructor: Katherine Voyles
Tuesday/Thursday 8:45am-10:45am

Welcome to a class on the powers of reflection. Together we’ll think about thinking by celebrating literature’s capacity to represent lived experience. By exploring the gulfs between worlds made of words and the worlds in which we live we’ll practice reflection appropriate to the capstone class of the DC series as we read in historically, culturally and socially informed ways.

Fiction, especially realistic fiction, straddles the internal world of the novel and our own world. For this reason, novels are especially rich sites of reflection because we immerse ourselves in fiction as it unfolds minute-by-minute even as we explore the gap between story and reality. As with reading fiction, reflection involves both being engulfed in the moment and making sense of the larger contexts and implications of that moment.

The Cultural Studies of Graphic Memoir

Instructor: Jason Morse
Tuesday/Thursday 1:15pm - 3:15pm

Graphic novels are becoming not only increasingly popular but also increasingly recognized as legitimate art forms and cultural texts that explore issues of identity and socio-political issues. The genre of graphic memoir or autobiography has been a large part of this rise to legitimacy, providing a new hybrid form (using both verbal and visual text) in which to represent the author’s negotiations with issues as varied and important as identity formation and intersectionality; race and racism; desire, sexuality, and queerness; what it means to be gendered; or living differently abled.

This class will engage multiple forms of disciplinary knowledge production (including artistic, cultural studies, sociology, history, race and ethnicity, gender/sexuality studies, etc.). To do so, this class will engage the work of graphic memoir as both an art form and a cultural production. Students will also practice interdisciplinary learning as they read, write, and draw about the concepts and texts we engage.  Student will also learn experientially by doing a creative project of drawing a graphic memoir of a personal memory.

Reflect, Engage, Prepare
B CORE 133, 2-credit elective

Instructor: Various

T or TH 8:45-10:45
W 11:00-1:00
T or TH 3:30-5:30
F 1:00-15-3:15

Sign up for BCORE133 to connect with other first-year students and student leaders who share your interests! Our 2-credit courses provide opportunities to interact with student panels, meet with student organizations, map out various majors/career paths, plan your time at UWB for career readiness, and enjoy your time on campus. Whether you feel confident in your path forward or just want to connect with others (either headed the same way or who already are where you want to go), this class is for you! Or if you want to reflect on your first year, or are still exploring various options and want guidance with how to maximize your time at UWB to meet your goals, 133 has something to offer you too!  Course sections will be offered with a focus on STEM, Business, Social and Environmental Justice, Health and Wellness, and specifically for those who are Undecided and want to spend some time thinking about how to make choices about a major.