First Year and Pre-Major Program (FYPP)

Spring 2021 Discovery Core III



Individual and Societies (I&S) Options:


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

Instructor: Jason Lambacher
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.

Leadership Communications in Social Enterprise
B CORE 118B, I&S
Instructor: Carol Shaw
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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. 

Women's Empowerment: A Critical Media Justice Approach
B CORE 118C, I&S
Instructor: Mo West
50% hybrid- offered on campus

See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.


Natural World (NW) Options:


Environmental Health and Justice
Instructor: Tyler Watson
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

This course explores the many environmental factors (e.g., climate change, air pollution, food systems, urban design, etc.) that determine human health and health inequities in the places where we live, work, learn, and play, as well as how we can improve the environmental conditions in which all people can be healthy.

Pacific Northwest Natural History
Instructor: Ursula Valdez
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.

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


Reading and Writing the Literature of Social Engagement

Instructor: Linda Watts
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

This course takes its inspiration from psychiatrist Robert Coles, who for many years taught an enormously popular course at Harvard entitled, “The Literature of Social Reflection.” As an educator, Coles advanced the premise that lifespan exposure to literature—particularly works of social observation—could inform and enhance readers’ experiences within, and contributions to, the lived world. Such a reading practice prioritizes character, courage, and compassion. Members of this class will join in a quarter-long exploration of this premise as it might prove relevant to our own lives and those of people we contact through daily life. Throughout the course, class members will be encouraged to explore and help transform the literature of civic engagement. Along the way, we will employ course materials, assignments, and activities as means by which to cultivate and enhance capacities crucial for constructive encounter with difference (creative coexistence)—such as generous reading, active listening, attentive observation, dialogue, reflection, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

Applied Theatre and Community Building

Instructor: Deborah Hathaway
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.

The Art of the Myth: Bringing Sacred Stories to Life

Instructor: Gavin Doyle
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.

Mapping the Middle Ages

Instructor: Louise Spiegler
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

The Middle Ages are endlessly exploited in fantasy literature and popular culture. From The Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, it seems people can’t get enough of runic wizards, beefy warriors and evil queens. But what were these times really like? How can the historical reality speak to us in way that is just as urgent and important as these fantasies?  And what parts of the world and what people in these worlds do medieval fantasies ignore?

Sometimes the best way to understand our own times is to take a tour of the past. This class is a guided tour of the era from 700 – 1400 CE, ranging from Europe to the Islamic and Mongol Empires, and East Asia. From the court of Harun al Rashid to the armies of Genghis Khan, from Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Court of Love to the massacres of the Crusades, from the Black Death and peasant uprisings to the first strides toward human rights, will piece together the map of the medieval world, and listen to the voices of the men and women caught up in its drama.

How did medieval people construct meaning in their world? What intellectual leaps did they take? How were some people suppressed, demonized and attacked? How did diverse communities learn to cooperate and do their solutions have anything to teach us as we construct the map of our own troubled times?

The course is an integrated learning experience, encompassing historical, cultural and artistic exploration, exploring what binds us together in one human family and how different traditions and historical experiences shape us.

The Cultural Studies of Graphic Memoir
B CORE 120D and 120E, VLPA

Instructor: Jason Morse
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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
Offerings: TBD

See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

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.  

University to Career: How today's students will thrive in tomorrow's workplace 
B CORE 211, 2-credit elective
Instructor: Susan Terry
See the UWB Time Schedule for meeting days and times​

Do you have some ideas about what you’re interested in, but are not sure how to turn those into a major or a career? Feeling nervous about committing to a major or getting accepted? Do you have a major in mind, but don’t know what jobs it will lead to?  Are you settled on a major but don’t know how to connect with others who share your interests? 

This course is for you! Meta-majors are groups of majors that have similar areas of interest and skill sets. In this course, we’ll use meta-majors to explore and connect with students and faculty in related majors across campus, help you create and academic plan, explore connections with student organizations and campus resources and make sure you are not only “on a path” to success at UWB, but see the many pathways that can lead to success in your areas of interest. 

The course runs asynchronously throughout Spring quarter; please sign up for the Meta-major area you would like to explore.