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 52nd J-Term at Hastings College; classes started January 3, and end January 23. 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
Chemistry Research Experience
Instructor: Neil Heckman
Location: University of Nebraska–Lincoln or University of Kansas
This course places 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.
Beyond the Textbook: Experiencing the Extremes of Peru’s Culture and Communications
Instructor: Jessica Henry
This is a trip of extremes…extreme geography (from the coastal plains of Lima to the mountainous terrain of Machu Piccu), extreme socio-economic/class distinction (from the affluent community of Mira Flores to the poverty of the floating islands of southern Peru), extreme population differences (from the populous industrial areas of Lima to small buildings that house entire families). Students will challenge themselves physically, hiking ruins in the mountains and island trails at Lake Titicaca, and mentally, as they are asked to experience and understand complex social problems they might have only read about before. As part of this class students will investigate issues such as poverty, hunger, agriculture/sustainability, education, health care, infant mortality, gender equality/empowerment, tourism (and its impacts on the environment) and pollution management.
Hamilton: Young, Scrappy and Hungry
Instructor: Amy Black and Michella Marino
Explore the history and economic legacy of our forgotten (until recently!) founding father Alexander Hamilton. We’ll read both primary and secondary sources about his life, study the hip hop musical Hamilton, and visit key sites in New York City connected to him. If luck is on our side, we will get tickets to the musical. If not, we will still get to know Alexander Hamilton better by visiting the various rooms “where it happened.”
Religion and Culture in Italy and France
Instructors: David McCarthy and Constance Malloy
We will begin our trip in Rome, Italy, site of the Roman Coliseum, ancient Christian Catacombs, and St. Peter’s Cathedral. Travelling through Italy, we follow in the footsteps of St. Benedict and St. Francis, staying at historic monastic sites along the way to Taize, France. Activities will include monastic daily prayer, visits to Avignon’s Palace of the Popes, the ancient Roman Pont du Gard aqueduct at Nimes, the first-century coliseum at Arles, monastic centers at Cluny, Citeaux, Subiaco, and the ecumenical monastery at Taize. We will end the trip with three days in Paris, site of such cultural icons as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.
Exploration of the Impact of Slave Trade in West Africa
Instructor: Moses Dogbevia
The course educates participants about how slave trade in Africa had impacted the people of West Africa economically, emotionally, psychologically and physically. The course is specifically intended to explore the historical impact of the slave trade on the people of Ghana in particular and to identify with the implications of the slave trade in the lives of the people of Ghana today.
Courses On Campus (some may include local travel)
Accounting for Governmental & Not-for-Profit Organizations
Instructor: Jamie Read
A study of accounting and financial reporting for local and state governments, hospitals, colleges and universities, and other non-profit entities.
Instructor: Chad Power
Students take an in-depth look at live sports broadcasting. All aspects of production elements will be covered for converged media productions. The course includes participation with live broadcasts of HC Bronco Basketball games throughout the J-Term. Evening and weekend productions are required.
Instructor: Aaron Badham
Utilizing reclaimed bicycles, students will design, model and fabricate a mechanism which makes a unique artistic statement. This course will explore the fundamentals of mechanical linkages, gears, pulleys, cranks and cams. In addition, students will be introduced to metal fabrication and word working techniques. The goal of this course is to investigate the application of mechanical systems to artistic practice within the context of contemporary sculpture.
Intro to Alternative Photographic Processes
Instructor: Brett Erickson
Photography is most often associated with film and digital formats, but the origins of the medium are far more diverse. In this course, students are introduced to methods for producing alternative-process photographs using purely historic methods, as well as digital-blended techniques. Examples of such processes include photograms, cyanotypes, platinum/palladium, salted paper, gum bichromate and digital contact prints.
The Origin of Species: Its Prelude and Postlude
Instructors: Bill Beachly and John Bohmfalk
What changes in worldview and knowledge preceded Darwin’s seminal work and who contributed to it? What changes occurred afterwards to enhance our understanding of the origin of species, and what are the yet unanswered questions? We’ll explore these questions through readings, discussions, projects, and videos.
Instructor: Amy Morris
This course covers the development of selected organisms. Primary emphasis is on the vertebrates.
Current Issues for American Businesses
Instructor: David Carpenter
A seminar based course designed to delve into current topics that American businesses will be dealing with in 2018. Examples may include job creation, the global economy, workforce demographics, climate change, sustainability and other topics from the news.
Lying, Cheating and Stealing: An Introduction to Fraud
Instructor: Bruce Batterson
“There’s a sucker born every minute.” P.T. Barnum probably did not coin the famous phrase, but gullible people have willingly given their money to swindlers since long before Barnum’s time. This course examines many varieties of fraud, from carnival hoaxes to Internet schemes and elaborate investment ploys. Ethical challenges and legal responses will be analyzed, as well as the psychological forces that cause even sophisticated individuals and organizations to fall for the con artist’s tricks.
Instructor: John Perlich
This class provides a diverse approach to the study of sports media, gaming, culture, organization and criticism. Everything from youth to amateur to professional sports is addressed in terms of myth, community, and identity.
Instructor: Mark Hall
Understand machine learning problems and systems. Topics include system design, concept learning, decision tree learning, neural networks, hypothesis evaluation, Bayesian learning and genetic algorithms.
Instructor: Bob 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.
“You Can’t Make Me”
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 explore positive discipline strategies to manage resistant behaviors in children. Students will participate in a service learning project for children in the local community and complete a short field assignment in their interest area.
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 selected topics.
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: Department Faculty
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.
Instructor: Kathryn Rempp
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).
Instructor: Department Staff
Location: Area Schools
The Many Faces of Jane Eyre
Instructor: Antje Anderson
We will read the most famous of Victorian novels, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847), full of mystery, romance and passion, and then compare it with two types of adaptations: Film versions from the 1940s through today, and novels that are ”re-spins” of the original: Jean Rhys’ Wide Sargasso Sea, Patricia Park’s Re Jane, and Jasper Fforde’s The Eyre Affair. There is also room for independent projects on your own favorite Jane Eyre spin-off.
Instructor: Patricia Oman
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.
History of Canada
Instructor: Glenn Avent
How many states does Canada have? Who is the President of Canada? What is Canadian about Canadian bacon? We live right next door, but how much to you actually know about our neighbors to the north? Find out the answers to these important questions and more as we explore the history of Canada from the time of first European contact to the present day. This will be a reading and writing-intensive class, focused on the analysis of primary documents
King James I: “The Wisest Fool in Christendom”
Instructor: Rob Babcock
Son of Mary Queen of Scots, longest reigning King of Scotland ever, demonologist, successor to Elizabeth, planter of Protestants in Ireland; sponsor of the Authorized Version of the English Bible, target of assassination, patron of Shakespeare…King James I has left many scattered identities for subsequent generations, but the totality of who he was has been difficult to grasp. Using primary sources and the rare books of the Moody Collection in the Perkins Library, students in this course will try to come to understand just who this first Stuart king of England was, and reassess his place in the history of his countries and of the world.
Instructor: Roxann Holliday
This course will be a tour through the world of sports marketing. This class will include a trip to visit with the marketing offices of a major league sports team, a minor league sports team, professional and collegiate sports teams, to explore the differences in appealing to each market. We will meet with sports marketing professionals, tour stadiums and take in a game or two. Classroom work includes readings and movies relating to the evolution of sports marketing in a fast-paced, ever-changing environment.
Logic, Sets and Methods of Proof
Instructor: John Schneider
Theory and practice of mathematical proof and its foundation in symbolic logic. Construction of proofs about sets, relations, functions, real numbers and integers.
Instructor: Bobbi Buchholz
This is an introduction to mathematical ways of thinking about discrete systems, and using them to model reality. Topics may include counting principles, logic, circuits, theory of codes, machine scheduling, voting methods, and graph theory.
Music Theatre Workshop
Instructor: Jim Fritzler, Fritz Mountford, Annette Vargas
The class will produce and perform a musical ending in performances the first week of the spring semester (Pirates of Penzance).
The Fab Four: Beatles
Instructor: Byron Jensen
While the Beatles were known primarily after February 9, 1964, their road to success was a seven-year journey; not an overnight success. This course covers the entire Beatles’ story from 1957-1970. Emphasis on developing the student’s listening skills in music will also be stressed.
Learn to Play the Piano in Three Weeks
Instructor: Jonathan 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.
Instructor: Marc LaChance
Methods of Teaching Health
Instructor: Becky Hamik
This course will fulfill the Health teaching component for a Health Education endorsement. Students will learn how to prepare and teach health related lessons to K-12 students.
Advanced Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam Prep
Instructor: Brett Wells and Nicholas Dinan
This course is intended to follow PED 484/684 and provide a mixture of classroom lecture and hands-on training to prepare students to pass the certified strength and conditioning specialist certification. Course content will include information pertaining to the 2 sections of the exam: 1) Scientific Foundations – Exercise Science and Nutrition and 2) Practical/Applied Section – Exercise technique, program design, organization and administration, testing and evaluation.
Philosophy of Coaching
Instructor: Chris Clements
This course focuses on major coaching theories, methods, practices and outcomes. Topics include study of first principles in coaching, coaching cases and analyses, great coaches, coaching decision making, and other contemporary issues.
Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Film
Instructor: Ali Beheler
This course will explore issues of race, gender, and sexuality by attending to their representations in film. We will view and discuss a variety of films (features, shorts and documentaries), supplementing each film with contemporary readings in sociology, philosophy and journalism. Our films will include moonlight (2016), 13th (2016), The Danish Girl (2015), the Black Power Mixtape (2011) and Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005), among many others.
Happiness in Film
Instructor: Mark Zajack
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the conditions in which individuals thrive. In this class we will compare the portrayal of happiness in film to the empirical findings of psychological research. Evidence for the positive effect of constructs such as curiosity, persistence, and kindness will be explored. Class time will be dedicated to lecture, student presentations, film viewing and discussion.
Psychology of Language
Instructor: Jeri Thompson
This course allows students to examine the cognitive psychologist’s methods of study and perspectives on the complex mental processes used in written and oral language comprehension (listening and reading) and language production (speaking and writing). We will briefly discuss the development of language in children and a third mode of linguistic communication, American Sign Language. Also addressed will be evolutionary factors (are humans the only ones with language?), physiological factors (how is the brain involved in language?), and social factors (how is language used to accomplish social functions?).
Disconnect to Reconnect: Technology, Nature and Development
Instructor: Stephanie Furrer and Amy Sandeen
Location: On campus; Prairie Loft, Hastings; Lied Lodge/Arbor Day Farm, Nebraska City; Crane Trust
Drawing on psychological theory and research regarding the benefits of nature, 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 being outside 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 such as yoga, art, journaling, hiking, etc. (as weather permits).
Humor and Joy in Healing and Wholeness
Instructor: Lee Wigert
The class will examine the role of humor and joy in healing and wholeness. Materials from “The Humor Project, Inc.” will be used, including Making the World a Better Place, Lessons and Laughter on Living Our Lives, Ho-Ho-Holistic Medicine, How to Bring Out the Best in People, Choices, Changes and Chuckles, Keeping the Faith and Keeping Your sense of Humor, Humor as a Live Saver, and Lightening Your Load.
The Bible and the New York Times
Instructor: Dan Deffenbaugh
Theologian Karl Barth once remarked that a Christian must start each day with the Bible in one hand and newspaper in the other. Barth’s inference is clear: if the Bible is to be any kind of spiritual guide, its epic narrative – recorded in both the Old and New Testaments – must be interpreted and made relevant to Christians confronting such contemporary challenges as economic and social injustice, environmental destruction, and political unrest at home and around the world. Anything short of this – for example, “proof-texting” – only leaves us with a petty moralism that divides us into simply defined groups: “conservatives” and “liberals.” In this course we will be discussing the major ethical themes of the Bible and using these to help us understand how best to respond to events we read about in the New York Times.
Fundamentals of Chemistry
Instructor: Neil Heckman
Atoms, molecules, formulas and chemical reactions will be discussed. No previous exposure to chemistry is required.
Introduction to the Night Sky
Instructor: Steven Bever and Caitlin Williams
This course is 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 and many fundamental physics theories and principles. The observatory will be used during observation sessions of celestial objects discussed in class.
Understanding How the Brain Works
Instructor: Lorraine Edwards
This course will be taught at the basic level and will incorporate principles of electrophysiology, neurochemistry and neuroanatomy to understand how the brain works. Students will have the opportunity to experience electroencephalograms, nerve conduction studies and computerized tomography of the brain.
Spanish Detective Fiction and Film Noir (course taught in Spanish)
Instructor: Pedro Vizoso
The goal of this course is to improve the students’ Spanish skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing, and to develop their critical thinking on the subject matter of the course through a series of readings, web search, TV series, and films which serve as the primary sources for class discussion and research work. Students should be able to explore by their own the contents of the course and other related materials, make connections between these contents and their personal cultural experiences, prepare a personal portfolio, and write a substantial research paper in Spanish based on the readings, TV materials, films, theories, and other contents. The objective is the analysis of the genre – Spanish detective fiction and film noir – and how it reflects, depicts, and addresses the reality and the evolution of the social, economic, political and urban landscapes during the last five decades in Spain.
Factors Influencing Marital Quality
Instructor: Bob Kettlitz
This course explores how several factors (expectations, interaction/communication, bonding, and adjustment) impact individuals’ perception of the quality of their marriage.
Wonder Woman, Joan of Arc and Katniss
Instructor: Laura Logan
Using a sociological lens, students in this course will examine women in leading roles in action films. We will use films and readings and discuss gender, race, culture, violence, action, heroism, entertainment and much more.
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!
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Instructor: Austin McDonald
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 more than 60 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.