During three weeks in January, Hastings College students have the opportunity to experience January Term, or J-Term. It’s a time when students immerse themselves in one course, travel the country or travel abroad as part of a learning experience, or grow their skills through an internship or practicum.
This year is the 51st J-Term at Hastings College; classes begin January 4, 2017. For more on J-Term, click here.
Many faculty use J-Term courses as a way to present a new take on information or explore areas of interest outside their main area of focus. Hastings College graduates often report that January Term was one of their favorite experiences on campus.
Below are courses offered this year, with the first list being those involving significant travel (abroad or domestic). On-campus courses follow.
Study Abroad and Courses With Significant Travel
Marine Conservation Biology
Instructors: William & Diane Beachly
A survey of conservation issues in marine biology including coral reef preservation, mangroves, sustainable fishing practices, species diversity, and ecosystem threats due to climate change. Students will obtain background knowledge of oceanography, the physical environment of the sea, and biotic interactions in marine communities before travel to Honduras where they will study coral reefs and have additional lectures at the Roatan Marine Institute. The students will have received SCUBA instruction prior to departure and will dive at the islands of Roatan. On the Honduran mainland students will visit the Pica Bonita rainforest preserve as well as the mangrove swamp reserve.
Chemistry Research Experience
Instructor: Neil Heckman
Location: University of Northern Colorado
This course will place students in a research laboratory. Students will conduct research with graduate students, post-docs, faculty members or other research scientists. This course is modeled after the summer undergraduate research programs in chemistry, found at many research institutions.
Instructor: Amy Black
Location: England and Scotland
An interdisciplinary approach examining the individual’s role in the economy and the policy, and how the individual influences and is influenced by the dynamics of the relationship between the political system and the economy. This class will use the television series “Downton Abbey” and travel to England and Scotland to experience the aforementioned dynamics.
From Paris to Spain: Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
Instructors: David McCarthy and Pedro Vizoso
Travelling by car and on foot throughout France and Spain, we will retrace the path of medieval pilgrims on the road to the purported tomb of St. James the Apostle at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, we will learn about the role of pilgrimage in medieval Europe, and the significance of this 1000-year-old tradition for the history and culture of France and Spain. We will start our trip in Paris, and end in Madrid; participants will have the option of hiking the last 100 kilometers of the Pilgrimage to earn their Compostela certificate. Students will chronicle their observations in a personal journal. There is no language prerequisite, but students taking the class for Spanish or French credit will compose their journals in the respective language.
Brian Boru and the Vikings in Irish History
Instructor: Rob Babcock
Before the English conquest, Ireland had more than a hundred kingdoms and subkingdoms, each with its own lineage of royal figures. In popular memory, only one of them remains well-known today: Brian Boru. Almost since his death at Clontarf in 1014, Brian “of the Tributes,” High King of Ireland, has been celebrated in saga and chronicle, in performance and in art. Traditionally, when he touched the Stone of Destiny on the Hill of Tara, it let out a shriek that could be heard throughout the Island. Famously, we are told, he drove the Vikings out of Ireland. This course, which will include substantial time on the ground in Ireland, will simultaneously acquaint students with medieval and with modern Ireland. It will introduce students both to the confused and dangerous eleventh-century that produced the actual Brian and to the way that an often-distorted memory of Brian has come to become part of contemporary Irish identity.
Tenements and the American Dream: Exploring Immigration in late 19th and Early 20th Century New York
Instructor: Michella Marino
Location: On-campus plus five days in New York, New York
Throughout this course we will analyze the factors that spurred immigration to America, in particular New York City from the late 19th century through the early 20th century. We will also study the lives of immigrants as they navigated the opportunities the city provided as well as its pitfalls. We will discuss the concept of the American dream and its accessibility to immigrants. Further, we will travel to NYC ourselves to explore the historical sites relevant to immigration (Ellis Island, Lower East Side Tenement Museum) in order to engage more fully with the immigrant experience.
Discovery of American Music Theatre
Instructor: Robin Koozer and Byron Jensen
Location: On-campus and five days in New York, New York
This course will be an introduction of the historical background and current development and impact of the Broadway Music Theatre. There will be viewing of five Broadway productions and workshops with experienced New York performers, including prior discussion and insights into staging, casting, movement, and the business and costs of New York. Classroom work will include introduction to musical staging, movement, choreography, and improvisation. Additionally, throughout their time in the city, students will be required to document with photos various uses or items dealing with water in the city and its contrast to the Midwest.
Instructors: Steven Bever and Caitlin Williams
Location: On campus and Chicago
This course provides unique experiences in the physics laboratory including topics in quantum mechanics, optics, modern physics and analytical mechanics which are not covered in regular courses. The experiments will be conducted during the first two weeks of the term. The final week will be spent in Chicago visiting Fermi National Accelerator laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago Medical Physics Group and several museums.
Courses On Campus (some may include local travel)
A Snapshot Sublime: A Brief History of Photography
Instructor: Brett Erickson
From its beginnings as a scientific curiosity, photography has undergone profound changes in its long history; yet, it has always struggles to be recognized as a medium deserving a place among the traditional forms of art. This course gives students whirlwind tour of the path of the image, from camera obscura and Caravaggio, to the appropriated image and Richard Prince, all the while examining the role photographs have played in the world of art.
Comic and Graphic Novel: Storytelling and Illustration
Instructor: Bob Hall, distinguished visiting professor
This course will introduce students to the landscape of comic and graphic novel creation. Students will work on devising a story, whether fictionalized or biographical using their own experiences, and then shaping and illustrating that story. Although there will be instruction in drawing, emphasis will be storytelling.
College Aftermath – Welcome to the Real World
Instructor: Jamie Read and Roxann Holliday
Students will have the opportunity to learn ‘what comes next?’ This course will cover practical topics such as: What do I wear to an interview (complete with a shopping trip)? Does my resume look good? How do I buy a house/finance a mortgage? Should I rent instead of buy? What insurance policies do I need and how do I obtain them? How do I file my taxes? How do I make a budget? We will invite speakers in to discuss investing, mortgages, real estate, and insurance. The course is designed for those closer to graduation but is open to all students.
Lying and Deception
Instructor: Jessica Henry
Deception and more specifically lying (which in intentional deception) is a pervasive phenomenon in human communication. This course explores the varieties of deceptive communication, their causes and consequences in a wide range of contexts (advertising, art, interspecies contact, family and romantic relationships, journalism, mass media, politics, etc.) and the strategies used to detect their occurrence (behavioral cues, polygraphs, etc.).
Instructor: Kittie Grace
Students will study the role of communication in organizations. Units include organizational networks, personality/leadership styles, power/status, and first hand study of organizations. Students will observe organizations by watching episodes of “The Office” and will help organize and host a campus event.
PC Hardware and Architecture
Instructor: Mark Hall
An introduction to contemporary PC hardware and how it is integrated to form a complete, self-contained system. Topics include system architecture, microprocessors, memory, buses, disk drives, graphics hardware, networking and basic digital logic.
Instructor: Robert Amyot
An interdisciplinary approach examining the individual’s role in the economy and the polity, and how the individual influences and is influenced by the dynamics of the relationship between the political system and the economy. Service learning will be required to engage students in these dynamics. Fulfills the LAP requirement
Instructor: Ben Waller
An exploration of the sources, language, mythology, themes, interpretations, and adaptations of Tolkien’s major fantasy works, including the The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
Clash of the Generals I: Ancient Warfare
Instructor: Dr. Mike Ibeji
Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Hannibal: three great generals from history who never faced each other. But what would have happened if Alexander had faced Hannibal on the field of battle? Now we can find out. Clash of the generals is an intensive 6-day interactive crash course in the history of ancient warfare. Each student is required to present a series of battle plans designed to defeat the other generals on the course. These are fought out in Rome: total War to see who might have won if Hannibal or Alexander had ever gone up against the other greats of the Ancient world.
Clash of the Generals II: The Horse and Musket Era
Instructor: Dr. Mike Ibeji
How would Alexander the Great h have fared at the Battle of Waterloo? Could Robert E. Lee have defeated Napoleon? In a week of intensive seminars, students break down the strategies and tactics of 8 of the most famous generals in history. Then, each student is required to present a series of battle plans designed to defeat the other generals on the course. These are fought out in Napoleon: total War to see whether Robert E. Lee could have outfoxed Napoleon, or if Wellington could have held his ground against Alexander’s charge.
Learn to Play the Irish Tin Whistle
Instructor: David Cooke
Students will learn to play the Irish tin whistle. Topics covered will include basic playing, types of accenting (cuts, strikes, crans, rolls, etc), and types of tunes (jigs, reels, hornpipes, etc). We will also watch a few Irish movies which have traditional Irish music soundtracks and deal with various Irish subcultures.
Factors Influencing Marital Quality
Instructor: Robert Kettlitz
This course explores how several factors (expectations, interaction/communication, bonding and adjustment) impact individuals’ perception of the quality of their marriage.
Challenge Yourself: Live on $6.44 per Day
Instructor: Jean Heriot
This class explores what it means to eat on the budget provided by the United State Department of Agriculture for people who need help with purchasing food. The first week we will read about the program and prepare ourselves to live on $6.44 per day for a week. We will look at how we purchase food, how we prepare food, and whether $6.44 a day is enough. The second week we will live within this food budget and either go it alone or do the challenge in groups. Students will be required to blog about the experience (using a set of guidelines) and use other social media for reflection. The final week we will assess the experience and learn about strategies for taking social action to address the biggest way to provide food to people in need. Though much of the class will be experiential in nature, there will also be research and writing components. All students will be required to try the experiment, though there will be other options if the student cannot live on $6.44 a day.
Digital Video Editing
Instructor: Chad Power
Create a music video, short film, mini-documentary, or develop your own video production. Students learn advanced digital non-linear editing techniques and apply them on state-of-art equipment to create video productions. Premiere night concludes the course as we invite campus and the community to view our productions on the big screen in Studio B.
Instructor: Marc LaChance
A comprehensive survey of the history of Jazz. The cultural context of each style period will be studied along with the musical conventions, economic conditions, and technical innovations that help define those styles. The course will include readings, lecture and extensive listening (in and out of class).
Learn to Play the Piano in Three Weeks
Instructor: John Sokasits
Learn the basics of playing the piano without prior musical instruction. You will play in both popular and classical styles and learn note-reading, basic music theory, harmonization, improvisation and composition.
Guitar from Scratch
Instructor: Richard Klentz
An introduction to rhythm style accompaniment guitar playing. Students will learn to read chord charts in standard notation and guitar tablature, accompany vocal and instrumental music. Musical styles will reflect the diversity of the instrument and will include but not be limited to: folk, rock, blues, bluegrass, country, pop, Latin and jazz. Both pick and finger-style guitar will be taught. Chord theory and structure will be presented. Activities will include: listening, watching performances, discussing history of the guitar and players of influence. Students will perform two songs with a partner for the final.
Marching Band Techniques
Instructor: Dan Laing
An overview of methods and materials related to secondary school marching design, rehearsal, performance, and administration. Emphasis will be placed on charting for marching band utilizing computer assisted drill writing software.
Organizational Leadership and the Entertainment Arts
Instructor: Fritz Mountford
This course will focus on the development of group leadership, its uses and dynamics through the lens of exemplary entertainment organizations. Students will explore a variety of contemporary organizational leadership theories and practices. Participants will be encouraged to integrate the knowledge and experiences into their undergraduate leadership roles.
It Takes a Village to Raise a Child
Instructor: Ann Auten
No matter what one chooses for a career path, all adults will interact with children. The old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” suggests that all members of a community have a responsibility to its children. After all, they are one third of our population and our future leaders. Class participants will learn behavior strategies for working with children from authors including Stephen Covey and Jim Fay. Hillary Clinton’s perspective from her book, “It Takes A Village,” which advocates a society that strives to meet all of a child’s needs, will also be included in discussions. Students will participate in two service learning projects with children in the local community.
Education Field Experience
Instructor: Barbara Sunderman
A special exploratory and practical experience provided in the public schools under professional supervision. Areas of emphasis include observation, study of learning materials, classroom management, teaching methods, lesson design and others.
Instructional Tools for Teachers
Instructor: Doug Phelps
Effective teachers possess many diverse skills. They must be efficient in the management of administrative affairs, dynamic in instructional delivery and knowledgeable in instructional techniques to facilitate student learning. The activities of this course align with Nebraska Technology Standards and the ISTE Standards and address ways technology can be utilized to improve teacher effectiveness in all three of these critical areas. Participants will develop a portfolio that demonstrates products and skills that will serve in future contexts such as candidate teaching and professional teaching.
Practicum for Teachers
Instructor: Judy Hall
This is a field experience – required – for students seeking endorsement in special education. Candidates will observe and participate in special education programs which serve students with special needs in grades K-12. Placements will include inclusive regular education settings and time with special education teachers in resource and/or special program settings. Candidate must be admitted to Teacher Education or have instructor’s permission to take this course. Membership in Student Education Association (SEA) is required.
Instructor: Lisa Smith
This course is designed to explore and develop skills necessary in the development of transformational learning environments that provide every student an equal opportunity to develop to their full potential. Areas of emphasis include developing a first-hand understanding of what it is to live and learn in an intercultural community and how to engage in actively ending oppression of all types. This course will also investigate examination of educational practices and their impact on student learning (e.g. assessment, instruction, curriculum, and education materials).
Elementary/Secondary Teaching Practicum
Instructor: Jim Loch
Location: Area Schools
Instructor: John Schneider
A study of advanced topics in Euclidean geometry and a survey of topics in modern geometries, including finite geometries, the projective plane, and groups of transformations of the plane.
Logic, Sets & Methods of Proof
Instructor: Bobbi Buchholz
Theory and practice of mathematical proof and its foundation in symbolic logic. Construction of proofs about sets, relations, functions, real numbers, and integers.
Issues in Wellness
Instructor: Jonathan Perone
Discussion and examination of multiple areas of wellness, including fitness, health promotion, sex and drug education, and disease prevention. Discovery of these topics will enable students to live a more healthy and productive life. The course includes both a lecture and activity component.
Issues in Sports
Instructor: Matt Buttermore
Designed as an examination and discussion of issues prevalent in sports found on the daily sports pages of newspapers, magazines, on television and in the movies.
Instructor: Doyle Daiss
Designed as an overview of the principles and practices in stress management. The concept of stress, psychophysiology of stress, the measurement of stress, the relationship of stress to mental and physical healthy and performance, prevention and intervention in stress management, and special topics related to stress are discussed.
Instructor: Becky Hamik
This course will be an extended study on the five dimensions of health and wellness. Two major issues that will be addressed are health improvement priorities and understanding determinants of disease and disability. We will be doing some local field experiences.
Instructor: David Carpenter
The practical application of auditing standards and procedures in completing a financial statement audit are examined. Case studies and/or an audit simulation are used.
Instructor: Jeri Thompson
This course consists of an overview of philosophic thinking and scientific research on the through processes of various species of animals. The possibilities of animal self-awareness, problem-solving, and language will be discussed in relations to human cognitive processes. We will also consider why this comparison seems to be so important (to us, probably not to them).
Disconnect to Reconnect: Technology, Nature and Development
Instructor: Stephanie Furrer
Drawing on psychological theory and research, as well as contemporary writings regarding concerns about development in the Digital Age, students in this course will examine the impact of technology on their own and others’ lives, and will explore the benefits of nature experiences on physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development. In addition to lecture and reading discussions, students will engage in group projects, and will participate in outdoor activities (as weather permits).
Instructors: Patricia Oman and Emily Bennett
Have you ever wondered how books are made? In this class we will simulate an actual press working environment, focusing on the production side of book publishing, with students serving as proofreaders, typesetters, production assistants, and project managers. We will learn advanced features of Microsoft Word, InDesign, and Photoshop to produce hard copy books and e-books. No experience necessary. Class meets 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, but there won’t be any homework outside of class.
Fundamentals of Chemistry
Instructor: Neil Heckman
A study of the nature of science and chemistry. Atoms, molecules, formulas and chemical reactions will be discussed. No previous exposure to chemistry is required.
Introduction to the Night Sky
Instructor: Clyde Sachtleben
Designed for students who want to gain a perspective on the character of the astronomical universe. Topics will include our solar system, star birth and death, galaxies and cosmology. The observatory and local planetarium will be used for the outside activities.
How Did You Get a Nobel Prize?
Instructor: Amanda Solem
Everyone wishes they had a Nobel prize, but only a few people actually get them. We will select Nobel Laureates and really get to know them. What did they do? How did it change the world? What were they like as people? What path led them to a Nobel prize?
Instructor: Moses Dogbevia
This course introduces students to the basic concepts of environmental science and explores the interaction of living and non-living components of the environment with special emphasis on the impact of humans on these components. Prerequisite of high school chemistry or any college level science course.
Advanced Medical Biology
Instructor: Amy Morris
An intensive review of topics in medical biology pertinent to students preparing for medical admissions exams (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT, and VCAT).
Learn to Play MAH-JONG
Instructor: Hillary Watter
Mah-Jong is a game that originated in China. There are several versions, Chinese, Japanese, and American. All three versions will be studied, learned and played. Mah-Jong is a game of skill, strategy and calculation yet it also involves a certain degree of chance. Come join us as we learn to play this ancient Chinese game that is making a revival throughout the country!
Foundations in Personal Finance
Instructor: Deb Johnson
Want to be financially secure (even wealthy!?!) and give? Foundations in Personal Finance is a program designed by Dave Ramsey with the goal of equipping young adults with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound financial decisions.
New Play Workshop
Instructor: Jim Fritzler
The new play with music that Jim Fritzler developed during his sabbatical called “The Famous and Original Bar Room Smasher” will be developed in workshop using students as the performers and technicians for the piece. The class will end in a full production of the play the first weekend of spring semester.
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Instructor: Ali Beheler
The goal of this course is to enlarge your understanding of how gender shapes our world. We will explore a variety of topics, including the socialization of gender, reproduction, sexuality, gender in the media, and the influence of gender on economics. This is NOT a course focusing only on women, but on gender. Therefore, we will also study the history and development of both the Women’s movement and the Men’s movement. In addition, we will also consider multicultural perspectives of gender in our global community.
Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. With 64 majors and 15 pre-professional programs, Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.